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When Textile Minister Smriti Irani stitched a bond with a cobbler with her generosity

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Union minister Smriti Irani paid Rs 100 to a cobbler here for getting her slippers repaired and the latter, who had demanded only Rs 10 for the job, happily put in additional stitches on it with the incident going viral on the social media. The Union Textile Minister’s slipper strap had snapped as she alighted from a flight to address a session at Isha Foundation here, BJP sources said.She was looking for a cobbler and found one near Perur, around 16 kms from the airport, on her way to Isha Foundation. Irani, along with Tamil Nadu BJP general secretary Vanathi Srinivasan, got off the vehicle. She handed over the slipper to the cobbler and sat on a stool. The cobbler asked for Rs 10 for the stitching job. Irani placed a Rs 100 currency note near his cash box and said, “Change venda (change not needed),” repeating what Vanathi told her. The cobbler put in a few additional stitches on the Union minister’s slipper.The incident has gone viral on the social media with the netizens appreciating Irani’s gesture.

Delhi court dismisses fake degree complaint against Smriti Irani, says it was filed to ‘harrass’ her

New Delhi: In a relief to Smriti Irani, a Delhi court on Tuesday dismissed a complaint against her for allegedly giving false information on her educational qualification to the Election Commission, saying it was filed to “needlessly harass” her as she was a union minister.

Metropolitan Magistrate Harvinder Singh said there was a “great delay of around 11 years” in filing the complaint as it rejected the plea to summon her as an accused. “Therefore, prayer for summoning the proposed accused (Irani) is hearby declined,” the court said while pronouncing the order.

In his complaint, freelance writer Ahmer Khan had alleged that Irani, now Textiles Minister, had deliberately given discrepant information about her educational qualifications in affidavits filed before the Election Commission in 2004, 2011 and 2014 and not given any clarification, despite concerns raised on the issue. He had urged the court to take cognisance of the offences alleged in the plea under Section 125A of the RPA and “summon the accused person, Smriti Z Irani, for trial”.

“After conducting trial hold the accused guilty, convict and sentence the accused person in accordance with law, in the interest of justice to the complainant and also the public at large”, he had prayed.

File photo of Smriti Irani. PTI

File photo of Smriti Irani. PTI

The complainant had earlier claimed in court that in her affidavit for April 2004 Lok Sabha polls, Irani had said she completed her BA in 1996 from DU(School of Correspondence), whereas in another affidavit of 11 July, 2011 to contest Rajya Sabha election from Gujarat, she had said her highest educational qualification was BCom Part I from the School of Correspondence, DU. In the affidavit filed for nomination of 16 April, 2014 Lok Sabha polls from Amethi constituency in Uttar Pradesh, Irani said she had completed Bachelor of Commerce Part-I from School of Open Learning, DU. A poll panel official had earlier told the court that the documents filed by Irani regarding her academic qualification while filing nominations were not traceable. However, the information on this was available on its website, he had said.

The court, while declining the prayer, said the original evidence was already lost due to passage of several years and the court needed to be “relieved of the burden of adjudicating such inconsequential claim or case”. It said the fate of the case could be foreseen as inevitable failure as original evidence was lost due to the “great delay” and the complainant may not have even bothered to file the plea if Irani was not a central minister.

“So, where the original evidence has already been lost due to passage of number of years, the secondary evidence available will probably be not able to withstand the test of judicial scrutiny, there is great great delay of around 11 years in filing of the complaint…The said delay could not be condoned as complainant is not an aggrieved person, the complaint does not appear to have been filed for vindication of majesty of justice and maintenance of law and order, the complaint appears to have been filed to needlessly harass the proposed accused,” the magistrate said.

Section 125A of RPA deals with penalty for filing false affidavit and entails a jail term of up to six months or fine or both. The court said the alleged offence under the IPC entailed a maximum punishment of three years for which the limitation for filing the complaint was three years under the CrPC.

The court had on 20 November last year allowed the complainant’s plea seeking direction to the officials of EC and DU to bring the records of Irani’s qualifications after he said he was unable to place them before the court. In pursuance to the court’s earlier direction, Delhi University had also submitted that the documents pertaining to Irani’s BA course in 1996, as purportedly mentioned by her in an affidavit filed during 2004 Lok Sabha elections, were yet to be found.

Khan had alleged that Irani had knowingly furnished misleading information about her qualifications and that a candidate, deliberately giving incorrect details, could be punished under provisions of the IPC and under section 125A of the Representation of the People Act (RPA).

Smriti Irani fake degree row: Delhi Court to pronounce order today

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Patiala House court is to pronounce its order in the fake degree case of former Human Resources Development Minister Smriti Irani on Tuesday after the Election Commission submitted the required documents.Section 125A of RPA deals with penalty for filing a false affidavit and entails a jail term of up to six months or a fine or both.Metropolitan Magistrate Harvinder Singh reserved its order for today after the Election Commission filed the documents in a sealed cover relating to Irani’s educational qualification submitted by her for contesting the 2004 general elections.Irani had given information about her educational qualifications in affidavits to the Election Commission to contest various elections.In June last year, a case was filed by freelance writer Ahmer Khan, who accused Irani of providing contradictory affidavits about her educational qualifications during different elections.Following the court’s direction, Delhi University had also submitted that the documents pertaining to Irani’s B A course in 1996, mentioned by her in an affidavit filed during 2004 Lok Sabha elections, were yet to be found.However, while filing affidavit in her Rajya Sabha nomination papers from Gujarat in 2011, she said her highest educational qualification was B.com, Part 1 (correspondence course) from Delhi University.

Watch: Rohith Vemula says he’s Dalit in video; probe claims he wasn’t

“My name is Rohith Vemula. I came from Guntur. I am a Dalit,” says Rohith Vemula in a video (that emerged on Sunday) after he was asked to leave the University of Hyderabad hostel.

Twenty-six-year-old Vemula committed suicide on 17 January, 2016 after he and four other students were suspended from the hostel following a disciplinary action initiated by the university administration based on a complaint of an ABVP student leader lodged in August.

The ABVP student had alleged that Vemula and other members of the the Ambedkar Students Association (ASA) had roughed him up and demanded an apology for posting an ‘angry’ Facebook post, after the ASA protested against the hanging of Yakub Memon. After the ABVP leader’s complaint, the university’s proctorial board launched an enquiry into the matter and recommended strict action against Vemula and others.

In the video, Vemula claims that such skirmishes with ABVP weren’t new and that in 2012, he was kept in policy custody for a couple of days.

Vemula’s suicide drew a lot of attention and ire from various student groups and led to violent sit-ins in the university campus.

The case gained importance because of alleged caste discrimination. Vemula’s caste has been at the centre of the issue — with various parties claiming that he was not really Dalit and alleging that his family had lied about it.

A one-man judicial commission set up to probe the circumstances surrounding Vemula’s suicide submitted its findings in August, which stated that Vemula’s mother had branded herself as Dalit only to obtain caste benefits and that the university was not at fault for expelling Vemula from the hostel. A

According to this earlier Firstpost report, the 41-page-report puts the varsity authorities in the clear stating that the disciplinary action taken by the administration were “not politically motivated” and that personal frustration, not discrimination led to Vemula’s suicide. The report also gave a clean chit to Union ministers Bandaru Dattatreya and Smriti Irani, who it was alleged put undue pressure on the university to act against Vemula, stating that they were “merely discharging their duties as public servants”.

The one-man committee, constituted 11 days after Vemula’s suicide by the then Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani to probe Vemula’s death, is based on the deposition of close to 50 people, most of whom are University staff and teachers.

If it is established that Vemula was a Dalit and his suicide was due to discrimination, then legal action against all accused, including Dattatreya and university vice-chancellor Appa Rao Podile will be taken as per the more stringent SC/ST Atrocities (Prevention) Act. If found guilty, not only will the quantum of punishment be stringent, but according to the new law, there is a presumption to the offence clause in the Act according to which the court may assume that the accused was aware of the victim’s caste identity unless proved otherwise.

Smriti Irani’s degree row: EC submits document in Patiala Court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Election Commission has submitted the required document regarding the case about Smriti Irani’s alleged fake degree in Patiala House Court, which will pronounce order in the case on October 18. A city court had asked the Delhi State Election Commission to file certain records relating to Union Minister Smriti Irani’s educational qualification, filed by her while contesting 2004 general elections, on a complaint alleging she had given false information in her affidavit given to the poll panel.Metropolitan Magistrate Harvinder Singh, who was expected to pronounce the order on whether to summon the politician as accused in the case, directed Election Commission officials to file the documents after noting that some clarifications were required in the matter. During earlier hearings of the complaint filed by freelance writer Ahmer Khan, the court was told by a poll panel official that the documents filed by Irani regarding her educational qualification while filing nominations were not traceable. However, the information on this was available on its website, he had said. In pursuance to the court’s earlier direction, Delhi University had also submitted that the documents pertaining to Irani’s BA course in 1996, as purportedly mentioned by her in an affidavit filed during 2004 Lok Sabha elections, were yet to be found. The court had on November 20 last year allowed the complainant’s plea seeking direction to the officials of EC and DU to bring the records of Irani’s qualifications after he said he was unable to place them before the court. The complainant had alleged that Irani had deliberately given discrepant information about her educational qualifications in affidavits filed before the poll panel in 2004, 2011 and 2014 and not given any clarification despite concerns being raised on the issue. Khan had alleged that Irani had knowingly furnished misleading information about her qualifications and that a candidate, deliberately giving incorrect details, could be punished under provisions of the IPC and under section 125A of the Representation of the People Act (RPA). Section 125A of RPA deals with penalty for filing false affidavit and entails a jail term of up to six months or fine or both.

HRD to take NITI Aayog’s approval before finalising new education policy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister, Prakash Javadekar told DNA, that the ministry is going to take approval from Niti Aayog, before bringing out the final draft of the new education policy. Javadekar added that he will be holding a workshop with all the Members of Parliament cutting across party lines. “We will hold a workshop of all the MPs on November 10 to discuss education related issues and suggestions received. I welcome everyone who has an expertise in the field,” said Javadekar.The idea of holding a workshop with the MPs was originally suggested by Jairam Ramesh during the last discussion on Education Policy, which lasted for about three hours. It was suggested that since everyone has a lot to contribute in the issue, the duration of discussion should be longer. The ministry is also in touch with Niti Aayog for discussions on the policy. “We are in touch with Niti Aayog and will take a final decision on the education policy only after analysing all the aspects,” Javadekar added.The new education policy,which is aimed at bringing changes in the structure of education in the country from primary to higher education was initiated in the tenure of the previous HRD Minister, Smriti Irani. It however, came under controversy after a number of suggestions made by RSS’s education unit were found to be regressive by educationists. Javadekar, after assuming the charge of education minister started a discussion on the policy once again. The last date of submitting the suggestions was September 30.

NCERT advises Centre against scrapping ‘no detention’ policy, says dropout rate will rise

With changes in power structure comes changes in policies. The human resource development ministry which witnessed a major change a couple of months back with the installation of Prakash Javadekar as the head and removal of Smriti Irani has taken up the task of changing rules and policies.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has advised the central government against scrapping the “no detention” policy, reported The Economic Times.

The report quoted the apex education advisory body’s director Hrushikesh Senapathy as saying, “The policy has been most effective in checking school dropout rate and doing away with it could lead to a spiral in the number of schoolgoers dropping out.”

The Javadekar-led ministry has been keenly pushing for doing away with the “no detention” clause under the Right to Education Act.

According to NCERT’s website, “the RTE Act prohibits any public examination up to class VIII and no detention policy has to continue.”

The RTE Act, 2009 introduced the provision of no detention under article 16. The article states, “No child admitted in a school shall be held back in any class or expelled from school till the completion of elementary education”.

According to the International Journal of Humanities and Social Science Studies, the act proposes no detention up to class VIII in order to increase retention of children in schools by way of no pass-fail system and to realise the goal of universalisation of elementary education.

The policy also states that a child cannot be detained in the same class or expelled for consecutive years. The child will be promoted to the next level automatically irrespective of its performance.

The policy has been a topic of argument and centre of controversies since it was introduced. Teachers and academicians are of the view that this policy deteriorates the level of education. The quality has been going down since it was introduced, some argue.

The HRD ministry referred the issue to the law ministry and sought its advice on whether the clause can be done away with through a non-legislative method instead of taking the longer route of amending the RTE Act.

According to a report by The Indian Express, almost 18 states want this policy to be repealed and had submitted a report to Irani in May 2016 suggesting that the government bring back the pass-fail system from standard VI.

However, it also recommended that in case a child does not pass in the first instance, he or she should be given two more chances to appear in the exam.

Senapathy counters the arguments against the policy by saying, “Scrapping it is not the real solution. You can scrap no-detention policy but once you scrap it, dropout rate will increase.”

According to him, the policy itself is not the problem, the implementation is. The policy should be retained while improving teaching simultaneously, he added.

Smriti Irani’s fake degree row: Court summons documents from EC

New Delhi: A city court on Thursday asked the Delhi State Election Commission to file certain records relating to Union Minister Smriti Irani’s educational qualification, filed by her while contesting 2004 general elections, on a complaint alleging she had given false information in her affidavit given to the poll panel.

Metropolitan Magistrate Harvinder Singh, who was expected to pronounce the order on whether to summon the politician as accused in the case, directed Election Commission officials to file the documents after noting that some clarifications were required in the matter.

Union Minister Smriti Irani. PTIUnion Minister Smriti Irani. PTI

Union Minister Smriti Irani. PTI

During earlier hearings of the complaint filed by freelance writer Ahmer Khan, the court was told by a poll panel official that the documents filed by Irani regarding her educational qualification while filing nominations were not traceable. However, the information on this was available on its website, he had said.

In pursuance to the court’s earlier direction, Delhi University had also submitted that the documents pertaining to Irani’s BA course in 1996, as purportedly mentioned by her in an affidavit filed during 2004 Lok Sabha elections, were yet to be found.

The court had on 20 November last year allowed the complainant’s plea seeking direction to the officials of EC and DU to bring the records of Irani’s qualifications after he said he was unable to place them before the court.

The complainant had alleged that Irani had deliberately given discrepant information about her educational qualifications in affidavits filed before the poll panel in 2004, 2011 and 2014 and not given any clarification despite concerns being raised on the issue.

Khan had alleged that Irani had knowingly furnished misleading information about her qualifications and that a candidate, deliberately giving incorrect details, could be punished under provisions of the IPC and under section 125A of the Representation of the People Act (RPA).

Section 125A of RPA deals with penalty for filing false affidavit and entails a jail term of up to six months or fine or both.

Fake degree row: Delhi court to decide on summoning Smriti Irani on October 6

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Delhi court would on October 6 decide on whether to summon Union Minister Smriti Irani on a complaint filed against her for allegedly giving false information regarding her academic qualifications in affidavits to the Election Commission. Metropolitan Magistrate Harvinder Singh, who was scheduled to pronounce the order today, put it off saying the order was not ready.The court had reserved its order after hearing arguments advanced by complainant Ahmer Khan, a freelance writer, and going through the reports submitted by the Election Commission and Delhi University regarding Irani’s educational degrees. The court was earlier told by an official appearing for the poll panel that the documents filed by Irani regarding her educational qualification while filing nominations were not traceable. However, the information on this was available on its website, it had said.In pursuance to the court’s earlier direction, DU had also submitted that the documents pertaining to Irani’s BA course in 1996, as purportedly mentioned by her in an affidavit filed during 2004 Lok Sabha elections, were yet to be found. The court had on November 20 last year allowed the complainant’s plea seeking direction to the officials of EC and DU to bring the records of Irani’s qualifications after he said he was unable to place them before the court.The complainant had alleged that Irani had deliberately given discrepant information about her educational qualifications in affidavits filed before the poll panel in 2004, 2011 and 2014 and not given any clarification despite concerns being raised on the issue. Khan had alleged that Irani had knowingly furnished misleading information about her qualifications in affidavits filed before EC and that a candidate, deliberately giving incorrect details, could be punished under provisions of the IPC and under section 125A of the Representation of the People Act (RPA). Section 125A of RPA deals with penalty for filing false affidavit and entails a jail term of up to six months or fine or both.

HRD minister Javadekar greets Jamia Milia girls amid discontent, tries to bond over women empowerment

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as the Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar chose Jamia Milia Islamia University as the first Central university that he visited after assuming the charge, he was welcomed there amidst discontent, among girl students.Though the minister who visited the institute on Wednesday to inaugurate a newly-built girl’s hostel in the university tried to strike a chord with the students by talking about women empowerment and praising the efforts of girl students, it did not seem to work with many.”In older days, it was very difficult for women to study, when the university was founded in the year 1920, it would have been unimaginable for women to study, but today we are creating a safe and secure environment for women from all over the country to come and study. When you educate a woman, you educate an entire family. All this is women empowerment,” Javadekar said while addressing students in the university campus.One of the students who attended the event said on condition of anonymity: “We were really disappointed about what he said about women empowerment. The way he put out his ideas about women empowerment, it felt like 10 years ago.”Women students of Jamia had earlier written an open letter to the administration expressing their unwillingness to welcome the minister, who, according to them, belongs to a political ideology that does not respect women. The students had also planned a protest in the university, to express their discontent about the minister’s visit. They were however issued strict instructions by the administration to let the event go peacefully.One of the students who wrote the open letter said: “In places like Jamia you are constantly under scrutiny and hence we could not say anything in public. The open letter that we wrote was also a way of expressing our side of the issue.”Javadekar also spoke about providing more opportunities to students from Kashmir by giving them more scholarships. A large part of his speech was about the Prime Minister’s education schemes. The former HRD Minister Smriti Irani has also faced the ire of students during one of her visits to university.

Smriti Irani targets Rahul Gandhi in his constituency Amethi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Targeting Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, Union minister Smriti Irani on Sunday alleged that the “elected representative” from the Amethi Lok Sabha constituency has failed to address the issues of its people, and promised that she will look into their grievances.”The elected representative may not resolve people’s issue but I, as a central minister, will look into them,” she said.The minister was on a visit to Pipri village in the constituency, where an embankment on Gomti river will be built to prevent it from overflowing. “The project has been sanctioned by the Union Water Resources Ministry. The villagers boycotted the 2014 Lok Sabha polls…The Union government is undertaking the project to save people from floods,” she said.Irani also inaugurated a health camp in Haliapur village in the Jagdishpur assembly segment.

Inside India’s ‘dying’ Irani cafes

Persian-style Irani cafes have been a part of Mumbai’s culture since the 19th Century, but these institutions are steadily dying out.

International Yoga Day: Smriti Irani urges parents, teachers to practice yoga with kids

Parents and teachers should spend time with children practising yoga as scientific evidence shows that the ancient exercise form improves motor skills and hand-eye coordination, HRD Minister Smriti Irani said on Tuesday. “If you look at scientific evidence, yoga improves motor skills and also makes hand-eye coordination better,” Irani said as she asked teacher and parents to inculcate this habit in children. The HRD Minister was speaking at the first ‘National Yoga Olympiad’ organised by the NCERT where over 300 students from 21 states, including those who were differently-abled performed various ‘asanas’. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>AYUSH Minister Shripad Naik, who was also present at the event, said there should be an International Yoga Olympiad organised along the lines of the national event. Irani said she hoped that next year, the Olympiad will attract participants from all states of the country. Urging school children to practice yoga, she also said this year six central universities will start full-fledged Yoga Departments and offer courses in this subject. Officials said students from all communities and regions participated in the event.

Smriti Irani assures parents mid-session fee hike in private schools won’t be allowed

Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani said, “We have proposed to states that if private schools want to hike fees in the beginning of a session, it has to be done in consultations with parent-teacher associations, but we will not allow mid-session fee hike”. Private schools will not be allowed to hike fees in the middle of a session and any increase at the start of the academic year would also need to be consulted with parent-teacher associations, Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani said on Sunday.”We have proposed to states that if private schools want to hike fees in the beginning of a session, it has to be done in consultations with parent-teacher associations, but we will not allow mid-session fee hike,” Irani said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>There has been a growing resentment among parents about inordinately high private school fees, the Minister said, adding that her ministry has received several complaints regarding the issue. The Centre has proposed this to states, Irani said, adding the Punjab government has will soon take a decision on this matter.
ALSO READ Education policy draft being sent to states for suggestions: Smriti IraniIrani was in Amritsar to attend the foundation stone laying ceremony of IIM-Amritsar’s new campus. Irani assured full support to the Punjab government in its plans to consolidate schools lacking proper amenities. “The Government of India has asked the state if they want to consolidate the schools… where the schools lack proper infrastructure and if they want to tie up with bigger schools, then the Centre will fully support the state so that from class 1-12 can study under one roof with full amenities,” Irani said.

Will not allow mid-session fee hike by private schools: Smriti Irani

Amritsar: Private schools will not be allowed to hike fees in the middle of a session and any increase at the start of the academic year would also need to be consulted with parent-teacher associations, Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani said on Sunday.

“We have proposed to states that if private schools want to hike fees in the beginning of a session, it has to be done in consultations with parent-teacher associations, but we will not allow mid-session fee hike,” Irani said.

A file photo of Smriti Irani. PTIA file photo of Smriti Irani. PTI

A file photo of Smriti Irani. PTI

There has been a growing resentment among parents about inordinately high private school fees, the Minister said, adding that her ministry has received several complaints regarding the issue.

The Centre has proposed this to states, Irani said, adding the Punjab government will soon take a decision on this matter.

Irani was here to attend the foundation stone laying ceremony of IIM-Amritsar’s own campus.

Irani assured full support to the Punjab government in its plans to consolidate schools lacking proper amenities.

“The Government of India has asked the state if they want to consolidate the schools… where the schools lack proper infrastructure and if they want to tie up with bigger schools, then the Centre will fully support the state so that from class 1-12 can study under one roof with full amenities,” Irani said.

Education and agriculture should go hand in hand: Jaitley as he lays foundation stone for IIM-Amritsar

Amritsar: Education and agriculture will have to go hand in hand for India’s development as has been the case in countries like Japan and South Korea, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Sunday as he laid the foundation stone for a new campus of IIM-Amritsar.

This would be the own campus of IIM-Amritsar, the 15th Indian Institute of Management in the country, which has been so far operating from a temporary facility.

Jaitley said the government and private companies will have to join hands for taking the education sector forward in Punjab.

Stressing that 55 percent of people are engaged in agriculture, Jaitley pointed at rising unemployment in the farm sector which has forced people to look at other sectors for income and stressed on the need for good quality education.

He also said that the government’s efforts to develop the premier institute in Punjab will encourage more educational institutes to set up campuses in the state.

“Education and agriculture will have to go hand in hand as we have seen in other countries like Japan and South Korea… Government and private institutions both will have to contribute for development of education in India,” Jaitley said.

The Union Minister also highlighted the contribution of Narendra Modi government in bringing reputed institutions like the AIIMs and IIMs to Punjab.

A file photo of Arun Jaitley. PTIA file photo of Arun Jaitley. PTI

A file photo of Arun Jaitley. PTI

The new campus of IIM-Amritsar, which commenced its first batch last year out of a temporary facility, will be built on a 60-acre land in Manawala on the National Highway-1.

Union Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal also attended the event.

“In the coming years, IIM-Amritsar will become a premier educational institution,” Jaitley said.

In her address, Irani said that she hoped IIM-Amritsar will soon be among the top-five institutes of the country.

“I hope in Punjab, which is known for farmers, milk and agro processing, the IIM-Amritsar will have courses as per the state’s priorities,” Irani said.

Jaitley in his first Budget in July 2014 had announced setting up of five new IIMs in Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab, Maharashtra, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.

Amritsar was chosen in Punjab for setting up the IIM. Jaitley had in 2014 unsuccessfully contested Lok Sabha election from Amritsar, where he lost to former Chief Minister Captain Amrinder Singh of Congress.

The IIM at Amritsar is reported to be the smallest among the IIMs in the country. Most of the 14 existing IIMs have 90 acres or more land for their campuses.

IIM Calcutta was the first IIM to be set up in November 1961 followed by ones at Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Lucknow, Kozhikode, Indore, Shillong, Rohtak, Ranchi, Raipur, Trichy, Kashipur, Udaipur and Visakhapatnam.

In the Union budget presented on 28 Feb, 2015, two more IIMs were announced at Jammu and Kashmir and Telangana.

Smriti Irani has her task cut out: India’s never had a good record on human resource development

India’s first education minister was Abul Kalam Azad. He was a serious intellectual and one of the best read men in politics anywhere in the world. He is called ‘Maulana’ because of his knowledge of religion. His work simplifying the Quran is still the standard text followed by maulvis in India and Pakistan. His knowledge of history and literature was unmatched in the Congress.

In 1931, when Nehru wrote the beautiful 900-page ‘Glimpses of World History’ from jail, he had no reference books to check facts and dates. But he had Azad and his encyclopaedic knowledge about everything from the history of ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome to tea in China. As education minister in independent India, Azad founded the Sahitya Akademi. My point in saying all this is to show that many great people have held this office in the past.

Today, the education ministry has a different name. It is called the ministry of human resource development and it is headed by the actress Smriti Irani. She believes she has been doing a good job as minister, though even some supporters of Narendra Modi think she is not, because they see her lacking in education and experience.

A school in Delhi. Representational image. ReutersA school in Delhi. Representational image. Reuters

A school in Delhi. Representational image. Reuters

A few days ago, Irani listed some of her achievements which included the following: Over 4 lakh school toilets made in one year, focused interventions to improve maths and science levels and focused interventions to improve reading and writing levels. She claimed many of these things were being done for the first time under her direction.

She listed many other things, including installation of statues and innovations in recording attendance and so on, but for now let us look at these. What is the problem of education in India? The biggest one is the quality of primary education. Almost everything is going wrong here. There are no proper facilities, teachers often do not show up, the free food served is so casually prepared that children sometimes die of food poisoning. The government has failed to do this vital work properly, forcing even the poor to send their children to private schools. In 2006, fewer than 20% of students were in private schools, and 10 years later, it is more than 30%. Even here, the quality is variable and many private schools are worse than government schools.

The result is that the majority of students produced by our schools are not educated. The best annual survey of education in India is conducted by the organisation Pratham. It will be instructive to look at its findings for Gujarat. In 2014, only 22% of Class 7 students in rural Gujarat could read a sentence in English. This number was 37% in 2007, and so the education standard is actually falling, even in a state which most Indians believe had good governance.

Of the Class 5 students tested, the number was 6%, meaning that 94% of Gujarat’s students aged 10 could not read a single sentence in English. I should add here that over 20,000 students were surveyed so the sample size is very big.

Less than half (44%) of students in Class 5 had Class 3 level reading ability in Gujarati. This number also had deteriorated over the years. Only one-third (35%) of students in Class 3 had Class 1 reading ability in Gujarati and this number had deteriorated by 10% since 2007. The data is from government schools, but even the numbers from private schools are similar. For example, 13% of Class 5 students in government schools could do division. The number for private schools was only 16%. Gujaratis, among all Indians, are supposed to be born businessmen, but if more than 80% of them do not have the ability to do basic arithmetic, the future is grim.

Some of the blame can be put down to a lack of resource. The government of the United States spends $115,000 on the education of each American child from age 6 to 15. This means that Rs 7 lakh is spent per child per year. This is unimaginable in India. We will require a hundred years to reach that level. But we must also accept that there are poor countries that do not have our problems. Education in Zimbabwe, which has a per capita income lower than that of India, is superior to ours. The issue is not only a lack of money.

I often write that the problems of India are only partly those of government. The big issues are in society and they cannot be changed by a minister no matter how brilliant she may be or think or herself as being. India is producing barely literate and unemployable citizens. They will not be productive and, for no fault of their own, will not be equipped to work in the modern economy. We are failing to develop our human resource. It is something our human resource development minister should accept with humility, because it is not her fault. Even though she believes new things are being done for the first time under her, many great people have done the job she is doing today and all have failed.

Smriti Irani, what can we Indians call thee, ‘dear’ saas jo kabhi bahu thi?

What do we Indians call thee,
Our Twitter-happy Mantri ji?
Dear makes her ears red,
Mata ji is cruelly inept,
For aunty, her hair isn’t gray,
See, already not many in fray.

What do we Indians call thee,
Our anger-on-nose Queen Bee?
Bengal has a patent over Didi,
UP says there’s just one Behenji,
Punjabis would object to Bibi,
That’s just Jagir Kaur, unfortunately.

So, what do we call thee,
The one with a Yale degree?
Smriti would not make you happy,
And Irani could just be geography.
No first name, no surname,
Oh, what a terrible linguistic shame!

What do we Indians call thee,
Dear saas that kabhi bahu thi?
You deserve, nee, demand a salutation,
That won’t lead to a silly situation,
Where, imagine our sorry plight,
You perceive a non-existent slight.

Since we tried all options in Hindi,
From history, across Geography,
Amma, Bibi, Behenji and Didi,
Saas, bahu.. everything that could Be,
Let’s see if we can find for thee,
Something suitable in Queen’s Angrezi.

Would you mind, Her Excellency,
If, out of bewildered awe and fear,
Instead of epistolary niceties like Dear,
We called you just Her Petulancy?
For, since you joined Modi’s Cabinet,
We have seen you regularly fulminate.

Woe betide the one who asks a question,
Seeks a clarification or asks for action.
For everything you have just one formula,
Treat them all like poor Rohith Vemula.
Deny, discard, humiliate, grind them to dust,
In the end, accept defeat they all must.

For everything you have just a steely glare,
Bellicose words with which you declare:
“Will chop off my head, if I am wrong,”
This war cry has been your standard song.
That’s why, Her Excellency of HRD,
Her Petulancy we’d love to call Thee.

‘Dear’ controversy: Smriti Irani lashes out at detractors, says successful women will continue to crack the whip

Following a twitter tiff with Bihar Education Minister Ashok Choudhary over being addressed as ‘dear’ by him, Union Human Resource and Development (HRD) Minister Smriti Irani has hit back at the former with an open letter signed as ‘Aunty National’ on her official Facebook page while throwing light on the struggles faced by women in the country.”As those who scream murder and whip themselves up into a feminist frenzy at the drop of a hat tried to ‘endear’ themselves to me on Twitter, I reflected on the near “Jerry Maguire” like moment that was upon me,” Irani wrote on Facebook.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>From giving an account of her achievements as a television star, Irani also wrote about her hard political battles. Irani also laid emphasis on the initiatives taken by her after taking charge of the HRD Ministry.
ALSO READ ‘Dear’ controversy: Bihar’s education minister apologises to Smriti Irani”So while many working women battle this challenge in confined working spaces, I spat it out on twitter for my office travels with me. But then there are some who say why talk about yourself at all, surely one day they shall realise the amount of work you have done,” she added.Listing the achievements, she added, “So to those girls walking with their heads down, look up and speak up; those women cracking the whip in their offices and asking their counterparts to finish the work assigned in the time frame prescribed, lead on. As for me, next time you blog – remember the sagely advice given when you joined politics, till you don’t have your own coterie of journalists, don’t expect support to come pouring in through editorials “kyunki nuksaan tumhara hoga unka kuch nahi bigdega.” Bihar Education Minister Ashok Choudhary had on Monday firmly stood his ground on the issue of addressing Union HRD Smriti Irani as “dear” and cited several references, including that of Prime Minister Narendra Modi using the word to address singer Asha Bhosle.Choudhary also posted on his Twitter account, a letter written by Union minister for Labour Bandaru Dattatreya to Irani using “dear”, and accused her of “double standards” on this count.Read the full post here.

‘Why zip it’: Smriti Irani’s FB salvo is a must-read for every Aunty National

New Delhi: On Wednesday, Smriti Irani posted a long open letter signed as ‘Aunty National’ on her official Facebook page — she beautifully described the struggles women have to face on a daily basis and as to why she will be unapologetic about who she is and the hard work she does and that nothing and nobody can take away that from her or any other working woman. “So while many working women battle this challenge in confined working spaces, I spat it out on twitter for my office travels with me. But then there are some who say why talk about yourself at all, surely one day they shall realise the amount of work you have done. To them is dedicated the following checklist which is otherwise drowned in the noise…” she wrote.

And she does have a point to make; earlier, Union Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani and Bihar Education Minister Ashok Chaudhary had indulged in a verbal duel on Twitter, triggered by the use of ‘dear’ word by Chaudhary. Irani objected to Chaudhary’s tweet when he taunted her about the new National Education Policy’s progress.

Both Irani and Chaudhary were trolled by the twitterati for their “unhealthy remarks” throughout the day.

“Dear Smriti ji spare some time for education policy too if you get time from speech and politics,” Chaudhary said in a tweet that kicked off their face-off on the social media.

Smriti Irani. AFPSmriti Irani. AFP

Smriti Irani. AFP

Irani responded by expressing displeasure for being addressed as ‘dear’. “When did you start addressing women by using dear Ashok ji?” asked Irani. “Not to disrespect but educate… professional emails start with “dear”. @smritiirani ji kabhi mudde pe jawab dijiye (please reply on the issue) don’t circle around it,” said Chaudhary.

“@AshokChoudhaary sir I hope you do find time in your busy schedule to contribute to the education policy. Await state feedback,” said Irani in her next tweet.

“@smritiirani “Thx for the high honor, glad to know delivery and non-delivery of NEP (National Education Policy) is on me. Hope Modi ji shares the credit with me too,” said the Bihar minister.

The union minister, who was in Bihar on Tuesday, neither met Chaudhary nor Education Secretary of Bihar. According to her none of the two could spare time to discuss the policy.

“@AshokChoudhaary we invited sir neither minister nor secretary education turned up. Entire proceedings were videographed. Plz,” said Irani in another tweet.

Here’s the full text of her Facebook post (it has not been edited by Firstpost):

As the politician mumbled apologies and explained his “position” regarding the twitter spat to my state leader on the mobile while our contingent drove back from Bhagalpur last night; I watched his supporters trend a hashtag in my name, irrespective of their neta’s public apology. As those who scream murder and whip themselves up into a feminist frenzy at the drop of a hat tried to “endear” themselves to me on Twitter, I reflected on the near “Jerry Maguire” like moment that was upon me.
Growing up in a middle class environment (Lutyen’s zone excluded), many girls who would walk to school / college and back home every day, go to the bazaar to get groceries and adequate sabzi in a given budget, would often be told if accosted by a boy or a bunch of them, don’t look up and keep walking straight. Don’t respond or retort no matter how humiliated you feel. But there would be those rebellious kinds (yours truly included), who would question why? Why not respond? Why zip it? The standard answer such a question begets is “It is not worth it. Nuksaan tumhara hoga , ladke ka kuch nahi bigadega”.
Cut to- you grow up and become a TV star. But while you still struggle to make a mark you are advised that if you go to parties and mingle enough, you shall get work. You stoutly refuse as you believe that your talent and hardwork are the only precursors to success, how full your social calender is should not matter. You are scoffed at and brushed off as naive. But lo and behold, you do succeed. You bag all the awards that matter, TRPs soar through the roof and all the naysayers grudgingly accept that you have arrived (though they do take occasional pot shots as their work profile demands).
And then politics happens. Not when you are a fading star, not when you are unemployed but when you are at the peak of your success. You are given the hard battles to fight, you accept (Chandini Chowk & Amethi were no cakewalk my friends). You work from the grassroots up. Serve as Youth Wing Vice-President in State, become State Secretary, 5 times National Executive Member, 2 times National Secretary and once the National President of Women’s Wing. You become possibly the youngest ever woman to be nominated to the Rajya Sabha, speak on issues ranging from the budget to women’s security. You represent your Nation in the International Parliamentary Union, get unanimously elected to represent the Asia Pacific region,become part of the drafting committee on the Syrian crisis and yet some “intellectual” says “anpad” the minute you are given the opportunity to serve as HRD Minister.
And suddenly the rules change. You, the creature who on every podium exalts the right of women to speak their mind is told don’t speak your mind. Ignore the trolls no matter how high they serve in their political systems. Ignore public attempts to humiliate you through sexual innuendos “kyunki nuksaan tumhara hoga unka kuch nahi bigadega”.
Ask any working woman, what do you do when your colleague does not finish their assignment on time brushes off your attempt at ensuring accountability and if push comes to shove is cocky enough to gang up with other boys in the club to paint you as either too wound up, to dumb or not competent enough; the successful women always tell you that they continue to crack the whip. For there will come a time when the colleague says “Fine! I’ll get the work done”.
So while many working women battle this challenge in confined working spaces, I spat it out on twitter for my office travels with me. But then there are some who say why talk about yourself at all, surely one day they shall realise the amount of work you have done. To them is dedicated the following checklist which is otherwise drowned in the noise:
• Over 4 lakh 17 thousand school toilets made in one year – check
• First time ever all NCERT school text books from classes 1 to 12 available free online – ePathshala- check
• First time ever all Kendriya Vidyalayas are providing SMS to alert parents of student attendance and lesson details- Shala Darpan- check
• First time ever benchmarking of student performances in CBSE schools-Saraansh- check
• First time ever, school evaluation system focused on learning outcomes-Shaala Siddhi- Check
• First time ever, a mentoring and scholarship program to send our girls to technical institutes- UDAAN- check
• First time ever, all teachers trained in inclusive education to facilitate students with special needs- check
• First time ever, 10,000 undegraduate scholarships and exposure visits for students from the Northeastunder Ishan Uday and Ishan Vikas- check
• First time ever, focused interventions to improve Math and Science levels- Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan- check
• First time ever, focused interventions to improve reading and writing levels- Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat- check
• First time ever, the UGC Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal of Sexual Harassment of Women Employees and Students in HEIs to protect women employees and students- check
• First time ever, a portal dedicated to Indian languages- Bharatvani-check
• First time ever, collaborated effort to focus research on the development goal posts of the country- IMPRINT- check
• First time ever, SAARC Declaration on Education– check
• First time ever, Aryabhata’s bust installed at UNESCO headquarters to acknowledge India’s contribution in mathematics and astronomy-check
• First time ever,IIT fee waivers for economically weaker sections- check
• First time ever, collaborations with Standford, University of Pennsylvania and MIT to strengthen HEIs in India- check
• First time ever, focused effort to bring high quality international faculty to teach in India through GIAN – check
• First time ever, a credit framework to pursue formal education and vocational training- SAMVAY- check
• First time ever, a national institutional rankings framework- check
• First time ever, a grassroots based consultation on developing a national policy, including over 2 lakh village education committees-check..
…. and the list goes on…
So to those girls walking with their heads down, look up and speak up; those women cracking the whip in their offices and asking their counterparts to finish the work assigned in the time frame prescribed, lead on. As for me, next time you blog – remember the sagely advice given when you joined politics, till you don’t have your own coterie of journalists, don’t expect support to come pouring in through editorials “kyunki nuksaan tumhara hoga unka kuch nahi bigdega”

Regards,
Aunty National

with inputs from IANS

Bihar education minister stands firm on addressing Smriti Irani as ‘Dear’, pulls up past instances

Bihar Education Minister Ashok Choudhary on Wednesday firmly stood his ground on the issue of addressing Union HRD Smriti Irani as “dear” and cited several references, including that of Prime Minister Narendra Modi using the word to address singer Asha Bhosle.Choudhary also posted on his Twitter account, a letter written by Union minister for Labour Bandaru Dattatreya to Irani using “dear”, and accused her of “double standards” on this count.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”You accept ‘dear’ of others but have objection about me using the same,” Choudhary said while referring to his Twitter spat with the Union HRD minister.The Bihar minister retweeted US President Barack Obama’s tweet in the past where he had said the word “dear” is gender neutral, and advised Irani to refer to the ‘Wren and Martin’ grammar book.Choudhary, who is also Bihar Congress President, referred to a past tweet of Prime Minister Narendra Modi- “[email protected] Tai, pained on the unfortunate demise of your son. My thoughts are with you during this hour of grief.” Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav sided with Choudhary and gave a casteist angle to the controversy by saying “Can’t a dalit use ‘dear’?”The Congress workers also joined the “dear” war on Wednesday and addressed their minister as “Dear Ashok Choudhary jee” when he visited the party head quarters Sadaquat Ashram in Patna.The Education minister in Nitish Kumar cabinet and Irani were on Tuesday locked in a bitter war of words on Twitter after the Congress leader addressed her as “dear”. Issues of etiquette in official communication also cropped up during the barrage of tweets unleashed against each other.Choudhary in a tweet had referred to the Human Resources Development (HRD) minister as “Dear” Smriti Irani ji and said that rather than focus on politics and speeches, she should pay attention to the New Education Policy (NEP).Irani shot back, asking Choudhary since when he began addressing women as “dear”. “Mahilaon ko ‘dear’ keh ke kab se sambodhit karne lage Ashokji?”

‘Dear’ controversy: Bihar’s education minister apologises to Smriti Irani

On Tuesday, Union HRD minister Smriti Irani got into a Twitter battle with Bihar Congress president Dr Ashok Choudhary after she objected to being addressed as ‘dear’. This led Choudhary to reply that professional mails started by addressing the recipient with the honorific dear and she should instead focus on her ministry. This led Irani to point out that Bihar was the only state that didn’t take part in grass root consultations for education policy. Choudhary wasn’t done though as he shared a link of the HRD’s ministry report of Bihar’s consultation on educational policies.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>And turned into a grammar Nazi as well!Smriti Irani’s Twitter battle came a day after Sushma Swaraj trolled a user who wanted help with a refrigerator. Reacting to the incident, Ashok Choudhary apologised for his action. He told ANI: “I had very respectfully asked in a tweet “Dear Smriti ji, when is new Education policy going to come. Don’t know what did she find so offensive in ‘Dear’. Don’t think there is any kind of disrespect in this. But I still apologize to Smriti Irani ji if I have hurt her feelings in any way.”

CBSE Class 10 results will be out this week: Here’s what you need to know

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is likely to declare the results of the Class X examinations on 27 or 28 May on the official websites cbseresults.nic.in or results.nic.in, according to a report by The Financial Express.

The class X exams started on 1 March and finished on 28 March, with a total of 13,73,853 students appearing for them, according to The Indian Express. The report also added that some questions in the mathematics paper were out of syllabus as claimed by some students.

In the class XII results that were announced on 21 May, girls once again outperformed boys with a pass percentage of 88.58. Boys, meanwhile, recorded 78.85 percent. South India has done better than the other regions with the highest being the Thiruvanathapuram region at 97.61 percent, followed by Chennai at 92.63 percent. For Class XII students, digital marksheets will be available at digilocker.gov.in and the credentials for which will be sent to students via text on their mobile number registered with CBSE.

Smriti Irani, Minister for Human Resource Development took to Twitter to offer her congratulations to class XII students:

In conversation with students on social media, Smriti Irani also assured that the class X CBSE results would be declared before 31 May, according to a report by India Today.

To curb coaching menace, HRD to bring IIT preparation app: Smriti Irani

New Delhi: Aiming to combat the “menace” of coaching, the HRD ministry is coming up a mobile app and portal containing free lectures from IIT faculty on various subjects and previous years’ question papers of entrance tests to these prestigious engineering institutions.

HRD Minister Smriti Irani on Wednesday said it has also been decided that the questions in the IIT-JEE entrance test would conform to class XII syllabus.

Speaking at an event organised by Education Private Society for India (EPSFI), a body comprising private deemed universities, Irani said her ministry aims to resolve the various regulatory issues faced by these bodies while expressing concern over commercialisation of education.

Referring to the “menace of the coaching industry”, Irani said one of the biggest pressures on students preparing for IIT entrance exam is to seek outside help in preparation.

“That is why the government has decided to dedicate in the forthcoming two months, an IIT-Pal portal and mobile app on which 50 years of IIT (entrance) examination papers will be available free of cost.

“In all segments of knowledge on the basis of which students take the IIT entrance exam, some of the IIT academicians and faculty members will give lectures available on this app, so that students can have that additional learning,” she added.

Keeping in mind the requirements of students who have studied in regional languages, this content will be available in 13 languages.

A file photo of Smriti Irani. PTIA file photo of Smriti Irani. PTI

A file photo of Smriti Irani. PTI

She said in conjunction with IIT council, it has been now ensured that the question papers conform to the Class XII syllabus.

Irani said another “reality” which needs to be confronted is about commercialisation of education.

“We all know that capitation fee is not allowed. We all know that students cannot be harassed in the middle of the academic year to cough up money for which no disclosure was made,” she said, suggesting that not all institutions in the private sector were following the norms.

She asked the EPSFI to to engage with administrators and weed out “wrongdoers who bring a bad name to the sector” like fake universities and added that states have already been asked to take action against such universities.

Stressing that the biggest stakeholder in education sector is students, Irani said many times they are “stifled” by institutions that promise the world in propectuses and websites.

Irani also said the concerns with regard to UGC’s regulations related to deemed universities will be addressed in
the coming next month.

She said it had already been decided that colleges which consistently do well in NAAC ratings get autonomy so they don’t have to run to the regulator for every new course they want to start.

On the New Education Policy (NEP), Irani said the committee headed by former Cabinet Secretary T S R Subramanian will present a draft which in conjunction with states will be discussed publicly. After assimilation of all points of view a national policy will be presented to the country.

On creating 20 world class institutions – ten in public and private sector, Irani said the guidelines for these bodies will see the light of the day in three months.

She also said a ‘Bharatvani’ portal, with education material in 22 languages, will be launched soon.

The head of committee that is preparing the draft of the new education policy, Subraminian, in his speech, said the report is under preparation and will be submitted soon.

Smriti Irani and Rashid Alvi spar over Modi’s ‘most stupid Prime Minister’ Google search result

Congress leader Rashid Alvi kicked up a row with his remarks over Prime Minister Narendra Modi, evoking sharp reaction from an audience, which asked him to take back his words and apologise. Organisers of the India TV conclave “Samvaad”, to mark the two years of completion of Modi government, tried to pacify the agitated audience who shouted down the Congress leader as words of ‘shame shame’ rent the air. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It all started with Alvi asking HRD Minister Smriti Irani, who was also present, on what action was being initiated on Modi coming out as “most stupid Prime Minister” in Google search. This was offensive to by the audience. Responding to the remarks, Irani said, “In Congress, those who throw stones and spits at Narendra Modi will be blue-eyed. The poison against Narendra Modi has crossed the limits that people forget that he is country’s Prime Minister.” “When Rashid bhai uses such words for the country’s Prime Minister, what kind of words does he use for a woman minister by saying that ‘it is heard that you are very close to Modi ji’. We have to live with this poison everyday and then you say why does Smriti Irani get angry,” she said.Lashing out at the Congress, she said, “There is a cabal who have festered this democracy for too long. They have lived off the scraps of the dynasty and they have done this irrespective of the damage they do to institutions. Because their whole survival was never dependent on their talent, but it was dependent on their proximity.”Irani said by the example put forth by Alvi, neither Modi nor his supporters would be hurt, but the Congress leader has only Alvi lowered his own image by doing so. Earlier BJP leader and former JD-U MP Sabir Ali said it reflected the mindset of Congress, who were unable to digest their defeat and that their regime and influence were gone. “I expect him to take back his words. I feel such language can be used only by people with such mindset who have a regret that their regime and influence have gone. Those who feel that being influential is their right can use such words,” he said.Lyricist and screenwriter Prasoon Joshi said Google provided information the way it was put forth before the search engine. “It is like an algorithm. Google always follows the pattern of your search. It is not a gospel, it is a pattern. It is an algorithm and should be read like that,” he said.

Tamil Nadu Elections 2016: Smriti Irani terms Congress-DMK alliance as unholy, brings up 2G scam

Union Minister Smriti Irani on Friday described the Congress-DMK alliance for the May 16 Assembly polls in Tamil Nadu as an “unholy” one while bringing up the 2G spectrum allocation scam. “When we look at the unholy Congress-DMK alliance what we find is when people of this country speak about Congress and DMK alliance, the only memory we have is that of 2G scam which horrified the entire nation,” Irani said at an election rally, canvassing for state BJP president Tamilisai Soundararajan here. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Soundararajan is contesting from Virugambakkam constituency in Chennai. “When we look at the alliance of Congress and DMK, you find that they did corruption not only 2G, but they did not spare even helicopter procurement for the nation,” she said. Ridiculing DMK for not yet identifying M Karunanidhi’s successor, Irani said, “In their hands they have taken the rising sun as the party symbol. But when you ask the people of Tamil Nadu which son rises (after Karunanidhi), they will tell you that till now, even within the DMK, a decision has not been taken on who shall rise and who shall be left behind.” The Union Minster said people should ponder over whether it was Tamil Nadu’s destiny to be “hijacked” by the interest of one family. On the freebies given by the ruling AIADMK, Irani, without naming the party, said one has to ask why this political party has not strengthened the citizens economically. “On the one hand we have one party (AIADMK) which makes promises, distributes things… you need to ask yourself why this political party has not strengthened citizens economically, so that they themselves can look after their needs.” Making a reference to the works of great poets Subramania Bharati and Thiruvalluvar, she said for the first time in the nation’s history, it was under Narendra Modi’s leadership through the HRD Ministry that “we have recognised the contribution and the richness of Thirukkural (treatise) and we got it to the rest of the country through our school systems and universities”. PTI VIJ APRPVIMAV05131634NNNNPTI

Allahabad University Vice Chancellor rues ‘political interference’ in administrative matters

Allahabad University vice- chancellor, who recently drew flak from BJP leaders over his handling of a students’ agitation, on Tuesday said “political interference” has brought the administrative machinery of the varsity to a “standstill”.”This is a central university and used to be called the Oxford of the East in the past. There can be no possibility of the institution regaining its lost glory if political interference continues,” Allahabad University V-C R L Hangloo said. If a university is supposed to be run as per the opinions of political leaders, then it would be better to have MLAs or MPs as V-Cs in place of academicians, Hangloo said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He was responding to queries about the University’s decision announced on Monday to keep offline option open for entrance tests for post-graduate courses in the upcoming academic session. The decision, whereby the varsity reversed its earlier stance that entrance tests would be held only through the online mode, reportedly followed a meeting between some BJP MPs and Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani.The BJP lawmakers reportedly drew Irani’s attention towards the fact that a number of students’ union leaders, including its vice-president and general secretary, who belong to the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), were on a hunger strike to press the demand for the offline option, which was important for candidates hailing from remote areas with poor internet connectivity.A group of BJP MPs and MLAs had on May 5 visited the University and strongly criticised the V-C for “mishandling” the crisis. They were particularly livid over the fact that the varsity administration went on to lodge a police complaint against the union leaders when they staged a demonstration in front of the V-C’s office earlier this month.Subsequently, a few of the BJP MPs met Irani and an ensuing communication from the Union HRD Ministry is said to have prompted the varsity authorities to modify its decision. Interestingly, Hangloo has been repeatedly accused by the students’ union president Richa Singh of being partisan towards those owing allegiance to the BJP and Sangh Parivar.In March, Singh – who is a Samajwadi Party member – had charged the V-C with ordering a “politically motivated” inquiry against her on the basis of “flimsy” complaints from her ABVP rivals. The latest crisis, however, witnessed the union leaders burying their differences and putting up a joint fight.

1418 NIT Srinagar students have returned to institute: Govt

1,418 of the 1,441 NIT Srinagar students, who chose not to sit for examination in April, had returned to the institute by the beginning of this week, the government said on Thursday.In a written reply in Rajya Sabha, HRD Minister Smriti Irani said for students who exercised the option of not taking Minor-I examination in April, the test has been rescheduled from May 5 to May 8.”Of the 1,441 students who exercised the option, 1,418 had returned to the institute by May 2 (Monday),” the minister added.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Institute of Technology (NIT) Srinagar had witnessed tension following clashes between groups of students after India lost to West Indies in a semifinal of T20 World Cup cricket match. A majority of outstation students had then left the institute.

Documents on Smriti Irani’s academic qualifications not found, DU tells court

New Delhi: The Delhi University on Tuesday told a court in Delhi that the documents pertaining to Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani’s BA course in 1996, as purportedly mentioned by her in an affidavit filed during 2004 Lok Sabha elections, are yet to be found.

The university’s response came in pursuance to the court’s earlier order summoning documents from its School of Open Learning department on the allegation that in her affidavit for April 2004 polls, Irani had claimed that she completed her BA in 1996.

“1996 documents related to her (Irani) BA are yet to be found,” Assistant Registrar of School of Open Learning, Delhi University (DU), O P Tanwar, told Metropolitan Magistrate Harvinder Singh.

Smriti Irani. File photo. PTISmriti Irani. File photo. PTI

Smriti Irani. File photo. PTI

Tanwar also brought some documents related to Irani’s education, including admission form for B.Com (H) of 1993-94 and its result and further her enrollment cum admission form in BA (H) Political Science first year for 2013-14.

He said that Irani’s class 12th documents, submitted with the admission form of B.Com (H) course were yet to be found. He, however, added that “verification must have been done before the admission.”

The court also asked SDM of north Delhi to bring documents filed by Irani with the affidavit for contesting 2004 polls from Chandni Chowk constituency here and fixed the matter for further hearing on 6 June.

The court had earlier directed the Election Commission and DU to bring the documents related to educational qualification of Irani on a complaint filed against her for allegedly giving false information in affidavits to the poll panel.

The court had on 20 November last year allowed the plea of the complainant Ahmer Khan, a freelance writer, seeking a direction to the officials of EC and DU to bring records of Irani’s educational qualification after he said he was unable to place them before the court.

During the hearing, Vandita Srivastava, SDM of Gauriganj in Amethi, filed original and certified copies of documents filed by Irani during Lok Sabha elections 2014 and said “as per record, no document for(Irani’s) educational qualification was collected with nomination form”.

Smriti Irani makes surprise visit of IIT Delhi hostel

A surprise visit by HRD minister Smriti Irani of IIT Delhi hostels found that students were grappling with peak season heat without proper arrangements after which the institute’s administration allowed coolers in rooms and promised to install air-conditioning in common areas.Senior officials said that Irani had gone to the IIT to inaugurate a new teaching-learning complex after which she proceeded to meet students in the boys as well as girls hostels. “After visiting the hostels and interacting with students, the Minister was quite critical of the fact that there were no proper arrangements for students during the peak of summer season. The Director of the Institute then immediately called a meeting and a package for hostels has been announced,” a senior official told PTI.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the package, it has been decided that air coolers will be allowed in all hostel rules and arrangements will be made for providing cool drinking water in all the wings and blocks. The IIT administration has also promised to centrally air-condition all common areas of the hostel. Another key decision taken is that all future hostels constructed will be centrally air-conditioned, officials added.Sources said that students also complained to Irani about the condition of the dining halls and mess of the hostels after which a package for modernisation of kitchen and dining halls has also been finalised. “These measures may be brought in at IIT Delhi first and then will be applied in other IITs also,” a senior official.

JNU row: No privilege notice against Smriti Irani, says PJ Kurien

New Delhi: There is no privilege notice against HRD Minister Smriti Irani, Chairman of Rajya Sabha’s Privileges Committee P J Kurien said on Thursday, dismissing reports that the panel decided to seek explanation from her over some remarks made during a House debate on the JNU row.

Addressing the media a day after the Committee members had met in Parliament House, he said it was “not a meeting” of the committee as it did not meet the quorum requirement of at least five committee attending it.

“We met but five members were not present. So it was not a committee meeting. Moreover there is no notice of privilege against Irani before the committee. So it is wrong to say that the panel has decided to seek an explanation from her over her remarks. There is no such decision,” he said.

A file photo of PJ Kurien. AFPA file photo of PJ Kurien. AFP

A file photo of PJ Kurien. AFP

“Yesterday there was no meeting. There was some informal discussion. Whatever we informally said has been reported by the media as a decision of the committee. A member saying something is not a decision of the committee,” Kurien said.

He said a notice of CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury regarding his having received threat calls after participating in a debate on JNU row is under consideration of the committee.

In his letter to the Rajya Sabha Chairman last month, the CPI-M leader had written that the minister had made “baseless allegations” against him “imputing motives that are completely false”.

Yechury had also enclosed pages from internet (in Telugu) suggesting threats to him and stated that considering “grievous nature of the allegations”. Since they are made on the floor of the House and recorded as part of proceedings, the
intervention of the Rajya Sabha Chairman was sought said.

He said that Yechury had given a privilege notice but that was about threat calls and not against Irani.

Regarding the deposition of VHP leader Sadhvi Prachi before the panel yesterday about her controversial statement on “terrorists in Parliament”, Kurien said she appeared as a witness and it is not necessary to have a meeting of the committee to call a witness.

He, however, declined to go into what was the response of Prachi when she appeared before the committee.

After meeting the panel yesterday, Prachi had remained defiant and stuck to her remarks.

From parliament to poster: BSP hoarding shows Mayawati as Kali holding Smriti Irani’s head

Posters showing former UP CM Mayawati as Hindu goddess Kali holding the head of Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani have surfacted in Hahtras, leading to a controversy. The hoarding also shows Mayawati standing on top of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. The BSP chief is garlanded with skulls and PM Modi is shown begging for forgiveness. It’s believed the posters were put up by BSP workers.BJP state spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak said his party had taken offence and told IANS: ““The BSP in the past has ridiculed Hindu gods and deities so it is not very surprising. But what is very worrying is the fact that through such inflammatory acts, the BSP is trying to trigger casteist clashes.” Mayawati v/s Smriti Irani in parliament Mayawati and Smriti had clashed in parliament during the JNU row. Asserting that she was not ‘satisfied’ with Union Human Resource and Development (HRD) Minister Smriti Irani’s answers on Rohith Vemula’s suicide, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on Friday asked if the former would chop her head off and place it on her feet as promised earlier if her reply would be unsatisfactory.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I request you Mayawati ji, I am ready to give a reply. I have been listening to your demands since the morning. And if you are unsatisfied with my reply then I will cut my head and put it on your feet,” Irani had said in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.Mayawati reminded Irani on Friday that her response to her questions had been most unsatisfactory so if she would stick to her earlier assertion. “She told me that if I am not satisfied by her response then she will chop her head off and place it on my feet. I am not satisfied with her response, so she should give me her head but I am sure that she will not do such a thing,” Mayawati said.Slamming Irani for her ‘Mahishasur’ comment, she added that the HRD Minister had insulted the Adivasi and the Dalit community with her statement and accused the writers of Indian mythology to having portrayed both the communities in a negative light.”Her comment on Mahishasur has insulted the Dalit and the Adivasis of the nation. It was shameful and she put forth a distorted version of the truth and our party condemns it. Those who wrote the Indian mythology have pinned Mahishasur’s faults on the Dalits and the Adivasis and they have been portrayed as people who never respected women, whereas they were those who protected Sita,” Mayawati said.She added that Irani should have stuck to the topic of discussion which was Rohith Vemula and accused her of purposely veering off point in an attempt to shift the focus.”If the government does not want to do anything for these two communities, then at least they should stop insulting them. They should start by sacking VK Singh who called them animals,” she said.Mayawati said that the HRD Minister owed an apology to the nation for trying to mislead them by giving out the wrong facts in the matter of Rohith Vemula. She also alleged that the Gazette formed by the Centre over the probe in the matter was ‘illegal’ as it was formed without taking consent in both Houses.”On February 2nd, the government formed an illegal gazette as both the Houses were not notified about it first. We even present of copy of the document in the Parliament today,” Mayawati said.Earlier on Friday, Mayawati and Irani were seen at loggerheads again over the issue of the late Phd scholar from Hyderabad University. Under fire over the Dalit scholar’s suicide, Irani said in the Rajya Sabha, “It is incorrect that there is no member of SC community in the inquiry committee. Rohith Vemula’s mother asked for a judicial inquiry into child’s death. I assured her justice will be done.”Responding to the HRD Minister’s claims, BSP supremo Mayawati said that she was not satisfied with Irani’s answers and accused her of indulging in drama to cover up the entire episode.”It is incorrect that there is no member of SC community in the inquiry committee. The probe commission has not kept any Dalit member. There is no intention of giving justice to Rohith Vemula,” Mayawati said.Mayawati had earlier accused the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) of suppressing the voice of Dalits with the help of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Government at the Centre.

Now, Smriti Irani asks IITs to teach Sanskrit

IITs have been asked to teach Sanskrit language for facilitating study of science and technology as reflected in its literature, Lok Sabha was told on Monday.A panel, chaired by former CEC N Gopalaswami, in its report had suggested that IITs may facilitate study of science and technology as reflected in Sanskrit literature along with inter-disciplinary study of Sanskrit and modern subjects, HRD Minister Smriti Irani said in a written reply.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Accordingly, IITs have been requested to teach Sanskrit language especially with reference to study of works which contain scientific knowledge,” Irani said.

CCE system of evaluation for CBSE Class X to continue, board exams unlikely to make comeback

Speculations of the CBSE Class X board examinations making a comeback may be unfounded, as the government is likely to continue with the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) system currently in place since 2011.According to a report by a leading English daily, the CCE system may however, be tweaked to weed out problems and make it more effective. “We found out that CCE has general acceptance and so is the practice of school-based Class X examinations. Also, the system of weekly tests has helped,” the report said, citing sources.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>But there is a need to mend flaws in the CCE system to avoid problems like copy-paste and make it easier for children from poor families to do regular projects. HRD minister Smriti Irani has reportedly had a word with state education ministers and will be holding a meeting with stakeholders of the CCE system soon.

Rahul Gandhi goes to poor people’s houses to ‘show-off’, says Smriti Irani

Union Minister Smriti Irani on Thursday used the occasion of B R Ambedkar’s birth anniversary to take potshots at Rahul Gandhi, saying he goes to poor people’s houses for “showoff” unlike Prime Minister Narendra Modi who does not do so and understands what poverty means.She also congratulated Modi for his efforts that led the UN to observe the 125th birth anniversary of Ambedkar for the first time.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The prime minister was working to fulfil Ambedkar’s dreams of making India a prosperous country and removing inequality by uplifting the Dalits and the down trodden, she said.In a dig at Gandhi, Irani said that the Congress vice president was going to poor people’s houses along with journalists, whereas “our Prime Minister ate at a langar (free lunch) here in the nearby Sant Ravidas temple just like any ordinary citizen”.”Our PM has faced poverty from his childhood, he used to assist his family in selling tea at the railway station, he doesn’t need to go anywhere (like that leader) for showoff. He can very well understand what poverty means for poor,” the Union Minister told a gathering at Modi’s newly-adopted village Nagepur under the ‘Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana’.Modi has also adopted Jayapur village in his parliamentary constituency.Irani also dedicated a digitalised Anganwadi centre cum Nand ghar and unveiled Ambedkar’s statue in the village on the occasion.

Candidates registering for MPhil or PhD before July 2009 will be exempted from NET

The UGC has decided that candidates who have registered for M.Phil or PhDs prior to July 11, 2009, will be exempted from clearing NET exam to become eligible for the post of assistant professor, if they fulfil certain other conditions.The move would help thousands of PhD holders who had been affected by a UGC guideline that came in 2009 making NET and PhD a minimum eligibility criteria for applying for assistant professor in colleges and universities. HRD minister, Smriti Irani said that this decision will help in recruitment for various posts.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>AT A GLANCEOther conditionsSince the HRD Ministry and UGC have relaxed the rule regarding the NET exam, some other conditions have been set in its place.PhD awarded only in regular mode with at least two external examiners evaluating the thesis Open PhD vive-voice At least two research publications from his or her PhD At least two presentations at conferences or seminars All the above accomplishments to be certified by the Vice-Chancellor, Dean, Dean (Academic Affairs) or Dean (University Instructions). According to the UGC decision, candidates registered for M Phil and PhD prior to July 11, 2009 shall be exempted from the requirement of the minimum eligibility condition of NET or State Level Eligibility Tests for recruitment and appointment of Assistant Professor if they fulfil some other conditions.
ALSO READ Women, differently-abled to get more time to complete Ph.D, M.Phil: Smriti IraniAmong the conditions laid down is that their PhD degrees should be awarded in regular mode only and the evaluation of the thesis should be done by at least two external examiners.Other conditions include that open PhD viva voice of the candidate had been conducted and there should be two research publications from his or her PhD work. The candidate should also have made at least two presentations in conferences or seminars.
ALSO READ NIT Srinagar issue: Smriti Irani says ‘will not let injustice happen to students’, sends 2-member team from HRD ministryThese accomplishments are to be certified by the Vice-Chancellor, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Dean (Academic Affairs) or Dean (University Instructions).UGC chairman Ved Prakash said that while there is a shortage of faculty in institutions of higher education, this move will help in allowing many candidates apply for teaching positions.On a question related to NIT Srinagar, Irani said that her ministry’s officers will stay there till exams are conducted. Those who wanted postponement will also be facilitated, she said.Asked about the decision to fly national flag prominently at University Campuses, Irani said it was VCs who at a conference had passed this resolution.

UGC relaxes PhD norms for women, differently-abled

To encourage women and the differently-abled to pursue research, UGC has relaxed norms allowing students eight years instead of present six to complete PhD and three years instead of two to complete M Phil degrees. In addition, women candidates will also be provided maternity, child care leave for up to 240 days in the entire duration of their M.Phil or PhD degrees. HRD Minister Smriti Irani, who announced the relaxation of norms by UGC at a press conference here, said the government aims to boost the entry of women and the differently-abled in the fields of research. Last week, Irani, while releasing the domestic rankings for Indian educational institutes, had announced that the government had asked the regulator to consider relaxing the norms for women and the differently-abled.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Speaking at the conference where UGC chairman Ved Prakash and senior HRD officials were present, Irani said another key decision taken by the Commission pertains to autonomy about which “there has been a lot of debate” in the country. In its meeting today, the UGC has decided that a college which will be awarded the highest grades in two consecutive cycles of six years and ensures the highest grade in the third cycle will be granted autonomous status if it can get a ‘no-objection certificate’ from the university concerned.”This will grant them freedom to design curricula, prescribe syllabi, assess student performance and declare student results,” she said. Irani said there has also been “widespread debate on licence raj and vice grip of regulator on institutions of higher education”.In this context, she said, it has also been decided that if an institute is accredited with highest grade in two cycles by NAAC and continues to do so in the third cycle, the validity of accreditation would be made seven years instead of the present five years.At the press conference, Irani also announced that in case of relocation of a woman PhD or MPhil scholar due to marriage or otherwise, research data shall be allowed to be transferred to the university to which the scholar intends to relocate, though subject to certain norms.

NIT Srinagar: When Smriti Irani’s former aide Shilpi Tewari did something that Anupam Kher couldn’t

Former aide of HRD minister Smriti Irani Shilpi Tewari has been able to do what Anupam Kher tried but failed.It looks like Tewari was able to go to Jammu and Kashmir and enter the NIT Srinagar campus and meet some of the non-local students.She tweeted a picture of herself with students of NIT Srinagar at the campus. In her tweet she said that she handed a letter of support and the national flag to two students. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Kher too wanted to visit NIT Srinagar to give moral support to the students. But he was detained at the Srinagar airport.Known to be a staunch BJP supporter, Tewari herself was embroiled in a controversy as she reportedly circulated doctored JNU videos. She was also criticised for campaigning strongly for nationalism during the JNU row.NIT Srinagar has been at the centre of a controversy since April 1 when clashes broke out between outstation and local students following India’s defeat to West Indies in the World Cup T20 semi-final.The situation worsened on April 5 when outstation students tried to take out a march outside the campus but were stopped by the police, leading to incidents of violence including vandalism by students and lathicharge by police. The students held protests against the police action, prompting the Union HRD ministry to send a team of officials to take defuse the situation.

‘Hoist tri-colour everyday and construct temple inside the campus’: NIT Srinagar unrest comes to a boil

Srinagar: Tension mounted at the National Institute of Technology (NIT) campus in Srinagar as agitating outstation students refused to cooperate with a visiting central team demanding immediate action against some NIT officials who allegedly indulged in “anti-national” activities.

The agitating students demanded that some of the NIT officials should be transferred and action taken against them for their alleged “anti-national” activities and that they be allowed to daily hoist national tri-colour at the main gate. They also demanded shifting of the campus to Jammu and building of a temple inside campus.

The protesting students also wanted that their papers should be checked by non-local teachers to ensure “equality and transparency” during all examinations. “There should be no academic harassment by the faculty”, a letter handed over to the NIT administration on 4 April by the outstation students said. It listed the five demands to ensure that their stay inside the campus was trouble free so that they can concentrate on their studies. “Due to the anti-national activities rising in campus premises, outstation students have faced serious problems as well as life threats. Due to this, students are eager to return to their homes,” the letter said.

A file photo of protests in NIT Srinagar. PTIA file photo of protests in NIT Srinagar. PTI

A file photo of protests in NIT Srinagar. PTI

A three-member team of Human Resources Development (HRD) Ministry, which arrived in Srinagar on Wednesday morning, held talks with the agitating students to defuse the tension. The team included Sanjeev Sharma, Director(Technical Education) in the HRD ministry, Deputy Director Finance Fazal Mehmood and Chairman of Board of Governors of NIT M J Zarabi. The team was rushed by the ministry to take stock of the situation and look into the grievances of the outstation students studying at the NIT Srinagar.

In Surat, HRD Minister Smriti Irani said she had spoken to Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti who assured her that safety of all students will be ensured. “My officers are in touch with the agitating students and their family members. One or two students said they wanted to go back home for which my ministry is making arrangements,” she said. Mehbooba has assured that an enquiry has been ordered into the clashes inside the the NIT campus, Irani said. She sought to allay apprehensions of the students who feared that the agitation will have a bearing on their academic performance as exams are due to start next week.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh, campaigning in West Bengal for assembly polls, said that he had spoken to Mehbooba who gave an assurance that all students are safe and she would enquire how the incident happened and fix responsibility.

Tension started brewing inside the NIT campus, located at the banks of famous Dal lake, last week after India lost to West Indies in semi-final in the T-20 cricket tournament prompting some local students to rejoice and burst crackers. This was protested by the outstation students resulting in clashes.

Since the night of 31 March, the situation inside the campus has been volatile and the authorities had posted personnel from Seema Suraksha Bal (SSB). The local police was manning the main gate of the institute. The developments prompted the NIT authorities to close the campus on Saturday but reopened it on Monday. Tuesday evening, the outstation students tried to march out of the campus saying they wanted to return to their homes.

A senior police official, who attempted to pacify them, was heckled and pushed around resulting in a lathicharge in which four students sustained injuries.

A senior NIT official said that demands like building a temple or a mosque inside an educational institute is impossible. The official said some of the outstation students were mainly using this minor incident as an opportunity to seek migration to their home state.

As the HRD team arrived in Srinagar, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said the matter needs “tactful handling” and the state government should look into it “without back seat drivers”. “Rushing in a team from HRD ministry coupled with the CRPF replacing J&K police speaks volumes about Delhi’s confidence in Mehbooba Mufti,” Omar wrote on Twitter.

The incident also drew the attention of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who asked PDP-BJP government in the state not to harass the students. Kejriwal tweeted that BJP is beating those who are “chanting Bharat Mata ki Jai” in Kashmir, while doing the same against those “who are not” raising the slogan in the rest of the country. “Lathi charge on students in Srinagar is highly condemnable. BJP-PDP must stop this immediately,” the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief tweeted.

Smriti Irani unveils bronze bust of Indian mathematician Aryabhata at UNESCO HQ

Union Minister of Human Resource Development Smriti Irani unveiled a bronze bust of the ancient Indian mathematician-astronomer Aryabhata, which is a gift from India, at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on Tuesday.Smriti Irani was attending the high-level segment of the ‘International Conference on the Zero’. The event was held at UNESCO headquarters to celebrate the rich and remarkable history of mathematics in collaboration with India.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Irani participated in the high level segment, the Leaders’ Forum, held at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris on November 16-17, 2015 as a part of the 38th session of the UNESCO General Conference. During this visit, the Minister also held a meeting with the Director General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, to discuss the full range of India’s cooperation with the organization.As a follow up to the discussions held during the bilateral meeting, for the first time, both the leaders issued Joint Statement on the occasion of the National Mathematics Day, i.e. 22nd December, which is the birth anniversary of Srinivasa Ramanujan, the great Indian intellectual and mathematician. Both the leaders agreed to organize in 2016 a Conference on ‘Zero’ at UNESCO headquarters in Paris.The conference in collaboration with Pierre and Marie Curie University, Paris hosted some brilliant minds. The session was conducted by Professor Manjul Bhargava, Fields Medalist and Professor of Mathematics at Princeton University on ‘Gems of Ramanujan and their lasting Impact on Mathematics’. The highlight of the third session was ‘Zero: Infinity and Set Theory’ conducted by Mr. Romain Attal from the Palais de La Decouverte in Paris.In the second session, Dr. Shailendra Mehta from Auro University, Gujarat, talked about ‘Negative Numbers, Zero, Infinity and Beyond’.There was also a panel discussion on the ‘Arabic Traditions in Mathematics’. A special Session was conducted by Professor Manjul Bhargava on ‘Mathematics in Indian Music.’

Smriti Irani to unveil Aryabhata’s bust at UNESCO HQ at int’l meet on ‘zero’

Union Minister of Human Resource Development Smriti Irani will address the high level segment of the ‘International Conference on the Zero’, an event celebrating the rich and remarkable history of mathematics, at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on 4-5 April. Irani along with the Director General, UNESCO will also unveil a bronze bust of the ancient Indian mathematician-astronomer Aryabhata, which is a gift from India to UNESCO, as its tribute to the world of Mathematics and Science.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Government of India, through the Permanent Delegation of India to UNESCO, and together with the Pierre and Marie Curie University, Paris, will host the International Conference on the. The International Conference will share the rich and remarkable history of mathematics, through the participation of some brilliant minds, resonating with the UNESCO’s mandate to advance, transfer and share knowledge for the greater global good. The International Conference in Paris will open on 4th April at the Pierre and Marie Curie University, Paris, with a session by Professor Manjul Bhargava, Fields Medalist and Professor of Mathematics at Princeton University on ‘Gems of Ramanujan and their lasting Impact on Mathematics’.Session two at UNESCO on ‘Negative Numbers, Zero, Infinity and Beyond’ will be addressed by Dr. Shailendra Mehta from Auro University, Gujarat. There will also be a Panel Discussion on the ‘Arabic Traditions in Mathematics’. Special Session by Professor Manjul Bhargava on ‘Mathematics in Indian Music’ will be a high point of the Conference. Through the length of the event at UNESCO, there will be visual and interactive sessions, including films on Mathematics and Science, and interactive problem solving events designed for a young audience. In this category, the highlight will be ‘Zero: Infinity and Set Theory’ conducted by Mr. Romain Attal from the Palais de La Decouverte in Paris. Irani participated in the high level segment, the Leaders’ Forum, held at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris on November 16-17, 2015 as a part of the 38th session of the UNESCO General Conference. During this visit, the Minister also held a meeting with the Director General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, to discuss the full range of India’s cooperation with the organization.As a follow up to the discussions held during the bilateral meeting, for the first time, both the leaders issued Joint Statement on the occasion of the National Mathematics Day, i.e. 22nd December, which is the birth anniversary of Srinivasa Ramanujan, the great Indian intellectual and mathematician. Both the leaders agreed to organize in 2016 a Conference on ‘Zero’ at UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

Don’t be deterred by failures, Smriti Irani tells students

Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani on Saturday asked the students not to be deterred by failures, but move ahead in life irrespective of the challenges.CLICK HERE FOR LIVE SCORES: INDIA vs PAKISTAN, ICC World T20Students should not be deterred by failure “but go ahead in life irrespective of failures”, Irani said while delivering the fifth convocation address of Indian Institute of Management, Rohtak, here. The Union HRD minister called upon the students to take inspiration from American information technology entrepreneur and inventor Steve Job s life.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>She said Job’s life was an inspiration to take up the entrepreneurial route to corporate life. The Union HRD Minister said India being primarily an agricultural economy, the management graduates must utilise their management skills and knowledge to work for economic upliftment of the nation, especially agrarian sector, an IIM release said here.On the occasion, she congratulated the graduating students and said that they must have a vision forward. She presented gold medal to students Mayank Garg, for scholastic achievement and Sejal Agarwal for all round performance. The convocation was attended by Atanu Rakshit, Director, IIM Rohtak, Chairman and other members of the Board of Governors of IIM Rohtak Society.

Breathe easy Class 12 students, CBSE has a solution for tough math paper

Class 12 students of CBSE board were left worrying about the outcome of the exam as allegations of the question paper being leaked on WhatsApp were doing the rounds. The topic was also discussed in Parliament, with Union minister Venkaiah Naidu assuring that he would request an intervention by HRD minister Smriti Irani.But sources assure that there will not be a need for a special measure as the board has a system in place to handle situations like this.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>CBSE professor Rama Sharma told dna, that the board has an inbuilt mechanism to take care of any issue concerning question papers. Feedback received from all quarters is seen before finalising marking scheme for each paper. The same will be done in the case of Class XII maths paper.Students had flooded the CBSE website with comments and posts about the lengthy and exacting exam paper. They also tagged Ms Irani in tweets about the same.On Wednesday, CBSE had assured students of finding a solution – possibly lenient marking.Last year too, students had found the MAths paper to be tough.

Mathematics exam or third degree torture? Lok Sabha takes up issue, CBSE responds

On 14 March, Class XII students who appeared for their CBSE mathematics examination were upset, afraid and worried — why? The mathematics paper was termed one of the toughest in nearly a decade.

Social media has been abuzz with complaints against the difficult mathematics question paper since the day of the exam. The students were so distressed by the paper that a petition was created on Change.org, addressing the chairman of the CBSE, citing that the paper was “unreasonably difficult” and “the lack of direct questions and the papers ridiculous length left many students in tears, despite the hard work that they put in for an entire year.” As many has 3,400 people have signed the petition so far. Sahil Jangra commented on the petition saying, “I didn’t think that am gonna write IIT JEE paper…It was hell tough (sic).” Vishruta Vijay wrote, “Cbse ruining normal lives. Studying is a process of learning, not torture night and day.”

According to a PTI report, as many as 240 petitions have been posted on Change.org and 25,000 people have signed them in support. The biggest petition, with 12,500 signatures, was started by a student from Guwahati. “CBSE has broken the dreams of several students by setting a paper which was meant for IIT aspirants. This year CBSE Maths Paper was tough as well as long and has made several students cry. CBSE should come out with a statement immediately to take care of their mental agony which will help them to concentrate on their next exam,” said the Guwahati petition starter in this Change.org petition. Other petitions were started by students from Kolkata, Chennai and other cities including Thrissur.

Image Courtesy: Change.OrgImage Courtesy: Change.Org

Image Courtesy: Change.Org

The Hindu reported that not many questions were from the NCERT textbooks, but other guides. In India Today’s analysis of the question paper, it can be ascertained that the paper was also not set according to the marking scheme, where lengthy, time-consuming Calculus questions were for four marks, instead of six. Matter raised in the Parliament In India, we take exams seriously, very seriously. The matter was also brought up for discussion in the Lok Sabha by KC Venugopal (Alaphuzha, Congress). “Concepts such as Linear Programming and Matrices which have generally got easy questions over the years had tough questions this time. Every question was tricky, as a result of which many of the students found it tough to finish the paper on time. In fact, many students including the top scorers in schools were crying after the examination,” he said in the House.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

SR Vijay Kumar (Chennai Central) also chimed in with support. Other MPs such as NK Premchandran (RSP) also said that the questions were “very difficult”. Venkaiah Naidu, Parliament Affairs Minister said that an inquiry should be made and that CBSE would look into the matter with some remedial measures, reported Economic Times. NDTV quoted the minister as saying, “This is a matter concerning students and their future… It deserves inquiry. I will convey it to HRD minister.” The government also favoured a probe into an alleged report claiming that the question paper was leaked. Deputy Chief Minister of New Delhi, Manish Sisodia also penned a letter to Smriti Irani — “Mujhe puri ummeed hai ki bacchon ko is nirasha se nikalne ke liye aap uchit aur shighr kadam uthayengi (I hope that you will find a solution for alleviating students’ distress in an appropriate and timely manner).”

Manish Sisodia's letter to Smriti Irani. Image Courtesy: Twitter/@RizwanAzim1Manish Sisodia's letter to Smriti Irani. Image Courtesy: Twitter/@RizwanAzim1

Manish Sisodia’s letter to Smriti Irani. Image Courtesy: Twitter/@RizwanAzim1

CBSE reacts  Smriti Irani shared a response from the Press Bureau of CBSE.

You, there, laughing at the plight of the frustrated student, do you think you’re smarter than a 12th grader? Take this quiz:

with inputs from PTI

Kanhaiya Kumar leads march; demands resignation of Smriti Irani

JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar, out on bail in a sedition case, on Tuesday led a march of students and launched a blistering attack on HRD Minister Smriti Irani, demanding her resignation for “targeting” academic institutions.”She calls us her children, but has she ever spoken to my mother or Rohith Vemula’s mother. I refused to be called her child. We demand that she resign for the way academic institutions are being attacked,” Kanhaiya said addressing the protestors at near Jantar Mantar.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The JNU students were marching from Mandi House to Parliament demanding release of PhD scholars Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, currently in judicial custody on sedition charges. The protesters were stopped near Jantar Mantar by police.”Smriti Irani says she is the mother of school children. Okay Mata ji, did you call the mother of Rohith Vemula or my mother and say, ‘Your sons may have done something, but I am standing with you.'”With me, my mother has also been made a traitor. Rohith Vemula’s mother has also been made a traitor. You shed tears.Your cry is fake, your laughter is fake, your speech is false,” Kanhaiya said. The JNUSU president also demanded release of fellowships of JNU research scholars. “A minister said if you are a student then study. We want to study. You’re a minister, release our fellowships, give us jobs. None of us is interested in coming to Jantar Mantar or going to jail or committing suicide. You have driven us to suicide,” he said.He also attacked RSS and said the students are protesting against the outfit. “It is being said traitors are living in JNU. Modiji we are not traitors. We are fighting against RSS. (Wo kehte hain JNU mein deshdrohi rehte hain, hum kehna chahte hain Modiji hum deshdrohi nahi, RSS ke khilaf droh kar rahe hain”.Four attempts were made by different persons during the speech to attack Kanhaiya which were foiled by students and police, which detained four people. The student leader also said he was not interested in joining politics and that he was a ‘man of movement’. “I won’t join any political party. I am a man of movement and I will continue to fight in movements,” he said.

Ahead of Kerala polls, BJP asks EC to ensure violence-free environment

New Delhi: Citing cases of political violence targeting workers of the party in Kerala, BJP on Tuesday asked the Election Commission to take strong measures to ensure violence-free poll in the state.

Union ministers Smriti Irani and Rajiv Pratap Rudy told a press conference that the attacks were outcome of a “nexus” between ruling Congress and the Left as they are worried by the “surge” in BJP’s support in the state.

Rajiv Pratap Rudy. AFPRajiv Pratap Rudy. AFP

Rajiv Pratap Rudy. AFP

“Violence is being used as a political tool to suppress our voice,” Irani said, alleging that Left workers were carrying out attacks while Congress was strategically supporting it.

“Situation is very critical. We do not expect a free and fair election in Kerala,” Rudy said, adding that a party delegation will soon meet the Commission to press for strong measures to be taken in the state.

In recent cases of violence, former Kerala BJP chief V Muraleedharan was among 16 persons injured in an alleged attack by CPI-M workers at Kattayikonam on Monday.

On March 8, RSS worker E K Biju was hacked to death, Rudy said, adding that hundreds of party workers over the years have been killed in Kannur.

The BJP-led alliance in the state had created concern among the two bigger parties, he said, and “emerging signs of its great victory” have compelled them to target saffron workers.

A Dalit girl student tried to commit suicide after being harassed by the Left workers, Irani said.

Rudy is party’s co-incharge for Kerala assembly polls and the delegation to the Commission will be headed by Union Minister J P Nadda, who is in-charge, he said.

PTI

DU teachers support Smriti Irani, call JNU row ‘diabolically planned’

Over 600 teachers from varsities across Delhi, led by UGC member Indermohan Kapahy, on Friday wrote to Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani terming the controversial February 9 event at JNU as a “diabolically planned” attempt by politically motivated groups to “foment turmoil” among students to destablise the structures of governance.The BJP-backed National Democratic Teachers Front (NDTF), in its letter to the minister, also dubbed the event as an “unpardonable anti-national” act. “We write to express our concern at the diabolically planned attempt by politically motivated groups to foment trouble and turmoil amongst students of various universities to destabilise the existing structures of governance. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>They said in the letter that the Indian Constitution guarantees freedom of speech, dissent and presenting alternative paradigms but it is equally true that what happened on February 9, 2016 at JNU does not fall within the fore mentioned parameters. Endorsing Irani’s stand on the event presented by her in Parliament, the teachers said there may be an argument on strict legalistic terms as to what constitutes sedition, but it is crystal clear that what had happened in JNU was “unpardonable anti-national” act which has to be both “condemned and curbed”. “Yet those who raise such slogans and those who protect them with convoluted arguments swear by the right to freedom and dissent provided by the same Indian Constitution.”A dominant majority of students and teachers is totally opposed to the anti-national and unpatriotic activities of such groups who are hell bent upon causing avoidable tensions and turmoils in the social fabric of India,” it added. JNU is caught in a row over an event against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised.

Aligarh Muslim University V-C meets Smiriti Irani, seeks more funds for varsity

A three-member delegation of Aligarh Muslim University led by Vice Chancellor Zameeruddin Shah met Union human resource development minister Smiriti Irani on Thursday and sought additional funds forthe university’s special off-campus centres.The interaction comes as a follow-up to Shah’s meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the weekend. In his meeting with Modi, Shah had sought government’s support to make the special centres operational. The Vice Chancellor presented a copy of the memorandum to the minister, which he earlier presented to the Prime Minister.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Irani has earlier refused to give any additional funds to the university for setting up these special centres. The minster has had several meetings for setting up a Malappuram Centre, but has ultimately denied any additional funds to the centre.After the meeting on Thursday, which lasted for over an hour, Irani is learnt to have told Shah to initiate research work in these centres. “The meeting was fruitful. The minister has asked us to undertake research work on the new campus,” said Shah after the meeting.Shah is also learnt to have told the minister that research work can be undertaken provided the centres have building and infrastructure in place. The ministry has not assured for any additional funding for these off campus.Besides the V-C, Pro-Vice Chancellor Brig S Ahmad and Registrar Dr Asfar Ali were also present in the meeting. Members of Parliament from Bijnor Kunwar Bhartendra Singh and Aligarh Satish Kumar Gautam, whoare also the members of the AMU Court, the supreme governing body of the University were a part of the meeting.The university is to set up three special centres at Malappuram in Kerala, Murshidabad in West Bengal and Kishan Ganj in Bihar.

Notices to 279 institutions running without approvals: Government

The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has issued notices to 279 institutions found to be running without statutory approvals, Rajya Sabha was told on Thursday. In a written reply to a question, HRD Minister Smriti Irani said the notices have been issued to the institutions to close down programmes or fulfill the mandatory requirements and approach AICTE for approval.Responding to another question, Irani said there is no provision in AICTE Act for blacklisting higher education institutions.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>She, however, said in case norms are not followed action can be taken, including suspension of approval for supernumerary seats, no admission status in respective courses for one academic year, withdrawal of approval in the respective course, reduction in seats intake, withdrawal of approval of the institution and its closure.”121 such technical institutions have been closed during 2015-16,” she said. In response to another question, the HRD minister said that as per an independent survey commissioned by it in 2014, 60.64 lakh children were out of school in the age group 6 to 13 years.

Yamuna Expressway Accident: Victim’s son says police objected to mentioning Smriti Irani’s car

Abhishek Nagar, the victim’s son has said that the police objected when they mentioned in the FIR that the accident was caused by a car in in Smriti Irani’s convoy. He added that they were not shown the car which caused the accident and the only the number of the car was given by the police. He added that they’ve written letters to PM Modi, President Mukherjee and CM Akhilesh Yadav, the UP governor and the District Magistrate . <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The children of a doctor killed in the accident on Saturday night had contradicted Irani’s claim that she had tried to help the injured and ensure they reached hospital.The Congress has hit out at Irani over the icnident. Congress leader P.L Punia said Irani, being a responsible citizen and a minister in the NDA Government, should have helped the girl. ‘I don’t want to go into the details as to how did the accident took place, but she must have offered help. This is very irresponsible on her part,’ he added. Echoing similar sentiments, Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit said it is a very strange situation that has been created.‘Nobody does accidents willingly. But when you are a person, who represents the government, you should have stopped and helped the victim,’ Dikshit said.‘Smriti Irani is being attacked for a long period now because of her behavior. She does not think herself to be a common man. The kind of behavior she has with the vice-chancellors, the way she gave speech in the Parliament, she is behaving more like a queen and less like an elected person,’ he added.The daughter of the victim, who died after Irani’s cavalcade hit their vehicle, yesterday said that she pleaded before her with folded hands but the Union HRD Minister didn’t provide them any help. However, eyewitness Manoj Chopra contradicted the statement made by the victim’s daughter and said Irani came out of the car immediately and made calls for help.Irani’s convoy was caught in a car pile-up following an accident on the Yamuna Expressway on Saturday. However, Irani, who was on her way to Delhi, escaped unhurt.In a series of tweets following the accident, the HRD Minister had earlier informed of her well-being and thanked the people for their concern. “Tried to help the injured who were lying on the road for quiet sometime and ensured they reach a hospital. Pray for their safety,” she said. Irani said that she also ensured the people injured in the accident were taken to a hospital and thanked others for helping out.An FIR has also been registered in connection with this accident.

Smriti Irani highway accident: What really happened at the Yamuna Expressway?

On the rainy night of 5 March, the huge expanse of the Yamuna Expressway witnessed a disturbingly familiar scene. One car rammed into a motorbike, killing the driver, injuring two children with him causing a pile up. The expressway, one of the biggest in the country, has seen multiple pile ups, far worse than the one on Saturday night. What catapulted this to national news was that some of the cars involved belong to union HRD Minister Smriti Irani and her cavalcade. The family of the deceased has alleged that a car in her cavalcade caused the accident and she ignored all cries for help.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>ICC World Twenty20 2016: Hong Kong vs Zimbabwe, Group B 1st T20 Match Live Cricket Scores & Ball by Ball commentaryAt 9 in the night, the 6 lanes of the Yamuna expressway, that connects Agra and Noida, seem to stretch endlessly into the dark, lit only by the reflectors demarcating lanes. It was then that Dr. Ramesh Nagar and his motorbike, carrying daughter Sandali and nephew Pankaj, was hit by a car that the police identify as a Honda City with licence plate DL3CBA5315.Dr. Nagar was a general physician practising in his local clinic in Agra. The three were headed to a wedding when they were hit at milestone number 103, that falls between the road from Vrindavan and the Mathura toll plaza. Irani and her convoy were on their way back from Vrindavan to Delhi.Nagar leaves behind two children, Sandali and his son Abhishek.Two days later, the road is completely empty of any trace or debris from the accident, save a long black tyre mark next to the milestone. Local shop owners say that initially the police from the picket at the Vrindavan exit left for the accident, but turned back as it was out of their jurisdiction.The police at Manth thana was the first on the scene. Policemen at the thana’s Mathura poll plaza outpost, some 5 kms from the spot say they reached by 9:20pm. They say after the Honda city hit the motorbike, came two other cars with Delhi licence plates then an ambulance with a Uttar Pradesh licence plate. After these cars scattered about the road did Irani’s cavalcade enter the scene. “We cleared the pile up and got the deceased and the injured to the Mathura district hospital as fast as we could,” said one cop. Once cleared, the minister and her cars left the scene. The banged up cars are in police possession and they say they haven’t yet found the Honda City driver.Irani first spoke about the accident when she tweeted on 5 March that she was safe, she tried to help the injured and now prayed for them. The family, on Monday filed an FIR against her. Sandali told dna that she begged Irani, who stepped out of her car, for help but got no answer. “If she had helped, my father would have been alive”. She insists that the car that hit them was with Irani.The HRD ministry has said that Irani called SSP Mathura Rakesh Yadav to get help on the scene. Yadav too issued a statement saying Irani’s convoy reached “7-8 minutes” after the accident.Nagar’s relative Survesh Kumar, who admitted the children to SN Medical College in Agra, says that when he reached the district hospital at 1:30 in the night, rushing down from Gurgaon, Sandali and Pankaj hadn’t even had their wounds cleaned. There was no first aid. Only after creating some noise did they get an ambulance to Agra.Though the two are out of hospital, Sandali is nursing a head injury, multiple cuts and scrapes on feet, knees and hands, while Pankaj has a fracture in his leg, his hand and a badly hurt face, says Kumar.

Yamuna Expressway: Locals to move court after more than 2000 deaths in 1000 days

New Delhi: Following the death of a doctor and injuries to his daughter and her cousin after a car in the convoy of Union HRD minister Smriti Irani rammed into his motorcycle, people living along the expressway between Delhi and Agra are again moving the court to intervene.

Smriti Irani / PTISmriti Irani / PTI

Smriti Irani / PTI

Irani’s car too was damaged in the pile up. The doctor’s family members have alleged that Irani did not help the accident victims, contradicting the minister.

“In the past two years, hundreds have lost their lives in fatal accidents on the Yamuna Expressway between Agra and Greater Noida. This is a major cause of worry. The concerned government departments have not shown a will to address the problem and ensure road safety,” said social activist Shrava Kumar Singh.

The Yamuna Expressway has been rechristened “Death Highway” by the locals due to the alarmingly high number of road mishap fatalities.

The Agra Development Foundation, a trust, had filed a public interest petition in the Allahabad High Court to force the authorities to implement a series of recommendations by experts. “Since its inauguration, there have been 2,194 accidents recorded on the expressway in around 1,000 days,” the foundation said.

The court had also asked the foundation to give its suggestions to the high-level state committee on expressway safety for implementation. But so far no action has been initiated by the government.

“We now have no option but to go back to the high court seeking clear directive to save lives and property,” K.C. Jain, president of the foundation, said.

According to information given by the Yamuna Expressway Authority through an RTI query, there were 319 deaths till July 15, 2015 on the expressway. The road was opened in August 2012.

Jain said “a road that should have been a source of comfort and convenience is throwing up a real frightening picture.” Despite many families having lost their dear ones, the expressway authority was not even imposing speed limits, Jain added.

Road safety experts say that most of the vehicles involved in accidents were found to be driving above the permissible speed limit of 100 kmph.

According to the expressway authority, there were 275 accidents in 2012, 896 in 2013, 771 in 2014 and 252 in 2015.

On Sunday, some activists and volunteers got together to organise a “road puja” saying the authorities had failed to take steps to prevent deaths. “When governments, official bodies and politicians do not listen, the only option remains is to appease the gods,” said Jugal Shrotriya, priest of Sri Mathuradheesh temple on the Yamuna river bank.

IANS

Yamuna Expressway accident: Victim’s daughter says Smriti Irani drove away from her dying father, HRD ministry says no

The HRD ministry on Monday rubbished media reports on the involvement of a vehicle from union minister Smriti Irani’s cavalcade in an accident on the Yamuna Expressway, stating that ‘the vehicle had nothing to do with the cavalcade’ but family members of a doctor killed in that road accident have accused the Human Resource Development Minister of looking away from the dying man and driving off.

HRD Minister Smriti Irani. PTIHRD Minister Smriti Irani. PTI

HRD Minister Smriti Irani. PTI

Speaking to The Hindu, the victim’s daughter Sandli said her father lay bleeding on the road as Smriti Irani drove away. Sandli told The Hindu that she begged the minister to help but she “refused”.

She went on to say that even as she was begging for help, another car belonging to the Minister’s convoy again hit her father who was trying to rise on his feet, reports Shiv Sunny in The Hindu.

But the HRD ministry and Mathura police version is very different.

The Indian Express reports that Mathura police has registered a case which says that a Honda City hit the bike and the car bears a Delhi registration number.

The Mathura police insists that the car involved in the accident was not part of the convoy but Sandli maintains that she saw a BJP flag on the car that hit them, reports Times of India.

“In sections of the media, a news story is being run regarding the accident on the Yamuna Expressway late March 5 night, which mentioned that a vehicle (Honda City) with registration number DL-3C-BA-5315 allegedly hit a biker. It is clarified that this vehicle has nothing to do with minister’s cavalcade,” read an HRD ministry clarification.

“…union Human Resource Minister Smriti Zubin Irani had directed the SSP of Mathura to arrange an ambulance immediately so that the injured could be given medical treatment at the earliest,” the statement added.

The FIR stated, “Smriti Irani’s convoy was passing (by) in which one car hit the motorbike… the driver left his vehicle and is absconding”.

Irani escaped with minor injuries after a vehicle, allegedly part of her cavalcade, hit a motorcycle, killing Dr Ramesh Nagar and injuring his daughter Sandali and nephew Pankaj on Saturday night.

After the incident, in a series of tweets, Irani said: “For all enquiring re my accident – I’m fine. Thank you for the concern and wishes.”

“There was a pile up of vehicles due to an accident on the Expressway. Unfortunately the police vehicle before mine & my car also crashed.”

“Tried to help the injured who were lying on the road for quite sometime and ensured they reach a hospital. Pray for their safety,” she said in another tweet.

“Good Samaritan Manoj Chopra and his wife also helped injured citizens. God bless them for their empathy and kindness,” she added.

With IANS

Highway accident: Smriti Irani made calls for help, says eyewitness

Amid the ongoing controversy over an accident on the Yamuna Expressway in which a doctor was killed and his young nephew was critically injured, an eyewitness on Monday contradicted the statement made by the victim’s daughter and said Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani came out of the car immediately and made calls for help.”Smriti Irani ji’s convoy had rammed into vehicles which were piled up due to the accident. She came out of her car and immediately made calls for help after I explained the situation to her. Within 10 minutes, the ambulance was there,” Chopra said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Earlier, the daughter of the victim, who died after Irani’s cavalcade hit their vehicle, said that she pleaded before her with folded hands but the Union HRD Minister didn’t provide them any help.Irani’s convoy was caught in a car pile-up following an accident on the Yamuna Expressway on Saturday. However, Irani, who was on her way to Delhi, escaped unhurt.Speaking to ANI, the daughter of the deceased doctor, said, “The car of the minister hit us from behind. From another car, Irani came and I pleaded before her with folded hands to help us but she did not provide any help. Then another car came from behind and hit my father again and my father died. If the other car would not have hit my father, he might have been alive today,” daughter of the victim told ANI.In a series of tweets following the accident, the HRD Minister had earlier informed of her well-being and thanked the people for their concern.”Tried to help the injured who were lying on the road for quiet sometime and ensured they reach a hospital. Pray for their safety,” she said. Irani said that she also ensured the people injured in the accident were taken to a hospital and thanked others for helping out. According to reports, an FIR has also been registered in connection with this accident.

Agra accident: Begged Smriti Irani for help, but she left, says victim’s daughter

Two days after HRD Minister Smriti Irani tweeted about helping the victims of accident following a car pile up on a Yamuna Expressway, the family of a doctor who died in the mishap has said they did not receive any such aid. Dr Ramesh Nagar, who was riding a motorcycle, was killed in the chain of collisions which had led to a huge pile up of vehicles on the highway. The victim’s daughter has alleged that she and her cousin had to wait for close to seven hours for treatment.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The HRD minister’s car hit our bike, which was at slow speed. Our bike slipped. I asked for help but they said no. They said you can get help later. If she wanted, she could have helped us. If she had helped us, my father would have been there with us,” daughter Sandili said to NDTV.”My sister literally pleaded with folded hands to Smriti Irani for help, but she did not stop,” said Abhishek, son of the victim.Sandili has said that the HRD minister stepped out of her car which had got damaged and got into another one and left the spot.Irani was returning from Vrindavan after attending a convention organised by Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha when the accident took place. Her car then rammed into the pilot vehicle after failing to control its speed. She escaped with minor injuries on her left arm and leg, but was not hospitalised, the sources said.Meanwhile, the HRD Ministry issued a clarification stating that the lawmaker-directed the Mathura Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) to arrange ambulance immediately so that injured could be given medical treatment at the earliest. The HRD Ministry said the car, which allegedly hit the biker who later died, has nothing to do with minister’s cavalcade.

Narrow escape for Smriti Irani after accident on Yamuna Expressway

New Delhi: It was a narrow escape for Union Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani after her car met with an accident on the Yamuna Expressway late on Saturday.

Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani. PTI

Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani. PTI

The minister, informing about the accident in a series of tweets, said she was fine.

“For all enquiring re my accident – I’m fine. Thank you for the concern and wishes,” she said.

The accident occurred after her convoy was caught up in a car pile-up following an accident on the expressway.

“There was a pile up of vehicles due to an accident on the expressway. Unfortunately the police vehicle before mine and my car also crashed,” she added.

According to media reports, Irani, along with other Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders, was returning to Delhi from a meeting of the party’s youth wing in Uttar Pradesh’s Vrindavan town.

The minister said she also helped those stranded on the expressway after the accident.

“Tried to help the injured who were lying on the road for quiet sometime and ensured they reach a hospital. Pray for their safety,” she said.

IANS

HRD Minister Smriti Irani escapes with minor injuries after accident on Yamuna Expressway

Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani escaped with minor injuries after her car hit a vehicle from her cavalcade on Yamuna Expressway late on Saturday.A man, who was riding a motorcycle, was killed in the chain of collisions which had led to a huge pile up of vechiles on the highway.Irani was returning from Vrindavan after attending a convention organised by Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha when the accident took place.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sources said the pilot vehicle in Irani’s cavalcade rammed into another vehicle, which had met with an accident on the expressway. Her car then rammed into the pilot vehicle after failing to control its speed.She escaped with minor injuries on her left arm and leg, but was not hospitalised, the sources said.SSP Rakesh Singh said that a motorcycle-borne man was killed during the collision, adding the real cause of death will be known after an inquiry into the chain of events.”The victim has been identified as Ramesh, a doctor from Agra, who died on the spot, while his father and sister who were riding pillion were injured,” Singh said.The couple in the car where also injured and have been sent to hospital, he said.Irani, in a series of tweets, said, “For all enquiring re my accident- I’m fine. Thank you for the concern and wishes.” “There was a pile up of vehicles due to an accident on the expressway. Unfortunately the police vehicle before mine & my car also crashed,” she said about the scene of the accident.”Tried to help the injured who were lying on the road for quiet sometime and ensured they reach a hospital. Pray for their safety,” she said in another tweet.”Good Samaritan Manoj Chopra and his wife also helped injured citizens. God bless them for their empathy and kindness,” she added.

Smriti Irani suffers minor injury in car accident on Yamuna Expressway

Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani reportedly suffered minor injuries on Saturday after her car was in an accident on the Yamuna Expressway on the way to Delhi.According to media reports, Irani, along with other BJP leaders, was returning from a meeting of the BJP’s youth wing in Vrindavan. Reports suggest that Irani injured her knee in the accident which was described as a pile-up involving several cars.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prima facie reports suggest that the accident took place when a motorcyclist collided with a Honda City which was in front of Irani’s escort vehicle. It’s believed that the motorcyclist died in the accident while three security personnel reportedly sustained injuries. Irani reportedly helped some of the injured before leaving for Delhi.

Misusing free speech? Smriti Irani slams politicians backing ‘Yakub, Afzal’ supporters

Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Smriti Irani on Saturday flayed the Opposition for supporting anti-national sentiments in the name of freedom of expression.Speaking at the national convention of BJP’s youth wing – Bharatiya Janta Yuva Morcha – in Mathura, Irani, in a veiled attack, at the Opposition said it is sad to see some political parties owing to their vested interests are supporting anti-national sentiments.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”It is the misfortune of the nation that few political leaders supported those who backed Afzal Guru, Maqbool Bhat, Yakub Menon and in the name of freedom of expression,” she said.Earlier in the day, Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah criticised Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and his party for backing “anti-nationals” amid the Jawaharlal Nehru University controversy.”There is a big conspiracy going on in the country. Some people are trying to justify anti-national sloganeering as freedom of expression and such anti-national elements are being portrayed as patriots,” Shah said.”The Congress should be ashamed of backing such elements. The youth of this country will give a befitting reply to Rahul Gandhi for supporting those who raised slogans to break India,” the BJP president said while demanding Congress president Sonia Gandhi to come out clear on her stand over the JNU row.

HRD Ministry to identify institutions with world class potential

New Delhi: The HRD Ministry plans to identify central institutions in the next two to three months which it will facilitate to emerge as world class in teaching and research.

HRD MInister Smriti Irani. PTI

HRD MInister Smriti Irani. PTI

HRD minister Smriti Irani told reporters in New Delhi that the domestic rankings of the country’s educational institutes, the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), will be released in April and would assist in selecting the institutes which can be competitive worldwide.

“I think in the next two three months, the process of identification would be over,” Irani said.

In his budget speech, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said the government plans to to ensure an enabling regulatory environment to encourage ten public and ten private institutions to emerge as world class.

Institutions, which are involved in interdisciplinary studies or the highest levels of research, will be chosen, HRD ministry officials accompanying Irani said.

They said the Union Budget 2016 has allocated the Department of School Education and Literacy Rs 43,554 crore which is an increase of Rs 1,334.50 crores, while funds for the Department of Higher Education have been increased by over ten percent.

Pointed out that funds for initiatives like the national scheme for incentive to girl child for secondary education and scheme for madrassas had been reduced, HRD officials said if there is need supplementary funds can be provided.

The demands had been prepared in consultation with states, they said.

Irani also said 62 new Navodaya Vidyalayas have been announced in the Budget. HRD officials said of these, the largest number of 11 such schools would come up in Chhattisgarh.

After setting up of these Navodaya Vidyalyas, all districts with rural areas would have at least one such school and their total number would reach 660, officials said.

The officials also said a digital depository for certificates will be created. Prospective employers can, for a fee, view the certificates of those they want to employ. However, permission of the candidate would be must to aquire this information, officials said.

PTI

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