The Union government has brought back roughly 17,500 Indians stranded abroad on Vande Bharat flights. Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora is one of them. Arora left for the US in the first week of March on a personal visit. He was initially expected to be back in the first week of April. However, once India shut down its airspace for international and domestic commercial flights, he was stranded there. Arora is learnt to have arrived in Delhi over the weekend and is following the government-mandated quarantine protocol.
The Fee Question
With the lockdown posing economic hardships for many families, the HRD Ministry had last month requested centrally-run technical institutions such as IITs, NITs and IIITs to not increase their tuition fee this year and the institutions agreed. Interestingly, no such appeal was issued to the IIMs, which charge the highest tuition fee (running into lakhs) among all centrally-run educational institutions. Before the COVID-19 outbreak, many IIMs had decided to increase their fee for the postgraduate programme and there hasn’t been any official announcement of a rollback from any of them.
On the first day of lockdown 4.0, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla held a meeting in the chamber of the Chairman and discussed, among other things, the issue of holding virtual meetings of Parliamentary Committees. This was the second meeting of the Presiding Officers of both Houses of Parliament on the matter. They had first discussed the issue on May 7.
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