News UpdatesEminent Citizens Write To Centre For Additional Budget allocation & Proactive implementation of NREGA Radhika Roy2 May 2020 5:08 AMShare This – xSeveral eminent persons have written to Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, for urgent and immediate steps to enable NREGA in order to combat the economic crisis being perpetuated in the country in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Signed by individuals such as Harsh Mander, Yogendra Yadav, Aruna Roy, Nikhil Dey, Jean Dreze and others, the…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginSeveral eminent persons have written to Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, for urgent and immediate steps to enable NREGA in order to combat the economic crisis being perpetuated in the country in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Signed by individuals such as Harsh Mander, Yogendra Yadav, Aruna Roy, Nikhil Dey, Jean Dreze and others, the letter evokes the issues surrounding mass unemployment stemming from the economic crisis due to the national lockdown and requests the Government to enable National Rural Employment Guarantee Act in a bid to fulfil the tremendous demand of the poor whose livelihoods are in question. “Due to an unprecedented unemployment crisis which is likely to last for several months, there is a tremendous demand for NREGA work across the country. The Government should respond to this demand urgently as the lives and livelihoods of millions are in question. Given the legal obligation and the infrastructure already in place, using NREGA creatively will go a long way to help the poor in this time of need”. The letter, by emphasizing the emergency of the situation at hand, further provides the following temporary recommendations which can be employed by the Ministry for implementing NREGA for the next three months: “1. Additional Budget allocation & Proactive implementation of NREGA and giving work to all. The Government should immediately allocate additional resources and make provision for a total of at least Rs.1 lakh crore for at least the next three months. This will allow uninterrupted implementation till the time by which an accurate estimation of the upcoming demands can be mapped. Contradictory orders issued by the Government of India to start NREGA works, in the light of maintaining strict physical distancing has led to confusion amongst the front line functionaries. Consequently, implementation of NREGA has suffered. Implementing agencies must proactively open works in every village and give work to all those who turn up at the worksites. Demand should not be made a prerequisite for opening works. Demand registration can also be done at the worksite itself. This can be done using a paper-based system with a handwritten dated receipt. The details can be entered on the computer in the evening to ensure that there is no delay in registering work demand. As you would appreciate, the demand of work is a right for the worker. Funds may be released in advance to the Gram Panchayat to run works and Sarpanchs be given power to authorize opening of works. Simplify Procedures and Remove Difficulties All procedures for NREGA should be substantially simplified. Entitlements for NREGA should be made applicable for an individual and not for a household, and every individual must be provided work without any restriction. Anybody willing to work must be given work for the full year and not have 100 days in a year limitation. A large number of rural residents don’t have a job card and getting new job cards might be time consuming. As such, any person wanting to do NREGA work must be allowed to work irrespective of whether they have a job card. Job card registration can be done at the worksite. Sanctioning of works and wage/material payments need to be simplified. Gram Panchayats should be able to sanction schemes on minimum documentation and payments should be routed via Gram Panchayats in order to ensure quick disbursals. All biometric based payment systems must be avoided. Urban Employment Guarantee Act While many returning migrants are from rural areas, there are significant returning migrants from small towns. Many such people have lost their livelihoods and are shaken. This can be fruitfully addressed to some extent by emulating the potential and the structures of NREGA towards an urban employment guarantee programme. Such a programme can be powerful in ecological restoration and moving towards a greener future in light of climate crisis too. Pay Full Minimum Wages The Government must ensure that NREGA workers receive the full minimum NREGA notified wage rate for the State within 7 days of completion of work instead of 15 days. The Schedule of Rates could be suitably modified to reduce work output required for earning the minimum wage rate by 50%, or piece-rate payment of wages should be suspended and wage payments on the basis of time rate be initiated. Self-certification of the extent of work completed must be made adequate to process wage payments, which can then be later re-verified. Provide dry rations in addition to full minimum wages for the next three months. Cash Payment of Wages Timely payment of wages is of critical importance at present. Overcrowding in rural banks is a common problem. To ensure good practices of physical distancing in such times, NREGA wage payments should be made in cash by the Gram Panchayat. To ensure that transparency and accountability is maintained, cash payments should be made for every ward publicly on a predetermined day. The example set by the State of Odisha for releasing pension payments publicly at the Gram Panchayat can be followed. Women and Elderly in NREGA All those above the age of 50 years who are not being permitted to come to work, should be paid their full minimum wage per day, for the duration of the period that they are not being permitted to work. Along the same lines, all ailing and disabled workers who are not permitted to work due to the existing medical advisory should be paid full wages till they are allowed to resume work. The Central Government should also ensure payment of 90 days of wages to all pregnant women workers in the 2nd and 3rd trimester as well as to the lactating women with infants aged less than 6 months. Helpline for Demand and Job Card Registration Helpline numbers must be constituted where workers can call and register their demand for work and apply for any job card related procedures. The helpline number should be able to register demand electronically on the MIS as soon as the demand is registered. This is essential because demand for work applications are not being accepted on the ground. Each block must have a separate helpline number to cater to all the panchayats in that block. This is to ensure that there are no language issues on the phone and to avoid helplines getting over-burdened. There need to be multiple people in each block running these helplines. Red Zone Classification Preventing NREGA Works Declaring a district as a red zone and not permitting NREGA works across the entire district is causing many hardships. Careful consideration needs to be paid to identify only affected blocks with precision, so that NREGA works can be initiated in blocks within a red zone district which does not have positive cases of Covid 19 Balance Between Individual and Community Works There is a need for implementing agencies to enable works on individual lands to facilitate completion of work while aligning with physical distancing norms. However, there is a need to balance works on individual lands with community works so as to ensure that workers with no individual landholdings are not crowded out of the programme Work on individual landholdings should be encouraged as it helps to generate work without compromising on physical distancing prerequisites. Landless workers should be given a priority for works undertaken on common and revenue lands.” Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Story
The 3.2 for Ben virtual walk-race is inviting the Harvard community to lace up their shoes and rally around one of their own.The virtual event, scheduled for Saturday through Nov. 22, is raising funds in honor of undergrad Ben Abercrombie, who suffered life-changing paralysis in his first game for the Crimson football team in September 2017.Participants can sign up to walk or run 3.2 miles to show their support of the Alabama native nicknamed “Badgercrombie,” who wore number 32. All proceeds go to the Harvard Varsity Club’s Benson M. Abercrombie ’21 Fund.“It’s a great way to keep the tradition going, given the circumstances,” said former teammate Raishaun McGhee ’17. McGhee organized the walk/run and created the annual Bowl for Ben that also donates all proceeds to the Abercrombie Fund.“Everybody on the team, as soon as you step on the field or in that locker room, you become a member of the family whether you’re a freshman or senior, sophomore. It doesn’t matter what year,” McGhee said. “He is a part of the family.”After completing their run or walk, participants will post their time online. Everyone who signs up receives a personalized bib and finisher medal. To date the fund has raised more than $600,000 and has paid for a number of medical costs not covered by Abercrombie’s insurance, ranging from a customized van and wheelchair to rehabilitation sessions and flights for treatments and doctors’ appointments. Other fundraising events have included El Jefe’s Taqueria’s annual Ben Abercrombie Day in Harvard Square. (Due to the pandemic, this year’s event was rescheduled to the spring.)In the fall of 2019, Abercrombie returned to Harvard as a student. Because of the pandemic, he has been learning from home this year. He’s taking two courses and has been doing rehab from home with a trainer.“I still work out on my exercise bike three times a week while making sure I complete my schoolwork in between,” Abercrombie said. “The main downside is not being on campus where you can actually be in a real classroom and interact with professors and other students.”Abercrombie’s message to them, to anyone who takes part, and especially to his former teammate McGhee: “Thank you.”“It means a lot to me and my family,” he said. “The benefits will help us pay for equipment, supplies, and technology I need for rehab, School, and other things to keep me healthy, further my path to graduation, and my path to healing.”Register for 3.2 for Ben. The event starts Saturday. The last day to register and post times is Nov. 22.
Nov 22, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – The Sri Racha Tiger Zoo in Thailand reopened Nov 18, one day after Thai authorities reported a final tally of 102 tigers lost in the zoo’s outbreak of H5N1 avian influenza.In a follow-up report to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), authorities said 102 tigers died of illness or were euthanized in the past month at the zoo near Bangkok. Tigers fell sick after eating the carcasses of chickens later found to be infected with H5N1 avian flu.All necessary controls have been put in place and samples have been collected from all susceptible animals, from zoo staff, and from the grounds, the report said.About 1,000 people visited the zoo Nov 18, its first day back in business since the outbreak forced the zoo to close, according to a Nov 18 story by the Thai News Agency. Admission was free, but visitors face new rules that keep them farther away from the tigers and bar them from picking up tiger cubs. The zoo’s official reopening is scheduled for Nov 27.Elsewhere in Thailand, avian flu killed hundreds of pigeons at schools in Sukhothai province’s Thung Saliam district, prompting panic among local residents, the Bangkok Post reported Nov 19.Bird carcasses had been found Nov 5 at a primary school and a nearby kindergarten. Tests confirmed on Nov 17 that the pigeons had been exposed to avian flu, heightening fears of transmission to students. Two schools with 500 students were closed, the newspaper reported, adding that none of the students appeared to have symptoms, but authorities were monitoring them.A local health official called the school closings an overreaction, the newspaper story said. Volunteers were instructing people in the district not to touch the dead birds and to avoid entering affected areas without proper protective gear.In Vietnam, authorities are investigating the deaths of more than 3,000 ducks in the central province of Binh Thuan, the Chinese news agency Xinhua reported today. The ducks reportedly had swollen heads, paralyzed legs, and exhaustion, according to the news agency’s summary of local press reports.One newspaper, Vietnam Agriculture, characterized the ducks as having cholera, the Xinhua reported. A local veterinarian said samples from the affected ducks were being tested, but added that they showed no signs of avian flu.Xinhua also reported that Vietnam had found 20 chicks infected with H5 influenza in mid-November in Can Tho city. However, the OIE Web site’s most recent report on avian flu outbreaks in Vietnam is from Oct 22.See also: OIE update on avian flu in animals in Asiahttp://www.oie.int/downld/AVIAN%20INFLUENZA/A_AI-Asia.htm
LIVE DRAWS Group A :Libya, Guinea, DR Congo, TunisiaGroup B: Zambia, Cameroon, Nigeria, AlgeriaGroup C: Gabon, Morocco, Mali, Ivory CoastGroup D: Burkina Faso, South Africa, Cape Verde, SenegalGroup E: Uganda, Congo, Egypt, GhanaMatchdays1: Oct 3-11 20162: Nov 7-15 20163/4: Aug 28-Sept 5 20175: Oct 2-10 20176: Nov 6-14 2017Uganda has been drawn in one of the toughest groups in the Africa zone, 2018 World Cup qualifiers. They are in Group E with Congo and African giants Egypt, Ghana.The qualifiers start in October, with Uganda away to Ghana.Cranes coach, Serbian Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic was unfazed by the draw. He said success in the Africa Cup of Nations qualification will be the perfect launch pad for the World Cup qualifiers.” We are focusing first on AFCON qualifiers believing that we can qualify for the first time in 39 years. Once we finish that we shall fly on the wings of confidence go to play World cup qualifiers where we need to meet top class teams with no pressure on us,” Micho said.Uganda plays Comoros in September, a month before the World Cup qualifiers. Micho is looking to a win in that game and qualification for Gabon as a springboard.“Against these giants, the mental part is most important. We need to break jinx of Egypt. Technically we shall be up to standard but question is can the whole country stand behind us with just 10 percent of a budget compared to others we are competing against?”The “group of death” is Group B, that has Zambia as the minnows. Others are Cameroon, Nigeria, and Algeria.The five group winners qualify for the World Cup finals in Russia.World Cup Group qualifying starts this October, continues in November and there will be four rounds between August and November 2017.Opening match of Group E has Ghana vs Uganda : 10th October 2016. LIVE UPDATES** Draw starts: Arsenal’s Mohamed Elneny to help with the draw*****LIVE UPDATESUganda is in Pot 4, the weakest of the four pots. They have never qualified for the final before, but are in contention to make their first African Cup of Nations finals.Eighteen of the nations in the draw are among the top 20 in the rankings with Gabon and Libya the exceptions.Algeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Nigeria are seeking third consecutive World Cup appearances.Pot 1: Algeria, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Senegal, EgyptPot 2: Tunisia, Cape Verde, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, CameroonPot 3: Congo Brazzaville, Nigeria, Morocco, Mali, South AfricaPot 4: Uganda, Burkina Faso, Zambia, Gabon, LibyaShare on: WhatsApp Pages: 1 2
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Xavier Johnson and Trey McGowens committed to Pittsburgh within a week of each other last spring, won over by new head coach Jeff Capel’s enthusiasm and hardly bothered by the prospect of trying to earn their way into the starting lineup.They spend copious amounts of time in the gym, determined to be part of the turnaround the Panthers have tasked Capel with orchestrating following the program’s freefall under former head coach Kevin Stallings.While the polish isn’t quite there, the effort certainly is. McGowens scored 17 points, Johnson added 16 points, six assists and five rebounds as Pitt pulled away in the second half for a 69-53 victory over Youngstown State on Tuesday night.“We’re young,” McGowens said. “So the biggest thing we’re going to learn from our mistakes, that’s the biggest thing. (Capel) talks a lot about playing with energy. We’re going to make mistakes but obviously we’re going to learn from them.”During one 10-second sequence in the first half Johnson blew a dunk, raced back on defense, grabbed a rebound and rather than flip the ball ahead to Kene Chukwuka for an easy layup took it up the floor himself. His attempt to wrap the ball behind his back ended up with the ball sailing out of bounds due to a turnover, and yet he remained in the game.“I think if you’re going to allow guys to have freedom then you have to allow them to make mistakes as long as they’re mistakes going hard,” Capel said. “We certainly made some mistakes and it wasn’t just those guys, it was everyone, it was me. But those guys were playing hard. You allow them to grow. You allow them to fix it.”Taking over a program that went 0-19 in the ACC last year, Capel cautioned it will take time for the Panthers to climb their way back into relevance in arguably the nation’s toughest conference. He stressed there are no shortcuts and his starting lineup may have indicated his commitment to a long-term rebuild, though the first step ended with Pitt picking up its first victory in 319 days.The Panthers sent three freshmen — Johnson, McGowens and Au’Diese Toney onto the floor — and Capel substituted liberally trying to get a feel for what he has on his hands.Malik Ellison, a transfer from St. John’s, scored 13 for Pitt as the Panthers used a 12-0 run early in the second half to take control after the Penguins briefly tied the game at 27. Chukwuka provided a jolt off the bench, finishing with seven points and eight rebounds.“He gave us energy,” Capel said. “That’s who Kene has been since I’ve been here. I thought his energy on both ends of the court helped us break the game open.”Kendale Hampton had 15 points off the bench for Youngstown State but the Penguins shot just 27 percent (18 of 67) from the field, including 8 of 38 3-pointers.Youngstown State actually had more turnovers (20) than made baskets. Pitt wasn’t much better for long stretches but was never threatened after a Johnson-fueled burst put the Panthers up double digits.“We had been averaging close to 35 or 40 (3-point attempts in scrimmages),” Penguins coach Jerrod Calhoun said. “If you make seven or eight more or even five more, it’s a different ballgame.”WILSON-FRAME OUTThe Panthers played without senior forward Jared Wilson-Frame, suspended one game for a violation of team rules.The absence of Wilson-Frame, the leading scorer last season on a team that went winless in the Atlantic Coast Conference, gave Capel a chance to experiment extensively with his lineup. Toney had 12 points and nine rebounds while starting in place of Wilson-Frame, though Capel said Wilson-Frame will be back with the team on Friday against VMI.EARLY AND UGLYThe college season started a week earlier than usual, and the rustiness showed. It wasn’t just the turnovers. Capel counted at least a handful of layups the Panthers missed and flow was hard to come by.“It was like going to the dentist,” Calhoun said. “It was painful to watch.”BIG PICTUREYoungstown State: The Penguins are in the midst of a rebuild of their own under Calhoun. Youngstown State has just four players back from a team that was 8-24 last season. Calhoun is committed to having his team chuck it from deep, though a couple more 8 for 38 performances might force him to reconsider.Pitt: Capel’s arrival brings energy and the schedule over the opening weeks isn’t exactly daunting. The Panthers don’t play a Power 5 team until facing Iowa in three weeks as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. By then Capel may have some semblance of a rotation.UP NEXTYoungstown State: Faces Akron in Cleveland on Saturday as part of the Northeast Ohio Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.Pitt: Welcomes Virginia Military Institute on Friday.___More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25 Pittsburgh guard Trey McGowens goes for a rebound against Youngstown State forward Naz Bohannon during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, at Petersen Events Center in Pittsburgh. (Matt Freed/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP)
Pittsburgh (14-18, 4-15) vs. No. 6 seed Syracuse (19-12, 10-8)Atlantic Coast Conference Tourney Second Round, Spectrum Center, Charlotte, North Carolina; Wednesday, 8 p.m. EDTBOTTOM LINE: Pittsburgh is set to meet Syracuse in the second round of the ACC tournament. In the regular season, Syracuse won both of the head-to-head matchups. The teams last played on Feb. 2, when the Orange shot 41.5 percent from the field while limiting Pittsburgh to just 31.6 percent on their way to a nine-point victory.FEARLESS FRESHMEN: Pittsburgh’s Xavier Johnson, Trey McGowens and Au’Diese Toney have combined to score 50 percent of the team’s points this season and have accounted for 50 percent of all Panthers scoring over the last five games.JUMPING FOR JOHNSON: Johnson has connected on 35.6 percent of the 104 3-pointers he’s attempted. He’s also converted 75.1 percent of his foul shots this season.UNDEFEATED WHEN: Syracuse is a perfect 15-0 when it holds an opponent to 63 points or fewer. The Orange are 4-12 when opponents score more than 63 points.PASSING FOR POINTS: The Panthers have recently used assists to create baskets more often than the Orange. Syracuse has an assist on 29 of 68 field goals (42.6 percent) across its previous three matchups while Pittsburgh has assists on 35 of 69 field goals (50.7 percent) during its past three games.DID YOU KNOW: The Syracuse defense has forced opponents into turnovers on an impressive 23.4 percent of all possessions, which is the 14th-highest rate in the country. Pittsburgh has turned the ball over on 19.8 percent of its possessions (ranked 263rd among Division I teams).___For more AP college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25___This was generated by Automated Insights, http://www.automatedinsights.com/ap, using data from STATS LLC, https://www.stats.com Syracuse’s Frank Howard (23) shoots over Pittsburgh’s Xavier Johnson (1) and Terrell Brown, right, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019, in Pittsburgh. KEITH SRAKOCIC AP PHOTO