Power engineers to protest on Feb 3 against privatisation of discoms

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Power sector engineers would go for token work boycott across the country on February 3 to protest against the move to privatise distribution companies by the central government, the All India Power Engineers’ Federation (AIPEF) said on Monday.


“Power engineers across the country shall resort to token work boycott and hold protest meetings on 3rd February against privatization policies of the Government of India,” AIPEF spokesperson V K Gupta said in a statement.



Shailendra Dubey, the Chairman of AIPEF, in a letter to the Prime Minister, stated that power engineers and engineers are grieved over the central government’s move towards the power sector through Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2020, & Standard Bidding Document for total of distribution of electricity.


Power engineers are opposing conversion of public monopoly to private monopoly, he said, adding that the policy of was slowly destroying the public sector across the country while giving huge benefits to selected corporates.


Privatisation and targeted benefits to chosen corporates is the root cause of the ongoing farmers’ agitation, he pointed out.


The AIPEF expressed solidarity to struggling organisations of peasants whose one

Metropolis Healthcare to buy Hitech Diagnostic Centre in a cash, stock deal

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Diagnostic chain on Sunday said it will acquire Dr Ganesan’s Hitech Diagnostic Centre Pvt Ltd in a cash and stock combination deal, to strengthen its leadership position in southern India.


The company’s board has approved the acquisition partly by way of cash consideration of Rs 511 crore and partly by issuance of up to 4,95,000 equity shares of a face value of Rs 2 each on a preferential basis, to the promoter group of Hitech, MetropolisHealthcare said in a regulatory filing.


“The cash consideration will be funded through internal accruals and debt of up to Rs 300 crore,” it added.


S P Ganesan, its promoter and founder, will be part of the leadership team for the next few years toenable a smooth transition and integration with Metropolis, the filing said.


By the acquisition, Metropolis will get an access to 31 laboratories, including three NABL- and ICMR-accredited laboratories and 68 collection centres of Hitech. The acquisition is expected to be completed within three months, it added.


Managing Director Ameera Shah said, “In line with the strategy to grow, gain market share and increase B2C (business-to-consumer)

Police Detain Kremlin Critic Navalny On Arrival In Russia

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Police detained top Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny on Sunday when he flew back to Russia months after barely surviving a poisoning attack, prompting a new wave of Western condemnation.

Navalny was detained at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport less than an hour after he flew in from Germany, where he had been recovering from the poisoning with a nerve agent he says was ordered by President Vladimir Putin.

The European Union and a senior aide to US President-elect Joe Biden immediately called for his release, with some in the EU urging new sanctions against Moscow.





Navalny spent several months in Germany recovering from a poisoning attack
 Instagram account @navalny / Handout

Rights groups joined the calls, with Amnesty International saying Navalny had become a prisoner of conscience and accusing Russian authorities of waging “a relentless campaign” to silence him.

“The detainment of Alexei Navalny upon arrival in Moscow is unacceptable. I call on Russian authorities to immediately release him,” European Council president Charles Michel wrote on Twitter.

“Mr. Navalny should be immediately released, and the perpetrators of the outrageous attack on his life must be held accountable,” Biden’s national security advisor Jake Sullivan tweeted.



For around a decade, Navalny has been the symbol of Russia's protest movement, after rising to prominence as an anti-corruption blogger and leading anti-government street rallies


For around a decade, Navalny has been the

Indian economy may contract 25% in current fiscal: Economist Arun Kumar

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The is not recovering as fast as the government claims and the country’s economy may contract 25 per cent in the current financial year, noted economist Arun Kumar said on Sunday.


Kumar further said that due to a big decline in the GDP during the current financial year, the budget estimates have gone completely out of gear and, therefore, there is a need to correct the Budget.


“India’s economic growth is not recovering as fast as the government is showing because the unorganised sector has not started recovering and some major components of the services sector have not recovered.


“My analysisshows that the rate of growth will be (-)25 per centin the current financial year becauseduring lockdown (during April-May), only essential production was taking place and even in agriculture, there was no growth,” he told PTI in an interview.


The Reserve Bank of (RBI) has projected the to contract 7.5 per cent in the current financial year, while the National Statistical Office (NSO) estimates a contraction of 7.7 per cent.


Also, according to the NSO, the contracted by 23.9 per cent

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