Hello, this is your daily dose of news from Onmanorama. I'm your host, Haritha, and these are the major news stories of the day:
1.Hema Commission moots equal pay, better security for women in cinema; WCC calls talks disappointing
2. RBI increases interest rate by 40 bps to 4.40% in the first hike since May 2020
3.Has K-Rail fallen for the trap set by Japan,
Second SilverLine debate sees brutal attack on methods deployed by Krail
4. Kerala HC takes suo moto case over fatal food poisoning incident in Kasaragod, autopsy report confirms Shigella infection
5. Flags hoisted at Thrissur Pooram festival; full-fledged event on May 10
6. India reports 3205 new Covid cases, 31 fatalities
Let's get into the details:
1. Justice Hema Commission constituted in the wake of the February 2017 abduction and rape of a leading actor has recommended making movie producers responsible for providing safe accommodation and transport to women in the film industry.
A meeting convened by Minister for Culture Saji Cherian discussed the commission's major recommendations as part of formulating laws to ensure the safety of women in the Malayalam film industry. While the representatives of the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes or AMMA called the discussion fruitful, members of the Women in Cinema Collective termed the talks “disappointing.
A few of the recommendations include:
Making cinema locations and other related areas are free of drugs and alcohol.
Equal pay for both male and female artists and others involved in movie making, and to make written contracts mandatory
Steps should be initiated to prevent lewd and indecent behaviour towards women
Setting up of an exclusive judicial tribunal to settle disputes
2. The Reserve Bank of India increased the benchmark lending rate by 40 basis points (bps) to 4.40 per cent in a bid to contain inflation, which has remained stubbornly above the target zone of 6 per cent for the last three months.
While the inflation has remained above the targetted 6 per cent since January, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said the inflation print in April is also likely to be high.
The central bank had last revised its policy repo rate or the short-term lending rate on May 22, 2020, in an off-policy cycle to perk up demand by cutting the interest rate to a historic low of 4 per cent.
3.The second SilverLine debate held in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday saw a brutal attack on the methods employed by Kerala Rail Development Corporation (K-Rail) to push for the SilverLine semi high speed project.
This joint venture between Kerala government and the Ministry of Railways was accused of fudging most of the cost estimates in the SilverLine DPR and of drawing up an alignment without doing the mandatory scientific studies.
Problem was, there was no one from K-Rail to rebut these charges. The debate was organised by Janakeeya Pratirodha Samithi.
Former Indian Railway Service officer Alok Kumar Verma, who was also the lead consultant of the SilverLine pre-feasibility study, was the wrecker in chief. "K-Rail is trapped in its own unworkable ideas, " Verma said.
The former IRS officer said making a standalone rail on standard gauge and locating the new stations away from the city were unviable concepts.
IT expert Joseph C Mathew, who was kept out of the first debate, said that the estimated per kilometre charge for SilverLine was ₹ 3.90.
Mathew said SilverLine could never be called a public transport project. "The CPM had dubbed the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train Modi's pet elitist project. SilverLine is similar in nature," he said
4. The Kerala High Court on Wednesday took suo moto cognizance of the food poisoning case which killed a teenager in Cheruvathur of Kanhangad, Kasaragod on Sunday.
The case was taken on the basis of the media reports on the issue. The court has sought clarification from the Food and Safety Commissioner and Health Department on the issue.
Meanwhile, the autopsy report of teen girl Devananda, who died of food-poisoning after consuming shawarma at an eatery confirmed that Shigella infection led to her death.
"The food poisoning in Cheruvathur was caused by Shigella bacteria," Dr A V Ramdas, Kasaragod District Medical Officer informed.
Devananda, who had shawarma from an eatery at Cheruvathur on Friday, passed away on Sunday while undergoing treatment at the hospital. There are at least 57 persons admitted to various hospitals in Kannur and Kasaragod districts in Kerala and nearby Mangalore in Karnataka state with similar symptoms.
5.Thrissur Pooram, one of Kerala's most popular and most attended temple festivals kick-started on Wednesday with the ritualistic flag hoisting at two temples in the district. The week-long festival will reach it's peak on Pooram Day, on May 10.
The festival held annually at the Vadakkunnathan Temple in Thrissur, which is popular for huge gatherings, had been scaled down the last two years due to the pandemic.
Be sure to catch the event live on May 10 on Onmanorama.
6. India reported 3,205 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday, pushing the number of active cases to 19,509, according to an update by the Union Health Ministry.
The data released at 8 am also showed that 31 fatalities -- 29 of them from Kerala alone -- were reported in a 24-hour span.
The daily positivity rate was recorded at 0.98 per cent while the weekly figure was recorded at 0.76 per cent.
An increase of 372 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload which now stand at 19,509.
That brings us to the end of this episode. Be sure to come back tomorrow. As always, thanks for listening to Daily News Dose.