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Supreme Court takes cognizance of migrant workers’ plight amid Covid-19 lockdown

The top court said that there have been lapses on part of Centre and State governments and immediate measures are required to be taken to provide travel, shelter and food to migrant labourers.

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Migrant Workers on Truck

New Delhi, May 26 : The Supreme Court on Tuesday took suo motu cognizance of problems of migrant labourers who were stranded in different parts of the country during the nationwide lockdown to contain Covid-19 outbreak.

The Supreme Court said the media reports have been continuously showing the unfortunate and miserable conditions of migrant labourers walking on foot or cycling for long distances.

“Although the government of India and state governments have taken measures, there have been inadequacies and certain lapses. We are of the view that effective concentrated efforts are required to redeem the situation”, said a bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, S.K. Kaul and M.R. Shah.

The bench posted the matter for hearing on May 28, and asked the Registry to serve a copy to the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, as well states and Union Territories. The cognizance has been taken after several petitions were filed in the top court highlighting the plight of migrant workers during the Covid-19 crisis.

“In the present situation of lockdown in the entire country, this section of society needs succor and help by governments, especially steps need to be taken by the government of India, state governments/Union Territories in this difficult situation to extend helping hand to these migrant labourers,” said the top court.

The top court said it has also received several letters and representations from different sections of society highlighting the problem of migrant labourers. “The crisis of migrant labourers is even continuing today with large sections still stranded on roads, highways, railway stations and state borders”, said the bench.

The adequate transport arrangement, food and shelters are immediately to be provided by the Centre and State Governments free of costs, added the bench.

“They (migrants) have also been complaining about not being provided food and water by the administration at places where they were stranded or on the way i.e. highways from which they proceeded on foot, cycles or other modes of transport”, said the apex court.

Issuing notice to the Centre and all states/Union Territories, the top court asked them to submit their responses looking into the urgency of the matter.

“We direct the suo motu petition to be taken up day after tomorrow and we request the learned Solicitor General to assist the court, and by the next date of hearing, bring to the notice of the court all measures and steps taken or to be by the government of India in this regard”, said the bench.

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India leading successful fight against COVID-19: HM Amit Shah

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Amit Shah

New Delhi, July 12 : Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday said India was leading a successful fight in managing the coronavirus pandemic at a time when health services of most countries were collapsing.

The Home Minister said that the whole world was concerned about how India – a huge densely populated country with a federal structure – would fight this pandemic, but today “the most successful fight against this pandemic has been fought in India.”

“We are on a strong pedestal in the fight against COVID-19 under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the motto ‘One People, One Thought, One Nation’,” Shah said while launching the Central Armed Police Forces’ (CAPFs) nationwide tree plantation drive in Gurugram which has set a target of planting 1.37 crore saplings.

Shah said only governments are fighting this pandemic across the world, but here in India, 130 crore people besides state governments are united in fighting this threat. His remarks came when the country recorded 28,637 fresh COVID-19 cases on Sunday, taking the total tally to 8,49,553 while the death toll from the disease climbed to 22,674.

In this fight, Shah said our CAPFs are playing a very important role whether it be markets, railway stations, whenever state governments have sought support in managing crowded places or the local police have sought the support of our security forces in enforcing the lockdown.

Mentioning that we should harness natural resources and not exploit them, Shah said this balance has been disturbed today due to consumerism and as a result we are facing the challenges of climate change and global warming. He said several programmes are being run on environmental protection but only tree plantation can check pollution and save the earth.

Shah said Prime Minister Modi while participating in the Paris World Environment Summit had cautioned the world against over exploitation of nature and the world accepted his formula in the Paris declaration on tackling climate change. Shah pointed out that various programmes of the government of India such as eight crore free cylinders to rural households are also environment friendly.

“I commend the brave CAPF jawans and applaud them for not only protecting and securing the nation but also having undertaken this massive campaign to plant more than one crore saplings of long lasting trees,” he said.

On the occasion Shah planted a sapling of the ‘peepal’ tree.

Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, DGs of the seven CAPFs and senior officials were also present. To mark the plantation drive, more than 10 lakh saplings are being planted at various locations of the CAPF throughout the length and breadth of the country.

These saplings are being planted by the CAPF personnel by contributing voluntary labour. Till June 30 this year more than 20 lakh saplings have been planted by all CAPFs across different regions of the country.

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77% companies face revenue drop amid Covid pandemic: Report

Businesses see challenges with regards to demand, liquidity and availability of finance with MSMEs being the hardest hit amongst all, the survey found.

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jobs employment rate

New Delhi, July 12 : Around 77 per cent business organisations have witnessed a drop in their revenue as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, according to a recent global survey.

As per a joint survey by 720 Transform of Dubai, Prophecy FZLLC-Middle East and India-based Insights3D, around 7 per cent firms in India and the Middle East have registered an upward revenue growth, while about 16 per cent of the companies remained unaffected.

Around 282 executives, including CEOs and MDs from across industry segments were interviewed for the survey.

Out of the negatively impacted companies which recorded fall in revenue, 30 per cent companies logged an over 50 per cent drop while another 30 per cent firms recorded 30-50 per cent decline.

The report said that around 30 per cent of the companies surveyed will need to undertake drastic measures such as higher levels of rationalisation, sale or merger.

Commenting on the report, Raja Marur of Prophecy FZLLC said: “Our belief that a new normal is being envisaged has been validated by the survey. Further, the impact to organizations varies by scale and level of global integration of their supply chains.”

Most leaders foresee a new normal in terms of remote working and decentralization, coupled with process automations and an increased reliance on artificial intelligence and analytics, the survey showed. However, these changes are likely to pose challenges in governance structures as also in communication lines and objective performance management.

Businesses see challenges with regards to demand, liquidity and availability of finance with MSMEs being the hardest hit amongst all, the survey found.

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Iran’s Khamenei says all must help fight ‘tragic’ virus resurgence

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Ali Khamenei

Everyone must help fight the “tragic” resurgence of the novel coronavirus outbreak, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei says.

Speaking in a video conference to parliamentarians, Khamenei stated that Iran’s “enemies” fail to achieve their “anti-Iran goals” despite strong pressure on Tehran.

Earlier, Khamenei criticized the US for using “knee on neck” policies on the whole world and also accused the US of creating COVID-19.

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