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Politics over National Emblem: Govt says it is adaptation from Sarnath Lion Capital

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 As the politics over the newly unveiled cast of the ‘National Emblem’ on the roof of the new parliament building escalate, the government said that it is an adaptation from the Sarnath Lion Capital of Emperor Ashoka, which is preserved in the Sarnath Museum.

On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the National Emblem cast on the roof of the new parliament building. After questioning why the Prime Minister, head of the Executive, unveiled the National Emblem, the opposition parties said that the cast has been modified. While the government said it is an adaptation from the Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka, the BJP has claimed that there is no change.

Sharing two pictures of the National Emblem, Rajya Sabha member and general secretary in-charge of communications of the Congress, Jairam Ramesh said, “To completely change the character and nature of the lions on Ashoka’s pillar at Sarnath is nothing but a brazen insult to India’s National Symbol.”

In-charge of the BJP’s national information and technology department Amit Malviya said, “The National Emblem atop the new parliament building of India is an adaptation from the Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka, which is preserved in the Sarnath Museum. There is no change. The opposition is comparing 2D images in print to an imposing 3D structure. They have lost it.”

TMC Rajya Sabha Member Jawhar Sircar tweetd, “Insult to our national symbol, the majestic Ashokan Lions. Original is on the left, graceful, regally confident. The one on the right is Modi’s version, put above new Parliament building, snarling, unnecessarily aggressive and disproportionate. Shame! Change it immediately.”

Government sources said that the state emblem of India is an adaptation from the Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka which is preserved in the Sarnath Museum. “The Lion Capital has four lions mounted back-to-back on a circular abacus. The frieze of the abacus is adorned with sculptures in high relief of an elephant, a galloping horse, a bull, and a lion separated by intervening Dharma Chakras,” the sources said.

The government said that the profile of the Lion Capital has been adopted as the state emblem of India. This finds pride of place and the design is adopted for the emblem above the parliament building. “The 6.5-meter state emblem of India, weighing 16,000 kg, fully hand crafted by Indian artisans, is made of high purity bronze. There is no other similar depiction of the emblem, from the perspective of material and craftsmanship, anywhere else in India.”

Over 100 artisans from various parts of the country worked on the design, crafting and casting of the emblem for over six months to bring out the quality that could be seen in the final installation. The installation itself was a challenge as it was 32 meters above the upper ground level.

“Giving wings to the ambition of creating such an expression of the state emblem needed dedication, meticulous supervision, and skilful installation – all depicting various elements of Atmanirbhar Bharat. When it is seated at the top of the temple of our democracy – the Parliament building, it truly represents the paradigm of ‘for the people, by the people’,” sources said.

National News

Delhi HC allows impleading city govt, CBSE, NCERT in plea seeking common syllabus, curriculum across India

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The Delhi High Court has allowed the petitioner to implead the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and the Delhi government as parties to his plea challenging the syllabus and curriculum varying for each strata of society and seeking common syllabus for children across the country.

A division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Yashwant Varma allowed petitioner advocate Ashwini Upadhyay to move an application to implead the above-mentioned three parties.

The court listed the matter for the next hearing on March 10.

Upadhyay argued before the court that all competitive examinations be it engineering, law and the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) should have a common syllabus.

He said: “But we have multiple syllabus at school level, how will it provide an equal opportunity for students? In Kendra Vidyalayas across the country, we have a common syllabus. Every developed country has a common syllabus in schools. It is unfortunate we are under pressure from the coaching mafia.”

He contended that as per the concerned Articles of the Constitution, students do not get equal opportunities.

Upadhyay’s plea read: “Education mafias are very powerful and have a very strong syndicate. They influence rules, regulations, policies and examinations. The bitter truth is that school mafias do not want one nation-one education board, coaching mafias do not want one nation-one syllabus, and book mafias do not want NCERT books in all schools. That is why the uniform education system up to the 12th standard has not been implemented yet.”

Provisions under the Right To Education Act which excludes madrasas, Vedic pathshalas and educational institutions imparting religious knowledge, were also challenged as per the plea.

“It is necessary to state that the purposive and harmonious construction of Articles 14, 15, 16, 21, 21A with Articles 38, 39, 46 confirms that education is a basic right of every child and the State cannot discriminate against this most important right. Right of a child should not be restricted only to free education, but must be extended to have equal quality education without discrimination on the ground of the child’s social, economic and cultural background,” the plea read.

The plea further said: “Therefore, the court may declare Sections 1(4) and 1(5) arbitrary, irrational and violative of Articles 14, 15, 16 and 21 and direct the Centre to implement common syllabus and common curriculum for the students of I-VIII standard throughout the country.”

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Teachers scam: WhatsApp chat hinting question paper leak recovered

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 The Enforcement Directorate (ED), probing the multi-crore teachers’ recruitment scam, has recovered WhatsApp chats hinting at possible advance leaking of question papers to select candidates who took the written examination for primary teachers’ posts in West Bengal in 2016.

Sources said that the selective leaking of question papers were mainly done by the youth Trinamool Congress leader, Kuntal Ghosh, who was arrested by the ED from his residence on January 21.

The probe agency has also recovered Whatsapp chats indicating that Ghosh enjoyed the patronage of former state education minister and Trinamool Congress secretary general Partha Chatterjee.

From the documents seized from Ghosh’s residence, the central agency officials have also recovered copies of the admit cards of certain candidates who appeared for the recruitment examination for primary teachers in 2016.

The ED sleuths have come across the names of 35 individuals who secured jobs as teachers in state- run schools by paying money to the arrested youth leader and all of them are currently employed with different schools. Each and every one of them will be questioned to take the investigation forward.

“The recruitment scam seems to be in multiple layers, which again have sub-layers involving multiple players and multiple angles. The uncovering of one layer is leading to other layers. That’s why the investigation process is getting prolonged,” said a legal associate of ED.

The fact that question papers were leaked to select candidates was established after the ED sleuths noticed that some extremely below-average candidates, as per their academic records, scored exorbitantly in the recruitment examination.

Sources said that the marks secured in their academic examinations did not justify their scores in their optical mark recognition (OMR) sheets.

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National News

Goa Police intensify night patrolling for women’s safety

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 In a bid to curb street crimes and to increase safety for women, the Goa Police on Friday announced a special four-wheeler patrol ‘Operation Jagruti’ in the state’s north district.

North Goa Superintendent of Police Nidhin Valsan told media persons that night patrolling will be intensified under this initiative.

“This exercise includes 38 Jagrut North District vehicles having 100 staff deployed from North District and other various units. There are 10 vital routes identified along with additional 40 internal routes in North Goa District in which these vehicles will be patrolling daily from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.,” he said.

Valsan said that besides this, they will attend to all the other calls received from the control room.

“The main intention of this exercise is to assist and help any distressed woman and child during odd hours,” he said.

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