KANNUR l thursday l February 11, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 14 l city EDITION Academic regression during pandemic: Study The Loss of Learning During the Pandemic study reveals 92% kids lost at least one specific language ability from the previous year negative impact on learning levels of kids scrap vacations, redraw syllabi The language ability lost includes describing a picture or their experiences orally; reading familiar words; reading with comprehension. The study on primary school children, carried out by Azim Premji Univ, highlights the negative impact on the learning levels of children due to prolonged closure of schools and suggests immediate action to rectify the regression ■ 82% of children have lost at least one specific mathematical ability like identifying single and two-digit numbers; using basic problem solving operations; describing 2D/3D shapes ■ Report suggests measures like eliminating vacations, extending academic year, reconfiguring syllabus as ways to arrest the slide 16,067 kids of MP, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand surveyed 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 Amid full-blown freedom of speech spat with Twitter, govt begins Kooing B ismah M a l ik @ Bengaluru Caught in the eye of a political storm over the ongoing farmers protests, US social media giant Twitter on Wednesday said it had suspended more than 500 of the 1,178 accounts the ministry of electronics and information technology ordered it to remove citing the possibility of inciting violence and threat to national security . However, the site took a dig at the government saying the others were not suspended as the blocking orders were not consistent with Indian law. “Keeping with our principles of defending protected speech and freedom of expression, we have not taken any action on accounts that consist of news media entities, journalists, activists, and politicians. To do so, we believe, would violate their fundamental right to free expression under Indian law,” Twitter said. The ministry termed Twitter’s statement as ‘unusual’, posting its response first on a rival platform, Koo, which garnered more than three million downloads in two days. “Upon the request of Twitter seeking a meeting with the government, the Secretary IT was to engage with senior management of Twitter. In this light a blog post published prior to this engagement is unu- Fully Indian firm Aprameya R, the co-founder and CEO of Koo, said it is an Indiaregistered firm backed by investors like 3one4 capital. A Chinese investor, Shunwei, is also a shareholder, but will exit fully sual. The gover nment will share its response soon,” Meity said in a statement. The Centre had last week warned Twitter of legal action under Section 69(A) of the Information Technology Act, which provides for imprisonment up to seven years besides a penalty if it fails to take down , the 1,178 accounts. Legal experts told TNIE that Twitter may have very few op- Shed status quo mindset and let new laws help empower small farmers, urges PM 'Under control' Ready for talks, says Modi while backing reforms E xpress N ews S ervice @ New Delhi Nobody had asked for the triple talaq or dowry laws, but they were still enacted, for reforms must be attuned with changing times was Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reply to the Opposition’s charge that farmers had not sought the agri laws. Addressing a joint sitting of the two Houses after Lok Sabha passed the Motion of Thanks to the address of President Ram Nath Kovind, Modi on Tuesday reiterated his government’s willingness to talk with the farmers all the while defending the laws as progressive. “Besides creating an additional, but optional, avenue has there been any change after the enactment of the laws? When the farm laws offer only an option, there cannot be any reasons for protests,” he said. Conceding that 100% acceptance to any new measure was not possible, Modi, however, said progress could not be gained without shedding the status quo mindset. Recalling Chaudhary Charan Singh’s words on farm fragmentation, he said: “We cannot progress if we do not care for small farmers, who constitute 80% of the farming community. Fragmentation is a reality and , this is what the farmers’ producers organisations aim to address.” “A new world order is in the wrong tunnel Search suffers for want of layout A glass furnace pipe burst and around 2,000 litres of oil leaked to the sea through the drainage pipe District Collector Navjot Khosa says the situation under control agitation path On 77th day of their protest on the borders of the National Capital, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha on Tuesday prepared a detailed pan-India protest plan. The finer details will be decided later Feb 12: All toll plazas in Rajasthan will be made toll free Feb 14: Candle and mashaal (torch) march across the country Feb 16: Solidarity day to mark birth anniversary of Sir Chhotu Ram Feb 18: Four-hour rail roko across the country making in the post-corona era, and we have to choose between being a mute spectator and making reforms. An Atmanirbhar Bharat will play a crucial role in the new world order,” argued the prime minister. When Congress leaders began disrupting his speech, Modi took potshots at the GOP , saying it was divided and confused. “The party has different stands in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha. It can neither work for its own good nor solve the challenges faced by the country,” he said even as Congress and TMC legislators walked out. He also backed the private sector to be seen on a par with the public sector enterprises as a driver of Atmanirbhar Bharat. V inee t Upadhyay @ Tapovan (Uttarakhand) After more than 72 hours of operations to reach 37 workers stuck in a tunnel of the Tapovan Hydropower project in Chamoli district following flash floods on Sunday, the rescue strategy changed with new information that thet may be in another tunnel that is below the main D-shaped Tourism and fishing activities in Veli, Vettucaud and Shankhumukham banned for two days The furnace oil leaks into the drainage leading to the sea at Kochuveli in T'Puram | B P Deepu Surprise disengagement in Ladakh M AYA N K S I N G H and P U S H K A R B A N A K A R @ New Delhi After a nine-month-long stand-off along the Line of Actual Control in Eastern Ladakh, the situation appeared to ease a tad on Wednesday as both China and India began a “synchronized and organised” disengagement process. While Indian sources said it was limited to armoured vehicles, the Chinese Ministry of National Defence claimed that the frontline troops from both sides along the Pangong Tso had started disengaging. Senior Colonel Wu Qian, spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of National Defence, said: “The Chinese and Indian frontline troops at the southern and northern banks of the Pangong Tso started synchronized and organised disengagement from February 10.” From the Indian side, a senior Army officer confirmed the pullback of armoured vehicles, including infantry combat vehicles. ‘Intake Adit Tunnel’. Till now, the D-shaped 180-metre-long tunnel was the focal point of the mission by a combined rescue team comprising the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, National Disaster Response Force, Army, Indian Reserve Battalion, State Disaster Response Force, Indian Air Force, Navy state police , department and other agencies. The idea was they may be trapped inside the 180m tunnel. Now, the rescue team has started drilling the ground at 70-75 m inside — Ravinath Raman, official HC DIRECTIVE TO POLICE ‘Can’t block supply, free campuses of drugs’ E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Kochi The High Court on Wednesday directed the State Police Chief to introduce a special scheme to ensure the premises of educational institutions and universities are drug-free. The DGP should initiate steps to conduct anti-drug programmes at institutions and conduct awareness campaigns using social media, HC said. "The scale of drug abuse in Kerala is unacceptably high. The major problem faced by law- enforcing officials is their inability to plug supply channels that bring the drug contraband into the state. The recent trends in drug transitways are seemingly innocuous, such as through courier consignments and speed post parcels. It is almost impossible to screen the sheer quantity of parcels and couriers shipped across the state, without specific intelligence on suspicious packages," the court observed. A division bench comprising Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice A M Shaffique issued the order on a suo motu case initiated after retired IPS officer N Ramachandran sent a letter highlighting the increase in drug abuse cases and related crimes. The bench issued a directive to establish campus police units as law enforcement agencies are not conducting regular checking inside educational institu● More on P4 tions. Excerpts from court order The highest number of cases are from T'Ppuram and Ernakulam districts Mattanchery, in West Kochi, is a hub of drug abuse, thanks to the high tourist flow tions since it has only partly complied with the government orders, while free speech activists denounced the government’s crackdown on social media by using ‘le g al weapons’. India remains a key market for the social media giant with more than 75 million active users, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has a 65.5 million strong user base with Oil leaks from Titanium Co into sea, Veli coast on alert E xpress N ews S ervice @T’Puram AROUND 2,000 litres of furnace oil leaked from state-run Travancore Titanium Products Ltd (TTP) to the adjacent coast around Veli in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday . District Collector Navjot Khosa said the situation was under control and there was no need for concern among the public. However as a precaution, tourism and fishing activities in Veli, Vettucaud and Shankhumukham have been banned for two days. Visitors won’t be permitted to these coasts during the period. The incident happened in the ORTHODOX-JACOBITE ROW Panel proposes referendum to determine church ownership What the bill entails Referendum has to be overseen by a 3-member authority The authority should comprise a retired SC/HC judge and a representative each of Jacobite and Orthodox factions E xpress N ews S ervice @ Kottayam IN A MOVE to end the decadesold dispute between the Orthodox and Jacobite factions of the Malankara Church, the Kerala State Law Reforms Commission headed by former Supreme Court judge K T Thomas has proposed a referendum to determine the majority of the faithful in a parish for claiming ownership of its church. The commission submitted the draft bill to the government on Wednesday . “To determine the majority a , his key cabinet colleagues as well as government departments active on the site. Industries and Commerce minister Piyush Goyal, IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra and Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut were amongst those who shifted to the ‘desi’ rival Koo, which also onboarded key gover nment de par tments on Wednesday . referendum needs to be carried out. Provisions also have been made to protect the ownership rights and beliefs of the churches,” Justice K T Thomas told TNIE. According to him, a threemember authority headed by a retired SC/HC judge has to oversee the referendum. “The authority will also have a member each from the Jacobite and the Orthodox factions. If the Churches do not nominate a member to the authority, then the state government can do the nomination,” ● More on P4 he said. morning when a glass furnace pipe burst and the oil leaked to the sea through the drainage pipe. The fishermen in the locality noticed the leakage and infor med the company authorities. “The leak was quickly plugged and prevented a large flow of oil into the sea,” said the collector. The oil spilt to around one kilometre in the sea between Veli and Vettucaud. The Indian Coast Guard Ship C-441 and Dornier aircraft carried out surveillance over the Veli coast. It is estimated that about 2,000 litres of oil has leaked into the sea, said a state● More on P4 ment. EXPRESS READ CM puts out Kappan's hopes, NCP may split Kochi: The NCP faction led by MLA Mani C Kappan is slated to join the UDF and the party's state unit is headed towards a split after CM Pinarayi Vijayan officially informed the party's national leadership that the Pala seat cannot be allocated to NCP. P4 Lijo's Jallikattu drops out of Oscar race Kochi: Lijo Jose Pellissery's Jallikattu is officially out of the race for the Oscars in the Best International Feature Film category. The Academy did not include the flick when it published the list of final 15 movies on Wednesday. P7
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