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Controversy around vaccine gets muckier

The controversy surrounding vaccination for preventing cervical cancer, one of the most deadly cancers to afflict women in India, refuses to die.A week ago, Prime Minister’s office shot a letter to Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) to examine the safety and efficacy of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine for preventing Cervical Cancer. On the other hand, Delhi state government around the same time has announced a roll-out of free HPV vaccine jabs for school girls.After receiving a complaint from Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS) based organisation Swadeshi Jagran Manch wrote to the PMO objecting the introduction of HPV vaccine in India, MoHFW’s office of Deputy Commissioner (Immunization) has been asked to look into the complaint.In the meanwhile, East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) has started a drive to vaccinate up to 5,000 girls between 11 to 13 years with the controversial HPV vaccine. “We will identify school girls who are eligible to take this vaccine, link the vaccination to their Aadhaar card, train teachers to seek parents consent , arrange transport to take the girls to Delhi State Cancer Institute and get them vaccinated,” said Dr Sharda Jain, Chairperson, Delhi Gynaecology Forum.When questioned about controversies around it’s safety and efficacy, Jain retorted, “It is absolutely safe to administer HPV vaccine to girls.”Ashwani Mahajan, co-convenor of SJM said, “While health is a state subject, the state government should also keep in mind the safety of it’s population while administering a vaccine.”The letter forwarded by PMO office to MoHFW stated, “It has been alleged that HPV vaccine has highest rate of adverse effect among all vaccines in use as per World Health Organisation.”

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Kerala: Fishing boat capsizes, six children drown in backwaters

A country fishing craft carrying a group of children on a pleasure trip capsized, drowning six of them in Kadukuzhi backwaters near here in Malappuram district today, police said.Most of the children were relatives and neighbours and have come here for a vacation when the tragedy struck them at Changrakkulam this evening. A total of nine persons were onboard the small craft for a pleasure trip in the backwaters. Two children and the boat’s oarsman had been rescued by police and local people and hospitalised, Ponnani Circle Inspector Sunny Chacko told PTI.The bodies of four girls and two boys, aged between four and 18, had been recovered, police said. Malappuram District Collector Amit Meena and senior police officials visited the spot. The State Human Rights Commission has suo motu registered a case and ordered a probe into the incident. A commission press release said the District Collector and police chief had been asked to file a report within three weeks. Kerala Assembly speaker P Sreeramakrishnan, who represents the Ponnani constituency, in a statement condoled the death of the children and said the incident was very painful.

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India’s own institute on defence studies to be a reality soon

The Indian National Defence University (INDU), which is a proposed institute for defence studies, is likely to become a reality soon, as it can come up for Cabinet clearance. The institute is being developed as center to generate research on strategic affairs, a concept unheard of in India so far. INDU will have its campus on Bimola, Gurgaon.Theministry of Human Resource Development has recently sent its suggestions to the Ministry of Defence regarding the university saying that itshould be developed as a centre which generates new knowledge and promotes research in strategic affairs. Sources said that the suggestions have been approved and final proposal on INDU is likely to come up in the Cabinet for clearance soon. The Ministry of Defence had in the year 2015 put up the draft bill to come up with an institution dedicated to defence studies, online for public comments .”While the exact nature of courses in the institute has not yet been finalised. The idea is to develop it as a center which is meant for midcareer defence professionals and those who are interested in studying about strategic affairs, at the Post Graduate level. We have suggested that the institute should be able to generate new knowledge and increase research in the area of defence,” said a senior official.”The defence personnel who enroll for higher education in the institute can be an asset for the forces later on, help them in planning and strategizing,” said a senior official.The concept of an institute like this has been prevalent internationally but not in India, like the National Defense University (NDU) in Washington. As per the official website of NDU, it aims to “create strategic advantage by developing joint warfighters and other national security leaders and forging relationships through whole-of-nations and whole-of-government educational programs, research and engagement”.INDU will be the first of its kind institute in India, which will focus on the academics side of defence, other institutes like the National Defence Academy and Indian Military Institute mostly focus on preparing personnel to join the force.

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Not for granted! More checks for rural funds

The Central government will no longer give direct funds to higher education institutions under the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan (UAB), a plan meant to connect them to villages and find solutions to rural India problems. Institutions like IITs and NITs will now have to fight for funds by coming up with implementable technology to address issues like sanitation, water and electricity.The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) issued a circular on December 18 to all education institutions, asking them to manage the scheme with their own funds and with the help of the local administration.UAB is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s idea, launched by the NDA government in 2014 as a flagship programme of the HRD Ministry. The scheme is meant to address the twin objectives of transformative rural development and introduction of greater social relevance in the higher education sector.The policy under UAB has been changed after the government realised that institutions, which are the main centres for technological research, were not utilising funds properly for working with villages.”We found that many institutions, including IITs, were not serious about UAB, so we have decided to stop giving funds to them at the initial level.We don’t want them to use the money for their excursions to villages,” a senior HRD Ministry official said.”We want only those institutions that are seriously interested in working for the rural sector to register for the programme. This will weed out all non-serious participants,” he said.”The entire financial assistance for funding solutions would flow from district authorities, with UBA funding a small portion of the financial gap. UBA component of the resources for customising or installing an existing technology would be provided through challenge method,” the circular said.”There shall be an open call to all higher education institutions to participate, rather than the adoption of pick and chose method. Selection of institutions shall be based on challenge method, according to the fulfilment of criteria like adequacy of qualified faculty, campus, facilities and academic merit, adequacy in number of students, work done in rural areas by institution, proven aptitude of faculty for rural development etc.”

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Cases of child beating rise in government schools

Complaints of corporal punishment — like a teacher slapping or beating a child — in government schools across India have increased by more than 271 per cent in the last three years, official data shows.A total of 144 cases have been reported from various parts of the country in the last three years, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has informed Parliament.There were 28 complaints in 2014-15. The number was 12 in 2015-16. It has gone up to 104 in 2016-17.Most cases have been reported from the state of Uttar Pradesh: 25 in 2016-17 and 13 in 2014-15.While the spike raises concerns about the safety of children in schools, officials attribute it to better reporting of cases. “Children have been made aware… to report when they are beaten up or slapped by teachers. Such cases were not reported before,” said a senior government official.The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has issued guidelines to schools to ensure safety of children in schools. This has been communicated by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to schools affiliated to it.”The Board has regularly issued circulars/guidelines to its affiliated schools to curb corporal punishment and mental harassment. For corporal punishment, the Board has incorporated a provision in the affiliation by-laws to prevent cruelty towards children. Under Rule 44.1 (d) of affiliation by-laws of the Board, the school managing committee has been empowered to place an employee under suspension if he/she is charged with cruelty with any student or any employee of the school,” Minister of State for HRD Upendra Kushwaha said in a written reply in Parliament.

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Delhi High Court allows distant kin to donate kidney to ailing doctor

A 58-year-old doctor suffering from kidney failure received a new lease of life after the Delhi High Court (HC) permitted him to take the organ from a distant relative. Dr Jasjit Singh was refused the organ by his immediate family members for varied reasons. Earlier, the authorities concerned were not permitting Singh’s maternal uncle’s daughter-in-law to donate the kidney for him as they suspected some financial transaction. Justice Vibhu Bhakru, however, allowed Singh to take the kidney after finding out that there was no financial transaction involved. The judge also interacted with the donor in chambers, without the counsels from both sides. The donor was told about all the risks involved in donating an organ and undergoing an invasive surgery. The donor, however, said she has long-standing relations with Singh and that she wanted to donate the organ. “There is no doubt that the donor is fully aware of the risks of the surgery. But she is firm that she wants to donate her kidney,” the court said in its order, adding that the she has denied any kind of financial transaction. Singh had undergone a transplant in March, 2015, after both his kidneys stopped working in February, 2015. At the time, his wife had donated her organ. However, just six months later, the organ dysfunctioned due to BK virus.His maternal uncle’s daughter-in-law then took the decision to donate her organ. This process was not given clearance by the authorities under the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissue Act, 1994. The court ruled out any possibility of financial transaction after it held that the husband of the donor was not facing economic crisis and the famiy was well-off. “….there does not appear to be any monetary need that would warrant the donor to enter into a transaction to donate one of her kidneys for any monetary consideration,” the court said.It then directed the Authorisation Committee to reconsider the application for grant of approval for kidney transplantation.

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‘Institutions of Eminence’: With a day left, UGC gets 73 applications for world class varsity tag

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has already received 73 applications for the Human Resource Development Ministry’s ambitious 20 world class institutions project with a day left for the deadline.According to sources, 73 varsities including central universities, state universities, private and deemed-to-be universities have applied for the “institutions of eminence” tag. Out of these, six applications have been received under the greenfields category.The UGC had in September started inviting applications from all institutions that are keen to enter the top 100 of global rankings with the government’s assistance. The 90-day deadline expires tomorrow.The Centre wants to establish a total of 20 “Institutes of Eminence” — a distinct category of deemed-to-be- universities, supporting them to become “World Class” institutions.By March-April 2018, 20 (10 each from public and private category) institutions will be accorded the eminence status with a mandate to achieve the world-class status over a period of 10 years.As per the guidelines issued by the UGC, institutions in the top 50 of the National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF) rankings or those ranking among top 500 of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, QS University Rankings or Shanghai Ranking Academic Ranking of World Universities were eligible to apply.New institutions were required to submit a 15-year vision plan to be among the top 500 globally ranked institutions, while existing institutions among the top 500 had to offer a plan to improve their ranking to be among the top 100 in the next 10 years.A screening committee will go through the applications and select the institutions.

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Speak up Mumbai | Aesthetics over safety: Smart choice by BMC?

To secure the iconic Marine Drive promenade from a possible Barcelona-style terror attack, in which a van ploughed into pedestrians on a busy boulevard, the Mumbai Police had proposed installing barriers between the road and promenade to ensure that cars and heavy vehicles do not veer onto the promenade.However the plan has been shelved after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee (MHCC) rejected the proposal to install bollards or raise the promenade’s height stating that this would damage the tourist spot’s aesthetics and obstruct its openness.Following the rejection, top police officers made a presentation to state chief secretary Sumit Mullick to point out the security gaps. The police spent three weeks conducting safety drills by simulating attacks, and a video demonstrated the consequences of a Barcelona-style van attack.DNA spoke to a cross section of Mumbaikars to find out whether security concerns should take precedence over issues of aesthetics and heritage.EXPERT SPEAKSecurity is more important in today’s era considering the Barcelona-style terror attacks that terrorists are committing across the world. Installing barriers at the Marine Drive promenade is the need of the hour as it is one of the most sensitive and crowded areas in the city. The Mumbai Police has taken the right step at the right time. Their measures would help prevent and secure the stretch from such attacks. Barriers would not be any damage.—Prem Kishan Jain, security expertMumbai is surrounded by the sea. You cannot fence Mumbai from all three sides. How can it be assured that after creating barriers there will be no attack? I think such a move would damage the heritage of Marine Drive. The police should find other measures for security such as increasing surveillance at the promenade. Installing bollards will create visual barriers at Marine Drive.—Abha Narain Lambah, conservation architectVOICESSecurity reasons should always take precedence. Other heritage sites of the world should be taken as examples to learn how beauty can be preserved while keeping security aspects in mind.—Sangeeta Srivastava, AndheriBarriers should be installed in such a way that they do not damage the heritage. Both aspects are equally important and cannot be ignored. We can come up with midway solution for the issue.—Gulshan Giri, AndheriIt is important to protect the city’s heritage structures but not at the cost of safety of its residents. BMC should ensure that tourists and local residents feel safe while visiting tourists spots such as Marine Drive. The police should go ahead and install structures in the restricted areas for the safety of locals and tourists. Safety and security of locals and tourists should not be compromised in the name of aesthetics and heritage structures.—Bhuvee Daswani, BandraImproving the police force’s intelligence is the basic need. If bollards are installed on the Marine Drive promenade then where will the pedestrians go?. You cannot block public space because it could be a security hazard. Placing physical obstructions won’t work every time as terrorists could find a loophole some way or the other. The government needs focus on improving the police force’s training.—Kamlakar Shenoy, MazgaonSecurity has to be given priority in this day and age. Human life is precious — it cannot be and should not be compromised at any cost. Of course aesthetics and heritage should be preserved too but they can only be appreciated if we exist. Recent attacks across the world indicate that attacks hereafter would be of higher impact than before and this is something we ought to prioritise as a security concern.—Pradeep Havnur, BandraInstalling barricades will not address security concerns. Authorities need to ensure security but also need to keep aesthetics in mind. Barricades that are used on footpaths are ugly. What they probably need is a four or six-inch elevation at the promenade’s periphery which will not block free movement of pedestrians and will also serve as a hindrance to vehicles. This might also regulate people crossing only from where they are supposed to.—Kaizad Todywalla, Marine DriveSecurity should be given priority. There is nothing wrong in protecting heritage but it should not be at the cost of human life. When there is a possibility of major issues, even then either the police or civic administration is being stopped from taking remedial measures. In the past we have seen rules being twisted to benefit certain corporate sections but when it comes to the safety of common people, rules are being given priority.—Prakash Kosy, WorliSecurity should always be given priority over issues such as aesthetics and heritage. Installing barricades between the promenade and road will not disturb the aesthetics of Marine Drive. It will just be an addition to the existing structure. Both the Mumbai Police and MHCC should arrive at a middle ground solution so that both concerns of security and heritage can be accommodated.—Abhishek Thakker, Mulund
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Yogi Adityanath

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Social Science textbooks in 4 states not following guidelines: research

Social Science textbooks in some states are not following the guidelines laid under National Curriculum Framework (NCF) 2005 which say that “textbooks should not present any such thing that hurts the sentiments of any community or tribe”, a research by an organisation working on education revealed.Centre for Educational Research and Training scanned National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) textbooks from Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka to come to this conclusion.Quoting an example from Gujarat textbook from Class 6, the research says, “Ancient Indian history is portrayed to begin with Vedic era carrying the ‘description’ of Aryan society. The book stratifies the social sphere in four categories: Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaish and Shudra. It is mentioned that those engaged in ‘low level’ or baser work were called Shudra.” This is given in Chapter 2, page 9 of the Class 6 book of history.”Why do you need to tell students that Shudras are at the lower level, these kind of things set up a wrong image in mind of young children. In the same book, in another chapter Harshavardhana’s ‘routine life’ finds a mention where he is described as doing administrative activities, social welfare activities and religious activities. He is said to have erected many temples and ‘Maths’, and restricted killing of animals. At the end, the chapter describes social life alleging that people followed ‘Hindutva’,” said Touseef Ahmed from CERT who worked on the research.”The National Curriculum Framework 2005 clearly mentions that the curriculum should not have anything that hurts the sentiments of a particular tribe or community, then why are the textbooks still teaching students in this way. We have given a representation on the same to Ministry of Human Resource Development to have a look at the examples and get them changed,” he added.
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Yogi Adityanath

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Take action in 8 weeks: NHRC to HRD

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has written to the ministry of Human Resource and Development at the Central Government to look into the matter of children falling ill after the midday meal initiated by them.The letter was sent after an applicant seeking information under the RTI filed a complaint with the NHRC when he became aware of 74 cases of students falling ill in the state in the last five years.Maharashtra has ranked third in the list of the number of cases regarding children falling ill after consuming midday meal in schools. In the past five years, in Maharashtra, at least 467 school students fell sick after consuming food under a midday meal scheme at schools across the state.While the complaint filed by the activist on September 16 was tabled before the NHRC on November 1, the Commission has asked the secretary to take appropriate action within eight weeks.Chetan Kothari who registered the complaint, said, “A committee must be formed to make a report on the food safety matters in midday meal, preventive measures to be undertaken for any future calamity, and implementation of the same must be ensured in a time-bound manner. Surprise tests, visits from the Centre to the midday meal centres must be made compulsory.”As per the state-wise data received, from 2013 to 2017, of the 74 cases of children falling sick/death due to midday meal in India, Bihar tops the list with 17 cases reported. It is followed by Uttar Pradesh with 12 cases reported, Maharashtra and Odisha with eight cases each.Kothari, said, “While total 4, 278 children fell sick due to contaminated food across India, if we see the trend in Maharashtra, in 2014 only 30 children were reported falling ill, in 2015 the number raised to 236 which is like an eight-time rise in the number of children falling ill. Unfortunately, no data is available on what action has been taken, or how many FIR’s filed.”AS PER DATAIn the past five years, in Maharashtra, at least 467 school students fell sick after consuming food under a midday meal scheme at schools across the state. As per the state-wise data received, from 2013 to 2017, of the 74 cases of children falling sick/death Bihar tops the list with 17 cases.

NHRC reprimands Kejriwal govt over 78 deaths in its care home

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has reprimand the Delhi government for failing to explain how and why 78 people died in a state-run leprosy home in northeast Delhi’s Tahirpur in five years. The NHRC has asked Chief Secretary MM Kutty to do proper explaining. The deaths happened between 2008 and 2012 but the city government has failed to explain to the NHRC the reasons behind them.The NHRC said that the government’s report “is silent about the cause of deaths and also about the allegations of financial irregularities”. The human rights watchdog had earlier said: “Chief Secretary, Government of NCT of Delhi, be asked to direct an officer of Home Department to cause an inquiry regarding the allegations of financial irregularities and also the cause of deaths.”Pursuant to the NHRC directions, the Deputy Secretary (Home) had submitted a report which gives the cause of only 22 deaths. “However, it has not given the details of all individual cases and their cause of deaths,” the notice said.NHRC said that an inquiry into the matter must be carried by a sub-divisional magistrate. The commission also wants to know whether between 2008 and 2012 any doctor was assigned to look after the health of the inmates and whether any clinic is available for them.

UNSR’s statement insensitive towards Mahatma Gandhi: Centre

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India has deplored the United Nations Special Rapporteur (UNSR) Leo Heller’s comments that Mahatma Gandhi’s glasses – the campaign’s symbol of Swachh Bharat – should be replaced with the ‘human rights lens’. In a strongly worded statement, the government here said that Heller, who is UNSR on human rights, safe drinking water and sanitation, has demonstrated lack of understanding.”The world knows that Mahatma was the foremost proponent of human rights, including for sanitation, his unique and special focus. Gandhiji’s glasses, the unique logo of the Swachh Bharat Mission, epitomise core human rights principles,” the statement added.Heller, whose two-week visit to India ended on Friday, said the implementation of the campaign to make India open defecation-free should not be “human rights free”. He claimed that authorities used “aggressive and abusive practices” to deliver on targets to build toilets. The government said such sweeping judgements were either factually incorrect, based on incomplete information, or grossly misrepresent the drinking water and sanitation situation on the ground.The statement said the Swachh Bharat Mission and the rural and urban drinking water programmes fully conform to the Human Rights Criteria and Principles as established by the UN system. Listing its achievements, the statement said over 25 crore people have got sanitation facilities in three years, since the current government assumed office. Over 2.7 lakh villages, 227 ODF districts and 6 ODF states are open defecation free (ODF). More than 77% of the habitations in rural areas have access to at least 40 Litres Per Capita per Day (LPCD) of water supply and another 90% people in urban areas have access to safe drinking water.Referring to the incomplete understanding of water and sanitation in India, the statement says that the UNSR has failed to acknowledge the paradigm shift in national sanitation policy which has moved from construction of toilets to open defecation free communities and seems to be looking at the SBM from a tinted lens. Regarding the allegation about the lack of toilets in government schools, the UNSR’s claim citing a report by a private organisation is denied.It may be noted that an unprecedented programme to ensure separate toilets for boys and girls in every school was successfully implemented in just one year between August 2014 and August 2015.

India trashes UN envoy’s ‘lens’ remark against Swachh Bharat mission, PM Modi’s flagship project

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India has strongly objected to the serious insensitivity shown by Leo Heller, the United Nations Special Rapporteur, with his ‘lens’ remark against the Swachh Bharat mission.Referring to the logo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship initiative, Heller today said, “Now is a critical time to replace the lens of those glasses (Mahatma Gandhi’s glasses) with the human rights lens.”Reacting to the comment, the Centre said that world knows that the Mahatma Gandhi was the foremost proponent of human rights, including for sanitation, his unique and special focus. The glasses of ‘Father of the Nation’, the unique logo of the Swachh Bharat Mission, epitomise core human rights principles.The UNSR on human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation undertook a visit to India from 27 October to 10 November 2017. UNSR alleged that human rights principles have not been properly addressed in India’s water and sanitation programmes.In a statement, the Central Government strongly rejected his mostly baseless assertions and reiterated that the Swachh Bharat Mission and the rural and urban drinking water programmes fully conform to the Human Rights Criteria and Principles (as established by the UN system) as listed below.Referring to the incomplete understanding of water and sanitation in India, the statement says that the UNSR has failed to acknowledge the paradigm shift in national sanitation policy, which has moved from construction of toilets to open defecation free communities and seems to be looking at the SBM from a tinted lens.The Centre argues that he also attempts to question the findings of a third party, 1,40,000 household national survey by the Quality Council of India that usage of toilets was above 91 per cent, by misleadingly comparing it with a survey of only 1,024 households by Water Aid which focused on toilet technology and not on usage.Regarding the allegation about the lack of toilets in government schools, the UNSR’s claim citing a report by a private organisation is denied.The UNSR also claims that there is inadequate attention and funds for water supply, whereas the reality is that since the launch of the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) in 2009, Rs 1,20,000 Crore has been invested by Centre and States on into rural drinking water, and Rs 40,000 Crore has been invested by the Central Government on urban water supply since 2005.The government called the report inaccurate, sweeping and biased. Centre says that it is committed to to human rights in general and particularly in the water supply and sanitation sectors and strongly rejects the claims in the UNSR’s report and press statements.

Da Vinci ‘gut feeling’ was right, says AIIMS

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delving into the mysterious workings of the human gut, Indian doctors have stumbled upon a pathbreaking discovery, which has put centuries-old debate on the nature of the insides of the human abdomen to rest.Researchers from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi and Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Research, (JIPMER), Puducherry, have established that ‘Human Gut Mesentery,’ a crucial structure that attaches intestines to abdominal wall, is a single entity.This insight will aid surgeons world over to better maneuver surgeries. To take a closer peek at the human gut, AIIMS doctors dissected cadavers and studied them in meticulous detail.Interestingly, Indian doctors have validated what Leonardo Da Vinci had suggested in his sketches in the 15th century. Vinci had depicted mesentery as a continuous entity. Later, in the 19th century, this view was contradicted by Treves in his lectures at Royal College of Surgeons in London, who opined that mesentery was fragmented.”Since then, this view has been consistently followed by standard anatomy and embryology textbooks. For the first time ever, our findings have provided a comprehensive detail of the complete mesentery,” said Dr Muneeb Faiq, clinical researcher at AIIMS.The researchers developed a novel dissection method and produced direct evidence by going into excruciating details, visually documenting each minute fold, and painting a complete picture of how the entire mesentery looked like.”The world had not seen how a complete mesentery looked like, although it was present in each part of the intra-abdominal gut tube, including the duodenum. In some parts, it was hiding from the view and went unnoticed for centuries. Mesentery for the duodenum has been demonstrated for the first time in the history of human anatomy in our research,” said Dr Ashutosh Kumar, a senior researcher at thew Department of Anatomy, AIIMS, and lead investigator of the study.The new research will aid doctors to develop novel surgical management methods to help improved outcomes in intestinal surgeries.”Standard dissection techniques have not been able to confirm that the mesentery, an imperatively crucial structure of the human gut, is a single entity. It was believed to be fragmented and present or absent in some parts of the gut in adults, but our findings confirm that it is present throughout. This will create a paradigm shift in surgical approaches related to intestines,” he added.In newborn babies, at times, intestines can be malformed. This new research will help understand these anomalies better and aid in their management. “A relook at the gross anatomy of the mesentery is of great significance, since it can provide better understanding of congenital gastrointestinal anomalies, such as malrotation and malfixation of intestines in the process of development of embryo in the womb,” said Dr Gladwin V Raj, Associate Professor at Department of Anatomy, JIPMER, Puducherry.Being highly vascular, it also has a role in drug metabolism, and some important immunological functions and disorders.Mesentery had recently caught worldwide attention when a group of Irish scientists proposed it to be a new human organ, a top medical science journal ‘Lancet’ published that proposition. Globally, it is still a matter of debate.

AICTE shuts 1,400 ‘bad standard’ tech courses

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a bid to improve the standard of technical education in the country, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has closed nearly 1,400 courses that did not meet required standards in various technical institutions in the academic year 2017-18.The number of courses is the highest in last five years.The maximum number of institutes where courses have been closed are in Maharashtra with over 400 situated in the state. Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka also have a high number of such institutes.Maximum courses that have been closed are on engineering and information technology, while a minuscule percentage are courses on pharmacy and management. Authorities have advised students to check details about courses as well as the institute before applying.After various surveys on engineering education in India pointed that majority of the graduates in the country have become unemployable, the Ministry of Human Resource Development started taking initiatives to improve the quality of technical education, specially engineering. As a part of this, the government regulator has also decided to close 800 engineering institutions that are not getting any admissions. These institutions will be shut over the next two years.The courses that have been shut by AICTE did not meed required educational standards. According to data obtained from AICTE, 468 courses were closed in 2012-13, 912 in 2013-14, 604 in 2014-15, 1,093 in 2015-16, 670 in 2016-17 and 1,389 in 2017-18.”A high number of course closures shows that we are going after improving the quality of technical education in the country. Courses that either do not have any students of are not meeting the required standards of curriculum have been closed. There are many institutions where popular departments like civil and mechanical engineering have also been closed because they were not performing well,” said a senior official in AICTE.”We want to advise students to check credentials about the course, apart from the institute before seeking admission in an institute,” the official added.India has, over the last three years, seen a dip in number of students opting for engineering. After failing to secure a seat in the top technical institutes like IITs, NITs, students have steered clear of private engineering colleges.FALLING STANDARDSMaharashtra has the highest number of institutes (400) where courses have been closed
A total of 1,398 courses did not meet required standards

Include book on gallantry award winners in syllabus: Army to MHRD

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In order to inspire students by informing them about the gallant efforts of the personnel of the armed forces, the Indian Army wants a book on such soldiers as a part of school syllabus. Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said the Army has written to the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), requesting to include a book highlighting heroics of Indian soldiers in school syllabus.General Rawat was in Pune to attend a function to felicitate teachers, organised by BN Srivastava foundation, on Thursday.”In order to honour our martyrs, we have approached the HRD ministry, requesting them that their bravery and tales of supreme sacrifice should be taught in schools,” he said.”The armed forces have recently published a book on gallantry award winning soldiers. We have requested to include the book in school syllabus across the country. The minister has positively responded, and we are hopeful that the book will be part of the CBSE syllabus by next year,” Rawat said.Rawat also stated that the Army is coming up with an informative gallery, depicting the heroics of soldiers across universities and colleges in the country.”Efforts have been made to display pictures and information and records of achievements of the personnel from the forces in various colleges and universities. So far, we have managed to reach out to nearly 200 colleges and universities. Our aim is to reach out to every university and college of the country in the next couple of years,” Rawat said.ON FOB ROWOn the controversy over Army being used to construct three foot over bridges at railway stations in Mumbai, Rawat said, “We do feel that the Army can aid the government by carrying out the work faster before there are more casualties. The work of the construction of bridges will start soon.”On government’s decision of appointing interlocutor to initiate dialogues in Jammu and Kashmir, Rawat said, “Interlocutors will do their job of having dialogues, and Army will do its job.”

Cong moves NHRC over DeMo deaths, asks for Rs 1-cr relief

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress party has moved National Commission of Human Rights (NHRC) against what it has called ‘demonetization deaths’ and has demanded compensation for the affected families.Maharashtra Congress secretary Shehzad Poonawalla lodged a complaint with the rights body seeking Rs 1 crore compensation for the kin of those who died due to the rush to exchange cash in the aftermath of demonetization declared on November 8, last year.In his petition, Poonawalla claimed the rush for cash caused some 100 deaths across the country.”Following the demonetization, many people died due to various causes which would include heart attacks owing to shock and collapse. There were suicides by those who were not successful in exchanging currency or withdrawal for want of new currency. Public was collectively worried about getting money for daily needs, marriage, funeral rites, medical treatments,”said the Congress leader.He has cited that improper implementation of the policy caused infringement of the “fundamental right to livelihood and life under Article 21 of the Constitution of India…and the constitutional Right to Property under article 300A”.Poonawalla also said in his petition, “As a conscientious citizen of the county, we plea to this Hon’ble Commission to direct the Union Government to make a compensation of Rs 1 crore for relief and rehabilitation to the families of victims who lost their lives owing to the government’s demonetization action. Hope that this commission gives justice to the families’ prey to demonetization.””In the days following the demonetization, the country faced severe cash shortages with severe detrimental effects across the country. People seeking to exchange their bank notes had to stand in lengthy queues and several deaths were linked due to the rush to exchange cash. This act of demonetization move has been criticized as poorly planned and unfair and was met with protest and strikes against the government in several places across India. This action of current union government has reduced the country’s GDP,” Poonawlla added in his petition.PLAINT LODGEDMaharashtra Congress secretary Shehzad Poonawalla lodged a complaint with the rights body.
In his petition, Poonawalla claimed the rush for cash caused some 100 deaths across the country.

Women yet to benefit from schemes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as political parties in the state gear up for elections promising the moon, a section of society like women and Dalits are seeking solutions to their problems.In a press conference organised by the Human Resource Development Centre on Tuesday, women from various sections of the society said their appeals to the administration to seek their rights or avail benefits of government schemes were lost in the bureaucratic red-tape.Rukhsana, who works with Sahyog, an NGO, and women and children in Vatva said there aren’t enough anganwadis for children of the area. “Ideally, there should be one anganwadi for 40 children each, but, here we have just two or three for 500 children,” she said. Rukhsana said the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) had sanctioned an anganwadi in 2012-13 in Citizen Nagar of Vatva ‘but, it remains on paper’. She said hough the budget for the same was also allocated, nothing is visible on the ground.Similarly, Margaben Madvar, a Dalit widow from Supreda village in Banaskantha, which has around 200 widows, told mediapersons, “With no other source of income, we are entitled to land that the government allots under various widow schemes. We have written to the mamlatdar, the taluka office and even the collector, but haven’t heard from anyone. She said for widows like her, a land can be a source of livelihood, without them having to be dependent on others.

DNA EXCLUSIVE: Former CEC to head panel for Prez awards in regional languages

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami who headed the panel to promote Sanskrit education in the country, has been made the Chairman of Committee that selects Presidential Awards in nine regional languages.These awards that are given on the eve of Independence Day recognise work in regional and ancient languages.The nine regional languages in which awards are given include Sanskrit, Pali, Prakrit, Arabic, Persian, Classical languages including Oriya, Kannada, Telugu and Malayalam. The committee that consists of 11 members has to include two members who are experts in Sanskrit but the current panel approved by Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has at least four members including the Chairman who are experts in Sanskrit language.As per the document accessed by DNA, the other members in the panel include BHU’s former HoD of Sanskrit Department Gopalbandhu Mishra, VV Jaddipal who was with Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth, Tirupati, Dharam Chand Jain former professor Sanskrit and Prachyavidya Sansthan, Kurukshetra University and experts from other languages.”N Gopalaswami’s appointment as Chairman has been done keeping in mind his expertise in Sanskrit since two of the members necessarily have to be experts in Sanskrit language,” said a source from HRD Ministry.HRD Ministry had in the year 2015 formed a panel to promote Sanskrit education in the country and Gopalaswami headed it. Among other things the committee suggested measures to integrate study of the language with other disciplines like Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Medical Science and Law. The 31-member panel was also tasked to prepare 10-year plan for promotion of Sanskrit.RECOGNITIONAwards that are given on the eve of Independence Day recognise work in regional and ancient languages. The 9 languages in which awards are given include Sanskrit, Pali, Prakrit, Arabic, Persian, Classical languages including Oriya, Kannada, Telugu and Malayalam.

Why aren’t children with special needs sent to appropriate schools, SC asks UP government

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Uttar Pradesh government why separate schools cannot be set up to impart education to children with special needs, instead of teaching them along with other students.A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra also asked the state government how children with special needs (CWSN) can be taught with kids who are not disabled.The bench, also comprising of Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, raised the query after the Centre and the state government said that under the new integrated education scheme, CWSN were being taught along with kids who do not suffer from any disability.The top court asked Centre why some guidelines cannot be framed for the education of such children across the country.The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and the UP government said that CWSN were being taught under the integrated scheme to ensure they are not demoralised or feel isolated.They told the apex court that teaching CWSN along with children without disability would boost the confidence of those disabled and stop their alienation from the normal environment in schools.The submissions came during hearing of a PIL, filed through advocate Prashant Shukla, claiming lack of sufficient number of special educators in the state of UP as well as across India to teach CWSN.The petition, by 17 teachers who claim to have undertaken the training required to teach CWSN, has contended that to make Right to Education a success, it is necessary that qualified special educators are there in each school so that disabled kids can be prepared to face the challenges of life.The Punjab government was also faced with the same query from the bench in another similar matter in the apex court.

Kasturirangan panel include 25 themes in New Education Policy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Giving final touches to the New Education Policy, the panel under eminent scientist K Kasturirangan is working on 25 different themes including quality education, value education and others to possibly bring out the policy draft by the end of the year.The New Education Policy is a highly awaited and discussed change in the education sector, for which the team under scientist Kasturirangan is the second team to be working on the policy.The panel has replaced the TSR Subramanian committee, which has already given its suggestions to the government and on the basis of suggestions, a basic policy framework has been prepared.According to sources in the ministry, the themes that the team is working on, include digital learning, physical education, life skills in education, value education and experiential learning among others.”The idea is to make the policy holistic, which is why we have identified 25 different relevant topics to finalise the policy draft. In a recent meeting of the panel, the team members informed the minister that they are confident of bringing out the policy by the end of the year,” said a source in the Ministry of Human Resource Development.The Kasturirangan committee has been mandated to make Indian education contemporary, improve its quality, and internationalise it. It could also provide a roadmap for the entry of foreign universities into India.A chintan shivir is also being organised by the Ministry of Human Resource Development in November to discuss some of the education themes for New Education Policy and the inputs given will be used to include in the policy draft.The workshop will be organised on November 6 and 7 in the national capital.

No Vasectomy Raj in the State

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>I am still guilty that I killed my wife. She was a very brave and a wise lady. Considering our financial status we both mutually decided that she will go for sterilisation. To save money she forced me to opt for a government camp. During the procedure, she went through a complication and she died. I lost my wife and my kids lost their mother. I don’t blame the system for or anyone else except myself. I was not brave enough. I could have gone for sterilisation which is far more safer. I would suggest all the men that I lost my wife I request others please be brave enough and contribute for your family and society. This is a story of Harilal(name changed) which is just a very small reflection of the contribution men in family planning and population control.Rajasthan state is not just battling a paralysed sex ratio and women’s safety, but also lagging behind in ensuring equality as far as family planning is concerned. Data shows that the onus of family planning predominantly rests with women. As per the data shared by the health department of Rajasthan through RTI women accounts for 98.62% of sterilisations conducted at various family welfare centres in the state.In the year 2016-17 out of total 2.79 lakhs sterilisation only conducted only 3836 men participated in it. There are total 5 districts in the state in which less than 10 men participated in the sterilisation process. The data on men’s participation in 2017-18 up-to July is even more threatening, only 1.4 percent men participated in sterilisation.REALITY CHECK FINDINGS OF HUMAN RIGHTS LAW NETWORK TEAM VISIT IN FEB 2017Shri Khatushyamji Community Health CentreThe women received anaesthesia via injection from an anaesthetist. Following the anesthetic, the women were left to lie in a room with their bodies completely covered by a blanket. The women were left unattended, as the doctors took breaks to allow the anesthetic to take effect for about 45 minutes. An activist from the team was invited to observe several of the procedures by the surgeon. The activist was informed by the doctor that he changes gloves frequently. Gulabpura Community Health CentreThere was no discussion with the women about the inherent risks of the surgery or the necessary post-operation procedures. The women were not given hospital gowns for the operations and remained in their personal clothes. The hospital had open spaces that were exposed to the elements, and the team observed a stray dog walking through the hospital and near the entrance to the operating theatre and women’s wardsEXPERT SPEAKSVasectomy in no way affects or reduces the sexual potency or desires in men. It does not affect the physical strength. Unfortunately, some how men have been avoiding sterilisation.Dr RK Solanki, PsychiatristThe camp-based approach for population control has to be minimised. Sterilisation must be a part of the regular reproductive health service.Chhaya Pachauli, Social ActivistSources: RTI, data till July 2017-18, Ministry of health and family welfare, Human rights law network & Prayas Corp

‘I wish they could be saved’: The victims of India’s poisonous dust

At the age of 17, Urmila Yadav became one of the youngest certified cases of silicosis in India.

PM Modi to inaugurate IITGN college campus on Saturday

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi will officially inaugurate the Palaj campus of the Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar on Saturday. IITGN will be dedicating its campus to nation building.”The aim is show him our campus. When we shifted on the new campus, we could not get any dignitaries to launch it. Hence, we invited the prime minister who has agreed to inaugurate our campus which we will dedicate to the nation,” Dr Sudhir Jain, Director, IITGN, said.Professor Amit Prashant, Dean, Academics at IITGN said, “The plan of dedicating our campus to the nation had been on the cards for a long time. The aim is to inspire our students that such initiatives are important and how much effort goes into making such things happen. The Prime Minister will spend an hour on our campus and will also distribute e-tablets to rural people.”The dedication ceremony will take place in the presence of Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, Union Minister of Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister of Electronics, IT, Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad and other guests of honor.IITGN was founded in 2008 and the Palaj campus sprawls 397 acres of land on the western banks of the river Sabarmati. The institute moved to its permanent campus in July 2015 and the striking design and weather-responsive architecture of the campus is inspired by local traditions.

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.

Hindu American Foundation expresses concern over massacre of Hindus in Myanmar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> An eminent Hindu group in the US has expressed concern over reports that a mass grave containing the bodies of 28 Hindu villagers has been discovered in conflict-wreaked Myanmar’s Rakhine state.The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) has urged for an open and transparent investigation into these killings.The Myanmar authorities have accused Muslim Rohingya militants of killing 28 Hindu villagers whose bodies were allegedly found in a mass grave.”The international community and the government of Myanmar must work together towards a peaceful solution to this complex conflict one which upholds the rights of civilians of all communities involved,” said Samir Kalra, Hindu American Foundation (HAF) senior director and author of Hindus in South Asia & the Diaspora: A Survey of Human Rights, 2017.There were likely more mass graves yet to be discovered, as the recently-discovered dead appeared to be from a group of 100 Hindus attacked on August 25, by the Arkin Rohingya Salvation Army a militant group run by Rohingya emigres in Saudi Arabia, the HAF said.
ALSO READ Myanmar Hindu slaughter: Survivors say they were asked to blame Buddhists instead of Muslim terroristsIn the past month, some 420,000 people have fled from Myanmar into Bangladesh, fleeing from a government crackdown on ASRA militants which resulted in some 200 Rohingya villages burned.”HAF is in direct contact with sources in Bangladesh who are monitoring the condition of camps where Hindu refugees from Myanmar are staying. Their accounts are corroborating the media reports thus far regarding the violence against Hindus in the Rakhine region,” Kalra said.

Even after NHRC notice, minor girls made to stand topless in Madurai temple

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>There has been outrage on social media after images of minor girls participating in a ritual where they are supposed to stay bare-chested for a fortnight at Madurai’s Yezhaikatha Amman temple were shared on social media.According to an ANI report, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had issued notices to the Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh chief secretaries and the director generals of police two days ago over allegations of continuance of the Devadasi system that includes offering girls as slaves to Goddess Mathamma.”Allegedly, as part of the ritual, the girls are dressed as a bride and once the ceremony is over, their dresses are removed by five boys, virtually leaving them naked. They are denied to live with their families and have the education. They are forced to live in Mathamma temple deemed to be like a public property and face sexual exploitation,” the statement issued by NHRC said.The commission observed that the allegations made in a complaint as well as a media report about the continuance of this practice were serious in nature, and if true, these amount to violation of human rights including rights to education, life and dignity besides children’s rights.

AISA to ABVP, all student bodies stand with BHU girls

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Demanding action against the recent brutal attack on protesting students at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU), scores of students cutting across political ideologies staged multiple protests in the national Capital on Monday.While members of RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and Congress-backed National Students Union of India (NSUI) protested outside the Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD), Left-backed student groups demonstrated at Jantar Mantar.The ABVP condemned the police action against BHU students and demanded a fact-finding committee to probe in to the matter. “It is high time that HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar acts on the issue and ensures justice for BHU girls. We demand constitution of an inquiry committee and strict action against the administration,” ABVP’s National Media Convener Saket Bahuguna said.Nearly 150 ABVP members participated in the protest and submitted a memorandum to Javadekar. “BHU must immediately reopen its women hostels and address all issues of women students,”ABVP member and former DU President Amit Tanwar said.Slamming other student groups for calling ABVP’s protest “symbolic” because BJP is leading the government in Uttar Pradesh, he said, “ABVP works for the student community and not for any political party, and we are proud of it. We may support a party on national issues but we also have enough guts to fight for genuine student issues.”The move is being seen as a change in ABVP’s politics after a string of defeats in student elections, including at the Delhi University (DU), Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Guwahati University, and Punjab University.At the same time, NSUI demanded an inquiry under a sitting High Court judge and resignation of the BHU Vice-Chancellor. Nearly 50 members of the student group took out a protest march from the Raisina Road to MHRD, even as they were stopped by the Delhi Police near Shastri Bhawan.”While police put up barricades to stop NSUI members from reaching the HRD Ministry despite us having the permission, ABVP members were allowed to protest there. Police also detained some of our members,”NSUI National Media Incharge Neeraj Mishra said.

Looks like a Naxalite movement: Subramanian Swamy slams BHU protesters

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>News agency ANI quoted Swamy saying that “I support the vice chancellor in this matter because it looks like a Naxalite movement, which means they wanted to enter the vice chancellor’s office and there they would have conducted violence.”Backing Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, he said that he was doing the right thing by asking for a comprehensive report on the same.”This looks like a contrived thing because they say there was eve teasing while we have no clear identity as to who did it and how these students came to know, and did the girl make an immediate report or not,” he added.
ALSO READ BHU row: When did protest against molestation become anti-national? ABVP and NSUI stage demonstrations The National Students Union of India (NSUI) and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) staged demonstrations against the baton-charge on students in Banaras Hindu University (BHU).
ALSO READ BHU violence: Congress demands ‘insensitive’ VC’s sacking, questions PM Modi’s ‘silence’The RSS-affiliated ABVP condemned the police action against the students and demanded constitution of a fact- finding committee, while the Congress-backed NSUI demanded an inquiry under a sitting high court judge and resignation of the BHU vice-chancellor.
ALSO READ BHU protests: UP governor Ram Naik sets up four-member committee to probe violenceThe two student organisations had separately announced their plans to stage demonstrations outside the office of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) here.However, the NSUI claimed that it supporters were detained much ahead of the venue, while ABVP activists were allowed to reach the site.The Congress-affiliated student body accused Delhi Police of favouring the ABVP.”Despite having all permissions, we were detained without citing any reason. This shows how Prime Minister Narendra Modi continues to use the police for curbing and stopping protests against him and his government,” NSUI media in-charge Neeraj Mishra.Mishra also criticised the ABVP and said its protest was “always about symbolism”.ABVP national media convener Saket Bahuguna said on Twitter, “Those wondering why a protest at MHRD, should remember @ABVPVoice works for student community, not for any political party and we are proud of it.”When contacted, a senior Delhi Police officer said permission was not granted for any protest near the ministry and that both groups were detained.A number of students, including women, and two journalists were injured in a lathicharge by the police in BHU where a protest on Saturday night against an alleged eve- teasing incident turned violent.The violence erupted after some students, protesting against the incident on Thursday, wanted to meet the varsity’s vice-chancellor at his residence.Security guards of the university stopped the students and informed the police, according to university sources.A BHU spokesperson had said that some students wanted to “forcibly” enter the VC’s residence but they were stopped by the BHU security guards.Subsequently, there was stone pelting by “outsiders” who had joined the students, he said.The police baton charged the students in a bid to disperse them.With inputs from PTI

Leave governance to those elected by people: Union Law Minister’s blunt message to judges

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> While the judiciary can set aside a law which it considers unconstitutional, it must leave governance and law-making to those elected by the voters, law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Friday.He also said that it was not possible to govern and not be accountable. “Of late, I am seeing a great propensity of certain courts to take over governance…there is a need to reflect upon this trend. They must hold accountability to their power. Governance is to be given to those elected to govern,” he said. Prasad made the remarks while addressing a seminar organised by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).Commission chairman and former Chief Justice of India HL Dattu was present during the event. The minister said the judiciary must set aside any law which is found to be unconstitutional and it must set aside any order which is found to be arbitrary. “Judiciary must hold the executive accountable. Judiciary must have the right to set right an errant politician who is abusing his authority. These are the powers of the judiciary,” Prasad said.But at the same time, he said there is a need to recognise the fact that “governance must be left to those elected to govern by the people of India.” The minister was of the view that legislation must be left to those elected to legislate by the voters. “Why I say so? Governance and accountability go hand in hand. You cannot take governance and not be accountable,” he said. Parliament, legislature, media and organisations such as the NHRC are platforms which bring in accountability for the political class, he asserted. Prasad said the framers of the Constitution had envisaged separation of power and accountability.

Rohingya are not refugees and will be deported, says Rajnath Singh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said, “Rohingya Muslims are not refugees, but illegal migrants and will be deported,” questioning those who are objecting Rohingya deportation to Myanmar when their “own country was ready to accept them”.”The Home Ministry has clarified its position through its affidavit (in the Supreme Court) that these are illegal immigrants and they will be deported. The Rohingya are not refugees,” Singh said.”No Rohingya has got asylum in India nor anyone has applied for it. They are illegal immigrants,” he said while addressing a seminar organised by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).Rohingyas are minority Muslims in western Myanmar who have faced persecution in their country and fled to India and Bangladesh.The Home Minister said India would not be violating any international law if it deports Rohingya Muslims as it is not a signatory to the UN Refugees Convention 1951.The NHRC recently issued a notice to the Centre over its plan to deport Rohingya living in various parts of India.Dismissing allegations of human rights violations Singh said, “We have to think about the human rights of our own people before talking about the human rights of people from other countries.” Any sovereign country, the minister said, was free to take a decision on what kind of action it should take against illegal immigrants.”The issue of national security is involved with regard to illegal immigration which our country can’t undermine,” he said. He also referred to Myanmar state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi’s statement two days ago that her country would resettle some of the refugees. “I am sure Myanmar will take positive steps to take back the Rohingyas.”Singh said some people had termed the process of deportation wrong by referring to the ‘non-refoulement principle’, which forbids a country receiving asylum seekers from deporting them to a country where they would likely face persecution.

Rohingyas not refugees; they are illegal immigrants, haven’t applied for asylum: Home Minister Rajnath Singh

Updated: Sep 21, 2017, 12:39 PM IST, PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Rohingyas were illegal immigrants and not refugees who had applied for asylum in India, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Thursday.Addressing a seminar organised by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Singh asked why some people were objecting to the deportation of Rohingyas when Myanmar was ready to accept them.”The Rohingyas are not refugees. They have not come here after following proper procedures. No Rohingya has applied for asylum. They are illegal immigrants,” he said.The home minister also said that India would not violate any international law by deporting Rohingyas as it was not a signatory to the UN Refugees Convention 1951.The NHRC recently issued a notice to the Centre over its plan to deport Rohingyas, who are residing in various parts of India.
ALSO READ Arun Jaitley defends stand on RohingyaAccording to the Commission, from the human rights angle its “intervention is appropriate” in the matter.

HRD Ministry to work on training tech teachers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With questions being raised about the competency of those teaching engineering students, the Ministry of Human Resource Development is now working on a roadmap to improve training for technical teachers.The National Institutes of Technical Teacher Training and Research (NITTTRs), which train technical teachers, on Tuesday approached the ministry, saying the teachers have become less efficient and therefore unemployable, and sought ways to enhance their employability.”Officials from NITTTRs approached us saying that the quality of teachers coming in the field of technical education has been going down for the last few years and this has impacted quality of engineering graduates that are passing out from the colleges. We had a long presentation in the ministry and will now work on a roadmap to improve teacher education,” said a senior official from the ministry.There are four NITTTRs in the country, in Bhopal, Chandigarh, Chennai and Kolkata. The institutes gave their own presentations on how they want technical education to be improved and asked for suggestions from ministry officials.Among some of the suggestions that emerged from the presentation were regular training sessions for teachers while they are teaching at the institutes so they are abreast of latest developments in their fields. “What most teachers do after they start teaching is to stop updating themselves with latest development, this makes them less efficient,” the official added.Based on the suggestions received from NITTTRs, the ministry will now further work on a roadmap to transform technical teacher training in the country.Around 10-12 lakh students take admission in various engineering institutes across the country every year, given such a large number of students in this field, the ministry wants that the faculty should be up to the mark.

HIV due to unsafe sex tops ICTC data list

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Out of the 6,723 HIV patients in the city, only 18 cases were declared HIV positive because of transmission through blood and blood products and 17 cases due to infected syringe and needles. As per the Integrated Counseling and Testing C entre (ICTC) data given by the Mumbai District Aids Control Society (MDACS) department, in 2016-17, unprotected sex accounted for the highest number of HIV cases in Mumbai.The data on causes of HIV infection transmission in the Mumbai-based civic-run hospitals, between 2012-17, was collected by RTI activist Chetan Kothari. According to the response given by the MDASC department, various routes which cause HIV infected cases include – unprotected sex, blood and blood products, infected syringes and needles, parents to child, as per the ICTC data.The data also reveals that there has been decreasing number of HIV infected cases every year through various means of transmission. In 2012-13, while there were 53 cases due to transmission of blood, the number of cases fell to 18 in 2016-17.RTI activist Chetan Kothari said, “Since two years, the number of infected cases due to blood transmission are 18. We had previously filed RTI and asked why names of blood bank not asked to patients and whether any information is available. According to MDACS, they don’t have information related to which blood bank these blood are taken because it is not there in National Aids Control Organization’s protocol.”The data was provided by Dr Shrikala Acharya, Additional Director & Public Information Officer, MDACS. “Last year a complaint was made with National Human Rights Commission asking for a committee under IAS or Additional Municipal Commissioner for implementation of NAT testing and filling of staff. They forwarded the complaint to the Maharashtra Human Rights Commission. It is still under process,” Kothari added.

21% Indians likely to face job threat by 2022: FICCI report

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Given the changes in the job scenario in the country and globally, twenty-one per cent of the workforce currently employed in India would face a job threat by the year 2022 due to lack of required skills and would need re-skilling, a FICCI report on future job projection in India reveals.The 132-page detailed report released on Friday looks at the various aspects of changes in the job sector in the country and how skill-based education will be needed to tackle it. It also suggests various measures to government agencies, academia and industry to identify ways to deal with the problem at an early stage.The report states that by the year 2022, nine per cent of the workforce will be working in fields that do not exist currently, 37 per cent will be working in sectors with radically changed skill sets, and 54 per cent will fall under unchanged job category.As per the report, professionals of the IT sector run the maximum risk of losing their job by 2022 and largely require re-skilling. Twenty to thirty-five per cent of people working in the sector would face an exponential threat to their jobs, the report estimates. Future jobs in IT sector would be VFX artists, wireless network specialists, data scientists, data architect, android developer, and other similar jobs.Other sectors like textile, automobile, and retail will also change rapidly. An e-textile specialist would be in demand in the future, and in the automobile sector, a 3D printing technician and vehicle cyber-security experts would be sought after.”The internet and exponential technologies are creating an exciting space, in which potentially numerous gainful employment opportunities are emerging,” the report states. India has the largest number of online workforce in the world — 24 per cent. This mode of employment called the Gig Economy is expected to grow significantly in coming years.The second big area that is generating employment opportunities is the technology aggregator model that enables the organising of highly inefficient markets — like the ‘Uber’ model, the report adds.The changing job scenario in India is based on various factors including demographic changes, globalisation and adoption of exponential technology by Indian industries.The report recommends that the government and policymakers should utilise the time window of two-three years to effect large-scale reforms in the general, technical, and vocation education system in mission mode and establish centres of excellence in emerging exponential technologies. It suggests industries to incorporate ‘gig economy’ resources as a part of the HR department’s manpower planning strategies and develop workforce re-training programmes across various levels.Realising the need for skilled workforces, the Ministry of Human Resource Development has been trying to introduce more skill-based education in the curriculum, especially engineering, which is one sector where the graduates face the highest risk of losing their jobs.

J&K: State Human Righs Commission recommends Rs 35 lakh compensation to man who lost family in terror attack

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Expressing concern over the delay in providing adequate compensation to a man who lost seven members of his family in a terrorist attack 18 years ago, the J&K human rights body on Friday recommended a sum of Rs 35 lakh as compensation.Roop Lal, a resident of Mendhar in Jammu & Kashmir’s Poonch district, had lodged a complaint with the J&K State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) alleging that seven members of his family were killed by militants during an attack on his house on July 2, 1999, and he had received ex-gratia compensation of just Rs one lakh from the state government.”After carefully scrutiny of the material available on the record, the commission is satisfied that the complainant has made out a good case for grant of compensation to the tune of Rs 35 lakh.”The Chief Secretary of the state is directed to pay sum of Rs five lakh each to the complainant against the killing of seven members of his family,” SHRC member Jung Bahadur Singh Jamwal said in his order released by the commission.Jamwal said the delay on the part of the government to provide adequate compensation to Lal amounted to glaring “violation of human rights”.”The incident is rare but the authorities concerned for the payment of compensation were reluctant and ignorant about the pain and sufferings of the complainant. The compensation whatever was due within ambit of various beneficial schemes floated by the government should have been extended to the complainant,” he said.

Hyderabad: Woman with son’s dead body forced to spend night on road after landlord denies entry

Updated: Sep 15, 2017, 01:35 PM IST, ANI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A woman, who lost her son due to dengue, was not allowed to bring the dead body inside her rented apartment by her landlord in Hyderabad, Telangana.The incident took place on September 14, when the woman was forced to spend a night on the road with the dead body of her 10-year-old son, allegedly because the landlord didn’t let her in.Terming the incident as sad and shocking, child rights activist, Achoot Rao told ANI that it is a severe violation of the child rights and asserted that she would file a case in the State Human Rights Commission.

Govt edu institutes not in top 50 of swachhta list: HRD Min

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Ministry of Human Resource Development on Thursday announced Swacchta Rankings for higher education institutions, declaring cleanest campuses across the country. As per the rankings, private institutions have performed better than government institutions.These rankings were shared to encourage on-campus sanitation activities.Ministry sources, however, said that there was a lukewarm response from prominent higher education institutions. No prominent institution other than IIT Guwahati featured in the list.This lukewarm response from prominent institutions comes after a similar lack of interest from top institutions to the digital literacy campaign VISAKA, which was launched by the ministry after demonetisation. The ministry had asked institutes to engage students as volunteers for spreading digital literacy in December 2016. Later, they honoured the top 20 institutes that performed. However, none of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), National Institutes of Technology (NITs), Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), or other prominent institutes made it to the list.For Swachhta rankings, institutes were listed in four separate categories — University, Colleges, Technical institutions, and Government institutions. Among universities, OP Jindal University, Sonepat, has bagged the first position and been declared the cleanest campus in the country. Most institutions on the list are from Tamil Nadu.The fact that government institutions did not take the drive seriously was recognised by the HRD minister as well. While announcing the rankings, he said, “No government institution had made it to the top 50 of the university category, which is why we had to create a separate category for them,” Prakash Javadekar, HRD Minister, said.In the government category, GB Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar has topped the chart, with Madurai Kamaraj University in the second position, and IIT Guwahati in the fifth.Among colleges, Kongu Arts and Science College, Erode, Tamil Nadu ranked first, and among technical institutions, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore, has secured the first rank.The HRD Ministry had decided to rank higher education institutions on cleanliness in June this year and asked institutions to apply for the Swachhta ranking before July 31. The ranking was done based on two components — in-campus hygiene, which carried 85 per cent weightage, and activities outside the campus.A total of 3,500 institutions from across the country participated in the rankings.

Rohingya row | Chorus of branding India as villain a calibrated design to tarnish image: Kiren Rijiju

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after India strongly rejected the criticism by the UN human rights chief over its handling of Rohingya Muslim refugees, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said that the chorus of branding India as a villain is a calibrated design to tarnish country’s image.”This chorus of branding India as a villain on Rohingya issue is a calibrated design to tarnish India’s image. It undermines India’s security,” tweeted Kiren Rijiju.UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, in his comments at the 36th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, had criticised India on the issue of deportation of Rohingyas as well as on religious intolerance and threat to rights activists.In a strong reaction, India said it was surprised that individual incidents are being ‘extrapolated’ to suggest a broader societal situation.”We are perplexed at some of the observations made by the High Commissioner in his oral update. There appears to be inadequate appreciation of the freedoms and rights that are guaranteed and practised daily in a vibrant democracy that has been built under challenging conditions,” Ambassador Rajiv K Chander said.Rejecting the observations by Hussein, Chander said, “Tendentious judgements made on the basis of selective and even inaccurate reports do not further the understanding of human rights in any society.”Some 40,000 Rohingyas have settled in India, and 16,000 of them have received refugee documentation, the UN estimates.Kiren Rijiju, on September 5 had said Rohingyas were illegal immigrants and stand to be deported.The United Nations have appealed to the entire international community to keep the political differences aside and support the ongoing humanitarian efforts to help Rohingya Muslim refugees.

India objects to UN’s slur on its approach to Rohingya crisis

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein called India’s position on the Rohingya issue “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Rajiv K Chander responded by saying that there was “inadequate appreciation” of the freedom that the Indian democracy guarantees.Saying that India was “perplexed” at some of the observations made by the High Commissioner in his oral update, Chander wrote that India was worried about the security threats that illegal migrants pose, and that enforcing a law “should not be mistaken for lack of compassion.””There appears to be inadequate appreciation of the freedoms and rights that are guaranteed and practised daily in a vibrant democracy built under challenging conditions,” wrote Chander. “Tendentious judgements made on the basis of selective and even inaccurate reports do not further the understanding of human rights in any society.”Chander also wrote that India will adopt “a large number of recommendations” from the Universal Periodic Review.He also wrote that the Indian government’s motto of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas” promotes inclusive development and that ” individual incidents are being extrapolated to suggest a broader societal situation.”

India strongly rejects UNHRC chief Zeid al-Hussein’s criticism over handling of Rohingyas

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India strongly rejected the criticism by the UN human rights chief over its handling of Rohingya Muslim refugees, human rights situations in Jammu and Kashmir and observation relating to the killing of journalist Gauri Lankesh, saying it was “perplexed” at the remarks.UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, in his comments at the 36th Session of the UN Human Rights Council yesterday, had criticised India on the issue of deportation of Rohingyas as well as on religious intolerance and threat to rights activists.In a strong reaction, India said it was surprised that individual incidents are being “extrapolated” to suggest a broader societal situation.”We are perplexed at some of the observations made by the High Commissioner in his oral update. There appears to be inadequate appreciation of the freedoms and rights that are guaranteed and practised daily in a vibrant democracy that has been built under challenging conditions,” Ambassador Rajiv K Chander said.Chander, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Geneva, made the statement in response to Hussein’s comments.Rejecting the observations by Hussein, Chander said, “Tendentious judgements made on the basis of selective and even inaccurate reports do not further the understanding of human rights in any society.”Like many other nations, India is concerned about illegal migrants, in particular, with the possibility that they could pose security challenges, he said, adding that enforcing the laws should not be mistaken for lack of compassion.Some 40,000 Rohingyas have settled in India, and 16,000 of them have received refugee documentation, the UN estimates.India’s Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju, on September 5 had said Rohingyas were illegal immigrants and stand to be deported.”It is also surprising that individual incidents are being extrapolated to suggest a broader societal situation. India is proud of its independent judiciary, freedom of press, vibrant civil society and respect for rule of law and human rights,” Chander said.He said a more informed view would have not only recognised this aspect but also noted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself publicly condemned violence in the name of cow protection.”India does not condone any actions in violation of law and imputations to the contrary are not justified,” he said.On observation relating to the issue of human rights situations in Jammu and Kashmir, he said, “It is a matter of regret that the central role of terrorism is once again being overlooked.”The Indian envoy said assessments of human rights should not be a matter of political convenience.”India believes that achieving human rights goals calls for objective consideration, balanced judgements and verification of facts.”Our Government’s motto of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ that is All Together and Development for All, is a true reflection of our commitment to achieve inclusive development in the spirit of leaving none of our citizens behind,” Chander added.Read his full response belowMr. PresidentWe recognize the role assigned to the OHCHR in effective promotion and protection of human rights. India was part of the first set of countries in the third cycle of the Universal Periodic Review.India’s UPR Report will be adopted in this session of the HRC. We are pleased to inform you that a large number of recommendations have been accepted. We believe that the UPR is not an end in itself and that observance and promotion of human rights is an ongoing process that can be continuously strengthened.Mr. PresidentWe are perplexed at some of the observations made by the High Commissioner in his oral update. There appears to be inadequate appreciation of the freedoms and rights that are guaranteed and practised daily in a vibrant democracy that has been built under challenging conditions. Tendentious judgements made on the basis of selective and even inaccurate reports do not further the understanding of human rights in any society.Like many other nations, India is concerned about illegal migrants, in particular, with the possibility that they could pose security challenges. Enforcing the laws should not be mistaken for lack of compassion.It is also surprising that individual incidents are being extrapolated to suggest a broader societal situation. India is proud of its independent judiciary, freedom of press, vibrant civil society and respect for rule of law and human rights. A more informed view would have not only recognized this but also noted, for example, that the Prime Minister himself publicly condemned violence in the name of cow protection. India does not condone any actions in violation of law and imputations to the contrary are not justified.We have also noted that the issue of human rights situations in the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir has been raised. It is a matter of regret that the central role of terrorism is once again being overlooked. Assessments of human rights should not be a matter of political convenience.Mr. PresidentIndia believes that achieving human rights goals calls for objective consideration, balanced judgements and verification of facts. Our Government’s motto of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas” that is All Together and Development for All, is a true reflection of our commitment to achieve inclusive development in the spirit of leaving none of our citizens behind.With inputs from PTI

Deplore current measures by India to deport Rohingyas: UN human rights chief

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein flayed any attempts by India to deport Rohingyas to Myanmar when the ethnic minority community is facing violence in their country.Speaking at the opening of a Human Rights Council session here, Zeid also referred to the killing of activist-journalist Gauri Lankesh, observing that she “tirelessly addressed the corrosive effect of sectarianism and hatred.”India’s Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju, on September 5 said Rohingyas were illegal immigrants and stand to be deported. He said nobody should preach New Delhi on the matter as India absorbed the maximum number of refugees in the world.Some 40,000 Rohingyas have settled in India, and 16,000 of them have received refugee documentation, the UN estimates.”I deplore current measures in India to deport Rohingyas at a time of such violence against them in their country,” Zeid said.The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights noted Rijiju had reportedly said that because India is not a signatory to the Refugee Convention it “can dispense with international law on the matter, together with basic human compassion.” “However, by virtue of customary law, its ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the obligations of due process and the universal principle of non-refoulement, India cannot carry out collective expulsions, or return people to a place where they risk torture or other serious violations,” the UN human rights chief said.The violence in Myanmar began in August when Rohingya militants attacked police posts in Rakhine, killing 12 security personnel. The military said it responded to the attacks and denies it is targeting civilians.More than 300,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh since then.Touching upon cow vigilantism in India, Zeid said: “The current wave of violent, and often lethal, mob attacks against people under the pretext of protecting the lives of cows is alarming.””People who speak out for fundamental human rights are also threatened,” he said.Lankesh was gunned down last week in Bengaluru.Unidentified motorcycle-borne gunmen pumped bullets into 55- year-old Gauri as she left her car after reaching her home.Zeid said he was “heartened by the subsequent marches calling for protection of the right to freedom of expression, and by demonstrations in 12 cities to protest the lynchings.”

Over 19 crore schoolchildren under one govt database

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With an aim to make every schoolchild eligible for various schemes such as free uniform distribution and midday meals, the central government has brought over 19.5 crore kids under one database. Out of them, eight crore children have also been linked to Aadhar.Ministry of Human Resource Development had asked all states to share their data so that genuine information of all students is available, and the children are able to avail benefits from the government. It will also help the government keep a tab on the dropouts.According to sources in the Ministry of Human Resource Development, all the states except West Bengal, have already shared their data with the central government. Despite reminders in the past, West Bengal has refused to do it, the ministry is now planning to send another reminder to the state government.The data for students from Class 1 to 12, which includes their basic information like date of birth, school enrollment number has been collected by various states and shared with the central government. Even as West Bengal has collected the data, they have refused to share it with the ministry, sources in HRD ministry said.”The plan to connect all the children across states through a single platform and monitor schemes in the state will be affected if we do not get cooperation from all states. We are planning to send a reminder to the West Bengal government to provide data related to children,” a senior official in the ministry said.States like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh have provided all the data needed by the government. The data, which is being collected through Student Database Management Information system (SDMIS), will be used for uniform and books distribution, providing transport facilities, hostel accommodation and midday meals for students.According to sources, the government is planning to finish the job of data collection as soon as possible and is also taking the help of NEUPA and have organized camps at district levels. As per the nominations of last year, the government needs to collect information about 25 crore children.

‘Doc’s brother ran naked on campus lanes’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Speaking about the tragedy, neighbours say the scientist’s sister had gradually undergone mental stress while her brother had been sick for a few years. As far as possessions are concerned, a car used by the scientist bought more than 10 years ago, remains intact, almost unused. Their neighbours also said that the servant quarters had been allotted to the scientist by a former director of the Institute seeing the family’s condition.Locals also claimed that the mental health of Dr Yashvir Sood was not good as he had not withdrawn a single penny of his pension as well as gratuity funds. Moreover, the trio’s interaction with the neighbours was almost zero, especially after retirement.Speaking about the family, one of the gatekeepers of the campus, Kiran said, “Dr Sood was a respected personality in the campus, but his brother’s mental health was so bad that on many occasions he would run naked on the campus lanes and we had to borrow clothes from neighbours to cover his body.” Meanwhile, neighbours living near their house complained that the Sood family was never bothered about cleanliness. “Kamla (the sister) would clean the area and would then throw the garbage again just for fun. Many times we complained to Dr Sood as they used to litter in the open,” said Ishwar, one of their neighbours.In the meantime, both Kamla and Harish have been admitted to Institute of Human Behaviour & Allied Sciences.

Gauri Lankesh murder: US condemns scribe’s death; calls it tragic murder

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The killing of activist- journalist Gauri Lankesh was a “tragic murder”, the US has said, days after the slain scribe who was regarded as a symbol of free speech and dissent was shot dead outside her home.Lankesh, 55, known for her left-leaning outlook and forthright views on Hindutva politics, was shot dead by unidentified assailants in Bangalore on Tuesday, triggering nationwide condemnation.Addressing a Congressional subcommittee during a hearing on South Asia, US Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells said India provides the “highest constitutional protections” for religious minorities, and the goal of the US is to work with India to encourage it to meet the goals set in its constitution and laws.”There are cases, obviously, of religious — as we detail in both the Human Rights Report and the International Religious Freedom Report — of infringements, and there was a tragic murder of a journalist just this week who was often the subject of nationalist criticism,” she said, in a reference to the killing of Lankesh.She said these are the challenges for any democracy, but India is a democracy, and it is a “vibrant democracy”.”And we have respect for Indian institutions and ability to raise and meet these challenges. And we certainly, in all of our engagements, at senior levels, encourage the Indian government to do so,” Wells said in response to a question from Congressman Ted Yoho, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific.In a statement, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said it “is deeply shocked” by leading Indian journalist and media freedom defender Lankesh’s murder in Bangalore.It called on the authorities to do everything possible to quickly find and punish her killers.”We firmly condemn this terrible murder, which has deprived the media of a tough and determined champion and has deprived India of a voice that was fundamental for the country’s democratic life,” said Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF?s Asia-Pacific desk.The Indian National Overseas Congress in the US said Lankesh’s death appears to be a “meticulously planned” and executed to silence a powerful voice.”The opposing forces could not match her rationale pointing up the dangers of right-wing politics and its possibly disastrous effect on the secular fabric of the nation. Her harsh criticism of prevailing casteism in the society was often directed at institutions that still harbour those sentiments and made her more of a passionate activist who had little patience for the status-quo,” George Abraham of?INOC-USA said in a statement.The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Director General Irina Bokova also urged Indian authorities to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice.”Any attack on the media is an attack on the fundamental right to freedom of expression of each member of society. I urge the Indian authorities to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice and this crime is punished,” Bokova said.

India rape victim, 13, seeks court approval for abortion

The pregnancy was discovered after her parents took her to a doctor to seek treatment for obesity.

Centre miffed after Bengal ignores I-Day advisory

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government’s decision to go against the Centre’s advisory to build “mass fervour” around Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘New India Mission’ and administering a ‘Sankalp se Siddhi’ pledge to all students has not gone down well with the Ministry of Human Resource Development.The HRD ministry plans to take up the issue with the Bengal government. In its circular, the HRD Ministry had asked all educational institutions to arrange a ‘Sankalp’ programme from August 9 to 30 on the premises of a Shaheed Smarak, or if there wasn’t one nearby, within the school premises itself.It enclosed a copy of the oath for teachers and students to take on the occasion. In a letter dated August 11, the state education department has directed all schools in West Bengal to “stop all preparations to celebrate Independence Day in keeping with the MHRD circular”.”The letter was issued to all state education ministers, and not to the schools directly. There was no need for the Bengal government to issue a separate direction to schools, asking them not to follow orders. They could have simply allowed schools to do whatever they wanted to,” said a source in the HRD ministry.

SC approves NDMA’s disaster management policy for schools

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) today produced in the Supreme Court the draft communication on safety policy and adherence of guidelines on disaster management for schools, which would be sent by it to all state governments. The NDMA placed the draft letter, which would be sent to the chief secretaries and the secretaries incharge of education departments of all states, before a bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud, which approved it and expressed satisfaction on the steps taken. The apex court directed that the guidelines and policy spelt out by the NDMA in the letter should be implemented by all the concerned authorities in the states. “We are satisfied with the draft letter to be sent by the NDMA to all the chief secretaries and secretary incharge of the education department of all states. We hereby direct that the same will be implemented by all concerned authorities,” the bench said while disposing of the petition. The bench was dealing with a PIL filed one Avinash Mehrotra seeking safety guidelines for school after the Dabwali fire incident in Haryana and the Kumbakonam tragedy in Tamil Nadu. In the draft letter placed before the court, the NDMA has said that guidelines on school safety policy 2016 prepared by it were statutory in nature and statutorily required to be complied with “scrupulously without any deviation”. “Special attention should be paid to fire safety. All the requirements to ensure safety of children in schools mentioned in the said policy of 2016 are statutory in nature and everyone involved in the process of ensuring safety of children are statutorily bound by the same,” the letter said. It further asked the states that the district education officer of each district “shall be declared to be a nodal officer with responsibility, liablity and obligation” as well as powers and functions to ensure strict compliance with the national disaster management guidelines (school safety policy) 2016 within the district of his jurisdiction. “It is observed that the CBSE schools, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan do not fall within the jurisdiction of the state administration or district education officer of each district in a state. For the purpose of administration of these schools, the central government can directly monitor them. “However so far as the implementation of national disaster management guidelines (school safety policy) 2016 is concerned, it is imperative that a nodal officer is earmarked who can ensure adherence and compliance to the said policy by all above referred schools and who is functioning at local district level,” it said. The NDMA has further said that it would be the duty of district disaster management authority to ensure compliance with the guidelines on the school safety policy and monitor its compliance. “The chief secretary of each state will satisfy himself about the due discharge of functions by the district disaster management authority as well as district education officer as a nodal officer and would send a report containing compilation of quarterly reports received by him from the district level authorities/nodal officer to the department of school education and literacy, Ministry of HRD as well as NDMA,” it said. It said that department of school education and literacy, Ministry of Human Resources and Development and the NDMA would jointly monitor the implementation of the guidelines at the national level through periodical meetings for each state and periodical reviews. The apex court had earlier pulled up the union government for not coming up with guidelines on disaster mangement to make schools safer even after the death of a large number of children in fire incidents in Dabwali and Kumbakonam. It had then asked NDMA to come up with comprehensive guidelines to prevent such incidents.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Two minors stamped entry seal on faces at Bhopal Central Jail

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a weird case of tagging for identity, two minors were stamped with an entry seal on their face when they reached to meet their imprisoned relatives on Raksha Bandhan at the Bhopal Central Jail yesterday. The Madhya Pradesh Human Rights Commission (MPHRC) too has taken cognizance of the matter after the photographs of two children including a girl with an entry seal on their faces surfaced in a section of media here. The jail authorities, however, said the incident of ‘stamping-seal-on-face’ was an unintentional goof-up and might have been done mistakenly due to surge of visitors in the jail premises to mark the festive day of Raksha Bandhan. “Couple of children might have been stamped an entry seal on their cheeks. It was unintentional and done mistakenly as over 8,500 people mostly women and children visited the jail premises on the day of Raksha Bandhan,” Bhopal Central Jail’s Superintendent Dinesh Nargave told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Bombay HC: Children below 14 years cannot take part in Dahi Handi celebrations

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bombay High Court on Monday accepted the Maharashtra govt’s undertaking that children below 14 years of age will not be allowed to participate in ‘Dahi Handi’ festival​.Dahi Handi is a ritual which will be observed during ‘Janmashtami’ on August 14 this year across Maharashtra and nearby states. However, the HC said the height of the human pyramids can only be regulated by the state and that if the court intervenes, it would amount to encroaching on legislative powers.The HC also said the state affidavit regarding safety measures to be adopted by organisers covers most concerns in regards to accidents of ‘govindas’. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court had remanded back to the Bombay High Court a plea of Maharashtra government challenging its order capping the height of the human pyramid and barring participation of minors in the famous ‘Dahi-handi’ festival.The Supreme Court had on August 10 revived a plea challenging a Bombay HC order restricting the height of human pyramids to 20 feet for ‘Dahi-Handi’ ritual, saying it needed to hear the PIL petitioner before passing any order.The Maharashtra government had earlier approached the apex court seeking clarification on its 2014 order by which it had stayed the high court decision banning participation of those below 18-years in the popular ‘Dahi-Handi’ ritual.The high court had on August 11, 2014 ordered that the height of human pyramids should not exceed 20 feet and that children below the age of 18 should not be allowed to participate.(With inputs from Mustafa Plumber and Agencies)

Rapporteur to check on Assam minors in jail

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Special Rapporteur has been deputed by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to investigate the issue of minors who live in detention homes in Assam.The directive comes on the heels of a case filed by advocate Radhakant Tripathi who alleged that children of illegal immigrants are living with their mothers in detention camps which are inside the jail.The Rapporteur will visit various prisons where illegal immigrant camps are established to assess the situation and submit a detailed report on human rights violations allegedly perpetrated by state authorities. He will also hold an enquiry and submit his comments within six weeks.According to a complaint filed by Tripathi, the children eat and live with undertrials and convicts. Off the 31 jails in Assam, there are three detention camps for illegal immigrants that are located in Kokraghar, Gopalpada and Silchar. Tripathi alleged that no steps have been taken by the administration or government agencies responsible for ensuring rights of the children, although they have been in jail for the past 3 years.Tripathi suggests that the illegal immigrants could be lodged in separate detention camps with necessary facilities to ensure basic child rights.Pursuant to the directions of the Commission, IG Prisons, Assam, in his letter dated May 15, 2014 had submitted that there are 53 children in the 31 jails in Assam.It is alleged that the children living in jails are not being provided with basic education and recreation as per the jail’s manual’s provisions.The Commission has also considered the rejoinder filed by Tripathi wherein he has further noted that there is no Chairperson of Child Welfare committee appointed by the State of Assam. In his complaint, Tripathi has said that the special rapporteur will visit the spot, assess the situation, and submit a detailed report, direct the State to immediately ensure the rights of the children living in the prison or detention camps of illegal immigrants.He has also sought direction through Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, to complete the national register of citizens and has sought the State child right commission report on the subject. The commission has considered all the reports and objections placed.In addition to the investigation by the Special Rapporteur, the NHRC has also asked the Chief Secretary, Government of Assam to inform this Commission within six weeks as to what steps have been taken by the state administration to safeguard the human rights of minor children detained in the prisons along with their mothers.CHILDREN’S PLIGHTIt is alleged that children living in jails are not provided with basic education and recreation as per the jail’s manual’s provisions.
The Commission has also considered the rejoinder filed by Tripathi wherein he has further noted that there is no Chairperson of Child Welfare committee appointed by Assam state.

Cabinet approves scrapping of no-detention policy till Class 8

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the scrapping of the no-detention policy in schools till Class 8.It also gave its nod to the Human Resource Development Ministry’s plan of creating 20 world-class institutions in the country. An enabling provision will be made in the Right of Children for Free and Compulsory Education Amendment Bill which will allow states to detain students in class 5 and class 8 if they fail in the year-end exam. However, the students will have to be given a second chance to improve via an examination before they are detained.The bill will now be placed in Parliament for approval.Under the present provision of RTE Act, students are promoted automatically to higher classes till class 8. This is one of the key components of the RTE Act which came into force on April 1, 2010. The Union Cabinet, which had deferred its decision in June, about creation of 20 world-class institutions in the country, also approved it today. The University Grants Commission (UGC) had in February passed a new set of regulations to set up 10 world-class institutions in the public sector and as many in the private sector.Of the 20 universities, first proposed in this year’s budget, the 10 state-supported institutions are expected to receive public funding of up to Rs 500 crore each. An Expenditure Finance Committee note seeking Rs 5,000 crore for these institutions was moved. The institutes can be existing or greenfield (the latter for private institutions). HRD’s separate rules UGC (Declaration of Government Educational Institutions as World Class Institutions) Guidelines allow these institutes to fix their own fees for foreign students and decide salaries for foreign faculty, as well as the freedom to choose admission procedures. Existing universities don’t have such freedom and are guided by the detailed UGC rules.

Cops clueless as another braid chopping incident occurs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While the Kangaheri village in South-West Delhi looms in fear and anxiety due to braids of women being mysteriously chopped off, another incident was reported from Palam area wherein the braid of a 46-year old woman was chopped off.The woman like the three others from the village complained of a headache and later realised that her braid had been chopped off. The Delhi Police called a team of doctors from Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS) to counsel the victims.The 46-year old woman had gone to pick up her grandson from the school. She was waiting for him and talking to her neighbour after which she came home and then lost consciousness. When she woke up she found that her braid was chopped off. She also stated that her head was heavy and she suffered from severe headache.However no official complaint was given to the police.Police officers scanned CCTV footages where the woman was standing but there was no other person present.Investigating officials revealed that robbery as a motive behind this mystery has been ruled out as in none of the cases was anything found to be missing from the house. The only two possibilities left, they said, was either a known person behind this or a mentally disturbed person /psychologically unstable person.A team of doctors from IHBAS visited the village and counselled the women. The doctors opined that sometimes in order to gain attention and even in the sub-conscious mind things are done without the individual realising it, however the team of doctors would again counsel them on Wednesday.In the meantime, the police called the forensics team to analyze if there is any presence of a chemical which caused the woman to have a headache.Post the incident, villagers have become increasingly worried and vigilant. On Tuesday, they even thrashed three men who they suspected of being the attackers.After they were thrashed the police was called in, and it came to the fore that the three men were dressing up as women, and putting on make-up, in order to beg on the streets.

Calling of hartals without notice should be curbed: KHRC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Kerala Human Rights Commission (KHRC) today said calling hartals without enough notice should be curbed through stringent legislation. The State Chief Secretary, Home Secretary and state police chief must inform the Commission within three weeks the steps that can be taken in this regard, Commission acting chairperson P Mohandas said in a statement here. Due to the sudden hartal called by BJP on Sunday, several persons in various hospitals and their relatives were put to immense hardship and had to go without food, he said, adding that the commission had received complaints in this regard. Those who called for the hartal should have given some thought to the difficulties the patients may face, he said. When patients are denied food, the government should not remain a mute spectator, the commission said. In the complaint filed before the commission, Human Rights activist P K Raju stated that the rule that 500 metres around the hospital area should be exempted from the hartal’s purview was not followed.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

IP University to get its own campus in Shahdara

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After a long wait, the project committee of Delhi government has passed the decision on the construction of Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University’s campus in east Delhi’s Shahdara. The foundation stone of the building was laid by the former Minister of Human Resource Development Smriti Irani in 2014.”The decision has been taken on Friday. We all were waiting for approval from the board. The construction work will begin soon,” said a senior Delhi government official. The estimated cost of the campus is Rs 271 crore.Spread over 18.75 acres of land, the institute will accommodate 1,500 students in the two schools which will function from the campus. At present, the University’s School of Architecture and Planning is being run from the temporary campus located at Kashmere Gate.The two schools — School of Architecture and School of Design — will offer six courses including four undergraduate and two Master programmes in the field of architecture, planning and design.The campus will be a completely net-zero energy consumption campus, with all in-house facilities to deal with power, water, drainage and waste.”As per the plan, the campus will house an administrative block, residential areas, car parking and a block for sports and cultural activities. The campus will have solar panels, and extensive green roofing and reflective tiles,” the official said.Earlier, the university had decided to construct the campus of Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) at this site. However, the IIIT was later established by the Delhi government separately.”Therefore the Building and Works Committee of Guru Gobind Singh University decided to establish the University School of Architectural & Planning and University School of Design (USD) at Surajmal Vihar,” added the official.What’s new on campusNet-zero energy consumption institutional campusThe campus will have solar panels installed acrossTotal plot area: 18.75 acreEstimated cost: Rs 271 cr

Research no longer a must for college teachers to get promotion

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>College teachers at the undergraduate level will no longer have to do mandatory research to gain promotions. Instead, they would have to get engaged in more community activities, involving students.The Central government is working on a plan to do away with the mandatory research, and the Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry is accordingly making changes in the Academic Performance Index (API) to make it optional.”Currently, college teachers are also required to do research activity for their promotions, just like university professors. But we must understand that both these are completely different category of teachers. A college teacher should be mainly engaged in teaching. When we made research compulsory, research stopped completely. Conducting research just for the sake is taking down the quality of research,” said HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar at a higher education conference in Delhi University.”The official announcement in this regard will follow soon. Instead of mandatory research, I want teachers to be engaged in student activity. We will make one community activity or student activity mandatory and teachers will be given their scores on basis of that,” he added.Since college teachers have to spend more time in teaching and tutorials, this leaves them with little or no time to do research. Whereas university teachers who are supposed to teach the post-graduate students or guide MPhil and PhD scholars have less teaching time and are able to engage more in research.The minister also spoke about the issue of adhoc teachers in the university. “In other universities, there are 10 per cent adhoc teachers, but in Delhi University there are 9,000 teachers. We want to end this. In one year we will have all permanent positions. Those adhoc teachers who have taught for a long time and are good, will automatically be promoted,” the minister added.He also assured teachers that they will soon get salaries under the Seventh Pay Commission.

NHRC seeks action against UTP torture in Balasore jail

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Disposing of a petition filed by an undertrial prisoner’s father, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has directed the Odisha IG Prison to take proper action to redress the petitioner’s grievance. The undertrial prisoner s father in his petition had alleged that his son was being deprived of proper medical treatment. He had also mentioned that his son was suffering from multiple ailments. The undertrial is currently lodged in Balasore district jail. The NHRC passed the order yesterday and asked the IG Prison to inform the petitioner about the action taken within eight weeks. “What has complicated my son s health condition is perpetual mental harassment and unbearable physical torture inside the jail. The jail authorities are hand-in-gloves with some people outside the jail to make my son suffer every day,” the petition said. “My son had brought these issues to the notice of the court. The court had asked for a report from the jail. No action has been taken so far,” the petition said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

JD(U) MP writes to Javadekar demanding scrapping of admission quota

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Janata Dal (United) (JD(U)) MP Harivansh has written a letter to Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Prakash Javadekar demanding scrapping of admission quota for MPs in the Kendriya Vidyalaya and other government-aided schools. The JD(U) leader said that earlier the MPs had the right of recommending five names for admission, but the current government increased it to 10. However, the MP said that instead of doing so, the number of government schools should be increased so that the parents do not have to rush to MPs for their children?s admission. Harivansh further said that earlier there were provisions to allocate basic necessities such as ?gas, telephone, scooter? to the needy on a priority basis, but now such things are easily available without people making special efforts for it. Quoting the above example, Harivansh said it is his request to scrap the quota which lies with the MPs in order to facilitate admissions, adding that such preparations be done by the Centre so that people do not have to go door-to-door for their children?s admission. Hoping that Javadekar would take an initiative towards this direction, the JDU MP said that in order to keep politics clean and credible, such privileges should be dismissed.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Tribal leader Nogoti raises various issues at UN conference

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tribal leader Lalsu Nogoti has raised the issue of violation of the Forest Rights Act and Panchayats Extension to Scheduled Areas Act, 1996 by the state government before an international conference held at Geneva recently. Nogoti, a Zilla Parishad councillor from Bhamragad, was invited by the Indigenous Peoples and Minorities Section of the United Nations High Commission of Human Rights for a month long conference between June 19 to July 14. He was the only Indian and one among the three members from the Asian countries (Pakistan and Indonesia being two others) who were invited for this conference in which representatives of 33 countries from all over the world participated. “The conference was useful for me to understand the issues regarding human rights and problems of indigenous people and also to raise the issues of the indigenous people,” Nogoti told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Dahi Handi norms: Ex-Mumbai BJP youth wing chief apologises to

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Mumbai BJP youth wing chief Ganesh Pandey has tendered an unconditional apology to the Bombay High Court which had issued a contempt notice to him over an issue related to a ritual during Janmashtami festival in 2015. The HC had last year issued a contempt notice to Pandey for failing to comply with the conditions and restrictions laid down by it for the Dahi Handi festival organised by him in 2015. The notice was issued on a petition filed by activist Swati Patil. During the ritual, organised to celebrate the Janmashtami festival, a human pyramid is built with a person climbing to the top to break a Dahi Handi (pot filled with curd or buttermilk and kept at a height). Pandey, in his affidavit filed in response to the notice, claimed he had not played any active role in organising nine- layer human pyramids during the celebration of the festival that year. “In fact, I kept on telling the Dahi Handi groups (taking part in the event) on microphone that the human pyramids should not exceed five layers. “The pyramids were organised by different Dahi Handi mandals (groups) which never had my consent, connivance and I was in no way responsible for the human pyramids which were formed up to nine layers,” Pandey said in his affidavit. After this episode, Pandey, a former Mumbai BJP Yuva Morcha president, decided not to organise the Dahi Handi programme the next year, the affidavit said. “I tender my unconditional apology and pray that the notice issued against me be dismissed,” it said. The affidavit was submitted earlier this week before a bench of justices R M Savant and Sadhana Jadhav. The court, after perusing the affidavit, observed it was hard to believe the pyramids were formed without the encouragement and support of the organisers. The HC has posted the matter for further hearing next week. Apart from Pandey, the petition had sought initiation of contempt proceedings against Mumbai BJP chief Ashish Shelar, who is also the head of the Dahi Handi Samiti set up by the state government in February 2015. The Samiti was set up following a direction from the HC and its mandate was to implement the court’s guidelines during the Dahi Handi festivities. The High Court, among other directions, had asked the government to ensure that formation of human pyramids to break Dahi Handis be restricted to only four layers and their height be also reduced. The directions were issued to ensure safety of those taking part in the formation of human pyramids. In the past, several ‘Govindas’ (as the participants in the Dahi Handi event are known) have received injuries, in some cases even fatal, after falling during formation of human pyramids. Patil, in her petition, has claimed the HC directions were flouted by several mandals across the state and the Samiti had failed in complying with its orders.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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