Coronavirus in India: 20 Delhi Metro employees test positive for COVID-19


Coronavirus in India: 20 Delhi Metro employees test positive for COVID-19

Around 20 staff members of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) on Friday tested positive for COVID-19.

As per a report news agency ANI, the DMRC in a statement said, "Along with the rest of the country, DMRC is also fighting the battle against COVID-19. Delhi Metro's employees have shown exemplary resilience in reporting back to their duties to keep the Metro system in all readiness for the eventual resumption of services."


ANI

@ANI
Around 20 staff members of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) have tested positive for #COVID19. All of them are asymptomatic and are doing well: DMRC officials

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"Some employees, scattered across the NCR have unfortunately been infected by the virus as well. They are all safe and recovering gradually. However, in this hour of crisis as well, the spirit of Delhi Metro continues to be high," the DMRC stated.

On Friday, India saw a record single-day jump of 9,851 coronavirus cases and 273 deaths on Friday, pushing the nationwide infection tally to 2,26,770 and the death toll to 6,348, according to the Union health ministry. India stood seventh among the nations worst hit by the COVID-19 pandemic after the US, Brazil, Russia, the UK, Spain and Italy. The number of active COVID-19 cases stood at 1,10,960 while 1,09,461 people have recovered and one patient has migrated, it said.




Assam board to declare HSLC Class 10 exam results soon; check at sebaonline.org


Assam board to declare HSLC Class 10 exam results soon; check at sebaonline.org

The Board of Secondary Education, Assam (SEBA) will declare the HSLC or class 10 exam results soon. Students who appeared for the examination can download check their results Assam board's official website, sebaonline.org or ahsec.nic.in.

According to a report by Indian Express, SEBA will declare the results of HSLC or class 10 exam results on June 6. A total of 3.8 lakh students appeared for the Assam Board Class 10th board exams this year.

The results will be available on multiple websites including results.sebaonline.org, resultsassam.nic.in, assamonline.in, results.siksha, knowyourresult.com, assamresult.in.

The Class 10 examination in Assam was conducted from February 10 to February 29, 2020, in two shifts- the first shift from 9 am to 12 noon and the second shift from 1.30 pm to 4.30 pm.

Steps to check SEBA HSLC Result 2020:

Step 1: Visit Assam board's official website, sebaonline.org or ahsec.nic.in

Step 2: Click on Assam Class 10th/HSLC result 2020 link available on the homepage

Step 3: Enter your roll number and other login credentials as required

Step 4: The Assam Class 10th result will be displayed on the screen

Step 5: Download and take its print out for future use

 
 
 



Kerala Elephant Death: State Forest Minister says one arrested, probe still on


Kerala Elephant Death: State Forest Minister says one arrested, probe still on

On Friday, Kerala Forest Minister K Raju said that one accused in connection with the death of the pregnant elephant has been arrested. Another one has been detained, he said.

As reported by the Hindustan Times, the arrested has been identified as P Wilson who works at an estate that cultivates cash crops and spices.

While questioning them, the duo said that they set up the fruit filled with fire crackers to scare the wild boards away.

A Kerala forest department team probing the killing of a pregnant elephant is leant to have taken two persons into custody. The forest officials are tight-lipped on the progress of their investigation.

The elephant's habitat was in the Silent Valley National Park in Palakkad district. The local Manarakadu police station on Wednesday registered a case in the gruesome incident.

"The forest department and the police are probing the incident and we are confident of finding the villains behind this crime," said Sub Inspector of Police T.K. Ramachandran.

According to veterinarians who treated the 15-year-old pregnant elephant, some miscreants while chasing away the elephants who occasionally stray into the agricultural land had kept fire crackers inside a pineapple.

When the elephant started eating it, the crackers burst, seriously injuring its upper and lower jaw and tongue. The injured elephant, according to forest officials, was first spotted by locals near a water source on May 23. Two days later an elephant expert after a medical assessment said things were bad for the animal.

On May 25, the elephant was found dead in slushy water. "Despite our best efforts to get the elephant out of water, it did not come out and died," said a local villager.

A post-mortem conducted on the elephant two days later revealed that the elephant was two-month pregnant. Experts pointed out that this was the elephant's first pregnancy.

On Thursday, Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar took to twitter to show his displeasure. "The government has taken a very serious note of the killing of an elephant in Mallapuram, #Kerala. We will not leave any stone unturned to investigate it properly and nab the culprit(s). This is not Indian culture to feed firecrackers and kill," he wrote.

On Wednesday, the Environment Minister sought a report on the death of the elephant and said stern action would be taken against the culprits.




Kerala Elephant Death: Postmortem report out; CM Pinarayi Vijayan says 'investigation underway, focus on three suspects'


Kerala Elephant Death: Postmortem report out; CM Pinarayi Vijayan says 'investigation underway, focus on three suspects'

The preliminary postmortem report of the pregnant elephant who died on May 27 after eating the pineapple stuffed with crackers was released by the Thiruvizhamkunnu Forest Station on Wednesday.

According to the report, the inhalation of water as a result of drowning was the immediate cause of death. "Water filled condition of lungs is an indication of drowning. Inhalation of water leading to respiratory failure, is the immediate cause of the death of the elephant."

It added, "The major and incapacitating wounds that led to localised sepsis in the oral cavity are evidences for severe traumatic injury and have most likely occurred following an explosive blast in the mouth. This has prevented the animal from taking food and water for several days and led to severe debility and weakness."

Meanwhile, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday said that an investigation is underway with focus on three suspects in the incident of killing of the pregnant elephant in Palakkad.

In a series of tweets, he said, "In a tragic incident in Palakkad dist, a pregnant elephant has lost its life. Many of you have reached out to us. We want to assure you that your concerns will not go in vain. Justice will prevail."

"An investigation is underway, focusing on three suspects. The police and forest departments will jointly investigate the incident. The district police chief and the district forest officer visited the site today. We will do everything possible to bring the culprits to justice," he added.


Pinarayi Vijayan

@vijayanpinarayi
 · 1h
In a tragic incident in Palakkad dist, a pregnant elephant has lost its life. Many of you have reached out to us. We want to assure you that your concerns will not go in vain. Justice will prevail.


Pinarayi Vijayan

@vijayanpinarayi
An investigation is underway, focusing on three suspects. The police and forest departments will jointly investigate the incident. The district police chief and the district forest officer visited the site today. We will do everything possible to bring the culprits to justice.

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SC extends its order on no coercive action against employers for not paying full wages for lockdown till June 12


SC extends its order on no coercive action against employers for not paying full wages for lockdown till June 12

The Supreme Court on Thursday extended till June 12 the operation of its May 15 order asking the government not to take any coercive action against companies and employers for violation of its March 29 circular on payment of full wages to employees for the lockdown period. The Ministry of Home Affair (MHA), in its circular, had asked all employers to make payment of wages to their workers without any deduction for the period their establishments were under closure during the lockdown to contain COVID-19.

The Secretary (Labour & Employment) had also written to chief secretaries of states to advise employers not to terminate employees from job or reduce their wages amid the challenging situation of the pandemic.

A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, S K Kaul and M R Shah expressed its concern over the MHA's circular, saying that 100 per cent wage payment has been ordered with the direction that there would be prosecution of offending employers.

"We have reservations over this. Some discussion should be held to work out some solution for this period of time," the bench said, adding that a balance has to be struck between wage payment for the lockdown period and protecting the industries.

"State may have to give small industries owners a hand. Negotiations need to be held industry to industry, workmen to workmen," the bench said while reserving the verdict on batch of petitions.

In the proceedings conducted through video conferencing, the bench said there was a concern that workmen should not be left without pay, but there may be a situation where the industry may not have the money to pay and hence, the balancing was needed.

Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, said as the people were migrating after the lockdown, the government came out with the notification to ensure that the workers are paid to help them in staying put at the work places.

The top law officer referred to the provisions of the National Disaster Management Act to argue the validity of the March 29 circular.

The bench asked the Centre whether it has the power to prosecute the employers for non-payment of 100 per cent wages to the employees in view of the fact that certain provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act have not been invoked, "Some.negotiations have to happen between employers and workmen to iron out what to be done for the salary for these 54 days (of lockdown)," it observed.

One of the firms, Ficus Pax, said that the work of the company has come to down to ten per cent and it has become an impossibility to pay the full wages.

The government could have utilized the ESI fund for paying entire minimum wages to all workforce in the country, a lawyer said.

Venugopal replied by saying that the money can be borrowed from the ESI fund, but cannot be redirected to pay the workers.

Senior lawyer Indira Jaising, appearing in one of the cases, said that the MHA's direction should not be quashed and the workers needed to be paid full wages for the period of the lockdown.

The principle of no work no pay is not applicable in the present circumstances, especially when there is lockdown, she said.

At the end of the hearing, the apex court asked the parties to file written submissions in support of their claims and granted three days time to the Attorney General to submit a short note on the validity of the MHA"s notification.

The Centre also filed an affidavit justifying its March 29 direction saying that the employers claiming incapacity in paying salaries must be directed to furnish their audited balance sheets and accounts in the court.

The government has said that the March 29 directive was a "temporary measure to mitigate the financial hardship" of employees and workers, specially contractual and casual, during the lockdown period and the directions have been revoked by the authority with effect from May 18.

The top court, on May 15, had asked the government not to take any coercive action against the companies and employers who are unable to pay full wages to their employees during the nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The bench was hearing pleas including the one filed by Small Scale Industrial Manufacturers Association against the Centre's direction.




Sitaram Yechury slams govt over amendment of Essential Commodities Act, says Modi’s gift to middle-men smacks of yet another scam


Sitaram Yechury slams govt over amendment of Essential Commodities Act, says Modi’s gift to middle-men smacks of yet another scam

Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Thursday slammed Modi government over amendment of Essential Commodities Act and said Prime Minister Narendra Modi's gift to middle-men smacks of yet another scam.

Taking to Twitter, Sitaram Yechury wrote: "This has serious implications, removing the shield for our food security and price control. This only benefits the middle-man who exploits both the farmer & the consumer. This Modi’s gift to middle-men smacks of yet another scam."

 

Sitaram Yechury


@SitaramYechury
 · 21h

This has serious implications, removing the shield for our food security and price control. This only benifits the middle-man who exploits both the farmer & the consumer. This Modi’s gift to middle-men smacks of yet another scam. (1/2) https://twitter.com/ani/status/1268146604747284482 …

ANI

✔@ANI

Union Cabinet today approved amendment to the Essential Commodities Act. With the amendment to Essential Commodities Act, commodities like cereals, pulses, oilseeds, edible oils, onion and potatoes will be removed from the list of essential commodities: Prime Minister's Office


Sitaram Yechury


@SitaramYechury

At a time when people are starving, the removal of price controls can well lead to conditions of man-made famines. (2/2)


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"At a time when people are starving, the removal of price controls can well lead to conditions of man-made famines," he further added.

Sitaram Yechury on Wednesday announced countrywide protests on June 16 demanding immediate cash transfers and free food grains to the poor.

Accusing the Narendra Modi government of using the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to replace the secular, democratic and federal structure of the country with a unitary form of theocratic government, Yechury said the Centre has now virtually left the people of the country to fend for themselves in combatting the pandemic.

The Left leader addressed reporters via Facebook Live to brief them about the decisions taken by the politburo of the party, which held its meeting on June 1 via a video link.

 

 



Active COVID-19 cases: India is the fourth country globally


Active COVID-19 cases: India is the fourth country globally

India becomes the fourth country with the most number of COVID-19 active cases. According to the Health ministry, India has around 1,01, 497 active cases, while its cured/discharged numbers stood at 1,00, 302. As per data, 5,815 people have succumbed to COVID-19 in the country.

The only relief for India has been the number of recovered and also low deaths as against other countries. India is almost a lakh behind Russia which has over 2.31 lakh active cases. Meanwhile, the country has lost 5,037 people to the disease, it is slightly lower than death in India.

The most number of active cases continue in the United States. While the number of active cases in the United States stand at 11.27 lakh the total number of cases in the US is around 18.81 lakh. This country has seen the deaths of around 1.08 lakh people due to COVID-19 and about 6.45 lakh patients have recovered.

The second country with most active COVID-19 cases is Brazil with 2.73 lakh cases. While the country has around 31,000 deaths, Brazil’s total number of recovered cases stand at 2.53 lakh.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, India crossed 2 lakh cases of Coronavirus, which almost 15 days after the country crossed the one-lakh mark. In India, Maharashtra remains a coronavirus hotspot with more than 70,000 cases. Of the total cases in Maharashtra, Mumbai has reported 41, 099 cases. Meanwhile, Mumbai is home to around 22,789 active cases and the city’s death toll stood at 1,319.

India is the seventh-worst hit country in the total number of COVID-19 cases, followed by Germany, Peru, Turkey among others. The worst-hit countries as per the number of COVID-19 cases are the US, Brazil, Russia, the UK, Spain and Italy.

 
 
 



PM Modi, Donald Trump hold telephonic talks; discuss Sino-India border row among other issues


PM Modi, Donald Trump hold telephonic talks; discuss Sino-India border row among other issues

Washington D.C.: The simmering border tension between India and China has had an interesting fallout. It has catapulted the US, which is engaged in a peculiar slanging match with China over the COVID-19 pandemic, into the amphitheatre of Ladakh. With that the façade of India and the US not hobnobbing on the fluid situation at the Line of Actual control has come off. PM Modi and US President Donald Trump on Tuesday had a telephonic conversation during which the two leaders exchanged views on the situation on the Sino-India border.

The PMO release said that the two leaders discussed the COVID19 situation and the need for reforms in the World Health Organisation. Tweeting about their conversation, PM Modi said, "Had a warm and productive conversation with my friend President Donald Trump. We discussed his plans for the US Presidency of G7, the Covid-19 pandemic, and many other issues."

During the telephonic conversation, Trump also invited Modi to attend the next G-7 summit to be held in the US. This is the first interaction between the two leaders since the US President offered to mediate in the "raging border dispute." Trump had also made it a point to mention during a White House briefing that PM Modi seemed to be ‘in a bad mood’ over the Ladakh standoff. Though the Indian side was at pains to assert later that it had not sought US assistance and that Modi and Trump had not had a telephonic conversation for some time, the matter came to a head with the tensions on the border showing no sign of ebbing.

With that, the two sides seem to have dropped all pretence of not working in tandem. An indication came from the US on Monday when it said it was "extremely concerned" by the Chinese aggression against India along the Line of Actual Control.

"I strongly urge China to respect norms and use diplomacy and existing mechanisms to resolve its border questions with India," said Elliot Engel, chief of the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee. Trump’s formal invite to PM Modi to attend the G-7 Summit is also as a bold gambit, to counter China, which is overreaching itself militarily in Ladakh and elsewhere. The US has already indicated that it is the unofficial onset of the cold war with Beijing and India seems to have an important role to play in Trump’s scheme of things.

 
 
 



Tech has own pitfalls: Lawyer learns hard way


Tech has own pitfalls: Lawyer learns hard way

By FPJ Bureau

New Delhi: The virtual court hearing through video-conferencing has its own pitfalls. A lady lawyer was caught unaware whatever she was telling her client about the hearing was also heard by jud­ges, before whom she had unsuccessfully argued the case. Soon after the hearing was ov­er, she was heard telling her client: “Nahi maana court ne. Waqt achcha nahi hota, sunte nahi hai (The court did not accept. When time is not good, they don’t hear).”

Unaware the mic was on and all she told her client was being heard by the bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra. He promptly said, “Madam Aisa Nahi Hai. Hum Sunte Hain (Madam it’s not that, we do hear).”

Other judges on the bench were Justices S Abdul Nazeer and Indira Banerjee. The matter involving the petitioner verses State of Punjab relates to some act of impersonation by the petitioner as lawyer was heard telling the court, “I have not impersonated. What's the role assigned to me? Allegation against me is that I visited once. When agreement took place, I was not there.”

 

SC seeks Navlakha’s reply on NIA plea

New Delhi: On a petition of the Natio­nal Investi­gation Age­n­cy (NIA) challenging a Delhi HC urt order on May 27, the SC on Tuesday sought response from Delhi-based civil rights activist and journalist Gautam Navlakha and posted further hearing after 2 weeks.

A bench of Justices Arun Mishra, SA Nazeer and Indira Banerjee issued notice to Navlakha, who was taken to Mumbai from Delhi's Tihar Jail by the NIA to produce him in a special court in Mumbai in the case of violence at Bhima Koregaon off Pune on January 1, 2018. He is presently lodged in judicial lockup in Mumbai.

On May 27, Delhi HC pulled up the NIA for its “unseemly haste” in taking away Navlakha to Mumbai when his interim bail plea was pending in Delhi. Appearing for the NIA, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told SC the HC’s order to produce the records of the trial court in Pune/Mumbai was “patently without jurisdiction.” Navlakha is among five rights activists accused of allegedly inciting violence at Bhima Koregaon village in Pune and also charged with the secret Maoist conspiracy hatched to kill PM Modi.

 

SC may not go back to court hearing

Notwithstanding the Bar Council of India earlier and the association of the advocates-on-record on Tuesday pressing for open court hearing from July 6 after the curtailed summer vacations, there are doubts whether the top court will go back to its normal functioning in the coming months.

An indication of this effect came from Justice Indu Malhotra during a hearing on Tuesday when she said: “It’s about life at this time ... can’t say anything about physical hearings in July.”

She was responding to senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi telling the bench “hopefully we will meet you soon when physical courts open in July.” Justice Malhotra was a part of the bench headed by Justice Mrs R Banumathi, and also compris­ing Justice Aniruddha Bose. The discussion veered around the possibility of top court resuming its normal open court hearing from July 6 after Rohatgi said: “I’m well since we lawyers are staying inside. Your lordships are going to court. I suggest your lordships should be careful while walking out to courtrooms.”

 

Plea to rename country put off

New Delhi: SC adjourned to Wednesday a plea to change the name of the country as “Bh­a­rat” by replacing the word “In­dia” in the Constitution with “Bh­arat” to “instil a sense of pri­de in our nationality”. It is the second time the case was adjo­u­rned without hearing as it was deferred to Tuesday on last Fri­day as CJI Sha­rad Bobde skipp­ed the day’s hear­ings. A brief notice of the registry said the matters shown before the vi­rtual court No 1 comprising the CJI and Justices AS Bopa­n­na and Hrishikesh Roy on June 2 wi­ll now be listed on June 3. “Stop using INDIA. It will en­s­ure citizens get over the colon­ial past and instil a sense of pride in our nationality. It will justify the hard-fought freedom by our freedom fighters,” says the PIL. —Our Bureau

 
 
 



Russia backing antiviral drug Avifavir good news for India: Scientists


Russia backing antiviral drug Avifavir good news for India: Scientists

New Delhi: Russia's approval of the antiviral drug Avifavir to treat COVID-19 is good news for India as it is based on an influenza medication already in advanced clinical trials here, say scientists. Avifavir, described by developers in Russia as perhaps the most promising anti COVID-19 drug in the world, is derived from Favipiravir.

Mumbai-based Glenmark Pharmaceuticals announced last week Favipiravir is under phase 3 clinical trials — the penultimate stage in drug testing — in India.

Stating Avifavir has shown high efficacy in treating vir­us patients during clinical tr­i­als, the Russian Direct Inv­e­s­tment Fund (RDIF) on Monday said it will deliver 60,000 courses of the drug to Russian hospitals in June.

It also said Avifavir has become the first Favipiravir-based drug in the world to be approved for the treatment of COVID-19, it said.

The close derivative link between Avifavir and Favipiravir is reason for hope in India too, said scientists here.

 
 
 



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