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LG overrules Delhi govt’s move on hotels and weekly markets

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Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Friday overruled the Delhi government’s decision to re-open hotels and weekly markets on a trial basis as part of Unlock 3.0.

The Delhi Chief Minister’s Office on Thursday had announced that hotels and weekly bazaars would be allowed to function on a trial basis for a week while maintaining social distancing and all necessary precautionary measures in view of Covid-19. The AAP government has also allowed street hawkers to function in the national capital from 10 am to 8 pm on a trial basis for a week, said the CMO.

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SSR death probe: Patna cop Vinay Tiwari ‘forcibly quarantined’ in Mumbai

Clash between Mumbai Police and Bihar Police continues in Sushant Singh Rajput’s death case. IPS Vinay Tiwari of the Patna team has now allegedly been forced to stay in quarantine.

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IPS officer Vinay Tiwari heading a police team from Patna probing case related to actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death has been “forcibly quarantined” by the municipal authorities in Mumbai, Bihar Director-General of Police (DGP) Gupteshwar Pandey said.

DGP Pandey alleged that Patna (Central) Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Tiwari, who arrived in Mumbai on Sunday was put under quarantine by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
“IPS officer Binay Tiwari reached Mumbai today from Patna on official duty to lead the police team there but he has been forcibly quarantined by BMC officials at 11 pm today. He was not provided accommodation in the IPSMess despite a request and was staying in a guest house in Goregaw,” the Bihar DGP tweeted.

A team of Bihar Police is in Mumbai to probe the matter on the basis of an FIR which was registered in Patna based on a complaint filed by Rajput’s father KK Singh against actor Rhea Chakraborty under several sections including abetment to suicide.

Meanwhile, corporator and BJP leader in Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), Vinod Mishra condemned Patna SSP’s forcible quarantine in Mumbai.

‘I condemn this incident. I would like to ask Maharashtra Chief Minister and Home Minister that the entire country wants to solve Sushant Singh Rajput’s death mystery. Bihar Police officials have been coming to Mumbai nowadays in connection with this case but you are not supporting them. You did not quarantine them but when an IPS officer came ahead to solve this case, he was forcibly quarantined,” said Mishra.

“Who do you (Chief Minister) want to save?” he added.

On Sunday, after reaching Mumbai, Tiwari, told reporters, “The investigation is going in the right direction. Senior officials are also satisfied with our investigation. Our team is conducting a probe here for the past one week. The next step is supervision, for which a senior officer is needed. So I have been sent here. We are here to get all the important evidence and facts. We are taking statements of the concerned people. We are investigating every angle in the case.”

Stating that she was the deceased actor’s “girlfriend”, actor Rhea Chakraborty had earlier demanded a CBI probe into Rajput’s death case to “understand what pressures prompted Sushant to take this step.”

According to the Maharashtra Police, statements of 41 people, including filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt film critic Rajeev Masand, director-producer Sanjay Leela Bhansali, and filmmaker Aditya Chopra have been recorded in the investigation so far.

Rajput was found dead in his Mumbai residence on June 14.

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Ayodhya Ram Mandir: Uma Bharti to skip groundbreaking as Covid precaution

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BJP National Vice President Uma Bharti on Monday stated that she will visit Ayodhya but not attend the ‘bhoomi pujan’ ceremony for Ram temple in view of rising COVID-19 cases and would visit the site after the official ceremony.

“From the moment I have heard the news that Home Minister Amit Shah and some other Uttar Pradesh BJP leaders have tested positive for COVID-19, I am worried about the safety of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the people present in Ayodhya for the foundation stone laying ceremony,” Uma Bharti tweeted (translated from Hindi).
“I have informed the officials of Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas that I will be present on the bank of Saryu river in Ayodhya at the time bhoomi pujan will take place,” she added.

The BJP leader further said that she will leave Bhopal for Ayodhya today and that she has requested the authorities to remove her name from the list of invitees for the foundation stone laying event.

“I will leave for Ayodhya from Bhopal today. By the time I reach Ayodhya, I could meet any COVID-19 infected person on the way. In such a situation, I will keep a distance from PM Modi and other groups of people present for the event. After PM Modi and others leave, I will take darshan of Ram Lalla,” she said in a series of tweets.

“I have informed the senior officials of Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas and PMO that they may remove my name from the list of invitees for foundation stone laying ceremony,” she added.

The Prime Minister is scheduled to lay the foundation stone of the Ram temple in Ayodhya on August 5.

The construction of the Ram temple will begin after the ceremony to lay the foundation stone in which Chief Ministers of several states, Ministers from the Union Cabinet and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat are also likely to participate.

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Covid cases rise unabated in India: 52,000+ cases recorded within 24 hrs

With 52,972 cases recorded in 24 hours, India’s Covid-19 caseload has surpassed 18 lakh mark.

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India’s COVID-19 tally crossed the 18 lakh mark with 52,972 positive cases and 771 deaths reported in the last 24 hours. The total COVID-19 cases stand at 18,03,696 including 5,79,357 active cases, 11,86,203 cured/discharged/migrated and 38,135 deaths,” said the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Monday.

As per the data provided by the Health Ministry, Maharashtra — the worst affected state from the infection — has a total of 1,48,843 active cases and 15,576 deaths. A total of 4,41,228 coronavirus cases have been recorded in the state up to Sunday.

Tamil Nadu has reported a total of 56,998 active cases and 4,132 deaths. While Delhi has recorded 10,356 active cases, 1,23,317 recovered/discharged/migrated cases and 4,004 deaths.

The COVID-19 samples tested across the country has crossed the 2 crore mark till August 2.

The total number of COVID-19 samples tested up to August 2 is 2,02,02,858 including 3,81,027 tests that were conducted yesterday, said Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Monday.

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Blending the best of global education

Is this the watershed moment in Indian education history? A peep into the education system the world over will help throw better light on the new National Education Policy.

Subramanian Krishnamoorthy

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Education is a national building tool that is historically linked to the progress of all nations. With high levels of youth unemployment, rising inequality, a significant gender gap and an urgent need to boost inclusive growth in many countries, India has no time to lose in providing the best education possible for all students. The announcements made in NEP-2020 are a signal to the world that India is setting the stage for conquering 2020-2030. NEP-2020 is a harbinger of hope, progress and a potluck of great practices from across the globe.

National Research Foundation

The race to the top of the world often begins with the prowess of research and intellectual property that it holds in the form of patents and innovations. NRF that will be set up through an Act of Parliament to fund, mentor, incentivise and build capacity for quality research across the country in all disciplines will allow India to compete with the US and China. The amount of wealth and opportunities R&D can create is humongous and let me take you through some numbers. Between September 2018 and August 2019 Stanford received $49.3 million in gross royalty revenue from 875 technologies for subjects as varied as antibody therapies, data analytics, digital music, recombinant DNA, etc. Forty-nine of the inventions generated $100,000 or more in royalties and five inventions generated $1 million or more. The race for research and patents was dominated by the US and Japan until 2000 and in the last decade, China has upped its ante and is among the top three in the world. NEP’s clear vision to promote research will yield dividends in the long run when we will start seeing India in an annual report published by the World Intellectual Property Organisation alongside or ahead of China.

Teacher Education

 Schools with outstanding performance are schools where teachers learn — not only students.

Though Finland is often quoted as an exemplar model of education, The Finnish story was the result of a long, slow and steady process, not the result of a single policy, programme or administration. Most observers have come to believe that, if there is a key to the success of the Finnish system, it is the quality of their teachers which is an outcome of restructuring teacher education, with the responsibility for teacher training moving to Finland’s universities.

Similarly, NEP aims to ensure that teachers are given the highest quality training in content, pedagogy and practice by moving the teacher education system into multidisciplinary colleges and universities. NEP brings focus on universal high-quality teacher education, typically one to four years in duration, featuring extensive clinical training as well as coursework. Apart from mentoring for all beginners, a reduced teaching load and shared planning time would add impetus to the initiative.

Curriculum Revamp: Integration

The boldest of the decisions in NEP come in the curriculum. Kudos to the new Ministry of Education for breaking the barrier of subjects and giving birth to an integrated curriculum that will allow children to pursue learning holistically without the restrictions often imposed by subject boundaries. The important 21st-century skills such as critical thinking, creative thinking, citizenship, character development and communication transcend the disciplines. Thus, it makes sense that curriculum integration offers an effective way to teach and maintain these 21stcentury capabilities and possibly boost academic achievement. The US has successfully demonstrated the working of STEM where science, technology, engineering and mathematics were integrated. The evolution of STEAM from STEM to include arts is remarkable and NEP has a similar vision.

Reduction of syllabus

 The proposed reduction in the syllabus could be a double-edged sword and we have a lesson to learn from the yutori (relaxation) education reform of Japan. The yutori education policy is a set of school reforms that were aimed at depressurising school life which had been gradually introduced since the late 1970s and faded out in the 2000s. It is primarily known for large cutbacks in subject contents and school hours. The yutori reforms did not lessen the pressure on students to do well in school nor did they reduce the competition in the educational race significantly. Instead, new demands were created over the last two decades, which are likely to be filled by the Japanese juku-industry (Local tutoring/coaching). There are many other interesting developments including support for gifted students, mental and physical health and well-being of all students, books with local content and multilingualism that are commendable.

 The need to draw parallels between the proposed educational reforms and developments across the globe arose as we are witnessing a new India emerging in the world map which is happy to share the gift of yoga and willing to imbibe the best practices from everywhere. Rising India gives equal importance to its roots as much as it does to its wings. This new India and the people driving such policies are making unprecedented efforts to give birth to a pulsating and dynamic country. An India that aims to be among the top three economies in the world and that dares to make bold decisions to get there. Will the NEP act as the compass while India sets its sail to conquer the world? Only time will tell.

The author is a well-known educationist and CEO of Meccademia Education Group with its presence in UAE, Netherlands and US.

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Mass fever screening system at Hyderabad airport for flyers

Lokeswara Rao

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To enhance the efficacy of the screening process of flyers at the time of the Covid-19 pandemic, a mass fever screening system has been installed at the Hyderabad International Airport.

The screening system is capable of detecting and tracking febrile persons with elevated body temperature. It automatically adjusts and adapts to the surrounding temperature without any human intervention.

With its intuitive user interface and dual-displays of day camera and infra-red, it provides easy identification of passengers with elevated temperature while simplifying operations and minimizing handling.

After going through the screening process, the flyers proceed for immigration clearance. Glass shields have also been installed at the immigration counters to avoid any personal contact between the flyers and the immigration officers.

Speaking on the initiative, CEO GMR Hyderabad International Airport Pradeep Panicker said, “We are thankful to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in having this modern equipment installed at the Hyderabad International Airport. We are grateful to the sponsors ADB and UNICEF for this humane gesture.” With this facility, the task of the health officials at the airport has become easy and has reduced the risk of them getting infected, he added.

Hyderabad International Airport has been handling international relief flights under the Vande Bharat Mission. It has handles more than 40,000 international arrivals during the Covid-19 pandemic from May 2020 till date.

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11 dead in Vizag crane crash at Hindustan Shipyard; Defence Minister orders probe

Lokeswara Rao

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A 70-tonne crane toppled over and crushed 11 to death in Hindustan Shipyard Limited (NSL) in Visakhapatnam on Saturday. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that a departmental inquiry committee has been instituted to look into the cause behind the accident. He tweeted: “Extremely anguished by the loss of lives due to an accident at HSL facility in Visakhapatnam (AP)”.

The HSL management also announced a Rs 50 lakh compensation for the kin of the deceased and a job for a member from each family. Four of the 11 people were permanent employees, while the remaining had been working on a contractual basis. The announcement came after Minister Avanthi Srinivas held talks with trade unions and HSL management. Srinivas spoke with the media after visiting the location, saying, «It’s an unfortunate incident. On the advice of Andhra CM Jagan Mohan Reddy I negotiated with the management of the Hindustan Shipyard. They have agreed to give proper compensation and jobs to the bereaved families.

HSL CMD L V Sarat Babu said, «The financial condition of the company is not good. Despite the trouble, we announced this huge compensation on humanitarian grounds. It is the first accident at the Hindustan Shipyard. The crane had toppled while on a trial run.»

Related to the accident, another mishap took place when the family members of one of the deceased were on their way to Visakhapatnam to have a last look at their kin. Their car hit a lorry in the Sirkakulam district and three people were killed.

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