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Rajsthan: No more mining in areas of religious significance



 The Rajasthan government has banned mining in regions of religious importance in the state.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot made the announcement on Sunday during a meeting with a delegation of sadhus, mahants, public representatives and villagers from Pasopa and nearby villages of Bharatpur. He also condoled the death of Mahant Vijaydas and promised to fulfill all his demands.

Mahant Vijaydas had recently immolated himself protesting the illegal mining in the state.

In view the seers’ demand, an in-principle consent had already been given by the government to ban all types of mining going on in the areas of religious importance, the chief minister said.

He further termed the demise of late Mahant Vijaydas an “extremely sad”.

Gehlot said instructions have been given by the State Government to stop all the legal mining activities in the said area. Simultaneously, this land has been transferred to the Forest Department.

In the past also, on the demand of saints, the legal mines running in the area were closed by the government and currently, process is on to close 46 legal mines and shift them elsewhere.

Agreeing that banning is a complicated process, they demanded its completion in two months, on which the government has assured positive action in this time frame.

Gehlot said that it takes time to convince the villagers of the area whose livelihood was dependent on mines, but still the work has progressed rapidly.

Tourism Minister Vishvendra Singh said that 84 development works have been identified by the teams of Tourism and Devasthan Department by visiting the areas like Adibadri and Kankanchal. These mainly include development of passenger facilities in Adibadri Dham, construction of Chhatri, renovation of Gauri Kund, rest houses for travelers etc. A survey has been conducted for these works and they will be completed soon.

Earlier, Mahant Shri Shivram Das of Adibadri Dham and newly appointed Mahant Shri Bhura Baba of Pashupati Nath temple thanked the Chief Minister for passing the order to convert the mining area into forest area immediately after the end of the strike.

The members of the delegation informed that immediately after the end of the sit-in on the instructions of the state government, the administration has issued approval for the construction of roads and reception gates in Pasopa and surrounding areas.

It also demanded protection of the hills of Brij region and batted for various development works at Pasopa in Bharatpur, mainly related to tourism and development prospects in the region.

National News

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




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




 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




 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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