ANTI-CAA CONFERENCE IN CHENNAI
The Tamil Nadu Platform for Peoples Unity held a massive conference in Chennai opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), National Population Register (NPR) and National Citizenship Register (NRC). The meeting resolved to hold a sit-in in front of the state Assembly during the session beginning from March 9. The conference also demanded that the state government pass a resolution against the CAA and announce that NPR exercise will not be implemented in the state.
The indefinite protest led by women continues in Washermanpet near Chennai for the sixteenth day against the CAA, NPR and NRC. Leaders of various political parties and civil society organisations are meeting the protesters and extending solidarity. Similar protests are being held in other places including Tiruppur and Coimbatore.
PONDY VARSITY STUDENTS BEGIN HUNGER STRIKE
Four students of the pondicherry university (PU) have begun an indefinite hunger strike asserting their demands rollback of fee hike, withdrawal of transport fee and implementation of 25% reservation for Puducherry students in all courses. The university administration, however, has been defiant. The Pondicherry University Students Council (PUSC) is also continuing its occupy admin protest for 23 days now. The committee constituted by the university has been unable to consider the demands as they are not entrusted with any powers to address the demands. The PUSC has accused the administration of constituting the committee just to shown concern and not to honestly address the issue.
Earlier in the week, the protesting students were detained inside the campus for more than 20 hours owing to the visit of the vice president for the graduation ceremony. Read More.
DARK SIDE OF NEET IMPERSONATION ISSUE
The much-hyped National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) is turning out to be a platform for impersonation. More than 20 people have been arrested across the state for ‘hiring’ people to take the exam on their behalf. Most of these students have opted for centres outside the state to make the job easier. During this week, a father-son duo was arrested for appointing a person to take the NEET exam at a cost of Rs 20 lakh. The candidate, a native of Dharmapuri district, had selected Gaya in Bihar as the examination centre.
The Union government has been vociferously advocating the conduct of NEET exam as a measure of inclusion for the socially and economically backwards students to get medical admission. The present unearthings of scams including impersonation is spite of stringent security measures for the conduct of exams annul the claims by the government.
NLCIL WORKERS WIN LONG FOUGHT BATTLE
The contract workers of NLC India Limited won a long fought battle for permanent jobs in the organisation. The workers led by two recognised unions, Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) and the Labour Progressive Federation (LPF), will be made permanent workers by the end of 2026. Out of around 9,000 contract workers, 750 will become permanent workers by the end of 2020. The remaining workers will be absorbed by 2026, through 60% vacancies arising every year. The sustained struggle for the past three years and persistence of demands have ended positively.
In addition, the contract workers will get an incremented wage of Rs 150 per day along with house rent allowance and food allowance. The workers serving on contract basis will get additional increment on daily wages based on the number of years of service put in. Read More.
SUGARCANE MILL TO PAY Rs 56 CRORE DUES TO FARMERS
The four-day protest of the Tamil Nadu Sugarcane Farmers’ Association affiliated to the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) has forced the Dharani mills management to pay the dues to the farmers. The farmers were waiting for the amount for the past 14 months since the management has withheld the payment due to reasons unknown. The two plants, in Tenkasi and Tiruvannamalai districts, owed the farmers a total of Rs 56 crores for the FY 2018-19. The tripartite settlement agreed after the district administration was forced to intervene will ensure disbursal of the amount to thousands of farmers by the end of March 31.
The management has declined to the pay the dues with interest as per the Sugarcane (Control) Order, 1966. The order instructs the mills to pay the amount to the farmers within 14 days of the delivery of sugarcane in the factory gate. The order mandates an interest of 15% to be paid by the mills to the farmers if the payment is delayed beyond two weeks. The organisations have been demanding the revision of minimum support price of Rs 4,500 per tonne against the existing Rs 2,612.50 and the incentive by the state government to be Rs 400 instead of Rs 137.50 which has been stagnant for the past three years. Read More.
TCS EMPLOYEE’SSTRUGGLE CONTINUES
An employee of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is being victimised for approaching the labour court after facing sexual harassment at workplace while on a deputation to UK. The Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) had let the accused go after he “influenced the members of the ICC”. The victim has claimed that the evidences were tampered with and has submitted evidence for the same before the court. The TCS management seems to have colluded with the harasser in targeting the victim by dragging the case. After 16 rounds of hearing, the case has reached nowhere.The absence of strong trade unions in the IT sector has added to the agony of many such sexual harassment victims. Read More.