Monthly Archives: July 2020

Osama

What a powerhouse of an Afghani movie “Osama” made by Siddiq Barmak, tells the story of life under Taliban rule in Afghanistan. An unnamed young Afghan girl and her mother are caught in the maelstrom that is Taliban in Afghanistan. Under Taliban rule, women are not allowed to study or work and not even allowed to walk on the streets unaccompanied by a male relative. So when the hospital in which the Afghan girl’s mother closes under Taliban orders, she is left bereft of any income and the three of them i.e. the girl, her mother who is a doctor and her grandmother are left penniless. Till the grandmother decides to dress up the girl as a boy and send her to work. There is disgust everywhere among the Afghan residents but there is fear also of their harsh rule and retribution. The girl is named Osama by a street urchin who sees through her disguise and made to study in madraasa and perform ablutions. Till she gets caught. There is a heart rending and gut wrenching scene when the wailing girl is forced to hang from a well – it breaks the heart. In the end the film shows the mullah to whom the girl is forced to marry already has three wives and keeps all his wives under heavy lock and key. Brilliantly made movie by Barmak, it is a hard hitting commentary on the Taliban rule. The camera work is quite spectacular and Barmak has managed to extract maximum from all his performers and most of all from Marina Golbahari as Osama. It is both breath taking and brutal in its intensity. This movie was apparently made after the fall of the Taliban in 2003. 

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National Education Policy

PIB Press release dated 29th July, 2020

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the National Education Policy 2020 today, making way for large scale, transformational reforms in both school and higher education sectors. This is the first education policy of the 21st century and replaces the thirty-four year old National Policy on Education (NPE), 1986.  Built on the foundational pillars of Access, Equity, Quality, Affordability and Accountability, this policy is  aligned to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and aims to transform India into a vibrant knowledge society and global knowledge superpower by making both school and college education more holistic, flexible, multidisciplinary, suited to 21st century needs and aimed at bringing out the unique capabilities of each student.

Important Highlights

School Education

Ensuring Universal Access at all levels of school education

NEP 2020 emphasizes on ensuring universal access to school education at all levels- pre school to secondaryInfrastructure support, innovative education centres to bring back dropouts into the mainstream, tracking of students and their learning levels, facilitating multiple pathways to learning involving both formal and non-formal education modes, association of counselors or well-trained social workers with schools, open learning for classes3,5 and 8 through NIOS and State Open Schools, secondary education programs equivalent to Grades 10 and 12, vocational courses, adult literacy and life-enrichment programs are some of the proposed ways for achieving this. About 2 crore out of school children will be brought back into main stream under NEP 2020.

Early Childhood Care & Education with  new Curricular and Pedagogical Structure

With emphasis on Early Childhood Care and Education, the 10+2 structure of school curricula is to be replaced by a 5+3+3+4 curricular structure corresponding to ages 3-8, 8-11, 11-14, and 14-18 years respectively.  This will bring the hitherto uncovered age group of 3-6 years under school curriculum, which has been recognized globally as the crucial stage for development of mental faculties of a child. The new system will have 12 years of schooling with three years of Anganwadi/ pre schooling.

NCERT will develop a National Curricular and Pedagogical Framework for Early Childhood Care and Education (NCPFECCE) for children up to the age of 8 . ECCE will be delivered through a significantly expanded and strengthened system of institutions including Anganwadis and pre-schools that will have teachers and Anganwadi workers trained in the ECCE pedagogy and curriculum. The planning and implementation of ECCE will be carried out jointly by the Ministries of HRD, Women and Child Development (WCD), Health and Family Welfare (HFW), and Tribal Affairs.

Attaining Foundational Literacy and Numeracy

Recognizing Foundational Literacy and Numeracy as an urgent and necessary prerequisite to learning, NEP 2020 calls for setting up of a  National Mission on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy by MHRD. States will prepare an implementation plan for attaining universal foundational literacy and numeracy in all primary schools for all learners by grade 3 by 2025.A National Book Promotion Policy is to be formulated.

Reforms in school curricula and pedagogy

The school curricula and pedagogy will aim for holistic development of learnersbyequipping them with the key 21st century skills, reduction in curricular content to enhance essential learning and critical thinking and greater focus on experiential learning. Students will have increased flexibility and choice of subjects. There will be no rigid separations between arts and sciences, between curricular and extra-curricular activities, between vocational and academic streams.

Vocational education will start in schools from the 6th grade, and will include internships.

A new and comprehensive National Curricular Framework for School Education, NCFSE 2020-21, will be developed by the NCERT.

Multilingualism and the power of language

The policy has emphasized mother tongue/local language/regional language as the medium of instruction at least till Grade 5, but preferably till Grade 8 and beyond. Sanskrit to be offered at all levels of school and higher education as an option for students, including in the three-language formula. Other classical languages and literatures of India also to be available as options. No language will be imposed on any student. Students to participate in a fun project/activity on ‘The Languages of India’, sometime in Grades 6-8, such as, under the ‘Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat’ initiative. Several foreign languages will also be offered at the secondary level. Indian Sign Language (ISL) will be standardized across the country, and National and State curriculum materials developed, for use by students with hearing impairment.

Assessment Reforms

NEP 2020 envisages a shift from summative assessment to regular and formative assessment, which is more competency-based, promotes learning and development, and tests higher-order skills, such as analysis, critical thinking, and conceptual clarity. All students will take school examinations in Grades 3, 5, and 8 which will be conducted by the appropriate authority. Board exams for Grades 10 and 12 will be continued, but redesigned with holistic development as the aim.  A new National Assessment Centre, PARAKH (Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development),  will be set up as a standard-setting body .

Equitable and Inclusive Education

NEP 2020 aims to ensure that no child loses any opportunity to learn and excel because of the circumstances of birth or background. Special emphasis will be given on Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Groups(SEDGs) which include gender, socio-cultural, and geographical identities and disabilities.  This includes setting up of   Gender Inclusion Fund and also Special Education Zones for disadvantaged regions and groups. Children with disabilities will be enabled to fully participate in the regular schooling process from the foundational stage to higher education, with support of educators with cross disability training, resource centres, accommodations, assistive devices, appropriate technology-based tools and other support mechanisms tailored to suit their needs. Every state/district will be encouraged to establish “Bal Bhavans” as a special daytime boarding school, to participate in art-related, career-related, and play-related activities. Free school infrastructure can be used as Samajik Chetna Kendras

Robust Teacher Recruitment and Career Path

Teachers will be recruited through robust, transparent processes. Promotions will be merit-based, with a mechanism for multi-source periodic performance appraisals and available progression paths to become educational administrators or teacher educators. A common National Professional Standards for Teachers (NPST) will be developed by the National Council for Teacher Education by 2022, in consultation with NCERT, SCERTs, teachers and expert organizations from across levels and regions.

School Governance

Schools can be organized into complexes or clusters which will be the basic unit of governance and ensure availability of all resources including infrastructure, academic libraries and a strong professional teacher community.

Standard-setting and Accreditation for School Education

NEP 2020 envisages clear, separate systems for policy making, regulation, operations and academic matters. States/UTs will set up independent State School Standards Authority (SSSA). Transparent public self-disclosure of all the basic regulatory information, as laid down by the SSSA, will be used extensively for public oversight and accountability. The SCERT will develop a School Quality Assessment and Accreditation Framework (SQAAF) through consultations with all stakeholders.

Higher Education

Increase GER to 50 % by 2035

NEP 2020 aims to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education including vocational education from 26.3% (2018) to 50% by 2035. 3.5 Crore new seats will be added to Higher education institutions.

Holistic Multidisciplinary Education

The policy envisages broad based, multi-disciplinary, holistic Under Graduate  education with flexible curriculacreative combinations of subjectsintegration of vocational education and  multiple entry and exit points with appropriate certification. UG education can be of 3 or 4 years with multiple exit options and appropriate certification within this period. For example,  Certificate after 1 year, Advanced Diploma after 2 years, Bachelor’s Degree after 3 years and Bachelor’s with Research after 4 years.

An Academic Bank of Credit is to be established for digitally storing academic credits earned from different  HEIs so that these can be transferred and counted towards final degree earned.

Multidisciplinary Education and Research Universities (MERUs), at par with IITs, IIMs, to  be set up as models  of best multidisciplinary education of global standards in the country.

The National Research Foundation will be created as an apex body for fostering a strong research culture and building research capacity across higher education.

Regulation

Higher Education Commission of India(HECI) will be set up as a single overarching umbrella body the for entire higher education, excluding medical and legal education. HECI to have  four independent verticals  – National Higher Education Regulatory Council (NHERC) for regulation, General Education Council (GEC ) for standard setting, Higher Education Grants Council (HEGC) for funding,  and National Accreditation Council( NAC) for accreditation. HECI will  function through faceless intervention through technology, & will have powers to penalise HEIs not conforming to norms and standards. Public and private higher education institutions will be governed by the same set of norms for regulation, accreditation and academic standards.

Rationalised Institutional Architecture

Higher education institutions will be transformed into large, well resourced, vibrant multidisciplinary institutions  providing  high quality teaching, research, and community engagement. The definition of university will allow a spectrum of institutions that range from Research-intensive Universities to Teaching-intensive Universities and Autonomous degree-granting Colleges. 

Affiliation of colleges is to be phased out in 15 years and a stage-wise mechanism is to be established for granting graded autonomy to colleges. Over a period of time, it is envisaged that every college would develop into either an Autonomous degree-granting College, or a constituent college of a university.

Motivated, Energized, and Capable Faculty

NEP makes recommendations for motivating, energizing, and building capacity of  faculty thorughclearly defined, independent, transparent recruitment , freedom to design curricula/pedagogy, incentivising excellence, movement into institutional leadership. Faculty not delivering on basic norms will be held accountable

Teacher Education

A new and comprehensive National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education, NCFTE 2021, will be formulated by the NCTE in consultation with NCERT. By 2030, the minimum degree qualification for teaching will be a 4-year integrated B.Ed. degree .Stringent action will be taken against substandard stand-alone Teacher Education Institutions (TEIs).

Mentoring Mission

A National Mission for Mentoring will be established, with a large pool of outstanding senior/retired faculty – including those with the ability to teach in Indian languages – who would be willing to provide short and long-term mentoring/professional support to university/college teachers.

Financial support for students

Efforts will be made to incentivize the merit of students belonging to SC, ST, OBC, and other SEDGs. The National Scholarship Portal will be expanded to support, foster, and track the progress of students receiving scholarships. Private HEIs will be encouraged to offer larger numbers of free ships and scholarships to their students.

Open and Distance Learning

Thiswill be expanded to play a significant role in increasing GER. Measures such as online courses and digital repositories, funding for research, improved student services, credit-based recognition of MOOCs, etc., will be taken to ensure it is at par with the highest quality in-class programmes.

Online Education and Digital Education:

A comprehensive set of recommendations for promoting online education consequent to the recent rise in epidemics and pandemics in order to ensure preparedness with alternative modes of quality education whenever and wherever traditional and in-person modes of education are not possible, has been covered. A dedicated unit for the purpose of orchestrating the building of digital infrastructure, digital content and capacity building will be created in the MHRD to look after the e-education needs of both school and higher education.

Technology in education

 An autonomous body, the National Educational Technology Forum (NETF), will be created to provide a platform for the free exchange of ideas on the use of technology to enhance learning, assessment, planning, administration. Appropriate integration of technology into all levels of education will be done to improve classroom processes, support teacher professional development, enhance educational access for disadvantaged groups and streamline educational planning, administration and management

Promotion of Indian languages

To ensure the preservation, growth, and vibrancy of all Indian languages, NEP recommends setting an Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation (IITI), National Institute (or Institutes) for Pali, Persian and Prakrit, strengthening of Sanskrit and all language departments in HEIs,  and use mother tongue/local language as a medium of instruction in more HEI  programmes .

Internationalization of education will be facilitated through both institutional collaborations, and student and faculty mobility and allowing entry of top world ranked Universities to open campuses in our country.

Professional Education

All professional education will be an integral part of the higher education system. Stand-alone technical universities, health science universities, legal and agricultural universities etc will aim to become multi-disciplinary institutions.

Adult Education

Policy  aims to achieve 100% youth and adult literacy.

Financing Education

The Centre and the States will work together to increase the public investment in Education sector to reach 6% of GDP at the earliest.

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La Vendedora de Rosas

La Vendedora de Rosas or The Rose Seller, a brutal Columbian movie by Victor Gaviria. Loosely based on a story by Hans Christian Anderson it depicts the lives of young girls in a crime infested, drug infested suburb of Columbia. Children who run away from their homes because of violence in their homes get caught into the drug gangs racket, sniffing glue and trying to eke a living in a violent poverty ridden world. Monica is the fulcrum of the story, brilliantly played by Leidy Tabares, she is the one around whom the other girls revolve a sort of an unofficial leader of them. In comes Andrea all of 10 years old, also run away from a violent home. The girls have to be smart to survive in this squalid world where young boys are constantly looking to take advantage of them. All of them have one soft spot, for Monica it is her dead grandmother whom she had loved very much. A sort of Salaam Bombay kinda movie it delves into a Columbian life where violence is a just a few seconds away. A lot of scenes in the movie is quite realistic. Gaviria has managed to extract quite brilliant performances from all the kids in the movie.  

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A billion colour story

A subtly optimistic movie against the backdrop of fundamentalist forces trying to wreck society. Imran Aziz and his wife Parvaty are film makers, they have a 11 year old precocious son and trying to make a film in India. Finances are a problem but before that they have a problem with finding accommodation in Mumbai. Everything is tied to religion. Ghettoisation is the norm.  There are subtle hints and then there are aggressive threats. But Imran is a perennial optimist his wife not so much, the kid is puzzled at what’s going on.  Finally he lands some finance with a guy but that person is knocked off because he is opposed to fascist forces and has been vocal on social media. There is more tragedy in the end and there is hope and optimism also in the end, that all is not lost in this billion land. Very subtly made movie, there is not much an element of violence except for a scuffle in the society compound. All the actors have done a fine job, all of them small time actors, but they have performed quite well. Rashmi Somvanshi looks quite dazzling, Dhruva Padmakumar as the kid and Gaurav Sharma as Imran Aziz have done super roles.

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A Star is Born

This is not the 2018 version of the film, but the first version that was made in 1937 by William A Wellman and starring Janet Gaynor, Frederic March among others. Well, don’t know how the other versions petered out, but i guess it should be more or less the same. Esther Blodgett (Janet Gaynor in an award winning performance) yearns to be a movie star and runs away from her home to Hollywood to become one, encouraged by her grandmother. A chance encounter with a fading movie star Norman Maine (Frederic March) gives her a foot room in the movies and she latches onto it. Meanwhile she and Norman fall in love but while her fortunes are on the ascendancy, his goes down plus he gets into drunken brawl, gets arrested and all. A beautiful story of love and tragedy between two people with the bitter press and jealousies getting in between them. Apparently it is a kind of a cult classic, which it has been made four times so far. 

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Tokyo Story

Beautiful, compassionate, poignant story about aged parents visiting their children in Tokyo but the children being indifferent to them and at times hostile as well. Yasuhiro Ozu’s beautiful movie Tokyo Story made in 1953 in black and white and a cult classic all these years. 


The retired aged couple who live in a distant village have two sons and two daughters and one son who had died so his widow survives him. One son lives in Osaka and others in Tokyo. One daughter lives with them only in their village where she is a school teacher in a school. In Tokyo they all have very busy lives struggling to make a living. Taking even half day off from work becomes impossible at times. Then they have grandchildren as well. So they are visiting the children after many years and look forward to it. Initially the children welcome them but later they become indifferent which the aged couple are quick to spot and realise it. Their daughter in law however is quite warm and friendly with them. After a short visit the aged couple return back to their home but the mother falls while in the train and has to deboard at Osaka where they visit their other son. Later on they come back to their village and the mother again falls ill. Its a beautifully made moving film and very subtle messages of love and affection. There is a beautiful dialogue in the movie which is “you can only love your parents while they are alive, and you cannot carry your respect to them to their grave”. The Japanese is a beautiful lilting language, very pleasing to hear and the pronunciation is very clear. It is a timeless classic from the Japanese director. The Japanese say Arigato or thank you numerous times. All the characters have played good roles, so its difficult to single out anybody.  Cheiko Higashiyama as the mother has played a stellar role in the movie. 

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Sambizanga

Sambizanga, an Angolan film (1972) directed by Sarah Maldoror. Set in Angola during the colonial rule by Portugese, the film depicts a construction worker Domingos Xavier being arrested by the police on suspicions of being a political activist. He has a wife and an infant kid. His wife Maria sets out to find her husband going from one prison to another. Domingos meanwhile is taken as a political prisoner and kept in a prison in a suburb of Luanda called Sambizanga where he is tortured to reveal the names of his co-conspirators. But he refuses till the end. Story somewhat like out Bhagat Singh during the freedom struggle of independence. 


Sarah has used mostly amateur actors in the film. Some of the scenes especially the torture scenes are realistic. Language used is mostly Angolan or a local dialect though i suspect even Portugese is used in the film. Both Domingos Olivera (Domingos Xavier) and Elisa Andrade (Maria) have done a creditable role. There is a realism to the film. Sarah Moldorer was an assistant to Gillo Pontocorvo who made the acclaimed “Battle of Algiers” another political film in 1966. 

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Andrei Rublev

Andrei Tarkovsky’s iconic cult film Andrei Rublev on the life of Russia’a greatest painter of Christian icons and frescoes in the 14th to early 15th century. The painter Andrei Rublev lived sometime between 1360 and 1430. In the film Andrei Rublev (played by Anatoly Solonitsyn to a great performance) is not shown actually painting anything and none of his art is shown until the actual Rublev paintings at the very end of the movie. Tarkovsky tells the story in parts moving from one episode to another. Christainity and Christain paintings were apparently not liked by the Russian princes of that era who frequently came and ransacked the churches, destroyed the paintings and the town and killed people and raped women. Then there were the Tartars who had Mongoloid features different from the Russians and they were also enemies of Christianity or did not understand them much. Pretty much there is lot of violence in the movie but not of the Tarantino kind. Tarkovsky has a different canvas. His shots of horses moving across the plateaus were magnificent. When the Russian princes ransack a church in which Andrei Rublev is hiding along with many others and many are then killed, Rublev manages to kill one Russian who is attempting to take a women upstairs apparently to rape her. Then Rublev goes silent to atone for his sin of having killed somebody. 


This movie is something of a cult classic among movie connoisseurs and Andrei Tarkovsky is also a kind of a cult movie director. This movie was made in 1966 at the height of the cold war when Russia was USSR and Leonid Brezhnev was the President. As with all iconoclastic movies, this also faced the wrath of the Russian censors for many years. 

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consumer disputes redressal commission

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs has notified the Consumer Protection (Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission) Rules, 2020 on 15th July, 2020.

Basically these Rules cover the procedural functions of the Commission like 
sittings of the National Commission;

manner of authentication of goods for analysis and testing;

fee for making complaints;

electronic filing of complaints;

Where compensation order has been passed and the complainants are not identifiable, then such compensation shall be credited to the Consumer Welfare Fund;

procedure for filing and conducting of appeal matters before the State Commission and National Commission;

procedure in respect of direct complaints to the National Commission;


Since these are very procedural and technical matters pertaining to how the Commission functions, i am not going to detail of each clause and regulation. 

Copy of the regulation can be found here i.e. https://consumeraffairs.nic.in/acts-and-rules/consumer-protection

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consumer protection mediation

Ministry of Consumer Affairs has notified the Consumer Protection (Mediation) Rules, 2020 on 15th July, 2020.


Mediation has been provided for in section 74 of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019. There will be a Mediation Cell in each District Commission and State Commission. Each Mediation Cell shall have a panel of mediators who shall be appointed on the recommendations of a selection committee comprising of the President and member of that commission. Each mediation cell shall have support staff and administrative assistance. 


What matters cannot be referred to mediation is specified. These are

(a) the matters relating to proceedings in respect of medical negligence resulting in grievous injury or death; 

(b) matters which relate to defaults or offences for which applications for compounding of offences have been made by one or more parties; 

(c) cases involving serious and specific allegations of fraud, fabrication of documents, forgery, impersonation, coercion; 

(d) cases relating to prosecution for criminal and non-compoundable offences; 

(e) cases which involve public interest or the interest of numerous persons who are not parties before the Commission: 

Even outside these specified cases, the Commission can decide to not to refer such cases to mediation, if it appears to the Commission that any settlement is impossible to obtain in a particular case or that mediation is not the appropriate remedy considering the circumstances of the case concerned. 

In case settlement is reached at pursuant to mediation, then the parties shall be entitled to receive refund of their full application fees in respect of that complaint. 

While the mediation is in progress the parties have no power to resort to arbitral or judicial proceedings to decide the same case. 

Any settlement arrived at shall not be discharged upon the death of any of the parties. It shall be carried forward and enforced against the heirs and successors therein. 

Copy of the notification can be found https://consumeraffairs.nic.in/acts-and-rules/consumer-protection

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The Traveler Mosafer

Iranian movie (2017) made & written by Ali Hatef and starring him also in the lead role alongwith Maryan Vayghan as Mariam. Shot entirely in Los Angeles or neighbourhood Mariam comes to the US in search of her husband who is absconding after marrying her in Iran. Typical problem faced by South Asian girls also when the US groom vanishes after taking advantage of home grown girls. There is nothing much in the movie. They i.e. Ali who is a car driver and Mariam go on searching for that man. There are few Persian words which are common with Hindi like choi for tea, hazaar for thousand, do for two etc. Fascinating to hear the language spoken, otherwise there is nothing in the movie to recommend.

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Bowling for Columbine

Brilliant hard hitting documentary film (2002) by Michael Moore about the gun culture and what is wrong with that. The film starts with Michael opening a bank account in  a small town and getting a free gun in exchange. Strangely everything wrong with that – guns being given free in exchange for opening a bank account. Then it goes on to the Oklahoma bombings and the Columbine school massacre and various other school shootings including a 6 year old kid shooting another 6 year old kid. Moore delves into what is wrong with American culture, the fear of everybody by Americans, their supposedly violent history which he contradicts by saying that other countries have had much more violent historical past. At one point, he also refers to Gandhi who overthrew an entire British empire without shooting a gun. The film explores everything that is wrong with America today including their racism, their fear, their violence on the telly, the non stop 24/7 TV coverage of events, their leaders’ penchant for destroying other countries. He then goes to Canada and does an analysis of why there are’nt so many shootings in Canada compared to US. In the end he has an interview with Charles Heston, the film actor (of western roles) cum President of the National Rifle Association, who could not give any satisfactory replies to Moore. Brilliant documentary for anybody to watch. 

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exit option to ReIT/ InvIT holders

SEBI has vide two identical circulars dated 17th July, 2020 made rules giving exit option to dissenting holders in Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and Infrastructure Investment Trusts (INvIT).

Dissenting unit holders means those who have not voted in favour of the resolution under regulation 22(6A) or regulation 22(8) of the SEBI (REIT) Regulations or Regulation 22(5C) or Regulation 22(7) of the SEBI (InvIT) Regulations. 

These sub regulations pertain to trustee and investment manager seeking delisting of the units and securing approval of the unit holders for the same AND change in sponsor or designated sponsor or change in control of sponsor or designated sponsor and seeking approval of the unit holders for the same. 

Under both these exit option regulations, detailed provisions have been made in respect of what acquirer and investment manager is required to do in sequential fashion, the escrow account to be created, price to be arrived at, Letter of Offer to be given, meeting to be convened of the unit holders for voting and submission of compliance report thereon. 

SEBI circulars can be found on SEBI site.

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Aakrosh

Revisited the 1980 Govind Nihalani arthouse movie Aakrosh starring Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri, Amrish Puri, Smita Patil (in a brief role). Written by Vijay Tendulkar the film revolves around the alleged murder of his wife by an adivasi wood cutter. Naseer takes up the case as his first lawyerly assignment as the court assigned defence counsel with Amrish Puri acting as the prosecution counsel. There are a series of mysterious incidents involving Naseer which leads him to believe that all that is related to the case. Nihalani has managed to put in an under current of Hitchcockian suspense throughout the movie. Classic case of upper caste domination over the adivasis and trampling of their rights to justice. It is a deadly movie by any standards. The intensity of Naseer and Om Puri is stunning in its magnificience. Superb screenplay and camera work. Govind Nihalani has gone on to direct such brilliant movies as Ardh Satya, Tamas, Party among others. 

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insurance claims

IRDA has issued a circular dated 16th July, 2020 wherein they have recognised make shift or temporary hospitals erected during the covid pandemic by the respective governments as recognised hospitals and claims to be allowed in respect thereto. Further where any network hospital provider has made arrangements for such make shift or temporary hospitals, such hospitals shall also be considered for cash less claims. 
This is a very important advisory from IRDA in respect of claims during covid pandemic. 
Gist of the circular is as below:

   Reference is invited to IRDAI circular Ref. No: IRDAI/HLT/REG/CIR/054/03/2020 dated 04th March, 2020, specifying guidelines on handling of claims reported under Covid-19.

2.        In view of increase in number of COVID-19 cases, in order to leverage on the extant healthcare systems put in place, it is important to recognise the make-shift or temporary hospitals permitted by Government for settlement of health insurance claims for insurance companies.

3.        In the above backdrop, in order to ensure that the costs of treatment of COVID – 19 are covered as per the terms and conditions of policy contract, a make-shift or temporary hospital permitted by Central / State government shall be regarded as a hospital or network provider and insurers shall settle the claims as per the following norms.

a)      Where a policyholder who is diagnosed as Covid-19 positive is admitted into any such make-shift or temporary hospital on the advice of a medical practitioner or appropriate Government authorities, notwithstanding the definition of hospital specified in the terms and conditions of policy contract, the treatment costs shall be settled by insurers. 

b)      Where any network provider has set up any such make-shift or temporary hospital, such make-shift or temporary hospital shall be regarded as the extension of the network provider and cashless facility shall be made available.  

4.        Insurers are advised to expedite settlement of all such claims in accordance to the applicable regulatory framework.

5.        All insurers are also advised to incorporate the above norms in claim guidelines and inform to all the TPAs immediately.

6.        These guidelines shall come in to force with immediate effect.

7.        These guidelines are issued under the powers vested with Regulation 27 (vi) of IRDAI (Health Insurance) Regulations, 2016 read with Section 34 (1) of Insurance Act, 1938.

Copy of the IRDA circular can be found here

https://www.irdai.gov.in/ADMINCMS/cms/Circulars_Layout.aspx?page=PageNo4189

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