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CPI(M) plenum ends, party bats for ‘flexible tactics’ to deal with emerging political situations

What happened now to make them talk about another alliance? They want to replicate the model of a civic body poll in the state Assembly election. It is a ridiculous proposition!” Chatterjee told reporters here.

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Also ReadIndiaOdd-even formula: Car pooling for senior officers in Home MinistryIndiaSaradha scam: Madan Mitra’s bail plea rejected, custody extended till January 14IndiaSnag forces RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat to travel in non-bullet proof car in KochiIndiaPM Modi wants bureaucrats to give ideas for ‘transformative change’IndiaOdd-even scheme will fail, AAP looking for escape route, says BJPIndiaCPI(M) plenum ends, party bats for ‘flexible tactics’ to deal with emerging political situations <!– /.block –>

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Ramdev likely to skip JNU visit amidst students protest, university stands by invitation

The three-day convention– organised by the university’s Special Center for Sanskrit Studies in collaboration with the Institute of Advanced Sciences, Dartmouth, USA and the Center for Indic Studies, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth — began here on December 27. Ramdev has been invited to deliver the key-note address on December 30.

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Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah reiterates commitment over anti-superstition Bill

The draft Karnataka Prevention of Superstitious Practices Bill, 2013 was prepared by Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy (CSSEIP) of National Law School of India University, on the invitation of state government. BJP condemning certain provisions in the Bill had said the government has no right to infringe upon the beliefs of Hindus.

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How will he get the care he needs if he’s sent back to jail: GN Saibaba’s wife

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The 90% disabled, wheelchair-bound professor’s wife said that before his arrest Saibaba’s both hands were working properly.

Dr GN Saibaba
File Photo

A day after the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court cancelled the temporary bail of Delhi University professor Dr GN Saibaba, his wife on Thursday expressed her apprehension about the further deterioration of her husband’s health. The visibly bold-looking Vasantha could not control her emotions at a press conference in Delhi. She said her husband is in a better position today because of her sincere effort to provide him adequate treatment. The 90% disabled, wheelchair-bound professor’s wife said that before his arrest Saibaba’s both hands were working properly, but due to his over-14-month incarceration in the high security anda cell in Nagpur Central jail, his left hand is now barely functioning.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> “I would like to sue the people responsible for his worsening health… He needs absolute care and attention. How will that be possible if he goes back to jail?” she asked. She expressed her anguish over the high court order which ignored the English professor’s health and said that besides physiotherapy for his physical disability, Saibaba has been getting treatment for high blood pressure, heart ailment and also for the stones in both of his kidneys and the gall bladder. The family had to shift to Vasant Kunj near the Spinal Injury Centre for Saibaba’s frequent treatment for his spinal problem. Recounting the Maharashtra police raid at their house earlier, Vasantha said, “Raids were conducted at our house without any search warrant. My husband was fighting for the rights of poor tribals in Chhattisgarh, which has resulted him to be linked with Maoists.” On Wednesday, the high court rejected Saibaba’s plea for regular bail and directed him to surrender within 48 hours before the court concerned. Meanwhile, civil rights activists and eminent academicians from the Delhi University have criticised the court order terming it as “prejudice” and saying “the judiciary needs accountability for such type of orders”. Regarding the court’s notice to writer Arundhati Roy’s article over Saibaba’s arrest, they said, “It is an attack on the civil liberties.” Last June, the Mumbai police had arrested him for his alleged links with Maoists after questioning him more than four times at his residence. A division bench headed by Bombay High Court chief justice had granted him interim bail which was again extended in September till December.

Those who never want to work opt for govt jobs, quips Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje

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Self-employment and entrepreneurship are the only sectors where one not only gets himself employed but also provides livelihood to three to four others, Raje said.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje
File Photo
PTI
Those who never want to work opt for government jobs, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje quipped in a lighter vein as she asked youths to opt for self-employment and entrepreneurship.”Nowhere in the world people are so charmed by government jobs but in India,” she said while calling upon youths to join skill development programmes.”Only those who don’t want to work actually opt for government jobs,” Raje added in a satirical tone during an address at the inaugural of the first batch at Industrial Training Institute (ITI) in Jhalawar.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Self-employment and entrepreneurship are the only sectors where one not only gets himself employed but also provides livelihood to three to four others, she said.On this occasion Raje felicitated the three students – Yash, Pawan Goyal and Akhlish Jain – from Rajasthan who along with three others from the country recently won gold medals in Science Olympiad. She also praised Mharishi Dayanand Swarswati University, Ajmer for producing good results in self-employment and entrepreneurship sectors.State PWD minister Younus Khan and Raje’s son Dushyant Singh who is also the local MP were present on the occasion.On Tuesday, the first day of her two-day visit to her home constituency in Jhalawar, the Chief Minister laid foundation stone of around six development projects worth Rs 206 crore and announced several other welfare and development schemes in the region.

Aligarh Muslim University divided over campus visit invite to PM Modi

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The teachers’ association also feels that the university only invites personalities, who have contributed to academia.

Aligarh Muslim University

The split between hardliners and moderates at Aligarh Muslim University widened after Prime Minister Narendra Modi was extended an invitation to the campus. University vice chancellor Lt Gen Zameeruddin Shah (retd), whose association with Modi is more than a decade old, wants to invite Modi on the campus. His idea has met with stiff resistance from Leftist and Islamist ideologues. Shah also met Modi in the capital on Friday.”Modi has not yet instilled confidence in the Muslim community. Moreover, he should have something concrete to offer to the university if at all he wants to visit,” said professor Mustafa Zaida, secretary of the teachers’ association.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The teachers’ association also feels that the university only invites personalities, who have contributed to academia. “Modi has no such contributions. Moreover, there has been no trend of prime ministers visiting the campus. After Jawaharlal Nehru, no prime minister visited the campus. We see no reason behind calling him here,” added Zaida.The university administration is of the view that calling Modi to the campus would not just help in boosting the secular character of the university, but will also bring some additional funding from the Centre, which will bring the university out of the financial crisis.This is not the first time that the PM’s visit to an Islamist university has created resentment in the university. Jamia Millia Islamia’s decision of calling Modi for the annual convocation drew similar criticism. Jamia was critical of Modi’s statement made after the 2008 and Batla House encounter. Modi had then said, “There is a university in Delhi called Jamia Millia Islamia. It has publicly announced that it will foot the legal fee of terrorists involved in act. Go drown yourself. This Jamia Millia is being run on government money and it is daring to spend money on lawyers to get terrorists out of jail. When will this vote bank politics end?”However, VC Zameeruddin Shah feels that the PM is very optimistic about AMU. The VC had met the PM on Friday seeking financial assistance for its Kishanganj campus. “He has assured us all possible support,” he said.

AMU divided over invitation to PM Narendra Modi

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The university administration is of the view that calling Modi to the campus would not just help in boosting the secular character of the university, but will also bring some additional funding from the Centre, which will bring the university out of the financial crisis.

The split between hardliners and moderates at Aligarh Muslim University widened after prime minister Narendra Modi was extended an invitation to the campus. University vice chancellor Lt Gen Zameeruddin Shah, whose associations with Modi date back to the 2002 Gujarat riots, want to invite Modi on campus. His idea met stiff resistance from Leftist and Islamist ideologues. Shah also met Modi in the capital on Friday. “Modi has not yet instilled confidence in the Muslim community. Moreover, he should have something concrete to offer to the university if at all he wants to visit,” said professor Mustafa Zaida, secretary of the teachers’ association.The teachers’ association also feels that the university only invites personalities, who have contributed to academia. “Modi has no such contributions. Moreover, there has been no trend of prime ministers visiting the campus. After Jawaharlal Nehru, no prime minister visited the campus. We see no reason behind calling him here,” added Zaida.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The university administration is of the view that calling Modi to the campus would not just help in boosting the secular character of the university, but will also bring some additional funding from the Centre, which will bring the university out of the financial crisis. This is not the first time that the PM’s visit to an Islamist university has created resentment in the university. Jamia Millia Islamia’s decision of calling Modi for the annual convocation drew similar criticism. Jamia was critical of Modi’s statement made after the 2008 and Batla House encounter. Modi had then said, “There is a university in Delhi called Jamia Millia Islamia. It has publicly announced that it will foot the legal fee of terrorists involved in act. Go drown yourself. This Jamia Millia is being run on government money and it is daring to spend money on lawyers to get terrorists out of jail. When will this vote bank politics end?” However, VC Zameeruddin Shah feels that the PM is very optimistic about AMU. The VC had met the PM on Friday seeking financial assistance for its Kishanganj campus. “He has assured us all possible support,” he said. Shah, who feels that the PM’s visit can pull the university put of the crises, added, “I can call anybody and do anything that will be of interest to the university.”

Nirbhaya’s parents and 40 students released after short detention by Delhi Police

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Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal termed the detention as “unacceptable” and said he has asked Chief Secretary KK Sharma to talk to Police Commissioner BS Bassi to secure the release of the victim’s parents.

ABVP activists along with Nirbhayas parents staging a protest against the release of juvenile delinquent in Nirbhaya Case, in New Delhi on Saturday.

PTI
Parents of the December 16 gangrape victim along with 40 DU and JNU students were detained by the police on Saturday as they staged a protest against the release of the juvenile convict in the case. The father of the victim said that they had gathered for a peaceful demonstration against the release of the juvenile convict but the police detained them.”Is there no justice in this country?” he asked.However, police said that the parents were “not detained” but just removed from the road “for their safety”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We detained around 40 youths who had blocked a stretch on the Outer Ring Road but the parents of the victim were not detained. They were removed from the road for their safety, put on a van and brought to the operation cell in Maurice Nagar and later we arranged for their transportation to be taken back home,” said DCP (North) Madhur Verma.Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal termed the detention as “unacceptable” and said he has asked Chief Secretary KK Sharma to talk to Police Commissioner BS Bassi to secure the release of the victim’s parents.However, the father of the victim accused the Delhi government of trying to shield the convict, who has now turned 20.The protesters staged the demonstration at the Outer Ring Road stretch near the correction home, where the juvenile convict was put up, and allegedly blocked the road causing traffic congestion in the area.Also read: DCW reaches out to SC as a last-ditch attempt to stop juvenile convict’s releaseMembers of Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) and Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) had earlier staged a protest at Jantar Mantar demanding the convict juvenile should not be released. Later, the students along with the victim’s parents held a protest outside the juvenile home and shouted slogans that the government should take immediate steps to stop his release.Nirbhaya’s mother Asha Devi today said, “Prime Minister travels the world, but there is no law for women here. Everyone promises change but nothing has been done.””We have been waiting for justice for three years. The government and judiciary have given up on us. Rapists have been given a report card that you can rape and you will give you machine and money and will protect you by forming a committee,” he said.

President Mukherjee begins his 14-day southern tour

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Governor ESL Narasimhana and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao along with some of his ministerial colleagues and senior officials received the President at Hakimpet Air Force base

Pranab Mukherjee

President Pranab Mukherjee today arrived here for his 14-day southern sojourn upto December 31, at the Rashtrapati Nilayam.Governor ESL Narasimhana and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao along with some of his ministerial colleagues and senior officials received the President at Hakimpet Air Force base. During the sojourn, the President will attend the convocation of Military College of Electronics and Mechanical Engineering (MCEME), Secunderabad on December 19, an official release had said earlier. The President would attend the second convocation of the Central University of Karnataka on December 22 at Gulbarga in Karntaka. On the same day, he will inaugurate the Magneto Encephalography Equipment and renovated heritage building of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He will also dedicate NIMHANS to the nation as an institute of national importance. On December 23, the President will attend the 150th anniversary of Bishop Cotton Boys’ School and lay the foundation stone of the State Cancer Institute at the Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, Bengaluru.On December 25, the President will inaugurate the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam’s Veda-Patasala at Ai Bhimavaram in Andhra Pradesh. On December 27, Mukherjee would deliver the inaugural address at the Indian Economic Association’s Annual Conference at Prof Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University, Hyderabad. On the same day, he will also attend the ‘Purnahuthi’ of ‘Ayutha Chandi Maha Yagam’ being organised by the Telangana Chief Minister at Erravelli village in Medak in Telangana for ‘Lok Kalyanam’ (universal prosperity) and ‘Vishwa Shanthi’ (universal peace).ESL Narasimhan, Governor of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh will host a dinner in honour of the President on December 29. The President will host a reception for senior dignitaries of the state, Ministers, officials and others at the Rashtrapati Nalayam, Secunderabad on December 30. The Nilayam is one of the Presidential Retreats. It is customary for the President to visit the Nilayam at least once a year and conduct official business from there.

President Pranab Mukherjee on southern sojourn from tomorrow

During the sojourn, the President will attend the convocation of Military College of Electronics and Mechanical Engineering (MCEME), Secunderabad on December 19, an official release said on Thursday.
File Photo
PTI
President Pranab Mukherjee would be on a southern sojourn for 14 days starting from December 18 to 31 at the Rashtrapati Nilayam in Hyderabad.During the sojourn, the President will attend the convocation of Military College of Electronics and Mechanical Engineering (MCEME), Secunderabad on December 19, an official release said on Thursday.The President would attend the second convocation of the Central University of Karnataka on December 22 at Gulbarga in Karntaka. On the same day, he will inaugurate the Magneto Encephalography Equipment and renovated heritage building of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore. He will also dedicate NIMHANS to the nation as an institute of national importance.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On December 23, the President will attend the 150th Anniversary of Bishop Cotton Boys’ School and lay the foundation stone of the State Cancer Institute at the Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, Bangalore. On December 25, the President will inaugurate the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam’s Veda-Patasala at Ai Bhimavaram in Andhra Pradesh. On December 27, Mukherjee would deliver the inaugural address at the Indian Economic Association s Annual Conference at Prof Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University, Hyderabad.On the same day, he will also attend the ‘Purnahuthi’ of ‘Ayutha Chandi Maha Yagam’ being organised by the Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao at Erravelli village in Medak in Telangana for ‘Lok Kalyanam’ (universal prosperity) and ‘Vishwa Shanthi’ (universal peace).ESL Narasimhan, Governor of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh will host a dinner in honour of the President on December 29. The President will host a reception for senior dignitaries of the State, Ministers, officials and others at the Rashtrapati Nalayam, Secunderabad on December 30, 2015.The Nilayam at Secunderabad in Hyderabad is one of the Presidential Retreats. It is customary for the President to visit the Nilayam at least once a year and conduct official business from there.

Check out bseh.org.in for Class 10 and Class 12 Haryana Board of School Education (HBSE) 2015 results

The results of HBSE (Board of School Education, Haryana) results in 2015 were announced on Thursday. Results of Class 10th (Senior Examination) and Class 12th (Senior Secondary Examination) can be checked on the website bseh.org.in or indiaresults.com. Here’s a comprehensive step-by-step guide for students to check their results: 1) Visit bseh.org.in or indiaresults.com2) Clock on ‘Senior Secondary Examination Result Oct 2015, for Class 12 results and ‘Secondary Examination Result Oct 2015’ for HBSE class 10 result3) Enter your roll number, and check your results. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>You can also call on the toll free number 1800 180 4171 or Whatsapp on 8571867627. The Board of School Education Haryana (HBSE), Bhiwani came into existence in 1969. It started with a staff of 100 officials allocated from Punjab University and conducted the first examination of matriculation level (10th Class) in 1970. The Board adopted 10+2 pattern of education and conducted XII class examination under the new scheme with effect from 1987. Presently, it has the strength of more than 800 officials/officers and is examining 10 lakh + (one million +) candidates in examinations conducted by the Board. The Board of School Education Haryana has introduced the semester system of education from academic year 2006-2007, and claims to be the first Board in India to do so.

Manmad all keen on welcoming its Danish bahu

Born and having studied till 10th standard in Manmad, Rahul like many other teenagers had not found his direction and had failed in English in SSC. “It was teachers’ guidance that changed my perspective. I realised that I had to study and went to the University of Pune to complete my post graduation in Education (Med),” he said.

Rahul Alinje and Cecilia Peterson

Marriages are made in heaven, aver Rahul Alinje from Manmad and Cicelia Peterson from Denmark. And the entire town of Manmad is readying itself to celebrate the occasion – when a son of its soil will tie the knot with a former football player from Denmark. Says excited yet exhausted Rahul, a professor of Social entrepreneurship with Aarhus University and a yoga guru in Denmark, “We both wanted a quite family marriage but now the whole town seems to be a part of it.” Rahul had met Cecilia at his yoga class where she was his student.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Born and having studied till 10th standard in Manmad, Rahul like many other teenagers had not found his direction and had failed in English in SSC. “It was teachers’ guidance that changed my perspective. I realised that I had to study and went to the University of Pune to complete my post graduation in Education (Med),” he said. While studying at the university, Rahul came to know of various scholarships for higher studies and applied for some in Europe. At that time he was also working at the Shri Swami Samarth College of Education and Research, at Gauripada in Kalyan. He had presented a research paper for his scholarship titled ‘Teachers’ education policy – a comparative study of teachers in India and London’. The Sweedish government selected Rahul for a scholarship, which took him to Denmark. With an interest and education in yoga, Rahul also started taking classes in yoga at Aarhus. This is where he met Cecilia Peterson, the former football player for Denmark and now a teacher. “We found we had many commonalities as much as differences,” states Rahul. Cecilia is somewhat aware of Indian culture as her father Del Paterson has spent some time in India for his film. “My understanding of the Danish culture was helped by Cecilia. She made me see things from a different perspective,” said Rahul. When two years ago they decided to spent the rest of their lives together, the acceptance of their families was important for them. “Cecilia’s family had no problem in accepting me well as I was there in Denmark. To acquaint with my family, Cecilia came over to Manmad two years ago,” states Rahul. Cecilia is busy shopping for her wedding on December 20. Cecilia will come across as a Maharashtrian bride, wearing a saree and ornaments. “The marriage will be according to Buddhist traditions but with complete Maharashtrian flavor,” said Rahul with an excited Cecilia by his side.

Is Sanskrit written in English/Hindi all Greek/Latin?

Only 2 out of 100 research papers in Sanskrit are written in the language; But many scholars aren’t cribbing

Thinkstock
Despite several efforts to promote Sanskrit, only two out of 100 research papers in Sanskrit are being presented in the language. Scholars prefer either Hindi or English to write their PhD papers. This has divided the Sanskrit lobby on whether the practice of learning Sanskrit in other languages be allowed to continue or should it be made a medium of instruction. Government and scholars at Sanskrit Bharti, an RSS-affiliated body for promoting Sanskrit, have been trying to promote the language and bring it to the mainstream education curriculum.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The human resource development ministry has constituted a committee last month to suggest a long-term vision and road map for the development of Sanskrit for 10 years. However, a month on, there is a split on traditional versus modern learning techniques. Scholars attached to university systems are of the view that Sanskrit be taught as a language and that there is no harm in presenting Sanskrit research papers in English or Hindi. “A research paper in other languages can be accessed even by those who do not know Sanskrit. Making Sanskrit a medium will discourage students from picking up the language and valuable research work will have very few takers,” said Professor Ramesh Bhardwaj, Sanskrit head of department at Delhi University. Bhardwaj is a member of the Sanskrit committee. Scholars backing Bhardwaj’s view also feel that to make Sanskrit a medium of instruction will require altering the overall syllabus from the school level. “In our school curriculum, we have been teaching basic Sanskrit. The grammar and literature of other languages taught in schools are way ahead of Sanskrit. To make Sanskrit attractive and more accessible at the college level, the need is to correct the school text books,” said Professor AD Mathur of St Stephen’s College. Mathur also feels that it is more important for students to be able to understand the rich content in these Sanskrit texts, even if it is available in other languages. However, scholars from Sanskrit Bharti and Rashtriya Sanskrit Santhan, who support the traditional Sanskrit method and have been championing for the speak-Sanskrit movement want Sanskrit to be developed into a teaching medium. “The current form of learning Sanskrit is adopted from the British. The British translated Sanskrit so that they could read it. For 150 years, we have been following their traditions,” said a member of the committee, who did not want to be quoted. These scholars are also of the view that the British style of teaching Sanskrit has led to a decline of the language and that there is a need to go to the pre- British mode. “We want Indians to read Gita and not the translation of Gita,” added a professor.

JNU tops UGC’s sexual harassment list: Smriti Irani tells Lok Sabha

Twenty five cases of sexual harassment were reported from the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in 2013-2014, the highest among 104 higher education institutions from where such matters were reported according to University Grants Commission (UGC) data. During the period from April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015, there were 15 cases of sexual harassment reported in Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi and 10 cases in Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture Technology and Sciences, Allahabad.

File Photo

Twenty five cases of sexual harassment were reported from the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in 2013-2014, the highest among 104 higher education institutions from where such matters were reported according to University Grants Commission (UGC) data. During the period from April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015, there were 15 cases of sexual harassment reported in Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi and 10 cases in Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture Technology and Sciences, Allahabad.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nine cases were reported from King George’s Medical University, Lucknow. There were 8 such cases reported in University of Mumbai and Viswa Bharati, Santi Niketan, Birbhum during this period. These details were shared in the Lok Sabha by Human Resource Development (HRD) minister Smriti Irani, who in a written reply to a member’s question said that as per UGC, there were 295 cases of sexual harassment that have been reported during 2014-15 in various institutes of higher learning. “As per University Grants Commission (UGC), 295 cases of sexual harassment have been reported during 2014-15 in various institutes of higher learning against women,” Irani said. The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has also reported two cases of sexual harassment against women, she said.

Parliament should function through debate, not disruption: President Mukherjee

Pranab Mukherjee

PTI
President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday said Parliament should function through debate, dissent and decision and not disruption. “There are three D’s through which Parliament functions. These are debate, dissent and decision,” Mukherjee said while delivering the keynote address in memory of former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru at Calcutta University Centenary Hall here.”I never heard of the fourth ‘D’, which is disruption… Parliamentary proceedings should not be disrupted by creating ruckus, there are several other places to do so,” he said. His comments gain significance in view of disruption of Parliamentary proceedings over some time on several issues.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Speaking on India reaching an agreement with Japan on civil nuclear cooperation yesterday, the President said “I am very happy. “We have earlier signed civil nuclear cooperation agreement with countries like USA, Russia and others. I initiated the process in 2008 (during his tenure as external affairs minister),” he said.”It is necessary to switch to nuclear energy to save the environment from pollution as diesel or coal-based power plants emit pollutants. “As such in order to lessen pollution, we need alternative energy,” he said. Recalling the contribution and farsightedness of Nehru in intiating nuclear power in the country, the President said the first prime minister of the country had got Homi Bhabha to establish the Atomic Energy Commission way back in 1948.

Post Tamil Nadu rains, Jayalalithha urges PM Modi to postpone Civil Service examinations

The “hardship” faced by the students would place the candidates at a “distinct disadvantage” as compared to candidates from other parts of the country, she said.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Stating that students from the state taking up civil service examinations were affected by heavy rains and floods, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Sunday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to postpone the examinations by two months for “adequate preparations” for them.”I understand that Union Public Services Commission proposes to conduct Civil Services (Main) Examination, 2015, from December 18 to 23. The devastation caused by the recent floods in Chennai has largely interrupted various services including the supply of electricity”, she said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Students all over from Tamil Nadu appearing for civil services examinations use Chennai as the main centre for preparation”, she said in her letter to Modi.”Their life has been completely disrupted in the last few weeks and they were unable to concentrate and study for the examination”, she said.The “hardship” faced by the students would place the candidates at a “distinct disadvantage” as compared to candidates from other parts of the country, she said.”As this has been a calamity of severe magnitude affecting a large population, I request you to kindly take up the issue with the Union Public Service Commission and have the Civil Services (Main) examination, 2015, postponed by at least two months”, she said.It would enable the students from Tamil Nadu to appear in the examinations with “adequate preparation” and would place them on level playing field with their counterparts, she said. She said life was returning to normalcy in many parts of the city and other flood-affected areas as there has been dry weather over the last few days.Various school and University examinations were already postponed by the Government due to floods, she said.

12,822 appear for B.ED exam but 20,097 pass in Agra

In an astounding case of forgery, over 20,000 students have reportedly cleared the B.ED exams while only 12,822 were enrolled as regular students from B.R Ambedkar University in Agra.

Representational Image

In an astounding case of forgery, over 20,000 students have reportedly cleared the B.ED exams while only 12,822 were enrolled as regular students from B.R Ambedkar University in Agra.”The case is of the 2013-14 session of the Ambedkar University when Gorakhpur’s Din Dayal Upadhyay College was given the responsibility for B.ED admissions. Around 13349 students came into the university through counseling process and were allotted in 190 colleges affiliated with Ambedkar University,” University PRO, Professor Manoj Srivastava told ANI.”But when the B.ED examinations were announced, the number of students that applied was much higher, roughly around 5000. At that point of time, the Chancellor had denied them from giving the exams,” he added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He asserted that 20,097 students had taken the exams which included only 12,822 students which were there in counseling.”It is now to be examined whether the High Court’s order is applicable to all or not. It is the decision of the Chancellor that only result of only those candidates would be announced who got admitted through counseling,” he said.

Murder suspect in Vipin Chaudhary and Ex-MLA Bharat Singh’s cases nabbed

Ravi Shokeen, part of a rival gang responsible for the two murders this year, arrested by Delhi police

Acting on a confidential tip-off, a joint task force from the Delhi police laid a trap and captured 22-year-old Ravi Shokeen, the prime accused in the murders of ex-MLA Bharat Singh and his driver Vipin Chaudhary late on Friday evening. Police personnel apprehended Shokeen at a CNG petrol Pump at Rajiv Chowk, Gurgaon and confiscated an English pistol and four live cartridges that were found upon his person at the time of the arrest.Shokeen alias Chuja is a sharpshooter and was considered to be the mastermind and executor of Chaudhary’s killing on December 8, 2015. Shokeen, along with three others, carefully planned and laid out a honey trap for Chaudhary that lured him near near Japanese Park in Sector 12 of outer Delhi’s Rohini sub-city where he was shot dead. A 19-year-old woman connected in Chaudhary’s murder was arrested by the police in Gurgaon earlier this week.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shokeen, a third year BA student at Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), was also involved in the sensational murder of former INLD legislator from Najafgarh, Bharat Singh in March this year. Following the murder six persons, including the alleged mastermind Udaiveer alias Kaale, and Nitin Sherawat, the son of a former Delhi MLA were arrested for the crime. Hemant, Udaiveer’s nephew and Shokeen were absconding. In order to facilitate the quick capture of Shokeen, police personnel had announced a cash reward of Rs50,000 for information would lead to his capture.”Shokeen was one of the key members of Hemant’s gang and as such was involved in the planning and murders of Singh and Chaudhary,” Joint Commissioner of Police (south-western range) Dependra Pathak at a press conference held at the Delhi Police Headquarters on Saturday.Shokeen was produced before the court on Saturday where various charges relating to murder and attempt to murder were levelled against him.

12 Osmania University students held for ‘organising’ beef festival

A students’ group had declared that it would hold a ‘beef festival’ on the campus on December 10, coinciding with the World Human Rights Day, while another group also announced its plan to organise a ‘pork festival’ the same day, which had raised the possibility of confrontation.

Police detaining an Osmania University student who was trying to organise beef festival in Hyderabad on Thursday.

PTI
At least 12 students were arrested from their hostel rooms on Osmania University campus for allegedly organising a “beef festival” in defiance of a court order asking for a status quo on holding either beef or pork festival, police said in Hyderabad on Friday.The students were arrested on Thursday night, a senior police official said, adding that, “We have arrested them under contempt of court case”. The students were being produced in the court today. Meanwhile, the situation on the OU is normal now against the backdrop of a mild tension of Thursday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A students’ group had declared that it would hold a ‘beef festival’ on the campus on December 10, coinciding with the World Human Rights Day, while another group also announced its plan to organise a ‘pork festival’ the same day, which had raised the possibility of confrontation.Police had said on Thursday to have foiled a bid by students to organise the beef festival even as some students claimed that they held the event inside their hostel rooms. Police had also rounded up over 100 persons who came in different groups and tried to barge into the campus either opposing or supporting the beef festival, amid a mild tension in and around OU.A city civil court had passed the status quo order on the ‘beef festival’ three days back, which amounts to staying the holding of the festivals, on a petition filed by an advocate. The petition contended that these events are in violation of Cruelty Towards Animal Act and Cow Slaughter Act, and hurt the religious sentiments of the people. The High Court on Wednesday upheld the order of the city civil court.Shankar, one of the organisers, had yesterday said that all the students “celebrated” the festival in their hostel rooms as the police did not allow them to come out. Some pictures showing the students eating beef were circulated in social media but it was not known whether they consumed beef yesterday.

UP minister Shivpal Yadav likens Azam Khan to Sir Syed Ahmed Khan

Yadav, while praising Azam for his efforts in stablishing the Jauhar varsity, said, “He (Azam) has followed the path of Sir Syed Ahmad who established Aligarh Muslim University and like him Azam’s name too would be remembered.”
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Uttar Pradesh Minister Shivpal Singh Yadav has equated his cabinet colleague Azam Khan to Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, saying his name too would be remembered for his efforts in establishing the Jauhar University.Yadav, while praising Azam for his efforts in stablishing the Jauhar varsity, said, “He (Azam) has followed the path of Sir Syed Ahmad who established Aligarh Muslim University and like him Azam’s name too would be remembered.”Yadav, who was the chief guest at the Jauhar remembrance Day celebrations in Rampur on Thursday said, “We had followed (Azam) Khan Sahib’s all the directives and doing that at present and will continue to do that in future as well.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Azam Khan, the lifetime chancellor of the Jauhar University, on the occasion of ‘Yaad-e-Jauhar’ reminded the sacrifices of Muslims in the freedom struggle and claimed that in “Jalian-wala-Bagh massacre 40 % of the martyrs were Muslims and it were we (Muslims) who won the Kargil war.””We expect and deserve honorable status in society but how one shall feel when we are placed in the category of Dawood Ibrahim,” he said alluding to Shiv Sena’s recent allegation that Azam Khan was more dangerous than Dawood.He also criticised US President Barack Obama, “We (Muslims) shall always be feeling ashamed for Obama’s deleting Hussain from his name.””After oath taking ceremony Barack Hussain Obama became Barack Obama …Obama could not keep ‘Hussain’ intact with him which hurts Muslims immensely,” Azam said.

Police foil ‘beef fest’ bid at Osmania University; organisers claim success

A ‘curfew-like’ situation prevailed at the university with heavy police security being deployed to prevent any untoward incident in view of a student group’s plan to hold a ‘beef festival’ at the university.

Police detaining an Osmania University student who was trying to organise beef festival in Hyderabad on Thursday.

PTI
Police on Thursday said they foiled a student group’s attempt to hold a ‘beef festival’ on the Osmania University (OU) campus in Hyderabad even as organisers claimed that students “celebrated” the event inside their hostel rooms.In order to stop the ‘festival’ from taking place, police also detained some of its key organisers and arrested BJP MLA from Goshamahal in Hyderabad, T Raja Singh, who was in the forefront opposing the event.A ‘curfew-like’ situation prevailed at the university with heavy police security being deployed to prevent any untoward incident in view of a student group’s plan to hold a ‘beef festival’ at the university. There was a mild tension in and around the OU as police rounded up over 100 persons who came in different groups and tried to barge into the campus either opposing or supporting the festival.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A students’ group had declared that it would hold a ‘beef festival’ on the campus today, coinciding with the World Human Rights Day, while another group also announced its plan to organise a ‘pork festival’ the same day, which had raised the possibility of confrontation.Talking to PTI, Deputy Commissioner of Police (East Zone), A Ravinder said “we successfully stopped them from organising the festival on the campus. We have taken a few people into custody. They will be released soon.”When contacted, Shankar, one of the organisers, said all the students “celebrated” the festival in their hostel rooms as the police did not allow them to come out. “You (media) should tell whether the event was successfully held or not,” Shankar said.Some pictures showing the students eating beef were circulated in social media but it was not immediately known whether they consumed beef today.”Last night, we detained eight key members of the group which announced the beef festival today. As per the court order, decided not to allow any festival on the Osmania University campus,” a police official said.

‘Bring back Sanjay Joshi to save BJP’ posters surface in Ahmedabad

Posters of Joshi, who is considered a bete noir of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, were put up by unknown persons at around 20 places in the city

Sanjay Joshi

Carrying the message “Bring back Sanjay Joshi to save BJP”, posters of party’s former national general secretary today surfaced in several parts of the city.Posters of Joshi, who is considered a bete noir of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, were put up by unknown persons at around 20 places in the city. The posters were also seen in Prabhat chowk which comes under the Ghatlodia Assembly seat of Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel and on the Darpan cross road under Naranpura constituency of BJP chief Amit Shah.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Apart from these places, the posters can be seen hanging near Gujarat University, Gurukul and Shivranjani cross roads areas. Each poster carries Joshi’s photo, BJP party symbol lotus and a common message in Gujarati, which reads -“Bring back Sanjay Joshi to save BJP”. It is believed that these posters were put up during night and spotted by city dwellers this morning.While no one has claimed the responsibility behind this act, the state BJP unit remained silent and refused to comment on the issue. These posters emerged at a time when BJP is doing ‘introspection’ about their debacle in recently held district and taluka panchayat polls.After Patel took over the reigns from Modi last year, these elections were considered as an acid test for her. This is not the first time when such posters have emerged in the city, as his supporters have done that in the past too.Joshi, a full-time RSS pracharak, has been sidelined from the BJP since last many years. His rivalry with Modi is well known.

Commercial sex workers give Rs1 lakh for Chennai flood-hit

In the past 23 years, these women from Ahmednagar have contributed more than Rs20 lakh for various causes; Mumbai’s Food Army too keeps up their good work

Commercial sex workers hand over the cheque of Rs1 lakh to the Ahmednagar collector on Tuesday

Commercial sex workers in Ahmednagar have contributed Rs1 lakh in aid of the flood victims in Chennai. On Tuesday, the cheque of this amount was handed over to district collector Anil Kawade for the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund.There are about 3,500 CSWs in Ahmednagar. Although their financial condition is not anything to talk about, about 1,200 of them came forward and collected the amount, some by giving their day’s earnings and others by slashing a day’s meal.Motivated by professor Girish Kulkarni, founder member of NGO Snehalaya that looks after the well-being of such women and runs schools and hostels for their children, this group of women had first donated some amount of their income to help the victims of the 1993 bomb blasts in Mumbai.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prof Kulkarni stated that what is of importance is their feeling for others. “This help comes from women who themselves are in no great situation. They suffer throughout their life. They belong to that section of the society where they are not accepted by others; they are rather targets of criticism. Itis quite admirable that these women look beyond what society has given them and want to give to the society,” he said.In the past, these women have contributed towards the funds to help victims of Kargil war, the earthquake in Gujarat, Tsunami, Oddisha storm, drought in Maharashtra, floods in Leh and Uttarakhand and other such disasters. In the past 23 years, they have contributed more than Rs20 lakh for various causes.”Once one of these women read in the newspapers that a son a poor domestic help had passed the exams to study in Texas University, US, but he did not have the required amount of money. The group of women then collected Rs35,000 and handed it over to the boy and his mother. What is most appealing is the fact that in spite of being in a dismal situation themselves, where they don’t even earn enough for a decent living, these women show that humanity is alive,” states Kulkarni

Veteran CPI leader AB Bardhan suffers paralytic stroke, rushed to hospital

Bardhan moved to Delhi politics in the 1990s and became the deputy general secretary of the CPI.

CPI leader AB Bardhan

Veteran communist leader AB Bardhan was hospitalised in New Delhi on Monday morning after he suffered a paralytic stroke.92-year old Bardhan, who lives in the CPI Headquarters in Delhi, felt uneasy around 0800 hours and then lost consciousness. He was immediately rushed to the G B Pant Hospital in central Delhi, CPI leader Atul Kumar Anjaan said.He described Bardhan’s condition as “critical” and said the former General Secretary of the Communist Party of India was admitted in the emergency wing and being taken care of by senior doctors. Bardhan’s wife, a professor in Nagpur University, died in 1986. The couple has a son and a daughter.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ardhendu Bhushan Bardhan was a leading figure of the trade union movement and Left politics in Maharashtra and had won as an independent candidate in the Maharashtra Assembly in 1957. He later rose to become the General Secretary and then the President of the All India Trade Union Congress, the oldest trade union in India.Bardhan moved to Delhi politics in the 1990s and became the deputy general secretary of the CPI. He succeeded Indrajit Gupta as the General Secretary of the party in 1996.

Notes from the Chennai Floods: Better off than most

“We were trapped in the middle of a Biblical experience, and with boats being used for rescue, the Ark was not far behind.”

A residential area is seen surrounded by floodwaters in Chennai on Saturday

PTI
This was a harrowing week, but we are better off than most. “Better off than most” has been my refrain all week. We do not live on the ground floor. Years of living in Bombay taught us always to be prepared. Years of living have taught us how to shrink our needs and conserve everything from the inverter and cell batteries to food and water. Years in this flat have taught us where to place towels and buckets to absorb the leakage and seepage which happen with a few hours of rain. But it was still harrowing as we lost power, the inverter gave out, the landline died and took with it the Internet connection, leaving our cell phone (charged but with no signal) as the solitary, tenuous connection with the world. Losing contact with the world was the worst part of the week for us. With the road not being visible from our windows, no access to news and a sky that had closed in on us, we had no sense of whether the situation was improving or worsening. Would this ever end? On the third evening without power, we lit more candles than ever and yet, neither the room nor our spirits quite lit up. We did not look outside, trying to see where power was restored. It was as if we had entered a zone from which there was no return.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>And yet, we’re better off than most.***In my family, as in many others, the Chennai contingent is largely made up of senior citizens living alone. Most do not use the cell phones their children have bought them and most do not own and maintain vehicles of their own.Their daily needs include access to day-night pharmacies with delivery and the ability to go see a doctor for this or that. With no power, there were no lifts available, and we just hoped the time would pass without incident. Even if we could get them downstairs, there was no transport available outside and the ground floor was inundated.Scattered families, with even branches at one remove, now quite out of touch mean that most of us have no one to call in an emergency. Even if we could get through.Hired caregivers usually commute long distances. What if they cannot travel to work? What if? What if?As we sat out the rain, it reinforced my concerns about caregiving and support systems for the elderly. This, of course, applies to all categories of people requiring care.The deaths at a major hospital due to power failure were reported, but on Twitter and Facebook, you also heard about other near-misses. Generator sets that volunteers repaired. Back-up that was made available. Gas cylinders that were procured and delivered to old age homes. What happens in a seniors-only household where people are not net-savvy enough to read Google Docs with volunteer lists?Stranded without power, without water, without a working phone, running out of medicine and without access to the outside world, middle-class seniors have little recourse to help unless someone from the outside worlds points attention to them.We need to build these support systems in less critical times so that the need is never this acute. The best 24/7 efforts of millions of volunteers cannot be a replacement.But, it is true, we are all better off than most.***In a conflict zone study in Baluchistan, women pointed to the non-availability of information as one of the greatest sources of stress in their situation. People leave home but until you see them walk in through the door, you do not know whether they are safe, caught in cross-fire, “forcefully disappeared” or killed in a bomb attack. The rain pouring outside was not quite a war-zone—although most have suffered its privations as if it were—it is true that the greatest stress came from not knowing what was going on and not being able to ask anyone. It does not matter that no one has answers in these situations. Asking is a form of stress relief, and it is the human interaction that follows that offers that little amelioration.My mother remarked that roving jeeps making public service or weather update announcements on megaphones would have been a relief. I agree. Some information, any information, would have been welcome.Without the hum of electricity indoors, the silence was deafening, amplifying the noise made by the rain.No phones meant too that no one could check on you, and there is nothing that makes a situation bleaker than thinking no one wants to know how you are. Moreover, volunteers are writing that it is hard for them to communicate and coordinate as signals and Internet connections drop. That is tragic— there are people out there with the will and the means to help but their efforts are blunted by technology, which is something that can be fixed.We learn slowly and from the disasters of the last decade, the one thing we have learnt is to provide sanitary napkins. Perhaps it is time to add information technology to our list of essentials? In this age, not knowing and not communicating are the greatest hardship. Can mobile service providers find a way to “weather-proof” their service (I ask as a non-technical person)? Can we have back-up “primitive” systems of public outreach?***We were and are better off than most. We knew that when the rain started. We remembered that as we kept vigil. We remembered that with greater gratitude when power and landline were both restored after three days.The first thing we did was to switch on the TV and watch the news. If we hadn’t remembered all along, we would have known then.My first (so far, only) foray takes me to the grocery store. Young people, in their late teens and twenties, have shown up to work, looking tired and spent. I ask one girl who has been working there for several years. She describes the water in her hut, which is now probably history. Her relatives who live in a flat came and took her family which includes a child to another family residence. In that moment, she relives the terror she felt for her child. I tell her, empty words, that it is going to be better soon. She says, “They are feeding us.” Those words break my heart.They hold her understanding that this act of shelter is a strain for her relatives. This is an extraordinary kindness that she experiences as a huge obligation. She would like to go home where she does not have to be beholden. She must be hungry too, stocking shelf after shelf of food she cannot buy.I ask the young boy who is packing my purchases. Has he eaten anything? Has the cashier? They don’t look like they have; I write this and think, they probably usually don’t before coming to work. With grace, they reassure me, they will be fed. Fed what? They are less sure. I leave a few packets of biscuits for them, feeling miserly and stupid. And overwhelmed.It is the same story, wherever I go. Hungry, tired faces, trying to do the best they can. Something a few biscuits will not change.***As we emerge from the watery vigil and the debilitating isolation, I see on social media post after post, calling for and coordinating help to those worst affected. The coordination is impressive and the commitment even more so. That story is still underway. As the call for volunteers and supplies is renewed every hour, there are those familiar questions about reconstruction.Volunteers cannot do this work indefinitely. Their own livelihood and life demands will reclaim them once the edge of the crisis passes. Who will then work to pick up the pieces? The very people whose lives have been shattered.The people who have worked all week.And, inescapably, the government.The conference in Stockholm, organised by the Forum for Asian Studies at Stockholm University and the University at Albany, State University of New York, was on political participation in Asia. One of the ideas most discussed was “post-democracy.” A post-democratic polity is one in which citizens are indifferent to the state and have low expectations of it. Instead, it is left to a corporatised civil society and business to take responsibility for both physical and social infrastructure. At first glance, this is an interesting idea. Many of those coming out in hundreds to help in Chennai certainly belong to a post-democratic India. They are helping night and day partly because they want to and partly because they believe the state incapable of and unable to handle relief on its own. Scepticism about the government or the political class’ will to help is common, and the fact that the stories about stickers on relief packages seemed plausible long before it was confirmed, is an illustration. But only a small part of India can afford to be post-democratic— those of us that are better off than most.For the rest, the government and its networks are going to be critical for recovery.Water has inundated the office of the small taxi company we have used for almost two decades. The company has grown before our eyes but not to the point of cushioning such losses as they might have incurred in the last month. Replacing office furniture and computers, getting phone lines restored, paying advances to old-timers, getting vehicles repaired and turning away business in the interim will all cost the businesses money. As employers, what affects small businesses like this one can have an impact on communities all over the state as families are affected, their incomes drop and access and life-chances change. Will we be loyal to the small businesses that make up our community? Or, when they turn us away in the next few weeks, will we switch to using the bigger companies in the same line? Beyond our loyal custom, though, the businesses will need loans to recover. It is more likely that public sector banks and other government schemes will help them than that private financial institutions will.This is also true for people who have lost their homes. While they are in shelters, volunteers can rescue them and take them food, blankets and doctors. When they go home and find their homes literally or virtually destroyed, can individual volunteers or groups of volunteers really help them repair and rebuild even in the most basic ways? It is unlikely, even unrealistic. This is where the government can come in. Useful populism would consist, for instance, in offering people a stove, tube lights (also, restored connections!), school book replacements, a month’s supply of essential foods and medicines. Let us hope it does not take the form of colour television sets! Expediting the replacement of essential documents like ration cards, voter IDs and title deeds is also something only government can do. Legal NGOs can help with the documentation but the processing is up to government offices.Post-democracy is an attractively packaged idea but did not, does not seem to work for most of the people I know. Only for those better off than most.***When I see the dedication of volunteers—those acting with a large group and those on their own initiative, helping out those they can reach—I ask my usual question, in the words of that old song, “Will you still love me tomorrow?” We will have different kinds of work to do tomorrow.Tomorrow, we will need to take all the analyses of why this happened and transform that into policy or a code of business ethics or something. Tomorrow, we will need to help people rebuild their lives and businesses. Tomorrow, we will need to think of a better system of care and social support for the elderly, the sick, the differently abled and those living alone for any reason. Tomorrow, we will need to reflect on what worked and did not work in the way we organised relief— because, unfortunately, there will be another disaster somewhere, and we will need to have learnt. Tomorrow, we will need to think about better systems of communication that survive climate vagaries. Tomorrow, actually today, we will need to think about climate change and our everyday choices. Which of these things will we sign up for?Tomorrow, however, as someone said, is another day.***I can think, I can write and someone may even publish these words. I am better off than most because I can do that. I hold on to those words: “Better off than most.” But let this be over now.
​SwarnaRajagopalan is a political scientist by training. She is currently based in Chennai.

Beef vs Pork Festival: Showdown likely in Osmania University campus

The organisers of the beef ‘festival’ had said that it was being planned as a means to “save democratic principles” in the wake of alleged attempts to curb dietary habits of certain groups, coinciding with International Human Rights Day on December 10.

A showdown appears to be on cards on Thursday with the defiant students’ group deciding to go ahead with its plan to conduct a ‘Beef Festival’ on December 10 in Osmania University campus here despite university authorities’ refusal of permission and a BJP MLA vowing to stop it.Another group of students had announced plans to organise a ‘Pork festival’ in the university campus on December 10. “In fact, we did not apply for permission. Permission is not required for what we eat in our college and our hostel. We will definitely go ahead with the event,” Shankar, an organiser of the ‘Beef Festival’, said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Noting that Ganesh festival and “Nagula Chavati” celebrations, among others, do take place at the campus, he asked how come these religious events are taking place in the university premises with people from outside coming in. Meanwhile, BJP MLA Raja Singh, who had vowed to stop the ‘Beef Festival’, said he would go ahead with his plan if the organisers tried to conduct the event even after refusal of permission.”101 per cent, we will stop it, if they go ahead with the Beef Festival even after the government saying so (denying permission),” Raja Singh said.He had earlier said a ‘Gau puja’ should also be allowed on December 10 if the ‘Beef Festival’ is permitted. Raja Singh had also hit out at Telangana BJP President G Kishan Reddy for “not speaking in favour of stopping the “Beef Festival” and demanded his resignation, saying his action amounted to “stunting the growth of BJP in Telangana”.The organisers of the beef ‘festival’ had said that it was being planned as a means to “save democratic principles” in the wake of alleged attempts to curb dietary habits of certain groups, coinciding with International Human Rights Day on December 10.They said they have also complained to the State Human Rights Commission against Raja Singh for his “provocative comments”. Pork has been a nutritious food choice and “pig-rearing provided livelihood to certain communities” in the country, said Solanki Srinivas, a leader of the students’ group in the varsity planning to hold ‘Pork Festival’.OU authorities said yesterday the university has been established for the purpose of imparting higher education and conducting research in various disciplines. “The primary objective of the University is purely academic and research oriented. It is, therefore, informed to all the concerned including the teachers, students and staff of the university that activities such as “Beef Festival” and “Gau-Puja” which are unrelated to academics and research will not be permitted on the campus,” they said.

VIDEO: Akshansh’s PhD: India man who didn’t let cerebral palsy win

Akshansh Gupta has not allowed cerebral palsy to stand in the way of his academic success

Twitter reacts to #ChennaiRains, help pours in for the flood affected

Chennai Rains

AFP
Chennai has been inundated with floods as heavy rains battered the city throughout Tuesday night. While the Army and Navy are being deployed to rescue people from the rain-induced flood, many civilians have undertaken rescue operations themselves. People aggressively tweeted with #ChennaiRains and #ChennaiRains help, making it the top trend on Twitter in India.Related Read: Chennai floods: Helpline numbers for rescue operations, food, blankets, accommodation, stranded animals and more<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A turn of the road, or a bend by the river?As #ChennaiRains trend on Twitter, it has been a platform for reiteration of information.The page created for weather updates, help and coordination, can be followed for assistance and latest information.As everyone is taking steps to help each other, some are going a step further and assuring the safety of the animals as well. There have been reports and requests of rescues of animals from all over the city.This video shows how a woman gets to a house next to hers, swimming.A swelling Adyar River has been a source of concern for the recent hour.As Army and the Navy personnel have been deployed, rescue operations began yesterday; the death toll has risen to 188.Train services have been delayed or diverted as the railway tracks have been completely flooded.Forecasts have come up and they have not been reassuring.A scene from the airport.A scene from the Sathyabama University.As the situations got dire, help started pouring in, as Chennaites look out for each other.This video gives a clear idea of how devastating this rain has been for Chennai.

Eight Indian institutions among top 500 world universities, IISC leads the pack

This was disclosed by Union Minister for Human Resource development Smriti Irani in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

Eight higher educational institutions from India have been listed in the top 500 universities in the world by the QS rankings in 2015.This was disclosed by Union Minister for Human Resource development Smriti Irani in the Lok Sabha on Monday.Two of these institutions’ the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore and the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi are ranked 147 and 179 respectively in the QS World University Rankings for 2015-16. The other six were IITs in Bombay (ranked 202);T Kanpur (271); Kharagpur (286); Madras (254); Roorkee (391) and Guwahati (460)<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Irani said Indian higher education institutions would need to work on improving their perception index if they have to better their global rankings.Also Read: IISc breaks into list of top 100 universities for engineering and technology

VC’s appointment row: SC notice to Aligarh Muslim University

The petitioner, Syed Abrar Ahmed, had argued before the high court that the regulations – which pertained to minimum qualifications and maintenance of standards in the higher education – had become binding on the AMU when it had adopted these on December 6, 2010.

AMU

The Supreme Court sought Aligarh Muslim University’s response on a petition seeking a direction to quash the appointment of its vice-chancellor. A bench of justices Ranjan Gogoi and N V Ramana issued notice to the university directing it to file its reply in six weeks on the appeal challenging the Allahabad High Court order which had dismissed the plea of an alumni of the university.The high court on October 16 had junked the petition challenging the appointment of Lt. Gen. Zameer Uddin Shah, noting there was “nothing wrong with the procedure (adopted)”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The appointment of Shah as VC of AMU on May 11, 2012 was challenged on the ground that according to the regulations of University Grants Commission (UGC), the VC ought to have worked for at least 10 years as a professor in a university or on an equivalent post in a research or academic institute.The petitioner, Syed Abrar Ahmed, had argued before the high court that the regulations – which pertained to minimum qualifications and maintenance of standards in the higher education – had become binding on the AMU when it had adopted these on December 6, 2010.Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the petitioner, contended that the high court had “erroneously refused to quash the appointment of the VC, in contradiction of the mandatory provisions of the UGC Regulation, 2010″.Bhushan, assisted by advocate Govind Jee contended that the appointment of the VC of AMU is contrary to the UGC Regulations, 2010 (the present VC was appointed on May 11, 2012 in contravention of the UGC Regulations, 2010 so far as the qualifications are concerned).”The UGC Regulations, 2010 was accepted and adopted by the AMU and the same was put in abeyance by the University, deliberately by an administrative order,” he argued. “Pass an order restraining the present VC not to make any appointment and promotion, take any policy decision which may have long term financial or other implications on the executive and academic functioning of the University,” the plea said.

Odisha University of Agriculture rusticates 5 students on ragging charges

Stating that action was being taken against the five erring students for now, the VC said charges against 10 others were being examined.

The Odisha University of Agriculture (OUAT) on Friday rusticated five students for one year on charges of ragging first year students in Department of Forestry. The action was taken as per the recommendation of the disciplinary committee of the varsity. “As per the guidelines laid out by the University Grants Commission, the five students have been rusticated from the fisheries college for one year,” OUAT Vice-Chancellor Manoranjan Kar told reporters.This apart, the committee also recommended disciplinary action against 10 other students of the university’s Forestry department where the ragging was reported. Stating that action was being taken against the five erring students for now, the VC said charges against 10 others were being examined.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We are examining the evidence against the others as once the orders are issued it would have ramifications if there are certain discrepancies. We will give the accused students a chance to defend themselves and have called them tomorrow to present their case,” the VC said. The expelled students include undergraduates of second, third and fourth year and few post-graduates. The move followed the complaint of 10-12 junior students of Forestry department of ragging by senior students on Tuesday. They even gheraoed the Office of Dean demanding action and lodged an FIR at Khandagiri police station.In their FIR to the police, some of the boarders of Pathani Samanta Hostel of the university alleged that they were brutally beaten up by the seniors on the night of November 19 and two of them were seriously injured in the incident. However, the university authorities and anti-ragging committee had taken no action despite repeated complaints, they alleged before the police.

‘Hindustan only for Hindus’ remark: Congress wants dismissal of Assam Governor PB Acharya

Gogoi alleged Acharya was working more as an “RSS pracharak than a Constitutional Head of the state.”

The Assam Pradesh Congress Committee on Friday took out a rally in Guwahati demanding dismissal of acting Governor PB Acharya for his alleged remark that “Hindustan is only for Hindus,” even as the BJP held a rally in Dibrugarh launching its campaign for the Assembly polls in the state due next year. Addressing the rally Congress president Anjan Dutta alleged that by his remark the Governor demeaned his post and violated his position of maintaining neutrality as a Constitutional head of the state by acting as a spokesman of the RSS.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Dutta, along with other Congress leaders demanded Acharya’s dismissal alleging the Governor was using the Raj Bhavan as a headquarter of the RSS and claimed that the Governor had appointed pro-RSS persons without required qualifications in University governing bodies here. Earlier on November 22 Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had also demanded the Centre to appoint a permanent Governor in the state by replacing acting incumbent Acharya with an open minded person to keep unity in the country and continue with its development. Gogoi alleged Acharya was working more as an “RSS pracharak than a Constitutional Head of the state.” Meanwhile, launching a scathing attack on the Tarun Gogoi government, BJP president Amit Shah addressing a party Karyakarta Sanmelan in Dibrugarh, exhorted people to vote for BJP in Assam to bring in development, install a corruption-free government, increase employment avenues and safeguard its borders from illegal migrants.

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

Indian rules: Women educate ‘ignorant’ Smriti Irani

The unique protest against minister Smriti Irani’s declaration that women in India have complete freedom to decide what to wear or whom to meet.

CIC chides UGC for withholding info on unrecognised degrees

Acharyulu said it appears that the UGC office has simply acted as “post office” to transfer letters to the University.

The University also did not respond to any of the letters written by the UGC,” the Information Commissioner said.

The CIC has pulled up the UGC for not sharing complete information about a case of cheating against a deemed University, chided it for being a “post office” and “vehemently defending” the institution facing allegations of invalid medical degrees. Issuing showcause notice to explain why maximum penalty of Rs 25,000 was not imposed on their officials for withholding information sought by RTI applicant, Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu noted that the CPIO of the UGC was defending the University as if he was its “hired counsel”. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Acharyulu said it appears that the UGC office has simply acted as “post office” to transfer letters to the University. “The Commission noticed that there was no action on the complaints raised by the appellant regarding non-recognition of the degree, sufferings of 42 students, collection of Rs 40 lakh from each student as against declared fee of Rs 3.5 lakh, the cheating case registered by a student, etc. The University also did not respond to any of the letters written by the UGC,” the Information Commissioner said. Acharyulu said it is strange that CPIO of the regulatory authority was arguing on behalf of the deemed to be University instead of explaining measures taken by UGC against varsity as per guidelines and recommendations of Tandon Committee. “The Commission finds it highly unreasonable that the CPIO was vehemently defending the VMRF University, as if he was hired counsel for that University, citing that the deemed universities have challenged the Tandon Committee report in the court of law,” he noted. The case relates to petition given by one R Natarajan who wanted to know if a complaint has been received by the UGC against Salem-based Vinayaka Missions University about alleged “invalid” medical degrees given to the students. The UGC claimed in its response that no such complaint was received from Selva Kumar. The First Appellate Authority in the UGC forwarded the appeal against the decision to the ‘deemed’ University. “The inaction of the respondent authority is glaring and there was no effort to use regulatory power to take corrective measures or to get the information sought. The appellant and students are left to their fate to be the victims of the actions of the VMRF University,” he said.During the hearing, Acharyulu noted that, in fact, an FIR was registered by Selva Kumar against the authorities of Vinayaka Missions Research Foundation under sections 406, 465, 468, 471 and 420 IPC and violation of Information Technology Act, a copy of which was sent by the applicant. “The issue is very serious as the medicos complained that their degree of Bachelor in Medicine has not been recognised after they studied it for four years paying huge fee. “They also complained that the medical graduates from this University were not being admitted in higher education courses off shore in different countries,” Acharyulu pointed out. Acharyulu said the RTI application, number of letters written by the appellant and the FIR reveal several serious issues which the UGC should have taken cognisacne of and acted promptly.

Countries should invest in security while safeguarding basic human rights: Benedetta Berti

Dr. Benedetta Berti believes each country should invest in security while keeping in line with safeguarding basic human rights and freedoms.

Benedetta Berti

Acts of terrorism are scarring the soil of almost every nation. Men, women and children are falling prey to religious warfare. Art, culture and freedom of expression are being threatened by zealots. There are only a few who can make sense of this chaos, and fewer still are as qualified and recognised as Dr. Benedetta Berti, who is slated to speak at TedxGateway in Mumbai on December 5, 2015. With a focus on human security and internal conflicts, she is a foreign policy and security researcher, analyst, consultant, author and lecturer. A recipient of Order of the Star of Italy (order of Knighthood), Benedetta Berti is currently a fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), a TED Fellow and a lecturer at Tel Aviv University. She also works as a human security and foreign policy consultant for political risk consulting firms, NGOs, international organisations as well as governments.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Here, in an interview with iamin, Benedetta Berti talks about terror, and the world struggling with security and post-conflict peace.Following the Paris attack, do you think global terror now has a pattern?The Paris attack is worrisome to many because it shows the group is investing in fighting the ‘far enemy’; in other words it has stepped up its efforts to attack its enemies abroad. The pattern of the attack is also worrisome because it shows a higher level of organisation and sophistication than the Charlie Hebdo one. The focus on targeting soft targets and on mass civilian casualties is also concerning and, seemingly, part of an emerging pattern.The foreign policy of one nation may lead to internal conflict in another.As we can see today in the case of the Syrian civil war, the conflict is internal but it is also a regional proxy confrontation, one where foreign parties are directly involved, thus fuelling the conflict.There is paranoia gripping the world regarding terrorism. Will there ever be a full-proof security to collective, organised vendetta?Worldwide, the number of civilians killed in acts of terrorism has increased in the past two years, with most casualties being in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria. In turn, the rise in the number of terrorist attacks has generated more worry at the global level. This is understandable and the international community should come together to tackle this rise in global terrorism. At the same time, it is true that total security (i.e. absent of any threat) is likely unattainable, and even if it was the cost, in terms of rights and liberties, would be unbearable. So the focus should be on creating a reasonable balance between security and human rights concerns.When it comes to security and national policy, there are chances of over-zealousness. Where do we draw the line?This is an important question: each country should invest in security while keeping in line with safeguarding basic human rights and freedoms. Also, investing in security and solving global security challenges requires adopting a long-term and comprehensive approach, one that goes beyond military security and tackles the complex relationship between conflict, instability, lack of development and radicalisation.Social media goes into an overdrive after any incident. Is it good or bad for the situation?Both. The international community has shown strong solidarity with the victims of terror in the past week, from Beirut to Paris. But ISIS has also been using social media to market its operations and to brand itself, seeking to attract more supporters.(Ms. Benedetta Berti will be speaking at the TEDxGateway, Mumbai, on December 5, 2015 at NCPA)This article was first published on iamin.in. For more such stories, visit their website.

Yogi Adityanath barred from entering Allahabad amid row over students’ union event

The firebrand Gorakhpur MP was stopped at Vindhyachal in Mirzapur neighbouring Allahabad when he was on his way to attend the programme in the midst of a controversy over invitation to him which was opposed by certain student outfits

Controversial BJP MP Yogi Adityanath was on Friday barred from entering Allahabad where he was invited to a function by Allahabad University Students’ Union, with authorities claiming that permission had not been taken for the event.The firebrand Gorakhpur MP was stopped at Vindhyachal in Mirzapur neighbouring Allahabad when he was on his way to attend the programme in the midst of a controversy over invitation to him which was opposed by certain student outfits. SSP Mirzapur Arvind Sen told PTI that the district administration had received a communication from the Allahabad DM to stop Adityanath from reaching Allahabad as prohibitory orders under section 144 CrPC were in force.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The SSP said if the MP tried to proceed further, he would be arrested. Allahabad District Magistrate Sanjay Kumar and Senior Superintendent of Police K S Immanuel said Aditynath has been “advised” against entering the district and may face “legal action” if he does not comply. They said the Students’ Union has not taken permission for the event and the university has been asked not to allow it. “The Union did not obtain necessary permission from the administration before organising its programme,” they said at a press conference late last night.”However, we have taken note of the developments and directed the University authorities and the Union leaders to refrain from holding any unauthorised event. “Moreover, the honourable Member of Parliament (Yogi Adityanath) has also been informed about the district administration’s decision. “He has been advised against entering the district. If he does so, legal action may follow,” the officials said, adding that adequate deployment of forces has ben done along the borders of the district as a preventive measure. Meanwhile, the Students’ Union’s president Richa Singh, who has been opposed to the visit of the BJP MP, began a hunger strike last night demanding that the varsity cancel the programme. She is miffed at her name being printed alongside those of other office-bearers on posters put up by BJP’s students’ wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).Singh, who became the first woman to be elected to the president’s post after Independence earlier this year, had fought the elections as an independent candidate and emerged victorious owing to the support she received from Samajwadi Chhatra Sabha, which decided to back her after its official candidate’s nomination papers were rejected during scrutiny.Samajwadi Chhatra Sabha is the students’ wing of Samajwadi Party, which is in power in Uttar Pradesh. The invitation extended to the Gorakhpur MP by ABVP which had bagged all the important posts in elections except that of the president has been questioned by various student outfits. University authorities have suspended classes for the day in view of the prevailing situation on the campus. Later talking to reporters, Adityanath lashed out at the Samajwadi Party government for stopping him from attending the programme in Allahabad. “This is not democracy but autocracy. State government bans my movement whenever it wants,” he said.Lashing out at the state government, the firebrand BJP MP said, “They are not able to control law and order but ban the movement of leaders.”To questions on SP leader Azam Khan, Adityanath said, “He is an unimportant person… It is difficult to understand why does the media give so much importance to such a person.” “Does a minister in a state government commenting on the president of the USA hold that much importance,” he asked.To a query on UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, he said one thing was sure that the SP is not coming back to power in 2017. “Both Samajwadi Party and Congress consider Hindus as fundamentalists… Had Hindus been fundamentalist these leaders would not have come to power after making such comments on Hindus and their religion,” he said.Adityanath, who visited the Vindhaychal shrine here, was asked where he would like to go as he would not be allowed to enter Allahabad and he opted to return to Gorakhpur. Later, police escorted him till the border of Ravidas Nagar for his onward journey to Gorakhpur. Meanwhile in Bhadohi, Adityanath charged the state government and the administration with violating his rights as an MP by stopping him from going to Allahabad because of its “Muslim appeasement policy” and said that he would raise the matter in Lok Sabha.”The Samajwadi Party government appears to be afraid (of me),” Adityanath said. The BJP MP, who was barred from going to Allahabad to attend the students union programme, congratulated four ABVP members on their victory over phone. Protesting against denial of permission to their leader to enter Allahabad, BJP workers staged a dharna for about an hour.”Our young supporters are very angry with the action of the district administration. But they must keep in the mind that the local administration is merely a pawn in the hands of the state government which is in panic following relentless fight of BJP against the corrupt regime,” Adityanath told a gathering at Aurai in neighbouring Sant Ravidas Nagar. The controversial BJP MP charged the Samajwadi Party government with “corruption in which the entire family of party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav is involved” and called for an “intensified battle against this regime which is rattled by our pro-active fights”.Referring to the spectacular performance of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad in the Allahabad University Students’ Union elections held in September, the BJP MP said “the saffron flag is now flying high in a Left stronghold and this has terrified the state’s ruling party”. “This SP government is acutely aware of the valiant fight of ABVP activists against the appointment of corrupt and unqualified persons to key posts in UP Public Service Commission and other statutory bodies. These appointments were made to facilitate corruption in which the entire family of Mulayam Singh Yadav is involved. Now you all must intensify the battle against this government,” he said.After the leader was stopped at Vindhyachal in Mirzapur district, he addressed his supporters in Allahabad over phone.

Delhi boy gets Rs 1.27 crore placement offer from Google

He is a final year student of Delhi Technological University (DTU) in the Information Technology department

Tech giant Google has offered a whooping $1,90000(Rs 1.27 crore) to Chetan Kakkar, hailing from Delhi. He is a final year student of Delhi Technological University (DTU) in the Information Technology department. According to media reports, Kakkar was visibly excited after receiving this lucrative offer. He will be joining Google next year after completing his course. Kakkar’s parents are teachers at Delhi University. He has set a new record in DTU as the highest offer made so far was Rs 93 lakh. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Melting glaciers, sinking coastlines, stunted farming: How global warming is hurting India

New Delhi: Its Himalayan glaciers are melting fast, its agricultural heartland is drying up and its capital is choking on the world’s filthiest air.

Yet India’s government is one of the few major economies refusing to pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions, ahead of this month’s major climate conference in Paris.

Global warming is already changing the face of rapidly developing India, a nation forecast to become the world’s most populous, overtaking China, in less than a decade.

“No one has done less to contribute to global warming than India and Africa. No one can be more conscious of climate change than Indians and Africans,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi told a recent Delhi summit.

Melting glaciers

In the Himalayas of Kashmir, scientist Shakil Ahmad Romshoo fears for the future of the pristine region which relies heavily on its more than 100 glaciers for water.

At least two major ones have disappeared completely in the last 50 years, while those in a key basin have shrunk by more than 27 percent over the same period, Romshoo’s studies show.

“The impact of climate change in Kashmir is loud and clear. We have noticed a significant decline in stream flow from the glaciers,” the glaciologist, from the University of Kashmir, told AFP.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

In villages nestled in the foothills downstream, less water flowing into rivers and ponds has forced farmers to completely change their way of life.

Instead of rice paddies dotting the landscape, farmers have switched to growing apples which use less water, raising concerns about a drop in India’s grain supplies.

As snow melts faster on the peaks from warmer temperatures, farmers, who have stuck with traditional crops, have been thrown into turmoil.

“All the snow melt on the mountains now melts away by April when we actually start needing it for agriculture,” said Haji Mohammad Rajab Dar in Chandigam village.

“I used to get 230 to 260 sacks of rice from my fields. It is reduced to just 90 this year,” the 70-year-old said, explaining that his land is not conducive to growing apples.

“So we are ruined and turning into beggars slowly.”

Shrinking coastline

India’s landscapes are changing — from the melt in the Himalayas, to the increasingly arid farm belts in the middle and the stunning coasts where fishermen talk of rising, warmer seas eroding their shores.

“Changes in sea level and temperature have affected our livelihood. Over the last decade, the amount of fish caught has reduced by 40 percent,” said Ayub Hajji whose family has been fishing off Gujarat’s coast for generations.

India says developed countries are mostly to blame for climate change, and heaping demands on developing nations to cut emissions is both unfair and hypocritical.

Authorities insist they must focus on meeting the growing needs of its 1.25 billion people, 300 million of whom lack access to electricity.

In its action plan for the Paris COP21 meet, India pledges to reduce its carbon intensity — a measure of a country’s emissions relative to its economic output — by 35 percent by 2030, rather than an absolute cut in emissions.

Globally, India is the third largest carbon-emitting country — though its per capita emissions are only one third of the international average — according to the World Resources Institute.

Gasping for breath

While the government has an ambitious programme to ramp its use of renewables, including solar energy, it has also vowed to continue expanding its use of coal.

It plans to double coal production to one billion tonnes by 2020 — saying it was vital to meet the needs of its burgeoning economy, which grew seven percent last quarter.

But the increasing emissions are taking their toll on health, with Delhi now officially the world’s most polluted capital, a problem compounded by the steady rise in car ownership.

At one of Delhi’s leading chest hospitals, Dr Manu Madan said the corridors are full of patients suffering asthma and other ailments linked to the dirty air.

“We see more than 600 patients a day in the out-patients department,” said Madan, who normally skips lunch to try to keep the queues down.

Madan said his team from the Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute are bracing for winter, when heavy cloud cover traps the pollution.

“Children suffer the most because of less immunity. At least two to three months during the winter are the worst. In many cases, we recommend they move out of Delhi.”

Fields dry up

In the fields of western Maharashtra state, large numbers of farmers are reeling from erratic rains which experts suspect are linked to climate change.

Sudden heavy downpours followed by weeks of no rain at all are accelerating topsoil erosion and leading to less fertile and even barren fields, said Shantaram Sakore, director of a local farmers’ NGO.

With no access to irrigation and heavily reliant on the annual monsoon, farmers are increasingly competing to dig deeper borewells to tap groundwater to cope with drought.

“Collectively they have depleted the ground water level substantially,” said Sakore, calling for more education on climate change.

Rice farmer Narayan Nipurte, from Thane district north of Mumbai, knows little of the complexities of global warming. But he understands the drier monsoons are making it more difficult to feed his family.

“There will be some seasons when there is no rain, so what do you do?” Nipurte asked.

AFP

Modi-Obama bonhomie sees 30% jump in Indian students going to US

Prime minister Narendra Modi and US president Barack Obama’s warm personal ties have helped America’s higher education sector growing at extraordinary rate in last one year. Number of Indian students going to the United States has gone up by a whopping 29.4 per cent within a year, compared to 6% previous year following three years of consistent decline, reveals the latest ‘Open Doors Report’ which is being released in the US Monday.Nearly 1.33 lakh students are studying in various US universities at undergraduate and postgraduate levels at present compared to only 1.02 lakh students a year ago. However, only 4,588 US students came to India in 2013-14 (4.7% rise over the previous year), and that too for short-term and semester-long courses, says the report. Last time the US witnessed a comparable growth rate of Indian students (29%) was in 2000-01 when the number of Indian students exceeded 50,000 for the first time. That time too the BJP government was in power in India with Atal Bihari Vajpayee as the prime minister.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange is published annually by the Institute of International Education in partnership with the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. “While China remains the top country of origin of international students in the US, increasing by 11 per cent to 3,04,040, India’s growth outpaced China’s this year, with students from India increasing by 29.4 perc ent to a record high of 1,32,888. This is the highest rate of growth for Indian students in the history of the Open Doors project, which spans back to 1954/55,” reads the report. Overall, US saw a rise of 10% in international students in 2014-15 with 9.74 lakh students from various countries studying in its univarsities.International expert on politics give credit of this steep rise to improvement in diplomatic relations between India and US recently due to personal cordial relations between the two state heads. Modi’s visit to the US in September 2014 generated enough euphoria in India and this was followed up by Obama, who became the first American president to be the chief guest at the Republic Day parade in New Delhi in January 2015. In a joint presser in Delhi, Modi’s address to Obama as “Barack” led to interesting discussion. “India and US have had conflicting views in issues related trade, climate change and foreign policy for years. Now on a range of issues, such as the rise of China, the future of Afghanistan and international terrorism, New Delhi and Washington are increasingly on the same page,” said a professor of Pune University. Besides, a strong Indian rupee, reviving global economy and increased efforts of US varsities in wooing Indian students are also major factors behind this jump, say experts.”The apprehensions and negative sentiments are changing now. Moreover, US varsities have gained on a declining interest of Indians for UK universities in last three years mainly due to introduction of stricter visa norms by the UK government,” says an overseas education expert. Some academicians, however, blamed the slow pace of the Modi government in the most crucial sector behind this “exodus” of youngsters towards US. “Students are unable to see ‘Ache din’ in the higher education sector which suffers from rot since years. Expansion of quality university education is the need of the hour or else we would continue losing out higher number of bright brains to the West along with foreign reserve,” said a professor of Mumbai University.An MHRD official defends, “We are working on a new education policy which aims to address the brain drain as well.” Box 1Head: Figure it outYearNumber of Indian students in US% change from the previous year2014-151,32,88829.4%2013-141,02,673+ 6.1%2012-1396,754-3.5%2011-121,00,270-3.5%2010-111,03,895-1%(Source: Open Doors report 2014-15) Box 2Head: Top US varsitiesNew York University, University of Southern California, University of Illinois and Columbia University are the top choice of international students. Each hosted more than 10,000 international students.Box 3International students contribute $30 billion to the US economy in a year.International students contributed more than $30 billion and supported more than 373,000 jobs to the US economy in 2014. Chinese students constitute 31% of the international students’ population in the US followed by Indian students who constitute 13.6% at present.

Maharashtra may allow private varsities with campuses across cities

For representation purpose only

Maharashtra may soon see private universities with multiple campuses across cities rather than stand-alone institutions in one city as existing rules stipulate. The state government seeks to amend the Self-Financed University Act, 2013, for relaxing several land and infrastructure requirement. Last month, a committee, under the chairmanship of former chief secretary Arun Bongirwar, was set up to look into the norms afresh. While rules require a contiguous land parcel of a minimum 10 acres in cities for setting up a private university, the government had received proposals from educational trusts, seeking consideration of land and infrastructure available with them at multiple campuses.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> “Somiaya group, a leading educational trust based in Mumbai, is one of them,” a higher and technical education department official told dna. Private players also want relaxation of a few other provisions on land and assets, which they feel are “too stringent”.In the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, the minimum requirement to set up a self-financed university is 10 acres of contiguous land. It is 25 acres in divisional headquarters, and 50 acres in district headquarters and rural belts. “If any trust has two institutions in different parts of the city and if it thus meets the norm, it must be allowed to bring both under one private university,” said a trustee of a leading group. Guidelines also say that if any private university is dissolved before completing 25 years, the land and assets of the institution will go to the government. If a university is found indulging in malpractices and violating rules, there is a provision that gives the government the power to appoint an administrator till the issues are resolved. Dr Sanjay Chahande, secretary of the department, confirmed that the revision of certain norms is under consideration. However, he refused to comment further, saying, “The committee had just held one meeting till now. They need some time to come up with recommendations.” The policy, allowing private universities in Maharashtra, was initiated by the Congress- NCP regime in 2013. The Somaiya group has planned to shift all unaided courses under the umbrella of a private university. It has over 39 institutions and 50,000 students at present. While its main campus is in Vidyavihar, near Ghatkopar, some are at Sion. There is also a school in Dahanu under the trust. The trust seeks to establish an agriculture college on this land parcel and combine all their unaided institutions under one private university by restructuring its operations, if the government gives the go-ahead. Says a senior official from the group: “We wish to establish separate schools for different subjects, like school of mathematics, school of languages, school of management and school of liberal arts. We plan to offer specialised inter-disciplinary courses like foreign universities. Students will study all subjects with different weightage of credits depending upon the programme.” Senior government officials confirmed that about 19 more proposals for self-financed private universities were under various stages of consideration. The state has opted not to grant approvals to such proposals until amendments are made in the Act. During the previous regime, legislative approvals were granted to Amity University (Panvel), Ajeenkya DY Patil University, Spicer-Adventist University, and Flame University (all in Pune).

Delhi’s air quality fares bad on Diwali eve

The evening readings of Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) and System of Air Quality, Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) stations, when firecrackers started going off in various areas of the city, indicated a grim picture for the days to come.
Representational Image
dna Research & Archives
The capital’s air quality oscillated between ‘poor’ and ‘very poor’ on the eve of Diwali, with fireworks and bursting of crackers during the festival expected to dangerously shoot up the level of suspended particulate matter. The evening readings of Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) and System of Air Quality, Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) stations, when firecrackers started going off in various areas of the city, indicated a grim picture for the days to come.PM 10 levels in Anand Vihar, a trans Yamuna locality, was recorded at 721 micrograms per cubic metre, seven times the safe limit of 100. PM 2.5 was at 219, also way above the safe limit of 219 as per DPCC readings at around 5 PM today. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>SAFAR station at north west Delhi’s Pitampura showed PM 2.5 and PM 10 readings at 303 and 297 respectively, that fell in the ‘very poor’ category. The international airport area also showed increased readings at 325 (PM 2.5) and 287 (PM10) respectively. Level of PM 2.5 and PM 10, fine particles that can penetrate deep into the lungs, were high across residential areas across the capital like Mandir Marg, Punjabi Bagh, R K Puram, Pusa Road, Civil Lines among others.The meteorological department on Monday cautioned that pollution level during Diwali night is expected to be “severe” due to bursting of firecrackers and advised those persons with heart and lung diseases to stay indoors. In all likelihood, air quality during Diwali-2015 is going to be inferior to that of Diwali-2014 owing to cooler temperature and downward shift of inversion layer, SAFAR’s Project In-charge, Gurfan Beig, said. The PM (particulate matter) 2.5 level is expected to be 148 per cent on November 12, the day after Diwali, and 170 per cent in case of PM 10.Noida, Delhi University (North) are expected to record high level of pollution while Lodi Road and Mathura Road will witness less pollution, SAFAR said.

Pollution level to be ‘severe’ during Diwali: MeT

The peak time pollution is expected at 1 AM and the duration for maximum pollution will be between 10 PM to 2 PM on the intervening night of November 11 and 12 and 7-9 am early morning.
Representational Image
dna Research & Archives
The meteorological department has cautioned that pollution level during Diwali night is expected to be “severe” due to bursting of firecrackers and advised those persons with heart and lung diseases to stay indoors.According to System of Air Quality, Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), an agency of Ministry of Earth Science responsible to track pollution levels the national capital said, November 12-13 is expected to witness dense haze formation. The Diwali this year is falling on November 11. The peak time pollution is expected at 1 AM and the duration for maximum pollution will be between 10 PM to 2 PM on the intervening night of November 11 and 12 and 7-9 am early morning.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Winter is now set and temperature during Diwali-2015 is going to be colder as compared to last year’s Diwali-2014 which was in October. There is enough moisture in the air and atmospheric holding capacity is quite high for particles emitting from firecrackers. In all likelihood, air quality during Diwali-2015 is going to be inferior to that of Diwali-2014 owing to cooler temperature and downward shift of inversion layer,” SAFAR’s Project In-charge, Gurfan Beig, said.There could be an increase in humidity level to above 96% because of the cold weather.”Under this condition, particles emitting from firework will sit on water droplets and multiply it resulting in more particles in suspended air itself. This process is called secondary particle formation which is likely to happen on November 12 and 13, making condition congenial for dense haze formation,” Beig said.The PM (particulate matter) 2.5 level is expected to by 148 % on November 12 and 170 % in case of PM 10. Noida, Delhi University (North) will record high level of pollution and Lodi Road and Mathura Road will witness less pollution.”Everyone with heart and lung diseases, older and adult and children should should avoid all physical activity outdoors. There is a serious risk respiratory effects in general public in prolonged exposure,” Beig added.

How two India-born brothers raised funds in the US for al Qaeda

Through the email group, Mohammad and Salim brothers were in touch with other men who had met and had inside knowledge on Awlaki’s activities and raised funds for the Al Qaeda leader in Yemen.

Anwar al-Awlaki

Wikimedia Commons
Two India-born brothers and naturalised American citizens, have been charged by a Federal Court in the US for financing al Qaeda and supporting ‘violent jihad against the United States, the US military in Iraq, Afghanistan, and throughout the world’. Of the two brothers Yahya Farooq Mohammad (37) and Ibrahim Zubair Mohammad (36), Ibrahim was arrested in Texas on Thursday.The two brothers along with Asif Ahmed Salim, 35, and his brother Sultane Room Salim, 40, have been indicted for raising thousands of dollars and sending wire transfers over seven years to slain al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki. The District court of Northern Ohio which announced the indictment on Thursday has also charged another pair of brothers Asif Ahmed Salim and Sultane Roome Salim for providing support to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>All four men have been indicted with conspiracy to provide and conceal material support and resources to terrorists, one count of providing material support and resources to terrorists and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice. The Mohammad brothers face additional charges of conspiring to commit bank frauds in order to provide funds to Awlaki, leader of AQAP. Awlaki, who holds dual citizenship (American and Yemenese) was killed by US forces in a drone attack in Yemen in 2011. The Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Ibrahim in Texas where he lived on Thursday, while Sultane was apprehended in Ohio.Yahya is a IT Project Manager in UAE while Ibrahim is a senior structural engineer in Dallas, US. Both the brothers are India-born and engineering students who completed their Bachelors in Electronics (Yahya 1995-99) and Civil Engineering (Ibrahim 1997-2001) from Osmania University, Hyderabad. Following which Yahya came to the US in 1999 for higher studies in engineering at the Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College and later to Ohio State University between 2002 and 2004. He married a US citizen in 2008. His brother, Ibrahim also followed a similar path. Upon completing his engineering studies at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign 2001 -2005, he moved to Ohio, and married a US citizen. Both the brothers are lawful permanent resident of the US.According to the FBI investigations, which has details of the email communication between the four men, they supported Jihad through the dissemination of propaganda material between 2005 and 2008. Their radicalisation can be traced through discussions, forwarding of speeches, texts and blog entries of Islamic scholars including Awlaki, views and opinions on Jihad and Islamic laws.In one such email ‘RE: Is Nationalism a disease in view of Islam?’, sent by Yahya to Ibrahim on January 31, 2005, he said, “The Muslims there [in India] are our brothers. The non-Muslims our enemies. We do dawah [proselytize] to them in the best manner. But if they refuse, and when we have the capability, we offer them to live as dhimmis [non-Muslims under protection of Muslim law], or else face the sword. And we never have a subservient attitude towards them. There is a time for dawah and a time for [offensive] jihad, and … this is clearly explained.’’ In the following email, where they discussed on taking up nationality of a kafir (non-Islamic) nation, Yahya states that, “As far as which [country] is more evil, I think what is more important to look at is which country is most actively at war with Islam and that without doubt is the US.’’ Despite such beliefs, the brothers became permanent residents of America.The emails were circulated in a group including the Salim brothers and other unknown conspirators. In an email titled ‘Dawah [proselytizing] progress and methods used’, contained an interview of the Taliban commander who praised Osama Bin Laden and those individuals who perpetrated attacks in Mumbai, in November 2008.The communication also included light banter. In a paper called ‘Engineers of Jihad’ which states that “Graduates from subjects such as science, engineering, and medicine are strongly over-represented among Islamist movements in the Muslim world” Yahya commented, “The reason for educated people being over-represented is simply as Allah … says … : ‘Those who truly fear Allah, among His Servants, are those who have knowledge.’ As to why engineers particularly are the majority, I don’t know. But I do like that fact :).”The chit-chat on Jihad and Islam translated into providing funds to Awlaki around 2008, inspired by his blog entries like ’44 Ways of Supporting Jihad’ and ‘Establishing Khalifah’ in which he says that Jihad is an obligation of every Muslim and even if one does not believe in Jihad one must “Fight the disbelievers with your self, your wealth and your tongues”. In the same year, Yahya appears to confirm his decision to use his American credit cards for ‘hostile intent’.Yahya and Ibrahim applied to obtain new credit cards from American Express, Citibank, First National Bank of Omaha and Discover banks. They withdrew money with no intention of repaying the amounts obtained from the financial institutions, federal prosecutors alleged. Yahya who was living and working in the UAE fraudulently applied for these cards by providing Ibrahim’s address in Ohio.Through the email group, Mohammad and Salim brothers were in touch with other men who had met and had inside knowledge on Awlaki’s activities and raised funds for the Al Qaeda leader in Yemen. They raised funds from sympathisers within the US to support and fund Awlaki’s Jihad in Yemen. Several financial transactions were made within the group to transfer funds provided by individual donors by using Paypal accounts and bank checks. In addition, the four men talked extensively and discussed plans of making a trip to Sanaa,Yemen to meet Awlaki personally. Their trip only materialised in July 2009, as Yahya along with two others from the email group travelled to Yemen. Although they couldn’t meet the leader himself a sum of $22,000 was handed to an associate of Awlaki.The Mohammad and Salim brothers have not been convicted yet for these charges. Further proceedings will determine the sentencing. Indian security officials seemed unaware about the Mohammad brothers or whether they were part of any criminal activities during their time in India.The Mohammad brothers are not the first Indians to be indicted into financing global terrorism, particularly Al Qaeda. In the cache of documents found at bin Laden’s residence in Abbotabad, Pakistan at the time of his killing and released in May revealed that the al-Qaeda leader received multiple payments from an individual he identified as “the Indian brother in Medinah”, the person understood as Saudi national Mahmoud Muhammad Bahaziq (71 years old) born to an Indian mother in Hyderabad. He is charged as the main financier of Lashkar-e-Toiba operations—including the 26/11 Mumbai attacks—and is listed by the United Nations as a terror financier in 2008.In October, 41-year-old Haroon Aswat a Gujrati Muslim of Indian-origin British national was sentenced to 20 years in prison by a US Federal court for trying to set up an al-Qaeda training camp in the US on the orders of Islamist extremist preacher Abu Hamza. Last year, the FBI caught 31-year-old Gufran Ahmed Kauser Mohammed—an Indian-origin man and naturalised US citizen who relocated to Saudi Arabia in 2011— for providing thousands of dollars and facilitating recruits for Al Qaeda (core group), Jabhat al-Nusrah front in Syria, and al-Shabaab in Somalia. He is sentenced to a 15-year imprisonment.

Two Indian brothers indicted in US for supporting al-Qaeda

All four men have been indicted on one count of conspiracy to provide and conceal material support and resources to terrorists, one count of providing material support and resources to terrorists and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Two Indian brothers are among four men who have been indicted by a US federal court on charges of providing material support to slain al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki, prosecutors said on Friday.The two Indians are Yahya Farooq Mohammad, 37, and his brother Ibrahim Zubair Mohammad, 36. The other two are Asif Ahmed Salim, 35, and his brother Sultane Room Salim, 40.All four men have been indicted on one count of conspiracy to provide and conceal material support and resources to terrorists, one count of providing material support and resources to terrorists and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Farooq and Ibrahim also face an additional count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud in terms of thousands of dollars.”According to the allegations in the indictment, Farooq Mohammad, Ibrahim Mohammad, Asif Salim and Sultane Salim conspired to provide and did provide material support to Anwar al-Awlaki in response to his calls to support violent jihad,” said Assistant Attorney General John Carlin.The Department of Justice said Farooq was an engineering student at Ohio State University between 2002 and 2004. In or around March 2008, he married a US citizen.His brother Ibrahim studied engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign from 2001 through 2005. In 2006, he moved to Toledo, Ohio, and also married a US citizen.He became a lawful permanent resident of the US in or around 2007, federal prosecutors said.The other two accused – Asif Salim is a US citizen who studied at Ohio State University between 2000 and 2005. He became a resident of Overland Park, Kansas, in 2007.His brother, Sultane Salim, is also a US citizen who resided in the Chicago-area from 2006 through 2012, until he moved to the Columbus-area.According to the indictment, from January 2005 through January 2012, the four conspired to provide money, equipment and other assistance to al-Awlaki.They made various financial transactions in 2008 and 2009, and communicated about raising funds for a trip to the Middle East.Farooq and Ibrahim obtained money by opening credit cards and withdrawing money with no intention of repaying the amounts obtained from the financial institutions, federal prosecutors alleged.The indictment further alleges that on July 22, 2009, Farooq travelled with two others to Yemen to meet al-Awlaki.They were unable to meet with al-Awlaki so instead travelled to Sana, Yemen, to meet with one of his associates.Farooq and his two fellow travellers gave the associate approximately US $22,000 to be given to al-Awlaki.Al-Awlaki was killed in a US drone strike in 2011.

Tamil Nadu set to get its first transgender police sub-inspector

Two transgenders have been recruited earlier in the police force and are working as police constables.

Prithika Yashini (Image Credit – Facebook page)

The Madras High Court has directed Tamil Nadu Uniformed Services Recruitment Board (TNUSRB) to appoint a transgender as Sub Inspector of police as she is entitled to get the job.The first bench, comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana, also directed TNUSRB to include transgenders as a “third category” by the next recruitment process is carried out.The court directed Tamil Nadu Uniformed Services Recruitment Board (TNUSRB) to consider transgender K Prithika Yashini’s application for the post was initially rejected, following which she moved the High Court.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We are, thus, of the view that she is entitled to be recruited to the post of sub-inspector and for declaration of her result with the hope that she would carry out the duties with dedication and commitment to advance the cause of other transgenders,” the judges said appreciating the cause canvassed by Yashini and the fair stand taken by Advocate General A L Somayaj​Prithika Yashini submitted to the court that was a male, K. Pradeep Kumar, till completion of PG diploma course in Computer Application, Bharathiar University, Coimbatore. She then underwent a sex change at Kilpauk Medical College and legally notified the same.When she wrote the exam for the post of SI, she cleared it but it was in the field trials that she missed the 100-metre cut-off by one second. She was rejected for this reason. Prithika Yashini then went to court challenging the rejection.According to Deccan Chronicle report, the bench said, “We do not think that in the physical endurance test, a difference of 1.11 seconds should come in the way of the petitioner in being considered for recruitment. She will have to meet the benchmark of the recruitment process, but the case cannot be knocked out in the middle.”Two transgenders have been recruited earlier in the police force and are working as police constables.

Regulators hiding trials data on GM mustard

Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee cites “third party business interests” to maintain secrecy

Genetically modified (GM) mustard seeds could be a reality soon with advanced commercial trials already over and regulators expected to take a decision in the next fortnight itself. However, data related to the impact on health and environment is being kept under wraps with GM regulator Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) citing “third party business interests”.An application for the approval for commercial cultivation of hybrid crop was moved in September. This is the first time in five years that a GM food crop is being considered for commercial cultivation in India — an indefinite moratorium was placed on Bt brinjal in 2010.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Notwithstanding the many concerns over genetically modified foods, GEAC has refused to divulge information related to the commercially trial of GM mustard. In a RTI response accessed by dna, GEAC has referred to “commercial confidence trade secrets or intellectual property, the disclosure of which would harm the competitive position of third party”. This is against the Supreme Court 2008 directive that people should know the details of agriculture product safety trials much before commercial approval.The Central Information Commission (CIC) in 2009 had also said, “(the) toxicity and allergenicity of any product to be put on large scale field trial is a matter of overriding public interest” and that existing data had to be provided before any massive field trial.But this is not being done. The GEAC has repeatedly turned down RTI requests for a copy of biosafety dossier of GM mustard. The battle has now reached CIC where the appellant is asking for an urgent hearing.GEAC is not just in possession of a biosafety dossier, it has also backed advance commercial trials.According to the minutes of the 121st meeting of the GEAC, the Centre for Genetic Manipulation of Crop Plants’ (CGCMP) plea for large-scale trials, called BRL (Biosafety Research Level) II trials, was considered and approved on July 18 last year.Field trials have two levels – BRL I and BRL II. While the former is done to take up a set of studies and to generate data, the second is an advanced commercial level trial. A team led by Delhi University’s Deepak Pental has done both the trials. He heads the research on the transgenic mustard.The agenda notes circulated to members at the meeting said, “The CGMCP has completed safety studies as per the prescribed guidelines”. It also mentioned that the Committee appreciated the compilation of the biosafety dossier.As an application moves from BRL I to BRL II, and from BRL II to commercial cultivation, regulators should be presumed to be making data-based decisions on whether permission should be accorded or not. Concerned scientists in the country should also be in a position to peruse such data and make effective representations if and where needed. Such data cannot be withheld on any grounds.The quality of mustard trial is also a major concern as dna revealed on September 22, 2015 — from 2008 to 2014, only 39 of the 133 GM crop field trials were properly monitored. In 2014, three GM mustard trials of Delhi University were taken up – at two sites in Punjab and one in Delhi – during the rabi season. There is enough evidence to suggest that there were no post-harvesting foolproof monitoring in these cases. The issue of biosafety data of Bt brinjal being brought into public domain was a decisive turning point in its fate, given that subsequent analyses by international scientists pointed out to its lack of safety. Jairam Ramesh, the then environment minister who placed Bt brinjal under an indefinite moratorium, took note of allegations of conflict of interest in the regulatory body. It is interesting to note that GEAC at this point of time has the presence of a member from CGCMP, the same Centre from where GM mustard has emerged.

‘Occupy UGC’: Yogendra Yadav to spend night at protest venue

As the ‘Occupy UGC’ movement entered 15th day on Tuesday, Yadav along with Swaraj Abhiyan leaders marched from Constitution Club to the UGC office near ITO where students have been camping

Yogendra Yadav

Swaraj Abhiyan leader and former UGC member Yogendra Yadav on Tuesday decided to spend a night with the students protesting outside the Commission’s against scrapping of non-NET fellowships.As the ‘Occupy UGC’ movement entered 15th day on Tuesday, Yadav along with Swaraj Abhiyan leaders marched from Constitution Club to the UGC office near ITO where students have been camping. Earlier in the day, a resolution was passed in the Swaraj Abhiyan Youth Summit, rejecting UGC’s decision to scrap the fellowship as “non-acceptable”. “We welcomed this protest on the very first day. I know what happens inside the commission, I have earlier also said that this committee was constituted to expand the scope of the fellowship and not to discontinue them. Today, I will sit the entire night with the protesters,” Yadav said while addressing the protesting students.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The protesters burnt effigy of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee alleging that their fellows who conducted a similar protest in Kolkata yesterday were lathicharged by police. Students from Allahabad University also joined the “Occupy UGC” protesters on Tuesday. Besides Yogendra Yadav, former AAP leaders Anand Kumar, Prashant Bhusan and Dharamveer Gandhi also came to the protest venue to express solidarity with the students.”The government is anti-people. The only thing that they do is issue diktats what to wear, what to eat, whom to marry.They are cutting funds in education we will fight them inside Parliament and outside too,” Gandhi said. UGC had resolved to discontinue the scheme of non-National Eligibility Test (NET) fellowship, which is provided to those undertaking research in central universities across India, in a meeting held on October 7, citing shortage of resources. Amidst protests by the students against the scrapping of the non-NET fellowship, the government had last week appointed a five-member panel to review the research grants offered by UGC, which, meanwhile, has been asked to continue all existing grants.The students, however, have been continuing their protests as they rejected the government’s statement as an “eyewash” and are demanding that the review criterion be changed and the fellowship amount increased. “The committee is non-committal about extending the fellowship to all state universities or increasing the amount… The Review Committee constituted by MHRD (Ministry of Human Resource Development) has members with questionable credentials,” Sucheta De, one of the protesters, said.On Monday, the ‘Occupy UGC’ movement had spread to other parts of the country with students holding similar agitations in Kolkata, Pune, Allahabad and Varanasi. Today, students from Madurai Kamaraj University, Tamil Nadu also held an agitation outside the regional UGC office.

Government against Subramanian Swamy’s plea for ending provision on hate speech

Swamy, who is facing a court case in Karimganj in Assam for allegedly delivering an inflammatory address at Kaziranga University, sought relief from the apex court in the case

Subramanian Swamy

The Centre has sought in the Supreme Court the dismissal of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s plea challenging the constitutional validity of penal provisions on speeches and writings that could cause enmity and hatred among communities.”That the challenge of the constitutionality of section 153A of the IPC on the ground that it violates the guarantee of the freedom of speech and expression must be rejected because the section seeks to punish only (a) such acts which have the tendency to promote enmity or hatred between different classes (b) such as which are prejudicial to the maintenance of the harmony between different classes and which have tendency to disturb public tranquillity.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”These acts are clearly calculated to disturb public order and show the limitation imposed by section 153A are in the interest of public order. Article 19(2) would, therefore, save section 153A as being within the scope of permissible legislative restriction on the fundamental right guaranteed under Article 19 (1)(a),” said the affidavit filed by an Under Secretary in the Home Ministry.The affidavit has also referred to a book written by the BJP leader.”The petitioner has written a book named Terrorism in India where he has made hate speeches against the community of India. The book-its theme, its language, innuendos, similes it employs and the moral of its story, if any–in order to ascertain whether the offending passages read in the context of the book as a whole fall within the mischief of section 153A. “The book (is) to be considered in all its aspect as it contains matter which “promotes feelings of enmity and hatred between Hindus and Muslims in India.” Therefore, the petitioner has violated the sections of IPC,” the MHA said in its affidavit.Swamy, who is facing a court case in Karimganj in Assam for allegedly delivering an inflammatory address at Kaziranga University, sought relief from the apex court in the case. He also challenged the constitutional validity of Section 153A (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc, and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) of the Indian Penal Code.Earlier, on May 21, a judge of the apex court had recused from hearing his plea challenging the validity of some penal provisions relating to “hate speech”.The apex court was hearing Swamy’s plea against the order of an Assam trial court issuing an NBW against him for failing to appear before it on March 19 in a case of alleged hate speech. The NBW was issued on June 1 by a court in Karimganj on a complaint accusing him of allegedly delivering an inflammatory address on March 15 at Kaziranga University. The Karimganj court had ordered that the arrest warrant be complied with on or before June 30. Proceedings in the case have been stayed in the Assam court.

RSS mouthpiece claims that JNU is home to anti-national forces

Accusing JNU of providing “legitimacy to anti-India forces”, the RSS organ has said “Jawahar Lal Nehru promoted higher educational and research institutions as factories of socialist ideology which could provide the intellectual input for his and later Indira Gandhi s social and economic agenda.”

File Photo

RSS mouthpiece “Panchjanya” has alleged that Jawaharlal University JNU is home to “a huge anti-national block which has the aim of disintegrating India.” Claiming that pro-Naxal students’ unions of JNU had openly celebrated the killing of 75 CRPF personnel in an ambush at Dantewada in 2010, the RSS organ, in its cover article, charged “JNU routinely hosts anti-national activities.”In 2010 when Naxals in Dantewada, Chhattisgarh, killed 75 paramilitary personnel, pro-Naxal students unions of the University celebrated openly and hailed the act. And all this happened under the nose of the JNU administration.” Another article in it alleged “JNU is one such institute where nationalism is considered an offence. Presenting Indian culture in a distorted way is common. The removal of Army from Kashmir is supported here. They advocate various other anti-national activities here.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Accusing JNU of providing “legitimacy to anti-India forces”, the RSS organ has said “Jawahar Lal Nehru promoted higher educational and research institutions as factories of socialist ideology which could provide the intellectual input for his and later Indira Gandhi s social and economic agenda.”The author of the article, while claiming that he studied in JNU, alleged “I often heard JNU professors discuss means and measures to undermine national unity and culture at events organized by anti-national organizations I then realized that JNU is home to a large chunk of anti-national groupings which have the singular aim of disintegrating India.” The RSS organ says JNU s tendency of relying on the state for resources (JNU is a central university funded by the government) “is nothing but capitalism masquerading as socialism and even Maoism.””These tendencies are inspired by two things bitterness for Hindus and an urge to break India. These things became possible due to two historical reasons. The first was the desire of Nehru and his successors to impose state-run model of economy on India and two, Nehru s proximity to the Soviet block. “But when the Soviety block disintegrated, a new political thought emerged in institutions like JNU which started changing their political slogan from class struggle to caste struggle,” the article says.

Beef politics: JNU students resist security and ABVP protests to screen documentary

After permission for the screening was revoked at JNU, security guards from the entire campus were deployed at the hostel grounds.

On Sunday night, authorities at the Jawaharlal Nehru University cancelled the screening of TISS documentary Caste On The Menu Card after members of the ABVP complained to the authorities. The screening, however, was eventually held after students clashed with security guards for over an hour.Dilip of the Birsa Ambedkar Phule Student Association (BAPSA), the student organisation that organised the screening at JNU, said that permission was initially granted for a 9:30pm screening at Sabarmati hostel. “I got a call from the dean’s office that the permission has been revoked after students from the ABVP registered their objections to the screening,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The documentary on beef and how the politics around the meat has affected the livelihoods of people who are in the beef trade, was recently denied an exemption certificate for a screening organised by the Centre for Civil Society, necessary for public screenings, as “it might inflame sentiments”, according to the ministry.After permission for the screening was revoked at JNU, security guards from the entire campus were deployed at the hostel grounds. “We have been trying to talk the guards out of it. They are simply following orders. On the other hand, we also fight for the rights of the contractual guards because they are paid a pittance,” said a student Varun.Bijoy, a former member of the JNU students’ union, said that the ABVP disruptions have become more regular after the NDA government came to power. “They simply complain and run away. How many ABVP students have you seen here? During the Afzal Guru talks, the ‘Muzzaffar Nagar Baki Hai’ screenings, they had tried to disrupt things. But eventually, we hold the talks or the screenings,” he said. Watch:

In a rebuff to the government, JNU council rejects proposal on courses in Yoga and Culture

The proposal to introduce three short-term courses in these subjects had come against the backdrop of right-wing organisations, including BJP’s ideological mentor RSS, insisting on propagation of culture in educational campuses to promote India’s rich heritage and restore its cultural identity.

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In a rebuff to the government, Jawaharlal Nehru University’s Academic Council has rejected a proposal for introduction of short-term courses in ‘Indian Culture’ and ‘Yoga’ for propagating spiritual and mythological traditions and establishing Indian values in the world.The proposal was mooted by the varsity administration following communications from UGC and HRD Ministry.However, the varsity’s Academic Council (AC), which is the top decision making body, rejected the proposal at a meeting last Friday.The proposal to introduce three short-term courses in these subjects had come against the backdrop of right-wing organisations, including BJP’s ideological mentor RSS, insisting on propagation of culture in educational campuses to promote India’s rich heritage and restore its cultural identity.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The draft for introduction of three short-term courses on Culture and Yoga was placed before the AC along with the feedback received from various departments on the same. The council unanimously resolved to reject the proposal,” an AC member said.The rejection comes at a time when the government, especially the HRD ministry, is being accused of making attempts at saffronisation of education.The varsity had last month circulated a draft of three courses among various schools and departments of JNU for their feedback.According to the draft, the course on Indian culture aimed at expounding the importance of the country’s culture as well as exploring the etymological, social, spiritual, cultural and mythological aspects and establishing Indian values in the world.”The course will contain the texts, thoughts and traditions of different cultures and include things like religious systems in Indian culture among others. Besides, it will have portions from Vedas and selections from epics and Jatakas and suggestions on readings of Hindu epics like the Ramayana,” the draft reads.”There will be basic study of Indian culture to establish Indian rituals and values in the world and derive ways from these sources to make human life better,” it says.The document further says that Indian culture cannot be understood without the help of “Indian literature, which are generally written by sages”.”The course will encompass texts, thoughts and traditions of different cultures and include things like religious systems in Indian culture, among others,” it said.It also suggested reading of the Ramayana and the Bhagavad Gita from Gita Press Gorakhpur (the official press that prints Gita in Uttar Pradesh), Acharya Jaidev’s Vedic Sanskriti, Tulsi Ram’s Vedas, Ramdhari Singh Dinkar’s Sanskriti ke Char Adhyaya, among others.

JNTUK B.Tech 1-2 (R13, R10) Regular/Supplementary Results 2015: Check jntukresults.edu.in

The supplementary examinations are written by candidates who did not qualify in the regular examination.

Jawaharlal Technological University Kakinada is likely to declare the B.Tech 1-2 R13, R10 Regular/Supply results. The exam was conducted in the month of July 2015. A large number of candidates appeared for the examination. Students have to enter their registration number or roll number to download the result. Candidates can check the results from the official website jntukresults.edu.in.Candidates can also check their results here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The supplementary examinations are written by candidates who did not qualify in the regular examination. All the students who have written the exam can check the results now.To check your result, follow these steps:* Visit JNTUK Official Page, jntuk.edu.in or click the below link.* Search for the Results Tab and click on it.* Enter your roll number without mistakes.* Click on the Submit Button.* TECH 1st and 2nd semester results with marks will appear on screenJawaharlal Technological University Kakinada was established in 1946 as The College of Engineering, Vizagpatnam. The college is affiliated to Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) for its B.Tech and M.Tech degrees. Its graduate and post-graduate courses are recognised by The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and University of Pune.

Karnataka’s Chandrakanth Arya elected to Canadian Parliament

52-year-old Arya studied engineering at Bangalore University and then did his MBA at Dharwad’s Karnatak University.

Chandrakanth Arya with Justin Trudeau

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Karnataka’s Chandrakanth Arya is one of the 19 Indian-Canadians elected to the Canadian parliament this year. Arya is the son of retired Commercial Tax Assistant Commissioner K Govinda Iyer. The elections to the Candian Parliament were held on October 19 and Arya defeated Andy Wang from the Conservative Party by 10,000 votes, reports the Deccan Herald.Canada’s Liberal party won the election with Justin Trudeau coming in as the country’s new prime minister.Arya campaigned successfully for Justin Trudeau and was also elected. People in his hometown and villages nearby celebrated his victory. Youth leaders from Dwaralu, Gajjeerahalli, Tavarekere, Lakshmisagara and Bhoovanahalli were happy about his winning and being elected to the Canadian parliament, states the report. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>52-year-old Arya studied engineering at Bangalore University and then did his MBA at Dharwad’s Karnatak University. He has worked with DRDO in Delhi and Karnataka State Financial Corporation before he finally settled in Canada. Arya has been active in the Indo-Canada-Ottawa Business Chamber, Indo-Canadian Community Centre and Hindu Society of Ottawa as well.

Relief to PhD aspirants: Smriti Irani says non-NET fellowship won’t be discontinued

Irani’s tweet came in response to a concern raised by CPI (M) MP in Rajya Sabha Ritabrata Banerjee who had also written to the minister expressing her concern over the decision of the University Grants Commission (UGC) to scrap the non-NET fellowship.
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Putting an end to the anxiety among PHD aspirants, HRD minister Smriti Irani on Sunday made it clear that the non-NET fellowship is not being discontinued. Her assertion came on a day when she met an eight-member delegation including representatives from students union of Delhi University and Jawaharlal Nehru University her at her residence.”Not being discontinued. Need to include state university students and direct benefit transfer (DBT) so that students accrue benefit directly,” she tweeted following her meeting with the students.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Irani’s tweet came in response to a concern raised by CPI (M) MP in Rajya Sabha Ritabrata Banerjee who had also written to the minister expressing her concern over the decision of the University Grants Commission (UGC) to scrap the non-NET fellowship.UGC, had resolved to discontinue the scheme of non-National Eligibility Test (NET) fellowship, which is provided to those undertaking research in central universities across India, in a meeting held on October 7, contending that the fellowship programme was discriminatory in nature and lacked uniformity among universities in the selection process.The commission had also cited shortage of funds as the reason behind inability to provide fellowships. Under the scheme, financial assistance was provided to students undertaking MPhil and PhD, they were provided Rs 5,000 and Rs 8,000 per month respectively.PhD students got assistance for four years and MPhil students for 18 months. They also got a contingency amount per year to help them carry out their research. Hundreds of students from JNU, DU, Jamia Millia, Ambedkar University and other institutions have been protesting since last week at the UGC demanding the authorities to restore the fellowships.While 100 of them were detained on last Friday and released later in the evening, the UGC officials had assured a student delegation that the decision will be reviewed. However, students chose to continue the protest until their demands are met.Meanwhile, the left-backed All India Students Association(AISA) which has been protesting since last week claimed that the delegation included only representatives from BJP s student wing Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).”We will continue our protest and organise a strike at JNU tomorrow. The protest will go on until a circular is issued by UGC revoking the decision,” the party said in a statement.

Indian student among 4 killed in US homecoming parade crash

Four persons, including a young Indian student, have been killed and over 40 others injured in a horrific car crash when a suspected drunk woman driver ploughed into a large crowd during a US varsity’s homecoming parade.

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Four persons, including a young Indian student, have been killed and over 40 others injured in a horrific car crash when a suspected drunk woman driver ploughed into a large crowd during a US varsity’s homecoming parade.Three adults were pronounced dead at the scene, while the fourth victim, a two-year-old boy, died from his injuries at a hospital, according to a Stillwater police statement.Nikita Nakal of Mumbai was identified as among the victims of the accident yesterday by University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) President Don Betz.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Authorities identified the driver as 25-year-old Adacia Avery Chambers, who was taken into custody on suspicion of driving while under the influence of alcohol.Chambers drove through barricades set up for the Oklahoma State University’s homecoming parade before she crashed into the crowd, police said.She first hit a police officer’s motorcycle and then rammed her car into the parade-goers packed on a street corner.Megan Lantz of Ponca City, Oklahoma, told the Oklahoman newspaper that about 100 people were standing on the corner at the time the car, going between 72-80 kph, struck the crowd.Mayor Gina Noble and Stillwater City Council said, “we are heartbroken about the tragedy, and our hearts and prayers are with the families of those who died and are injured.” Police said eight people are in critical condition, nine have serious injuries and another 17 people have less serious injuries as a result of the crash.Some of the victims are children, authorities said.In a statement posted on the University of Central Oklahoma website, Betz expressed condolences to the family of Nakal.”While our thoughts and prayers are with the Oklahoma State University (OSU) community….following the tragic events during OSU’s homecoming parade this morning, it is with deep sadness that I ask you to extend those sentiments to the family and friends of one of our own students.”Nikita Nakal of Mumbai, India, an MBA student at UCO, was among those who died,” he said in the statement.He added that students come to Central Oklahoma university with their unique goals, hopes and dreams, and “Nikita was undoubtedly no different. While we mourn the potential unrealised, let us also honour her life by pulling closer and appreciating the strength of our Broncho family.” He said the university plans to honour Nakal soon.

Pulses: Experts say government firefight too late

Govt says 5,000 tonne imported dal has arrived and 3,290 raids have been conducted on hoarders; economists say problem structural

Responding to a food crisis in the making, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday, announced that 5,000 tonne of imported dal had arrived in the country and was being distributed.He said there had been 3,290 raids on hoarders across the country in the past few days. He was briefing the press after a meeting of group of ministers to discuss measures to check the spiralling prices of pulses in India attending a Union Cabinet meeting held to review the situation.The Group of Ministers meet, comprising Union parliamentary affairs minister M Venkaiah Naidu, transport and shipping minister Nitin Gadkari and commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman, came on the heels of 35,000 mt of pulses seized from hoarders across the country. Maharashtra led the pack with 23,340 mt of pulses seized by the state government during 276 raids carried out in 16 districts.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Media reports from the Cabinet meeting said that Maharashtra government’s enforcement of de-hoarding measures was taken note off, and the Ministry of Consumer Affairs is working with other states to enforce such measures against hoarders and black marketeers of pulses.The Cabinet also took note of the falling prices of some variety of pulses; tur dal went from Rs 210 to Rs 205, moong fell to Rs 130, masoor to Rs 110 and gram to Rs 82 while urad remained static at Rs 198, according to the government data.Though the government has now created a buffer stock of 40,000 tonne, imposed stock limits on traders as well as departmental stores, licensed food processors, importers and exporters and is importing pulses at zero import duty, these measures seem too little too late. According to agricultural economists this crisis is a result of short- and long-term failure in planning by the government.The current shortfall of 2 mt has resulted from back to back bad monsoons and drought conditions in 2014 and 2015, something predicted well in advance by the weather department and, therefore, anticipated by the government. “They should have stocked up on pulses earlier this year and brought them into the market, when the prices were low,” said Himanshu, associate professor at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, Jawaharlal Nehru University, who specialises in agriculture and developmental economics, along with poverty, inequality, employment. “This is festival time when demand for pulses is even higher. High prices give rise to all sorts of tendencies, such as hoarding,” he said, as is evidenced in Wednesday’s seizure of pulses hoarded in various states.”This is a small, tightly controlled market. Once the international market knows that prices are high, and there is great demand, there is additional pressure,” said Himanshu.Tracing the recent history of pulses’ demand in India, Himanshu said till the mid-1990s, the country was self-sufficient. Post that, as incomes rose, and diets diversified, the demand for pulses rose too, but the supply did not keep up. Pulses, grown in rain-fed areas, with less that 10% of the irrigated land used for them, were especially susceptible to monsoon failures. Successive governments too did not bring pulses under the scope of the targeted public distribution system nor offer the stability of the minimum support price to farmers. These measures remained focused on rice and wheat crops, ignoring pleas by nutritionists and agricultural experts to also look at pulses.Himanshu said that since pulses have not been popular in western countries, they have never been the focus of scientific research, to create better yielding crop, such as hybrid strains of wheat and rice. No such research has taken off in India either, he said.Therefore, a combination of government oversight and lack of innovation kept the supply of pulses in the country limited, and outpaced by the demand.

Will return Sahitya award if Akademi doesn’t make a clear stand, says noted novelist Anita Desai

The 78-year-old author who received a Sahitya Award in 1978 for her novel “Fire on the Mountain” said she was born in an India that enshrined democracy, pluralism and the freedom of speech in its constitution.

Noted novelist Anita Desai has said she will return her Sahitya Award if the Akademi does not make it clear that it is not a government body but an independent one that exists to defend free speech and the right to question and dissent.Her comments came after at least 34 writers, over the past weeks, handed over their Sahitya Akademi awards in the aftermath of the killing of Kannada writer M M Kalburgi and Dadri lynching incident, among other issues.”If it is not able to declare and pursue such a policy, I will be obliged, in solidarity with my fellow writers, to renounce my membership of the Akademi and the award it gave me when I was a young writer in more hopeful times,” Desai said in a statement distributed by PEN International here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The 78-year-old author who received a Sahitya Award in 1978 for her novel “Fire on the Mountain” said she was born in an India that enshrined democracy, pluralism and the freedom of speech in its constitution.”I do not recognise India of the present time where, under the banner of ‘Hindutva,’ intimidation and bigotry seek to silence writers, scholars and all who believe in secular and rational thought,” she said.The author said in an atmosphere where there is no security or support for those who voice dissent, criticism or rational thought, there can be no intellectual or artistic work of any worth.”It saddens me that the august body of the Sahitya Akademi has not been able to support and protect writers from the intimidation and violence, verbal and physical, watched publishers withdraw books, universities delete texts from syllabi, distort and manipulate history, and silently witnessed institutions like the National Book Trust, the Nehru Museum and Library, and the University of Nalanda replace distinguished scholars,” Desai said.”At this crucial moment I appeal to the Sahitya Akademi to make clear that it does not represent any government or its policies, but is an independent body that exists to defend free speech and the right to question and dissent, in short what the constitution of the country promised us,” she said.Desai, who was shortlisted three times for the Booker.Prize was in 2007, was elected as a Sahitya Akademi Fellow, one of the highest honour conferred by the literary body on a writer.Recently, writers from 150 countries expressed solidarity with Indian authors and artistes who returned their prestigious awards in protest against “rising intolerance” in the country and have asked the BJP government to provide better protection and safeguard free speech.The president of 1921 founded body PEN International, had earlier in a letter to the President, the Prime Minister and the Sahitya Akedemi, urged them to take “immediate steps” to protect the rights of everyone, including writers and artists.Desai is among many writers including noted writers Nayantar Seghal, Ashok Vajpeyi, Shashi Deshpande and Ganesh Devy who have spoken out against the rising intolerance in the country.

Fake degree row: Delhi HC imposes Rs 50,000 cost on AAP MLA Surender Singh

Surender Singh is the second AAP MLA after former law minister Jitender Singh Tomar, who is facing allegations over educational qualification and had to step down.

Surinder Singh
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The Delhi High Court on Monday imposed a cost of Rs 50,000 on AAP MLA Surender Singh for delay in filing his reply to an election petition of BJP leader Karan Singh Tanwar alleging that the legislator has a fake graduation degree.Joint Registrar (Judicial) Ashutosh Kumar passed the order after the AAP MLA’s reply to BJP’s legislator petition was not found on record. However, the MLA has filed his response in the petition.Earlier, the Registrar had granted last opportunity to the AAP MLA.On May 18, Justice Hima Kohli had sought response from Singh on Tanwar’s plea that the MLA had “misrepresented himself to be BA in 2012 from Sikkim University… which amounts to corrupt practice within the meaning of the Representation of the People’s Act 195″.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”It is submitted that if he was serving in NSG (Indian Army) till the year 2011, it is beyond comprehension that he would have graduated or undertaken and completed his alleged BA course in the year 2012,” Tanwar’s petition said. He based his allegation on an RTI reply received from the Sikkim University which said it did not have any record of a student named Surender Singh.”As per the academic record of the year 2014-15 and all the past academic years, there is no student by the name of Surender Singh,” the RTI reply of Sikkim University reads.”Singh has deprived the voters of Delhi Cantonment of their valuable right to have full and complete information as to his background and qualification,” Tanwar said, seeking direction to summon the record of the election affidavit.On Tanwar’s plea to declare Singh’s election from Delhi Cantonment to be “void and the same be set aside,” the High Court had sought the AAP MLA’s response and posted the matter before Joint Registrar for completion of pleadings.Meanwhile, Singh in his reply denied the allegation leveled by Tanwar terming it as a politically-motivated plea. Singh is the second Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA after former law minister Jitender Singh Tomar, who is facing allegations over educational qualification and had to step down. Tomar was later arrested in the case. However, he later got bail.The plea against Tomar was filed by another BJP leader, Nand Kishore Garg, who is seeking his disqualification as MLA.

Fake degree: Maha Medical Council to take action against Aditya Birla Hospital

He said that an explanation will also be asked on how the hospital has signed a memorandum of understanding with a foreign university without permission from the government.

For the first time, the Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) is all set to take action against a doctor at Aditya Birla Memorial Hospital, Pune, for luring doctors for post-graduate degrees from a foreign university, not recognised in India. According to an MMC member, the doctors who were served notices for practising and displaying fake degrees, named Dr Sangram Jadhav of Aditya Birla Memorial Hospital as the coordinator. “We then decided to cross-check the claims by these doctors. The Website of University of Seychelles, which provides these degrees, had details about Dr Jadhav being their exam coordinator. It also had mention of Aditya Birla Memorial Hospital, where he worked,” said an MMC member. Dr Kishor Taori, president of MMC, said that they are in the process of sending notice to the hospital, asking about its role.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said that an explanation will also be asked on how the hospital has signed a memorandum of understanding with a foreign university without permission from the government. So far, 30 doctors from Maharashtra have been summoned for displaying foreign degrees at their clinics that are not recognised by the Medical Council of India and the MMC. “Almost all of them gave us chilling accounts of how they were lured by this hospital for the course with the University of Seychelles. Each doctor paid a hefty fee, like $6,000 and more, for the degree. The notice will be sent to the hospital and to the doctors within a week,” said Dr Taori. He added that the MMC is also sending details to the state government. “The fake degree racket should stop. Doctors are falling prey to the gimmicks by such universities. Even patients are confused with these fake degrees,” said Dr Taori. MMC has decided not to take any action against the 30 doctors who were summoned for displaying fake degrees at their clinics. “They have apologised and pulled down the degrees. We are writing to the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) against the Aditya Birla Memorial Hospital for violating ethics. Since the PMC is authorised for giving registration to the hospital, it will be their prerogative to take action,” said Dr Taori.When contacted, Dr Jadhav said that he is just an exam coordinator and the hospital is the exam-conducting centre. “I have no role to play other than being an exam coordinator. I do that as per the hospital’s direction,” said Dr Jadhav. Rekha Dubey, CEO of the hospital, said that the hospital’s agreement copy with the University of Seychelles is already being sent to the MMC. “We have already sent our statement and agreement copy to MMC. Our mandate is to only conduct exams. We are not offering the degree. It is for the doctors appearing for the exam who have to decide if the degree is recognised by the MCI or MMC or not,” said Dubey.

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