KL This Week: Maternity Leave for MG University Students, State Fares Well on Social Progress Index
Kerala is ranked under Tier-1 (with Very High Social Progress) in the social progress index published by the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (EAC). The state is one among the nine states ranked under this category. All 14 districts in the state have scored much higher than the national average in ensuring nutrition and ‘Basic Medical Care’ components.
The government of Kerala has published the map submitted to the Union government in 2021 showing the buffer zones around the eco-sensitive zones (ESZ). The Left Democratic Front (LDF) government has been pushing for a zero buffer zone to save residential areas around 22 national parks.
Techno Park in Thiruvananthapuram has recorded a growth of about Rs 1, 274 crores in export revenues during the current financial year, a 15% increase compared to the previous year.
The hill shrine of Sabarimala in the Pathanamthitta district is witnessing a massive inflow of devotees from different Southern states after a gap of two years. Eight devotees were killed in a road accident after their car plunged into a gorge in the Theni district of Tamil Nadu.
For the first time, Mahatma Gandhi (MG) University has approved a maternity leave of 60 days for students studying in under and postgraduate courses to ensure their continued education. NewsClick brings a round-up of the happenings in Kerala this week.
RANKED HIGH IN SOCIAL PROGRESS INDEX
The state has again topped the ranking published by the EAC on three different dimensions and several sub-pillars. The state ranks 9th with a score of 62.05 in the overall ranking categorised under very high social progress. Puducherry, Lakshadweep, and Goa top the list.
Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, and Madhya Pradesh are categorised under states with low social progress (Tier V), while Assam, Bihar and Jharkhand are states with very low social progress (Tier VI).
The three dimensions of the survey were ‘Basic Human Needs’, ‘Foundations of Well Being’, and ‘Opportunity’. Kerala as the state and the 14 districts have performed better than the national average on most of the parameters including nutrition and basic human needs, sanitation facilities, internet connection, and low child, infant and maternal mortality rates.
BUFFER ZONE MAP RELEASED
The LDF government has published the survey report submitted to the Union government for public opinion, with an emphasis on ensuring a zero buffer zone. A satellite survey report published raised alarm among people living around the 22 national parks in the state for fear of losing residential and agricultural lands.
They will be able to submit objections till January 7, 2023, pertaining to the map published. The Supreme Court will hear the case seeking exemption from ESZ and buffer zones in Kerala on January 11, 2023.
IT EXPORTS FROM TECHNOPARK INCREASE
From an export revenue of Rs 8,501 crores in the financial year 2020-21, the revenue from the Techno Park in Thiruvananthapuram has shot up by 15% to Rs 9,775 crores in 2021-22.
The state has made rapid strides in IT infrastructure and exports during the current and previous tenure of the LDF, CM Pinarayi Vijayan wrote on his social media profile.
“The government has allocated 2,68,301 sq ft area to 78 companies in the last 18 months. During the current year (from April to November) a total of 1,91,703 sq ft area to 37 companies alone,” he added. Presently, the Techno Park houses 470 companies in a 10.6 million square feet area, employing around 70,000 people.
RUSH INCREASES IN SABARIMALA
The massive influx at the hill shrine is attributed to the relaxation in the COVID-19 protocols, which were in place during the last two years. The shrine records massive footfall during the months of December and January.
The Devaswom board had to restrict the number of registrations per day to 90,000 after 1 lakh registrations were made on December 12. The minister for Devaswom, K Radhakrishnan, and senior police officials including the director general of police (DGP) visited the temple to ensure proper crowd management and safety measures. No untoward incidents have been reported from the shrine despite the higher number of devotees visiting the shrine.
In a tragic accident, however, eight devotees who hail from the Theni district of Tamil Nadu were killed when the vehicle they travelled in fell into a 40 feet deep gorge on Kumily Ghat road. Two of the travellers including a seven-year-old boy survived. Low visibility due to fog was cited as the reason for the accident.
MATERNITY LEAVE FOR MG UNIVERSITY STUDENTS
To ensure the reduction in dropouts from UG and PG courses, M G University has decided to grant 60 days of maternity leave. The syndicate meeting held on December 23 decided to grant leave for students above 18 years of age.
The students will not lose the semester on availing the leave and it will be ensured that they study in the same batch. The university will also grant 14 days’ leave for abortion, and tubectomy.
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