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Punjab farmers end rail blockade, to protest against ministers

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Chandigarh: Punjab farmers demanding better compensation for losses due to whitefly pest attack on cotton crop ended on Tuesday the week-long rail blockade and decided to protest against state ministers.

After a meeting of eight farmers’ organisations here, the ‘rail roko’ (railway blockade) was called off on the seventh day. The protest had hit hundreds of trains.

“We have decided to end the rail roko. We will now ‘gherao’ Punjab ministers at their residences and other functions,” Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Jagmohan Singh said here.

The rail blockade had affected over 800 trains in Punjab over the past week, putting thousands of passengers to inconvenience.

The Monday meeting was held after talks between farmers’ leaders and the Punjab government, led by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, on Monday failed to end the deadlock.

The government said it was not in a position to accept the demands of the agitating farmers, government sources said.

Badal reiterated that the Akali Dal-BJP alliance government was committed to the welfare of farmers and farm labourers.

Akali Dal leader and MP Prem Singh Chandumajra said the meeting was held in a “positive atmosphere”.

Over 800 trains, including the Samjhauta Express train between India and Pakistan, were cancelled or diverted due to the agitation by farmers.

Thousands of train passengers were stranded. The loss to the railways and other agencies is said to be over Rs.100 crore.

Agitating farmers are demanding compensation of Rs.40,000 per acre for loss of cotton crop, purchase of basmati rice at the minimum support price and immediate release of payments to sugarcane growers.

(IANS)

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Overall Hiring Activity in India Declines by 18%

Recruitment activities across all experience levels saw a negative growth

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Job
Recruitment activities across all experience levels saw a negative growth. Pixabay

Overall hiring activity in India declined by 18 per cent in March, with travel and airlines, hospitality and retail industries witnessing a massive 56 per cent drop in offering jobs as compared to March last year, leading job portal Naukri.com said on Tuesday.

The retail sector saw 50 per cent drop in hiring, followed by auto/ancillary (38 per cent), pharma (26 per cent), insurance (11 per cent), accounting/finance (10 per cent), IT-software (9 per cent) and BFSI (9 per cent), according to the ‘Naukri JobSpeak Index’ for March 2020.

According to Pawan Goyal, Chief Business Officer at Naukri.com, the hiring activity for the first 20 days on March 2020 saw only a 5 per cent decline. “However, due to the nationwide lockdown, there was a substantial drop in recruitment activity in the last 10 days, which resulted in overall drop of 18 per cent in hiring,” said Goyal.

The hiring activity showed early signs of slowdown starting from January where the index grew by only 5.75 per cent, followed by no growth in February. The job market across cities registered a dip in hiring activity.

The decline was led by metros, wherein Delhi declined by 26 per cent, followed by Chennai and Hyderabad at 24 per cent and 18 per cent, respectively. In Delhi/NCR, pharma industry saw a dip in hiring by 66 per cent and 43 per cent, respectively.

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Recruitment activities across all experience levels saw a negative growth. The demand for professionals in hospitality (63 per cent), banking (28 per cent), accounting (23 per cent) and IT-Hardware (22 per cent) sectors marked a substantial negative growth in the Capital.

Overall, there was an across the board decline in hiring activity at experience levels as well with senior experience bands (over 13 years of experience) witnessing the sharpest decline of 29 per cent while the entry-level experience band (0 to 7 years) saw a decline of 16 per cent.

Some of the key industries like IT, BPO/ITES, BFSI and accounting/finance that form a significant base of hiring activity in India within the white collar segment have shown a lesser decline during these unprecedented times.

Naukri
Overall hiring activity in India declined by 18 per cent in March, with travel and airlines, hospitality and retail industries witnessing a massive 56 per cent drop in offering jobs as compared to March last year, leading job portal Naukri.com said on Tuesday. Wikimedia Commons

As compared to the overall ‘JobSpeak’ index decline of 18 per cent during March 2020, the hiring activity in IT-software industry declined by 9 per cent, IT-hardware by 7 per cent, accounting/finance by 10 per cent, BFSI by 9 per cent and BPO/ITES by 1 per cent.

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New jobs for professionals in the hotel/restaurants, ticketing/travel/airlines and marketing/advertising/MR/PR sectors witnessed a dip of 51 per cent, 48 per cent and 33 per cent, respectively. Functional roles in HR/administration (29 per cent), banking/insurance (23 per cent), sales/business development (20 per cent) and IT-software (16 per cent) also witnessed a decline.

“It is a great time for jobseekers to upskill themselves be leveraging e-learning,” said Goyal. (IANS)