Enforce Work For Home For Private Sector Employees: Centre Requests State Governments (Photo Credit: File Image)
In a slew measures to contain the spread novel coronavirus in India, the government has requested the state governments to enforce work from home for private sector employees except those working in emergency/essential services. Earlier, the government had asked its employees to work from home till April 4. According to an order issued by the Union Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions today, heads of department (HoDs) have been asked to ensure that 50% of Group B and C employees are required to attend office every day, and the remaining 50% staff should be instructed to work from home. All HoDs have been advised to draft a weekly roster of duty for Group B and C staff and ask them to attend office on alternate weeks.
While deciding the roster for the first week, HoDs are advised to include officials who are residing in close proximity to their office or use their own transport to travel to the offices. These measures are part of a move to control the spread of coronavirus. In the private sector, several companies across India have already asked employees to work from home as far as possible. "The officials who are working from home on a particular day as per the roster drawn up should be available on telephone and electronic means of communication at all times. They should attend office, if called for any exigency of work," the order said.
Direction For Senior Citizens And Children:
The government has also asked state governments to issue appropriate directions so that all citizens above 65 (other than for medical assistance) except for public representatives /government servants/medical professionals are advised to remain at home. The government has further added that all children below 10 should be advised to stay at home and not to venture out. Railways and civil aviation shall suspend all concessional travel except for students, patients and divyang category.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also chaired a high-level meeting to review the ongoing efforts to contain COVID-19. He emphasised on actively engaging with individuals, local communities and organizations in chalking out mechanisms to fight the COVID-19.
ICSE Board Exams Postponed In View Of Coronavirus Outbreak
In a last minute-decision, the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) postponed class 10 and 12 examinations, which were to start from Thursday, in view of the coronavirus outbreak. With the class 12 sociology exam scheduled to be held at 2 pm, the announcement was made at 10 am.
The HRD Ministry had on Wednesday ordered the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), University Grants Commission (UGC) and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to postpone their exams till March 31, saying the safety of students and staff were as important as following the exam calendar.
The CISCE had on Wednesday said that it has not received any directive from the government and the exams would be held according to schedule.
However in an official order on Thursday morning, CISCE Chief Executive Gerry Arathoon said, “In view of coronavirus spreading across the country and with such uncertainty and speculation in air, the Council, in the interest of health wellbeing of student and staff, has decided to postpone ICSE and ISC examinations to be conducted between March 19 and March 31.”