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Assam CM Gogoi admitted to hospital

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Guwahati, April 30 : Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi was admitted to Guwahati Medical College and Hospital on Saturday evening after he complained of stomach pain.

The 82-year-old leader had gone for an aerial survey of flood-affected areas of the state on Saturday morning and sources in the chief minister’s office said that he complained of stomach pain on his return. Following this, he was admitted to the Guwahati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH).

“Doctors have been attending to him and his condition is alright,” said a doctor at the GMCH said adding that Gogoi is likely to be kept under observation in the hospital for the night.

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DU students ‘not thoroughly prepared’ for open book exams: High Court

Meanwhile, a separate bench of Justice Prathiba M. Singh reserved orders on a batch of pleas challenging the DU’s decision to conduct online OBE for final year students.

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New Delhi, Aug 5 : The Delhi High Court on Wednesday observed that final year students of the Delhi University “are not thoroughly prepared” to participate in the online open book examination (OBE) proposed by the varsity.

“This is a clear indication that the final year students are not thoroughly prepared to participate in the online OBE that the University of Delhi has proposed to conduct,” a division bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad observed after comparing the data relating to the first and second phase of mock tests that were conducted by the varsity.

The data revealed that as against 1,83,376 students who had registered to participate in the OBE in the first phase, 1,86,814 students had registered themselves in the second phase.

However, the total number of the students who had logged in during the first phase were 93,185 whereas only 75,593 had logged in the second phase. The total number of papers attempted by the students in the first phase were 60,181 whereas, in the second phase, the total number of papers attempted were 51,176.

The data also revealed that the total number of papers submitted in the first phase were 33,162 whereas, in the second phase, the total number of papers submitted were 23,693.

After seeing the data, the bench said: “Even for the PWD (person with disability) category students and VH (visually handicapped) students, the data of the second phase of the mock test is no better than that of the first phase, if not worse.”

The observations were made while the bench was hearing a plea filed by Prateek Sharma, a physically disabled student, highlighting the difficulties that will be faced by disabled students in taking the online exam.

The court also granted 10 days time to the varsity to file an affidavit clarifying its position along with the exact date by which the results of the final year students who propose to sit in the online open book examination will be declared.

“It shall also be stated as to how many students had actually logged in to participate in the online OBE and the assessment of the number of students who will take the examination physically at a later date, to be indicated by the University,” the bench said while slating the matter for further hearing on August 17.

Meanwhile, a separate bench of Justice Prathiba M. Singh reserved orders on a batch of pleas challenging the DU’s decision to conduct online OBE for final year students.

During the hearing, the DU submitted that the OBE were the best option to check the student’s knowledge in keeping with the UGC’s guidelines while adhering to the restrictions thrown by the global pandemic.

“The idea behind OBE was to prevent students from assembling in one hall as it would be difficult to maintain social distancing during the pandemic situation. There were detailed deliberations,” senior advocate Sachin Dutta, representing the DU, said.

He further told the court that a student does not need very high technology to sit for online OBE as having an email will be sufficient and that connectivity issues will be far more in other modes.

While the hearing was underway, with a lot of students too present, music suddenly started playing in the background, following which Justice Singh said: “I don’t know what they are celebrating.”

Initially, the varsity had announced that the online OBE would commence from July 1, which was later postponed by the varsity to July 10 and again, the institution has now postponed the same till August 15, without giving a specific date as to when it would take place.

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Delhi HC seeks police response on Pinjra Tod activist Devangana Kalita’s bail plea

Initially, Kalita was arrested on March 23 in an anti-CAA protest case related to Jafrabad in North-East Delhi. She got bail in that case. But on March 24, she was arrested in another case, for which she is in the judicial custody.

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Devangana Kalita

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court, here on Wednesday, sought the Delhi Police’s response over Pinjra Tod activist Devangana Kalita’s bail plea.

Justice Suresh Kumar Kait issued the notice and asked the police to file the response by the next hearing in the case.

Earlier in July, Kalita and Natasha Narwal, another member of the Pinjra Tod group, were denied bail by a trial court. The trial court said from the charge-sheet it was clear that the investigation was pending.

The crime branch of the Delhi Police arrested Narwal and Kalita in May, accusing them of charges related to rioting, unlawful assembly and attempt to murder.

Initially, Kalita was arrested on March 23 in an anti-CAA protest case related to Jafrabad in North-East Delhi. She got bail in that case. But on March 24, she was arrested in another case, for which she is in the judicial custody.

Recently, a separate Bench of the high court restricted the Delhi Police from issuing any press note on Kalita or any other accused in connection with the Delhi riots case till the beginning of trial.

The police said Kalita and Narwal were actively involved in hatching the conspiracy to cause riots near Jafrabad Metro Station in Delhi.

“They were also part of a larger conspiracy and were found to be connected to the ‘India Against Hate’ group and Umar Khalid. The message, found in the phone of an accused, on Whatsapp chat, reveals the conspiracy and the extent of preparation for the riots,” the police said.

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RJD chief Lalu Prasad moved to RIMS director’s bungalow amid Covid-19 fear, BJP cries foul

Prasad’s moving was being speculated ever since a dedicated Covid-19 ward started functioning in RIMS after the pandemic broke out.

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Lalu Yadav

Incarcerated Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, who is undergoing treatment at the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Ranchi, Jharkhand, was moved to the hospital director’s bungalow on Wednesday in view of his clinical safety arising from the spurt in Covid-19 infection.

Ranchi senior superintendent of police (SSP) Surendra Kumar Jha confirmed that Prasad was moved to director’s bungalow. “RIMS and the jail administrations had decided to move Prasad from the paying ward and it was carried out today,” Jha said.

Prasad’s moving was being speculated ever since a dedicated Covid-19 ward started functioning in RIMS after the pandemic broke out. It gained momentum after one of his caretakers tested positive Covid-19 recently. However, the former Bihar chief minister underwent a Covid-19 test which came out negative on July 26.

Several rooms on the floor where Prasad was admitted were also occupied due to security reasons, which were now needed for the treatment of coronavirus patients, a RIMS official said requesting anonymity.

Jharkhand’s total Covid-19 tally crossed 14,000, of which Ranchi accounts for over 2,500 cases. The number of active cases was registered at 1,802 in Ranchi till Tuesday evening.

Superintendent of Birsa Munda Central Jail, where Prasad was imprisoned before he was admitted to RIMS, Hamid Akhtar said, “We had received a request from the RIMS administration regarding Prasad’s movement to the bungalow. They said as Covid-19 cases are rising, they wanted to use other rooms which were occupied due to security reasons for Prasad.”

Finally, it was decided that Prasad would be moved to the director’s bungalow, which is also a part of the RIMS campus, Akhtar added.

The official residence of the RIMS director has been vacant after former director Dr DK Singh left RIMS last month. The incumbent director, Dr Manju Gari, is yet to move in.

Earlier, the police administration carried out the security audit of the bungalow on receiving the request letter from the RIMS administration.

Lalu Prasad Yadav is serving a jail term after being convicted in the fodder scam cases and was admitted to the RIMS paying ward with stage-3 kidney problems in December 2018. Meanwhile, he applied for a regular bail in July.

The state BJP termed Prasad’s shifting to director’s bungalow as special treatment by the incumbent Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and Congress-led government in Jharkhand in the view of upcoming Bihar election. “Now, the director’s bungalow would turn into an RJD headquarter where Bihar poll strategies would be chalked out,” said BJP spokesperson Pratul Shahdeo.

The JMM, however, rubbished the allegation describing it as the BJP’s stunt to get political mileage. “Prasad is imprisoned. How can the director’s bungalow turn into RJD headquarter? Since BJP has no work, it is levelling baseless allegation,” JMM general secretary Supriyo Bhattacharya said.

He said the jail and the RIMS administration took the decision in view of Prasad’s age and rising cases of Covid-19.

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