thursDAY Academic regression during pandemic: Study 11 The Loss of Learning During the Pandemic study reveals 92% kids lost at least one specific language ability from the previous year February, 2021 16,067 epaper.morningstandard.in twitter.com/TheMornStandard kids of Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and MP surveyed C A G RE P O R T scrap vacations, redraw syllabi facebook.com/TheMorningStandard CPSEs hit hard by losses Net worth of 77 CPSEs was completely eroded by their accumulated losses Page 7 negative impact on learning levels of kids A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS l New Delhi l J8.00 l PAGES 12 The language ability lost includes describing a picture or their experiences orally; reading familiar words; reading with comprehension. The study highlights the negative impact on learning of kids due to prolonged school closure 82% of children have lost at least one specific mathematical ability like identifying single and two-digit numbers; using basic problem solving ops Amid full-blown freedom of speech spat with Twitter, govt begins Kooing B i sm a h M a l i k @ Bengaluru Caught in the eye of a political storm over the ongoing farmers protests, US social media giant Twitter on Wednesday said it had suspended more than 500 of the 1,178 accounts the ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY) wanted purged citing the possibility of inciting violence and threat to national security . However, the site took a dig at the government saying the others were not suspended as the blocking orders were not consistent with Indian law. “Keeping with our principles of defending protected speech and freedom of expression, we have not taken any action on accounts that consist of news media entities, journalists, activists, and politicians. To do so, we believe, would violate their Shed status quo mindset and let new laws help empower small farmers, urges PM Ready for talks, says Modi amid reform hardsell E x p r e ss N e w s S e rv i c e @ New Delhi Nobody had asked for the triple talaq or dowry laws, but they were still enacted, for reforms must be attuned with changing times, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday as he rebutted the Opposition’s charge that farmers had not sought the contentious agri reform laws. Wrapping up the Lok Sabha debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address, Modi reiterated his gover nment’s willingness to resume talks while describing the laws as progressive. “Besides creating an additional, but optional, avenue has there been any change after the enactment of the laws? When the laws offer only an option, there can’t be any reason for protest,” he reasoned. Conceding that 100% acceptance to any new measure was not possible, Modi, however, said progress could not be gained without shedding the status quo mindset. Recalling the late farmer leader Chaudhary Charan Singh’s words on farm fragmentation, he said: “We cannot progress if we do not care for small farmers, who constitute 80% of the farming community Fragmentation is a re. ality, and this is what the farmers’ producers organisations aim to address.” “A new world order is in the agitation path On 77th day of their protest on the borders of the National Capital, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha on Tuesday prepared a detailed pan-India protest plan. The finer details will be decided later Feb 12: All toll plazas in Rajasthan will be made toll free Feb 14: Candle and mashaal march across the country fundamental right to free expression under Indian law,” Twitter said. The ministry termed Twitter’s statement as ‘unusual’, posting its response first on a rival platform, Koo, which garnered more than three million downloads in two days. Later, MeitY Secretary Ajay Sawhney ticked off top Twitter officials Monique Meche and Jim Baker at a virtual meeting. “India has a robust mechanism for protection of freedom of speech and expression un- Fully Indian firm Aprameya R, the co-founder and CEO of Koo, said it is an India registered firm backed by investors like 3one4 capital. A Chinese investor, Shunwei, is also a shareholder, but will exit fully der Article 19 (1) of the Constitution. But freedom of expression is not absolute and it is subject to reasonable restrictions as mentioned in Article 19 (2),” he said. Sawhney said Twitter it is welcome to do business in India but must respect local laws and institutions. “Twitter is free to formulate its own rules and guidelines, like any other business entity but Indian laws en, acted by Parliament must be followed,” he emphasised. Legal experts said Twitter may have very few options since it has only partly complied with the government orders, while free speech activists denounced the government’s crackdown on social media by using ‘legal weapons’. India remains a key market for the social media giant with more than 75 million active us- China, India agree to disengage in Ladakh M AYAN K S IN G H & P U S H K A R B ANA K A R @ New Delhi After a nine-month-long stand-off along the Line of Actual Control in Eastern Ladakh, the situation appeared to ease a tad on Wednesday as both China and India began a “synchronized and organised” disengagement process. Late in the night, the Defence Minister’s office tweeted that Rajnath Singh will make a statement in Rajya Sabha on Thursday morning regarding the ‘present situation in Eastern Ladakh’ While Indian sources said it was limited to armoured vehicles, the Chinese Ministry of National Defence claimed that the frontline troops from both sides along the Pangong Tso had started disengaging. India and China are locked in stand-off in Ladakh since May last year | FILE Senior Colonel Wu Qian, spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of National Defence, said: “The Chinese and Indian frontline troops at the southern and northern banks of the Pangong Tso started synchronized and organised disengagement from February 10.” It was in accordance with the consensus at the ninth round of China-India Corps Commander level meeting, he added. From the Indian side, a senior Army officer confirmed the pullback of armoured vehicles, including infantry combat vehicles. “The armoured vehicles are moving back but troops at the frontline have not been thinned,” he said. The disengagement is expected to happen in phases, another senior officer said. “The infantry moving back will be the last step; it will depend on compliance of the phased disengagement from the Chinese side.” The disengagement began on a day when Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong, in an article, said that the two countries should meet each other half way in addressing problems while putting the boundary issue in an appropriate place.“We should put the boundary issue in an appropriate place in bilateral relations.... It’s important for China and India to respect each other, enhance mutual trust. P7 Feb 16: Solidarity day to mark birth anniversary of Sir Chhotu Ram Alarm Immunity against diphtheria low in Indian Children A majority of kids aged 5-17 years are either only partially or non-immune to diphtheria leading to its re-emergence as a public health challenge, says a study by Lancet | P7 m ost a w a it e d The process for nursery admissions in Delhi will begin a week from today 1,700 25% schools in Delhi I25 registration fee seats for EWS, DG or children with disability Admission SCHEDULE Feb 18: Application process starts Mar 4: Last date to apply Mar 20: First list of selected children Mar 25: Second list publication Mar 27: Subsequent list (if any) Mar 31: Admission process ends Guidlines for schools No deviation from the above schedule shall be permitted Each school shall display the admission schedule on notice board and website Schools to ensure that forms are available till the last date of submission Feb 18: Four-hour rail roko across the country making in the post-Corona era, and we have to choose between being a mute spectator and making reforms. An Atmanirbhar Bharat will play a crucial role in the new world order,” the prime minister asserted. When Congress members began disrupting his speech, Modi took potshots at them, saying it was divided and confused. “The party has different stands in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha. It can neither work for its own good nor solve the country’s challenges,” he said even as Congress and TMC members staged a walk-out. He also made a distinction between andolankari (protesters)and andolan jivi (professional protesters), saying the former is pious while the latter is an anarchist. The kisan andolan is pious, he said. ers, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has a 65.5 million strong user base with his key cabinet colleagues as well as government departments active on the site. Ministers Piyush Goyal and Ravi Shankar Prasad and actress Kangana Ranaut were amongst those who shifted to Koo, which also onboarded key government departments on Wednesday . A non-refundable amount of I25 can be charged as admission registration fee Purchase of prospectus of the school by the parents shall be optional Admissions for nursery classes begin Feb 18 Express News Service @ New Delhi Earlier, the idea was that they may be trapped inside the 180 metre tunnel at a bend. Now, the rescue team has started drilling the ground at 70-75 metres inside that tunnel R Raman, Garhwal commissioner Two listed as missing return home safely Two persons who were listed as missing in the avalanche and flash floods returned to their homes safely on Wednesday after being stranded in different areas of Chamoli district. Suraj Singh from Chamoli in Uttarakhand and Rashid from Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh returned to their homes on Wednesday, Additional District Information Officer, Chamoli, Ravindra Negi said. Singh and Rashid were among those missing after the calamity, as per Uttarkhand official records. Agitated relatives of missing people at an enquiry centre; BRO workers near the damaged Rishi Ganga project | Shekhar yadav RESCUE suffers for want Of layout; direction changed V i n e e t U pa d h yay @ Tapovan (Uttarakhand) After more than 72 hours of operations to reach 37 workers stuck in a tunnel of the Tapovan Hydropower project in Chamoli district following flash floods on Sunday the res, cue strategy changed with new information that thet may be in another tunnel that is below the main D-shaped ‘Intake Adit Tunnel’. Till now, the D-shaped 180-metre-long tunnel was the focal point of the mission by a combined rescue team comprising the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, National Disaster Response Force, Army Indian , Reserve Battalion, State Disaster Response Force, Indian Air Force, Navy, state police department and other agencies. Ravinath Raman, commissioner of Garhwal division of Uttarakhand, told TNIE, “Earlier, the idea was that they may be trapped inside the 180 metre tunnel at a bend. Now, the rescue team has started drilling the ground at 70-75 metres inside that tunnel to rescue the workers.” The decision was taken at a combined meeting of state government authorities, the armed forces and the NTPC. Earlier in the day, a senior rescue official revealed that they did not have the tunnel network’s layout maps for the first two days to make an informed decision on the way forward. For the “first two days, we were blind,” he said. The detailed layout was shared on Tuesday by Rithwik Projects Pvt Ltd, a Hyderabad based infra firm building the tunnels for NTPC’s project. , “We are giving fullest cooperation to the rescue team and other people and we are leaving no stone unturned to save those men. Our technical team are cooperating fully with the rescue team,” a senior official p7 said to media queries. The admissions from nursery and other junior classes will begin from February 18th in 1,700 schools. The admissions will be held for nursery , kindergarten (KG) and class I. The almost month-long process for nursery admissions usually starts in December but this year it was delayed due to the pandemic. “Congratulations to all the parents and children. We all have to defeat coronavirus and bring back the excitement and happiness in our schools again. All our schools are waiting for its students,” tweeted CM Arvind Kejriwal. As per the admission schedule notified by the Directorate of Education, “The registration process will begin from 18th February and the last date to apply is March 4. The first list of selected children will be displayed on March 20, and second list on March 25.” The age limit of children for admission into nursery will be three, KG is four and five years for class 1. HEA L I N G G E S t u r e Mumbai’s little Teera gets help from PM in fight against rare genetic disease sudhir suryawanshi @ Mumbai Prime Minister Narendra Modi has shown a big heart towards five-month-old Teera Kamat, suffering from a rare genetic diseases by waiving of the `6 crore as a GST amount against `16 crore worth imported medical drugs. Teera Kamat’s parent in Mumbai has generated this entire `16 crore amount through the crowd-funding for her op- erations. She can be cured through Gene replacement therapy, which includes the medicine Zolgensma imported from the USA. That cost `16 crore as per Indian currency . Teera’s parents had in October 2020 and again in January shared the medical condition of their daughter with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis recently wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman requesting to exempt the all applicable taxes on the import of this expensive medicine from the US. “The parent of Teera has raised the `16 crore amount through crowdfunding. The parent no more can spend the money. Therefore, this case should be made as a special case...,” Fadnavis swrote. Modi responded saying that the customs duty on the im- Teera Kamat suffers from Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Type 1 ported life-saving drug will be exempted for Teera. Fadnavis wrote back, saying he thanked the PM from bottom of my heart for extremely humanitarian and sensitive approach and quick action for exempting customs duty for importing the life-saving drug. Priyanka and Mihir Kamat, parent of Teera, the residence of Andheri, Mumbai gave birth to Teera on August 14, 2020. By the time she was born, she was just like any other child. After two weeks of her birth, she used to get restless while drinking milk, once she stopped breathing. The doctors told them that she suffering from Spinal Muscular Astrophys (SMA). It was found that a person with this disease does not have the genes that are expected to make proteins. This slows down the process of nerve and muscle strengthening. As a result, there are restrictions on swallowing food, breathing, and movement without it, and the situation becomes more serious. There is a great deal of research being done abroad on these rare diseases, and some drugs have recently become available in the US. However, the drug is very expensive and the treatment was beyond their reach. But the couple’s effort has opened many hearts to donate and extend the best wishes to Teera as well.
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