27 students across 10 Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) in the country have committed suicide in the last five years, reply to a Right to Information (RTI) query has revealed. As per the data provided by the Department of Higher Education working under the Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD), IIT-Madras tops the list with suicides by seven students during this period. In the reply to a query asked by RTI activist Chandrashekhar Gaur on December 2, the MHRD said that between 2014 and 2019, seven students from IIT Madras, five from IIT-Kharagpur and three each from IIT-Delhi and IIT-Hyderabad committed suicide. Two students each from IIT-Bombay, IIT-Guwahati and IIT-Roorkee also ended their lives during the period, it said. During this period, one student each from Varanasi’s IIT (BHU), IIT (Indian School of Mines) Dhanbad and IIT Kanpur took the extreme step. However, no reply was given to the query which sought to know the reasons behind the IIT students’ suicides. When asked about the measures taken to prevent student suicides in the country’s premier technical institutes, the reply said, “Systems are in place in IITs to enquire and take action in all complaints received from students in IIT campuses, which includes Student Grievance Cell, Disciplinary Action Committee, Counseling Centres, etc.” Meanwhile, Anand Kumar, founder of “Super 30”, a Patna-based institute giving coaching to meritorious students from poor families to prepare for the IIT entrance examination, expressed concern over the suicides by the students belonging to the top technical institutes. Talking to PTI, Mr Kumar said, “In the present situation, the nature of selection process for the IITs needs to be changed. In this process, students with innovative skills who are able to withstand different pressures of life should be given preference.” He said that the number of teachers in IITs should be in proportion to the students, so that each one gets proper attention. He also suggested that special English classes should be started for the students who reach IITs after studying in non-English medium schools to aid them in their studies.
The home ministry on Tuesday told Parliament that 88 terror incidents have been recorded in Jammu and Kashmir since the effective scrapping of Article 370 of the Constitution on August 5, when the state was put under an unprecedented security lockdown. The data is for a 115-day period till November 27 and it corresponds to a nearly 17 per cent reduction in the number of terror incidents in the region. The 115-day period preceding the move – April 12 to August 4 – had witnessed 106 such incidents, the home ministry said. While the government gave the data on the number of terror attacks, it did not compare the severity of them or how many people were killed in the attacks before and after the repeal of the state’s special autonomy. The data was presented in Lok Sabha by minister of state for home G Kishan Reddy in response to questions by four MPs. The severe restrictions imposed in the state, particularly in the Valley, included deployment of additional troops to the Muslim-majority region in the lead-up, imposition of curfew on parts of the territory, shutting down of all forms of telecommunications and arrest of all mainstream political leaders. While some of the restrictions have been lifted since then, internet and prepaid mobile services are still blocked in the Valley and most political leaders are still under detentions. The government has justified the prolonged security lockdown, which has brought it international criticism, on the grounds that it was necessary to prevent cross-border terrorism and untoward incidents.
Bajaj directed questions to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Home Minister Amit Shah and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal at The Economic Times, ET Awards 2019 event on Saturday which took place in Mumbai. “During second term of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance, the UPA II, we could abuse anyone,” Bajaj said. “You are doing good work, but if we want to openly criticise you, there is no confidence you will appreciate that. I may be wrong but everyone feels that.” Bajaj noted that no one else from the business community would raise this matter. Union ministers and Bharatiya Janata Party leaders responded to Bajaj Group Chairperson Rahul Bajaj’s concerns about the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre. While Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said it was better for a person to seek an answer than spreading their own impressions, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri alleged there were fake narratives. “Questions/criticisms are heard and answered/addressed,” Sitharaman said in a tweet on Sunday evening. “Always a better way to seek an answer than spreading one’s own impressions which, on gaining traction, can hurt national interest.”
“A coalition of five parties — Congress, MGP, Goa Forward Party, Shiv Sena and NCP — can be formed in Goa to fight the 2022 Assembly elections,” the MGP leader said. At present such an alliance can not pose any threat to the BJP government in Goa as opposition does not have the numbers, he added. “Alternative government cannot be formed unless the Speaker disqualifies the members who crossed over illegally to the BJP,” he said. With entry of these 12 MLAs, the BJP in Goa now has a majority in the Assembly. Dhavalikar said he asked Raut to come to Goa for the first round of meetings of the proposed coalition and for working out a Common Minimum Program. “It will be good if Sanjay Raut is taking the lead in forming the coalition of five parties in Goa,” he said. Dhavalikar also said he would monitor the behaviour of some “fence-sitting leaders” in the opposition, especially in the Congress. “I will be observing their moves for the next two-three months. There are some fence-sitting leaders in Congress. If we are having a coalition, it should be at all levels,” the former minister said. He will also have to see how the new coalition government in Maharashtra functions, he said. Goa Congress, however, ruled out joining any front to topple the BJP government in the state. Congress’s Goa unit president Girish Chodankar said his party will prefer to be in opposition rather than trying to poach ruling party MLAs to pull down the government. “I would be happy to see the BJP government fall down in Goa. But there is no such possibility as BJP has support of 30 MLAs (in 40-member Assembly). I would rather prefer to sit in opposition than toppling government,” Chodankar said. Earlier, speaking in Mumbai, Raut said after Maharashtra, an anti-BJP front was shaping up in Goa. Goa Forward Party leader Vijai Sardesai met Raut and told reporters later that his party favoured a Maharashtra-like experiment in Goa to get rid of “anti-people” BJP government. Dhavalikar too said that he reacted positively to the idea.
All with postpaid mobile connections in Jammu and Kashmir will finally be able to make calls starting Monday as the communications blackout imposed before the government revoked the state’s decades-old special privileges entered its 69th day. “Mobile phone connections, to be specific, all postpaid mobile phone connections, irrespective of service provider, will resume from Monday – October 14th at noon. This will happen across the state, in all 10 districts of Kashmir,” Jammu and Kashmir Principal Secretary Rohit Kansal said at a news briefing.
Internet connectivity, however, will remain suspended for now.
“The restrictions were imposed so that externally aided terrorism does not lead to a loss of lives. These measures ensured no unnecessary loss of life. This is remarkable given what happened in 2008, 2010, and 2016,” Mr Kansal said. He also said that political leaders who have been detained will be gradually released, adding it was a “dynamic process”.
The central government had ended Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on August 5 and split it into two union territories, saying the move would help ensure that people of the state get the same constitutional benefits as the rest of the country and spur development. To prevent any backlash, the centre also imposed massive security restrictions and took measures that included arresting politicians, evacuating tourists, posting extra troops and blocking phone and internet lines. Some of those curbs have been slowly relaxed, but mobile and internet communications in the Kashmir valley were largely still blocked. The advisory preventing tourists from visiting the state was lifted on Thursday.
Multiple loud explosions were heard in Pokhran area of Thar desert in Rajasthan on Tuesday, following which the Indian Army clarified that they were destroying old ordnance in the region. The Army said it’s a routine affair and there was nothing unusual about it. This comes after rumours that a “thermonuclear and tactical nuclear weapons test” was being conducted.
Police detained 144 children in Kashmir, including a nine-year-old, since August 5 when the Centre revoked Article 370, according to a Supreme Court-appointed committee’s report. Most children who were arrested and lodged in police stations were released on the same day, police told the four-member Juvenile Justice Committee of J&K High Court looking into the allegations of illegal detention.
The Central Board of Secondary Education has asked schools across the country to voluntarily observe khadi-wearing day at least once a month as part of the celebration of 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. CBSE Secretary Anurag Tripathi wrote a letter to school principals, saying that khadi is India’s heritage fabric which provides employment opportunities to lakhs of rural artisans.
It said that Khadi was the heritage fabric of India which not only provided employment opportunities to lakhs of rural artisans in the country but also promoted unity and equality. The letter added that Khadi was a hand-woven and hand-spun, skin-friendly fabric that did not leave a carbon footprint. CBSE Secretary Anurag Thakur, said at a press conference, that it was up to individuals to find use for khadi in their dresses or accessories. “Since students have to wear uniforms, they can carry khadi handkerchiefs. We have also asked schools to encourage children to carry jute bags,” he said.
The terror camp in Pakistan’s Balakot bombed by India in February has been “reactivated” very recently, Army Chief Bipin Rawat said today. He also said about 500 terrorists were waiting to infiltrate into India. “Balakot has been re-activated by Pakistan, very recently. This shows Balakot was affected, it was damaged; it highlights some action was taken by the Indian Air Force at Balakot and now they have got the people back there,” General Rawat said in Chennai, speaking to reporters at the Officers Training Academy. “…some action had been taken by Indian Air Force and now they have got the people back there,” he added. The Army Chief’s comments come days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to address the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Yesterday, at the mega “Howdy, Modi!” event in Houston, where he shared a stage with US President Donald Trump, the PM took on Pakistan and said it was time to fight against terrorism and those who supported terror. “Whether it is 9/11 in America or 26/11 in Mumbai, where are its conspirators found? Not just you, the whole world knows who these people are,” he said without naming Pakistan.
Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma has launched a stinging attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the lavish ‘Howdy, Modi!’ event in the United States on Sunday, reminding him that he is in the country as the Prime Minister of India and not to campaign for US President Donald Trump. In tweets posted late Sunday night, the Rajya Sabha MP criticised PM Modi for having “violated the time-honoured principle of not interfering” in another country’s election. Prime Minister Modi, in the US for a week-long visit, was joined by President Trump at a public event in Houston, Texas. PM Modi, who received a rockstar welcome, took the unusual step of introducing Mr Trump to a crowd of more than 50,000. In his introduction, PM Modi lavished praise on Mr Trump, whom he called “a very special person”. President Trump, a Republican, is seeking re-election next year. Mr Sharma, who pointed out that India’s relationship with United States had always been bipartisan, was left less than impressed at what appeared to PM Modi’s attempt to drum up support among Indian-Americans for Mr Trump. “Mr Prime Minister, you have violated the time-honoured principle of Indian foreign policy of not interfering in the domestic elections of another country. Our relationship with the United States of America has throughout been bipartisan, vis-a-vis Republicans and Democrats,” Mr Sharma wrote, adding, “Your actively campaigning for Trump is a breach of both India and America as sovereign nations and democracies”.