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Showing posts from July, 2020

Modi did 'nothing' to save Swami Sanand's life, yet to lay Ram temple foundation stone??

Swami Sanand, Narendra Modi By Sandeep Pandey* In 2018, Swami Gyan Swaroop Sanand, earlier known as Professor Guru Das Agrawal when he used to teach at Indian Institute of Technology at Kanpur, wrote four letters to the Prime Minister when he went on a fast for 112 days demanding a law for conservation of Ganga before he succumbed on October 11 at All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh, in which he held the PM responsible for his imminent death.

Provisions of disaster Act 'ignored': Gujarat MBBS students on Corona sahayak duty

By Our Representative More than 100 MBBS Part-I and Part-II students of the NHL Medical College and the LG Hospital and Medical College, which are run by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), in response to a show cause notice, have said that no provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, have been attracted while requisitioning their services for Covid-19 care.

Covid-19 relief: RTI reply reveals lack of transparency bogs GoI help to Gujarat govt

By Pankti Jog*  Ever since March 24, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the nation-wide lockdown, civil society organizations (CSOs), religious bodies and citizen initiative groups have been working tirelessly to provide food to the lockdown-affected people, especially migrant workers. In fact, an impression has gained ground that government efforts have been minuscule as compared with that of CSOs. Facts in our possession suggest that, frequently, the officialdom has been reporting numbers of how the affected people are being helped from CSO data.

Warnings ignored? Why Chardham project in disaster prone Himalayan region

By Surabhi Agarwal, Lubna Sarwath, Sandeep Pandey* The ecologically sensitive citizens had barely recovered from the excruciating death of Professor GD Agrawal aka Swami Gyan Swaroop Sanand, who gave up his life after a 112 days of fasting on October 11, 2018, in Rishikesh demanding an end to devastating activities going on in Himalayas in the form of construction of a series of dams on various streams which join to become Ganga, mining in its bed and deforestation in its valley, that they are now witness to another tragedy unfolding.

Should Muslims sacrifice cattle on Eid-al-Adha? God 'doesn't want' animals slaughtered

By Dr Mike Ghouse* On Friday, July 31, 2020, over a billion and a half Muslims around the world will be slaughtering millions of goats, camels, and cattle to carry out Abraham's tradition of sacrificing the symbolic lamb. Is there an alternative to the ritual of slaying animals on Eid Al-Adha, the festival of sacrifice? The answer is yes!

New education policy fails to legalise universal education for 3-18 yrs: RTE Forum

By Our Representative Even as welcoming the the reiteration of increasing public investment in education to 6% of GDP in the recently approved National Education Policy (NEP), the Right to Education (RTE) Forum has insisted that the need for universalisation of school education for 3-18 years. Ambarish Rai, National Convener of RTE Forum, wondered, how could universalisation be achieved “as the policy is silent on the extension of the Right to Education Act, 2009.”

Ex-Sonia Gandhi aide, others 'welcome' GoI's urban jobs guarantee plan, offer expertise

Counterview Desk In a letter to Hardeep Puri, Union minister for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Government of India (GoI), a civil rights network, the Peoples’ Action for Employment Guarantee, referring to the Central government’s reported plan to launch an urban employment guarantee (UEG) programme at the national level, has offered its expertise in the matter.

Brutal beating by CRPF jawans 'exposes' anti-Adivasi face of security forces: Report

Guna Gope with his daughter Counterview Desk On 15 June, Central Reserve Police Force (CRP) personnel reportedly beat up about 20 people of Chiriabera village (Anjerbeda revenue village, Khuntpani block, West Singhbhum district), Jharkhand. Amongst them, 11 were severely beaten and three sustained grievous injuries.

Labour laws dilution to 'spike' child labour, trafficking: Kailash Satyarthi foundation

By Our Representative The dilution of labour laws by some states in the midst of the Covid-19 lockdown must be reviewed and rescinded immediately, since doing away with crucial safeguards is likely to lead to a spike in the incidence of child labour and child trafficking while deepening exploitation and abuse of workers, a Kailash Satyarthi Children's Foundation (KSCF) report based on a study conducted in some of India's rural areas has recommended.

Prof Hany Babu's arrest part of witch-hunt against political prisoners: Civil rights group

Counterview Desk Condemning the "arbitrary arrest" of Delhi University professor Hany Babu by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in Mumbai, India’s civil rights network Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) has called it a part of the current witch-hunt going on against human rights defenders. Calling Prof Babu’s arrest as also that of others in the “fabricated” Bhima Koregaon-Elgaar Parishad case, and terming them all political prisoners, in a statement CASR demanded their immediate release.

Preamble on paper? Executive's 'inept' interpretation diluting MNREGA, RTE

By Anurag Singh, Sandeep Pandey* Atma-nirbhar (self-reliant) India must perform on several fronts in order to vindicate itself on its adopted path in the current economic crisis coupled with crippling pandemic, two of which are Education and Employment. As a matter of considerable advantage, two recent historic social legislations offer a means to overcome the times of crisis -- Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA), 2005 and Right to Education Act (RTE), 2009.

Migrants 'suffered' because of lack of any policy, constrained by absence of data

By Our Representative A senior expert on migration has complained that the Government of India does not have database or policy for the migrants, whose numbers is likely to reach 650 million in 2021. Prof Irudaya Rajan, who is with the Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram, told a webinar organized by the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi, that this is a major reason why migrants’ plight worsened during the Covid-19 pandemic. Prof Rajan said, of the 650 million around 200 million are interstate or inter-district migrants, and of these, 140 million were actually working and have faced the main brunt of the lockdown. Of these around nine million resorted to “distress migration.” Noting that there are policies for urbanization, the senior expert said, the government effort to ensure that the rural poor get jobs in rural areas has not been successful, as MGNREGA provides jobs only for 100 days, one reason why migrants are again being pushed back to cities

Kashmiri Pandit NGO demands restoration of special status, Article 370 to J&K

By Our Representative Reconciliation, Relief and Rehabilitation, an organization of Kashmiri Pandits, has demanded that Article 370 should be reinstated in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) ahead of the completion of a year of its abrogation by the government of India on August 5, 2019. The Government of India (GoI) move bifurcated the state of J&K into into two Union Territories -- J&K and Ladakh. Demanding “immediate restoration of the special status, enjoyed by J&K before it was taken away by the GoI, n a statement, the Kashmiri Pandit group said, "The Indian Constitution ensures the right to equality that extends to individuals, communities, religions, regions, and all social and political institutions. The right to equality ensures non-discrimination on the basis of religion, caste, region, or any other social and political sub-categories.” Signed by Satish Mahaldar, chairman of the organisation, the statement added, “Never before a state has been downgraded. This is no

Indian elite 'woos' pollution: Post-lockdown private cars preferred over public transport

By Rajiv Shah As Indian cities continue to successively unlock themselves amidst Covid-19 pandemic, a major survey sponsored by the high profile Chicago-based MacArthur Foundation, and carried out by a top Indian environmental group, has found that in the post-lockdown period a whopping 34 per cent of those not owning vehicles would be buying new four wheelers, while 23 per cent said they would go in for two wheelers.

Covid-19: Despite World Bank fund, Gujarat 'not offering' key protein intake to poor

Pankti Jog* Despite taking World Bank loan for food security, facts have come to light suggesting that the Gujarat government is shying away from implementing a crucial food item meant to provide protein under the National Food Security Act (NFSA). This is happening despite the fact that the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) mentions chana as a crucial protein intake to 68 lakh ration card holders.

Gujarat's 41% health workers 'never tested' for Covid: Govt-supported IIM-A report

By Our Representative Even as providing clean chit to the Gujarat government for its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, a new report prepared by a research team headed by Prof Ranjan Kumar Ghosh of the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A) has found that a whopping 41% of health workers of the state reported that they were never tested for the dreaded disease. The report , which has been prepared in close coordination with top state government officials belonging to the departments of labour and employment, climate change, information of broadcasting, food and civil supplies, and health, as also chairman of the state transport corporation, and the IG police (planning and modernisation), further admits that 22% of sanitation workers, 17% lab technicians, 16% doctors, and 10% nurses were never tested for Covid-19. Titled ‘Management of the Covid-19 Pandemic in Gujarat: Understanding the government initiatives, leadership processes and their impact’, the report takes the help o

Withdraw criminal contempt against Prashant Bhushan: Plea to Supreme Court judges

Justice SA Bobde, advocate Prashant Bhushan Counterview Desk As many as 131 concerned citizens in a solidarity statement with top Supreme Court (SC) advocate Prashant Bhushan on the initiation of criminal contempt proceedings against him over two controversial tweets, have said that this has come about amidst “serious questions” having been raised on SC’s reluctance to play its constitutionally mandated role.

Health for all? UP development 'model' is deepening inequalities amidst Covid-19

Antonio Guterres By Shobha Shukla, Bobby Ramakant, Sandeep Pandey* “Covid-19 has exposed the lie that free markets can deliver healthcare for all, the fiction that unpaid care work isn't work, the delusion that we live in a post-racist world.We are all floating on the same sea, but some are in super-yachts and others clinging to drifting debris”, tweeted  Antonio Guterres, United Nations Secretary General a few days back.

Media houses seeking to 'transform' citizens into customers in a society driven by profit

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak* In early 15th century Europe, news used to be political, economic, military and diplomatic messages of the ruling classes. There was no mass media. It was often the voices of the businessmen and ruling elites circulated within their own networks. The revolutionary upheavals and democratisation of society during 19th century led to the growth of mass media.

Why is India's 'amateur' democratic republic in thrall of hereditary association?

Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sachin Pilot Rit Nanda* In 1947, when India became independent, our modern founders decided to experiment with the democratic system. Furthermore, as the British left, so did the presence of their crown in our country. Hence, in 1950, when the Constitution of India was given to its people, it was proclaimed as a democratic republic.

Singing for #BlackLivesMatter, Dalit JNU alumni seeks to expose Indian 'hypocrisy'

By Our Representative In a unique move, a 27-year-old from Tentulipadar, a village in Odisha’s Koraput district, who is post-graduate in Spanish and Latin American Literature from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has been on an anti-caste mission by rooting lyrics in his lived experiences as a Dalit man. A presenter at French Radio Live, Sumeet Samos has taken his rap to various parts of France and Mauritius, where small gatherings of people, ranging from school children to seniors, are made familiar with discussions on caste and its ramifications in India, including reservation in education and jobs and honour killings, using videos, maps and illustrations. Excited by the reach of social media and its revolutionary potential, he decided to combine his lived reality, academic background and experience in activism (as a part of the Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students’ Association) with songs that sound like protest anthems and powerful declarations, instead of run-of-the-mill rap tracks abou

Madhya Pradesh Dalit family is 'forced' to live in toilet for four years: Report

By Our Representative A Dalit family in Tikamgarh district of Madhya Pradesh has been forced to live in a toilet for the last several years, said a media report, even though the administration denied that the family is living like this. Maganlal Ahirwar, his wife and four children live in Keshavgarh Gram Panchayat of Mohangarh area of Tikamgarh district, Madhya Pradesh, are have been living in the toilet for four years, the report said . Ahirwar’s wife Phula Devi has been quoted as saying that she had told the authorities several times that her family didn’t get house under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, but no one listened to her. The couple even got their daughter married in the same toilet. Ironically, t hey even got an electricity connection and gas connection under the Ujjwala scheme. When brought to light, Mohangarh tehsildar Dr Abhijeet Singh, told to media that he got to know about the case and hs sought report. Maganlal Ahirwar had come to his office a few days back, but had

Put on hold labour law amendments through codification of labour laws: CTUs to Kovind

Counterview Desk In a representation to Ram Nath Kovind, President of India, several Central Trade Unions (CTUs), have said that the Central government and several state governments continue to be flouted the principle of “equal pay for equal work” in the name of ease of doing business, with labour laws, in whatever form they exist, sought to be suspended for 1,000 or more days.

Does Modi know? Bank employees' salary hike amidst Covid-19 is 'against' people's mood

By NS Venkataraman* It is reported that bank employees’ unions and the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) have agreed for an annual wage hike of 15 per cent to the bank staff, a move that will result in an additional yearly outgo of around Rs 7,900 crore for the banks. As many as 8.5 lakh bank employees are set to benefit from the wage hike, which will be effective from November 2017. This means bank staff will get the salary hike with retrospective effect from November 2017.

John Lewis: A personal tribute to a legend, who tried to emulate Mahatma Gandhi

Cedric Prakash with John Lewis By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ* John Lewis is no more and the world will miss him! When he died on July 17, 2020, he left a great void which will never be filled! He was one of a kind who roamed this earth, impacted on the lives of many and has left us all a rich and unforgettable legacy. He was truly a wonderful human and a great hero! Beginning Saturday, July 25, his funeral ceremonies lasting for full six days began – until his burial on Thursday, July 30.

Sea ingress invades Narmada up to 80 km due to 'failure' to address climate change

By Our Representative Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader Medha Patkar, launching a youth led campaign, Towards a Better World, has called upon youth to change lifestyle and sources of livelihood for a sustainable and just development, underlining, even though everyone agrees climate change is a big issue, internationally our governments are not acting on climate emergency. Addressing Fridays For Future, a global movement led by Greta Thunberg, in which several youth activists took part, Patkar exhorted the youth to fight against killing, destruction and exploitation of nature whose damage is irreversible, adding, this happens when rivers are polluted, groundwater is extracted to an extent that aquifers are also emptied, when glaciers are coming down, and even the agriculture land is being diverted and food security is lost. Referring to the impact of Narmada dam on the Narmada river in Gujarat, Patkar regretted, without the river flowing, the sea cannot be stopped from coming in. Sea

Locked up, caged? Back from abroad, 'elite' migrants too find their aspirations dashed

By Shivangini Piplani, Sandeep Pandey* 'Madam, Jhooth nahi bolenge, 1500 pada hai, hum 75 aadmi ek truck me aae the (Madam, I'll not lie, we came back in Rs. 1,500 per head, 75 of us packed in one truck),' Ram Kishore confessed to the first writer when she called him up in his village Dalkheda in Unnao District to verify some information related to migrant labourers who've returned. Ram Kishore is a Dalit like most workers from his village who had migrated in search of livelihood.

Indian foreign policy failure? China to take advantage of Iran's 'no' to Chabahar project

By Shabir Ahmad* In a major foreign policy setback for India, Iran has decided to drop India from the strategic Chabahar rail project by citing a delayed funding from Indian side. This strategic railway project in Iran was supposed to be executed by Ircon International Limited, formerly Indian Railway Construction Limited, in association with the Iranian railways.

Nirma varsity demand for higher fees 'illegal', violates Article 14: Letter to Gujarat HC

Counterview Desk Students of Gujarat’s top private institute, Nirma University, situated in the outskirts of Ahmedabad, in a letter to the Chief Justice the state High Court, have complained that the authorities are demanding “full fees” from students, without taking into account the “disproportionate impact” the lockdown has on the livelihood of students and families.

Uttar Pradesh CM asked not to involve anganwadi workers in Covid-19 survey

Anganwadi workers with demands at Unnao district magistrate's office By Our Representative Citing the recent death of an anganwadi worker, Kamini Nigam, working in Unnao district due to coronavirus infection and lack of treatment facility, Workers’ Front, an Uttar Pradesh-based civil rights organization, has demanded that the state government should immediately stop asking the anganwadi workers to carry out survey work for detecting Covid-19 patients. In a letter to chief minister Yogi Adityanath, Workers’ Front president Dinkar Kapoor, even as demanding compensation to the tune of Rs 50 lakh to the kin of Kamini Nigam, said, anganwadis’ main job is to mainly serve nutritional and health needs of pregnant and lactating women, children under xsic and teenager girls under 18. These groups have to be kept safe as per Government of India guidelines. By putting anganwadi workers in survey work, the state government is putting the life these sections in danger. Kamini Nigam was carrying

Environmental NGO 'forces' Gujarat govt to postpone public hearing of Nayara Energy

Mahesh Pandya (right) By Our Representative Gujarat’s top environmental NGO Paryavaran Mitra has claimed success for forcing the Gujarat government to postpone environmental public hearings (EPHs), which were scheduled for July 28-29 in Jamnagar and Devbhoomi Dwarka district, for Nayara Energy Ltd. The Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) had announced the dates for the hearings for the expansion of Nayara Energy’s plant, located between the two districts, last month. Paryavaran Mitra director Mahesh Pandya said, he had made the representation against the backdrop of the spread of Covid-19 pandemic, which has now become an all-Gujarat phenomenon, and Saurashtra regions, which include the two districts in question. Citing the Unlock 2.0 guidelines under the Disaster Management Act, Pandya insisted, they clearly prohibit public gatherings, adding, thousands are known to gather in such hearings. In a letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, Pandya had said, on June 25 he

India's 14 crore go jobless, 35% MSMEs face closure, govt 'woos' FDI, corporates

Counterview Desk The national platform of Central Trade Unions (CTUs)*, even as calling upon working class to observe the Quit India day August 9 as Save India day, and observe solidarity actions on August 18, when the coalmine workers across India go in for strike, has said that the Government of India has “failed” to implement its own order regarding payment of lockdown period wages and no retrenchments and no cut in wages, leading to sharp rise of joblessness.

New saffron agenda? To drop federalism, human rights, Tagore from textbooks

By Ram Puniyani* Amidst the Covid-19 havoc all around, rulers of certain countries are seeking to further intensify their set agendas. Democratic freedoms are being curtailed, a reaction to which has come in America in the form of a campaign to oppose the “stifling” cultural climate that is imposing “ideological conformity” and weakening “norms of open debate and toleration of differences”.

Most Gujarat construction workers 'fail to get' Rs 1000 cash benefit during lockdown

By Our Representative Three unorganised workers’ organisations of Gujarat – Bandhkam Majur Sangathan, Bandhkam Majur Vikas Sangh and Majur Adhikar Manch – have taken strong exception to the failure of the state government failing to provide the promised Rs 1,000 cash benefit to the state’s 42% of the registered construction workers during the lockdown. At the same time, they have complained, in a letter to the Gujarat Building and Other Construction Labor Welfare Board, there is no information whether those who have not registered themselves – about 30% of the construction workers – have received the amount. The letter said, the state chief minister had announced a cash relief of Rs 1,000 to unorganized workers’ families, which included 6.38 lakh construction workers registered with the board. But out of 6.38 lakh workers registered with the board, only 3.68 lakh workers have been paid Rs 1000 through direct bank transfer (DBT). Addressed to the board’s member-secretary, with a copy to

Odisha villagers use wall writing to demand better school infrastructure

By Our Representative In a unique move, Odisha villagers chosen wall-writing to put forth their demand on education in its efforts to urge the state government to build school infrastructure and start remedial classes for weak students of government-run schools. Part of the Mission 3-5-8 programme, which seeks remedial classes for weak students by August 15, more than 6000 wall writings have been put in the walls across 17 rural districts in the state. Naba Kishor Pujari, a civil society leader, said, the campaign was prompted on finding that “first-generation learners in remote villages, especially in tribal areas, lack online and community resources to learn at home during the lockdown, as mandated by the government. Though the government has started online classes, it has benefited only few, those residing in semi-urban areas and those who have access to electronic gadgets.” “Despite our efforts, the state government has yet to take any step on our demand. As a parents, we can see t

Powerful troika's 'lawfare' against India's egalitarian, democratic, secular ethos

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak* Hindutva is seeking to replace seven decades of secular democratic traditions and liberal constitutional practices in India. Well-established decentralised institutions of governance are being destroyed by triggering processes of centralisation of power under the BJP government led by Narendra Modi. The civilizational traditions of inter-faith dialogue and religious harmony of Indian society are facing ruin by majoritarian politics of Hindutva forces.

Dichotomy? US Hindutva groups oppose racism, mum on Modi's 'anti-minority' stance

By Our Representative The Hindus for Human Rights (HHR), a US-based advocacy group, has noticed a major dichotomy between the stance taken by RSS’ US arm, Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh (HSS), expressing “shock” at the “painful killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others”, all of which suggest “the tragic tale of racial injustice” in US, and HSS’ “hatred” for India’s religious minorities and Dalits.

Politician-babu coterie 'running' Sardar Patel-founded Ahmedabad hospital amidst Covid

By Rupa Chinai* The determined effort of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) to run the public-charitable Chinai Maternity and Sarabhai General Hospitals to the ground and kill these institutions has surpassed all limits of irresponsibility.  On June 22, 2020 a pregnant woman, age 28, and her two unborn babies were brought to Chinai Maternity Hospital by a 108 Ambulance service. Handling pregnancy related emergencies such as eclampsia (a common complication of pregnancy) is a routine part of the services offered in a maternity hospital. Junior MBBS doctors who are running the emergency services directed the patient to another hospital and both the woman and her unborn babies died before they could get help.

High youth unemployment: India 'fails' to take advantage of demographic dividend

By Varun Kumar As coronavirus pandemic continues amplifying challenges among youth with regard to employment opportunities, government policies have further resulted in economic slowdown, leading to mass unemployment and loss jobs. According to the International Labour Organisation report “Covid-19 and the World of Work” (May 27, 2020), around 94 percent of the world’s workers are living in countries with some sort of workplace closure measures in place.

Locals, activists want defunct breeding centre for 'vulnerable' Kashmiri stag revived

By Basharat Rashid* Wildlife authorities in Kashmir have recently announced that a group of hangul were captured by their lens in Shikargah wildlife sanctuary of Tral in Southern part of Kashmir, following which locals were seen very happy as there is apparent dearth of overall hangul population in Kashmir.

Online teaching leaves lakhs of Odisha rural children’s education in the lurch

By Our Representative In a virtual discussion organized under Mission 3-5-8, a nationwide campaign on education, experts urged the Odisha government to focus on school infrastructure amidst lockdown as an opportunity to start remedial classes to help weaker students learn faster and be like other students. Organised by the Odisha Shramajeebee Mancha, Mahila Shramajeebee Mancha and the Atmashakti Trust, with 100 civil society organization (CSO) participating, Ghasiram Panda of Action Aid and advisor on Right to Education (RTE) to the Odisha State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, said, Covid had made one comprehend once that we are far behind in fulfilling the norms and standards for our schools as envisaged in RTE. “School infrastructure should be seen as a stand alone factor, designed to see as community resource centre as in most of the villages these are the only infrastructure to be used in any disaster”, Panda told the webinar, adding, “Lack of required school infrastruct

Incarceration of Gul: 'Farce' of dominant narrative - Muslim women need saving

Counterview Desk In an open statement, more than 450 individuals and 40 organizations* have called for immediate release of Gulfisha Fatima, a young student and community educator from Seelampur, Delhi, allegedly wrongly incarcerated for protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NCR) and National Population Register (NPR).

How state 'mishandled' Bihar gang-rape case taking advantage of Covid-19 crisis

Counterview Desk Commenting on the recent arrest of a rape survivor and her two activist-associates in Araria, Bihar, the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS), a well-known people’s organisation claiming to be part of the "growing" non-party political process in India, has regretted while the main victim has been granted bail, the activists, Kalyani and Tanmay, have not been freed.

Daily wagers being 'dragged' into miserable situation, their options are drying out

By SN Surajbhan* While the whole world is applauding the dedication and commitment of the doctors during the current pandemic, there is little concern for people like Afroz Kotwar, who has lost his job since the commencement of the lockdown. The restrictions imposed by the government may be a clinical procedure for containing the virus from spreading, but it has also brought a halt in the life of the daily wage labourers, many of them migrants.

Less than one-fourth reserved seats for poor children in UP private schools filled up

By Our Representative Under Section 12 (1) (c) of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009, private schools in Uttar Pradesh should be keeping 25% or 2,13,414 seats reserved for disadvantaged groups and weaker sections. However, fresh information suggests that just about 59,656 seats – or 22% of the allocated seats for weaker sections – have been made available for them in the state. Citing district-wise figures , a statement by the Socialist Party (India), which is led, among others, by well-known Magsaysay award winning social activist, Sandeep Pandey, offers instances where the parents of the children from backward background are unable to get necessary documents from the government for admission in the 25% reserved quota. “For example, the admission of Halima, daughter Yasser Arafat, in the academic session 2019-20 was ordered at Pioneer Montessori Junior High School, Yahyaganj, but the letter from the Basic Education Officer's office was not released”, the statement complains. T

Chhattisgarh plans to demolish workers' houses to 'facilitate' industrial units in Bhilai

Counterview Desk The National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), India’s top civil society network, has asked Bhupesh Baghel, Chhattisgarh chief minister, to urgently intervene and stop the eviction of workers in the Bhilai Industrial Area and the demolition of their houses in Bijli Nagar in order to ensure that about 100 people do not become homeless.

Why Gehlot's deputy embarked on his present enterprise, Scindia became a turncoat

By Anand K Sahay* Rajasthan is in the news because of the effort mounted to topple the Congress government in the state led by Ashok Gehlot, a seasoned and respected leader. In BJP’s scheme, it is irrelevant that the government enjoys a clear majority, or that toppling it amounts to sabotaging the people’s verdict.

Options before India: Modi's 'please all' foreign policy failed to rope in neighbours

By NS Venkataraman* During the last six years, the Government of India, with Naremdra Modi as Prime Minister, has been following a “please all” foreign policy. In fact, Modi tried to please every country, including China and Pakistan, even though both these countries have not concealed their hostility towards India.