Offline classes for school students from Classes 9 and above, and for college students, reopened on September 1. The schools were shut down in March 2020 with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The fear of the increase in Covid-19 cases lurks in the state, with the further easing of the pandemic protocols and opening up of cinema theatres and other recreational activities for the public.
Though Covid-19 cases have overall come down, the effects of the lockdowns are felt every day. A farmer from Trichy died by suicide on August 31 after he reportedly couldn't pay back his loan due to the pandemic-induced financial crisis.
The Tamil Nadu budget session is ongoing, and the assembly has passed certain decisions opposing union government initiatives. Chief Minister M.K. Stalin opposed the National Monetisation Pipeline, and a bill bypassing NEET is underway. Newsclick brings to you a round up of the happenings from this week
COVID-19: CLASSES 9 TO 12 RETURN TO SCHOOL
The Tamil Nadu government has released a new set of regulations for reopening educational institutions. It allows college and school students of Classes 9 to 12 to travel free (without a bus pass) to their institutions.
Three days after schools in the state reopened, the Covid-19 test results of two students and a teacher have come back positive in separate cases.
In total, Tamil Nadu recorded 1,568 fresh Covid-19 infections for the second consecutive day and 19 deaths on August 3.
With the ease in restrictions and increase in tourism, the prominent vacation destination Nilgiris made full vaccination mandatory for those who want to buy liquor.
As per the state health department, more than 3 crore vaccine doses have been administered in Tamil Nadu until this week.
TN ASSEMBLY: CENTRE’S INITIATIVES OPPOSED
The Tamil Nadu legislative assembly has been meeting since August 13 for the budget session, and many decisions have been made week after week. Read more
M.K. Stalin on September 2 announced that a memorial would be constructed in Villupuram for 21 persons who had died due to police firing during the struggle demanding separate reservations for Vanniyars in the 1980s.
On the same day, Stalin said he would write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to give up the National Monetisation Pipeline, while stating that “profit-making alone is not the objective of PSUs (Public Sector Undertaking)”.
From the policy note tabled by Health Minister Ma Subramanian on September 2, it was revealed that an official committee has suggested enactment of a law by the state to provide for admission to professional degrees, such as medicine, on the basis of marks obtained in the qualifying exam, and not via all India NEET.
However, the President’s assent would be required for the proposed Bill following its passage in the House.
Meanwhile, the DMK candidate for the Rajya Sabha byelection, M Mohamed Abdulla, was declared elected unopposed after the nominations of three Independent candidates were rejected post scrutiny. The vacancy arose after the death of A. Mohammedjan, who was a Rajya Sabha member for AIADMK.
FARMER COMMITS SUICIDE DUE TO DEBT
After private bank staff threatened him over payment dues, farmer Maruthamuthu from Trichy died by suicide on August 31.
Maruthamuthu had availed a loan of Rs 1.50 lakh from Equitas Small Finance Bank and could not pay EMIs due to failed agriculture initiatives in the pandemic period. Despite the state government’s instruction that banks go easy on repayment of loans, bank officials reportedly threatened and abused Maruthamuthu, who hanged himself while the bank staff waited outside his house.
Relatives of Maruthamuthu staged a protest in front of the district government hospital.
TASMAC WORKERS GATHER IN CHENNAI
Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation Limited (TASMAC) employees have repeatedly been protesting against the poor working conditions and dire corruption in the Corporation. The liquor outlet employees gathered on September 2, at Egmore Rajarathinam Stadium, in Chennai, to voice out their concerns.
State-wide TASMAC employees gathered in Chennai. Image courtesy: Theekkathir
They highlighted the demand for ESI and general transfer policy, besides many other concerns. Read more
HINDUTVA GROUP OVERRULING COVID-19 PROTOCOL
Despite the ban on public celebrations in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, the right-wing group Hindu Munnani announced that it will install Vinayaka idols at 1.25 lakh locations and go ahead with its annual Vinayaka Chathurthi celebrations on September 10.
Tamil Nadu BJP chief Annamalai also said that it would strongly oppose the blanket ban on the festival. It cited the opening of Tasmac liquor outlets with the declining number of Covid-19 cases.
JEPPIAAR WORKERS DEMAND FULL PAY
Jeppiaar Institute of Technology, a technical engineering college in Kanchipuram, has not paid the outstanding amount of Rs 1.07 crores over the past 17 months to 34 of its workers. The workers, under the leadership of the Socialist Workers Centre (SWC), staged a protest near the Sriperumbudur bus stand on September 4 demanding their outstanding payments.
Jeppiaar Institute workers’ protest. Image courtesy: SWC
Their press release read, “the management collected full fees from students during the Corona pandemic period, but refused proper pay for workers. The Tamil Nadu government must take action against the profit-minded institute.”