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19 November 2017

19 Nov.ND:Govt accepts panel’s recommendation to hike quota of pvt Haj tour operators/ AMU must become co-ed, merge Shia, Sunni studies: Govt audit



Evening NEWS DIGEST
19 Nov.2017: 29 Safar 1439:Vol:9, No:51
Govt accepts panel’s recommendation to hike quota of pvt Haj tour operators
New Delhi:Govt has accepted a high-level committee’s recommendation of increasing by over 3% quota of private tour operators sending Haj pilgrims to Saudi Arabia. The high-level committee formed by the Govt to frame draft ‘Haj Policy 2018-2022’ had made recommendation last month. The committee had recommended that the quota of private tour operators be increased from the present 26.47% to 30%.Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has confirmed that the panel’s suggestion has been accepted.India has an annual Haj quota of 1.70 lakh.Out of this, according to the allocation for 2017, 1.25 lakh pilgrims could travel to Saudi Arabia through the Haj Committee of India (HCoI). The private tour operators (PTOs) could transport 45,000 devotees. The revision of the quota allocation now will mean that 51,000 devotees can travel through PTOs. Remaining 1.19 lakh devotees can undertake the journey through the HCoI.“We have accepted the recommendation. It is a logical recommendation which has been accepted after studying each aspect of the issue including that of interests of the pilgrims,” Naqvi said. He also said that the categories of PTOs have been increased to 3 from 2.The private players are categorised based on the number of years they have facilitated pilgrims (more the number of years of operation, higher the category they are put in). Those, who have successfully completed at least seven years of operations, are put in category 1. According to a source in the ministry, the allocation revision “should not make much of a difference” for devotees given the Haj subsidy is being gradually reduced in view of a 2012 Supreme Court order. As per the apex court’s order, the subsidy is to be abolished gradually till 2022.“Earlier people would seek to go through HCoI because they would get subsidy. Now the subsidy is being gradually lowered since 2012,” a source said. “So, it should not make much of a difference to the devotees whether they undertake the journey either through the HCoI or PTOs in future,” the source added.PTI
AMU must become co-ed, merge Shia, Sunni studies: Govt audit
New Delhi: AMU must abolish separate colleges for male and female undergraduate students, do away with discretionary admission quotas and merge the departments for Sunni and Shia studies, a Govt-backed audit of the institution has suggested. These are among the top recommendations the audit made to help move 142-year-old university away from its “past feudal culture and present obscurantist attitude”, ensuring its students “broaden their mental horizon” and climb the social ladder with “blinkers off”.Institution, better known as AMU, is among 10 universities being audited for their academics, research, finance and infrastructure. UGC set up 5 panels for this on April 25.No official reason was given for the audit, although some of these universities have been in the news for student protests and allegations of nepotism and autocratic administrations. Allahabad University and Pondicherry University are among them.In the case of AMU, a university known for its orthodox Muslim culture and segregation of the sexes, it’s more about a need for wider reforms, the audit suggested.“There is a need to reorient the educational pattern and syllabi in a very conscious way taking into account the need and background of the students,” said the audit report, which was submitted to the human resource development ministry earlier this month.In a section titled “University Culture”, the audit said the institution should encourage vocational courses not only to enhance students’ employability but because it will facilitate their upward social mobility and “broaden their mental horizon” so that they can “contribute more meaningfully to their family, community and society”.Audit report said “the segregation of boys and girls up to the under-graduate courses in separate boys-only and girls-only college is considered a legacy of the past especially when the workplaces and activities in the real world are gender-neutral”. AMU’s identity is a contentious political issue, with the central Govt arguing that granting it the status of a minority institution was in violation of the constitution that does not permit a secular India to set up and fund institutions on religious lines. Reacting to audit, AMU official spokesman Omar S Peerzada told HT: “As the university has not received any intimation or correspondence in this regard till this date, we are not in a position to give any reaction.” UGC-backed audit also said many of the university’s departments could be merged. For instance, separate Sunni and Shia depts under Theology faculty could be merged into a dept for comparative religion.“There is a need to merge departments to make them wholesome and to facilitate constant interaction with one another,” said the audit, a copy of which is with HT. The audit panel pointed out that during its visit and interactions with various stakeholders it sensed “groupism being rife amongst teachers, arising from regional and linguistic biases”.HT
'No separate colleges for boys, girls', UGC panel to AMU
AMU team wins $5000 Facebook funding for web extension that counters extremist content
Mumbai: A team from AMU won $5000 in funding from Facebook for developing a prototype web extension that could help counter violent and extremist content on the Internet. They were among four other groups of students and young professionals from across the country shortlisted to pitch their ideas at Digital Masala Challenge – a hackathon organised by web portal Youth Ki Awaaz on Saturday. From a web series to a bot, each brought to the table unique ideas to counter the narrative of extremism rapidly spreading across social networks. With terror outfits such as Islamic State, al Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) and militant outfits in conflict areas taking to social media and mobile messaging services to recruit vulnerable youth, the debate over how best to monitor digital spaces without violating privacy norms has left many struggling to find solutions.Calling themselves Team Moderators, AMU students showcased an NLP based browser extension that analyses content on news portals and blogs on Internet and ranks them on a Polarisation Index.A group of experts – yet to be identified – will have access to the developer dashboard of the extension and can then rate popular articles or those that are going viral on a scale of 1 – 10. This, based on how polarised the content is. The extension also offers readers the related articles from reputed news websites. The concern, though, is a likely bias of those rating the content.“We will have a process of identifying people who can be a part of the moderators but that will be worked out eventually,” says Hamza Khan, who along with Ashar Shahid and Baqir Khan spent last 48 hours fine-tuning their product. Anvyaya, a group of journalism and media students from the national capital, pitched the idea of creating a web series to counter those shared by extremist groups that seek to radicalise youth by either showcasing a world of luxury or those urging them to join caliphate and bring about ‘much-deserved justice’ which they’ve been ‘wrongfully denied’. indianexpress
Govt starts working on deradicalisation
The anti-minority narrative against Modi-led Govt and threat of Muslim youth being radicalised by violent organisations such as ISIS have prompted the Centre to rope in over 100 Muslim organisations, clerics, and members of the intelligentsia to counter the challenge.Aim is to frame a formal deradicalisation policy for the minorities, especially Muslims, to send across the message that BJP-led Govt  at the Centre was not working against their interests, sources in Govt said. Officials said radicalisation and the discourse that the Govt was targeting minorities were linked. The vulnerable youth were being brainwashed, at times on the pretext that Govt and the authorities were anti-Muslim."Many groups, including Imams from mosques who believe that some organisations are involved in anti-India activities, are part of the exercise. They can help in winning over the misguided youth and also counter the propaganda that Govt  is working against the interests of Muslims," a Govt  official said.The decision to get these bodies and individuals involved was taken after Home Minister Rajnath Singh held several rounds of meetings with many of them to convince them to be part of the de-radicalisation plans. MHA has been continuously engaging with the Muslim clerics, including those from the liberal Sufi sects, in the last 18 months. NSA Ajit Doval has also been a part of some these meetings, sources said.The organisations include bodies from Telangana, Kerala, J&K, Maharashtra, and UP, where several cases of youngsters getting attracted to ISIS ideology have been reported.Now, MHA has started the process of formalising the policy. dnaindia
Top security officials deny IS imprint in Kashmir, ask terror recruits to return home
Srinagar: Kashmir director general of police SP Vaid on Sunday dismissed reports that the Islamic State was active in the Valley, a day after security forces carried out a major operation against militants in the state.“I don’t think ISIS has any imprint here,” he said at a joint press conference of security forces heads held in Srinagar. “Kashmir will be free of violence very soon. Yesterday’s operation has cleaned up the area. I am sure people can now live their lives without any fear of terror.”Vaid was referring to an anti-terror operation on Saturday evening, when six militants – including two Lashkar-e-Taiba commanders and the nephew of Mumbai terror attacks plotter Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi – were killed by security forces in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district. No militant managed to escape from the scene of the encounter.Lt General JS Sandhu, general officer commanding (GOC) of 15 Corps, said security forces have killed around 190 terrorists so far this year. “Of these, around 66 were eliminated while trying to infiltrate into the country through the line of control,” he added. Sandhu elaborated on the various measures undertaken by security forces to counter terror attacks, and encourage local terror recruits to return to mainstream society. “We killed around 125-130 terrorists in the hinterlands of Kashmir Valley this year. This resulted in a remarkable change in the situation here. We inducted special forces into service, and were practically launching search ops on a daily basis,” he said.Lt General said security forces were also undertaking major steps, such as bringing in smart components, to plug holes in the LoC. Referring to Saturday’s encounter, he said: “Based on specific information, CRPF, Army and J&K police launched a joint operation in which six terrorists were eliminated. None of them were locals. I commend all the agencies concerned for ensuring success in the operation.”CRPF inspector general (operations) Zulfikar Hassan exhorted local recruits to return home, and assured that they would be treated with dignity. “Locals who have turned to militancy can always come back to the mainstream. Police, army and CRPF helpines can be used to contact us,” he said. Hindustantimes
Restrictions defied in Srinagar to attend militant's funeral
Srinagar: A large number of people on Saturday defied curfew-like restrictions imposed by the authorities here to attend the funeral of slain militant Mugees Ahmad Mir.Authorities had imposed restrictions in several areas in Srinagar to maintain law and order. However, people from different parts of the city reached Parimpora area where the slain militant's funeral was held.JKLF Chairman Yasin Malik has been arrested and the authorities shifted him to Srinagar central jail on Saturday, in addition to placing Mirwaiz Umer Farooq under house arrest.Mugees Ahmad Mir was killed on Friday in a shootout with the police in Zakura area of Srinagar. A sub-inspector of Jammu and Kashmir police, Imran Tak was also killed in the shootout.IANS
JK HC admits petition seeking further probe into Poonch killings
Srinagar:J&K High Court has admitted a petition seeking further investigation into the killing of 19 civilians in Sailan village of Poonch 19 years ago. The families of the victims have sought further probe after CBI closed the case saying that the families were “untruthful”. Acting on the petition filed by the victims’ families, challenging the CBI’s closure report, the court issued notice to the CBI asking it to respond. The case has been reopened for the second time by the court.On the intervening night of August 3 and 4 in 1998, 19 civilians — 13 females and 6 males — were killed inside their homes at point blank range in Sailan. Eleven of them were children. The families alleged that four Special Police Officers (SPOs) of J&K Police and personnel of 9 Para battalion of the Army were responsible for the killings. They alleged that the killers were led by Major Guarav Rishi of Army’s 9 Para. The families had been accusing J&K Police of covering up the massacre.In 2011, families approached the high court seeking reopening of the case. In 2012, the HC directed the CBI to reinvestigate. On Aug.27, 2015, CBI filed a closure report saying the families were not “truthful”. Two years later, CBI court accepted the investigations. The families again approached the HC challenging the order of the CBI court. They argued that the CBI court ignored the material evidence and that its decision was “arbitrary and perverse”. “The (CBI court) order has resulted in serious miscarriage of justice,” said a spokesman of J&K  Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS), which is helping the families in the legal fight. “CBI court accepted the conclusions of CBI and failed to appreciate the detailed submissions made by the family members of the victims that clearly indict the state forces for the crime.” indianexpress
Rajnath asks J&K to review cases of child protesters
New Delhi:Home Minister Rajnath Singh has asked J&K Govt  to move all juveniles, arrested for throwing stones and other unlawful activities, from jails to remand homes and review their cases sympathetically, officials said.The decision is considered to be an attempt to reach out to the people of the State by the Centre after the appointment of Dineshwar Sharma as Special Representative to initiate talks with all stakeholders.Key issue was discussed in detail at Wednesday’s meeting of the core group on Kashmir, chaired by Union Home Minister and attended by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and NSA Doval, where it was decided to ask the J&K  Govt  to work on the cases of juveniles.After the core group meeting, the J&K  Govt  had been asked to shift all juveniles, arrested for pelting stones and other crimes, to remand homes and review their cases sympathetically, a Home Ministry source, privy to the development, said.PTI
‘Considering’ India’s request to let Jadhav meet mother: Pak
Islamabad:Pakistan on Saturday said it is “considering” India’s request to let Kulbhushan Jadhav’s mother meet him, apart from his wife who has already received permission to visit the Indian death row prisoner. Last week, Pakistan said it had offered to arrange a meeting between 46-year-old Jadhav and his wife, months after India had requested it to grant a visa to his mother on humanitarian grounds. Foreign Office (FO) sources here said India in response has again asked Pakistan to issue a visa to Jadhav’s mother so she can also visit her detained son.FO spokesman Mohammad Faisal confirmed that India has responded to Pakistan’s offer. “Indian reply to Pakistan’s humanitarian offer for Commander Jadhav received & is being considered,” he tweeted.PTI
Myanmar Army to train with Indian Army in Meghalaya
Guwahati:A group of 15 officers from the Myanmarese Army is arriving here on Sunday for a six-day bilateral military exercise with counterparts from the Indian Army at Umroi in Meghalaya, this being the first ever joint exercise of troops from the two neighbouring countries. Guwahati-based Defence PRO Lt Col Suneet Newton said the aim of this bilateral training event is to train the Myanmar delegation for participation in United Nations Peacekeeping Operations under the UN flag. “The joint exercise is the first of its kind military training exercise on UN Peacekeeping Operations (UNPKO) between India and Myanmar,” he said.The bilateral exercise will be conducted at the Joint Training Node of the Indian Army at Umroi, about 30 km from Shillong, the Meghalaya capital. The Indian Army delegation would have 16 officers, Lt Col Newton said. “While the Indian Army has a rich experience of serving in UNPKO, focus of this 6-day joint exercise will be on training the Myanmar Army delegation on the various tactics, procedures, expertise and methodology required by the contingent of the member nations for serving in UNPKO,” he said. indianexpress
Ahead of ICJ election, Britain resorting to dirty politics to thwart India’s prospects: PTI Report
UN: UK is trying to “misuse” its UNSC membership by pushing for a joint conference mechanism, which was last used 96 years ago, in the election to the last seat in the World Court on Monday in which India’s Dalveer Bhandari is a front-runner, diplomatic sources said.Bhandari and Britain’s Christopher Greenwood are locked in a neck-and-neck fight for re-election to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).One-third of the court’s 15-member bench are elected every three years for a nine-year term, elections for which are held separately but simultaneously in the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council in New York.Britain is aggressively pushing in the UN Security Council for resorting to the joint conference mechanism which was last used some 96 years ago and against which there exists an unequivocal legal opinion, the diplomatic sources said.The “dirty politics” being played by India’s former colonial ruler, as one UN insider put it, has sent a sense of “uneasiness” among other members of the powerful UN Security Council, many of whom are aware of the long-term implications of a move to ignore the voice of the majority of the United Nations General Assembly.In all previous incidents, the candidate getting majority in the General Assembly has eventually been elected a judge of The Hague-based International Court of Justice.Bhandari, 70, has support of nearly two-thirds of 193 UN members. Greenwood, who has already served one nine-year term in ICJ, is trailing behind more than 50 votes in the General Assembly. However, he received nine against five for Bhandari in the Security Council.To win ICJ election a candidate needs to get majority in both the General Assembly and the Security Council, which has not been the case in the 11 rounds of voting so far.Both the General Assembly and the Security Council have convened separate meetings at the UN headquarters tomorrow (3 p.m. local time) to hold the 12th round of voting.PTI
Ban Gaurakshaks, allow cattle trade:All India Kisan Sabha
New Delhi:All India Kisan Sabha  has demanded an immediate ban on ‘Gaurakshaks’, in the wake of killings and attacks unleashed by them including that of the recent murder of Ummer Khan in Rajasthan’s Alwar district. Speaking after visiting Khan’s family and senior police officers, in Bharatpur district, the Sabha delegation alleged that authorities in State and Central Govt s are hand in glove with criminals.“Even PM Narendra Modi had criticised gaurakshaks and described them as ‘anti-social elements’, so what is stopping the Central and state Govt s from banning this group?” asked Dr Ashok Dhawale, the Kisan Sabha president and former MP Hannan Mollah.Sabha alleged that there is a pattern in every killing, citing the case of Pehlu Khan, who was killed in Alwar district in April by gaurakshaks, and real culprits were left scot-free by the police and state Govt s in all the cases. The perpetrators of Khan’s murder had tried to misguide the public that it was an accidental death, Dr Dhawale pointed out that the murder happened at Gahankar village in Bharatpur distrtict and the vehicle was found at Govindgarh. But the body was found 15 KM away on railway tracks in Ramgarh. The Ghaatmika village, where Khan belongs to, has 450 houses in which 400 are Muslim families, Kisan Sabha said. “Village has around 1000 cows apart from buffalos and their main income is from dairy farming. Their main source of income is from selling milk. But after this incident people are afraid to move out of the village.”But the police is portraying the villagers as criminals and cow smugglers just as the Britishers did with particular tribes naming them criminals. When we met Superintendent of Police, he said that the police made it a case of cow smuggling since there was no tax receipt from the cattle market, Dr Dhawale said.UNI
Allahabad HC asks UP govt about steps taken to set up slaughterhouse in Gorakhpur
Allahabad: In pursuance of an earlier direction, Allahabad High Court has asked UP Govt to apprise it of the steps taken for establishing a modern slaughterhouse in Gorakhpur district. The bench comprising Chief Justice D B Bhosale and Justice M K Gupta had asked the additional advocate general on Thursday to give apprise the court by November 28 in the matter. The bench passed the order hearing a writ petition filed by Dilshad Ahmed and several others of district.The petitioners had claimed that there was no slaughterhouse in Gorakhpur and alleged that Govt was adamant on not providing one in the district. Earlier the petitioners had stated before the court that they had to offer a suitable land for establishing a slaughterhouse. The court had directed the commissioner to examine the land and to file an affidavit and to state how much time it would take to develop a slaughterhouse.PTI        
In western UP, no trucker brave enough to take dying cow to vet
Meerut: Jyoti Singh, 24, who left a cushy corporate job in Gurgaon to do organic farming in her Bulandshahr village, hasn't been able to find a single transporter for more than three weeks now to take her dying cow Moni to a vet.The cow, injured in a leg, needs to go to a hospital in Bareilly for expert treatment, but such is the fear of rampaging gau rakshaks that despite several and repeated attempts she has just not been able to get any driver brave enough to make that journey."Out of sheer fear of cow vigilantes, no transporter is willing to risk taking the cow to a hospital. Time is running out for Moni, as she can't move at all. If anything happens to her, the Govt  will be responsible," Jyoti said.She sent 114 tweets to officials and elected representatives, including PM Modi, CM Yogi Aditya Nath and DM, but to no avail."Moni is dying and I can't do anything about it," said Jyoti. On September 28, her family cow broke its leg after a fall and has been lying on the ground ever since. "All this so-called love shown to the holy cow is just political theatre. The officials I met were surprised about my concern for Moni. They pointed out she was already insured," Jyoti said. On Saturday, Moni was taken to a local private veterinary centre. However, her X-ray could not be done because of her size. On Nov. 2, some Govt veterinary doctors visited her house and advised her to take Moni to Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Bareilly.Most dairy owners who own cows face the same problems that Jyoti has been struggling with. Secretary of Meerut Dairy Association, Haji Aslam Ahmad, said, "If any cow at my dairy falls ill, there is little we can do to treat it. The vet hospital in Meerut is ill-equipped, and no trucker is ready to transport the animal even within the city." President of Meerut Truckers Association, Pinki Chinyoti, said, "There is too much risk in ferrying animals. Cow vigilantes do not listen to any logic and in worst cases set the vehicle on fire."TOI
Cow dying: ex-Dell manager discovers gau rakshak terror
No concessions for meat, liquor, gutka in MP’s new MSME policy
Bhopal: Meat, tobacco, gutka, beer and liquor are among the products whose manufacturers won’t qualify for concessions under MP’s new policy that seeks to promote micro, small and medium enterprises. MP MSME Development Policy, 2017, was unveiled by CM  Shivraj Singh Chouhan in the presence of Union Minister for MSME Giriraj Singh on Friday, the first day of 2-day Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and Entrepreneurship Convention.While making it clear that it is in favour of gradual prohibition, BJPGovt  has already announced that it won’t let new liquor shops and distilleries come up in the state. It has shut liquor shops within 5 km of the banks of the Narmada.Admitting that job creation is a major challenge, the new policy has laid down that the Govt  will provide 40 % t subsidy on investment in plant and machinery in MSMEs. The subsidy will be provided in five equal annual installments. Slaughterhouses, meat-based industries, units producing beer and liquor (barring wineries), tobacco and tobacco-based products, pan masala and gutka are among those that won’t quality for exemption, says the policy unveiled in the post-GST regime. Chouhan said a network of MSMEs will be laid in the state in collaboration with young entrepreneurs to create more job opportunities. Govt is hoping to create 7.5 lakh jobs by next year. indianexpress
Assam: Spectre of deportation gives Muslim women sleepless nights
Guwahati: As Assam’s BJP-led Govt  is updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC) under the hawk’s eye of the Supreme Court (SC), nearly 30 lakh people—mostly Muslim women—are apprehensive of being declared illegal immigrants and deported.A whopping 47 lakh people had submitted residency certificates issued by panchayat authorities as a link document to claim citizenship. The Gauhati High Court (HC), however, found certificates of only 17 lakh people as genuine, while others were declared as invalid. Now, the fate of the latter will be decided on November 22 when the SC hears a PIL filed by the All Assam Minority Students’ Union (AAMSU) challenging the HC ruling.Adding to the panic is recent charge by Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind chief Maulana Arshad Madani’s that a conspiracy is being hatched to deport lakhs of Muslims and create a Myanmar-like situation in Assam. He had warned that Assam would burn and there would be loss of lives if 50 lakh Muslims are declared illegal immigrants. Taking exception to his alleged provocative statement, some organisations in Assam have filed cases against him with the police. The police are examining video footage of his statement made in Delhi. “For years, the people in Assam have been living peacefully. Now, they are trying to destroy that communal amity. Ninety 9% t Muslims in Assam have documents to establish they are genuine Indians. The Congress and the Asom Gana Parishad Govt s accepted these certificates. (Former CM) Tarun Gogoi has asserted umpteen times that there is no foreigner in Assam. Assam will burn if their nationality is snatched away,” Madani had warned. newindianexpress
Centre sends additional paramilitary forces to Assam to prevent law and order disruption in state
Assam Govt slammed for ‘harassing’ intellectuals
Build mosque, no problem with temple nearby: AIMPLB
New Delhi: 2 days after spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said that Muslims “by and large” are not opposed to construction of Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya, a member of AIMPLB on Friday said that dialogue is not possible “if they already have an agenda to build a temple”. Addressing a media conference organised by Anujman-e-Haideri, a society of Dargah Shah-e-Mardan in Delhi’s Jor Bagh. AIMPLB’s Mufti Aijaz Arshad Quasmi said, “We should also get our right — the masjid needs to be built. We have no problem if they want to construct a temple nearby.”Claiming that Ravi Shankar has changed his stance since their first meeting in Bengaluru on Oct.6, Quasmi said, “We had met in the presence of leaders from different religions. In it, Sri Sri had said ‘no community should feel disturbed or hurt’. Now he is talking about just mandir.”Maulana Mohammad Qasim, Shahi Imam of Dargah Shah-e-Mardan, said all Muslims are united in their demand for building the Babri Masjid. Syed Bahadur Abbas Naqvi, general secretary of Anjuman-e-Haideri, said, “In 1992, Supreme Court put a stay on demolition, but still it was done (demolished). In due respect to law and court, the masjid should be made first, and then a status quo order drawn.”It was announced at the press meet that 5 lakh members from the Muslim community will gather in Delhi Nov.26 to pass a resolution on this. Waqf Protection Movement will also be launched that day, the leaders said. The group demanded that Ravi Shankar put the road map for finding a solution to the Babri dispute in public.In response, a spokesperson for Art of Living said: “Gurudev has not given any formula. He has asked both communities to come for talks in a cordial atmosphere and evolve a formula rthat he can moderate. We don’t know why some people are getting nervous.”indian express
Sri Sri meets RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat in Nagpur
Nagpur:Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Saturday met RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat here and is believed to have discussed the issue of the Ram temple at Ayodhya. After being closeted with RSS chief for about one hour in the evening and later attending a Sangh Shiksha Varga (training camp) for senior swayamsevaks on Smruti Mandir premises of the RSS, Ravi Shankar refused to speak about the details of discussion.“We had a discussion,” he said when mediapersons caught up with him at the venue. Asked if the subject was the Ram temple, he only said: “Discussions are on. These  things do not materialise in a hurry.” Ravi Shankar is in the city for a 3-day Art of Living yoga and meditation programme. indianexpress
8 youths held under suspicious circumstances in Ayodhya: Police
Lucknow:8 youths have been arrested under suspicious circumstances near Ram Janmbhoomi checkpost in Ayodhya, police said here today.The youths, who were travelling in a car, were stopped near the checkpost around 2am last night, they said.An ATS team, led by Additional SP Rajesh Sahni, was rushed from Lucknow to question the youths, according to a statement released by the ATS here.The team found that the 8 youths were residents of Khalilnagar Basni village in Nagaur district of Rajasthan. They had set out on a pilgrimage on Nov.15 and were on their way to Kichaucha Sharif in Ambedkar Nagar district.According to the statement, Nagaur police said the 8 youths have no criminal record but the matter was being investigated from all angles. PTI
Gujarat polls: BJP names 36 candidates in 2nd list, Muslims find no place
With a few weeks left for the first phase of Gujarat Assembly polls, the ruling BJP has released the second list of candidates for 36 constituencies.While Gujarat water resources minister Babubhai Bokhiriya will fight for an Assembly seat from Porbandar, state home minister Pradipsinh Jadeja will contest from his constituency, Vatva.Kesrisinh Solanki, who won the Matar seat with 59,576 votes in 2012, will fight from the same constituency in the upcoming polls. The list also mentioned Rameshbhai Bhurabhai Katara would contest from Fatepura constituency, where he emerged victorious in 2012.On Friday, BJP released the named of 70 candidates, including CM  Vijay Rupani, Deputy CM Nitin Patel and state party chief Jitu Vaghani. The party gave tickets to 49 sitting MLAs, including 16 ministers.While Gujarat is all set to go to polls in two phases on 9 and 14 December, the stage is set for a high-stakes battle between the ruling BJP and the Congress and its ally NCP and possibly the Sharad Yadav-led JD(U).NCP announced its pre-poll alliance with the Congress on Saturday. Exuding confidence in the alliance, NCP general secretary Tariq Anwar said that the result of the Assembly polls will show people's feelings and perception about BJP's performance at the Centre.Similar to the first list, no Muslim has found a place in the second list as well.PTI
The Wire goes to Gujarat HC for quashing defamation case
Ahmedabad : Delhi-based news portal The Wire on Saturday approached the Gujarat High Court for quashing the criminal defamation case filed by BJP president Amit Shah’s son, Jay Shah, against its reporters and founders.The case is likely to come up for hearing on Monday in the court of Justice J B Pardiwala. The petition was filed by reporter Rohini Singh through lawyer Santosh Vatsa. indianexpress
Prominent Muslim body Mushawarat slams Telangana CM for sealing Wakf Board office
Hyderabad : All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat, an umbrella body of Muslim organisations and eminent personalities, has strongly condemned CM  K. Chandrashekaar Rao for sealing off the Wakf Board office. In a letter to the CM, Mushawarat chief Navaid Hamid described the move as "unprecedented, defiant of any logic about its efficacy in curbing alleged corruption in Wakf Board and also prima facie illegal'. He said that the sealing of Wakf Board reflects Govt 's disregard for minority institutions. "Wakf Board is an autonomous body and functions under the Wakf Act 1995. This type of illegal move to seal the board office not only belittles the position of a statutory body but also amounts to showing contempt to a Central Act. This is also alarming in the backdrop of the Telangana Govt , reportedly, closing the office of State Minorities Commission a few months back, throwing its chairman unceremoniously and dumping the office records etc., Both the acts put together, unfortunately, give a creeping feeling that the Telangana Govt  is bend upon belittling minority institutions," he said.He also alleged that the post sealing events only confirmed the apprehensions that sealing was not done for its professed purpose because no tangible corrective measures have been made and no guilty person has been punished. thehansindia
Rajasthan Govt  sends school students to Jaipur fair, with lessons on ‘love jihad’
Jaipur: Schools in the Rajasthan capital have been asked to take students and teachers to a fair where they can learn about “love jihad”, purchase books on Christian conspiracies, take an oath of vegetarianism, sign up for a campaign to declare cow as “national mother”, or simply enrol themselves in one of the many caste organisations.Jaipur’s Additional District Education Officer Deepak Shukla confirmed that Govt  and private schools in Jaipur have been asked to “help” organisers of the fair by getting students to attend it, and said it was upon the directions of Primary and Secondary Education Minister Vasudev Devnani.“(organisers of) Hindu Spiritual and Service Fair (HSSF) are contacting govt and private schools on their own. But what happens is that Govt  schools say they can’t do anything until they have orders. So the honourable minister’s directions were that we help them (with the fair),” Shukla said. Devnani’s office said that he was not available for comments. Shukla said HSSF organisers wanted to get 2,100 teachers too to attend the fair. “So we also asked each school to send two-three teachers.”District Education Officer Ratan Singh Yadav said the visit is optional. Organisations and NGOs have approached the department in the past too to organise programmes which might help students’ “learning, exposure”, he added. Earlier this month, to mark the first anniversary of demonetisation on Nov.8, the HSSF had tied up with the state Govt ’s Rajasthan Youth Board to hold mass singing of Vande Mataram.5-day fair in Jaipur, being held for the third time and to end on Nov.20, aims to “provide a platform to organisations engaged in imparting services to society to motivate and involve the public to be part of the process of social transformation” and lists instilling patriotism as one of its themes. At the fair, VHP’s stall is giving away pamphlets on “love jihad”. It talks of actors Saif Ali Khan and Aamir Khan leaving Hindu wives and then again “ensnaring” Hindu women. “Rather than accept another religion under duress, it is better to die while in one’s religion,” says the pamphlet. Beauty parlours, mobile recharge shops, ladies’ tailors, Muslim hawkers, etc are some of the places where “love jihad” takes place, the pamphlet cautions. And cites “giving a seat on the bus” as one of the tactics used by “jihadis”. indianexpress
Check her phone, stalk her: Rajasthan fair lists ways to save your daughter from Love Jihad
In Kerala, yoga centre ‘helps’ bring back women from their non-Hindu partners:Indian Express
“She never sleeps in the car when we go for long drives. But that day, she told me, she slept soundly for nearly two hours. I was suspicious,” says Rinto Isaac, 29, about his wife Swetha Haridasan. Swetha, an Ayurveda doctor by profession, says she remembers being woken by her sister after their car entered the gates of the Sivasakthi Yogavidya Kendra in Kandanad, 15 km from Kochi, that July 30 day. 28-year-old adds that she believed all along that they were going to the centre for her sister Neetha. “My family told me Neetha wanted to learn yoga,” says Swetha. She remembers settling down in a big hall of 2-storey house, and meeting Sujith, one of the staff. Over the next hour though, there was little talk of yoga. Sujith instead talked about religion and inter-faith marriages. “I looked at my sister. She smiled. Everything was planned,” Swetha says. For the next 20 days, she claims, she was confined and physically assaulted by the staff at the yoga centre in a bid to separate her from Rinto, her Christian boyfriend. The young doctor’s decision to file a police complaint against the centre in September has now encouraged at least 4 other women to come forward and claim to have been similarly coerced to leave their non-Hindu boyfriends or to alternatively marry Hindu men against their choice.Following Swetha’s complaint, the local police started a probe and shut down the centre in Kandanad. Its officials, including chief K R Manoj, went on the run and later filed for anticipatory bail to avoid arrest. The case is currently being heard in the Kerala High Court, which has ordered that all centres conducting forced conversions or reconversions be shut down. Only Kandanad centre, however, has been shut so far. Court also allowed two of the women, including Swetha, to go with their Christian partners.
RSS vs Church: How tribals in Jharkhand are being seen as potential leaders: economictimes
Sindri village:For a doctor, diagnosis is as critical as prognosis. Dr Nirmal Kumar Singh, who has a bachelor’s degree in ayurvedic medicine and surgery (BAMS) in Khunti district of Ranchi, knows it very well. Singh, who started his career as a part-time teacher at a school run by the Roman Catholic Church in 1979 in Khunti, has diagnosed tribal problem:lack of access to healthcare, education and employment. His prognosis: provide the basic amenities, and also bring back “migrated” tribals from the fold of the church. On a foggy autumn morning on Thursday, doctor sahab, as Singh is known among tribals, is busy with an awareness camp in Sindri village, some 20 km from Khunti. “Can you leave your mother who kept you in her womb for nine months and endured pain to bring you up?” he asks a bunch of villagers in the Mundari language spoken by Munda tribals. “No, never,” the crowd responds in unison. Singh, who has been an RSS karyakarta for over 3 decades, duly delivers the clincher. “Then why do you convert to Christianity by ditching your Hindu mother?” he thunders. “Hinduism is our identity. Let us keep it intact.”
In India, 732 million people lack access to toilets: Report
New Delhi:India has the highest number of people — 732 million —without access to toilets, a report by international charity WaterAid has said.If all these people stood in a line, the queue would run more than four times around the earth, the report released ahead of World Toilet Day on Sunday, said. Women and girls are among the worst hit, with 350 million of them lacking access to basic sanitation, the report said.“On World Toilet Day we reaffirm our commitment towards improving sanitation facilities across our nation. I compliment all those individuals and organisations working towards building more toilets in various parts of India. Their invaluable contribution adds solid momentum to Swachh Bharat Mission,” PM Modi tweeted Sunday. hindustantimes
"War" against NDTV group motivated because of Gujarat 2002 riots coverage: Journalist N Ram
Mumbai: Noted journalist and chairman of the Hindu Group, N Ram, today alleged the "war" against the NDTV group is "motivated" because of its coverage of the Gujarat riots of 2002.Ram, during a discussion at the Tata Literature Live festival here, also said the present Govt has learnt the art of "targeting" its political opponents as well as the media.The Govt  has denied that the probe against NDTV is due to any vendetta, and said it is an off-shoot of continuing investigations by Income Tax Dept and ED since 2011.Senior Govt  sources also maintain that the inquiries in this connection were initiated by IT Dept in 2011 during the previous Congress-led UPA govt.Ram alleged the investigation "is clearly motivated, it is clearly (to do), I think, with their coverage of Gujarat, of what happened in Gujarat in 2002." "I think one of the most objectionable features today is the discriminatory attitude and targeting political enemies. I can say on behalf of many media colleagues, for example, the war against NDTV," he said.PTI 
Demonetisation rollout was 'deeply flawed': Nobel laureate Richard Thaler
New Delhi:US economist and Nobel laureate Richard Thaler thinks that the Indian govt's decision to demonetize high value currency notes was a "good" concept but its implementation was "deeply flawed."Thaler further says that the move to introduce Rs 2,000 notes during the remonetisation exercise was "puzzling" and undercut the purpose of the note ban, considering that it aimed to crack down on the parallel economy and transform India into a less-cash society.All this emerged after Swaraj Kumar, a student of the Chicago University professor, approached him for his views on demonetisation.Kumar posted the email conversation with Thaler on his Twitter account. Here's what the economist had to say: "The concept was good as a move to a cashless society to impede corruption but the rollout was deeply flawed and the introduction of Rs 2000 note makes the motivation for the entire exercise puzzling."Kumar's tweet was later retweeted by Thaler's handle.This is the latest in a series of critiques the Nobel laureate has offered on demonetisation. On Nov.8, 2016, when PM Narendra Modi had made the surprise announcement to scrap Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes as legal tender, Thaler had hailed the ambitious move.TOI
WORLD
Entire Palestinian Bedouin village faced with forced displacement
An entire village consisting of dozens of Palestinian Bedouin families is threatened with imminent forced displacement, after Israel issued a rare evacuation order for the whole community. Jabal al-Baba, which lies to the east of Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank, is home to more than 300 people. "Residents are becoming paranoid of the future because it is unknown," Atalah Jahalen, a local community leader, told Al Jazeera on Saturday."All their lives, they have lived and built in this area, and now all of it can be destroyed at any moment." According to Jahalen, Israel's civil administration and police entered Jabal al-Baba on Thursday. They hung a poster in a central location detailing the evacuation decision and displaying a map of the area.The order informed residents that they had eight days to collect their belongings and leave, or else Israeli authorities would return to force them out. Israeli officials also scattered copies of the map on the ground and took pictures of it before leaving. Jabal al-Baba is situated in the heart of Israel's contentious E1 plan, which aims to connect the illegal mega-settlement of Maale Adumim to Jerusalem - settlements are considered illegal under international law.The plan would further isolate occupied East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank and sever the Palestinian territory from north to south. aljazeera
Palestinians to suspend US ties if PLO office closed
Palestinian officials have warned that they will freeze all communication with the US, following steps by the Trump administration to close the Palestine Liberation Organisation's (PLO) office in Washington, DC.Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said on Saturday the PLO had been informed by the US Department of State of a decision not to renew the operating permission for the organisation's diplomatic office in the American capital.The state department's move was in response to the Palestinians' decision to join International Criminal Court (ICC), and to submit files for investigation of several Israeli war crimes, including settlements, against Palestinians, according to Erekat.The senior PLO official said the organisation had sent a letter to the US Govt  officially informing it that all communication lines with the Trump administration would be cut off if it followed through with the plan to shutter the office."This is very unfortunate and unacceptable. This is the pressure being exerted on this [US] administration by the [Benjamin] Netanyahu Govt  while we are trying to achieve the ultimate deal," said Erekat, adding such steps will "undermine the whole peace process". aljazeera
UK: Leaders, academics raise alarm over Saudi 'crisis'
London: Saudi Arabia is a country in crisis, from the kingdom's contribution to more bloodshed in Yemen to its growing rivalry with Iran, as it attempts to convince the rest of the world that liberalism is expanding at home, delegates at a conference in the UK capital have heard.As the kingdom reels from a rapid succession of developments, politicians and academics gathered in London to speak on Saturday at the "Crisis in Saudi Arabia: War, Succession and the Future" summit, attended by around 200 people and organised by the non-profit press monitoring organisation Middle East Monitor.Paddy Ashdown, ex-leader of Britain's Liberal Democratic party who once mediated in the Bosnian conflict, warned that it was crucial for countries such as the UK and US not to take sides in a standoff unfolding between Saudi Arabia and Iran."Now, we are in a really dangerous situation where if a war breaks out, you have the great powers supporting opposite sides," he said, referring to Russian support of Iran and the West's backing of Saudi-led initiatives, such as coalition in Yemen.Al Jazeera
Arab League to discuss Iranian 'violations'
Arab foreign ministers are holding an emergency meeting at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo, following Saudi Arabia's request to discuss Iran's "violations" and its role in "undermining Arab security and peace".The meeting on Sunday comes amid escalated political tensions between Riyadh on the one hand, and Tehran and the Lebanese Hezbollah movement on the other.According to a report from the Reuters, Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil would not be present."A decision was taken that Lebanon would be presented by Antoine Azzam, the permanent representative to the Arab League," a source from the ministry told Reuters.Saudi is set to discuss "the act of aggression by the Houthi militias of Iran in Yemen" after Houthi rebels fired a ballistic missile towards Riyadh on November 4, according to a memorandum distributed by the league's general secretariat, Ahmed Aboul-Gheit, to member states. aljazeera
Turkey, Russia and Iran meet to discuss Syria
Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to host his Iranian and Turkish counterparts at his official residence in the coastal city of Sochi to discuss the Syrian conflict.The event on Wednesday will be preceded by a meeting on Sunday in Turkey's resort city of Antalya between the 3 countries' foreign ministers.It comes days after Russia vetoed a US-initiated draft UNSC resolution on extending the mandate of UN's mission for investigating the use of chemical weapons in Syria, and the Japan-initiated draft on a provisional extension of the mission's mandate.US Ambassador Nikki Haley accused Moscow of dealing a "deep blow" to international efforts to deter chemical attacks, saying it bodes ill for Russia's future role in Syrian peace efforts."How, then, can we trust Russia's supposed support for peace in Syria? How can anyone take Russia's proposal of political talks in Sochi seriously?" she asked. According to Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, the summit will include only these three countries, because they are the "guarantors of the political settlement and stability and security that we see now in Syria".Turkey's presidential spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, said that the three leaders would discuss progress in reducing the violence in Syria and ensuring humanitarian aid goes to those in need. Aljazeera
A million children orphaned by the Syrian war
As many as a million children have been orphaned by the war in Syria which is in its sixth year. The UN has warned against the dangers facing children without parents such as lack of education, trafficking and being indoctrinated by armed groups.Many children are living in orphanages being run by local charities both inside Syria and abroad."I was five years old when Shabiha attacked and rounded everyone up," said Mariam al Shalan, an orphan from Homs."Then they opened fire and killed everyone. My mother came in fornt of us and took the bullets."My mother asked me for water. When I came back, she was dead. Me and my brother spent two days under the blood and the bodies."In a centre for orphans in the opposition-controlled city of Idlib, almost every child that has been affected by war suffers from trauma and psychological stress.However, care givers have limited financial support. In addition to salaries, they need help including repair work for the buildings as winter approaches.Al Jazeera
‘1 of every 5’ US-led airstrikes in Iraq kills civilian
One of every 5 airstrikes in Iraq by the US-led anti-Daesh coalition has resulted in a civilian death, according to the New York Times Thursday.American daily said the civilian casualties by coalition strikes were 31 times higher than Pentagon figures.“No matter which threshold we used, though, the results from our sample were consistent: One of every five airstrikes killed a civilian,” it said.The daily’s reporters visited nearly 150 sites struck by coalition airstrikes in three regions of northern Iraq, it said.The daily added that investigations in the sites freed of Deash revealed that many of the civilian casualties were not included in the coalition reports, and they were misreported as targets belonging to the terrorist organization. “According to the coalition’s available data, 89 of its more than 14,000 airstrikes in Iraq have resulted in civilian deaths, or about one of every 157 strikes. The rate we found on the ground — one out of every five — is 31 times as high,” the daily said. middleeastmonitor
UK : Aung San Suu Kyi honours revoked amid Rohingya backlash
Student activists in the UK are working to strip Aung San Suu Kyi of honours bestowed on her during the course of her career as a democracy activist, as anger mounts over her alleged inaction over the Rohingya crisis.Last week, students at the London School of Economics (LSE) voted to remove an honourary presidency awarded to Myanmar's de facto leader by the Students' Union in 1992, with immediate effect.In a statement issued shortly afterwards, the union said the move would "act as a strong symbol of our opposition to (Aung San) Suu Kyi's current position and inaction in the face of genocide". LSE Students' Union president, Mahatir Pasha, told Al Jazeera the organisation has a "long and proud history of embracing political progress and speaking out against injustice". aljazeera
Robert Mugabe sacked as leader of ruling  party
Zimbabwe's ruling party, Zanu-PF, has voted to sack President Robert Mugabe as its leader. Members also voted to name sacked Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who Mugabe fired on November 6, as party leader."They were determined to fire Mugabe as leader of the party," said Al Jazeera's Haru Mutasa, reporting from Harare, as she described jubilant scenes.Mugabe remains president of country, however, amid calls for him to resign following a military takeover on Nov.15.In opening remarks at Zanu-PF's Central Committee meeting, Obert Mpofu, the minister of home affairs who chaired the gathering, blamed First Lady Grace Mugabe and her allies for taking advantage of the veteran leader."We meet here today with a heavy heart because Mugabe's wife and her close associates have taken advantage of his frail condition and abused the resources of the country," he told members. "I warmly welcome you all to this historic meeting which will mark a new era, not only for our country but for the party." aljazeera
FLASH: VIEWS & NEWS
Raghuram Rajan’s Note Advising Against Demonetisation Should Be Made Public says Montek Singh Ahluwalia's interview with Karan Thapar
Demonetisation Broke the Informal Economy, Had No Positive Impact: Prabhat Patnaik
Gujarat shocker: Communal video shows young girl running fearfully amid sounds of Azaan, taking PM Modi’s name
Gujarat poll 2017: Disillusioned Muslims in East Surat fear abandonment as Congress woos Patidar, Dalits with soft Hindutva:Pallavi Rebbapragada
Indira Gandhi birth anniversary: What laws were secured from the judicial review during Emergency?Sonakshi Awasthi
What Hardik Patel 'sex CD' tells us about the Sangh Parivar's (and Gandhi's) views on celibacy:Ajaz Ashraf
Hijab is no hurdle: Dream of bakery worker's daughter takes wings (IANS Spl Series)
Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:23 PM)

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