Thousands of farmers protest in front of Bengaluru Town Hall; hundreds arrested

News Network
September 28, 2020

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Bengaluru, Sept 28: Thousands of people including farmers, pro-Kannada activists and members of other organisations gathered in front of the Town Hall to protest against the state and central government's amendments to land reforms and the APMC Act. The police has detained over 300 protesters.

Leaders of various farmers organisations, including Kodihalli Chandrashekar and Kuruburu Chandrashekar, headed towards Town Hall. Former leader Nagendra was already at the Town Hall along with the protesting farmers. A few protesters who tried to stop buses near Town Hall by lying across the road were detained by the police for causing inconvenience to public and impeding public movement.

The farmers and activists of Kannada organisations gathered in hundreds near Sumanahalli and went on a rally till Town Hall in cars and bikes. The police did not allow them to block the road in Sumanahalli when the protesters tried to stop BMTC buses and public vehicles.

Kodihalli Chandrashekar also tried to take his rally from KR Puram to Town Hall, but the police stopped him as it would choke roads, causing traffic jams and asked him to go to Town Hall in his private vehicle. According to the police, areas surrounding Town Hall, Freedom Park, Mysore Bank circle, Summanahalli, Magadi Road, KR Puram have been affected as the protests caused bottlenecks for vehicle movement.

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News Network
October 13,2020

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New Delhi, Oct 13: The prolonged closure of schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic in India may cause a loss of over $400 billion in the country’s future earnings, besides substantial learning losses, according to a World Bank report.

South Asia region stands to lose $622 billion from the school closures in the present scenario or up to $880 billion in a more pessimistic scenario, it said, adding while the regional loss is largely driven by India, all countries will lose substantial shares of their GDP.

The report titled “Beaten or Broken? Informality and COVID-19 in South Asia” claims that South Asia is set to plunge into its worst-ever recession in 2020 as the devastating impacts of COVID-19 on the region’s economies linger.

“Temporary school closures in all South Asian countries have had major implications for students. They have kept 391 million students out of school in primary and secondary education, further complicating efforts to resolve the learning crisis, said the report.

While most governments have made enormous efforts to mitigate the impact of school closures, it has been difficult to engage children through remote learning initiatives,” it said.

The report also noted that the pandemic may cause up to 5.5 million students to drop out from the education system and cause substantial learning losses, which will have a lifetime impact on the productivity of a generation of students.

“Most school systems closed in March, and — though there are important exceptions — countries are starting to reopen or have already opened their schools. Children have been out of school for approximately 5 months. Being out of school for that long means that children not only stop learning new things, they also forget some of what they have learned. The projected learning loss for the region is 0.5 years of learning-adjusted years of schooling (LAYS), falling from 6.5 LAYS to 6.0 LAYS, an enormous setback from recent advances in schooling,” it said.

The Learning Adjusted Year of Schooling’ (LAYS) concept, introduced by the World Bank, seeks to combine access and learning outcomes into a single measure.

It combines quantity (years of schooling) and quality (how much kids know at a given grade level) into a single summary measure of human capital in a society.

The report has projected that based on country data on household labor incomes, the average child in South Asia may lose $4,400 in lifetime earnings once having entered the labour market, equivalent to 5 percent of total earnings.

“These projections are based on what we currently know about returns to schooling, using the reduced level of learning caused by the crisis. Summing these numbers for all children in South Asia, the region stands to lose $622 billion from the school closures in the present scenario, or up to $880 billion in a more pessimistic scenario.

“While the regional loss is largely driven by India, all countries will lose substantial shares of their GDP. For reference, note that South Asian governments spend only $400 billion per year in total on primary and secondary education. The total loss in economic output from the current closures is hence substantially higher than what countries currently spend on education,” it said.

The novel corona virus has infected over 3.7 crore people across the globe claiming over 10.5 lakh lives.

India’s COVID-19 caseload stands at 71.2 lakhs while the death toll is 1.09 lakh as on Monday.Universities and schools across the country were ordered shut on March 16 to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. On March 25, the Centre announced a nationwide lockdown. While several restrictions have been eased gradually in different phases of the ‘unlock’ since June 8, educational institutions continue to remain closed.

However, according to the latest unlock guidelines, schools, colleges and other educational institutions outside COVID-19 containment zones can reopen after October 15. The final decision on reopening the institutions has been left with the states and Union territories.

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News Network
October 12,2020

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Palestinian prisoner Maher al-Akhras has entered the 78th consecutive day of his open-ended hunger strike against Israel’s so-called policy of administrative detention amid deterioration of his health condition.

Qadri Abu Bakr, head of the Commission of Palestinian Detainees and Ex-Detainees, told the Arabic-language Voice of Palestine radio station on Sunday that Akhras’ health condition has entered the stage of extreme danger.

Abu Bakr further said Akhras has been transferred to another section at Kaplan Hospital after a coronavirus infection was detected in a room next to him.

He went on to say that Akhras is suffering from a weak immunity system, adding that his vital organs have begun to lose some functions. 

Abu Bakr said the coming days will be decisive for Akhras’s demands as well as for his “dangerous” health condition.

In a statement on Saturday, the leader of the Islamic Jihad movement said Akhras’s health condition indicates that Israelis have decided to kill him.

“We have declared a state of full alert, and we will not allow prisoners to be murdered. We also consider murdering any mujahid in this sadistic manner as crossing the red lines, and the prison authorities must be well aware of the consequences of their decision,” the statement said.

Akhras was detained on July 27, and was held under the administrative detention, with no charge. This has led him to start a hunger strike in an attempt to seek justice against the unfair detention.

Last week, the Commission of Palestinian Detainees and Ex-Detainees said Akhras would only end his strike if he was released immediately.

Akhras’ wife also announced a hunger strike and sit-in outside the hospital in support of her husband, calling for his immediate release.

Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners are under administrative detention, in which Israel keeps the detainees for up to six months, a period which can be extended an infinite number of times. Women and minors are among these detainees.

Such detentions take place on orders from a military commander and on the basis of what the Israeli regime describes as ‘secret’ evidence.

Palestinian detainees have continuously resorted to open-ended hunger strikes in an attempt to express their outrage at the detention.

Palestinians hold Israeli authorities fully responsible for any deterioration of the circumstances in jails.

More than 7,000 Palestinians are reportedly held in Israeli jails.

In May 2019, a study revealed that Israel had arrested some 16,500 Palestinian children since the outbreak of the Second Intifada (uprising) in late-2000.

In recent months and in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, several Palestinian prisoners have been infected in an Israeli detention center amid mounting concerns about medical negligence by Israeli authorities.

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October 17,2020

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Udupi, Oct 17: The Udupi district administration today launch a door-to-door anti-covid campaign under the slogan ‘My family, my responsibility’.

With Unlock 5, people have forgotten about the pandemic, and hence anganwadi workers and BLOs will visit homes to spread awareness on the issue, said Udupi deputy commissioner G Jagadeesha.

He told reporters that pamphlets will be distributed to every house, and health workers will speak about the preventive measures to be adopted to tackle Covid-19, read out a pledge on the measures to be followed, and take a signature from the family. A campaign by ASHA workers to check oxygen levels with pulse oximeter will be undertaken.

In a first of its kind initiative in the state, teachers who are taking online classes will have to speak for five minutes on how covid can be prevented. Zilla panchayat CEO Naveen Bhat said that the pamphlet will contain details on testing methods, contact details, hospital details and all aspects related to the novel coronavirus. The PDOs must ensure that the pamphlet reaches every house in the village.

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