Schools in Mumbai to reopen for Class IX to XII students from November 23

Offline classes only for subjects like Mathematics & Science, other subjects to be taught in online classes only.

Maharashtra CM, Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday, permitted the schools to reopen for classes IX to XII from November 23. The Chief Minister also reviewed the standard operating procedures that schools have to follow, as a defence against the spread and surge of infection among the students, teachers and staff.

SOP for School Students and Staff

The Chief Minister on Saturday allowed schools in Mumbai and other state districts to resume after Diwali. A detailed set of guidelines and precautions to maximise student-teacher safety were also reviewed and established by the department of education under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister. The Education Minister stated that local administrative bodies will conduct a mass RT-PCR testing drive for all teachers in the state, and only those furnishing negative results will be allowed to conduct classes within school premises.

She further added that all schools will have to conduct thermal screening procedures for staff and students and also change the seating arrangements so as to accommodate no more than 20-30 students in a class, with one student at one bench, at a distance of 1 meter to each other. be mandatory for allowing students to attend physical classes at school. All students and staff have been instructed to wear homemade reusable masks at all times. Pupils have been advised to either walk or use cycles to reach schools to avoid crowding in buses and no other individual except those authorised by the institutions will be permitted to enter the premises.

The directives further detail that classes will either be conducted in shifts or on alternate days to prevent crowding at schools. Each shift will be scheduled for a maximum of 4 hours only. The Education Minister also stated that only subjects such as Maths and Science will require physical guidance, while others will continue online. Since health experts have suspected a surge in the number of coronavirus cases after Diwali, schools have been told to prepare for online classes in advance if physical classes need to be discontinued to arrest the coronavirus spread. There are regions in the state where temperatures fall sharply by November end and this may further contribute to the infection caseload.

All group activities such as tiffin breaks, assemblies, sports, common water-coolers and other gatherings will not be allowed. Students are expected to eat from home and then come to school, however, permission to carry individual water bottles has been granted.

Schools to consider parental consent and views

The Education Minister also stated that reopening schools is not compulsory for any schools or students, as online classes for all subjects will continue as scheduled. Schools have decided to consult parents before re-opening schools. Parental consent will also be mandatory to allow students to attend physical classes. The Chief Minister further stated that parents need to exercise caution in granting this permission and should not grant it if any family member is unwell.

The role of Local Administration

Most government educational institutions were transformed by the state authorities as isolation centres which cannot be disbanded as of yet. Local authorities need to be consulted to get alternate sites for holding classes for the students of such institutions. Other preparations such as sanitation and cleanliness of classes, students and staff will also be initiated.

The 1st train on the newly electrified Dhigawara-Bandikui section flagged off in Rajasthan

The electrification of trains will eliminate the dependence on diesel trains and will also help in reducing pollution.

The first train on the newly electrified Dhigawara-Bandikui section of North Western Railways was flagged off by the Railway Minister on Sunday. The route from Rewari to Ajmer has now been electrified and soon, the Delhi-Ajmer route via Jaipur will also have electrified trains. The electrification of trains will eliminate the dependence on diesel trains and subsequently, reduce pollution and dependency on imported fuel as well.

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Lucknow becomes the 1st city from North India to list its municipal corporation bonds on BSE

In a first for North India, Lucknow Municipal Corporation bonds to be listed at the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Uttar Pradesh's Chief Minister will visit Mumbai on December 2 to ring the bell at the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) during the listing of the Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC) bonds. During the CM's visit, he will interact with prominent industrialists and Bollywood celebrities and invite them to invest in Uttar Pradesh. Lucknow is the first city, from the north India region, to release the bond of its municipal corporation and soon the municipal corporations of Ghaziabad, Varanasi, Kanpur Nagar and Agra will follow suit. The Rs 200 crore-bond issue was floated just before Diwali and was oversubscribed by 4.5 times to raise Rs 450 crore.

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The cost for RT-PCR tests in private labs across Rajasthan has now been reduced to ₹800!

State slashes ₹400/- for COVID-19 tests at all ICMR-approved labs in Rajasthan.

The Rajasthan government has capped the cost of COVID-19 tests across private laboratories in the state to ₹800, bringing major relief to its residents. This decision that was given out on Saturday, also stated that Rajasthan is among the only two states in the nation which are testing people through the golden standards of the reliable RT-PCR method. The head of the state also urged people to get themselves tested if they suspect the development of any virus symptom, as delays in identification makes the disease fatal.

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With stringent SOPs in place, cinema halls, pools & gatherings can now resume in Goa

Goa lifts restrictive curbs, authorises SOP for civic safety.

In an order issued in Goa on Saturday, the authorities have permitted all cinema halls, swimming pools, gatherings for religious, social, cultural, educational, entertainment and sports events to resume, under the strict surveillance of a preventive standard operating procedure. The directive details that all swimming pools can operate for training and sports purposes, whereas, cinema halls and all other events in Goa will function at half the potential capacity of the venue.

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UP government to use ethanol to turn its sugarcane production into 'green gold'

The sugar industry here in UP employs about 6.50 lakh people directly and indirectly.

As a result of continuous efforts of the government, Uttar Pradesh has now become the highest (126.10 crore litres annually) ethanol supplying state in the country. Additionally, the UP government is steadily attempting to turn sugarcane into 'green gold' through ethanol and at the moment, an overall of 50 distilleries are manufacturing this stock. Just last year, two mills were producing this organic chemical compound from heavy molasses and this time, the number has increased to 20. Uttar Pradesh is the largest sugarcane producing state in the country and according to a government spokesman, out of the total sugar mills in India, 119 are here.

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