|Efforts needed to arrest declining education standards: Prez|
|YUPIA, Nov 21 (Agencies): President Pranab Mukherjee today sought concerted efforts to arrest "declining standards" of education and said top institutions like IITs and NITs must produce professionally competent personnel who can take an aspirational India to greater heights.
Addressing the first Convocation of the National Institute of Technology here, he said there is a need to provide greater impetus to the ratings process of educational institutions and develop competition among them.
"While we have a few reputed engineering institutions, it is also a fact that they lag in international rankings. There is a need to provide greater impetus to the ratings process.
"At the same time, there is a need to arrest declining standards in a vast number of institutions. A sense of competition...|
|Ceremony would not amount to anointment of Naib Imam: HC|
|NEW DELHI, Nov 21 (Agencies): The Delhi High Court today said the ceremony (dastarbandi) to anoint Shahi Imam Maulana Syed Ahmed Bukhari's son as the Naib Imam of Jama Masjid "would not amount to an appointment".
A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw made the observation after taking into account the contentions of the Centre, Delhi Wakf Board and petitioners, who have challenged the ceremony, adding that in such a situation there is no need to stay the function.
The court also noted that under the Wakf Act, 1995, the law only "provides for a mutawalli (manager) of a wakf and contains no provision for appointment of Imams of Wakf properties, even if a masjid".
"We are of the opinion, that in the face of the contentions of the petitioners that Maulana Syed Ahm...|
|Muslim community and terror should not be equalised: Chowdhury|
|KOLKATA, Nov 21 (Agencies): Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind's Bengal unit president Siddiqullah Chowdhury today urged all communities to fight against the menace of terrorism and said the Muslim community and terror should not be equated.
"The Muslim community and terror should not be equated. All communities should come forward to fight against the menace of terrorism. A particular political party is trying to malign the Muslim community after the Burdwan blast. This is against humanity," Chowdhury said.
Chowdhury said the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind state committee would hold a rally on November 29 at Sahid Minar Maidan to protest against the malicious campaign to tarnish the entire Muslim community of the state.
"Some sections are saying that all madrasas are the breeding centres of terror activities. ...|
|After BJP break up, Sena sympathises with Chavan over Adarsh|
|MUMBAI, Nov 21 (Agencies): Apparently going soft on Congress after the end of its alliance with BJP, the Shiv Sena today said it is "unfortunate" that former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan's name was not dropped as an accused in the Adarsh Society scam.
"The ghost called Adarsh refuses to leave the Congress and former CM Ashok Chavan. Whenever they (the Congress) try to get rid of it, they face stiff resistance. Its unfortunate that it does not seem he (Chavan) will get relief in this case (Adarsh scam) anytime soon," the Sena said in an editorial in its mouthpiece Saamana.
The Bombay High Court had on Wednesday rejected the CBI's plea to drop former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan's name as an accused in the Adarsh Society scam.
The probe agency had filed an applicati...|
|German Vs Sanskrit controversy created 'deliberately': Irani|
|NEW DELHI, Nov 21 (Agencies): HRD Minister Smriti Irani today said a controversy over German being replaced in KV schools has been created "deliberately" and asserted that its continuation as third language would have been a violation of the Constitution.
"The schools were teaching German as the third language which was in violation of the Constitution, knowing that German is not a third language. We or the Ministry or KVs could not have renewed the contract. I have taken oath under Indian Constitution and I will abide by it," Irani told reporters on the sidelines of an event here.
According to the Ministry, the MoU signed between Kendriya Vidyalaya or central schools and Goethe Institute-Max Mueller Bhawan in 2011 to offer German as the third language was also not referred to the Minis...|
|5 Indian fishermen set free by Lanka arrive in Chennai|
|CHENNAI, Nov 21 (Agencies): Five fishermen from Tamil Nadu, who were sentenced to death in Sri Lanka for alleged drug trafficking but set free after President Mahinda Rajapaksa pardoned them, arrived here today.
The fishermen from Rameswaram, who were released by Sri Lankan authorities yesterday, arrived by an Air India flight at 1.05 am, airport officials said.
Tamil Nadu Ministers B Valarmathi, Dr S Sundararaj and K A Jayapal, Union Minister of State and senior BJP leader Pon Radhakrishnan, state BJP President Tamilisai Soundararajan were among those who received the fishermen.
The five -- Emerson, P Augustus, R Wilson, K Prasath and J Langlet -- are likely to call on Chief Minister O Panneerselvam here tomorrow before returning to their home town.
Earlier in the day, families of th...|
|Student allegedly gangraped by 6, 4 arrested|
|PATNA, Nov 21 (Agencies): A higher secondary student was allegedly gangraped by six persons at Bihta, about 38 km from here, police said today.
Yesterday, the victim was meeting a male friend near a small bridge, when six miscreants overpowered them. They were taken to the bushes at some distance, where the girl was gangraped by them, police said.
The girl, a resident of Bhojpur district, hails from Mahadalit community (SC) and had come to her relative's house at Bihta to prepare for examinations.
Hearing screams of the girl, a woman picking firewood in the area alerted the villagers, who rushed to the spot and rescued the girl. They also managed to catch one of the fleeing miscreants, identified as Deepak Kumar and handed him over to the police.
Patna Senior Superintendent of Police ...|
|Trinamool MP arrested, 2 other lawmakers questioned|
|KOLKATA, Nov 21 (Agencies): Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP Srinjoy Bose was today arrested by CBI after a marathon interrogation for five hours for his alleged involvement in the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam.
The central agency also quizzed West Bengal Textiles Minister Shyamapada Mukherjee in connection with sale of shares of a cement plant to Saradha Group chief Sudipto Sen, and former Trinamool Congress MP Somen Mitra during the day.
CBI sources said that Bose would be produced before the Alipore court tomorrow.
Bose, owner of a Bengali daily and who was asked to appear before the CBI officials, deposed before the sleuths in the morning and was interrogated for his business dealing with Sen.
A CBI spokesperson told agencies that Bose was arrested "for his prima facie invol...|
|SIT to probe cases against Rampal, most followers leave ashram|
|BARWALA (HARYANA), Nov 20 (Agencies): Haryana Police today ordered setting up of a Special Investigation Team to probe certain cases registered in the wake of the tense two-week stand-off inside 'godman' Rampal's Satlok Ashram here.
"A Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by Hisar SP (Satender Kumar Gupta) will investigate some cases. Two DSPs and four Inspectors and others too will be part of the SIT," Inspector General of Police (Hisar Range) A K Rao told PTI.
Over 35 fresh cases, including that of sedition, have been slapped against 63-year-old Rampal and his followers that include his key aides.
A total of 460 persons have been arrested so far on various charges in connection with the stand-off that came to an end last night with the arrest of Rampal from his Ashram.
|Rampal behind bars as HC cancels bail in 2006 murder case|
|CHANDIGARH, Nov 20 (Agencies): Controversial 'godman' Rampal was in for deep trouble with his bail in a 2006 murder case being cancelled today by the Punjab and Haryana High Court which posted the matter to November 28 till when he will be in judicial custody.
Rampal, who was not obeying the HC directives for appearance before it, was arrested from his ashram in Barwala in Haryana's Hisar district last night after over two weeks of standoff between police and his supporters, who posed stiff resistance and even resorted to violence on Tuesday.
The bench comprising Justices M Jeyapaul and Darshan Singh today pronounced the cancellation of his bail in connection with a case of murder registered in 2006 after a clash at his Ashram at Kainthola in Rohtak district where one person had died an...|
|SC Removes CBI director Ranjit Sinha from 2G case|
|NEW DELHI, Nov 21 (Agencies): Twelve days before his retirement, CBI Director Ranjit Sinha today suffered a major blow when the Supreme Court removed him from the 2G scam case, saying the allegations against him of protecting some accused appears to be "prima facie credible".
The apex court, in an unprecedented order, handed over the case to the senior-most officer after Sinha in the 2G scam investigating team.
A bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu, however, refused to pass an elaborate order on the issue saying that it would "tarnish" the "image and reputation" of the premier agency.
The fate of the top cop, who is due to retire on December 2, in the case became abundantly clear when the bench, also comprising justices M B Lokur and A K Sikri, before rising for the lunch break, as...|
|Court asks CBI to further probe coal scam involving Darda|
|NEW DELHI, Nov 21 (Agencies): A Special Court here today directed the CBI to further investigate an alleged scam in coal block allocation, involving Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Darda and others, in which the agency had filed a closure report.
Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar asked the CBI to file a progress report of its probe on December 19.
"Vide my separate detailed order, the matter has been sent for further investigation," the judge said.
CBI had filed the closure report in the case in which it had earlier registered an FIR against JLD Yavatmal Energy Ltd, its directors Vijay Darda, his son Devendra Darda, Rajendra Darda, Manoj Jayaswal, Anand Jayaswal and Abhishek Jayaswal and other unknown persons.
CBI had lodged an FIR in the case against six individuals, the firm and unknown person...|
|Manipuri student assaulted for confronting eve-teasers|
|BENGALURU, Nov 20 (Agencies): A Manipuri youth was allegedly assaulted by three unidentified drunk men when he tried to rescue a girl whom they were harassing in Kothanur area here.
The incident happened when the three men passed lewd comments on the girl and the youth who was passing by confronted them for their misbehaviour last night, police said.
As the trio persisted with their misbehaviour, the 21-year-old youth, an undergraduate student at a city college, warned them against it, following which they allegedly assaulted him, police said.
The youth, who suffered head injuries, was taken to a hospital by the passersby.
Police said the culprits would be nabbed soon.
In another incident involving a person from North-East, a Manipuri student leader was beaten up last month by three ...|
|SSA plans for education of children of migrant labourers|
|THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, Nov 20 (Agencies): In view of increasing inflow of migrant workers from other states into Kerala, the state Education Department is planning to open more study centres exclusively for their children under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan to make them part of mainstream education system.
Several children of migrant workers have already been enrolled in government schools in many districts and the study centres have been operating in around 10 districts, SSA officials said here.
Seeking to bring maximum number of migrant children under the ambit of general education, more study centres are to be opened in the rest of the districts, SSA Kerala Project Director E P Mohandas said.
Region-specific education module is also under plan to bring the children to these study centres, he s...|
|BJP Rally: CP meets BJP leaders on HC directive|
|KOLKATA, Nov 20 (Agencies): Kolkata Police Commissioner Surojit Kar Purokayastha today held a meeting with the BJP's Bengal leadership on the directive of the Calcutta High Court on granting permission to its proposed November 30 public rally scheduled to be addressed by party President Amit Shah.
Kar Purokayastha after the meeting said that the meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere and the decision would be forwarded to the Calcutta High Court tomorrow.
He told agencies, "I can't divulge details about the outcome of the meeting before submitting them to the Court."
The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday had directed the city police commissioner to sit with state BJP representatives and inform the court about the outcome.
The city police had allegedly not given permission for the rally...|
|10 hurt in clash between supporters of rival parties|
|JHARKHAND, Nov 20 (Agencies): At least 10 persons were injured in a clash between supporters of rival candidates of Panki Assembly constituency in Palamau district, the police said.
The clash broke out between supporters of Congress candidate Videsh Singh and Independent candidate Kushwaha Sashibhushan Mehta near an election meeting.
All the injured were admitted to a nearby hospital, the police said.
Inspector General of Police (Palamau range) A Natarajan said additional forces were deployed at the place and the district SP was asked to give a detailed report.
Meanwhile, a campaign vehicle of the JMM were set afire in Gumla Assembly constituency by Maoists today.
A group of Maoist ultras stopped the vehicle at around 2.30 PM at Gadtoli village under Sadar police station and set it a...|
|Confident of positive result in talks with Sena: BJP|
|MUMBAI, Nov 20 (Agencies): Denying that there was any bitterness in its approach towards its former ally Shiv Sena on the issue of the Sena's participation in the Maharashtra government, BJP today said it was sure something good will emerge out of the talks between the two parties.
"Deliberations (with Shiv Sena) are definitely on. I am confident the deliberations will have a good result," Union minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy told reporters here.
Rudy, who was BJP in charge of Maharashtra and camped in Mumbai to oversee the party's poll apparatus, said there was "no bitterness" as far as relations with Sena were concerned.
"We are in alliance at the Centre. I agree that there may be some issues at the state level," Rudy said.
"We welcome support of all parties and individuals as far as Ma...|
|NIA seeks 8 days custody of arrested Myanmarese national|
|KOLKATA, Nov 20 (Agencies): The NIA today produced Myanmarese national Khalid Mohammad, one of the prime accused in the Burdwan blast case, before a city court and sought eight days of police remand along with two other accused who were arrested earlier.
All the eight accused arrested in connection with the Burdwan blast were produced before Md Mumtaz Khan, chief judicial magistrate of Bankshall court, by NIA which is investigating the case.
NIA counsel Shyamal Ghosh prayed for the custody of Khalid, who was arrested at Hyderabad on November 17, saying he was directly involved in the case.
Ghosh stated that Khalid was a trained IED expert and had links with Bangladesh-based terrorist groups.
It was also submitted that he ran terror camps in bordering areas of Bangladesh and Myanmar as...|
|Firing, tear gas, over 100 injured at Rampal's Ashram|
|BARWALA (HARYANA), Nov 18 (Agencies): Violent clashes broke out at the ashram in Haryana of controversial 'godman' Rampal here with police lobbing teargas shells and resorting to lathicharge to disperse his supporters who allegedly fired back, leaving over 100 persons, including security and media personnel, injured.
Tension mounted as supporters of Rampal refused to heed to repeated announcements by the police over loud speakers to allow them to enter the premises to arrest him.
In the entire operation being carried out by police and paramilitary forces, which State DGP S N Vashisht described as "very tough" since they were dealing with presence of many women and children inside, police lobbed teargas shells and used batons and water cannons to disperse Rampal's supporters who allegedl...|
|Rampal supporters' demo at Jantar Mantar|
|NEW DELHI, Nov 18 (Agencies): Scores of supporters of self-styled godman Rampal today staged a demonstration here demanding withdrawal of police from outside his ashram in Hisar claiming the allegations against him are false.
The protesters also claimed Rampal was "unwell" and was being treated at an "undisclosed location".
Police barricaded the entire stretch where around 1000 protesters were staging the demonstration at Jantar Mantar.
"The police atrocities at the ashram in Hisar should be stopped and police withdrawn. The allegations against Rampal are false and the warrants issued against him should be revoked," said a protester.
Earlier in the afternoon, several persons, including security and media personnel, were injured as clashes erupted at the Hisar ashram of Rampal with pol...|
|2002 Riots: Nanavati Commission submits final report to CM|
|GANDHINAGAR, Nov 18 (Agencies): Justice Nanavati Commission today submitted its final report on the 2002 Gujarat riots to state Chief Minister Anandiben Patel.
"We have submitted the report, which runs into more than 2,000 pages," Justice Nanavati told PTI, but refused to divulge any contents of the report.
The commission members - Retd Supreme Court Justice G T Nanavati and Retd High Court Justice Akshay Mehta - drove to the residence of Patel and submitted the report to her, officials at the Chief Minister's Office said.
The final report of the commission on the 2002 riots, in which more than 1,000 people - mostly of minority community - were killed, comes after extensive investigation which ran over a period of more than 12 years.
Last month, Justice Nanavati had said that, "There ...|
|Minor allegedly raped in Indore, accused arrested|
|INDORE, Nov 18 (Agencies): A 17-year-old girl was allegedly raped by a youth here, following which the accused has been arrested along with three of his friends who filmed the act, police said.
Based on the complaint filed by the victim on November 16, a resident of Bahubali Nagar here, Sourabh Rathore and his three friends -- identified as Afzal, Vishal, and Sahil -- were arrested yesterday, Aerodrome police station in-charge K L Dangi said.
They were booked under IPC section 376 (rape) and 506 (threat for facing severe consequences) and section 66 of IT Act, he said.
The incident took place on July 21 when Rathore took the girl to his friend's place where he mixed some sedative in her cold drink following which she became semi-unconscious, Dangi said, adding, the victim and Rathore s...|
|BJP govt's stability not NCP's responsibility: Pawar|
|ALIBAUGH, Nov 18 (Agencies): The nascent BJP government in Maharashtra today appeared on a sticky wicket with NCP chief Sharad Pawar making it clear that its stability was not his party's responsibility even as Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis asserted it was stable and hoped Shiv Sena would join it.
Shiv Sena, however, did not appear too keen to be a part of the BJP-led government "for now" and said it held the "keys" to the stability of the 18-day-old dispensation.
"Having a stable government in Maharashtra isn't NCP's responsibility. We have to be ready to face snap polls in Maharashtra," Pawar, whose party had declared outside support to the government, said addressing a two-day meeting of NCP which got underway at Alibaug in Raigad district.
"The present situation in Maharashtra i...|
|Nehru's policies are of enduring relevance: Rahul|
|NEW DELHI, Nov 18 (Agencies): In a veiled attack on Narendra Modi-led dispensation, Rahul Gandhi today slammed those who were trying to "rub out" Jawaharlal Nehru from history as an international conference on the country's first Prime Minister affirmed that democracy, inclusion and empowerment espoused by him were of "enduring relevance".
In her concluding remarks at the two-day conference called by the Congress, Party President Sonia Gandhi said as the Nehruvian concepts have come under challenge now, "we must not only adhere to what Nehru had built. We must fight and fight to strengthen democracy, inclusiveness and secularism."
Holding that Nehru's ideas were a "matter of shared interest" that concern all sections, she said the declaration reaffirms a collective commitment to nurture...|
|Congress attacks govt on Nehru conference|
|NEW DELHI, Nov 18 (Agencies): Congress accused the Modi government of "putting obstacles at every step" in the organisation an international conference on Jawaharlal Nehru convened by it that concluded today.
Senior party leader Anand Sharma, who was the Secretary General of the meet, also criticised the media, especially of the television channels, for poor coverage despite the presence of "world leaders".
"This government did not want the Conference to take place. We were denied the venue Vigyan Bhavan on Nov 14 (birth anniversary of Nehru) when it was not being used (by anybody).
"We did not get cooperation. A little circular went out from here to (Indian) embassies telling them if world leaders called them, ask them to contact the Congress directly. The aim was to dissuade them fro...|