KOCHI l Wednesday l December 02, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 16 l LATE city EDITION Unilever to test four-day work week from this month The British consumer goods giant said on Tuesday it would offer shorter work week for all its 81 staff in New Zealand Trial starts soon, will run for a year During the test, which will roll out this month and run for a year, the employees can decide which four days they want to work each week. There will be no pay cut, even though the total working hours have been reduced. The trial is expected to help employees attain a healthy work-life balance, and enhance productivity, bringing more profits to the company ■ 1,55,000 Output counts, not time spent at work ■ ■ In 2019, Microsoft had tried a four-day work week in Japan. It found employees were happier and productivity jumped by 40% Nick Bangs, MD of Unilever New Zealand, said the goal of the test is to “measure performance on output, not time” Unilever said it plans to shake up its workflow on a wider scale Employees on the rolls of Unilever in over 100 countries CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI Periya: SC rejects state’s plea, upholds CBI probe long road to justice Sept 30 HC single bench quashed the chargesheet, transferred the case to CBI Oct 31 State appealed against the order before the division bench Feb 17, 2019 Kripesh & Sarath Lal were hacked to death near Periya Crime Branch probed the case and charged 14 CPM workers and leaders, but it named the prime suspects as prosecution witnesses Nov 16 Division bench completed hearing Aug 25, 2020 HC upheld the CBI investigation Sept 25 SC refused to stay the high court order after the state approached it Dec 1 SC ordered a CBI probe When the parents of Sarath Lal and Kripesh cried for justice, the Supreme Court heard their woes, while the LDF turned deaf ears — Oommen Chandy, Cong leader E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e @Kasaragod IN a major setback for the LDF government, the murder of Youth Congress workers Kripesh and Sarath Lal P K in Periya will be investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), as ruled by the Supreme Court. The state government had been stonewalling the CBI investigation by not handing over the case diary and other related documents to the central agency, despite orders from the single and division benches of the Kerala High Court. Dismissing the state government’s appeal challenging the HC order, the apex court on Tuesday asked it to immediately hand over the case diary to the CBI. The central agency had told the Supreme Court that it could not make much progress in the case because it did not have access to the case diary . Kripesh, 19, and Sarath Lal, 24, were hacked to death at Kalliyot near Periya on February 17, 2019, allegedly by CPM workers and leaders. The Crime Branch of the Kerala Police investigated the case and charged 14 CPM workers and leaders for the double murder, but it named the prime suspects as prosecution witnesses. On September 30, 2019, the HC s i n g l e b e n ch q u a s h e d t h e chargesheet and transferred the case to the CBI. However, the government refused to hand over the case diary to the CBI, and after a month on October 31, appealed against the order before the division bench. After completing the hearing on November 16, 2019, the division bench refused to stay the single bench order. It then sat on the case for nine months and gave its judgment upholding the CBI investigation on August 25, 2020. The state government then moved the apex court, which took up the case on September 25, but refused to stay the high court or● More on P4 der. CPM isolates Isaac over remarks on KSFE raid E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram Representatives of farmer unions (from L) address the media after talks in New Delhi on Tuesday; farmers relax at Ghazipur; and one of the wrinkled faces of the protest | PTI Govt sows panel plan, farmers uproot it Agitators reject proposal to form small delegation for talks instead of holding it with all 32 leaders; both sides refuse to budge on three new farm sector laws; next round on Thursday E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi/Chandigarh The much-anticipated talks between agitating farmers and the Centre on Tuesday over the controversial three new farm sector reform laws, ended in a stalemate with the former rejecting a proposal to set up a committee to examine the issues flagged by them. Both sides, however, agreed to meet again on Thursday . “Now is not the time for setting up committees,” representatives of farmer unions were quoted as saying. They were firm on their demand to repeal the new laws and said their protests will continue. Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar later said: “We asked the union leaders to form a smaller group and discuss the laws clause by clause. The government has no objection to any discussion. The fourth round of talks will take place on December 3.” Representatives of all 32 agitating far mer unions participated. Apart from Tomar, the government was represented by Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Industries Som Prakash. According to sources, the government offered to constitute a multi-disciplinary panel comprising representatives of farmer unions, agricultural experts and other government bodies to look into their demands, but the union leaders rejected it. “The Centre had no answers. They asked us to propose five names of farmer leaders for a committee that would hold talks with the government and also participate in another panel to govt instructs police to show utmost restraint Wary of drawing negative international attention, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs on Tuesday instructed the Delhi Police to handle the agitation with utmost restraint, amid inputs that more kisan unions are likely to join the protesters. The Centre was, however, quick to snub Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for his comments on the protests, saying they were ill-informed and unwarranted Sarkari chai? No thanks “During tea break, the government offered tea and snacks but we turned it down and instead invited them to our agitation spot to have food from our langar (community kitchen). We will also offer milk and jalebis,” said farmer leaders who attended the meeting We suggested them to form a small committee, but they said they all will be present in the meeting. We agreed to that - Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Agriculture Minister Never said everyone will be administered Covid-19 vaccine, says Central govt E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi the Centre on Tuesday said it never spoke about vaccinating the entire country against Covid-19, adding there may not even be the need to do so. On the allegation of the ‘adverse event’ reported in the human trial of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, being produced by the Serum Institute of India, the government said it will not affect vaccine timelines. At the health ministry briefing, ICMR Director General Balram Bhargava said the purpose of the Covid vaccine drive would be to break the chain of viral transmission. “If we are able to vaccinate a critical mass of people and break the chain of transmission, then we may not have to vaccinate the entire p o p u l a t i o n , ” B h a r g av a explained. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said there was never a talk about inoculating the whole population with Cov- discuss the laws. We rejected it outright,” Bharatiya Kisan Union (Rajewal) president Balbir Singh Rajewal said. “Minister Narendra Singh Tomar appeared helpless; we could read his body language,” said Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ugranhan) president Joginder Singh Ugranhan. Later, another round of talks was held with BKU chief Rakesh Tikait and other union leaders at the agriculture ministry . “We have told them to submit their concerns in writing,” Tomar said. Earlier in the day Defence Min, ister Rajnath Singh and Home Minister Amit Shah met Tomar at BJP president J P Nadda’s residence for the third time in as P7 many days. EXPRESS READ After aide’s arrest, cops raid Ganesh’s house Kollam: The police raided MLA K B Ganesh Kumar’s house at Pathanapuram on Tuesday. The inspection was carried out on the instruction of Bekal police which had arrested his secretary recently in connection with the actor abduction case. P5 No mass return of kids from care homes id-19 vaccine. “I just want to make this clear that the government has never spoken about vaccinating the entire country It’s important that we . discuss such scientific issues, based on factual information only and then analyse it,” Bhushan said. The ICMR chief reiterated the importance of masks in fighting the pandemic. He said, “The role of masks is also important and that will continue even after vaccination. Because we are starting with a small group of population at a time, masks will continue to be used to help in breaking the chain of viral transmission.” Continued ON: P7 New Delhi:The Centre overrode a blanket order issued by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights and informed the Supreme Court that no inmate would be repatriated without proper scrutiny of the support system. gst revenue, pmi data show recovery is on New Delhi: Two sets of data indicated India’s economy may be on the mend. GST revenue figures for November showed indirect tax collections crossed the psychological mark of D1 lakh crore for the second month in a row. P10 16 pages, including 4 pages of KOCHI Express Speaker’s approval for probe against Chennithala, Shaji E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e @T’Puram SPEAKER P Sreeramakrishnan on Tuesday gave permission to the state government to launch a vigilance probe against Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala in the backdrop of the recent allegations surrounding the bar bribery case. The inquiry is likely to begin from Wednesday. The Speaker also gave his nod to proceed with the investigation against IUML leader K M Shaji, MLA, in connection with the illegal wealth acquisition case registered against him. The jolt for the Congress comes over a week after hotelier Biju Ramesh raised the allegation that Chennithala had accepted a bribe of `1 crore from the Kerala Bar Hotel Association (KBHA), during the Chandy government’s tenure, to roll back a proposed bar licence fee hike. Sleuths will soon record statements of Chennithala and former UDF ministers V S Sivakumar and K Babu, sources said. As Chennithala was the KPCC president and not a minister then, the state government’s legal counsel had suggested that the Governor’s approval was not required to initiate a vigilance probe ● More on P4 against him. A DAY after Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan dismissed conspiracy theories within the Left camp regarding the raid on the KSFE branches, the CPM endorsed his views and, more noticeably chose , to reject Finance Minister Thomas Isaac’s stance on the issue. The party state secretariat, in an apparent warning, told Isaac and senior leader Anathalavattom Anandan for making public remarks against the raid, something the central leadership too was unhappy with, given the local body elections are Actor assault case: State moves apex court round the corner. The CPM’s secretariat meeting on Tuesday backed party strongman Pinarayi’s version that “the raids were routine inspections”. “A few responses about the vigilance inspection have led to misinterpretation and negative campaigning. These remarks were made against the attempts to defame KSFE. Such open remarks should have been avoided,” said the statement, without naming Isaac, who is a central committee member. Isaac explained his stance at the meeting and said he should have been informed about ● More on P4 the raids. Row brings out new axis in CPM T’Puram: Despite its best efforts to sweep its differences under the carpet, the KSFE row seems to have exposed the presence of a new axis within the CPM. P4 If Thomas Isaac has an iota of self-respect left in him, he should quit immediately. The party too has abandoned him Ramesh Chennithala, Opposition leader Government has approached the SC with an appeal against the Kerala HC order dismissing a plea seeking a change of the trial judge hearing the case | P5
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