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Coaching class owners oppose proposed regulation bill

Coaching class owners from across the state have opposed the recent draft provisions of the Maharashtra Private Coaching Class Regulation Bill, 2018 which the government plans to table in the assembly soon.On Sunday, DNA had reported about the draft bill as per which the state government committee shall fix and regulate fees of coaching classes. Some other provisions in the bill state that the classes would have to part with 5 per cent of their total income to the government and keep seats reserved for underprivileged children.The Maharashtra Class Owners Association (MCOA), the biggest body of class owners in the state, will submit a representation to the government on Tuesday opposing the draft bill. “Classes are already paying 18 per cent GST and income tax to the state. Asking for more money in the absence of any support is unjust,” said Sachin Karnavat, President, MCOA.Narendra Bambwani, former president, MCOA said, “Coaching classes run on competitive markets and students’ needs. At the most, the government should monitor their quality.”Jagdish Walavalkar, a coaching class owner and member of the committee that prepared the draft bill, said that the government has not incorporated some of the key suggestions made by the committee. “We had proposed setting up a council which would have class owners, parents and government representatives instead of a complete state body. This was not included. We shall add a rejoinder to the draft with all such suggestions,” he added.OTHER PROVISIONS OF THE DRAFT BILLState government will govern the coaching classes, fix and regulate their fees. Classes will accept fees only via cheque. Classes will have to appoint ‘capable teachers’ instead of merely relying on educational qualifications. Only classes that have five or less than five students can be considered as home tuition. Class owners to reserve 5 per cent seats for poor students.

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Maharashtra to crack down on tuition classes

The State could soon regulate the fees of private coaching classes, as per the draft of the Maharashtra Private Coaching Regulation Bill 2018 which is likely to be tabled in the Winter Session of the Assembly next week.As per the draft, the State will form a designated body to periodically set and regulate the fee structure for private coaching classes from region to region. Coaching institutes would have to abide by this structure; and they will also have to accept fees only by cheque.The draft bill also states that only a class with five or less students can be considered a home tuition class; if the number of students exceeds this, it would fall under the ambit of a private class. Each such class would have to abide by the norms set by the state government.”Each private class needs to have adequate seating capacity and can have a maximum of 80 students per class,” the draft states, “It should have a separate toilet for girls and boys, and enough parking space. The guidelines stated in the bill will be applicable to classes which cater to students up to class XII.”If the bill is passed, every private class would have to reserve 5% seats for students from lower economic backgrounds and give 50% discount in fees for students coming from government schools or institutes run by local self-government bodies.The draft bill continues the recent policy of not allowing integrated coaching — coaching classes run within the premises of educational institutes and during school/college hours.Private classes would have to take the requisite permissions while setting up classes and would have to keep accounts and audit reports ready for government scrutiny at any time. They would also have to donate 5% of their income for educational funds of the state government.Trustee of Science Parivar, prof Subhash Joshi, said that the bill, if passed in its existing form, would completely end the autonomy of coaching institutes. “The government should realise that coaching classes run on a competitive basis and are not compulsory in nature,” says Joshi, “How can the government decide everything from fees to teacher appointments when it is not giving us any financial or any other kind of support?” He added that the government should ensure good quality teaching in schools and colleges so that students don’t have to turn to coaching institutes.Alka sinha said that home tutors like her, who charge much less than commercial classes, would be at a loss with the new rules. “We cannot provide parking and separate washrooms as the income from fees is very small,” she said.Draft rulesState govt will fix and regulate fees of pvt coaching classes Classes can take fees only by cheque Only classes with 5 or less students to be considered home tuition Students cannot be charged separately for books, notes or study material 5% seats to be reserved for poor; Classes to provide separate loos for boys and girls and adequate parking

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Delhi University SOL classes yet to begin, students in lurch

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even while the semesters for all the regular courses are over and examination are underway in colleges across the Delhi University (DU), the students of School of Open Learning (SOL) are still waiting for their classes to begin. Adding to their woes, they have not even received the study material yet.SOL is a correspondence option offered by the DU. It admits around 1.5 lakh students in undergraduate courses every year and offers BA, BCom, BA (Honours) Political Science, BCom (Honours) and BA (Honours) English, among others. Every year, the classes for these students begin in the last week of September.Agitated by the delay, hundreds of SOL students protested at the university’s north campus on Tuesday. “This is victimisation of correspondent students. While the students of regular colleges have had their syllabi completed, the SOL students, coming from deprived and marginalised sections, still do not know their syllabi half-a-year after taking admission,” said Ravinder Kumar, a second-year BA (prog) student.The students also submitted a memorandum to executive director (SOL), H C Pokhriyal demanding immediate commencement of classes of all courses.”This is not the first time that the university is giving us this step-motherly treatment. We are always being discriminated in one way or the other,” said Sneha Sharma, a correspondent BCom student.”We are not even provided with an adequate number of classrooms. Last year, as many as 1,000 SOL students used to come for classes at Saraswati College. But we have been provided with only eight classrooms. It’s really difficult to accommodate all the students in them,” she added.Officials, however, assured students that arrangements would be made for their classes shortly.Despite several attempts, Pokhriyal did not respond to the questions.In July this year, the SOL students were at loggerheads with the university when their results got delayed by more than four months. Following which several hundreds of students could not take admissions in the masters courses.TOO MANY GRIPESStudents say they have not been provided adequate number of classrooms
One of them said as many as 1,000 SOL students used to come for lectures at Saraswati College, but they had been given only eight classrooms
The students say they are yet to receive the study material
To air their grievances, the students held a protest at the university’s north campus on Tuesday

In blow to Rajasthan, SC stays, caps Gujjar quota

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a setback for the Vasundhara Raje government, the Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday stayed Rajasthan’s move to grant reservation benefits to Gujjars. The top court further directed the state to cap reservations to Gujjars up to 50 per cent until the High Court finally decides the issue.The order came on the heels of an appeal filed by the Rajasthan government challenging a November 9 High Court (HC) order which restrained the state from implementing a bill that provided five per cent quota to five OBCs (Other Backward Classes) and six sub-castes, including Gujjars, raising the reservation in the state to 54 per cent.The order, pronounced by a bench headed by the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, comes months ahead of next year’s Rajasthan Assembly polls.”…taking into consideration the facts and circumstances of the case and various decisions of this court, we are inclined to restrain the state government from taking any action or decision on the administrative side or in any manner conferring the benefit of reservation, which will have the result of crossing the total reservation beyond 50 per cent,” the SC said. During the course of hearing, state government said that it has power to pass such a bill and the court cannot interfere with the legislative process. Agreeing with this reasoning, the apex court bench, that also comprised Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, proceeded to partially set aside the HC order.Earlier this month, Rajasthan High court had said that since the SC had already asked the state government to maintain status quo after the 2015 Gujjar reservation Bill was struck down by Rajasthan High Court, “it will not be appropriate to allow the state government to do anything contrary to the Supreme Court’s order and they are restrained from acting upon the Bill.”The Rajasthan Backward Classes (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions in the State and of Appointment and Posts in Services under the State) Bill, 2017, which was passed on October 26 this year, sought to increase OBC quota from 21 per cent to 26 per cent, and create a separate category of ‘More Backward Classes’ for Banjara, Gadiya Lohar, Gujjar, Raika and Gadariya castes, giving them a five per cent reservation.Ganga Sahay Sharma, the petitioner who had approached the Rajasthan HC against the bill, said the state government introduced reservation bills for Gujjars in 2008 and in 2015; both were quashed by the High Court, mainly because they exceeded the 50 per cent reservation limit set by the apex court.

Five-judge Constitution Bench to revisit 11-year-old verdict on SC/ST quota

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to consider whether its 11-year-old judgement dealing with the issue of application of the ‘creamy layer’ for reservation to SC and ST categories in promotion in government jobs needs to be revisited.The top court said that a five-judge Constitution bench will examine the limited issue as to whether the 2006 verdict delivered in M Nagaraj and other versus Union of India was required to be re-looked at or not.A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan clarified that it was not going into the correctness of the verdict.The M Nagaraj verdict had said that the creamy layer concept cannot be applied to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes for promotions in government jobs like two earlier verdicts of 1992 Indra Sawhney and others versus Union of India (popularly called Mandal Commission verdict) and 2005 EV Chinnaiah versus state of Andhra Pradesh, which dealt with creamy layer in Other Backward Classes category.The apex court was hearing a batch of petition which arose from a Bombay High Court order quashing two state government resolutions terming them as ultra vires to Article 16 (4A) of the Constitution of India.Several other states have also approached the apex court on the issue.The Maharashtra government, through its resolution in 2004, had granted reservation to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and De-Notified Tribes, Nomadic Tribes, Special Backward Category and Other Backward Classes in job promotion.The issue cropped up as a bench of Justices Kurian Joseph and R Banumathi had referred a matter to the Constitution bench which also related to creamy lawyer for reservation of SC/ST in government jobs.The two-judge bench had said that clarity was required on the applications in creamy layer in situation of competing claims within the same races, communities, groups or parts thereof of SC/ST communities notified by the President under Articles 341 and 342 of the Constitution.The bench had sought clarification on Article 16(4), 16 (4A) and 16(4B) of the Constitution of India, which deals with the power of state government to make provisions for reservation of appointments or posts in favour of any backward class of citizens which, in the opinion, was not adequately represented in the services under the state.The Nagaraj verdict had reiterated that the ceiling-limit of 50 percent, the concept of the creamy layer and the compelling reasons, namely, backwardness, inadequacy of representation and overall administrative efficiency were all constitutional requirements without which the structure of equality of opportunity in Article 16 would collapse.It had further said that the state was not bound to make reservation for SC/ST in matter of promotions.”However, if they wish to exercise their discretion and make such provision, the State has to collect quantifiable data showing backwardness of the class and inadequacy of representation of that class in public employment in addition to compliance of Article 335,” the five-judge constitution bench had said in its 2006 judgement.It had also clarified that even if the state has compelling reasons, as specified, the state would have to see that its reservation provisions does not lead to excessiveness so as to breach the ceiling-limit of 50 percent or obliterate the creamy layer or extend the reservation indefinitely.

Constitution bench to revisit 11-year-old verdict on creamy layer in SC/ST quota

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today agreed to consider whether its 11-year-old judgement dealing with the issue of application of the ‘creamy layer’ for reservation to SC and ST categories in promotion in government jobs needs to be revisited.The top court said that a five-judge Constitution bench will examine the limited issue as to whether the 2006 verdict delivered in M Nagaraj and other versus Union of India was required to be re-looked at or not. A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan clarified that it was not going into the correctness of the verdict. The M Nagaraj verdict had said that the creamy layer concept cannot be applied to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes for promotions in government jobs like two earlier verdicts of 1992 Indra Sawhney and others versus Union of India (popularly called Mandal Commission verdict) and 2005 E V Chinnaiah versus State of Andhra Pradesh, which dealt with creamy layer in Other Backward Classes category.The apex court was hearing a batch of petition which arose from a Bombay High Court order quashing two state government resolutions terming them as ultra vires to Article 16(4A) of the Constitution of India.Several other states have also approached the apex court on the issue. The Maharashtra government, through its resolution in 2004, had granted reservation to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and De-Notified Tribes, Nomadic Tribes, Special Backward Category and Other Backward Classes in job promotion.The issue cropped up as a bench of Justices Kurian Joseph and R Banumathi had referred a matter to the Constitution bench which also related to creamy lawyer for reservation of SC/ST in government jobs.The two-judge bench had said that clarity was required on the applications in creamy layer in situation of competing claims within the same races, communities, groups or parts thereof of SC/ST communities notified by the President under Articles 341 and 342 of the Constitution.The bench had sought clarification on Article 16(4), 16 (4A) and 16(4B) of the Constitution of India, which deals with the power of state government to make provisions for reservation of appointments or posts in favour of any backward class of citizens which, in the opinion, was not adequately represented in the services under the state. The Nagaraj verdict had reiterated that the ceiling-limit of 50 per cent, the concept of the creamy layer and the compelling reasons, namely, backwardness, inadequacy of representation and overall administrative efficiency were all constitutional requirements without which the structure of equality of opportunity in Article 16 would collapse.It had further said that the state was not bound to make reservation for SC/ST in matter of promotions.”However, if they wish to exercise their discretion and make such provision, the State has to collect quantifiable data showing backwardness of the class and inadequacy of representation of that class in public employment in addition to compliance of Article 335,” the five-judge constitution bench had said in its 2006 judgement. It had also clarified that even if the state has compelling reasons, as specified, the state would have to see that its reservation provisions does not lead to excessiveness so as to breach the ceiling-limit of 50 per cent or obliterate the creamy layer or extend the reservation indefinitely.

OBC quota: Supreme Court reserves order on Rajasthan plea

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Supreme Court on Monday reserved its order on plea filed by the Rajasthan government against HC order which has restrained the state government from enacting the Bill which grants five per cent reservation to Gujjars and four other castes in Rajasthan. The Bill was passed by the Assembly last month.A Bench of the Apex Court, headed by Chief Justice of India Deepak Misra, Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud reserved the order on appeal filed by Rajasthan government. During the course of hearing state Government said that Government has power to pass such a bill and Court cannot interfere with the legislative process. Petitioner who challenged the bill in HC said that Rajasthan government had violated Supreme court order of maintaining status quo.On last Thusday, Rajasthan High court said since the Supreme Court had already asked the state government to maintain status quo after the 2015 Gujjar reservation Bill was struck down by Rajasthan High Court, “it will not be appropriate to allow the state government to do anything contrary to the Supreme Court’s order and they are restrained from acting upon the Bill.” The Rajasthan Backward Classes (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions in the State and of Appointment and Posts in Services under the State) Bill, 2017, which was passed on October 26 this year, sought to increase OBC quota from 21 per cent to 26 per cent, and create a separate category of ‘More Backward Classes’ for Banjara, Gadiya Lohar, Gujjar, Raika and Gadariya castes, giving them a five per cent reservation.Ganga Sahay Sharma, the petitioner who had approached the Rajasthan HC against the Bill, said the state government introduced reservation Bills for Gujjars in 2008 and in 2015; both were quashed by the high court, mainly because they exceeded the 50 per cent reservation limit set by the apex court. With the state government bringing a Bill which would result in reservation again exceeding the 50 per cent cap.

Be it tribals, Dalits, Backward Castes and minorities, Modi govt with everyone: Hansraj Ahir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir today said the Narendra Modi government is working for development of all the sections of society and has adopted ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ (development of all) approach.”Prime Minister Modi works for everyone. The country is moving forward with PM’s vision of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’.”On the occasion of Dussehra festival, I would like to tell that the government is with everyone and is working for development of all sections and castes. Everyone…be it tribals, Dalits, Backward Classes (BCs) and minorities,” Ahir said.Addressing the ‘Alai Balai’ (Dasara Milan) programme organised by senior BJP leader and former Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya here, Ahir said the government is committed to ensure justice for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and hailed Prime Minister Modi, for bringing in the National Commission for Backward Classes.”The government also raised the ‘creamy layer’ ceiling for OBC reservation to Rs 8 lakh from the existing Rs 6 lakh per year,” he added.Ahir further said “Yesterday, by doing ‘Ravan Dahan’, we have got more strength to finish off those with Ravan’s mentality who cross the border (referring to terrorists) and enter our country.”Yesterday we have performed ‘shastra pujan’ (worship of weapons). Why shastra pujan is done…it is done to finish the evil. For country’s safety we performed shastra pujan. We also perform ‘shanti puja’ in our country.” “I pray to God and also seek blessings of the public to strengthen PM’s and our hands to fight enemies,” Ahir said.Ahir also termed Dattatreya’s works during his tenure as a Union Minister for Labour as “successful.” “He (Dattatreya) ensured passage of several bills whether it is PF, contract labourers among others,” Ahir said and expressed confidence that the party (BJP) will give him “appropriate position”.Union Labour Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar, who were among those who were felicitated by Dattatreya, extended his best wishes to him and also for the event.Dattatreya, who had conceptualised ‘Alai Balai’ programme, an apolitical forum to bring people from varied backgrounds on a common platform, has been organising this event on the occasion of Dussehra festival for the past several years.Telangana Legislative Council Chairman K Swamy Goud, Deputy Chief Minister Mohd Mahmood Ali, Home Minister Nayani Narasimha Reddy, leaders of different political parties and organisations, were among those who participated in the event.Earlier, Congress leader and former Rajya Sabha member V Hanumanth Rao raised the issue of removal of Dattatreya from the Union Ministry, saying it is “injustice” to him.”The BCs are angry over Dattatreya’s removal as central minister. I thought he will get promotion…He is not involved in any corruption, neither he had done anything wrong,” Rao said.Reacting to this Ahir said “It is not an insult to him (Dattatreya)…The party looks upon to him with respect. I am confident the party will definitely give him appropriate position. He is a big leader and he will continue to remain so”.

Centre to merge school education schemes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Central government plans to improve the reach of education at the school level for children from Classes 1 to 10 by merging two of their schemes meant to guarantee universal education.The Ministry of Human Resource Development plans to merge Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) — two similar schemes of the government for education to be universalised. Currently, while SSA is applicable from Class 1 till Class 8, RMSA is only for Class 9 and 10 only.A meeting to deliberate on possibilities of merger of these two schemes was held in the ministry last week and a group of secretaries working on it will submit its report in the coming days. “During the discussion, it was agreed upon by everyone that it will be a good idea to merge these two schemes as they have similar mandate. We are now working on how to work on the merger and will come up with a detailed report soon,” a senior official in the ministry of HRD said.He added that the plan to merge these schemes was proposed because it was found that there was a lot of non-utilisation of funds. Both SSA and RMSA gets different budget. The separate schemes were created because the Right to Education did not extend upto Class 10 and the government needed a plan to bring children to school after Class 8.”We saw that funds in these schemes were not being utilised properly. If a state has taken care of its primary education and does not need to spend so much for children up to class 8, they should be able to use the same fund for the older children. However, under the current mandate it was not being possible. Hence, we have decided to merge them,” the official added.

BJP to reintroduce OBC bill in Winter Session

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which has launched a frontal attack to name and shame Congress for stumping the passage of the Other Backward Classes (OBC) Bill in the Parliament, will reintroduce it in the Winter Session without many changes.BJP sources said, the OBC bill will be almost the same with some minor changes and it is planning ways to rope in enough numbers in the Rajya Sabha for passage.”We have more numbers in Rajya Sabha now for better floor management. Besides we are working with other parties to pass it successfully in the Upper House. There is no problem of numbers in the Lok Sabha,” said a senior BJP MP adding that the amendments moved by the Congress were constitutionally unsustainable as appointment to the Commission cannot be made caste-based and would be challenged in the Supreme Court. He further said that before taking it up the BJP will raise the stakes so high for the Congress that it will not dare to put up a similar kind of resistance to the bill as it did during the Monsoon Session.The MP added that there is no need to add the concept of creamy layer and its recent revision from Rs 6 lakh to Rs 8 lakh is taken care by time to time notifications in the rules.During the Monsoon Session, the BJP’s efforts to give constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) by inserting a new article 338 B in the Constitution had miserably failed when it could not muster required numbers in the house amid the absence of several of its ministers.In a high voltage drama the government had to watch its key bill fall with many of its key ministers among other MPs not present in the upper house when the 123rd constitutional amendment bill was taken up for voting.SEEKING MAJORITYDuring the Monsoon Session, there were only 126 MPs present in 245-member House during the voting. Among those present, the opposition had a clear edge over NDA benches that many empty benches.

OBC reservation benefits extended to PSUs and other financial institutions

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave its approval to the norms for establishing equivalence of posts in Government and posts in PSUs, PSBs etc. for claiming benefit of OBC reservations. This addresses an issue pending for nearly 24 years. This will ensure that the children of those serving in lower categories in PSUs and other institutions can get the benefit of OBC reservations, on par with children of people serving in lower categories in Government. This will also prevent children of those in senior positions in such institutions, who, owing to absence of equivalence of posts, may have been treated as non Creamy Layer by virtue of wrong interpretation of income standards from cornering government posts reserved for OBCs and denying the genuine non creamy layer candidates a level playing field.The Union Cabinet also approved the increase in the present income criterion of Rs. 6 lakh per annum for applying the Creamy Layer restriction throughout the country, for excluding Socially Advanced Persons/Sections (Creamy Layer) from the purview of reservation of Other Backward Classes (OBCs).The new income criterion will be Rs. 8 lakh per annum. The increase in the income limit to exclude the Creamy Layer is in keeping with the increase in the Consumer Price Index and will enable more persons to take advantage of reservation benefits extended to OBCs in government services and admission to central educational institutions.These measures are a part of the Government’s efforts to ensure greater social justice and inclusion for members of the Other Backward Classes. The Government has already introduced in Parliament, a bill to provide Constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes. It has also decided to set up a Commission, under section 340 of the Constitution, to sub categorize the OBCs, so that the more backward among the OBC communities can also access the benefits of reservation for educational institutions and government jobs.All these decisions, taken together, are expected to ensure greater representation of OBCs in educational institutions and jobs, while also ensuring that the more under-privileged within the category are not denied their chance of social mobility.Background:In its judgment dated 16.11.1992 in WP(C) 930/1990 (IndraSawhney case) the Supreme Court had directed the Government to specify the basis, for exclusion of socially and economically advanced persons from Other Backward Classes by applying the relevant and requisite socioeconomic criteria.An Expert Committee was constituted in February 1993 which submitted its report on 10.03.1993 specifying the criteria for identification of socially advanced persons among OBCs i.e. the Creamy Layer. The report was accepted by the then Ministry of Welfare and forwarded to DoPT which issued an OM dated 08.09.1993 on exclusion from the Creamy Layer.The OM of 08.09.1993 specifies six categories for identifying Creamy Layer (a) Constitutional/Statutory post (b) Group ‘A’ and Group ‘B’ Officers of Central and State Governments, employees of PSUs and Statutory bodies, universities, (c) Colonel and above in armed forces and equivalent in paramilitary forces (d) professionals like Doctors, Lawyers, Management Consultants, Engineers etc. (e) Property owners with agricultural holdings or vacant land and/or buildings and (f) income/wealth tax asessee.The OM further stipulates that the said parameters would apply mutatis mutandis to officers holding equivalent or comparable posts in PSUs, Banks, Insurance Organisations, Universities, etc. and Government was required to determine equivalence of positions in these organisations with those in Government. Pending the equivalence to the established in these institutions Income criteria would apply for the officers in these Institutions. However, this exercise of determining the equivalence of posts in Government and posts in PSUs, PSBs etc. had not been initiated. The determination of equivalence of posts has been thus pending for almost 24 years.The matter of formulating equivalence has since been examined in detail. In PSUs, all Executive level posts i.e. Board level executives and managerial level posts would be treated as equivalent to group ‘A’ posts in Government and will be considered Creamy Layer. Junior Management Grade Scale–1 and above of Public Sector Banks, Financial Institutions and Public Sector Insurance Corporations will be treated as equivalent to Group ‘A’ in the Government of India and considered as Creamy Layer. For Clerks and Peons in PSBs, FIs and PSICs, the Income Test as revised from time to time will be applicable. These are the broad guidelines and each individual Bank, PSU, Insurance Company would place the matter before their respective board to identify individual posts.

Centre to set criteria for PSU, bank posts on ‘creamy layer’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre has evolved criteria to identify posts in the PSUs, public sector banks and financial institutions comparable with those in the government to exclude the ‘creamy layer’ for the purpose of granting reservation benefits to the OBC employees.A proposal to this effect was examined and approved by a panel of ministers and sent to the Union Cabinet for its final nod, a senior government official said.The same panel had recently cleared the proposal to raise the ‘creamy layer’ ceiling for the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category to Rs 8 lakh per annum from the existing Rs 6 lakh for central government jobs.The need to draw up the criteria arose as there was lack of clarity in the comparable posts in the state-run undertakings and the government.The exercise to draw up the set of criteria was undertaken almost 23 years after a 1993 office order of the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) providing for 27 per cent quota for the OBCs in government vacancies and laying down categories under the creamy layer.This order merely stated that the criterion enumerated for Group A and Group B posts in government will apply to officers “holding equivalent and comparable posts” in the PSUs, banks and financial institutions.”A vigorous exercise was carried out following which the criteria have been drawn up for equivalence of posts in PSUs, government banks and insurance organisations among others with those in the government.”The proposal was for enhancement of the income ceiling for exclusion of creamy layer and has been approved by the panel of ministers and sent to the Union Cabinet,” the official said.He said the move was aimed at ensuring parity between the posts in the state-run financial institutions with those in the government for the purpose of granting quota benefits to those eligible.”There were discrepancies in granting benefits to the OBC employees of such organisations and some were getting undue benefits in the absence of a comparative chart of posts across government and PSUs,” he said.Under the 1993 memorandum issued by the DoPT, certain categories are listed under the creamy layer.While categories like constitutional posts, Group A/Class I and Group B/Class II were clearly mentioned in it, there was no clarity in regard to the employees of PSUs, banks and insurance organisations.The order further stated that pending the evaluation of posts on equivalence or comparable basis in these institutions, the criteria of income test would apply to the officers there.

Database for Bihar students to reduce proxies

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bihar government is in the process of preparing a database of around 2.4 crore students from government and government-aided schools in the state, to crack down on duplicate enrollees. This is aimed at improving implementation of welfare schemes.The database of almost 2.16 crore children studying in Classes I to XII, has already been prepared. “The data for the remaining students is likely to be completed by the end of the month,” a senior official from the Bihar education department said and added that this was the first time that such an exercise had been undertaken.Apart from the student’s and his parents’ names, basic personal information of the students is also a part of the database. The department has also sought Aadhaar numbers, which will double as a unique id for the students.”Those students who do not have Aadhaar numbers will be provided a separate unique id,” the official said. He added that once the database of government school students is ready, they will ask the private schools to follow their suit. The database will make it very easy for detection of duplicate candidates. “We will also send the list of students to each school and ask the principals to corroborate the data. Those students, who are enrolled in two schools, will be deleted from one list,” he said and added that the target to rectify duplication of students was December 2017.The state is also in the process of improving the situation at government schools by providing better facilities for students.”A pilot project to introduce smart classes for students will commence at 10 government schools in Patna from the first week of September. The teachers are being trained to use e-content and we are expecting that students learn better through the audio-visual content than regular lecture method,” he said.WHAT THE DATA WILL INCLUDEApart from the student’s and their parents’ names, basic personal information of the students is also a part of the database.
The department has also sought Aadhaar numbers, which will double as a unique id for the students.

Amit Shah lauds Modi Govt for raising OBC creamy layer bar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah lauded the Centre for raising the creamy layer income limit for the Other backward Classes (OBCs) for central government jobs and said the marginalised sections of the society will get the benefit of reservation and other schemes. The Union Cabinet on Wednesday increased the creamy layer ceiling for the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category to eight lakh rupees per annum from the existing six lakh for central government jobs. Welcoming the decision of the Union Government, the BJP chief said in a statement that the move which would benefit a large section of the backward society is evidence of his party?s commitment to the overall development. ?The decision of the Modi government shows the BJP?s and its government?s sensitivity and commitment to the holistic development of backwards and different social classes,? he said. Dubbing the decision as ?just?, Shah said that this provision will give priority to the OBCs which require more reservation and other facilities due to economic backwardness. Shah also took a dig at the Congress and said, ?The Modi government has taken historic step by giving constitutional status to the Other Backward Classes Commission under these initiatives, but due to the grand old party, a constitutional amendment related to it could not be done.? He further expressed confidence that the government would get it passed in Parliament soon. “I am confident that the Modi government will soon pass this law in Parliament and give it a constitutional status to the Other Backward Classes Commission for the development of the backward class.” he said. Besides raising the creamy layer bar, the Cabinet on Wednesday also announced setting up of a commission to examine sub-categorisation within Other Backward Classes (OBCs) for a “more equitable distribution of reservation benefits”. The Commission will take up the exercise of identifying the respective castes, sub-castes, communities and synonyms in the Central list of OBCs and classifying them into their respective sub-categories. The Commission will submit its report within 12 weeks from the date of appointment of Chairperson.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Kolkata schools to begin awareness campaign against Blue Whale game

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Class IX student of Don Bosco School, Park Circus in south Kolkata, reportedly influenced by the online suicide game Blue Whale had gone missing for several hours last week. He was following an instruction of the game, sources said. “He said he was at a certain stage of the game where he had been asked to stay away from family for some hours,” said a source from the school who did not want to be named. The boy was evetually found in central Kolkata by his family.Sources said that of late, he had been absent-minded in class. School Principal Bikash Mondal, however, said. “The child had had some problem at home. We found out later that he had gone to meet some old friends,” Mondal said. He admitted that Blue Whale menace was a formidable one. “We will be doing an awareness programme for students and tell them about the perils of Blue Whale,” he said.Other schools are following suit. Mukta Nain, Principal, Birla High (Boys) said that they have been talking to students during assembly. “This game has been taking over the minds of students. After exams are over, we intend to conduct an awareness programme,” she told DNA. Principal of St Sebastian School said: “We will invite cyber experts to hold a workshop for students of Classes IX to XII.”

Cong guarded over hike in ‘creamy layer’ income cap for OBCs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress on Wednesday adopted a cautious approach on the increase in the ‘creamy layer’ income ceiling for OBCs and urged the government to seriously address the issue, saying it would adversely affect the poor and needy sections of society. Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the government was creating “reservation within reservation” and raising the limit for creamy layer among OBCs will lead to the poor and needy not getting the benefits. He, however, said the opposition party was studying the implications of raising the ‘creamy layer’ limit for OBCs and would come out with a detailed response later. “It is the poor and the needy in society who need the job reservations. By raising the ‘creamy layer’ limit, is the BJP government not depriving the poor from getting job benefits? “When limits are raised to Rs 8 lakh, are you not giving the benefits to the rich and in the bargain the children of the poor will not get the benefit of jobs and reservation and will be left out,” he told reporters. Surjewala said the government and the prime minister and his Cabinet should seriously dwell on this aspect to ensure the poor are not left out of reservation benefits. The Union Cabinet on Wednesday increased the ‘creamy layer’ ceiling for the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category to Rs 8 lakh per annum from the existing Rs 6 lakh for central government jobs. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said those in the OBC category earning up to Rs 8 lakh per annum would now get reservation benefits.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Marine Quest 2017 quiz for school students in coastal states

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Aiming to create awareness among children about the importance of fish and fishery products in people’s lives, Marine Products Export Development Authority is organizing a national level quiz competition ‘Marine Quest 2017’ for school students across coastal states of India. The regional rounds will be held in coastal states, including Kerala, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal. The winning teams from the regional rounds will compete in thed Grand Finale, to be organised in Kochi on August 24. The contest is open for students of Classes VIII to XII, of all educational boards State/CBSE/ICSE. “We will host the regional level competition in nine coastal states, including Kerala.This is the fourth edition of the competition and MPEDA’s focus is on making children aware of the contribution of marine products exports towards our national economy,” said MPEDA Chairman Dr A Jayathilak in a release here. The winning team at ‘Marine Quest 2017’ finals stands to win Rs 25,000 cash award. The first and second runners up will get a prize of Rs 15,000 and Rs 5,000 respectively, it said. “Around 60 per cent of the quiz questions will be related directly to the fisheries sector and the remaining will be mostly general knowledge,” the Chairman added. MPEDA will arrange for accommodation and food and reimburse the travel expenses (up to 3-tier AC train ticket fare) for the qualifying team and one accompanying person for attending the semifinal/final rounds.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

BJP may discuss its MPs’ absence from RS at Parl party meeting

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The issue of absence of several BJP members in the Rajya Sabha, where the government suffered an embarrassment today after the opposition managed to pass a bill on backward classes with amendments, may figure in its Parliamentary party meeting tomorrow, sources said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and top government ministers are likely to attend the meeting, the sources said. Modi has repeatedly asked the party MPs to ensure their presence in both the Houses underlining that it is the duty of treasury benches to ensure the passage of the government’s legislative agenda. The upper House today saw high drama and embarrassment for the government as a Constitution amendment bill on backward classes was changed after some amendments moved by the Opposition were passed by the House. The Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill, 2017, providing for setting up of a National Commission for Backward Classes, was passed after dropping Clause 3, to which four amendments was approved by the House earlier. The dropped clause pertains to the insertion of a new article 338B about the constitution and powers of the National Commission for Backward Classes. The amended bill will now have to be returned to the Lok Sabha for its fresh approval. The Lower House had already passed the bill but in the upper House it had been referred to a Select Committee as the Opposition had wanted more scrutiny. Days after the Select Committee submitted its report, the Rajya Sabha today took up the Constituent amendment bill, whose passage requires two-third majority of those present and voting in the 245-member House.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Now, NDMC to introduce smart classrooms

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Under the Smart City project, the New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) has decided to revamp 444 classrooms at 30 out of 51 schools as “smart classrooms.” This will have CCTV cameras, LEDs and other required infrastructure for imparting lessons through digital content.Officials said, for students of the senior secondary wing, there are digital versions of the last 10 years’ examination papers, interactive material, standard lessons, practice material and question banks. And as of today, they have been successful in their venture. NDMC has set up smart classes in 444 classrooms which cover children studying from Classes 6 to 12.The content, based on the NCERT syllabus, is available in both Hindi and English, the official said.Statistics show an overall improvement in performance of students, particularly a marked rise in Class 10 and 12 results of all Navyug and NDMC schools.According to NDMC officials, in Class 10, the number of students who passed with distinction has increased considerably from the academic year 2014-15 to 2016-17.Similarly, he said, the Class 12 results of NDMC/Navyug schools are commendable in the backdrop of a slight dip in the Class 12 result of other government schools. Apart from improvement in the overall result there is a substantial increase in the quality of performance by the students, as the number of distinctions in different subjects has increased by about 40 per cent.

WB govt to accept Aadhaar as proof of residence for caste

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The West Bengal Government will allow the use of Aadhaar card as proof of identity as well as residence for issuing cast certificates, officials said. A notification issued by the the Backward Classes Welfare Department here said that Aadhaar card will be treated as a valid document for residential proof and identity of the applicant, applying for Schedule Caste, Schedule Tribe and Other Backward Class certificates. “It is stated that Aadhaar cards needs to be treated as a valid document in regard to proof of identity and local residence in addition to the list of documents,” the notification read.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

HC extends stay on law for quota to Maratha by six months

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bombay High Court today extended for another six months its stay on a state law which seeks to reserve 16 percent seats for the Marathas in government jobs and educational institutions. The court also allowed the government to forward its data on the social and educational status of the Marathas to the recently set up State Commission for Backward Classes to examine if the reservations for the Maratha community in state jobs and educational institutions would be justified . The division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice G S Kulkarni today refused to vacate the stay it had imposed in April last year, restraining the government from implementing the quota for eleven months. The bench extended the stay on the law after the government informed it today that the 11-month stay period was over. The government had yesterday sought the court’s permission to place the data it had collected before the Commission “for its scrutiny, verification and recommendations about the social and educational backwardness and eligibility for reservation of the Maratha community.” The judges said the government did not need the court’s permission to do that. The court was hearing a bunch of petitions challenging the erstwhile Congress-NCP government’s 2014 decision to grant reservations to the politically dominant Maratha community. A few petitions supporting the reservations were also filed in the HC. The bench adjourned the hearing on the plea to an unspecified date in June.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

NCERT standardises questionnaire to test learning outcomes in schools

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Students of Classes 1 and 2 will have to undergo oral tests, and students from Classes 3 to 8 will be tested on the basis of multiple choice questions to access their learning outcomes in September this year. This decision was taken in the recent meeting of officials of the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and State Councils for Educational Research and Training (SCERTs). According to officials in the NCERT, the questionnaire for their assessment will be uniform across the country, so that a consistent level of learning is developed at the national level. “We have developed one good quality test, which is based on the learning outcome parameters that have been decided for students. The test will be uniform, which will help us access the education standard at the national level,” said a senior official at the NCERT. “For students in Classes 1 and 2, the test will be more informal. Teachers will take an oral test and record the responses of students. Students in Classes 3 to 8 will be given multiple choice questions which they will have to answer. This way, they will not even waste much time in performing the exercise,” he added. The questionnaire has been prepared based on the learning outcomes laid down by the government. For example, at a certain age, a child should recognise a pattern, be it ascending or descending of numbers, or similar other things, and based on that, questions about different patterns will be given to students to test their understanding. The government will also be conducting the National Assessment Survey (NAS) for Classes 1 to 8 at the district level. So far, the survey was at the state level, applicable for Classes 3, 5 and 8. “We will conduct the NAS at the district level as a sample unit. We will be assessing 85 lakh students in 34,000 schools with districts as sample size. This will give a better understanding about the learning level of students,” the officer said. Based on the outcome of this survey, the government plans to take remedial steps in the middle of the session.

Narendra Modi-Opposition face off in Parliament on OBC Commission Bill

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday accused opposition parties of blocking the OBC commission Bill in the Rajya Sabha, Congress hit back, saying the House sent the bill to select committee to make it more powerful and ensure benefits reach to more sections.A deft move by the BJP government, the Bill titled as One Hundred and Twenty-third Amendment of Constitution was aimed to create a National Commission for Backward Classes with constitutional status at par with the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes. At present the functions of this Commission are limited to examining the requests for inclusion of any class of citizens as a backward class in the lists and hear complaints of over-inclusion or under-inclusion of any backward class in such lists and tender such advice to the Central government. Now, according to new legislation, the Commission will have judicial powers as well. Once the bill becomes law, states will not be able to add or delete castes from the backward classes’ list without Parliament’s approval.Modi expressed surprise at the stand of the opposition as members of all parties had been urging him for bringing the legislation. “The bill was passed unanimously in the Lok Sabha but blocked in the Rajya Sabha (by opposition parties). Denying the backward sections their rights with such negative politics is regrettable,” Modi told the BJP OBC MPs .The OBC MPs of the BJP had gathered to thank the Prime Minister for passage of the bill in the Lok Sabha which seeks to create National Commission for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes, with judicial powers and constitutional status.The Rajya Sabha had on Tuesday referred the Constitution (123rd) Amendment Bill, 2017, which has already been passed by the Lok Sabha, to the Select Committee under pressure from the opposition. The ruling NDA does not have a majority in the House. The committee that will examine the bill will be headed by BJP member Bhupender Yadav. It has been asked to submit its report by the last day of the first week of the next session. The 25-member Rajya Sabha Select Committee includes Sharad Yadav, Ram Gopal Yadav, Satish Mishra and Praful Patel.Congress general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad said Rajya Sabha wanted some amendments in the bill to ensure benefits of reservation reach as many people as possible without hurting the interests of existing beneficiaries. Another Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, accused the government of not giving Opposition leaders adequate time to discuss public issues. “We wanted adequate time for discussions, but did not get it. They were going by the speed you see vehicles passing on Delhi-Agra highway,” he quipped.

PM slams opposition for stalling OBC Bill in Rajya Sabha

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi today slammed opposition parties for stalling a bill that seeks to accord constitutional status to the OBC commission, questioning why they stopped its passage in the Rajya Sabha when it aims to benefit backward castes.Modi was addressing the OBC MPs of BJP, who had gathered to thank the Prime Minister for the passage of the bill in Lok Sabha which seeks to create National Commission for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (NCSEBC), with judicial powers and constitutional status.”The Prime Minister said this bill will ensure justice to backward sections of the society and will also help in their social empowerment, but it is surprising why this bill was not passed in the Upper House,” BJP general secretary Bhupender Yadav said, quoting Modi, after the meeting.The Prime Minister said it would have been better if this bill was passed in the Upper House, he added. Modi also asked the MPs to spread the message about the bill and make backward classes aware about it and how it would be a game changer in their lives. The Rajya Sabha had yesterday referred the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-third Amendment) Bill, 2017, which has already been passed by the Lok Sabha, to the Select Committee after opposition forced the government.The committee to examine the bill will be headed by BJP member Bhupender Yadav. It has been asked to submit its report by the last day of the first week of the next session. The 25-member Rajya Sabha Select Committee includes Sharad Yadav, Ram Gopal Yadav, Satish Mishra and Praful Patel.According to the bill, the new body NCSEBC will replace the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC). Once the Bill is passed, states will not be able to add or delete castes from the backward classes’ list without Parliament’s approval.

PM questions Oppn over stalling of OBC Bill in Rajya Sabha

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi today slammed opposition parties for stalling a bill that seeks to accord constitutional status to the OBC commission, questioning why they stopped its passage in the Rajya Sabha when it aims to benefit backward castes. Modi was addressing the OBC MPs of BJP, who had gathered to thank the Prime Minister for the passage of the bill in Lok Sabha which seeks to create National Commission for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (NCSEBC), with judicial powers and constitutional status. “The Prime Minister said this bill will ensure justice to backward sections of the society and will also help in their social empowerment, but it is surprising why this bill was not passed in the Upper House,” BJP general secretary Bhupender Yadav said, quoting Modi, after the meeting. The Prime Minister said it would have been better if this bill was passed in the Upper House, he added. Modi also asked the MPs to spread the message about the bill and make backward classes aware about it and how it would be a game changer in their lives. The Rajya Sabha had yesterday referred the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-third Amendment) Bill, 2017, which has already been passed by the Lok Sabha, to the Select Committee after opposition forced the government. The committee to examine the bill will be headed by BJP member Bhupender Yadav. It has been asked to submit its report by the last day of the first week of the next session. The 25-member Rajya Sabha Select Committee includes Sharad Yadav, Ram Gopal Yadav, Satish Mishra and Praful Patel. According to the bill, the new body NCSEBC will replace the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC). Once the Bill is passed, states will not be able to add or delete castes from the backward classes’ list without Parliament’s approval.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Lok Sabha passes bill to accord constitutional status to NCBC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Lok Sabha on Monday passed a bill to accord constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC). The Amendment Bill, which requires two-third majority for passage, was approved by the House with 360 members voting in favour of it with the Opposition expressing apprehensions that it would impair the power of states. The constituted Commission will hear the grievances of socially and educationally backward classes, which has been discharged till now by the National Commission for Scheduled Castes.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Bill to create a more empowered OBC Commission tabled in LS

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A bill seeking to create a new commission with constitutional powers for the OBCs like similar bodies for the SCs and the STs was tabled in the Lok Sabha today. Social Justice Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot introduced the Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill, a move seen as part of the ruling BJP’s aggressive outreach to politically crucial other backward castes. He moved another bill to repeal the existing National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) by revoking the Act governing it, saying the commission proposed in the constitution amendment bill will be more empowered and make the existing body “redundant”. The proposed commission will have a chairperson, vice- chairperson and three other members and hear the grievances of socially and educationally backward classes, a function discharged so far by the Scheduled Castes commission. At present, the functions of the NCBC is limited to examining the requests for inclusion of any class of citizens as a backward class and hear complaints of over-inclusion or under-inclusion of any backward class in the existing quota and advise the central government, the constitution amendment bill said. “In order to safeguard the interests of the socially and educationally backward classes more effectively, it is proposed to create a National Commission for Backward Classes with constitutional status at par with the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes,” it says. The bill will require the support of two-third members of the House for its passage. Last month, the Cabinet had approved the setting up of the commission, bowing to the demand from OBCs for such a body which should have powers at par with the SCs and STs panels. The existing NCBC was set up as a statutory body under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment on August 14, 1993.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Govt official arrested for sexually assaulting minor

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>: A government official in charge of welfare of the Backward Classes has been arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a minor girl at the BC hostel here Police said Dakshina Kannada district Backward Classes Welfare Officer Nagarajappa (49) was arrested yesterday on a complaint from hostel inmates and getting a statement from the girl. The officer, who frequented the hostel for ‘inspection,’ allegedly used to summon the girl to his office and sexually assault her. The girl revealed this when other inmates grew suspicious and enquired about the matter. The medical examination of the girl proved that she has been raped, the police said. Nagarajappa has been booked under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and remanded to judicial custody.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Opposition disrupts RS over vacancies in minority panels

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Opposition parties raised several contentious issues in the Upper House, including vacancies in statutory commissions for minorities, Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST) and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) not being filled, leading to several disruptions.As soon as the House assembled, Congress leader Digvijay Singh blamed the government for deliberately delaying discussion on his substantive motion on the role of the Governors of Manipur and Goa where the BJP, the minority party, was called to form the government against the tenets of democracy.“The honorable Leader of the House is here. He has to respond and give us a time and a date. This is not acceptable. This House cannot be run on the whims and fancies or the convenience of the honorable minister,” Singh said.As several members rose to support him, deputy chairman PJ Kurien managed to placate Singh, stating that the chairman has accepted his motion and will allot time after considering the state of business in the Council and in consultation with the Leader of the Council.Soon thereafter, protests occurred after a Congress MP, Narendra Budania, raised the issue of the long-pending vacancies in these statutory panels during the Zero Hour and found unequivocal support from several parties, including the SP, BSP and JD(U).Budania alleged that the constitutional authority of these commissions was being systematically wrecked by means of “a well thought-out strategy” which is “dangerous for our democracy”. He asked if the ruling BJP government was giving a subtle message about the fate of these commissions.Responding, Minority Affairs Minister and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the commission is being reconstituted, with the inclusion of representatives of the Jain community, adding that the vacancies will be filled up soon.Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis, Christians and Muslims are among the recognised minority communities.Ahmed Patel of the Congress contested saying the chairman of the commission can be appointed and the Jain community can be included when the members are appointed.Sitaram Yechury of the CPM said none of the four statutory commissions — National Commission for Scheduled Castes, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, National Commission for Backward Classes and National Commission for Minorities — were fully constituted.“Is this the ‘minimum government, maximum governance’ that the BJP had promised when it came to power?” he asked.Soon, the members of the SP, JD(U), BSP, Congress and Left parties trooped into the well, raising anti-government slogans and forcing Kurien to adjourn proceedings for 10 minutes initially.The ruckus started again as soon as the House reassembled, despite Kurien pleading that the minister has given an assurance about making the appointments.With no satisfactory reply coming from the government, the opposition kept stalling the proceedings leading to two more adjournments in the first half.

Oppn protests alleged move to disband OBC commission

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Opposition parties led by the Samajwadi Party today forced a brief adjournment of proceedings in the Rajya Sabha alleging a move to disband the OBC Commission, a charge vehemently denied by the government. SP members rushed into the Well of the House and shouted anti-government slogans, forcing Deputy Chairman P J Kurien to adjourn the proceedings for 10 minutes. Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thawar Chand Gehlot said Prime Minister Narenda Modi has repeatedly said that the constitutional position of reservation of SCs, STs and OBCs will continue. “Since the time of Jan Sangh, we have been a supporter of reservation to these communities and will continue to be a supporter,” he said. The Government, he said, has taken a decision to give constitutional status to the commission for other backward classes (OBC) and it will get the same rights as Commission for SC and STs. Earlier when the House assembled, Ramgopal Yadav (SP) said the National Commission for Backward Classes, created in response to a Supreme Court ruling in 1992, has been disbanded instead of giving it the promised constitutional status. This Commission is to be replaced by a National Commission for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (NSEBC) and part of a larger “conspiracy” to do away with reservation to dalits, Yadav alleged. The new commission will examine and recommend requests for inclusion and exclusion in the list of other backward classes (OBCs). Without naming the RSS, he alleged that the move was guided by the philosophy of the ruling party’s “fountain head” that reservation should end. “Backward classes feel cheated.” He alleged that backward communities like Yadavs, Kurmis, Lodhas and Kushwaha, who have made some social progress, were being removed from the OBC list. His assertion found support in rival BSP, as well as the Congress whose members too vehmently opposed move to disband the OBC Commission. Rejecting the Minister’s statement, Yadav said the OBC Commission has been disbanded and it is a conspiracy to end reservation. Soon thereafter, his party colleagues rushed into the Well raising slogans against the government. They found support in the BSP and Congress too. (More)(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

CBSE moots common exam format from Class 6 to 9

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on Tuesday released a circular instructing schools to have a uniform assessment and examination structure for Classes 6 to 9 in order to make sure students have a smooth transition to Class 10 Board exams, which have been made compulsory from the next academic year.”The CBSE affiliated schools currently follow various systems of assessment and examination from Class 6 to 9, and issue different types of report cards to their students. Due to disparities in the system, the students of Class 6 to 9 face several problems whenever they migrate to another school. With the family of CBSE schools growing from 309 schools in 1962 to 18,688 at present, it has become imperative to have a uniform system of assessment, examination pattern and report cards for Classes 6 to 8 for ease of students and other stakeholders,” states the circular.For Classes 6 to 8, schools have been asked to conduct two exams of 80 marks each in two terms, with 20 marks each for periodic assessment. The Board has asked schools to introduce co-scholastic activities like work education, art education and health and physical education, and students can be evaluated between A to C on the basis of their regularity, sincerity, participation, and output.Deepshikha Srivastava, Principal Rajhans Vidyalay, Andheri, Mumbai, said that while the school already followed the same assessment structure, there are just some modifications which the Board has suggested. “As per the old system, the previous term’s syllabus was not a part of the exams. But the new guidelines have asked to include significant parts of the previous terms,” she said.Students will also be assessed for discipline, which will be based on factors like sincerity, attendance, behaviour, values and tidiness term-wise on a three-point grading system. Schools would also have to give the scorecards in the same format as prescribed in the circular. Rajneesh Das, a parent from Pune said that a uniform assessment and marking system would benefit students. “If there is one kind of assessment from 6 to 8, it would help students get accustomed to the common boards in Class 10,” he said.

From the junior’s desk

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Quirky headlines, fierce opinions, and stunning page designs would be one way to describe this year’s DNA Junior Editor. In yet another successful run, the team back at DNA is proud to see a spike in the number of students participating. Now in its second year, the competition saw participation from over 500 schools and a whopping 18,000 entries from Thane, Mumbai, and Navi Mumbai. This speaks of progress compared to the previous year’s participation of 450 schools and 15,000 entries. This year, students from Class 5 to Class 10 were encouraged to write on subjects which made it to the headlines, from both the city and the world. This was followed by a fusion of news and opinion pieces. ‘Write and report on the things that you like and don’t like about your city’ — read one such instruction. This encouraged the children to give their opinion while reporting on his/her areas of interest on the eight-page tabloid.Registrations for the competition, which opened on December 7, 2016 went on up to December 22, 2016, and January 13, 2017 was the last date for submission. A team from DNA often visited schools, briefing students and authorities on the concept of the competition during assembly hours. As entries came in, they were segregated into batches of three — Classes 5 and 6, Classes 7 and 8, and Classes 9 and 10. Three hundred and sixty of the best papers were chosen, from the many thousands, by a team who found it difficult to choose from such a vast repertoire. In the second round, three journalists from the features team at DNA were assigned a batch of 120 entries, each assessing the entries thoroughly on the basis of content, language, presentation and the effort put in, to produce 20 from each batch. In the team were, Laveena Francis, assigned to Classes 5 and 6, Ranjana Maria, assigned to Classes 7 and 8, and Avril-Ann Braganza assigned to Classes 9 and 10.The prizes are pretty impressive as the ones who made it to first place won a laptop, second place winners were up for an electronic tablet, and the third place winners took home a cellphone each. In addition to this, 45 panel choice winners were awarded Fastrack Sports Watches and the 15 top winners from the three batches were invited to the DNA office in Mumbai to assist in creating a real-time newspaper.With more than a week of consistent reading, a jury of three members were invited to finally decide on the finalists. Adam Korakiwala, founder of start-up application mGuru, children’s author Lubaina Bandukwala, and the well-known Dolly Thakore were the jury members for this year’s DNA Junior Editor.Referring to the initiative as a ‘cool’ one, Adam Korakiwala, who chose the finalists from Class 5 and 6 says, “The students were original in their methods, many of them used infographics and illustrations to complement the articles. This raised the bar for the process of selection of winners.” What impressed Lubaina Bandukwala is that students in Class 7 and 8 are able to conceptualise and put together a publication. She says, “It’s wonderful to have such a platform that allows children to write on current affairs. The whole process of writing helps them apply their mind while they do something constructive. This also helps them develop a taste for news.” While most were all praise for the initiative, Dolly Thakore pointed out a learning outcome after she read the papers from Class 9 and 10. According to her, “Our education system has been often accused of not being analytical, but after reading the essays, I definitely see a change. Students do have an analytical mind being developed, which is indeed a very heartening experience for me.”The Presenting Sponsor of Junior Editor 2016 was FIITJEE.Below are the list of winners for DNA Junior Editor 2016Category 5-6:1st place: Vallari Sharma, Class 6, School: Villa Theresa High School, Peddar Road2nd place: Priya Dalraj Thakur, Class 6, School: Sri Ma Vidyalaya, ThaneCategory 7-81st place: Shantanu Jayawant Kolte, Class 8, School: Smt Sulochanadevi Singhania School, Thane2nd place: Shreya Bhadoria, Class 7, School: Lok Puram Public School, ThaneCategory 9-101st place: Hritika Ajay Nair, Class 9, School: Sri Ma Vidyalaya, Thane2nd place: Sheetal P Shriyan, Class 9, School: Ryan International School, NerulThe voice of Jr. EditorsPriya Dalraj Thakur, Class 6Winner: 2nd Place”This is the first time I have participated in the Junior Editor competition and it has been an exciting experience. My first step to preparing for the issue was research, I read up on news both in the online and the print space. My elder sister assisted me with the kind of news I should write about. I think Junior Editor as an exercise has definitely put my creativity to the test.”Shantanu Jayawant Kolte, Class 8Winner: 1st Place”I see Junior Editor as a very different competition, unlike others which give you strict guidelines, here I had the freedom to experiment with the ideas I had. It took me two full days to complete the issue. I remember that I was already running late and it was two days to the deadline. I sat up till two in the morning to complete the issue. It was rushed but worth the effort. I did not expect to win a prize, but when I got the call from DNA it was exam time and the moment my mother told me about my achievement, my excitement knew no boundaries and could not concentrate on my studies for the next few hours.”Varun Naik, Class 7Winner: 3rd Place”I have been getting the DNA newspaper home for a very long time now, and presently I enjoy reading the Teens section and the stories the page has to offer. I have participated in the Junior Editor competition last year in the 6th Standard. The last time it was rushed and I did not have enough time to do it, but this time I took three days to complete it. Some of the fun facts about Junior Editor is that you get to write like a journalist would on topics that are very interesting. To be specific I found the movie section very very cool.”Shreya Bhadoria, Class 7Winner: 2nd Place”It took me four days to complete the issue. After the school announced the competition I was very excited and immodesty enrolled. Deciding to take up the challenge, surprisingly I received a lot of help from my teachers who helped me with online links to read. I have always had the love for reading the papers and have kept myself updated, but one specific topic that I like was on how to save money. I think it’s helpful to understand money and how to handle it. Overall it has been an amazing experience.”Hrithika Ajay Nair, Class 9Winner: 1st Place”I first participated in Junior Editor last year and I won second place. Seeing me win there was an instant spike in the number of students participating this year. I did not have any hope of winning as all those who participated were equally talented and smart. I was completely elated when I was told that this year I bagged the first prize. I think the competition definitely encourages students to read the papers and keep themselves updated when it comes to news. I specifically liked the front page where I got a chance to give new headlines to each story. The experience of being an editor for a few days helped me understand the responsibility of news selection in the real world.”

Can state panel decide whether Marathas are backward? : HC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bombay High Court today sought to know from a group of petitioners whether the newly constituted Maharashtra Backward Classes Commission can decide if the Maratha community was backward or not. The court was hearing a bunch of petitions challenging Maharashtra government’s decision to grant 16 per cent reservation to the Marathas in government jobs and educational institutions. “The petitioners may inform the court about their opinion on this on March 29,” the bench headed by Chief Justice Dr Manjula Chellur said. During the hearing, the bench was informed that on January 4 this year, the state government had come out with a notification to set up the state backward class commission. One of the petitioners today said it should be left to the commission to decide whether the Maratha community was backward or not for the purpose of providing them the benefits of quotas. The court then sought the response of other petitioners and posted the matter for further hearing on March 29. The state government had in December 2016 filed a 2,500-page affidavit in support of its decision to grant reservation to the influential Maratha community in government jobs and educational institutions in the state. In its affidavit, the government said 80 per cent of the Marathas were socially and economically backward. The government had sought vacation of the stay ordered by the high court on implementation of the decision. The petitioners have opposed the then Congress-NCP government’s decision in 2014 to grant 16 per cent reservation to the Marathas, insisting they did not qualify for it. The state government affidavit includes four reports prepared by Pune-based Gokhale Institute on various segments of the community, including sugarcane cutters and migrant labourers, headload workers and maid servants to back the claim about their socio-economic backwardness.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Telangana to have Most Backward Classes Commission

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao today said a special comprehensive plan will be put together for the welfare of the Most Backward Classes (MBCs). Rao, who held a meeting with ministers and officials on the issue, said a Most Backward Classes Commission will be set up for the welfare of MBCs. The existing Backward Classes Corporation would continue, according to a release from his office. Though several programmes and other measures have been implemented since independence, the MBCs continued to remain backward, Rao said. Funds for MBCs will be allocated in the state budget and spent through the proposed commission. No independent measures are in existence in general at present for MBCs who are part of the Backward Classes.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Rs 15 lakh given to Jat protesters injured during 2016 stir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The district administration today distributed cheques amounting to Rs 15 lakh among 22 “innocent people” who were injured during the last year’s Jat quota stir in Haryana. An official spokesman said cheques of Rs 1 lakh each were given to eight persons while Rs 50,000 each were given to 14 people. Thirty people were killed and several injured while property worth crores was damaged at many places in the state during the last year’s Jat stir. Rohtak and some of its neighbouring districts, including Sonipat and Jhajjar, were the worst hit by the violent protests. Besides seeking quota in education and government jobs under the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) category, the demands of the Jats include release of those jailed during last year’s agitation, withdrawal of cases slapped during the protest and government jobs for the kin of those killed and injured while taking part in the stir. Earlier this month, the community members launched fresh round of protests in the state in support of their demands.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Will oppose proposed bill for 12% quota for Muslims:T’gana BJP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Telangana BJP president K Laxman today said his party would oppose the state government’s proposed bill providing 12 per cent reservation to Muslims. “Reservation on religious lines is against the Constitution. We will not accept any such move and oppose the proposed 12 per cent Muslim reservation bill in the Assembly, to be moved by the TRS government in the upcoming Budget session,” Laxman said while addressing a public meeting here. He also launched a signature campaign against the government’s move. Telangana government had last month said that it would bring the 12 per cent reservation to backward sections among Muslims in the Budget session of Legislative Assembly. It was a key election promise of the ruling party Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS). The state government had appointed a Commission for conducting a study of social and economic status of Muslims and the panel has submitted its report, Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao had earlier said. The government had forwarded the report to the Backward Classes Commission for its opinion. BJP will oppose the proposed bill in and outside the assembly and will not support it at the Central level, Laxman said. “Reservation is meant for the downtrodden and deprived communities and should be provided in accordance with the Constitutional provisions. Enhancement in Muslim reservation percentage will eat into the quota for BC (backward classes) and they will be at the losing end,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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