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Air India facing a very challenging financial situation: Hardeep Puri

Puri added that worldwide, a number of employees have been paid off due to the crisis and even other domestic carriers in India have resorted to cost cutting through layoffs.

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Hardeep Puri

New Delhi, Oct 15 : Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri has called Air India’s leave without pay (LWP) scheme a “win-win for employees and management”, and pointed out that Air India has not laid off a single employee even as international and domestic carriers have resorted to cost cutting through layoffs.

In a letter to Rajya Sabha MP Binoy Viswam, Puri provided clarification on Air India’s financial condition and the LWP scheme.

“Air India is also facing a very challenging financial situation,” Puri said adding the airline has taken recourse to several initiatives with a view to ensuring continuance of its operations.

Air India and its subsidiaries have paid the salary of June 2020 to its employees. He said that the airline industry worldwide is facing unprecedented financial crisis due to Covid-19.

Puri said the LWP scheme enables employees to take a break from their office responsibilities for a defined period of time with the approval of the Air India management while retaining their employment with the company.

The scheme also provides the opportunity to employees to take up alternative employment during the period of the leave with the approval of the management, he said.

“The LWP is a win-win situation for both the management and the employees as it provides flexibility to employees and simultaneously reduces the wage bill of the company,” Puri said.

“The Covid-19 outbreak has very seriously impacted the airline sector and currently the airline operations of the company have taken a serious hit,” he said.

Puri added that worldwide, a number of employees have been paid off due to the crisis and even other domestic carriers in India have resorted to cost cutting through layoffs.

“But Air India has not laid off a single employee,” Puri asserted in the letter.

He explained that in the past also, Air India had come out with LWP policy and this time the only difference is that the CMD of the company can pass an order requiring the employees to go on leave.

A proper procedure has been introduced for sparing use of this provision and it will be done in a fair and transparent manner, Puri said.

“In view of the critical financial situation of the company which has been affected badly by the pandemic and a felt need the rationalisation of salaries of pilots, cabin crew, engineers and officials of Air India and its subsidiaries have been carried out,” Puri said.

Cities

Delhi Police organise job fair under YUVA scheme

Delhi Police have tied up with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) for imparting job-linked skill training to the selected youth.

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Delhi Police Logo

New Delhi: To ensure that the youth earn their livelihood by good means and refrain from wrongdoings, approximately 125 job aspirants were interviewed by 19 employers in a job fair organised under the YUVA scheme by the Delhi Police at the Surajmal Institute in Janakpuri.

“YUVA is an initiate of Delhi Police to rehabilitate the youth and to bring them on good path,” West Delhi DCP Deepak Purohit said.

The initiative by Delhi Police aims to connect with the youth by upgrading their skills as per their competencies. It will help them get gainful employment under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna of the Ministry of Skill Development.

Delhi Police have tied up with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) for imparting job-linked skill training to the selected youth.

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Cities

Karnataka Legislative Council polls: EC defers counting from Nov 3 to 10

There are 2.35 lakh voters in these four constituencies who exercised their franchise in as many 549 polling stations set up across these constituencies.

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BJP and Congress Flag Poster

Bengaluru: The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Saturday announced that it had decided to postpone the counting of votes for four Legislative Council seats in Karnataka from November 2 to 10.

The decision was taken following a memorandum submitted by the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee on Saturday, appealing that any outcome of Legislative Council polls will have a direct impact on Assembly by-polls to Rajarajeshwari Nagara constituency in Bengaluru and Sira in Tumkuru district which are going to polls on November 3.

The biennial polls to four Legislative council (two graduates and two teachers) seats were held on October 28 amid pandemic fears. Wherein of the total 2.35 lakh voters, nearly 70 per cent electorates had turned up defying pandemic fears.

Conceding to the Congress party’s demand, EC said in its statement that the counting of Council polls can be held after any day after November 3 but it has now decided to hold counting of these Council seats along with counting of two Assembly seats – Sira and RR Nagar – on November 10.

It may be worth noting here that the Council polls took place as these constituencies fell vacant due to the retirement of R. Chowda Reddy Thoopalli of JD(S), S. V. Sankanur of BJP, Sharanappa Mattur of Congress and Puttanna of JD(S) respectively. Of these four recontesting candidates, Puttanna has crossed over to BJP and is contesting on this party ticket.

Despite pandemic, voters’ response was overwhelming in 2020 when compared with 2014 elections held in these seats. Voting percentage rose anywhere between 13.5 per cent to 24 per cent in the constituencies.

As many as 40 candidates’ fates are sealed in ballot units who are in fray from these constituencies. Among them are the four whose retirement on June 30 warranted the elections.

There are 2.35 lakh voters in these four constituencies who exercised their franchise in as many 549 polling stations set up across these constituencies.

In the council with strength of 75 members Congress has 28 members, BJP has 27 members, Janata Dal (Secular) has 14 members, one independent, one chairman and four vacant seats.

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Disaster

Delhi again records over 5,000 new Covid-19 cases, 34,186 cases added in last 7 days

There are 3,274 containment zones in the Capital and over 20,000 people are under home isolation at present.

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Coronavirus India

Delhi recorded 5,062 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, which is a slight dip from the number of new cases being reported from Wednesday, but the higher positivity rate in the city indicates that the Capital is experiencing a new wave of Covid-19 infections.

On Friday, Delhi reported 5,891 new cases — the highest single-day number of all time. The government health bulletin revealed that 41 deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours. Over 44,000 people have been tested in the same period of time.

There are 3,274 containment zones in the Capital and over 20,000 people are under home isolation at present.

The sudden spike in the number of daily cases after a period when Delhi was believed to have tackled Covid-19 effectively has become a cause of worry. The Centre has called for a meeting on Monday to discuss the issue.

The spike began on Wednesday when Delhi crossed the 5,000-mark for the first time with 5,673 new cases in a span of 24 hours. On Thursday, Delhi recoded 5,739 cases and on Friday, the number stood at 5,891. On Tuesday, Delhi had logged 4,853 cases, which was its highest single-day tally since 4,473 on September 16. Though Saturday’s number is lower than the previous three days, the positivity rate is high — at least 11 per cent of all tests in the past 24 hours returned positive results.

The number of total cases in the Capital stands at 3,86,706. Out of this, 34,185 cases have been added in last one week.

Here is a date-wise data of new cases reported in Delhi during the past one week

October 25: 4,136

October 26: 2,832

October 27: 4,853

October 28: 5,673

October 29: 5,739

October 30: 5,891

October 31: 5,062

Why cases are rising in Delhi

Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain has blamed pollution, the onset of winter and the rising pollution for the sudden rise in the number of cases. “It’s a combined effect of the festive season, decrease in temperature and increased pollution. Experts had also suggested that at this time Covid-19 cases could rise,” Jain said on Saturday.

Third Covid-19 wave in Delhi?

Jain had earlier said that it can be concluded whether Delhi has entered the third wave of Covid-19 cases after examining the numbers of a week. But he had hinted that the possibility could not be overruled. The peak of the second wave in Delhi was during mid-September when it reported 4,174 average cases every day. The current trajectory is far above that.

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