More than two months later, Tamil Nadu recorded an increase in COVID-19 cases this week. Over 18 districts, including Chennai, saw a marginal surge in infections.
The state recorded 1,947 positive cases and 27 deaths from COVID-19 on July 30.
A total of 90 defamation cases filed against media houses and media persons over the two stints of the All Indian Anna Dradiva Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) government were scrapped by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) government.
After several years of struggling for a hike in stipend, post-graduate medical students and resident doctors practicing in Tamil Nadu government hospitals emerged victorious, with the government increasing their stipends.
Here are all the happenings from Tamil Nadu this past week.
COVID-19: CASES RISE, GOVT. ACTS
Just when people were expecting further relaxations to the COVID-19 lockdown, the state government acted on the marginal spike in infections and extended existing curbs till August 9. The health department has asked districts to immediately identify the cause of a rise in cases and contain the infection.
Against the backdrop of the rise in COVID-19 cases, the Greater Chennai Corporation on July 30 issued orders to shut down shops in nine commercial areas of the city in order to restrict crowding.
The state has initiated the process of acquiring 12 lakh additional doses of vaccines allotted to private hospitals. The free vaccination programme in private hospitals was launched by Chief Minister M.K. Stalin in Chennai on July 28.
GOVT WITHDRAWS CASES AGAINST MEDIA
On July 29 the CM ordered the withdrawal of 90 defamation cases against journalists, dailies and television channels. The cases were filed over the past ten years, a time when the AIADMK was in power.
Notably, many such cases were defamation lawsuits against persons who criticised former CM J. Jayalalithaa; their withdrawal had formed part of the DMK’s election manifesto.
A day after withdrawing defamation cases against journalists and media houses, CM Stalin on July 30 directed withdrawal of about 130 defamation cases filed by the previous AIADMK government against political leaders and functionaries.
RESIDENT DOCTORS’ STIPEND HIKED
The state health department implemented the long-pending demand by post-graduate government doctors for a hike in stipend. The stipend of house surgeons went up from Rs 21,800 to Rs 25,000; it was increased to Rs 50,000 for PG degree third years, from Rs 43,000, and higher speciality course third years’ stipend was hiked from Rs 48,000 to Rs 55,000.
The government order was passed after representatives of the Residential Doctors Association petitioned Health Minister M.Subramaniam earlier this month. The coctors were set to intensify their struggle if the state was unwilling to meet their demands.
‘FILL VETERINARY DOCTOR VACANCIES’
Image courtesy: The Hindu
Veterinary graduates also staged a protest in Chennai on July 29, asking the government to expedite appointment orders for those who had cleared the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC) exam last year.
Posting orders have not been received despite their results being declared and after 1,1141 vacancies were announced.
‘BOOST CENTRE’S SHARE IN PMFBY’
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 29, CM Stalin urged him to increase the Centre’s share in the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), the government sponsored crop insurance scheme.
Stalin asked for a move back to the 49:49:2 (Central, State and farmer’s share) formula as opposed to capping the Centre’s share at 25% for irrigated area and 30% for rain-fed regions.
He observed that with the Centre’s share decreasing, the state’s share of the premium subsidy has increased at a compound annual growth rate of 28.07% in the last five years.
UNTOUCHABILITY WALL ERECTED
A 9-foot-high 'untouchability wall' was built at Rajiv Gandhi Nagar in Tamil Nadu's Trichy district, separating farmland from the Dalit colony. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) protested against the move, condemning the construction of such a wall segregating Dalits, or ex-untouchables, and other communities.
ASHOK LEYLAND WORKERS DEMAND WAGE REVISION
The expiration of their wage agreement a year ago has forced workers of unit-2 of the Ashok Leyland manufacturing plant in Hosur to conduct a series of protests. The Hosur unit workers are demanding wage parity with workers of Ashok Leyland’s Ennore plant near Chennai.
They are also demanding bonuses on profits being made by the vehicle manufacturing company. Read more
STATE HONOURS COMMUNIST LEADER
Veteran Communist leader, freedom fighter and former CPI(M) state secretary N. Sankaraiah, who turned 100 earlier this month, will receive the first Thagaisal Thamizhar Award. The Chief Minister will hand over the award to him during the Independence Day celebrations in Chennai next month.
The award was instituted by the government this year to honour a distinguished Tamil personality.