The News Editorial Analysis 31 October 2021

The News Editorial Analysis 31 October 2021

Several Delhi schools to reopen for all classes from Monday, some to open after Diwali

Several schools in the national capital are set to reopen for all classes from Monday after remaining closed for 19 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while many have chosen defer the reopening to post-festive week. The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) had last week announced that schools would reopen for all classes from November 1, even though teaching and learning would continue in blended mode. The DDMA had also said that schools would have to ensure that there is not more than 50% attendance in a class at one point of time and no student is forced to attend physical classes.

While government schools have been reporting over 80 per cent attendance after they reopened in September for classes 9 to 12, private schools are in the process of sending out consent forms to parents and most of them will decide their plan of action post-Diwali. 

Indiraji sensed she would be killed: Rahul 

‘Grandmother told me that don’t cry if something happens to me’

Recounting Indira Gandhi’s assassination and funeral, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has said that just hours before her death she told him not to cry if something happened to her.

In a video released on YouTube on the former Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi’s 37th death anniversary, Mr. Rahul Gandhi described the day of her grandmother’s funeral as the “second most difficult day of my life”.

Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister, was assassinated in 1984 by two of her security guards linked to Khalistani extremists.

“[In] the morning before she died she told me that don’t cry if something happens to me. I did not understand what she meant and two-three hours later she was dead,” Mr. Rahul Gandhi said, recounting the setback he and his family suffered that day.

“She [Indira Gandhi] sort of sensed that she would be killed and I think everyone in the house also knew it. She once said to us on the dining table that the biggest curse would be to die of a disease,” the former Congress chief said in the video titled ‘With love, in memory of my beloved Grandmother, Indira ji’, which has been released on his YouTube account.

From her perspective, it was probably the best way to die for her country, defending the idea that she loved, Mr. Rahul Gandhi said. He said he essentially had two mothers — “a super mother who was my grandmother, who basically would defend me when my father got angry, and my mother.”For me it was like losing my mother, Mr. Rahul Gandhi added.Images from Indira Gandhi’s funeral and last rites were also part of the video which showed a young Rahul mourning his grandmother’s demise.Earlier on Sunday, Mr. Rahul Gandhi paid floral tributes to Indira Gandhi at her memorial “Shakti Sthal” here.

Petrol, diesel prices hiked for 4th straight day;petrol crosses ₹120 mark in M.P.PTI

Petrol and diesel prices on October 31 were hiked for the fourth straight day by 35 paise per litre each, pushing pump rates to new record high across the country with states with high incidence of local taxes such as Madhya Pradesh having the costliest fuel.

The price of petrol in Delhi rose to its highest-ever level of ₹109.34 a litre and ₹115.15 per litre in Mumbai, according to a price notification of State-owned fuel retailers.

Diesel now costs ₹98.07 a litre in Delhi and ₹106.23 in Mumbai.

This is the fourth consecutive day of the price hike. There was no change in rates between October 25 and 27, prior to which prices were hiked by 35 paise per litre each on four straight days.

While petrol has already hit the ₹100-a-litre mark or more in all major cities of the country, diesel has touched that level in over one-and-a-half dozen States. Diesel rates crossed that level in places ranging from Jalandhar in Punjab to Gangtok in Sikkim.

Prices differ from State to State, depending on the incidence of local taxes and cost of transportation.

The twin factors led to petrol price crossing ₹120 a litre mark in places such as Panna, Satna, Rewa, Shahdol, Chhindwara and Balaghat in Madhya Pradesh.

The same level has also been crossed in two border towns of Rajasthan— Ganganagar and Hanumangarh.

Ganganagar has the costliest fuel in the country with petrol costing ₹121.52 a litre and diesel coming for ₹112.44 per litre.

Petrol price has been hiked on 25 occasions since September 28, when a three-week-long hiatus in rate revision ended. In all, prices have gone up by ₹8.15 a litre.

Diesel rates have been increased by ₹9.45 per litre in 28 hikes since September 24.

Prior to that, the petrol price was increased by ₹11.44 a litre between May 4 and July 17. The diesel rate had gone up by ₹9.14 per litre during this period.

The News Editorial Analysis 31 October 2021

Crop insurance claims at ₹9,570 crore for 2020-21 lower by over 60% from previous year

Maximum crop insurance claims were reported from Rajasthan at ₹3,602 crore, followed by Maharashtra, and Haryana during 2020-21.

There has been more than 60% decline in the crop insurance claims of farmers at ₹9,570 crore under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) for the 2020-21 crop year from the previous year as there were no major crop losses, according to official data.

However, much of the crop insurance claims reported for 2020-21 and 2019-20 crop years have been cleared by the government.

Crop insurance claims stood at ₹27,398 crore in the 2019-20 crop year (July-June).

PMFBY was launched in 2016-17 with many improvements over the erstwhile crop insurance schemes. The operational guidelines of the scheme were revised with effect from Rabi 2018 and kharif 2020, respectively, to ensure the benefits reached farmers adequate and timely.

According to the data, about 445 lakh hectares of farm land was insured by 612 lakh farmers under the PMFBY with a total sum insured amount of ₹1,93,767 crore during 2020-21.

However, total claims reported were of ₹9,570 crore for 2020-21. Out of which, claims reported from the Kharif season were ₹6,779 crore, while from Rabi season ₹2,792 crore.

“The claims at ₹ 9,570 crore for 2020-21 were significantly lower as there were no major losses unlike previous year,” an Agriculture Ministry official told PTI.

Maximum crop insurance claims were reported from Rajasthan at ₹3,602 crore, followed by Maharashtra at ₹ 1,232 crore and Haryana at ₹ 1,112.8 crore during 2020-21.

During the 2019-20 crop year, about 501 lakh hectare was insured by 613 lakh farmers under the PMFBY with a total sum of ₹2,19,226 crore.

The claims reported from Kharif season remained higher at ₹21,496 crore, while from Rabi season at ₹5,902 crore of the 2019-20 crop year.

Maximum crop insurance claims were reported from Maharashtra at ₹6,757 crore, followed by Madhya Pradesh at ₹5,992 crore and Rajasthan at ₹4,921 crore during 2020-21.

The official said the crop insurance claims of farmers for 2019-20 have almost been cleared. The outstanding claims of ₹1,200 crore will be cleared soon.

About ₹6,845 crore crop insurance claims of farmers for 2020-21 has also been cleared, the official added.

Many railway schools likely to be closed in 2022amount of time of the railway management.” 

Move to close down decades-old schools follows recommendations of Principal Economic Adviser

When the academic year begins in 2022, many railway schools across the country are likely to be closed. The Indian Railways has decided to go ahead with the closure of its schools and merge students with either Kendriya Vidyalayas or State Government schools as feasible.

General Managers of Zonal Railways have been told to identify schools with a relatively smaller number of railway wards that could be merged with and intimate the probable date of closure. Where it is absolutely essential to retain the schools, a detailed justification would have to be furnished to the Railway Board.

In an official communication issued early this week, the Railway Board, while asking its General Managers to assess the situation and take a call, said that efforts should be made not to cause discomfort to the families of the children studying in the schools that would be closed/merged.

It was also emphasised that no promotions in the Group-B/Senior Scale/Junior Administrative Grade be processed where rationalisation of schools were being done. No further indents should be placed to the Railway Recruitment Board as regards the schools planned for closure.

The move to close down the decades-old railway schools follows the recommendations of Principal Economic Adviser Sanjeev Sanyal on the rationalisation of government bodies under the Ministry of Railways. The action on the recommendations got expedited after the Cabinet Secretariat, Rashtrapati Bhavan, called for a monthly update on the PEA’s report.

Also read | Railways planning major restructuring

In his report, Mr. Sanyal said the railways were running 94 schools providing education for children of not only railway employees but others too. However, as of 2019, only 15,399 railway wards were enrolled in these schools which were less than half of other non-railway students who constituted 34,277. The Railways also supported 87 Kendriya Vidyalayas where 33,212 railway wards and 55,386 other students were enrolled. Of the total eight lakh children of railway employees in the 4-18 age-group, less than 2% were enrolled in railway schools.Mr. Sanyal noted that operating railway schools consumed a large amount of time of the railway management whose core competence was in operation and maintenance of trains. “Thus, we recommend minimising the time of railway management in running schools, except where absolutely necessary…” he said.


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