Monday, 03 August 2020 - Imphal Times

IT News
Imphal, Aug. 3: 

Chief Minister N. Biren Singh inaugurated a 300 bedded Covid Care Centre (CCC) at Manipur Trade and Expo Centre, Lamboi khongnang khong in Imphal West District today.
Briefing the media persons, Chief Minister stated that there is evidence of local transmission of COVID-19, however there is no community transmission of the disease in the State. He maintained that awareness among the people is very much needed to contain further spread of the disease. He also appealed to the people to come out openly for early treatment instead of concealing their COVID-19 status if tested positive.
The Chief Minister said that presently, a total of 300 beds have been installed in the CCC, Lamboi khongnang khong and it will be upgraded to a 1000-bedded Centre as it has enough space for extension. He appreciated the Health Department and other officials for setting up the Covid Care Centre so that infected people can get timely treatment.
Deputy Chief Minister Y. Joykumar and Health Minister L. Jayantakumar, Chief Secretary Dr. Rajesh Kumar, Principal Secretary (Health) V. Vumlunmang, Director (Health) Dr. K. Rajo and other officials were present during the function.

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IT News

Imphal, Aug 3:

Demanding to handover the Lhukhosei Zou drug haul case to CBI, volunteers of the Ningol Club started poster campaign today and staged protest at Heirok Part –II market. Ningol Club is a civil body formed by like minded ladies of the state to fight the social menace.

Speaking to reporters Secretary General of the Ningol Club Yaiphabi Ningthoujam said that government should act by understanding the sentiments of the people by handing over the case of drug lord kingpin  Lhukhosei Zou to Central Bureau of Investigation. She said that the government should not try to protect the drug lord who had attempted to spoil the society. She said Zou, the virus of the society should be punished as per the law of the land.

If the drug lord is not punished what is the use of the War on Drug , the Ningol Club secretary questioned.

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IT News

Imphal, Aug 3:

The All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU) today showed serious concern to the July 6 announcement by the UGC to complete terminal semester examination by September. A press statement by the student body said that a case has been pending in the Supreme Court in challenging the new guidelines of the UGC and hearing is scheduled on August 10. The Court also directed the Home Ministry to submit its stand in connection with the UGC guidelines. 

 A statement issued by Bruce Pebam, Human Resource Development Secretary,                                                                                             AMSU Headquarters, said that over 18 lakhs people have been affected by COVID-19 pandemic in the country and in Manipur too there are cases of fatalities due to the pandemic. This is the time that we the people should prepared well to fight the virus by following the guidelines of the WHO to fight the pandemic.

As per the guidelines of the UGC, the Manipur University had also issued notification for conducting the terminal semester examination of the Under Graduate and Postgraduate from the 1st week of September along with the time table.  The AMSU said that conducting examination by lifting the lockdown risky for the students. On the other hand conducting exam without classes for even two months which should be conducted for three months is not fair, the AMSU statement said. As per the guidelines of the UGC the examination can be conducted, online, ofline or blened mode but for the Manipur state no proper guidelines has been framed so far.  Before conducting the exam guidelines for conducting the exam by maintaining the SOP should be framed by expert committee.

The MASU appealed the Manipur University authority to review the decision to hold terminal exam for the Undergraduate and postgraduate semester exam.

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IT News

Imphal, Aug 3:

State cabinet has approved time scale promotion scheme for teachers (Assistant Professor and Associate Professor) of JNIMS which is in the nature of a flexible completion scheme wherein no additional posts are created is being proposed.

As per a letter to the director JNIMS by the From the Deputy Secretary(Health & FW), Government of Manipur, it is stated that The existing persons on the basis of critical assessment are promoted to the next higher level, or scales are upgraded without altering the combined authorized strength of posts. The key features of the proposed scheme are as follows :-

(i)         For Promotion to professor from Associate Professor the appointing Authority shall upgrade 22% of total regular posts of Associate Professor to grade of Professor.

(ii)        Requirements for research publications, number of years of service in Assistant/Associate Professor etc shall strictly be as per MCI guidelines issued from time to time

(iii)       Promoted officers shall be placed en-block junior to those who are already holding the post of Associate Professor or regular basis.

(iv)       Such officers carrying personal promotion shall be subsequently adjusted against identified specific posts in their own specially on availability of clear vacancies.

(v)        Provided that the total number of Associate Professors in position shall not exceed the total number of Assistant Professors in position.

(vi)       Screening for time scale promotion will be done the selection Board headed by Chief Secretary as contained in the JNIMS service rules.

Amendment of rules 7(C) of time scale promotion rules, 2018 as follows :

“Not more than 50% of the sanctioned strength of the SRs/.Tutors/Demonstration/  Lady Medical Officers shall be upgraded in a year Actual up-gradation will depend on the SRs/Demonstrators/Lady Medical Officers fulfilling the requirements for Assistant Professors prescribed by MCI from time to time”

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Even as the government of Manipur and its concerned department still deny community transmission of COVID-19 in the state, the way that people are being infected indicates that the dreaded virus has already started spreading at the community level.
Speaker of the Manipur Legislative Assembly, Yumnam Khemchand had accepted it. He had said that the virus has started spreading at the community level while speaking during a valedictory function of the quarantine center opened at Manipur College, Imphal on Sunday. Some Civil Society leaders had also said that community transmission of COVID-19 has already begun and is in the initial stage. Many people including experts have similar views and why shouldn’t it be with the various circumstances shreds of evidence of people being tested positive with the virus.
The virus was first traced to returnees from outside the state. There were rumours about lapses of management at the quarantine centers, which is mandatory for all returnees, and some believed many volunteers had contacted the virus from the quarantine centers who then spread to their families and localities. Today, there are many persons infected by the virus who neither have travel history nor came into close contact with infected persons.This is most worrying scenerio which hints towards contraction of the deadly virus from nowhere - a case of community transmission.
There was not that much panic among the people when front-liner health workers contracted the virus from those infected persons whom they treated, however, when persons without travelling record or contact tracing with those infected tests positive with the virus, it is common sense to be panic. And it is obvious that people assume the virus now spread at the community level. There are now possibilities that any person get infected if proper precautionary measures other then freezing the normal life has been taken up.
Now, what matters is why the state health department cannot accept the reality when even the speaker of Manipur Legislative Assembly himself had accepted that the virus is spreading at the community level. And moreover why is the government reluctant to accept death of patients with Covid-19. However, it turned reality. They should not fear criticism of general public. What is matter is sincerity in meeting the challenges.
Is it because that announcement of the virus to have been spreading at community level will creat chaos in the society with a tendency to sabotage the containment measures being taken up by the government?
From those returnees from outside the state, frontline workers including doctors, nurses, police have been invaded by the killer virus. It does not confine to these frontline line workers community alone, it now spreads to the staff of Manipur University, DIPR, PWD etc.
Everyday district administrations declared ‘containment zone’ at places where people are tested positive with the virus. In the Thoubal district, almost all areas have been declared as containment zone. Similar is with almost all districts of the state including Imphal East and Imphal West.
The very act of the district administrations indicates that the perception of the people about the virus being spread at the community level is true.
For around 6 months we have been experiencing the impact of the dreaded virus. After so many lockdowns and curfews, the situation is not improving but is rather deteriorating. At this crucial time ignoring the reality by the government will only worsen the situation as we cannot be imprisoned forever by way of imposition of indefinite lockdown or containment zone.
After all we can’t keep going with the government version of handkerchief, mask, etc as announced in radio and other state communication mediums. Our situation is critical now, better to refer entirely on standard WHO guidelines. They prescribed only N95 and 3 layers surgical mask. So far, no quality checking, even in the hospitals, sub-standard masks are issued.
It is time that the government accepts the reality and announces the community transmission of the virus. If the situation is declared officially, new measures and policies could be framed to let life going with the new normalcy.
It may be recalled that the World Health Organisation (WHO) had stated that its time that we learn the virus and live with it by protecting ourselves and taking up all possible measures. It is time that the government congregate all experts and frame a policy to live life without imprisoning the people. After all, we have to move on we can’t starve ouselves to death.The first step towards finding a lasting mechanism for the society will be the acknowledgment of reality.
Remember a stitch in time saves nine. It is still not late.

Published in Editorial

By- Prof. N. Rajmuhon Singh
Department of Chemistry,
Manipnr University Canchipur-795003


Introduction
The National Educational Policy has come a long way from its first formulation in 1968 followed by its modified versions of 1986 and 1992, and now the National Educational Policy 2020(the NEP 2020).
On 29th July,2020, Union Cabinet had given approval to new education policy for the 21st century. The cabinet had also approved a proposal to rename the Ministry of Human Resource Development as the Ministry of Education.
The NEP 2020 is an outcome of the most exhaustive consultations carried out by Government of India under the leadership of die modern Chanakya Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modiji.
The NEP 2020 is a landmark document which proposes several structural changes in the early as well as the higher education system. The new policy will be the key to unlock the main gate to robust education system rooted in Indian ethos in the globalized education and knowledge era.
Some important new features found in the National Education Policy 2020 are highlighted as follows.
School Education
•  NEP 2020 has set a target of achieving 100% Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in school education by 2030.
•  The NEP 2020 has provisions to ensure universal access to school education at all levels-pre school to secondary.
•  The 10+2 structure of school curricula is to be replaced by a 5+3+3+4 curricular structure corresponding to age 3-8, 8-11, 11-14 and 14-18 years respectively.
•  The school curricula and pedagogy will aim for holistic development of learners by equipping them with the key 21st century skills, reduction in curricular content to enhance essential learning and critical thinking and greater focus on experimental learning.
•  Students will have increased flexibility and choice of subjects (liberal arts). There will be no rigid separation between arts and sciences, between curricular and extra and co-curricular activities, between vocational and academic streams.
• For universal access to Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE), the Anganwadi Centers will be strengthened with high quality infrastructure, (with a well-ventilated, well-designed, child-friendly and well-constructed building), play equipment and well-trained Anganwadi workers/teachers. Funds for these programs will be provided by the central and stale governments.
• The NEP 2020 advocates for mother tongue/local language/regional language as the medium of instruction at least till Grade 5, but preferably till Grade 8 and beyond.
• A new examination system called Performance, Assessment, Review and Analysis of Knowledge (PARAK) would be introduced for students upto class IX,
• Under NEP 2020, the center will also setup a ‘Gender-Inclusive Fund’ to build country’s capacity to provide equitable quality education to all girls and transgender students, etc., etc.
Higher education
•  NEP 2020 aims to increase the Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) in higher education including vocational education from 26.3% (2018) to 50% by 2035, and there would be only one regulatory body for the higher education sector.
•  Undergraduate education is to become more broad-based, multi-disciplinary, and holistic with flexible curricula, creative combinations of subjects, integration of vocational education and multiple entry and exit points with appropriate certification. Students will get certificate after l year, advanced diploma after 2 years, Bachelor’s degree after 3 years and Bachelor’s with research after 4 years.
•   Multidisciplinary Education and Research Universities (MERUs) as par with IITs, IIMs, are going to be setup as models of best disciplinary education of global standards in the country.
• Under NEP 2020, National Research Foundation will be created as an apex body for fostering and strengthening a strong research culture and building research capacity across the country.
•  Central Advisory Board of Education will be strengthened, remodeled and rejuvenated for developing, articulating, evaluating and revising the vision of education.
•  The higher education system shall have multidisciplinary institutions of higher learning that offer undergraduate programs, with high-quality teaching, research and community engagement. As India moves towards becoming a knowledge society and economy and keeping in view of the requirements of the fourth industrial revolution, characterized by increasing proportion of employment opportunities for creative, multidisciplinary and highly skilled workforce-the higher education system under NEP 2020 must, at the earliest, be re-adjusted re-vamped, and re-energized to meet these requirements.
• Open and Distance Learning like Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) will be expanded to play a significant role in increasing GER.
• The National Educational Technology Forum (NETF) which is an autonomous body will be created to provide a platform for the free exchange of ideas on the uses of technology to improve/enhance classroom process, support teacher professional development, enhance educational access for disadvantaged groups and streaming educational planning, administration and management.
• Under NEP 2020, Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation (IITI) to be established to ensure the preservation, growth and vibrancy of all Indian Languages including classical, tribal and endangered languages.
•  All professional education will be integral part of the higher education system. Stand alone technical universities, health science universities, legal and agriculture universities etc., will aim to become multidisciplinary institutions.
•  Public and private higher education institutions (excluding medical and legal education) will be governed by the same set of norms for regulation, accreditation and academic standards which will be under the control of Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) to be set up under NEP 2020.
•  Affiliation of college 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, or a constituent college of the university.
•  Under the NEP 2020 the world’s top 100 foreign universities will be facilitated to operate in India through a new law, etc., etc.
Conclusion 
The NEP 2020 is a transformation step in the right direction on a number of fronts. However, any policy is only good as its implementation. Achieving successful implementation of this new NEP 2020 demands a long-term vision, availability of expertise on a sustained basis, and concerted actions from all concerned actors (stakeholders) encompassing national, state, institutional and individual levels. Many challenges are yet to be faced and then, make the vision a reality. If we could do so, NEP 2020 will help transform India into a ‘Global educational powerhouse’ as envisioned by the Prime Minister.

Published in Guest Column

By -Lt Col L Manongba (Indian Army veteran)

There is a favourite phrase amongst many –the New Normal. The implication of such a term, is what we need to interpret correctly and intelligently. Many eminent and wise citizens have spoken of the issue of returnees & unemployment to respective states country wide. One felt the need to add on & express further. Focussing on the state in particular, many have rightly highlighted the availability of ‘jobs in the state’ which at present are being taken up by approx 40,000 non local workforce. There has also been return of an equal number or more of youth in the age group of 25 to 40 Yrs, who had been engaged in various jobs in all parts of the country. A comprehensive data is already available with the Govt, thanks to the Covid -19 scares & our positive responses in attempts to segregate the negatives effectively. The pandemic of Covid - 19 is showing no sign of retreat and ‘series of Lock-Downs’ is probably going to stay in these parts for much longer than expected or desired.
There is an urgent need for REORIENTATION & READJUSTMENTS. The boys and girls who were in a financially ‘Self- Propelling - Mode’ pre March 2020, will certainly find it hard to reorient themselves in the kind of work that they may take up locally. These are mostly in jobs like construction sector requiring unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled labour. Masonry, carpentry, tiles work, plumbing work, electrical fitting, painting works, petty shop keeping, etc. The local boys & girls earlier worked in numerous cities, and were engaged in job sectors of private security guards, staff jobs in hotel, restaurant, shopping malls and tourism sectors. Few of them who probably were with higher educational qualifications & with knowledge of English, computer skills etc may have worked in call centres.
REORIENTATION would involve - skill training & learning which is much easier for these highly skilled youth with very observant eyes and characteristics. The other aspect of this is ‘Mental Conditioning’ - which will take more than just mere words of counsel, because such expectation would be contradictory to the very reasons why these boys and girls went out in search of opportunities.
Lastly, the favourite ‘Punching Bag’ of Non Locals taking up Local Jobs - is a universal phenomenon. To use this recently ‘Acquired’’ Weaponry in form of ILPS (Inner Line Permit System, gifted by the respected HM Shri Amit Shah), to justify ‘Cries of Foul’ in ‘inward movement’ of the much needed workforce would be Unwanted as well as Unwarranted. This movement of peoples should not be translated into a fear of being overwhelmed, however right sounding or imagined; it certainly cannot be stopped if we want developmental activities to continue. This is a worldwide activity – may be Mexico Vs USA, India Vs Bangladesh or elsewhere. Chinese movements worldwide is of course another matter altogether; that is with an intense intent of much dreaded ‘Overshadow Effect’ (refer Bertil Lintner’s World Wide Web – Chinese Migration in 21st Century).
For us, one may only attempt to regulate it legally, which is already being done by the Govt with best of intent & earnest since 01st Jan 2020. Appreciations must be credited to the Govt, both central and state. The Govt must be allowed to do what it does best.
As one understands, the purpose of ILPS regime is not for the fiduciary gains. Nor is it justified to use it as a ‘NO ENTRY’ signboard to the rest of the countrymen. This is different from RAP (Restricted Area Permit) meant for Foreign citizens visiting these areas. In both the cases, the Govt is the legal entity which is ensuring proper implementation. (As per the author Rs 1 Crore was collected as state Govt revenue, in 7 months since 01st Jan 2020 from 33,500 people who came into the state for various purposes.) If one may add, this amount may just as well meet the overhead expenses of manpower & other expenses in manning the state’s 7 ILP check gates and others. This though is welcome, but it can’t be the mainstay of our economy where 91% of Revenue comes from Central funds to the tune of Rs 16,500 Crores.)
The two major benefits of the same (ILPS) may be, safety provisions to unregulated sale / purchase of already limited space and land (which is still debatable & is subject to interpretations / implementation); Secondly & more important is the mental ‘Kavach’ suiting Xenophobic mind-set of many.
Without going into the merits and demerits of such a system, one feels that necessary workforce flowing into the state for various development works, cannot and should not be blunted by use of the new arsenal. Before that the state’s youth must learn to Re-Orient their Minds, pick up necessary tools and tackles & proceed towards the opportunities that lie ahead, if they want to survive in days of or post Covid 19.
That will be a reality of oft quoted – NEW NORMAL. Lest, the 50,000 plus & growing youth would find themselves unprepared; and there would be none else to blame except themselves. REORIENTATION (Skills and Minds) is the urgent need of the Hour.
**** The author is a socially concerned, responsible well-wisher of the state, country nation. He is President, Tri Services Ex-Servicemen Welfare Association, Manipur (TSEWA -   Manipur) & General Secretary, Armed Forces Ex-Servicemen Association Manipur (AFESAM). The contents are personal reflections. He can be contacted at mail ID - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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IT News
Guwahati, Aug 3:  

Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA) expresses grief at the demise of senior scribe Prakash Kr Jha last night (1 August 2020) at Guwahati medical college hospital. Born in Bihar and started his
career in the media with the Patna based independent nationalist English daily Indian Nation (now defunct), Jha also worked for Hindi daily Sanmarg for its Kolkata edition. Later he shifted to Guwahati to work for Hindi daily Uttarkal. Jha also worked for two prominent Hindi dailies Purbanchal Prahari and Dainik Purboday. He was proficient in translation from English to Hindi language. Jha (64) left behind his wife and three daughters with a host of well-wishers. His cremation is scheduled to take place in Bhootnath crematorium tomorrow.Prakash Kr Jha becomes the tenth Assam based media persons who died in the Covid-19 lockdown period. Earlier the printer-publisher of Asomiya Khabar (Rantu Das) died on 3 July, who incidentally became the first victim of novel corona virus infection in northeast India, said JFA president Rupam Barua and secretary Nava Thakuria, adding that Assam also lost Ripul Kalita, Manik Sarma, Pijush Kanti Das, Mozahedul Haque, Padmeswar Chitrakar, Bhaskar Dutta, Pranjal Hazarika and Dimpi Kashyap during the pandemic.

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IT News
Mumbai, Aug 3:

While Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be attending the bhoomi pujan (ground-breaking ceremony) for the Ram temple in Ayodhya on 5 August, the function will be religious and no political announcements will be made. 
According to sources, Modi will be reaching Ayodhya between 11 AM to 11.15 AM. On reaching Ayodya, he will offer prayers at “Hanuman Garhi” for about three minutes. He will be at “Hanuman Garhi” totally for 7 minutes and then will proceed to the venue of the main function. A team of SPGs has already reached Ayodhya ahead of Modi’s visit. 
The Hanumangarhi temple, is the famous temple en route to the proposed Ram temple. It was visited earlier by Rahul Gandhi in 2016, Priyanka Gandhi in 2019 and their grandmother Indira Gandhi many years ago.
 The bhoomi pujan will be done by the PM between 12:30 PM and 12:40 PM on the auspicious ‘abhijeet muhurat’. There will be limited number of VIPs on stage and at bhoomi pujan spot, given social distancing norms and Covid-19 protocols. Modi will be in Ayodhya, for nearly three hours and will leave for New Delhi by 2.30 PM. 
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad, has invited the select invitees including RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath and Ram Temple Trust head Nritya Gopal Das. Some of these VIPs are expected to speak on the occasion, the general secretary of the trust, Champat Rai, said. 
Besides, the religious heads of different faith including Shankaracharya representing Hindus, the heads of Sufi sect, Christianity, Jainism, Sikhisms, Islam and Buddhisms have been invited. The list also includes Sunni Central Waqf Board Chairman Jaffer Farukhi, local social worker Mohmed Shariff and Iqbal Ansari, the main litigant in the Ayodhya land dispute case. The invitations have been extended over telephone. 
The coronavirus situation is being closely monitored in Ayodhya where, the number of positive cases has surged, as testing has been increased ahead of the bhoomi pujan function. Many security-men posted at the Janmabhoomi premises are being tested to eliminate the possibility of any infected person on the premises. 
In Ayodhya, total cases have crossed 1194 (544 active cases). So far, 36,000 tests have been carried out and an over all positivity rate is  3% . Fourteen people have died in Ayodhya due to coronavirus while the recovery rate stands at53 percent.

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IT Correspondent
Mumbai, Aug 3:

Even as “Raksha Bandhan”, was celebrated across the country on Monday, most of the people preferred Indian rakhis and there was also a trend of purchasing them on line, due to social distancing protocol. 
According to reports, shop keepers depended on indigenous supplies and no imported Chinese rakhis were sold.  It was stated to be a big blow to China-made rakhis causing a an estimated loss to the tune of Rs 4,000 crore, to the Chinese manufacturers exporting rakhis to India. With this India also broke the myth that it cannot successfully boycott Chinese goods.
Raksha Bandhan is a traditional Hindu festival celebrated in India, Nepal and other parts of the Indian subcontinent. On this day, sisters tie rakhi or an amulet around their brothers’ wrists, as a symbol of a brother’s responsibility to care for and protect them. The festival is usually celebrated on the last day of the Hindu lunar calendar in the month of Shravana (on a full moon day).
On 10 June, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) had given a call for celebrating Rakhi as “Hindustani Rakhi” this year which has turned out to be a success. With the cooperation of CAIT around one crore, Rakhis were made across the country using Indian goods and made by women working in the commercial sectors, at homes, and in Anganwadis. 
CAIT had engaged woman artisans to prepare rakhis from seeds, pulses, rice, wheat and foodgrain, madhubani paintings, handicraft items and even cow dung. The “Modi rachis” were made in Delhi, Madhubani painting rakhi in Bihar, seed rakhi in Pune, fabric rakhi in Jaipur, tribal products rakhi in Jamshedpur (Jharkhand) and the one using tea leaves was made  in Tinsukia (Assam). 
All these years, the Chinese rakhis made of foam, faux, pearls, drops, threads and other decorative material were in great demand. 
A variety of new-designer Rakhis were made from Indian goods and this year not a single rakhi was imported from China. Even Chinese raw material was not imported. The National President of CAIT, B.C. Bhartia, and National General Secretary Praveen Khandelwal said that according to an estimate around 50 crore rakhis are sold every year at about Rs 6000 crore, while the China-made Rakhis or products worth around Rs 4000 crore were imported  were being imported, for the past many years. 
About the next step to boycott Chinese goods, Bhartia and Khandelwal said that on 9 August (Quit India movement Day),  traders from all over the country will start the “China Quit India” campaign. On this day, traders will gather at more than 800 locations across the country and shout the slogan of ‘China Quit India’.  
On the other hand, after a long wait of 500 years, on the foundation laying ceremony of the Ram temple in Ayodhya on 5 August 5, traders all over the country will light a lamp or clatter bells in their shops and homes.

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