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Students in Class 10, 12 to not have pre-final exams in 2021: West Bengal CM

These students will be allowed to appear for Madhyamik (class 10) and Uchcha-Madhyamik (class 12) exams directly, Banerjee told reporters after a Cabinet meeting

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Amid the coronavirus pandemic in the country, West Bengal’s state education department today decided that students currently studying in classes 10th and 12th will not have their final examinations in 2021, said chief minister Mamata Banerjee.

These students will be allowed to appear for Madhyamik (class 10) and Uchcha-Madhyamik (class 12) exams directly, Banerjee told reporters after a Cabinet meeting.

She also said that the Cabinet gave its nod to immediately initiate the recruitment process to fill up vacancies of 16,500 school teachers’ posts from the 20,000 candidates who have cleared the Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) examinations.

“Students could not go to schools due to COVID-19 pandemic. The education department has taken a decision that those willing to take the 2021 Madhyamik and Uccha-Madhyamik exams will not require to clear any test. They will be allowed to sit for these (two) examinations,” she said.

Educational institutes in the state remain closed in the state since March after the pandemic struck. Though digital classes have started, many students have not been able to take part in them due to want of either smart phones or internet facility.

“We have also decided to start the recruitment process to fill up 16,500 vacancies from the 20,000 successful TET examinees. Interviews will start in December and the entire recruitment process will be completed by January. The recruitment for the rest of the candidates will be made later in phases,” she said.

Banerjee said that offline examinations for the next TET, in which around 2,50,000 candidates have applied, will be held as soon as possible.

For the matter of re-opening of schools, Mamata had said a decision on reopening of schools will be taken only after mid-November.

Despite the Union Ministry of Education allowing gradual reopening of educational institutions across the country, state-run schools in West Bengal are unsure about the resumption of physical classes and are waiting for the state government’s decision.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had earlier said her administration will think about reopening educational institutions after Kali Puja on November 15 “depending on the COVID-19 situation at that time”.

Education Minister Partha Chatterjee had said schools cannot be reopened till the pandemic situation improves and the safety of children is the priority of the state government.

Meanwhile, West Bengal on Tuesday reported the highest single-day recovery of 4,415 COVID-19 patients, taking the total number of cured people to 3,72,265, the health department said in a bulletin.

The death toll rose to 7,403 after 53 more people succumbed to the disease.

The bulletin said that 3,891 people tested positive for the infection during the day, pushing the tally to 4,13,112.

The number of active cases now stands at 33,444.

In the last 24 hours, 44,117 samples were tested for coronavirus in the state, the bulletin added.

India

Centre convenes all-party meet on Jan 30 ahead of Budget session

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Parliament

The Modi government has called an all-party meeting on January 30 to hold discussions ahead of the presentation of the Union Budget in Parliament on February 1.

The Centre has invited leaders of all political parties in both the Houses to the proposed meeting slated to begin at 11.30 am through videoconference. Sources said the National Democratic Alliance parties too will meet on the same day.

Parliament’s Budget session will be held in two phseses amid all precautions against coronavirus — from January 29 to February 15, and from March 8 to April 8.

The all-party meeting will be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and attended by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP’s Rajya Sabha leader Thawarchand Gehlot, Deputy Leader Piyush Goyal, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi, Arjun Ram Meghwal and V Muralitharan.The one-hour Question Hour has been restored in the Budget session, which was suspended during the Monsoon session in September 2020 during corona pandemic.Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said on Tuesday that corona tests for members att

ending the Parliament session will be mandatory.

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Right to salary a fundamental right: Delhi HC

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Delhi High Court

New Delhi, Jan 20 : The Delhi High Court has pulled up the municipal corporations for the non-payment of salaries and pensions to their employees, noting that paucity of funds cannot be an excuse and that right to receive pay is a fundamental right enshrined under the Constitution of India.

A division bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli was hearing a batch of petitions in relation to the non-payment of salaries and pensions to the employees of Delhi municipal corporations, particularly North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NrDMC) and East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC).

“Reason assigned for non-payment of timely salaries is stated to be paucity of funds which, as is well settled, cannot be an excuse for non-payment, keeping in view the fact that the right to receive salary and pension is a fundamental right enshrined under Article 21 of Constitution and non-payment would have direct bearing on quality of life,” the court stated.

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NCP should decide on poll alliance soon: Goa leader

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Sharad Pawar

The Nationalist Congress Party should decide its political strategy for the 2022 Assembly polls in Goa well ahead of time, NCP state president Jose Philip D’Souza said on Wednesday.

D’Souza also said that party supremo Sharad Pawar was scheduled to arrive in Goa on Wednesday for a brief visit to meet with the state executive committee members and discuss strategy for the upcoming polls.

“We will be discussing our electoral agenda with Sharad Pawarji, because elections are just a year away,” D’Souza said.

“Planning should be done in advance. If like minded parties want to go together for the 2022 elections, it has to be decided now. We will be discussing this issue,” D’Souza also said.
The party had fared poorly in the 2017 Assembly polls winning just one seat in the 40-member Goa Assembly, after much delayed talks for an alliance with the Congress failed.

D’Souza claims that it was imperative for the party to ensure that if the party was to ally with a “like-minded” party for the 2022 polls, the deal had to be sewn together sooner rather than later.

“Whether we should go with an alliance with other parties or not, it has to be decided now. If we leave it for too late, with a month or two to go for elections, then there is limited scope for discussion and things can go wrong. The talks should begin now,” D’Souza said, adding that he would be discussing the matter with Pawar.

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