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Mamata Banerjee rejects CPI-M charge of lack of industrialisation

Turning to annual Gangasagar mela in the district, She said her government had not only withdrawn tax that was collected by the previous government from the pilgrims for visiting the mela, but also started giving insurance to the pilgrims. “We don’t say it but we get things done,” she said.

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Andhra Pradesh to get big Microsoft push for growth, public services <!– /.block –>
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Sexist comments against Smriti Irani: BJP demands Nilamoni Sendeka’s arrest, protest at Congress HQ

“I ask Sonowal whether BJP protested when its leader Subramanian Swamy made derogatory remarks against women,” Dutta asked.

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What left Salman Khan in tears on his 50th birthday? <!– /.block –>
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Centre to allow bull taming sport ‘Jallikattu’

The ban on Jallikattu has dampened Pongal festivities in the state, especially in southern districts where it has been a popular event for centuries, and there has been demands for facilitating its conduct.
Javadekar had earlier hinted that the Centre would consider taking steps, including amending laws to allow the sport.

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Leander Paes to play with a new partner in Chennai Open <!– /.block –>
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Journo’s jottings 2015: When politics over beef claimed a life in Dadri

Sometime later, I wrote a story on how Akhlaq’s family saw him as a son, father, husband and brother and I realised how little I knew about the man who I was supposedly covering. He was not just “the man who was killed for eating beef”, he was “Papaji”.

Azaan Javaid

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Sci-fi becomes real: Dr Maria Semionow explains how face transplants can save lives <!– /.block –>
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<!– /#sidebar-second –>Aviation policy in final stage; draft received 3 lakh suggestions: Civil Aviation Minister<!– /.block –>Sci-fi becomes real: Dr Maria Semionow explains how face transplants can save lives<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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‘Laddu’ weighing over 8,000 kg sets Guinness Record in Andhra Pradesh

“Our next target is to prepare a 500 kg kova (milk, sweet recipe) for Saibaba at Shirdi in Maharashtra,” Rao added.

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Restricted media access in Finance Ministry from next week till Budget 2016 <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaGirl abducted outside her college in Gurgaon finally rescued after manhuntIndiaSexist comments against Smriti Irani: BJP demands Nilamoni Sendeka’s arrest, protest at Congress HQIndiaChristmas nightmare: When ‘Santa’ threw acid on a mother and child in KeralaIndiaCentre to allow bull taming sport ‘Jallikattu’IndiaJourno’s jottings 2015: When politics over beef claimed a life in DadriIndiaSheena Bora murder case: Peter Mukerjea’s judicial custody extended till January 11 <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>Four ISIS militants beheaded by local Afghans<!– /.block –>Restricted media access in Finance Ministry from next week till Budget 2016<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Building collapses in Chandigarh, 6 killed, several trapped

Efforts were still on to rescue around eight labourers believed to be buried under the debris, police said, adding the area has been cordoned off.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

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Freight rates remain flat on sufficient trucks position <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaGirl abducted outside her college in Gurgaon finally rescued after manhuntIndiaSexist comments against Smriti Irani: BJP demands Nilamoni Sendeka’s arrest, protest at Congress HQIndiaChristmas nightmare: When ‘Santa’ threw acid on a mother and child in KeralaIndiaCentre to allow bull taming sport ‘Jallikattu’IndiaJourno’s jottings 2015: When politics over beef claimed a life in DadriIndiaSheena Bora murder case: Peter Mukerjea’s judicial custody extended till January 11 <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>’Laddu’ weighing over 8,000 kg sets Guinness Record in Andhra Pradesh<!– /.block –>Freight rates remain flat on sufficient trucks position<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Mumbai Congress journal editor sacked after saying Sonia Gandhi’s father had fascist links

“Some words that have been used in some articles of ‘Congress Darshan’ are certainly objectionable. I accept the mistake. Action will be taken against people in editorial team who are responsible for this mistake,” Nirpuam said.

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L&T Infotech likely to raise over Rs 2,000 crore via IPO in Q4 FY16 <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaGirl abducted outside her college in Gurgaon finally rescued after manhuntIndiaSexist comments against Smriti Irani: BJP demands Nilamoni Sendeka’s arrest, protest at Congress HQIndiaChristmas nightmare: When ‘Santa’ threw acid on a mother and child in KeralaIndiaCentre to allow bull taming sport ‘Jallikattu’IndiaJourno’s jottings 2015: When politics over beef claimed a life in DadriIndiaSheena Bora murder case: Peter Mukerjea’s judicial custody extended till January 11 <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>India’s pharma industry may touch Rs 3.63 lakh crore by 2020: Report<!– /.block –>L&T Infotech likely to raise over Rs 2,000 crore via IPO in Q4 FY16<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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PM Modi’s visit fruitful only if Pakistan stops sending terrorists, says Praveen Togadia

The VHP leader said he was not averse to jeans and modern education, but stressed that “we want our youths to respect our rich culture and their parents and go to temples”. Togadia also said that VHP will put pressure on the government to make a law to counter “love jihad”.

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<!– /.block –>JNU students oppose invitation to Baba Ramdev to deliver keynote speech <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaTrinamool Congress claims CPI(M)’s rally was a flop showIndiaHurriyat cautions against possible attempts to vitiate Indo-Pak peace processIndiaFormer Assam Congress minister makes comments against Smriti Irani; BJP to sueIndiaGujarat: 50 booked for rioting during funeral procession of Patel youthIndiaOdd-even formula: Delhi govt conducts trial run with 750 private busesIndiaHyerabad Police questions youths who allegedly wanted to join jihadi groups <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>Farmer suicides not political but socio-economic issue: Nitin Gadkari<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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JNU students oppose invitation to Baba Ramdev to deliver keynote speech

The students also said that Ramdev’s presence at the meet does not make any sense as he is neither an academician nor a professor and hence the university should withdraw its proposal to invite him. The university spokesperson, meanwhile, was not available for comments on the issue.

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<!– /.block –>’Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Crosses $1 Billion globally at record pace <!– /.block –>
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‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Crosses $1 Billion globally at record pace <!– /.block –>
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<!– /#sidebar-second –>PM Modi’s visit fruitful only if Pakistan stops sending terrorists, says Praveen Togadia<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Trinamool Congress claims CPI(M)’s rally was a flop show

“It is funny that those who killed democracy are now talking about it…It was the Left which led the state into a death trap,” the TMC leader said.

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<!– /.block –>Sri Lanka President Sirisena slams organisers and fans of Enrique concert for ‘uncivilised behaviour’ <!– /.block –>
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<!– /#sidebar-second –>’Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Crosses $1 Billion globally at record pace<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Hurriyat cautions against possible attempts to vitiate Indo-Pak peace process

“Any party or group that stands in the way of attempts to achieve peace are enemies of the people of South Asia. The leadership in India and Pakistan should invite and involve all the stakeholders – especially the people of Kashmir – to contribute and be a part of this process. The rabble-rousers should be reined in so that issues can be addressed and peace becomes the order of the day in the South Asian region,” he said.

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<!– /.block –>Former Assam Congress minister makes comments against Smriti Irani; BJP to sue <!– /.block –>
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<!– /#sidebar-second –>Sri Lanka President Sirisena slams organisers and fans of Enrique concert for ‘uncivilised behaviour'<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Former Assam Congress minister makes comments against Smriti Irani; BJP to sue

Strongly condemning the remarks, Union Sports Minister and Assam unit BJP Chief Sarbananda Sonowal told reporters here that the party’s state unit will soon file a defamation case against him.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

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<!– /.block –>Gujarat: 50 booked for rioting during funeral procession of Patel youth <!– /.block –>
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Odd-even formula: Delhi govt conducts trial run with 750 private buses

On December 4, the Arvind Kejriwal government had announced that 4,000 buses will be “general” buses while 2,000 buses to be taken from schools after their duty hours will have 50 per cent seats reserved for women. The government recently issued a helpline — 011-23370209, for applicants who want to register with this new bus service.

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<!– /.block –>Hyerabad Police questions youths who allegedly wanted to join jihadi groups <!– /.block –>
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<!– /#sidebar-second –>Pakistan’s Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif and Afghan leaders meet, agree to revive peace talks<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Online jihadis abuse girls who went on an army sponsored tour

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Online moral police and separatists are gunning for the group of 30 girl students for going on an Indian army sponsored Bharat dharshan. From calling for social boycott to asking boys not to marry these girls, the online abuse against the students has broken all records.

It is turning out to be redux of the Praagaash controversy in the strife torn Kashmir.Online moral police and separatists are gunning for the group of 30 girl students for going on an Indian army sponsored Bharat dharshan. From calling for social boycott to asking boys not to marry these girls, the online abuse against the students has broken all records.Unfazed by the abuses, the girls put up a brave face as they arrived after the 10 days of tour on Wednesday. From saluting to shouting loud Jai Hind to singing patriotic and Bollywood numbers, the girls’ message was loud and clear that they cannot be browbeaten to submission by online abusers and separatists.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Around 80 girls had signed in for the 10 days tour to different parts of the country. However the army pruned the list and selected 30 girls who were taken to Delhi, Agra and other places. During their tour, the girl students met President Pranab Mukherjee, HRD minister Smriti Irani and visited parliament.But back home, the girls and the parents had to face abuse where in the online `jihadis’ posted pictures and videos on social networking sites calling for social boycott of the families. “Third rate girls from third rate families”, reads one abusive post on the face book.Another netizen asked the society to boycott these girls and their families. One face book user even went to the extent asking boys not to marry these girls. “Kis besharam baap ki beti (daughter of shameless father)”, reads another abusive post.The abuse had an eerie similarity with Praagaash all girls rock band which was disbanded after Grand Mufti of Kashmir Bashir ud-din Ahmad issued fatwa calling music un-Islamic in 2013. This had followed abusive and hate messages posted on the social networking sites against the three girls of the band.Unperturbed by the abuse, the girl students said the tour has helped them to open up vistas and horizons. “It was a great experience for all of us. World opened before us”, said one of the girlsLieutenant General Satish Dua, General Officer Commanding (GoC) 15 corps, admitted that some of the comments were so low that he could not even mention it here. “It is up to the civil society to take stock and whether young girls should be subject to such trauma”, he said.The army commander said it was very voluntary tour with the assistance of schools, education department and with the consent of parents. “In fact we had the list of 80 students. But we had to prune it down. And those who could not tour were disappointed”, he said.Lieutenant General Dua said India is a free country and everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. “Social media even more so. Similarly the children and parents are entitled to their opinion and attitudes,” he said.

AAP v/s Jaitley: Smriti Irani slams AAP, says party running ‘blasphemous, preposterous’ campaign

HRD Minister Smriti Irani on Thursday lashed out at the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for its allegations against Arun Jaitley, stating that the party was running a ‘blasphemous and preposterous campaign bordering on political hysteria’.

Smriti Irani

HRD Minister Smriti Irani on Thursday lashed out at the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for its allegations against Arun Jaitley, stating that the party was running a ‘blasphemous and preposterous campaign bordering on political hysteria’.Slamming AAP, Irani said the report that AAP spokespersons had been citing on Thursday was not the result of an investigation by the party, but a report by the DDCA itself.”The BJP resolutely stands behind FM Arun Jaitley and condemns malicious attempt of AAP to deflect public attention from a corrupt officer,” she said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had earlier hit out at the Central government for not allowing a probe into the alleged Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) scam, and demanded Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s resignation. Related Read: AAP alleges corruption in Delhi cricket, demands Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s resignationAddressing a press conference at the Constitution Club, AAP leader Kumar Vishwas alleged that the main objective of CBI raid at Delhi Secretariat and taking control of ACB was to prevent alleged graft in DDCA during Arun Jaitley’s tenure coming to light.Meanwhile, Union Minister of Communications and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad said the Aam Aadmi Party Government has been exposed by the Transparency International, and is hence trying to slam Jaitley on the issue of an alleged scam in the Delhi District and Cricket Association (DDCA).The Centre has backed Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, saying he won’t be resigning from his post, and added that there won’t be any Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe against him, after the Congress Party alleged financial irregularities in the DDCA during his tenure as president of that sports body.

India enters Guinness Book for conducting world’s largest practical lesson

2,000 students from schools across the national capital who attempted to conduct ‘world’s largest practical science lesson’ at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) last week have entered Guinness Book for World Records.

2,000 students from schools across the national capital who attempted to conduct ‘world’s largest practical science lesson’ at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) last week have entered Guinness Book for World Records.The earlier record was in credit of Northern Ireland which had conducted a similar experiment with 1,339 students.”The large practical science session which was organised during the five-day India International Science Festival (IISF) at IIT has set a Guinness Book of World’s Record,” an IIT Delhi official said.Dressed in white lab-coats, 2,000 students had streamed into a giant tent pitched in the administrative block at IIT-Delhi on December 7 to take a shot at the world record for the highest number of students to conduct an experiment simultaneously at the same venue.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The “practical lesson” involved 40 schools, both government and private, across the city, each sending 50 students and a few “back up” ones.The children were trained by their teachers and have had several practice sessions each before the big lesson.During the experiment they managed to together turn methylene blue “reddish-brown” and rapidly decompose hydrogen peroxide to produce foamy ropes as a part of the Elephant’s toothpaste reaction.The video recording and a report on the experiment was sent to the Guinness Book which further evaluated the same and came up with the results.The event was organised by Vijnana Bharati (VIBHA), an NGO, as part of the festival at IIT jointly organized by the Ministries of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences.The record will be in VIBHA’s name.Flagging of the experiment, Union Minister Smriti Irani had also said that there are plans to have an even bigger ‘practical lesson’ in Delhi in the coming months, in which school students from across the country will participate.

AICTE has proceeded against 132 engineering institutions for violating norms: Government

This information was shared in the Lok Sabha by HRD minister Smriti Irani in a written reply to a member’s question

Smriti Irani

The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) in 2015-16 has proceeded against 132 private engineering institutions which failed to act on norms laid down by it, the government said on Monday. This information was shared in the Lok Sabha by HRD minister Smriti Irani in a written reply to a member’s question. 132 private engineering institutions, including 5 in the state of Rajasthan, which failed to fulfil the norms laid down by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) have been proceeded against by AICTE in 2015-16 after issuing a show cause notice and considering their explanation, Irani said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The penal action ranged from reduction in seats in some and even closure of 87 colleges,” she added. Responding to another question, Irani said that as per information received from Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR), there is no proposal to draft in some new persons to rewrite certain aspects of Indian history.

Controversial ICHR chairman YS Rao resigns just 16 months into his tenure, cites ‘personal reasons’

New Delhi: Only 16 months into his tenure as chairman of Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR), Yellapragada Sudershan Rao has resigned from the post citing “personal reasons”.

While there were reports that he was unhappy after the Human Resources Development (HRD) ministry turned down a proposal to grant him a honorarium of Rs 1.5 lakh, Rao only said that he had put in his papers and was awaiting the ministry’s response.

Yellapragada Sudershan Rao. IBNLiveYellapragada Sudershan Rao. IBNLive

Yellapragada Sudershan Rao. IBNLive

Rao, who retired from Kakatiya University Department, had been appointed for a term of three years. The appointment of Rao, who is a member of the Akhil Bharatiya Itihas Sankalan Yojana which is affiliated to the RSS, had also been a controversial one and attracted criticism from other historians like Romila Thapar who had expressed surprise while questioning his academic credentials.

When contacted, Rao said that he had “resigned because of personal reasons” adding that he did not wish to speak more as he was awaiting a response from the ministry. Rao had sent his resignation to HRD minister Smriti Irani on 24 November 24.

A proposal to grant Rao an honorarium was discussed at the 81st meeting of the General Council of ICHR on September 23 where it found support of the Council members and was sent to the HRD ministry.

Ministry officials said that Rao’s resignation citing “personal reasons” has been received adding that a decision in this regard will be taken. They also added that the position of ICHR chairman is an honorary position. Many of the views expressed by Rao were also quite controversial. He had in a blog said that ancient caste system worked well, which had attracted criticism.

PTI

Now, Smriti Irani-led HRD Ministry wants ICSE board to justify its existence

The ministry’s reminder to the council was apparently prompted by a notice from Delhi High Court on a petition filed by Jose Aikara, who was removed as chairman of the council in November last year.

HRD Minister Smriti Irani
Arijit Sen
dna
The HRD Ministry under Smriti Irani has asked the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), which conducts the ICSE and the ISC examinations to furnish reasons to justify its existence.According to a report in the Telegraph, the ministry last week asked the CISCE to immediately reply to a letter sent in December 2014 in which the council was asked to submit documents showing the government’s approval of the memorandum of association and rules and regulations of the council.Deputy education adviser to the HRD ministry DK Bhawsar had sent the letter last year, said the Telegraph. The ministry last week sent a reminder, asking the council to “expedite the matter and furnish the reply immediately”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The HRD Ministry has cited a court notice to justify the letter and the reminder. However, there seems to be some dissension within the ministry itself. A source told the Telegraph that the HRD Ministry was using the notice to nettle the CISCE, given that many of its schools are run by Christian managements.The ministry’s reminder to the council was apparently prompted by a notice from Delhi High Court on a petition filed by Jose Aikara, who was removed as chairman of the council in November last year. Aikara was removed following charges of financial irregularities and violation of rules. The matter is pending before the Delhi HC, says the Telegraph report.1.5 lakh students from 1900 schools in the country appeared for the ICSE examinations this year. 71,000 Class XII students from more than 900 schools took the Indian School Certificate (ISC) test earlier this year.The Ministry feels that immediately after getting the notice from the high court, officials hunted for records on the CISCE, but could not find any document that suggested it had been set up by an executive order of the government or Act of Parliament.

dna Must Read at 11pm: Top 5 stories that are making news right now

Here are 5 top stories on dnaindia.com at 11pm.

The following quick read will take you through stories that are making news right now. ​1) Student from Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST) refuses to accept his MBA degree from Union Minister Smriti Irani. Sameer Gojwari, who completed his MBA from the IUST in 2008, wrote on his Facebook page, “a protest against ‘diminishing freedoms’ in the country.” Read the full report here: After Sahitya Akademi row, student refuses to accept MBA degree from Smriti Irani<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>​2) Former Volkswagen boss Martin Winterkorn quits as head of holding company​Former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn is stepping down as head of a holding company that technically controls a majority in the German automaker, weeks after his resignation in the wake of the emissions-rigging scandal.​ Read more here. 3) PV Sindhu defeats Carolina Marin, reaches her maiden Super Series finalAce Indian shuttler P V Sindhu today made it to her maiden Super Series final with a stunning upset victory over reigning world champion Carolina Marin of Spain in the Denmark Open in Odense. Read our full report here. ​4) German mayoral candidate Henriette Reker stabbed in ‘racist, political’ attackHenriette Reker, an independent close to the ruling Christian Democrats (CDU) of Chancellor Angela Merkel, suffered serious wounds to the neck in the attack in the western city of Cologne, which is to elect its mayor on Sunday.​ To read the full report, click here. 5) Popular Tinkle characters Suppandi and Shambu are now online!Tinkle has launched a cartoon channel on YouTube with stories from Suppandi and Shambu.​ Read more here.

dna Must Read for tonight: Latest on Bihar polls, Krishna Shroff making headlines, ISL 2015 and more

Here are the top 5 stories from dna here.

Here are the top 5 stories from dna here:1) Bihar polls: Nitish Kumar asks Narendra Modi to make Smriti Irani the Home Minister – Read about Kumar’s latest jibe at BJP 2) Krishna Shroff set to break the internet again? Read to know why she is back in the news. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>3) ISL 2015: Stiven Mendoza brace helps Chennaiyin sink Mumbai 4) Julio Ribeiro column: Why I will not return my Padma Bhushan award 5) Latest on refugee crisis: France’s Calais refugee camp numbers double to 6,000

Bihar polls: Nitish Kumar asks Narendra Modi to make Smriti Irani the Home Minister

“Has any election in Bihar ever been postponed due to law and order issues?”, Nitish Kumar.

Nitish Kumar on Friday hit back on Smriti Irani by asking PM Narendra Modi to make her the Home Minister. Kumar’s jibe was against the Human Resource Development’s comment yesterday on Bihar’s law and order situation. Kumar, speaking at rally in Raghopur said, “If she knows so much of law and order, why doesn’t Modi make her the Home Minister?” , reports The Economic Times.Irani had termed a JDU-RJD rule Bihar a ‘jungle raj’. Addressing women members of the audience in a rally had said, “I am sure you (women) don’t want a spectre of jungle raj to grip Bihar again,” Irani said and promised that the BJP-led NDA government will ensure development and progress which has eluded the state for a long time.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Also read- Bihar Elections 2015: 55% voter turnout registered in second phase of pollingKumar countered Irani demanding to know why the Centre had slashed the funds for the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan. He said that the BJP was creating fear about Bihar while showing Gujarat as a model state. “Has any election in Bihar ever been postponed due to law and order issues? Elections were held in time even in Jammu and Kashmir but not Gujarat,” he comparing the states law and order.He also warned about communal tensions flaring up on the eve of Dussehra and Moharam. “Be very careful. Someone may throw a bone somewhere, a cow may be slaughtered somewhere, there will be an attempt to spoil the atmosphere,” he said.Also read: Arvind Kejriwal predicts a ‘Delhi’ for Narendra Modi in Bihar, says BJP to lose badlyHe also said that BJP raised the reservation issue but also spoke about the PM coming from an OBC caste. Saying that the BJP has no influence over the RSS, he said that the party failed to criticise Mohan Bhagwat’s statement on quota.

Will not be cowed down by Congress’s legal notice: Smriti Irani

I consider myself fortunate as the Gandhi family has served a legal notice on me for the first time in the history of Independent India,” sais Smriti Irani

Smriti Irani

Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani on Saturday said she will not be cowed down or threatened by the legal notice served on her by the Congress and asserted that one cannot stop a person from raising questions.”I consider myself fortunate as the Gandhi family has served a legal notice on me for the first time in the history of Independent India,” she said here. Uttar Pradesh Congress has issued the legal notice to Irani for alleging that Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust had grabbed land of farmers in Amethi.Irani was speaking at a conclave organised by Hindustan Media Ventures Ltd in Lucknow. “This is a political indicator which people understand very well,” she said. “The notice was served at my residence at 9 pm. They probably knew that I would be visiting Amethi the next day. May be, some people felt that I will become silent if notice was given, but they misjudged me,” Irani said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Union minister said that despite the notice she again spoke about the Gandhi family in Amethi next day. “In an independent country, you cannot stop a person from raising questions so long as it is done in a dignified manner. I was told that on a news channel a Congress spokesman said that they were giving message to Smriti Irani, probably they felt that being a woman, I will get afraid,” she said.She said that probably they weigh Indian women less. “I am not the one to be cowed down or threatened,” she said. The HRD Minister said that she even discussed the notice issue with her 13-year-old son.”I asked him what to do. He just said ‘let’s contest’,” she said, on being asked about multi-tasking as a politician and a home maker. Asked about her frequent visits to Amethi and allegations of absence of Congress MP Rahul Gandhi from his constituency, she said,”I never make personal comment on Rahul. I believe that politics can be done on the basis of issues. If you have to raise the level of politics, youshould debate on issues.” Irani said she has no right to ask Rahul where he was going, or what he was doing, as it was his personal matter.”It is the right of his party. I believe that if level of politics has to be increased, then we should concentrate on issues. I visit Amethi so often as I want that attention of people should not get distracted from real issues,” she said.Asked about her becoming the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate in the next UP Assembly elections, Irani said,”We should stop building bridges of possibilities. We should live in present. My effort is that I do a good job so that people, who have given this responsibility (HRD Minister) to me, feel happy and satisfied.”

Ramayana, Mahabharata to be taught in schools

Cultural ministry has initiated the task of identifying researchers and historians who have conducted scientific research on these texts

Government plans to scientifically incorporate the epics of Ramayana, Mahabharat and vedic mathematical studies as part of the education curriculum.Before the Human Resource Development ministry can incorporate these text in the syllabus, Culture ministry has been asked to bring on board the various historical researchers to establish that these epics are not merely mythological texts but have scientific links.The decision was taken after BJP President Amit Shah held a meeting with the education ministers of BJP-ruled states on September 5 and 6. The meeting was also attended by HRD minister Smriti Irani and culture minister Mahesh Sharma.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The cultural ministry has initiated the task of identifying researchers and historians who have conducted scientific research on these texts. The first consultation is to begin from September 17.Ramayana and Mahabharat are already taught in schools. “These texts are currently being taught as stories. These periods had also made great scientific advances, which history seems to have ignored. The idea is to make the students aware of these interesting details,” said a senior officer of the ministry of culture.The culture ministry has also prepared a document on the same. In the document prepared by the ministry it has referred to the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, which reveal that airplanes and rocket launchers existed in the Ramayana era. The document also suggests that atomic bombs and tear gas shells were used during the Mahabharat era. Vedic mathematics was also practised during these times.”The idea is not just to teach these texts as stories. The scientific and mathematical techniques and its social values can be taught at different grades,” added the officer.The culture ministry will hold several rounds of consultations with various stakeholders to come to a logical scientific conclusion. Through these consultations the ministry also wants to draw a nationwide consensus on the issue.The government then plans to hand over this document to HRD ministry. The HRD ministry will then be formulating a committee for incorporating these texts as part of the textbook curriculum.A senior BJP functionary present in the meeting with Shah last week also informed that the HRD ministry has consciously being kept out of the project for the time being. “The HRD ministry has so far been in several controversies in all policy matters, so the cultural ministry has been given the task to lead the project,” added the member.Conscious effortA senior BJP functionary present in the meeting with Amit Shah last week also informed that the HRD ministry has consciously being kept out of the project for the time being. “The HRD ministry has so far been in several controversies in all policy matters, so the cultural ministry has been given the task to lead the project,” added the member.

Smriti Irani seeks explanation from CBSE over spelling mistakes in congratulatory letter

Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani on Friday sought an explanation from CBSE over the spelling mistakes in a congratulatory letter send on her behalf to a school teacher for the good results in the board exams.

Smriti Irani

Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani on Friday sought an explanation from CBSE over the spelling mistakes in a congratulatory letter send on her behalf to a school teacher for the good results in the board exams.The letter sent by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) went viral soon after the teacher — Richa Kumar of DPS Bhilai — posted it in social media, prompting instant reactions from cross sections of the society. The Minister’s name is spelt incorrectly in Hindi as well as the words “minister” and “sansadhan (in Hindi)”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I have sought an explanation from CBSE as there was spelling mistakes in some of the letters,” she told reporters. CBSE has apologised for the mistake.Stung by the errors, she also tweeted “would not mis spell my own name in Hindi. Have asked concerned organisation to give an explanation”.Congratulatory letters are sent by the HRD Minister every year to the top performers of CBSE board examinations as well as to teachers.”Thank you for congratulating me on the excellence I exemplify. However, having been a teacher for the last twenty years, your official letter head is an affront to my sensibilities as a Language teacher. The attached photographs are self explanatory. Please ensure that at least the people who work for you, in your ministry, are well educated,” Kumar said in her Facebook posting.

St Stephen’s molestation victim meets DCW chief Swati Maliwal

Taking cognizance of the complaint submitted by the victim to DCW, the commission had last week issued summons to Thampu and accused professor.

DCW Chief Swati Maliwal

dna Research & Archives
The St Stephen’s research scholar who was allegedly molested by a college professor met the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) Chief Swati Maliwal on Tuesday along with a delegation of women right activists. The accused professor Satish Kumar and college principal Valson Thampu, who has been accused of shielding the guilty, are supposed to appear before the commission tomorrow.”Today, the DCW entertained a delegation of women’s rights activists and the affected PhD scholar so as to assess the situation of victimization of the complainant and the compromised nature of the college-level investigation into the matter,” a statement issued by Centre for Struggling Women, a women rights’ group, said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The anomalies in the sexual harassment laws at the university were also discussed and Maliwal agreed that the act needs to be revisited,” it added.Taking cognizance of the complaint submitted by the victim to DCW, the commission had last week issued summons to Thampu and accused professor. The girl had approached police last month alleging that she was molested by Kumar, an assistant professor in the college’s Chemistry department under whom she was pursuing research. She had also accused Thampu of “shielding” the teacher when the matter was reported to him.Former DCW chief Barkha Shukla Singh had also asked for an action taken report from Thampu, to which he had responded saying the “enquiry is underway”. The victim had also met Union HRD minister Smriti Irani last month, who had then directed the Delhi University to ensure that her stipend was released on time and she was granted unrestricted access to the laboratory besides being assigned a new supervisor.However, not withstanding the instructions the accused professor had last week refused to give back the victim’s compounds and computational data saying they are UGC’s property and advised her not to “jump into any misadventure” and misuse the process of law.

Congress leader Gurudas Kamat gets NCW notice for offensive remarks against Smriti Irani

Speaking in Rajasthan on Thursday, Kamat had referred to Irani as a “poncha lagane waali (cleaning woman)” while questioning the minister’s credentials to hold the charge of the education portfolio.

Congress leader Gurudas Kamat was on Saturday asked by the National Commission for Women to explain within a week his alleged offensive remarks against HRD minister Smriti Irani that have invited criticism.Speaking in Rajasthan on Thursday, Kamat had referred to Irani as a “poncha lagane waali (cleaning woman)” while questioning the minister’s credentials to hold the charge of the education portfolio.”We have sent a showcause notice to Gurudas Kamat over his remarks about Smriti Irani. We have asked him to reply in a week’s time,” said Lalitha Kumaramangalam, chairperson of the National Commission for Women.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While campaigning for local body elections in the BJP-ruled state, Kamat had said, “I am from Mumbai and I have seen her doing cleaning job in a hotel there”.”Her family’s financial condition was not good.Therefore, she worked in a hotel in Versova. Since, Smriti was only 10th pass, she cleaned tables in the hotel.” “There is a buzz everywhere that an uneducated sister has been elevated to the position of the education minister of this country,” Kamat had said.BJP leaders in Rajasthan had slammed Kamat’s remarks, saying such “shallow statements” reflect the desperation of the Congress.

IIM Bill prepared by panel headed by ex-IIM chairman, says Smriti Irani

According to IIM-A Director Ashish Nanda, the government, through the bill, has proposed some kind of control in almost every decision that the institutes take.

In a written reply in Rajya Sabha, Smriti Irani added that the draft that evolved through the process was put up for public comments.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Amid a raging controversy over the draft IIM bill, government on Thursday said it was prepared by a committee headed by former chairman of IIM Trichy’s board of governors M Damodaran and finalised after considering the observations and suggestions of the IIMs.”The committee also included representatives of the IIMs. The draft prepared on the basis of the proposal of the committee was again circulated to the IIMs for consideration in August 2014. The observations and suggestions of the IIMs were considered and the draft was modified on that basis after going through inter-ministerial consulations process,” HRD Ministry Smriti Irani said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a written reply in Rajya Sabha, she added that the draft that evolved through the process was put up for public comments. The opinions and suggestions of the stakeholders including the IIMs have been received and these “suggestions are being considered by the Ministry”, she said. Her reply came against the backdrop of vociferous opposition from IIM directors to the bill, contending it will compromise with the “autonomy” of the institutes.”We are deeply concerned that some provisions of the bill would seriously compromise the autonomy of the institute. We believe that this is an important bill for the future of management education and therefore requires critical review to ensure an optimal balance between autonomy and accountability of the institution,” IIM-Ahmedabad chairperson A M Naik had said in a letter to Irani last month.”If the bill turns out to be that a lot of decisions by the boards are subject to government approval, and the government has uniform norms, then that may or may not be best thing for certain IIMs,” said IIM Bangalore Director Sushil Vachani.According to IIM-A Director Ashish Nanda, the government, through the bill, has proposed some kind of control in almost every decision that the institutes take.”The draft bill proposes control of government in almost every matter such as selection of Chairman of board of Governors, fee structure, expenses, etc. They have covered almost everything from strategic to operational decisions,” Nanda said.

Smriti Irani Degree row: BJP calls it a ‘typographical error’; Court orders next hearing on August 28

File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Union Minister Smriti Irani on Wednesday got a shocker from a Delhi Court as it took cognizance of a complaint accusing her of furnishing false information about her academic qualifications in affidavits she had filed before the Election Commission on different occasions.The court posted the matter for August 28 when the scribe, who has filed the complaint, will be given an opportunity to record his statement and submit evidence to support the allegations that the Human Resource Development Minister has given false information to the poll panel in the affidavits filed in 2004, 2011 and 2014. It has been alleged that in the three affidavits filed with the nominations for her candidature for Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha polls, she had purportedly given different details about her educational qualifications.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Metropolitan Magistrate Akash Jain, who decided to record pre-summoning evidence, ruled out technical objections like delay in filing the complaint now when the first affidavit was filed by Irani way back in 2004 when she had contested the Lok Sabha poll from Chandni Chowk constituency and the second affidavit when she had entered Rajya Sabha in 2011.The court, after recording the pre-summoning evidence, will decide whether there is enough material to go into the merits of the complaint against Irani, who under law, is not required at this stage to counter the allegations in the court.In its five-page order, the court held that the issue of delay in launching a criminal prosecution may be considered at the stage of arriving at a final decision and this might not be a ground for dismissing a complaint.”Keeping in view the date of filing of final affidavit, containing alleged false information by accused/respondent (Irani), i.e. April 16, 2014 and while affording the benefit of section 469(1)(b) CrPC to complainant, it is held that the complaint in question is filed by complainant within the stipulated period of limitation,” the court said.”While taking cognizance upon the complaint, the matter be now fixed for pre-summoning evidence,” it said.The complaint was filed by freelance writer Ahmer Khan, who has alleged that Irani in her affidavits filed before the Election Commission of India (ECI) had purportedly given different details about her educational qualifications.In its order, the court said “it is well settled that the question of delay in launching a criminal prosecution may be a circumstance to be taken into consideration while arriving at a final decision.”BJP instead blamed “typographical error” for the alleged false information on educational qualification submitted by HRD Minister Smriti Irani and rejected any comparison between her and AAP leader Jitender Singh Tomar who has been jailed in a fake degree case.”One should know the difference between a fake document and a typographical error. This case (relating to Irani) is not for fake documents,” BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said after oppositon parties demanded her resignation as a Delhi court took cognizance of a complaint filed against Irani for allegedly giving false information on her educational qualification.Congress and AAP drew a parallel with the case of Irani with that of Tomar who resigned as a minister in Delhi government after his arrest.”You cannot compare oranges and apples. In the case of Tomar, there is a police investigation which has proved beyond doubt that there is a criminal act of a fake degree, going ahead and contesting an election on it and then being the Law Minister,” another BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli said.He said that in the case of Smriti Irani, the court has spoken about maintainability of the complaint, which is the first step of a legal process as to whether there is a ground in terms of jurisdiction. “It has neither any implication on conviction nor exoneration.”Patra said the court has only taken cognizance of the complaint and asked the person who has filed the complaint that “you have to give pre-summoning evidence as to why she should be summoned. Why hue and cry over something which has not gone to the level of verdict?”The court also observed that perusal of the provisions of Representation of People Act 1951, especially section 125 A, “it does not appear that returning officer has to take any step for initiating any criminal proceedings.”In the order, the magistrate dealt with two issues as to whether the complaint has been filed within the period of limitation as stipulated under the provision of CrPC and if cognisance of the complaint could be taken.As per Section 468 of CrPC, the period of limitation is one year for the offence under Section 125A of Representation of People Act dealing with penalty for filing false affidavit.The offence under Section 125A of the Act entails a jail term of upto six months or fine or both.In its order, the court noted that the complainant’s counsel had argued that final affidavit filed by Irani in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls from Amethi, was allegedly defective and not in tune with her previous affidavits furnished regarding her educational qualifications.The counsel had also argued that even if the date of filing of alleged false affidavit, April 16, 2014, was to be considered, then the complaint was clearly within the period of limitation as it was filed on April 13, 2015. The magistrate said that arguments advanced by the counsel regarding the issue of limitation “hold merit”.While pronouncing the order, the court said that the complainant had filed an affidavit before it on June 19 in which he has stated that no other complaint against Irani on this issue was filed by him in any other courts. The court had on June one reserved the order on the plea after hearing arguments on the aspect of limitation and whether cognizance of the complaint could be taken or not.Senior advocate K K Manan, appearing for Khan, had told the court that in her affidavit for April 2004 Lok Sabha polls, Irani had said that she completed her BA in 1996 from Delhi University (School of Correspondence) whereas in another affidavit of July 11, 2011 for contesting Rajya Sabha election from Gujarat, she said her highest educational qualification was B.Com Part I from the School of Correspondence, DU.The complaint alleged that in the affidavit filed for nomination of April 16, 2014 Lok Sabha polls from Amethi constituency in Uttar Pradesh, Irani said she had completed Bachelor of Commerce Part-I from School of Open Learning, DU.”It is evident from the contents of the affidavits filed by Smriti Z Irani that at best only one of the depositions by her on oath in respect of her educational qualifications is correct,” the complaint alleged.”The aforesaid affidavits of Smriti Irani, apart from the ostensibly false and discrepant statements in respect of her educational qualifications, also appear to contain false/ discrepant statements in respect of immovable properties owned by her and other details set out by her,” it claimed.”The aforesaid facts and circumstances reveal commission of offences by accused under section 125A of Representation of People Act, 1951, besides any other offences that may attract other penal provisions as an outcome of an additional investigation,” the plea alleged.

India minister in fake degree row

A court in India says it will look into a complaint that Education Minister Smriti Irani allegedly lied about her college degree.

Yoga to be a compulsory subject in govt schools: Here’s what the plan is

New Delhi: Yoga is now to be taught as a compulsory subject not only from class VI to X in central government run schools but also as a training module in teacher education programmes.

HRD Minister Smriti Irani. PTI

HRD Minister Smriti Irani. PTI

Human Resources Development Minister Smriti Irani released the syllabus and course material for the students on Monday. The minister was in New Delhi to attend the two-day National Yoga teacher conference. 500 yoga teachers from across the country, including 200 from Delhi government schools, are participating in the event which started on Monday.

Later talking to reporters, she said, the states are free to decide on adopting it in their syllabus and to link with their the course curriculum.

Officials said CBSE is yet to “devise” a strategy with regards to its implementation in the affiliated schools. The programme would, however, be made mandatory in Kendriya Vidyalayas and the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas.

Talking about the training module on yoga for teacher education programme, she said, the aim is to produce a pool of trained teachers in yoga who meet the upcoming demands.

Here is what the Centre plans to include as part of the yoga curriculum:

80 marks reserved for practicals

The Minister said the subject would not put any additional burden on students as 80 marks would be reserved for practicals.

“However, I want an assurance from students that they will perform the practicals with full devotion,” Irani said at a function in New Delhi on Monday, a day after the International Yoga Day celebration which saw participation of hundreds of school students and teachers.

Yoga syllabus for teachers too

“We have prepared syllabus for teachers as well. One is diploma in yoga education, bachelors in yoga education and masters in yoga education,” Irani said.

National Council of Teacher Education, in its revised notification has made yoga a compulsory training module along with ICT, gender studies and inclusive education.

National Yoga Competition

A national-level competition on yoga will be organised in New Delhi next year where the best performing student will be given a cash prize of Rs five lakh, HRD Minister Smriti Irani today said.

A ‘Kala Utsav’ would also be organised in December at Connaught Place (Central Park) in New Delhi where ethnic culture, song and dance would be showcased by students from across the country.

But the Delhi state government, not wanting to be left behind, has also announced that it will be reducing the main syllabus in schools of the state:

More emphasis on ‘subjects of living life’ in Delhi schools

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that the Delhi state Government is currently working on a project in which it will reduce main syllabus by 25 percent and replace it with “most essential subjects of living life” like yoga, music, sports, theatre, etc.

He said that there is “confusion” amongst all as far education is concerned. Most essential subjects relating to living life are put in extra-curriculum/optional category, while those which one could do without, are part of main syllabus, he stressed.

“If you give me liberty, I will reduce main curriculum by 50 percent. But to begin with, we have set up a team to work on this to reduce main curriculum by 25 percent. If not all schools, we will do it in some schools as a pilot project.

“You reduce 25 percent main curriculum and replace the portion with course of living life…replace it with yoga, sports, music,” Sisodia, who is also the state’s Education Minister, said.

He urged Irani to see marks are allotted for such course to ensure students find the subjects important.

“So, it is my request to the Centre, HRD Ministers, we will need your guidance. Let there be marks for the same. Let students see it as this too can be a career opportunity. Let them find it equally important to learning physics, mathematics.

“As far as Centre’s yoga syllabus is concerned, we will implement it completely or partially in Delhi schools from this session itself,” he said.

Sisodia said that there should be no politics involved when it comes to Yoga and assured Centre that the Delhi Government will extend support required in imbibing the art form in the lives of common people.

“In a country like India, all of us from different segments need to understand yoga. We will have to wipe out these fractions of creeds, politics, and governments. When these will be wiped out only then yoga is possible. This is the first condition of yoga,” he said.

The Deputy CM further said that images/postures of Gods revered by followers of different religions are forms of asanas in yoga.

with PTI inputs

#DespiteBeingAWoman: Why invoke Indira Gandhi to counter Modi’s ‘praise’ for Hasina?

The truth is, far away from the comfortable fighting pit of Twitter, women are systematically made to suffer the consequences of being born with a uterus. And mostly we don’t fret over it. In fact, many of us go and dutifully ‘like’ pictures taken by friends on vacations – of Rajasthani women balancing multiple matkas on their heads as they trundle across the desert, or of women blowing into a chulha to stoke the fire or tea garden workers carrying babies in sacks tied to their backs as they pluck tea leaves. Before we quickly type in our ‘wows’ in the comments section, we mostly don’t think about what the picture really implies behind its National Geographic aesthetic. Women who have to travel miles to get drinking water, women who have to jeopardize their lungs to put a basic meal together, women who have no maternity leave or childcare in their lives. The world in which these women live, and everything they do, is indeed achieved ‘despite being a woman’. No hashtags are necessary.

When Narendra Modi, with his usual theatrical flourish, announced how amazing it was that Sheikh Hasina, ‘despite being a woman’ was resolved about fighting terrorism, he epitomized why being a woman continues to be such a challenge. It is because neither education, nor success, nor exposure to modern professional spaces can bust the many stereotypes that we nurse about women. And the lower we go down on the economy ladder, the gender roles become more defined and more unquestioned.

Narendra Modi and Sheikh Hasina. AFP.Narendra Modi and Sheikh Hasina. AFP.

Narendra Modi and Sheikh Hasina. AFP.

Modi was not being deliberately sexist. He was actually manifesting a more dangerous form of it – the kind when you think you’re actually praising a woman by saying, ‘OMG, a woman did this?’ Here the awe actually stems from the belief that women can’t do several things associated with men.

It is the same kind of subconscious sexism that spurred the editor of Aaj Tak to question how Smriti Irani could have been made the HRD minister. Curiously enough, on stage, the man was accompanied by a woman anchor who was asking as many questions as Ashok Singhal himself. For someone who presumably is used to seeing women working in similar professional spaces as men, Singhal showed that the country still nurses rampant stereotypes about gender.

A case in point is the hashtag that was started to chide Modi for the comment. Called #DespiteBeingAWoman, it was perhaps started to underline the misogyny underlining Modi’s comments. While some tweeters were able to see the irony of Modi’s comment about a woman who like him runs a country and has done so for longer and put out sarcastic tweets about daily chores with the hashtag, others took to expounding about many ‘successful’ women to make their point.

So there were tweets about Marie Curie, Indira Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and Smriti Irani, pictures of women holding guns, quotes of African-American civil rights activist Rosa Parks, references to mathematician Shakuntala Devi.The underlying message seemed to be, look, a woman can be as good as a man. Ironically, at least in the clique of people who use Twitter, that should be a fact, not an argument. Saying, “Look, so and so won a Nobel Prize for Physics. And she is a woman.” is only a mild variation of, “OMG, she won a Nobel Prize for Physics? A woman?”

As we point at exceptionally successful women almost in defence of our worth, we actually suggest that being an ordinary Indian woman is of no consequence at all. It’s equivalent to saying that you have to be exceptionally good to match a man.

The question is, in this day and age, should we even point at exceptionally successful women to bolster the argument that men and women, most rationally, are intellectual equals? In fact, should we even grace ‘despite being a woman’ with a argument? Denounce it, yes. But explaining why, trying to arise to the defence of women by tabulating lists of women achievers credits those arguments and stereotypes with more intelligence than they deserve.

The fact that sexism thrives among the most educated and the so-called ‘elite’ too isn’t quite a secret. If you are a woman and a sports geek, you’re sure to have run into men, and women, who stare at you with wide admiration if you have an opinion on a football match. If you’re out smoking on the street, you have caught the disapproving uncle and the scandalised aunty staring at you for doing what men do. That uncle might be scandalised that a woman smokes on the street and Narendra Modi might be impressed that a woman fights terrorism but they both stem from the same stereotypes about what women can do in a men’s world. These reactions are not driven by logic, they come from the lack of it. Women do all kinds of things that men think is their province and some men need to just get used to it #DespiteBeingAMan.

#DespiteBeingAWoman: Why invoke Indira Gandhi to counter PM Modi’s ‘praise’ for PM Hasina?

The truth is, far away from the comfortable fighting pit of Twitter, women are systematically made to suffer the consequences of being born with a uterus. And mostly we don’t fret over it. In fact, many of us go and dutifully ‘like’ pictures taken by friends on vacations – of Rajasthani women balancing multiple matkas on their heads as they trundle across the desert, or of women blowing into a chulha to stoke the fire or tea garden workers carrying babies in sacks tied to their backs as they pluck tea leaves. Before we quickly type in our ‘wows’ in the comments section, we mostly don’t think about what the picture really implies behind its National Geographic aesthetic. Women who have to travel miles to get drinking water, women who have to jeopardize their lungs to put a basic meal together, women who have no maternity leave or childcare in their lives. The world in which these women live, and everything they do, is indeed achieved ‘despite being a woman’. No hashtags are necessary.

When Narendra Modi, with his usual theatrical flourish, announced how amazing it was that Sheikh Hasina, ‘despite being a woman’ was resolved about fighting terrorism, he epitomized why being a woman continues to be such a challenge. It is because neither education, nor success, nor exposure to modern professional spaces can bust the many stereotypes that we nurse about women. And the lower we go down on the economy ladder, the gender roles become more defined and more unquestioned.

Narendra Modi and Sheikh Hasina. AFP.Narendra Modi and Sheikh Hasina. AFP.

Narendra Modi and Sheikh Hasina. AFP.

Modi was not being deliberately sexist. He was actually manifesting a more dangerous form of it – the kind when you think you’re actually praising a woman by saying, ‘OMG, a woman did this?’ Here the awe actually stems from the belief that women can’t do several things associated with men.

It is the same kind of subconscious sexism that spurred the editor of Aaj Tak to question how Smriti Irani could have been made the HRD minister. Curiously enough, on stage, the man was accompanied by a woman anchor who was asking as many questions as Ashok Singhal himself. For someone who presumably is used to seeing women working in similar professional spaces as men, Singhal showed that the country still nurses rampant stereotypes about gender.

A case in point is the hashtag that was started to chide Modi for the comment. Called #DespiteBeingAWoman, it was perhaps started to underline the misogyny underlining Modi’s comments. While some tweeters were able to see the irony of Modi’s comment about a woman who like him runs a country and has done so for longer and put out sarcastic tweets about daily chores with the hashtag, others took to expounding about many ‘successful’ women to make their point.

So there were tweets about Marie Curie, Indira Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and Smriti Irani, pictures of women holding guns, quotes of African-American civil rights activist Rosa Parks, references to mathematician Shakuntala Devi.The underlying message seemed to be, look, a woman can be as good as a man. Ironically, at least in the clique of people who use Twitter, that should be a fact, not an argument. Saying, “Look, so and so won a Nobel Prize for Physics. And she is a woman.” is only a mild variation of, “OMG, she won a Nobel Prize for Physics? A woman?”

As we point at exceptionally successful women almost in defence of our worth, we actually suggest that being an ordinary Indian woman is of no consequence at all. It’s equivalent to saying that you have to be exceptionally good to match a man.

The question is, in this day and age, should we even point at exceptionally successful women to bolster the argument that men and women, most rationally, are intellectual equals? In fact, should we even grace ‘despite being a woman’ with a argument? Denounce it, yes. But explaining why, trying to arise to the defence of women by tabulating lists of women achievers credits those arguments and stereotypes with more intelligence than they deserve.

The fact that sexism thrives among the most educated and the so-called ‘elite’ too isn’t quite a secret. If you are a woman and a sports geek, you’re sure to have run into men, and women, who stare at you with wide admiration if you have an opinion on a football match. If you’re out smoking on the street, you have caught the disapproving uncle and the scandalised aunty staring at you for doing what men do. That uncle might be scandalised that a woman smokes on the street and Narendra Modi might be impressed that a woman fights terrorism but they both stem from the same stereotypes about what women can do in a men’s world. These reactions are not driven by logic, they come from the lack of it. Women do all kinds of things that men think is their province and some men need to just get used to it #DespiteBeingAMan.

Smriti Irani unveils plan to help parents to monitor wards in KV schools

Instant connect: To strike a cord with the audiences, minister shares her experience of being a mother

HRD minister and chairperson, KVS, Smriti Irani launching the KV Shaala Darpan for Kendriya Vidyalayas, in New Delhi on Friday. Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Upendra Kushwaha is also seen

PTI
Much against her usual arrogant and pretentious self, Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani on Friday for a change shed her stereotyped cast. She was all an image of humility and modesty, while talking to school children, their parents and teachers. The occasion was launching of e-governance program Shala Darpan for the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sanghatan (KVS).Shala Darpan is an online portal meant to maintain an online data base of each student. From attendance to examination papers, study material, medical conditions and health challenges, everything will be recorded in the software for any reference. The portal, developed by National Informatics Centre (NIC) will also provide a parent-teacher interface and also help parents to regularly monitor their wards. They will also receive routine progress reports of their wards, besides the conduct during school hours.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Using satire and at times emotions, reminding audience she was also mother of two children, she was at best to connect with the audience. Referring to the software Shala Darpan helping the parents to monitor their wards on real time basis, she said her own children were too happy not studying in the Kendriya Vidhyalaya. “I can understand how important it is for a parent to get timely first hand information about performance of the child. Parents of these students will not have to wait for the parent teachers meeting day,” she added.But the minister was quick enough to put a word of caution for the parents, asking them to remind their own childhood, “I know what it means when a teacher writes a note in the dairy. The child wants to hide it first from the mother and then from the father. If the note has to be signed by the parent, many here might have tried to copy the signatures of our parents,” she added.The minister advised parents to take feedback in the positive spirit. “Shala Darpan will provide you with routine updates, if you get to know that the child was not performing well, don’t panic and don’t pressurise your child. In fact it will give you time to work on your child at home,” she explained.Irani called the program a step in the direction of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of e-governance, good governance and digital India plan. She also said that four states have expressed their interests in having a similar software for their schools.

IIT-Madras ban on student group evokes condemnation; Rahul, Smriti spat on Twitter

In Assam, Union HRD minister Smriti Irani backed IIT’s action, saying the institution has clearly stated that some procedures by the student organisation was not followed and it knew that Dean will derecognise it for violating norms.

National Students Union of India activists during a protest outside the residence of HRD minister Smriti Irani in New Delhi on Friday
BB Yadav
dna
The Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M) was at the centre of controversy on Friday over derecognition of a student group, many of whom are Dalits, following a complaint that it was critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, triggering protests from Congress, AAP and the Left parties.In Assam, Union HRD minister Smriti Irani backed IIT’s action, saying the institution has clearly stated that some procedures by the student organisation was not followed and it knew that Dean will derecognise it for violating norms.In Delhi, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi said, “Free speech is our right. We will fight any attempt to crush dissent and debate”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”IIT student group banned for criticising Modi Government. What next? he said, according to tweets by his office.Scores of NSUI workers protested outside Irani’s official residence in Delhi over the issue. The protesters raised anti-government slogans and accused the HRD ministry of being behind the action against the body.A senior official of the premier Central technical institute told reporters in Chennai that the Ambedkar-Periyar Study Circle (APSC) had “violated” defined guidelines of IIT-Madras.”As per the guidelines in force, student bodies cannot use the name of IIT Madras or its official entities in any capacity to publicise their activities or garner support without official permission,” said Prof Ramamurthy, acting director.A separate statement by the institute said that while IIT-M does not “curtail” students’ freedom of expression, “it is expected that student groups adhere to these guidelines while conducting their activities.”The Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry had forwarded a complaint made by some students about the APSC to the institute, accusing the group of creating “hatred” against Modi and instigating protests against Centre’s policies.Congress spokesperson Tom Vadakkan said this was an effort by state and central government to gag the democratic voices of the country.Left parties blamed the Sangh Parivar for carrying out “ferocious attacks” on freedom of expression, alternative views and democracy.In separate statements, CPI(M) and CPI demanded the restoration of the recognition to APSC and action against the IIT-M management for taking such an action.CPI National Secretary D Raja termed the action as “atrocious and highly condemnable” and said while the IIT-M management “cannot curtail the students’ rights to freedom of views and to be critical of the government, the HRD Ministry should not have given such a direction on the basis of an anonymous letter”.The CPI(M) statement said during the last one year of the BJP-led government at the Centre, “Sangh Parivar organisations have been carrying out ferocious attacks on freedom of expression, alternative views and democracy.”The AAP slammed the decision and alleged that the BJP was frustrated over Narendra Modi losing popularity and resorted to this “undemocratic” move.”The forum named after Dalit icon Ambedkar and Periyar was banned because it was instrumental in encouraging free speech and discussion around the erroneous and anti-people policies of the Narendra Modi government,” AAP said in a statement. Dalit right activists, however, called the ban unconstitutional and a breach of freedom of expression. Calling the move anti-Dalit, Dalit rights activist Paul Diwakar said, “The university could design policy for the poor. If the concerns of the student become a call for banning them then it will be labelled unconstitutional.” Paul is the general secretary for National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights. The HRD ministry said that IIT Madras had taken action against a students group according to its own procedure and established guidelines.Higher education secretary S N Mohanty said IIT Madras is an autonomous institute and has taken action within its law and the ministry had got nothing to do except forwarding the complaint and seeking comments from the institute.”IIT, Madras has taken action as per their own procedure and institute’s guidelines. IITs being autonomous institutions, they are competent to handle matters within their guidelines and procedure,” an official statement issued by the Ministry said.”IITs being autonomous institutions, they are competent to handle matters within their guidelines and procedure,” it said. Rahul vs IraniCongress vice president Rahul Gandhi and HRD minister Smriti Irani were on Friday locked in a spat after protests by NSUI workers outside her official residence over derecognition of a student group by IIT Madras.While Rahul said the derecognition was aimed at “crushing dissent” and he will fight such attempts, Irani shot back challenging him for a debate on the issue of governance, including education, and accused him of fighting his battles hiding behind NSUI.”IIT student group banned for criticising the Modi Government. What next? Free speech is our right. We will fight any attempt to crush dissent and debate,” Rahul said on the twitter account of his office.Replying to him in a series of tweets, Irani said, “next time fight ur (your) battles ur (your)self, don’t hide behind NSUI. N (And) by d (the) way I’m returning to Amethi soon. See you there.”Challenging Rahul, she said, “give me a time n (and) place n (and) I’m ready to debate everything re (regarding) governance including education.”

PM’s ‘Mann ki Baat’ inspired by Rahul Gandhi’s youth dialogue: Congress leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi

Congress leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi on Sunday claimed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Man Ki Baat’ programme was inspired by Rahul Gandhi who started a dialogue with youths in 2004.

Congress leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi on Sunday claimed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme was inspired by Rahul Gandhi who started a dialogue with youths in 2004.”It was Rahul Gandhi’s initiative to engage in dialogue with youths in 2004, which was copied by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and he came up with the idea of ‘Man Ki Baat’ radio programme. He did not do such thing when he was Gujarat chief minister,” Joshi said at a press conference here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>She alleged that the programme has delivered no result and has failed in influencing people as they have now understood that the government has betrayed them.Speaking on the status of education and government’s work in the sector in the last year, Joshi accused HRD Minister Smriti Irani of “shattering” the education structure.”Instead of strengthening the educational structure, the HRD ministry under Smriti Irani has spent more time in demolishing institutions of prestige, downsizing motivated educationists and scholars because they want RSS ideologues to head such institutions,” Joshi said.

Court to hear complaint against Smriti Irani for allegedly giving false educational information

The complainant alleged that in another affidavit of April 16, 2014 filed by her for the Lok Sabha polls, it was said that she was a Bachelor of Commerce Part-I from the School of Open Learning, DU.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
A Delhi court will hear on April 25 a private complaint filed against Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani for allegedly giving “false” information about her educational qualification in her affidavits filed with the Election Commission of India.The petition came up before Metropolitan Magistrate Akash Jain who fixed it for hearing on April 25. The complaint filed by Ahmer Khan, a freelancer, alleged that in an April 2004 affidavit filed by Irani for the Lok Sabha elections, it was stated that she has completed her BA in 1996 from Delhi University (school of correspondence).<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It claimed that in another affidavit of July 11, 2011 by Irani for election on Rajya Sabha seat from Gujarat, it was stated that her highest educational qualification was B.Com part I from the School of Correspondence, DU.The complainant alleged that in another affidavit of April 16, 2014 filed by her for the Lok Sabha polls, it was said that she was a Bachelor of Commerce Part-I from the School of Open Learning, DU.”It is evident from the contents of the affidavits filed by Smriti Irani that at best, only one of the depositions by her on oath in respect of her educational qualifications is correct,” the plea claimed. It alleged that she had given “false information” about her educational qualifications in the affidavits.It further said, “the aforesaid affidavits of Smriti Z Irani, apart from the ostensibly false and discrepant statements in respect of her educational qualifications, also appear to contain false/ discrepant statements in respect of immovable properties owned by her, and other details set out by her.””The aforesaid facts and circumstances reveal commission of offences by the accused under section 125A of the Representation of People Act, 1951, besides any other offences that may attract other penal provisions as an outcome of an additional investigation,” the plea said.It requested the court to take cognisance of the offences alleged in the plea and summon Irani for trial.

Smriti’s record may be in doubt, but Outlook’s hit-job is sexist, hypocritical

“How an actress who has faced the biggest of television cameras of all sizes and shapes could get so rattled by a pinhole CCTV eye, we will never know.”

Those are the opening lines of an article on how bureaucrats are quitting the human resource development ministry in droves, fed up with their minister, Smriti Z Irani’s high-handed ways. This is one of five articles that form part of a cover story package in Outlook on the fading fortunes of Irani.

For those who’ve just crawled out from under a rock, the reference to the CCTV is the furore over Irani spotting a camera in a Fabindia outlet in Goa that was placed in a manner that could, she alleged, see into trial rooms.

Let us keep Irani aside for a minute.

Union HRD minister Smriti Irani. ReutersUnion HRD minister Smriti Irani. Reuters

Union HRD minister Smriti Irani. Reuters

There is still some difference of opinion about whether the camera was actually positioned to look into the trial rooms. Another story which is part of the cover package makes this point and hints that the controversy may have been an attention-grabbing gimmick by Irani. That’s a point to consider – though debatable. But the author of this wonderful opening line is not taking this line. The sentence is about why Irani should kick up a kerfuffle over the camera regardless of its positioning, since she should be used to facing cameras. So a woman who is or has been an actress does not have the right to privacy, not even when she is trying on clothes?

The sentence is a telling comment about what the writer – and the magazine, since the sentence was allowed to pass – think of both women and the acting profession. Note that this is not the author quoting some fuddy-duddy conservative. It is his line. Why then outrage over Sanjay Nirupam asking Irani, “aap to TV par thumke lagati thi, aaj chunaavi vishleshak ban gayi hain (you were dancing on TV and now you are an election analyst)?” Or over Sushilkumar Shinde talking down to Jaya Bachchan, when she intervened to speak on violence in Assam: “This is serious stuff and not a filmy subject”?

But wait. When Deepika Padukone took down a leading daily for publishing a picture of her cleavage taken by an awkwardly positioned camera, Outlook carried articles which were largely supportive of her stand and bemoaned the sexism and misogyny actresses faced. One of them is linked here.

So it’s okay – even laudable – if Padukone protests about the way a picture about her body is used, but it is not okay for Irani to kick up a fuss about a dodgily-placed CCTV camera?

Let us bring Irani back into the picture now.

If what was all right for Padukone to do is not all right for Irani to do, then clearly there is something more at play here. The cover package is a hatchet-job on Irani. Now it is perfectly within Outlook’s right to do hatchet jobs or puff jobs on anyone. All newspapers and magazines are doing that all the time. Irani has not exactly excelled in her stint as HRD minister and perhaps warranted a negative story. But was there no anecdote relating to her rather bad stint in the ministry to show “how quickly Smriti Irani has squandered away the goodwill in her 10 months as helmswoman of a most crucial ministry”? Was such a sexist and personal comment warranted in an article about her professional record, which otherwise acknowledges the constraints she is functioning under? Is this the extent to which we as a profession will go when we do negative stories?

This anything-is-game approach is actually very selective. I was widely applauded by other journalists for a blog post I wrote in 2011 on media speculation about the state of Omar Abdullah’s marriage. Yet, many of these very journalists found nothing wrong in Narendra Modi’s marriage being made an issue before the 2014 elections and even after. His suitability for the post of prime minister should have depended purely on his chief ministerial record and yet there were numerous stories and endless speculation about the circumstances of his marriage and the consequent `abandonment’ of his wife.

This started well before he filed his election affidavit in which he mentioned his wife for the first time (since it became mandatory to do so). This was the only public aspect of the whole matter – that he had not mentioned her in earlier affidavits. The media, however, was silent on other politicians with two wives who mention only one of them in their election affidavits. The raking up of Modi’s personal life has not stopped – an editorial on Barrack Obama’s visit to put in a despairing line contrasting the two leaders on their marital life. Was there nothing else to criticise about the visit or about Modi’s record as prime minister?

This obsession with Modi’s marriage – a very personal matter – contrasts sharply the deafening silence the media maintained on Sonia Gandhi’s health when, as UPA chairperson, she suddenly went abroad for surgery. The Hindu (and Firstpost) were among a few publications which questioned the secrecy surrounding her illness. It was not a purely personal matter given the position she then held. There are other politicians with deeply problematic personal lives, which influence their professional conduct in some cases. All this is well known to journalists, but this is never hinted at, let alone written about.

Why is it okay for the media to dredge up personal matters of one politician’s life and keep quiet about another? What is the litmus test to decide that one person’s private life is public business and another’s public life is private business? These are questions the media will have to answer if it is to retain the last dregs of its already strained credibility.

Apparently, the opening line of the Outlook article has been doing the rounds on Twitter since Saturday. And still, till the time of writing this, friends who are on Twitter (I am not) say there has been no condemnation/criticism of this by any of the big names in journalism who are on Twitter. Outrage when journalists are called presstitutes and bazaru is immediate and sustained. But there is not a squeak of protest or admonishment when journalists indulge in personal attacks while writing on a minister’s performance, when they apply double standards in writing on people’s personal lives. Is that fair?

Is Smriti Irani on her way out of Union Cabinet?

Is Smriti Irani on her way out of the Union cabinet? If the buzz in the corridors of Shastri Bhawan, from where the Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry operates, is to be believed, then the cabinet reshuffle due later this week will see a new person at the helm of the crucial portfolio.

Is Smriti Irani on her way out of the Union cabinet? If the buzz in the corridors of Shastri Bhawan, from where the Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry operates, is to be believed, then the cabinet reshuffle due later this week will see a new person at the helm of the crucial portfolio.Pitched by the BJP as one of the most promising face of the Modi cabinet, the HRD minister has not only failed to deliver, but has also made both the academicians and bureaucracy unhappy by her style of functioning.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Despite being the youngest cabinet minister, Irani was given charge of the HRD ministry, one of the most important portfolios for any government. However, ten months into the system, most of the stakeholders are disappointed by her style of working.”A minister has to give time to the officers to settle down and function smoothly. Unfortunately in HRD Ministry it does not work like that. Assigning charges and then stripping them off is on the whims and fancies of the minister,” complained a senior officer who has moved out of the ministry.HRD ministry had very recently given charges of technical education to additional secretary Amarjeet Sinha. But soon after the controversy created around IIT chairman Anil Kakodkar’s resignation, Sinha was removed from technical department and was given charge of Statistics, a relatively insignificant role.A section in the ministry believes that Singh was unable to brief the minister properly on Kakodkar’s issue. However, the past ten months saw five joint secretary-level officers moving out of the HRD ministry, with Radha Chauhan handling secondary education the recent one in the block. In the meeting with the secretaries of various departments, the PM had got complaints against Irani and her style of working.Not just the bureaucracy, even academicians face a discomfort working with the minister. While the love-hate relationship between Irani and Delhi University Vice- Chancellor Dinesh Singh is no hidden secret, Irani’s mannerism towards the academicians has not been liked by many.Irani had called for a meeting with the VCs of Central University in March. DU VC Dinesh Singh, who was then on a tour abroad, could not attend the meeting and the university’s registrar attended the same.The registrar of DU had to take the brunt from the minister for Singh failing to adhere to her diktat. It was at this meeting that several VCs opposed Irani’s manner of addressing a VC. “HRD minister cannot tell a registrar that your VC tries to act over-smart and that I will see him,” said a VC present in the meeting.Sources said that Banaras Hindu University VC GC Tripathi had also raised objections to it. But Tripathi could not be reached for a comment.

Smriti Irani spots hidden camera in Fabindia trial room: Cops to call store’s top officials

Panaji: The Goa Police Crime Branch is likely to summon top Fabindia officials, including its managing director William Bissell.

HRD Mnister Smriti Irani comes out of the Fabindia showroom where she found a hidden camera installed inside a changing room at Candolim in Goa on Friday. PTIHRD Mnister Smriti Irani comes out of the Fabindia showroom where she found a hidden camera installed inside a changing room at Candolim in Goa on Friday. PTI

HRD Mnister Smriti Irani comes out of the Fabindia showroom where she found a hidden camera installed inside a changing room at Candolim in Goa on Friday. PTI

Four employees of the fashion boutique chain’s outlet in Goa were arrested for allegedly setting up a CCTV camera which overlooked the store’s changing room where Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani was trying out clothes.

The four employees of the store who had been arrested on Friday were produced in court on Saturday. Police have demanded their custody for seven days. Quoting the counsel for the four accused, a report in NDTV said, that Smriti Irani’s head and neck had been captured on the security cameras because she is tall, and that everyone knew about the camera. It was no secret

The counsel also told the court that the person monitoring the footage was a woman, and that innocent people had been held, the NDTV report further added.

“We will be questioning all the top officials,” Superintendent of Police (Crime) Kartik Kashyap said late on Friday. A police official familiar with the investigation of the case said questioning of senior functionaries was necessary to understand the CCTV protocol followed in Fabindia stores and security systems, which were in place at the fashion and fabric company, which has outlets across the country.

The four arrested people have been identified as Karim Lakhani, Prashant Naik, Raju Panche and Paresh Bhagat. They have been booked under Sections 354 C (voyeurism), 509 (intrusion into privacy) and Section 66E of the Information Technology Act.

With inputs from IANS

BJP MLAs turn investigators after Smriti Irani spots CCTV camera in Fabindia trial room

Panaji: Union Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani may have been ingloriously chucked out of the BJP National Executive, but on Friday, her ‘whistle-blowing’ act about a mischievously placed CCTV camera outside the trial room of a Fabindia store in Goa, attracted more attention than the ongoing BJP national executive meet in Bangalore.

Four employees of the Fabindia store in the upscale beach village of Candolim – Karim Lakhani, Prashant Naik, Raju Panche and Paresh Bhagat – were arrested by the Crime Branch late on Friday, several hours after Irani claimed to have spotted a CCTV camera outside the trial room, with its lens allegedly pointing towards the closed space where she was trying out clothes.

PTIPTI

PTI

Dressed in a black salwar kameez, Irani, who was accompanied by her husband, first questioned the management and then contacted local Bharatiya Janata Party legislator Michael Lobo, asking him to fetch the police. Irani however left the scene, just as media crews arrived at the site and has not been available for comment since.

With the main complainant in this express case, Irani, out of the picture, it was left to Lobo and to some extent the police, to tell the media about the incident. Lobo claims the case is an open and shut one.

“The lens of the camera was pointing towards a small little ventilator which was part of the trial or waiting room,” Lobo told Firstpost. Interestingly, Lobo, another BJP MLA, Pramod Sawant, and BJP Zilla Panchayat member Shawn Martins, were present on the crime scene even as the panchanama was being carried out at the crime scene by the police.

More so, Lobo was also part of the initial police investigation, even telling the media that he had asked staffers at the Fabindia store to show him the footage stored on the CCTV servers.

“I went inside the store room where the manager and the accountant sit. The person who sees (monitors) CCTV camera. We told him to show us the CCTV footage… The recording which is there of the trial room, we did see people changing clothes inside,” he said, raising questions whether politicians, even if they are elected representatives could access a crime scene and more so handle evidence on their own.

Lobo claims he wanted to see the footage, because Irani had asked him to file a complaint on her behalf. “Before filing any FIR, madam, the HRD minister telephonically told me they are recording, using trial room to change clothes,” he explained, while justifying his access of the CCTV footage. Irani is familiar with Goa’s BJP leadership because she served as the general secretary in-charge of the state until just after the 2012 state assembly elections in the state.

While the incident occurred at around 12:40 pm, the four staffers were arrested late Friday evening, after being detained for several hours. A family member of one of the arrested staffers told Firstpost that the CCTV footage was being monitored by Fabindia’s senior managerial personnel and there was no point in arresting mere sales personnel on duty.

“All the footage is stored and is analysed regularly by senior Fabindia personnel. If there was something wrong in the way the CCTV camera was positioned, they should have corrected it or reprimanded our boys. They are in the wrong too, so why not arrest them too?” a parent of the arrested persons told Firstpost on condition of anonymity.

Police sources also said that all the four arrested persons in their initial statements said that the CCTV camera was positioned in the manner it was, because of several recent shop-lifting incidents, which occurred in the store. They even mentioned a recent instance, when a foreign tourist tried to tuck in an unpurchased article of clothing under her blouse while in the trial room.

Fabindia on the other hand has not shed any new light in their brief statement to the media after the controversy broke on Friday afternoon. “We have security cameras in all stores…The cameras are placed where shop-lifting can occur…They are not inside the trial rooms,” Fabindia managing director William Bissell told NDTV.

A statement on the boutique’s official Facebook page said: “Fabindia is deeply concerned and shocked at this allegation. We are in the process of investigating this internally and will be cooperating fully with the police. Senior officials of the company are on their way to Goa and will be present during the investigation”.

The incident has inspired the North Goa district police to conduct an examination of CCTV installations by all commercial establishments in its jurisdiction, especially in the coastal belt, which is popular with tourists. “We have formed a team to start a drive across North Goa,” Superintendent of Police Umesh Gaonkar said.

The controversy also made waves on social media.

“Future women shoppers at Fabindia owe Smriti Irani a debt of gratitude,” wrote Bevinda Collaco, who runs the popular TargetGoa page.

Blame media, not IITs, for controversies: Pradipta Banerji

While senior office-bearers of several Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) seem to be unhappy with the working of the human resource development (HRD) ministry, Pradipta Banerji, director, IIT Roorkee, is all praise for Smriti Irani’s style of functioning and prime minister Narendra Modi’s initiatives for the development and progress of educational institutions.

While senior office-bearers of several Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) seem to be unhappy with the working of the human resource development (HRD) ministry, Pradipta Banerji, director, IIT Roorkee, is all praise for Smriti Irani’s style of functioning and prime minister Narendra Modi’s initiatives for the development and progress of educational institutions.
Speaking to dna at the institute recently, Banerjee appreciated Irani for her efforts and sincerity towards the IITs. While the IIT Board chairman Anil Kakodrar and IIT Delhi director RK Sevagonkar have had tiffs with the ministry, Banerji said, “Such differences have occurred in the past as well. These controversies are media-driven rather than institute-driven. We will all mature with time.”
<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Banerjee is also opposed to the idea of criticising the HRD minister or any particular political ideology. “In all my interactions with her (Irani), I have found the HRD minister to be a very positive and progressive person. She understands issues well, we need to give her time,” he added. Refusing to comment upon any individual, Banerji also added that every time a single person alone cannot be held responsible. “It is a two-way traffic,” he said.
The director, however, raised concerns over setting up more IITs and reduction of funds for existing institutions. “We always seem to be in a hurry. Establishing more IITs is fine, but it should not be at the cost of scaling down funds of the existing ones,” he says. The total education budget has gone down by 17 per cent, but the proposal for setting up more IITs has been announced, reducing the individual share of the institutes. Banerji suggests that it is time that the IITs should now look at corporate houses and philanthropy institutes funding. “Academics, philanthropy and corporate houses need to go hand in hand. We are now looking at ventures to get funding from these bodies,” revealed the director.
Prime minister’s idea of Railway University did not find a mention in the budget. Instead, announcement for four railway research centres was made by the rail minister. While tall announcements made by the Prime Minister drew criticism, Banerji is all for PM’ s announcement. “Announcements are very vey important in India. They come with a budget head and things start rolling,” he said. The director also added that Railway Universities cannot be set up overnight. “For better technical and human source, a centre should be setup in the first place, which can then go on to becoming a university,” he explains. IIT Roorkee is getting one of the four railway centres.

Spat with HRD ministry? Anil Kakodkar resigns as chairman of board of governors of IIT-B

New Delhi: Nuclear scientist Anil Kakodkar has resigned as the chairman of the board of governors of IIT Bombay apparently because of differences with the HRD Ministry over selection of some IIT directors.

Kakodkar, whose tenure was supposed to come to an end in May this year has, however, agreed to continue till that period after being persuaded by HRD minister Smriti Irani, who had a long telephonic conversation with him last evening, sources in the ministry said.

Reuters imageReuters image

Reuters image

“I have put down my papers because I want to move ahead,” Kakodkar said but refused to comment on queries whether differences had cropped up between him and the minister over selection of the directors.

Significantly, his move came ahead of a crucial meeting of search-cum-selection committee to select the directors of IIT Patna, Bhubaneshwar and Ropar.

The committee is chaired by Irani and Kakodkar is one of the members of the panel. The committee is slated to meet on
22 March.

Kakodkar’s resignation came two months after IIT Delhi director R Shevgaonkar had stepped down from his post in December last year which had triggered a controversy amid reports that there were sharp differences between him and the ministry over certain issues. His resignation is yet to be accepted.

According to sources in the HRD ministry, there was consensus on the choice of a new director for IIT Patna and Bhubaneshwar but the same was not in the case of IIT Ropar.

About 37 candidates have been called for a fresh round of interview in the ministry.

Kakodkar is understood to be not in agreement with the ministry over the selection of the candidates.

PTI

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