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Twelve working hours in a day notified as part of draft job code

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The labour ministry has notified twelve working hours in a day, higher than nine hours permitted in establishments now including one hour of rest, with weekly work hours restricted to 48 hours as earlier. This is part of the draft rules notified for the Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions (OSH&WC).

The move, which is in line with the recent attempt by several state governments to enhance work hours to 12 hours during the Covid times to enhance output with a restricted workforce, may impact employment generation in the country.

“The period of work of a worker shall be so arranged that inclusive of his intervals for rest, shall not spread over for more than twelve hours in a day,” the raft notification said, adding no worker shall be required or allowed to work in an establishment for more than forty eight hours in any week. The labour ministry has sought views from stakeholders on the draft rules over the next 45 days following which the rules will be finalised.

With the draft rules on OSH&WC, the government has put out draft rules for all the four labour codes and aims to finalise them in January, thus paving way for the implementation of the codes from April 1, 2021.

The government has provided for double the wage in case of overtime beyond the fixed work hours prescribed in a week. “In pursuance of Section 27 of Code, where in an establishment a worker works for more than eight hours in any day or for more than forty-eight hours in any week, as the case may be, he shall in respect of such overtime work be entitled to wages at the rate of twice his ordinary rate of wages and shall be paid at the end of each wage period,” it said.

Besides, the draft rules provides for a single licence for contractors and staffing firms allowing them to operate pan India under one registration as against the prevailing situation where they have to obtain licence for operating in each location.

“If a contractor desirous of obtaining licence for supplying or engaging contract labour in more than one states or for the whole of India, then application for single licence shall be submitted electronically to the authority notified in this behalf under subsection (1) of section 119 of this code. License issued under this rule shall be valid for five years,” the draft rules added.

The draft OSH&WC Rules will supersede 13 existing central labour law rules including the Dock Workers (Safety, Health and Welfare) Rules, 1990, the Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Condition of Services) Rules, 1998, the Model Factories Rules, the Mines Rules, 1955, the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Central Rules, 1971 and the Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Central Rules, 1979, amongst others.



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Prof Sangita Srivastava takes over charge as new VC of Allahabad University

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PRAYAGRAJ: Prof Sangita Srivastava took over as the new regular vice chancellor of Allahabad University (AU) on Monday. She became the first woman ever to get appointed to this top post of the country’s fourth oldest varsity that attained central status in 2005. She also becomes the first faculty member of AU itself who would head the varsity after the central status.

The post of AU VC was being managed by officiating vice-chancellors since the last regular incumbent of the post Prof RL Hangloo who had tendered his resignation mid-tenure on December 31, 2019.

Soon after assuming the charge, Prof Srivastava said that all efforts would be made by her with the support of the AU teachers, officials, staff and students to better the academic environment and promote quality research on the campus of the university as well as that of constituent colleges.

Talking to media soon after assuring charge as the new VC, Prof Srivastava-who called herself as ‘Sangita Allahabadi’—said, “All efforts would be made to restore the lost glory of the institution by bettering its NIRF ranking and improving the academic environment and promoting quality research on the campus of the university as well as that of constituent colleges. To make that happen, filling up of around 1000 vacant positions of both teaching and non-teaching would be her priority, she added.

There are over 550 teaching and around 400 non-teaching positions at AU which are lying vacant.

However, she did mention that this will take another year and a half to finish the task.

The new VC said that bettering the departments by meeting the needs of the department and labs so as to help them function better would also be taken up. This would benefit the students using the labs, she added.

Prof Srivastava said that with an aim to effectively implement provisions of the New Education Policy, she would like to have a number of brainstorming sessions so that the transformation as envisaged in the policy can be attained, especially making under graduate courses of four years duration instead of the existing three years besides paving way for students to opt for both science and arts subjects as part of their studies.

On the issue of student union on the campus, she said that she would take up the call on this issue later. But she added that it is not good that few students are on fast during this time of pandemic.

“On the decision of whether to continue with online teaching or start offline teaching, we would take the decision after consulting higher officials”, said the new VC.

On the fate of the institute of correspondence studies, she said that it has already been decided by the ministry and that decision is final.

Prof Srivastava joined Allahabad University’s home science department in 1989 and was HoD since 2002. She was appointed as the VC of Prof Rajendra Singh (Rajju Bhaiya) University on June 25, 2019 before taking over as AU VC, on Monday. Her tenure as the VC of the state university has witnessed exponential growth of the varsity, foremost being appointing teaching faculty for the first time at the state university and expediting the work of the new building of the university at Naini.



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UGC NET final answer key 2020 released, check here

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NEW DELHI: UGC NET final answer key has been released by the National Testing Agency (NTA) on its official website. NTA has made the UGC NET final answer key accessible on its portal — nta.ac.in.

UGC NET exam was held between September 24 and November 13. As many as 8,60,976 candidates had registered for the UGC NET June 2020 exam. Of the total 8,60,976 registered candidates, 5,26,707 had appeared for the test. The exam was held in Computer Based Test mode covering 81 subjects.

Direct link: UGC NET final answer key 2020

The official notice reads “The National Testing Agency (NTA) conducted the UGC-NET, June 2020 Examination in Computer Based Test (CBT) mode between 24 September and 13 November 2020 for 8,60,976 registered candidates, covering 81 subjects in 12 examination days with two shifts each examination day.”

The notice also reads “The Final Answer Keys for 81 NET Subjects (English, Commerce & Hindi in 02 shifts) which were prepared after taking into account the challenges and their scrutiny/resolution by the concerned expert(s) are now available on the website ugcnet.nta.nic.in.”

Candidates are advised to visit the official website — ugcnet.nta.nic.in, www.nta.ac.in — for latest updates and further information on the examination.



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Will language barrier impede aspirants’ success in JEE Advanced?

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With the Centre’s decision to offer JEE Main 2021 in more regional languages apart from the existing Gujarati, Hindi and English languages, aspirants who are proficient in their native tongue may stand a fair chance of gaining admission to the NITs, IIITs and the centrally funded technical institutes in the country. But will their IIT aspirations take a backseat if JEE Advanced is conducted only in English and Hindi?

Sudhir K Jain, director, IIT Gandhinagar has a more positive take on the issue. “Students appearing for JEE Main and Advanced do a comprehensive preparation keeping in mind the technical stream they have chosen to study. Having an option to take JEE Main in regional languages would give them some relief from anxiety at stepping stone, and it can build their confidence to progress further towards their next goal,” he tells Education Times.

As to the possible roadblocks IIT aspirants might face, Jain explains that most scientific terminology is written in English even in local language textbooks, which will help students to understand and cope up with the questions in JEE Advanced. “Generally, care is taken to use simple English while setting the questions to test scientific understanding of the candidates. In addition, the medium of instruction in the IITs is English, so a basic knowledge of the language is assumed,” he adds.

IIT Ropar director Sarit K Das says, “In an online objective test such as the JEE Advanced, students’ language skills do not matter nor are they expected to solve problems in English. Since most of the Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics questions are language-neutral, comprehending the questions should not be difficult. In class XII, whatever the medium of instruction, students must have English as a language, though in times to come, JEE Advanced may move towards the inclusion of regional languages as well.”

As to whether JEE Advanced will provide a level playing to candidates, Jain explains, “Most of the students from different Indian states possess an understanding of either English or Hindi, other than their mother tongue. Since the advent of the computer-based exams, the candidates can switch between Hindi and English versions of the questions at any point during the examination, which should also help them in comprehending the question in a better way in case of any confusion.”

Language, according to him, has not been the predominant deciding factor. “It cannot be assumed that JEE Main top rankers land up in the non-IITs simply for not knowing English,” he says.

“We must prepare our next generation to aim high and for that, they have to come out of their comfort zone, no matter where they study. While initially, having a language of their choice would help, they should learn keeping the long-term goals and larger picture in mind. We have seen so many students from regional language backgrounds do equally well at our institute with the right kind of guidance, hand-holding, hard work and determination,” Jain says.

Das attributes it in part to the language courses and special sessions at the IITs. Science and technology, he reasons, should be taught in English at the IITs for students to be globally competitive, an area where language deficit should not be an impediment.



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