chennai l thursday l july 15, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 20 l late city EDITION d.a. for central govt staff raised to 28% from July 1 The Union Cabinet on Wednesday decided to restore dearness allowance for govt employees and dearness relief for pensioners Hike to benefit 1.14 cr staff and pensioners No arrears will be paid this time In view of the pandemic, the Union government had frozen the three additional instalments of the DA and DR, which were due from January 1, 2020, July 1, 2020 and January 1, 2021. The latest hike will benefit around 48.34 lakh Central government employees and 65.26 lakh pensioners, Union minister for information and broadcasting Anurag Thakur said ■ ■ There will be no payment of arrears this time, as the rate of DA/ DR for the period from January 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021 shall remain at 17% of basic pay/pension The enhanced rate of DA and DR will be paid from July 2021. The impact of the hike in FY22 is pegged at `22,934.56 crore `34,401 cr Combined annual burden on the exchequer due to the hike 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 SC critique Drop Sec 66-A cases, advises home ministry S ana S haki l @ New Delhi The Centre on Wednesday ordered states and Union territories to “immediately withdraw” all cases filed under the repealed Section 66-A of the Information Technology Act, nine days after the Supreme Court termed the unabated use of the scrapped section “a shocking state of affairs”. The government’s directive will help save the judiciary’s time as 745 cases registered under the defunct section are pending before various trial courts in 11 states. The Ministry of Home Affairs further ordered states and UTs to direct all police stations under their jurisdiction not to register cases under the section, which was scrapped by the SC on March 24, 2015. “It has been brought to our notice through an application in Hon’ble Supreme Court that FIRs are still being lodged by some police authorities under the struck down provision of Section 66-A of IT, Act, 2000. The Supreme Court has taken a very serious view in the matter,” the MHA said in the communication to states and UTs. In the letter to all the chief secretaries of states, administrators of UTs and police chiefs, the MHA emphasised the need to “sensitise the law enforcement agencies for the compliance of the order issued by the Supreme Court on 24.03.2015”. The home ministry also reminded the states that it had sent directives to the authorities on three previous occasions on January 11, January 14 and April 1 to sensitise the police authorities. Jab-o-meter Take your shot July 13 34,10,974 doses July 14 32,10,451 doses Total doses: 39,10,53,156 NATIONWIDE july 13 july 14 Fresh cases 32,906 38,792 Recoveries Deaths 49,007 41,000 2,020 624 tamil nadu july 13 july 14 Fresh cases 2,505 2,458 Recoveries Deaths 3,058 48 3,021 55 Rajan submits NEET panel report, says many are against test EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai The State government’s steps towards abolishing the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) are likely to gain momentum in the coming days since the high-level committee, headed by retired judge AK Rajan, on Wednesday submitted its 165-page report and recommendations on the exam’s impact in medical admissions in Tamil Nadu, to Chief Minister MK Stalin. Based on the report, the State government may move a resolution in the Assembly seeking exemption for NEET in Tamil Nadu and send it to the Union government as well as to the President. The State may also initiate other legal steps to abolish NEET. Speaking to reporters at the Secretariat, Justice AK Rajan Collision course Mandaviya raps states claiming vaccine shortage E xpress N ews S ervice @ New Delhi We have not expressed our individual views on the matter, but submitted the report to the government based on the data collected — Justice (retd) AK Rajan Barely six days after taking over as the new Union health minister, Mansukh Mandaviya on Wednesday attacked states complaining of vaccine shortage, slamming them for “creating panic” and charging they had mismanaged their Covid-19 inoculation drive. Criticising them for making “useless statements”, he said all states had been informed in advance about available supplies, yet they had failed to suitably stagger their vaccine rollout. He stoutly denied allegations of lack of jabs though several states claimed otherwise. “If the Centre is giving this information in advance and yet we see mismanagement and long queues, it is clear what the problem is and who is responsible for it,” Mandaviya acidly said. Sources in 10 states told this newspaper that they are facing vaccine shortage. Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, MP, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttarkahand and Bengal confirmed shortage of vaccines on Wednesday . Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, UP Maharashtra, Delhi and , Bengal had to shut many of their vaccination centres for want of jabs since last week. In Haryana, Andhra, Karnataka, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh, there is a decline in average daily vaccinations since the record high of Crack the whip: Centre Amid concern over increase in the ‘R’ factor (reproduction rate) of the coronavirus in view of the blatant violation of Covid norms, the Centre asked states to take action against officials responsible for the situation | P9 SC notice to UP The SC on Wednesday took suo motu cognisance of Uttar Pradesh allowing the annual Kanwar Yatra amid fears of a third Covid wave. A bench of Justice R F Nariman issued notice and slated the hearing for Friday | P9 86 lakh on June 21. Mandaviya said 11.46 crore vaccine doses were available to the states in June and the quantum was increased to 13.5 crore in July. The Centre, he said, had informed all states on June 19 about the exact number of doses that would be available to them in July On June 27 and July . 13, they were informed about the availability of vaccines every day for the first and second fortnight of July “So . the states know when and in what quantity they will get the doses,” he said. R Vijayalalitha, the headmistress of the school, is the one behind this milestone. She said they have been receiving applications from many parents and students despite putting out an ‘ dmissions Full’ board in front A of the school, surprising many . “When I joined this school in 2002, there was only one teacher and five students here. The school was on the verge of shutting down owing to poor admissions. But I refused to give up and put in a lot of hardwork in transfor ming the school. Through the government, parents and support of sponsors, I gradually developed the school. As a result, 580 students have been studying here in the current academic year,” she said. Sharing the tricks of the trade, she said more teachers were brought in and the teaching methodology was changed. “We’ve been constantly updating ourselves and improving the quality of teaching through smart classes, computers and other latest technological advancements. And this is one of the main reasons for our success. A school in Kancheepuram has enrolled about 1,000 students, the highest in the State, and we’re second only to them, with nearly 600 students. Our school, too, can enrol more than 1,000 students, if we have enough space,” she added. P7 woman behind the success Vijayalalitha, the headmistress, is also the recipient of the State Award for the Best Teacher in 2011, and the National Award in 2014, for her excellent work in transforming the school tions Act, 2006, which abolished all entrance examinations, he agreed, adding that he has been saying this for a long time. He further stated that the admission of rural students before the introduction of NEET and its status after are part of the report. “The views of all those who submitted their representations to the committee were taken into consideration. Some are of the view that NEET could be conducted only for this year Jaishankar tells Wang Yi full restoration of peace needed to build ties Hard talk on unilateral LAC status quo change @ New Delhi Rebuilt from scratch, this govt school is breaking records in admissions A government school in Karur, which was on the verge of shutting down a few years back, has undergone a drastic transformation. The school, under the able guidance of its headmistress, has now become the talk of the town owing to its “Admissions Full” board. As the myth goes, people in general, hesitate to admit their children in government schools due to the perceived lack of facilities and quality of teaching. However, The Narikatiyur Panchayat Union Primary School at Gandhigramam in Karur has broken that stereotype by enrolling a whopping 226 students for the 2021-22 academic year, and humbly rejecting 70 applications, owing to lack of space. nomical and legal issues, etc. We have given a detailed report on the impact of NEET on various spheres.” Asked whether the committee has reiterated the judge’s view that the NEET case should be argued on the basis of the Tamil Nadu Admission in Professional Educational Institu- E xpress N ews S ervice from empty benches to housefull A ravin d R a j @ Karur said, “Most people who gave their views to the committee said that NEET is not needed for Tamil Nadu on various counts. We have given certain recommendations to the government. We can’t reveal them to the media now. There are many issues like social justice, eco- External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday met his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) foreign ministers’ meeting in Dushanbe, Tajikistan where they discussed outstanding issues on the troubled Line of Actual Control in Ladakh. “Concluded a one-hour bilateral meeting with State Councilor and FM Wang Yi of China on the sidelines of Dushanbe SCO Foreign Ministers Meeting. Discussions focused on the outstanding issues along the LAC in the Western Sector. Highlighted that unilateral change of status quo is not acceptable. Full restoration and maintenance of peace and tranquility in border areas is essential for development of our ties. Agreed on convening an early meeting of the Senior Military External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar (R) and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi before the meeting | Twitter Commanders,” Jaishankar said in a series of tweets. The two leaders had earlier met in September last year on the sidelines of another SCO meet in Moscow where they had agreed on a five-point mechanism to ensure disengagement and de-escalation along the LAC. “The external affairs minister emphasized the need to follow through on the agreement reached then (in Moscow) and complete the disengagement, resolving the remaining issues along the LAC dearer beer pondy imposes duty on liquor The UT has levied a 20 per cent special excise duty on the MRP on all liquor brands, with effect from July 15. It will be applicable on all Indian made, foreign manufactured or imported liquor sold in Puducherry | P3 Unemployment in urban TN doubled in a year: Report C S H I V A K U M A R @ Chennai A report from the chairman of the Prime Minister Economic Advisory Committee has shown that Tamil Nadu, a State with high incidence of youth unemployment, saw urban unemployment double from 2020 to 2021. According to the report, titled ‘Post Covid Employment Scenario in India’, by Bibek Debroy the urban unemployment rate in TN, , though similar to the national average of 7.27 per cent in February 2021, is more than double that of the previous year. The rate at the level of ‘graduate and above’ was at 16.78 per cent in February 2021, and it continues to remain higher than other education-level bracket. This was coupled with a nearly three per cent fall in labour participation rate compared to the previous year. The labour force participation rate is a measure of the proportion of a country’s working-age population that engages actively in the labour market, either by working or looking for work; it provides an indication of the size of the supply of labour available to engage in the production of goods and services, relative to the population of working age. Noted economist and former governor of the Reserve Bank of India, C Rangarajan, tells Express that the informal sector in the State was more affected due to the pandemic. continued on: p4 in Eastern Ladakh at the earliest,” a statement from the ministry stated. Jaishankar pointed out that the successful disengagement in Pangong Lake earlier this year had created conditions for resolving the remaining issues. “It was expected that the Chinese side would work with us towards this objective. He however noted that the situation in remaining areas is still unresolved,” it added. Going forward, the two leaders agreed that in the next meeting of the military commanders, the two sides should discuss all the remaining issues and seek a mutually acceptable solution. “There was also an understanding that both sides will continue to ensure stability on the ground and neither side will take any unilateral action that could increase tension,” the foreign ministry’s statement said. and a few others wished that NEET could be conducted for two years. We have not expressed our individual views on the matter, but submitted the report based on data collected,” Justice Rajan added. On Tuesday the Madras High , Court had upheld the constitution of the committee. Welcoming the verdict, the CM had said the State would take steps against NEET once the panel submitted its report. In the sc Key provisions in tribunal ordinance struck down New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday set aside the provisions in the Tribunals Reforms Ordinance 2021, which fixed the term of members of various tribunals as four years. The majority comprising Justices Nageswara Rao and Ravindra Bhat also struck down the 50-year minimum age limit for appointment as tribunal members | P9 Winding up debt schemes needs unitholders’ nod New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday held that trustees in a mutual fund scheme must take the unitholders’ consent before winding up the debt scheme. The top court held that Sebi has the power to intervene if the trustees violate regulations. The SC order came on an appeal by Franklin Templeton against Karnataka HC order restraining it from winding up six of its schemes | P13
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