Tag Archives: Based

Former CECs Say Decision to Conduct Multi-phase Polls in Bengal Must be Based on Law & Order Situation

Former CECs Say Decision to Conduct Multi-phase Polls in Bengal Must be Based on Law & Order Situation


As the EC’s decision to hold assembly elections in West Bengal in eight phases triggered sharp criticism from the state chief minister and others, two former chief election commissioners on Friday justified the move, saying that the decision must have been based on a law and order situation assessment while another CEC advocated single-phase election given that rumours fly thick and fast in this age of social media. Referring to seven-phase voting in West Bengal during 2016 assembly polls, former CECs –OP Rawat and N Gopalaswami– noted that whenever the EC feels there is enhanced security requirements based on ground realities, it takes these precautions.

Though he noted that the EC’s decision must be based on its assessment of the law and order situation and availability of security forces, SY Quraishi, who was the CEC from July 30, 2010 to June 10, 2012, said in the age of social media wherein all kinds of rumours fly thick and fast during elections, there should be an attempt to reduce the duration and number of phases. ”Ideally, it should be a single-phase election,” he added. The Election Commission on Friday announced the poll schedule for five assemblies –Assam, West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry– with West Bengal to have the maximum eight phases from March 27. Immediately after the announcement, TMC chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee criticised the EC decision and said she suspects that the dates were announced as per the suggestions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for better management of the BJP’s poll campaign.

Senior Congress leader Tariq Anwar also attacked the EC, alleging that the poll panel has tried to help the BJP. ”I believe it has been done deliberately and in a way, the EC has tried to help the BJP. They (BJP) feel that it will help them, but it will not as far as I know about the people of Bengal. They are revolutionary in nature…they may deviate for some time but ultimately, Bengal is Bengal,” Anwar said.

Justifying the poll panel’s decision, Rawat said,”the EC in its own wisdom might have felt this time it is more contentious and so more security measures required. Accordingly, it has decided to hold the elections in eight phases. Rawat, who joined the poll panel in 2015 and retired as the CEC in December 2018, said, ”whenever the Commission feels there is requirement of more security so that nobody faces any problem, it takes those precautions.

Asserting that it was for the EC, based on ground realities, to assess, Gopalaswami, who headed the poll panel from 30 June 2006 to 20 April 2009, said look at the number of polling stations (in West Bengal) which have been increased due to Covid (distancing norms), one will get the answer. ”You need forces. West Bengal is much bigger in size and needs a higher number of central forces. The total number of polling stations in West Bengal is 1,01,916 instead of 77,413 in 2016 polls — an increase of 31.65 per cent.

Due to COVID norms, the number of voters per polling station has been restricted to 1000 from 1500,” he added. Quraishi said the commission’s decision to hold the election in eight phases spread over a month must be based on its assessment of the law and order situation and availability of security forces.

”Bengal has the tradition of multi-phase elections,” he said, adding that there is not much difference between seven and eight phases. Quraishi, however, advocated holding elections in a single phase. ”In the age of social media wherein all kinds of rumours fly thick and fast, there will be an attempt to reduce the duration of elections and number of phases. With more paramilitary forces being available , one hope as soon as possible the number of phases will be reduced. Ideally, it should be a single-phase election,” he said. The EC said the assembly polls in 294 constituencies in West Bengal will be held in eight phases between March 27 and April 29. The counting of votes will take place on May 2, along with that of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

Polling in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry will be held in one phase on April 6, while Assam will go to polls in three phases on March 27, April 1 and April 6. Reacting to the EC’s decision, Banerjee said, ”with all due respect to the Commission, I want to say that questions are being raised on why elections will be held in so many phases in Bengal while other states will be voting in one phase. If EC doesn’t provide justice to the people, where will the people go.” I have information from my sources that the poll dates are similar to the ones BJP wanted. Have the dates been announced as per the suggestions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah? The PM and the home minister cannot misuse their power for the state elections,” she claimed.





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COVID: health unit may soon implement local screening measures based on Grey-Bruce’s epidemiology

COVID: health unit may soon implement local screening measures based on Grey-Bruce’s epidemiology


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The Grey Bruce Health Unit is awaiting further direction from the Ministry of Health in regard to new provincial COVID-19 screening protocols and may soon adopt a less stringent approach locally.

Dr. Ian Arra, Grey-Bruce’s medical officer of health, said Tuesday the health unit has been in communication with the ministry and plans to distribute new screening recommendations for Grey-Bruce based on the local epidemiology.

On Monday, the health unit and area schools distributed the province’s new screening guidelines for schools, workplaces and childcare centres which say anyone with a single symptom of COVID-19 must stay home, isolate, and get tested. All household members must stay home as well under the new guidelines until the symptomatic individual receives either a negative test result or another diagnosis from a healthcare professional.

The same single-symptom screening protocols were in place last September when assessment centres in Grey-Bruce were slammed with people looking for a test result so they could go back to school or work.

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At that time, a 24-hour “grace period” was implemented so people could monitor their symptoms over the course of a day in case they went away.

Arra said without the 24-hour measure in place people were caught in “limbo” isolating even though their symptoms cleared up and unable to get a test because they’re asymptomatic. Meanwhile, under the new guidelines, their household members would be asked to isolate as well even if they’re asymptomatic.

“Then you’re dealing with upset parents, rightly so, upset health-care providers who are saying asymptomatic people should not be tested and upset people in schools saying you can’t come back,” Arra said.

Arra added asking an entire family to isolate while one person is getting tested and waiting for results is going to cause a lot of people to miss work, and may not change how the health unit manages cases.

He said it’s important asymptomatic people don’t get tested, and when this protocol was implemented in September a lot of people were doing just that in order to get a negative test result and head back to school or work as quickly as possible.

Arra said people with symptoms should still get tested, even those who are close-contacts with confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases who may assume they have the virus and are already isolating.

“The more we know the better,” he said.

The Grey Bruce Health Unit is awaiting word from the ministry and said it’s likely a local approach to screening will be implemented next week.

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The Grey Bruce Health Unit reported three new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday.

A pair of the newest cases were found in Owen Sound residents. A Hanover resident has also contracted the virus.

There are now 15 confirmed active cases of the virus in the region including seven in Owen Sound, three in Southgate, and three in Saugeen Shores.

Three patients with COVID-19 are currently hospitalized locally.

The health’s unit contact management team is also following 36 high-risk close contacts.

To date, 695 Grey-Bruce residents have had confirmed COVID-19 cases including 80 healthcare workers. Of those, 679 cases are now considered resolved.

One person has died with COVID-19 in Grey-Bruce since the start of the pandemic.

There are no long-term care homes, childcare centres or schools currently experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak.

The Grey Bruce Health Unit has now administered 3,759 doses of COVID-19 vaccines. All residents, staff, and essential caregivers in all 19 long-term care homes and seven high-risk retirement homes have received at least the first dose of the vaccine.

Those who got their first dose in January have now received the second dose.

“The first round of vaccine to these residents, caregivers and staff ensures a significant milestone in preventing transmission of the COVID-19 virus in settings where the risk of complications can be serious,” the health unit said in a media release.

The health unit said it will focus on vaccinating retirement home residents and staff, EMS staff, highest-risk and very-high-risk health care workers, and Indigenous community members both on and off-reserve this week.

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A shipment of 3,510 doses of the Pfizer-BionTech vaccines was received Tuesday and another shipment of vaccines is expected later this week.

Public health units throughout Ontario reported a combined 975 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday and 12 more deaths related to the virus.

It’s the first time the total daily case count dipped below 1,000 in five days.

The majority of the new cases were found in the Greater Toronto Area.

The province said it administered 16,252 more doses of the COVID-19 vaccines Monday.

So far, Phase 1 of the vaccination campaign has focused on high-priority individuals such as those living at long-term care facilities and high-risk retirement homes. Staff and caregivers and front-line health care workers have been receiving doses as well.

The province hopes to begin vaccinating adults over 80 who live independently by the middle of March.

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Ministry of MSME allocates Rs. 85 cr for development of 50 artisan based SFURTI clusters

Ministry of MSME allocates Rs. 85 cr for development of 50 artisan based SFURTI clusters


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Ministry of MSME allocates Rs. 85 cr for development of 50 artisan based SFURTI clusters

New Delhi, Feb 23 (KNN) Aiming to support traditional craft artisans, Union Minister for MSME & Road Transport & Highways, Nitin Gadkari inaugurated 50 artisan-based SFURTI clusters, spread over 18 States on Monday.

Over 42,000 artisans have been supported in the traditional segments of muslin, khadi, coir, handicraft, handlooms, woodcraft, leather, pottery, carpet weaving, bamboo, agro-processing, tea, etc., according to an official statement.

The Ministry of MSME has funded an amount of around Rs.85 crore for the development of these 50 clusters. The Ministry of MSME is implementing a Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI) with a view to organize traditional industries and artisans into clusters to make them competitive and increase their income.

Inaugurating the clusters, the union minister said more research needs to be done on what kind of village products are required by the consumers, and how to attractively design and market these products.

He suggested that the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad may be approached to improve the design and attractiveness of traditional products. A web portal is also required, on the lines of Amazon or Alibaba, to market these products effectively, both in India and abroad, he added.

The Minister also pointed out the need to step up the pace of formation of such clusters, since only 82 of the 371 announced so far are actually functional, and said a target of 5,000 clusters is easily achievable if red-tape can be reduced.

The clusters were inaugurated in presence of Minister of State, MSME, Pratap Chandra Sarangi, Secretary MSME, B.B. Swain, Members of Parliament, local MLAs, and senior officers of the Ministry of MSME.

Minister of State, MSME, Sarangi said the formation of the clusters builds the confidence of traditional craftsmen, and it is part of the government’s strategy of keeping villages at the core of the economic policy.

Nitin Gadkari & Pratap Chandra Sarangi

These clusters have been inaugurated in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Nagaland, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal

As on date, there are 371 numbers of Clusters which have are being funded by the Ministry, supporting 2.18 lakh artisans with total Government assistance of Rs. 888 cr.

More than Rs.708 crore has been the budgetary allocation under the scheme, of which more than Rs.567 crore has been released for the implementation of the scheme so far. These clusters are spread all over the country covering 248 districts. The Ministry aims to support at least 1 cluster in each district in the coming period.



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Matthias Schoenaerts to headline series based on ‘Django’

Matthias Schoenaerts to headline series based on ‘Django’


Los Angeles, Feb 19: “The Old Guard” star Matthias Schoenaerts will play the lead role in Sky and Canal Plus’ new take on the classic Spaghetti Western “Django”.
Touted as a “high-concept reimagining”, the 10-episode show is loosely based on Sergio Corbucci’s 1966 feature film, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Set in the Wild West in the 1860s and 1870s, the story follows Sarah and John, who have founded New Babylon, a city of outcasts, full of men and women of all backgrounds, races and creeds, that welcomes everyone with open arms.
Haunted by the murder of his family eight years ago, Django is still looking for his daughter, believing she may have survived the killing. He is shocked to find her in New Babylon, about to marry John.
Now a grown woman, Sarah wants Django to leave, as she fears he will put New Babylon in jeopardy if he stays. But thinking the city is in danger, Django is adamant that he will not lose his daughter twice.
Leonardo Fasoli of “Gomorrah” and “ZeroZeroZero” fame has created and written the show with Maddalena Ravagli.
The first episode will be directed by Francesca Comencini (‘Gomorrah’), who will also be the series’ artistic director.
Riccardo Tozzi of Cattleya and Olivier Bibas of Atlantique Productions will serve as executive producers.
Schoenaerts will next be seen in in filmmaker Terrence Malick’s “The Way of the Wind” and untitled movie from director David O Russell, co-starring Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, John David Washington, Rami Malek, Zoe Saldana and Robert De Niro. (PT)



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Matthias Schoenaerts to headline series based on ‘Django’

Matthias Schoenaerts to headline series based on ‘Django’


Los Angeles, Feb 19: “The Old Guard” star Matthias Schoenaerts will play the lead role in Sky and Canal Plus’ new take on the classic Spaghetti Western “Django”.
Touted as a “high-concept reimagining”, the 10-episode show is loosely based on Sergio Corbucci’s 1966 feature film, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Set in the Wild West in the 1860s and 1870s, the story follows Sarah and John, who have founded New Babylon, a city of outcasts, full of men and women of all backgrounds, races and creeds, that welcomes everyone with open arms.
Haunted by the murder of his family eight years ago, Django is still looking for his daughter, believing she may have survived the killing. He is shocked to find her in New Babylon, about to marry John.
Now a grown woman, Sarah wants Django to leave, as she fears he will put New Babylon in jeopardy if he stays. But thinking the city is in danger, Django is adamant that he will not lose his daughter twice.
Leonardo Fasoli of “Gomorrah” and “ZeroZeroZero” fame has created and written the show with Maddalena Ravagli.
The first episode will be directed by Francesca Comencini (‘Gomorrah’), who will also be the series’ artistic director.
Riccardo Tozzi of Cattleya and Olivier Bibas of Atlantique Productions will serve as executive producers.
Schoenaerts will next be seen in in filmmaker Terrence Malick’s “The Way of the Wind” and untitled movie from director David O Russell, co-starring Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, John David Washington, Rami Malek, Zoe Saldana and Robert De Niro. (PT)



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Matthias Schoenaerts to headline series based on ‘Django’

Matthias Schoenaerts to headline series based on ‘Django’


Los Angeles, Feb 19: “The Old Guard” star Matthias Schoenaerts will play the lead role in Sky and Canal Plus’ new take on the classic Spaghetti Western “Django”.
Touted as a “high-concept reimagining”, the 10-episode show is loosely based on Sergio Corbucci’s 1966 feature film, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Set in the Wild West in the 1860s and 1870s, the story follows Sarah and John, who have founded New Babylon, a city of outcasts, full of men and women of all backgrounds, races and creeds, that welcomes everyone with open arms.
Haunted by the murder of his family eight years ago, Django is still looking for his daughter, believing she may have survived the killing. He is shocked to find her in New Babylon, about to marry John.
Now a grown woman, Sarah wants Django to leave, as she fears he will put New Babylon in jeopardy if he stays. But thinking the city is in danger, Django is adamant that he will not lose his daughter twice.
Leonardo Fasoli of “Gomorrah” and “ZeroZeroZero” fame has created and written the show with Maddalena Ravagli.
The first episode will be directed by Francesca Comencini (‘Gomorrah’), who will also be the series’ artistic director.
Riccardo Tozzi of Cattleya and Olivier Bibas of Atlantique Productions will serve as executive producers.
Schoenaerts will next be seen in in filmmaker Terrence Malick’s “The Way of the Wind” and untitled movie from director David O Russell, co-starring Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, John David Washington, Rami Malek, Zoe Saldana and Robert De Niro. (PT)



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Matthias Schoenaerts to headline series based on ‘Django’

Matthias Schoenaerts to headline series based on ‘Django’


Los Angeles, Feb 19: “The Old Guard” star Matthias Schoenaerts will play the lead role in Sky and Canal Plus’ new take on the classic Spaghetti Western “Django”.
Touted as a “high-concept reimagining”, the 10-episode show is loosely based on Sergio Corbucci’s 1966 feature film, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Set in the Wild West in the 1860s and 1870s, the story follows Sarah and John, who have founded New Babylon, a city of outcasts, full of men and women of all backgrounds, races and creeds, that welcomes everyone with open arms.
Haunted by the murder of his family eight years ago, Django is still looking for his daughter, believing she may have survived the killing. He is shocked to find her in New Babylon, about to marry John.
Now a grown woman, Sarah wants Django to leave, as she fears he will put New Babylon in jeopardy if he stays. But thinking the city is in danger, Django is adamant that he will not lose his daughter twice.
Leonardo Fasoli of “Gomorrah” and “ZeroZeroZero” fame has created and written the show with Maddalena Ravagli.
The first episode will be directed by Francesca Comencini (‘Gomorrah’), who will also be the series’ artistic director.
Riccardo Tozzi of Cattleya and Olivier Bibas of Atlantique Productions will serve as executive producers.
Schoenaerts will next be seen in in filmmaker Terrence Malick’s “The Way of the Wind” and untitled movie from director David O Russell, co-starring Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, John David Washington, Rami Malek, Zoe Saldana and Robert De Niro. (PT)



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Matthias Schoenaerts to headline series based on ‘Django’

Matthias Schoenaerts to headline series based on ‘Django’


Los Angeles, Feb 19: “The Old Guard” star Matthias Schoenaerts will play the lead role in Sky and Canal Plus’ new take on the classic Spaghetti Western “Django”.
Touted as a “high-concept reimagining”, the 10-episode show is loosely based on Sergio Corbucci’s 1966 feature film, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Set in the Wild West in the 1860s and 1870s, the story follows Sarah and John, who have founded New Babylon, a city of outcasts, full of men and women of all backgrounds, races and creeds, that welcomes everyone with open arms.
Haunted by the murder of his family eight years ago, Django is still looking for his daughter, believing she may have survived the killing. He is shocked to find her in New Babylon, about to marry John.
Now a grown woman, Sarah wants Django to leave, as she fears he will put New Babylon in jeopardy if he stays. But thinking the city is in danger, Django is adamant that he will not lose his daughter twice.
Leonardo Fasoli of “Gomorrah” and “ZeroZeroZero” fame has created and written the show with Maddalena Ravagli.
The first episode will be directed by Francesca Comencini (‘Gomorrah’), who will also be the series’ artistic director.
Riccardo Tozzi of Cattleya and Olivier Bibas of Atlantique Productions will serve as executive producers.
Schoenaerts will next be seen in in filmmaker Terrence Malick’s “The Way of the Wind” and untitled movie from director David O Russell, co-starring Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, John David Washington, Rami Malek, Zoe Saldana and Robert De Niro. (PT)



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UTI AMC launches Nifty 200-index based passively managed fund

UTI AMC launches Nifty 200-index based passively managed fund




has launched the country’s first momentum-based passively managed fund, based on the 200 index.


UTI, which manages seven equity ETF funds with an AUM of around Rs 44,000 crore, making it the second-largest such equity fund in the country, said the new fund will be based on the 30 best performing stocks from the 200 index.



Sharwan Kumar Goyal, the fund manager of the scheme, said the new fund was opened on Thursday to good investor response but was quick to add that AMC has not set any internal targets in terms of AUM or folios.


Since it a passively managed fund and a new concept as the fund is benchmarked and based on the smart beta fund, we have not set any target for sales or AUM, he told PTI.


With the Nifty200 momentum 30 index fund we are introducing a smart-beta or factor-based strategy. Globally it is learnt that momentum strategy performs well in the long term and momentum investing is a well accepted investment style.


Currently, this investing mode is available through alternative investment vehicles and UTI is first to launch the same under index fund route in the country.


The 30 best performing stocks which have derivative offerings will be picked up based on their performance in the past six months which would keep changing when the index is revalued every six month, Kumar said.


Picking stocks with derivative options minimises the cost of ownership for the fund, he explained.


The new open-ended index fund which replicates/trackes the 200 momentum 30 index called UTI Nifty200 momentum 30 index fund’, was opened for subscription on February 18 and will be closed on March 04. The scheme will re-open for subscription and redemption on an ongoing basis from March 12.


The investment objective of the scheme is to provide returns that closely correspond to the total returns of the securities as represented by the underlying index, subject to tracking error, and without any guarantee of delivering the investment objective, Kumar said.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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Family leaves to become longer, more flexible in Finland

Family leaves to become longer, more flexible in Finland


THE GOVERNMENT of Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) is set to lengthen and increase the flexibility of family leaves as of 1 August 2022.

Minister of Social Affairs and Health Aino-Kaisa Pekonen (LA) unveiled the long-discussed reform proposal in a press conference yesterday, stating that it has been designed especially to encourage fathers to take better advantage of the family leave system and greater responsibility for childcare.

The reform would entitle each parent to 160 allowance days of family leave, amounting to roughly 12.8 months of leave per child. Mothers are presently entitled to 105 days and fathers to 54 allowance days of family leave, but parents are also allowed to distribute an additional 158 days of parental leave freely between themselves.


The reform would also introduce a so-called pregnancy allowance for the 40 final days of pregnancy, bringing the total number of allowance days to 360. The total is roughly two months higher than presently.

“You can take care of your child at home for longer while relying on the allowance,” said Pekonen.

Parents would additionally be able to transfer no more than 63 days of their quota to the other parent. Pekonen on Tuesday underscored that even if a family took full advantage of the option, the other parent would still be left with 97 allowance days of leave. This, she explained, is an attempt to provide greater flexibility to families because not everyone is able to take advantage of their quota in full.

She pointed out that it is difficult to estimate the costs of the reform, as they will hinge on the expected increase in family leaves taken by fathers. An increase in costs would be a welcome development for the government, given the primary objective of the reform.

“The reform will raise public costs, but it’s an investment in families,” she stated.

Preliminary details of the reform were released a little over a year ago. It was estimated at the time that increasing the duration of the earnings-related leaves would increase costs by roughly 80 million euros, 78 million of which would be covered by raising the contributions of employers and wage earners and the remaining two by the government.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT



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