chennai l wednesday l december 08, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 22 l late city EDITION UAE becomes first country to switch to 4½-day work week Flexi-hours, work-from-home options The new work week, aimed at improving employees’ productivity as well as work-life balance, will kick off from January 1, 2022 According to the new schedule, the work timings from Monday to Thursday would be from 7.30 am to 3.30 pm, followed by a half day on Friday from 7.30 am to 12.00 pm. Saturdays and Sundays are full-day holidays under the new rule. Further, employees would be offered flexible working hours and work-from-home options on Friday, a government release said ■ eight Move to align with global markets ■ ■ The new system will first be implemented in govt institutions, schools and colleges. Private entities are expected to follow suit The change is expected to align the Emirates with global markets The Emirati governments of Dubai and Abu Dhabi have already announced the four-and-a-half day workweek Working hours per day from Monday to Thursday. On Friday, it’s 4 ½ hours 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 Soon, 11K govt jobs up for grabs in TN E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Chennai To fill 11,086 vacancies in various government departments, Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC) will issue notifications in February and March next year. There will be a 75-day period between the notification date and examination, said TNPSC Chair man K Balachandran on Tuesday . Releasing the tentative annual planner for TNPSC in Chennai, Balachandran said, “Notification for conducting combined civil service examination for filling 5,831 vacancies in Group II and IIA will be issued in February 2022. Similarly, notifica- A meeting of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha at Singhu border in New Delhi on Tuesday | PTI tion for Group IV and VAO posts will be released in March 2022. Currently there are 5,255 vacan, cies in Group IV but it may go , up by 2,000 to 3,000 at the time of notification or postexamination.” The exams are to be conducted for 32 posts which also include the already announced 23 posts from last year’s annual planner. The syllabus for all the exams are being changed after a recent government order made the passing of Tamil language paper mandatory to qualify for the government job. The general English part was removed for group IV posts. “Revised syllabus and model question paper will be released within a week and will be uploaded online. The Group IV examination will contain only objective type questions. Marks scored above 40 will be calculated in the general studies part of t h e p a p e r, ” a d d e d Balachandran. When asked about the measures taken to prevent the malpractice of changing answer sheets post examination, Balachandran said transportation of OMR answer sheets and personal details of candidates will be separated. more on: P3 Wary SKM wants proposal rework on setting up MSP SpiceJet to appeal HC winding up order panel, axing cases Nasa H a r p r eet B a j w a @ Chandigarh A panel set up by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of farm unions, on Tuesday sought clarifications and amendments on a set of draft proposals the Union home ministry sent to it in writing to address their demands and facilitate ending their year-long protest. The panel hopes to discuss the ministry’s response on Wednesday to take a call. While the draft said a committee comprising representatives from the Central and state governments, experts and representatives of SKM and other farmer outfits will be formed to look into the demand for a legal guarantee on the Minimum Support Price (MSP) mechanism, the SKM does not want other farmer unions in it. The SKM is unwilling to allow space to outfits that were not part of the agitation, said senior leader Balbir Singh Rajewal. Second, the draft says all criminal cases against farmers will be withdrawn after the agitation ends. “We will not accept it. The government should immediately begin the procedure to withdraw cases in a time-bound manner. The Punjab government has already announced its decision to drop the cases,’’ Rajewal said. Third, the draft has in principle agreed to give compensation to farmers who died during the course of the agitation. “Our count of the toll is 700. The Centre can follow the Punjab model, which involves `5 lakh compensation and a government job to the next of kin,’’ said Ashok Dhawale, another senior SKM leader. Fourth, on the proposed electricity amendment bill, the Centre says it will bring a bill in Parliament after due diligence and talks No consensus yet While farmer leader Kulwant Singh Sandhu claimed a consensus has been arrived at and “nearly all demands” have been met, the SKM said there was no such thing. The morcha will reconvene at 2 pm tomorrow for further discussion, it said in a statement later with all stakeholders, but the matter is already on the winter session’s legislative agenda. “During talks held earlier with the SKM, the government had said it would not bring this bill in Parliament,’’ pointed out Dhawale. Fifth, on stubble burning, the Centre had assured that there will be no criminal liability on farmers. “But amendments in the Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Act 2021 have made stubble burning punishable in Section 15. It should be amended,’’ added Dhawale. Jab-o-meter NATIONWIDE dec 06 dec 07 tamil nadu dec 06 dec 07 Dec 06 71,91,939 doses Dec 07 66,37,528 doses Fresh cases 8,306 6,822 Recoveries 8,834 10,004 Deaths 211 220 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths Take your shot Total: 129,46,08,045 express read I-T search on Saravana Group: `16 crore seized Chennai: The Income Tax Department on Tuesday said `10 crore in cash, and jewellery worth `6 crore was seized during the searches conducted at Saravana Super Stores and Saravana Selvarathnam groups in four districts across TN | P4 Set up common burial ground for all, says HC Chennai: The Madras High Court has suggested the setting up of common burial grounds for all castes. The court suggested this while disposing a petition seeking orders to create a permanent burial ground for Arunthathiar community | P4 719 737 10 710 731 10 Indian-origin doctor among 10 chosen for Moon Mission Born to Indian and Ukranian immigrants, US Air Force Lt Col Anil Menon will be part of future missions | P18 E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Chennai / New Delhi A day after the Madras High Court ordered the winding up of SpiceJet over its failure to make payments to a Swiss maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) service provider, the private carrier said on Tuesday that it was planning to appeal. SpiceJet owes around $24 million to Zurich-based SR Technics, with which it has a 10-year agreement to avail MRO service. On Monday, the single-judge bench of Justice R Subramanian allowed the petition by Credit Suisse AG, which had been assigned the right to receive payments due to SR Technics and ordered that the airline be wound up. The operation of the verdict was, however, stayed for three weeks following a plea by the airline on condition that SpiceJet deposit $5 million with the court in two weeks. The court rejected the airline’s contention that SR Technics did not possess DGCA’s approval veggie prices: No respite till pongal? C S h i v a k u m a r @ Chennai The increase in prices of vegetables such as brinjal, ladies finger, drumstick, tomatoes, beans and carrots in the retail market has jeopardised family budgets. This comes in the wake of a price rise in cooking gas cylinder. Tomatoes, which are priced at `80 to `90 at the wholesale market, is sold at `120 by retailers. Brinjal is being sold at `100 and above by retailers and is available at `70 to `80 at wholesale. Drumstick, a key ingredient in sambar, is now sold at a record price of `270 per kg. President of Koyambedu Vegetable Wholesale Merchants Association, S Chandran said drumstick is not available in southern States since it is procured from northern States where the price is hovering above `200. The freight charges to bring it to Rains ruin drumstick harvest, farmers fear loss Drumstick farmers in Karur are staring at a huge loss as the recent rains that lashed the district have led to the shedding of flowers that develop into the vegetable. Farmers also claim that the winter dew has affected the harvest | P5 Chennai has resulted in pricing it above `250, he says. So has the price of ladies finger, which is selling above `120 in the retail market. While wholesale market traders claim the vegetable is priced at `60 to `80 a kilogram, it is rare to find in the retail market. “The availability of the crop is less, so the price is more,” says Chandran. Traders warn there won’t be any respite in prices until Pongal festival, be it rain or no rain. Continued on: P2 1% Indians own 20% of national income E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi The gap between the haves and have-nots in India widened further in 2021, according to the World Inequality Report 2022, released on Tuesday Authored by Lucas Chan. cel, co-director of the World Inequality Lab, and coordinated by famed French economist Thomas Piketty, the report notes that the top 1% of India’s population owns more than one-fifth of the total national income and the top 10% owns 57% . In contrast, the bottom half owns just 13%. “India stands out as a poor and very unequal country, with affluent elite,” said the report by the World Inequality Lab, which does work through evidence-based research on inequality worldwide. According to the report, the average household wealth in India is `9,83,010, with the bottom 50% owning almost nothing as their average wealth is a paltry `66,280. The middle class is also relatively poor, with an average wealth of `7,23,930. At the same time, the top Billionaires’ wealth soars The share of global wealth held by billionaires registered a record surge during the pandemic. Around 2,750 billionaires own 3.5% of the world’s wealth now, up from just 1% in 1995 10% of the population owns around `6,354,070, while it’s a massive `32,449,360 for the top 1%. The report notes that India’s liberalisation policies have led to one of the most extreme increases in income and wealth inequality observed in the world. While the top one per cent has largely benefited from economic reforms, growth among low and the middle income groups has been relatively slow and poverty persists. Gender inequalities are also very high in the country. The female labour income share is equal to 18%. This is significantly lower than the average in Asia, excluding China, at 21%. from 2009 to 2015, saying the airline had availed of the services. SpiceJet said the Swiss firm made the “fraudulent misrepresentation” of having DGCA approval. This, the company said, is contrary to Indian and other applicable laws and therefore, makes the entire agreement infructuous. “Since the agreement falls and is void, Credit Suisse as an assignee does not and cannot have any claim against the Company,” SpiceJet said. The company is examining the order and initiating appropriate remedial steps including preferring an appeal before the appellate jurisdiction within the timeframe allowed by the Madras High Court. The company believes it has a good case on merits and is hopeful of having a favourable outcome in the appeal SpiceJet
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