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Bill Gates to attend Agriculture Statistics meet in Delhi



BILL Gates
BILL Gates (Picture Credit - AFP)

New Delhi, Nov 18 : Billionaire Bill Gates will be the chief guest of the four-day- long eighth International Conference on Agriculture Statistics which is going to start here on Monday, a statement said.

India is hosting this event for the first time in which the co-founder of tech giant Microsoft will share his views on the importance of data and use of technology in agriculture.

Union Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Minister Narendra Tomar will chair the inaugural function of the event. Ministers of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Purushottam Rupala and Kailash Choudhary will be the special guests.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, US Department of Agriculture, Eurostat, India’s Statistics and Program Implementation Ministry and many other national and international organisations will participate in the event.

According to an Agriculture Ministry statement, around 1,200 participants will attend the four-day long event.

Indian Council of Agriculture Research Director General Trilochan Mahapatra, in a statement last week, said that young scientists and teachers of the country will get a chance to satisfy their queries from foreign agricultural experts. They will get to know about various knowledgeable programs that being carried out in the foreign countries.


Curative plea raises query over addenda in SC Ayodhya order

The petition, filed by Peace Party chief Mohammed Ayub, has urged the top court to reconsider its decision.




Ayodhya Babri Masji Supreme Court

New Delhi, Jan 21 : A curative petition, filed in the Supreme Court challenging the Ayodhya order, also questions the unknown addenda that focus on relevance of the Hindu faith, associated with the dispute, at the end of the main judgement.

Curiously, the five-judge Bench delivered the unanimous verdict, but an addendum was added by an unknown author.

The petition, filed by Peace Party chief Mohammed Ayub, has urged the top court to reconsider its decision.

On November 9, the Supreme Court granted the disputed site to the Hindu side for construction of a temple and on December 11 dismissed the review petitions. Ayub had also filed a review petition.

The curative petition contends the purpose of the addenda is not known. “A judgment may be delivered unanimously or it may be divided into a number of majority, concurring, plurality, and dissenting opinions. However, curiously, while the judgment was delivered unanimously and signed by all the five judges, one of them seems to have recorded a different reasoning,” it said.

One of the five judges has offered a separate perspective on the question of birth of Lord Ram. Though the judgment doesn’t name the author, the observation has been included as addendum. The author felt for Hindus faith was important.

The petition queries the nature of association of this addendum with the main order. “Does it form a part of the judgment and law under Article 129? In normal practice, an addenda specify if it’s an integral part of the main document,” said the petition.

The petition contends a reasonable inference that can be drawn that since there is no such declaration, it’s not an integral part of the judgment. “However, it begs the question what’s the purpose of adding addenda, if the judgment is unanimous and not a concurring opinion,” it said.

“…the conclusion that faith and belief of Hindus since prior to construction of mosque and subsequent thereto has always been that Janmasthan of Lord Ram is the place where Babri Mosque has been constructed, which faith and belief is proved by documentary and oral evidence discussed…,” the addendum said.

The author observed that evidence on record clearly established the Hindus’ faith and belief that the mosque was constructed at the birth place of Lord Ram, and the three-dome structure was the birth place of the deity.

“The fact that Hindus were, by constructing iron wall dividing the mosque premises, kept outside the three-dome structure can’t be said to alter their faith and belief regarding the birth place of Lord Ram. The worship on the Ram Chabutra (platform) in the outer courtyard was symbolic worship of Lord Ram who was believed to be born at the premises,” said the judge.

The author also observed it was only during the British period that a grill was built, dividing the walled premises of the mosque into an inner courtyard and outer courtyard.

“Grilled iron wall was constructed to keep Hindus outside the grilled iron wall in the outer courtyard. In view of the construction of the iron wall, the worship and puja started at Ram Chabutra in the outer courtyard. The suit of 1885 was filed seeking permission to construct temple on the said Chabutra where worship was permitted by the British,” said the judge.

The curative petition claimed the award of the title should have been based on exclusive and unimpeded possession. “Muslims were in possession of the mosque till it was desecrated and the Hindus came to be in possession of the mosque by illegal acts and the same can’t be equated to lawful possession,” it said.

The petitioner contended the top court judgement had errors of consequential import.

(Sumit Saxena can be contacted at [email protected])

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Nationality of 82 JNU students ‘unavailable’, RTI activist to write to PM

The RTI request was filed on January 1 and the response was filed on January 14 this year.





Jaipur, Jan 21 : After an RTI query revealed the nationality of 82 foreign students in Jawaharlal Nehru University remains unavailable in the list of foreign students registered in the monsoon and winter sessions 2019- 20, RTI activist Sudheer Swami who filed the query said he would soon write to the Prime Minister and Home Minister bringing these facts to their notice to ensure action.

Speaking to IANS, he said, “I was informed that those sloganeering about ‘azadi’ were not part of JNU. Many people also informed me that anti-national activities in the university are being promoted by outsider-students. So, I filed an RTI application to know who these students are. The reply clearly says nationality of 82 students is not known”.

He said he was discussing the issue with a lawyer who would send a notice to JNU and the government as well, he said.

“The question is how can a university be so negligent that it doesn’t even look into the nationality of a student before giving him admission? A proper inquiry needs to be made”, he said.

The RTI response confirms that out of 301 students enrolled for 44 courses, 35 students have come from Korea, 16 from Japan, 25 from Nepal, 7 from Syria and Bangladesh each, 24 are from China, 21 from Afghanistan, 13 from Germany and 10 from the US.

The RTI request was filed on January 1 and the response was filed on January 14 this year.

To another RTI question, it was revealed that 4,251 MPhil students are studying in the university, 2,877 are post-graduate students, 1,264 are under graduates, 282 are part-time students and 131 are for Mtech/MPH courses.

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Sacked DTC staff make it dramatic for AAP

“This is like a job fair for us. We want a job and this is that for us. We are contesting against Kejriwal to save the Constitution and the common man,” Sharma told IANS.




Kejriwal for Nomination

New Delhi, Jan 21 : The last day of nominations for the February 8 Assembly elections turned dramatic for the ruling Aam Aadmi Party as close to 30 sacked DTC employees filed their candidature ahead of the Delhi Chief Minister, who waited for close to seven hours to file his nomination with token number 45 in hand.

Kejriwal reached the office of the Returning Officer (RO) to file his nomination from the New Delhi Assembly seat around 12.30 p.m. on Tuesday. However, even at 7 p.m. he was still waiting for his turn.

The Chief Minister was accompanied by his wife and parents along with party leaders Pankaj Gupta and Gopal Mohan.

As the clock ticked 3 p.m. — the deadline for the filing nomination — the anxiety prevailed among the party leaders and volunteers as the party’s chief minister face was yet to file the nominations.

Though the deadline for filing nominations was 3 p.m., all those who have been given token, would be allowed to submit their papers.

Party’s spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj went on to call it “nuisance”, adding an organised group of 50 candidates was taking tokens to file nomination at New Delhi every day for the last 4 days. “But they were not filing nominations. They just wanted to harass Kejriwal. This situation was very much in the knowledge of the RO & DM,” said Bhardwaj.

Earlier, he said around 35 candidates sitting at the RO office with CM, “without” proper nomination papers. “They are calling their proposers on phone to come. They are insisting unless their papers are complete and they file their nomination, they won’t allow the CM to file his papers,” Bhardwaj said.

However, this partially turned out to be true as a huge number of those in the list were the sacked DTC contractual employees.

The drivers and conductors of Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC), who lost their contract jobs, had last year floated a political party, the ‘Mazdoor Ekta Party’. However, just only one among them filed from the party, while close to 30 sacked DTC employees are contesting the election as an Independent against Kejriwal.

Manoj Sharma, one of the members of the DTC Contractual Employees Union, who filed his papers as an Independent, said they do not have any job.

“This is like a job fair for us. We want a job and this is that for us. We are contesting against Kejriwal to save the Constitution and the common man,” Sharma told IANS.

When asked if this is just to trouble the Chief Minister, Sharma said the DTC employees have a strong vote base and will win against Kejriwal.

He said this is not just the only seat where the sacked DTC candidates are filing nominations. “On several other seats as well the sacked employees are filing the papers,” he added.

While the AAP leaders seemed annoyed with the delay, Kejriwal called the other contestants his family.

“Many of them are filing for the first time. They are bound to make mistakes. We also made mistakes the first time. We should hand-hold them. I am enjoying waiting with them. They are all part of my family,” Kejriwal tweeted, in response to Bhardwaj’s tweet.

Delhi Deputy Cheif Minister Manish Sisodia, however, said the other contestants were planted by the BJP.

“The BJP has put 45 candidates before Kejriwal. The Election Commission is deliberately giving a long time to every candidate, whose papers are not complete or even to those whose proposal is not ready so that Kejriwal can be prevented from filling the nominations,” Sisodia tweeted.

He said Kejriwal cannot be stopped.

Delhi goes to the polls on February 8 and Tuesday was the last date for filing nominations.

(Nivedita Singh can be contacted at [email protected])

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