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Centre earned Rs 192 cr as NEET-2019 entrance fee : RTI

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NEET entrance exam

Bhopal, Nov 6 : The Central government earned more than Rs 192 crore from the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) entrance fees in 2019, according to information received under the RTI.

The NEET is held for admission to MBBS, BDS and other such courses in medical colleges. Those who clear the written entrance exam are called for counselling, for which the Medical Counselling Committee (MCC) started a registration fee of Rs 1,000 in 2018-19.

Replying to a RTI query from Neemuch-based activist Chandrashekhar Gaud, the Union Health Ministry said it collected Rs 192,43,22,162 as registration amount from the 15,19,375 students, who enrolled themselves for counselling in 2019.

Though the MCC claims to be a not-for-profit organisation that makes arrangements for the counselling from the funds collected through registrations, it is yet to give details of how it spent the Rs 192,43,22,162 it collected this year.

Last year, the Committee collected Rs 18,32,87,500 in registrations and spent Rs 2,76,78,614 on conducting the counselling. The MCC claimed to have deposited the remaining amount of Rs 15,56,08,886 in the Central government’s account.

While the Health Ministry, in its RTI reply, said the MCC decided to impose the registration fee on the advice of the Health and Family Welfare Department, it hasn’t given details of how the department arrived at that figure.

Gaud said the amount collected by the government as registration fee in 2018-19 and the interest earned on it was enough to conduct the counselling process for the next several years, and the government must therefore think about putting an end to the registration fee.

“It must also be transparent with the students, who pay for their counselling, and tell them what it did with the surplus money,” he added.

India

Congress takes pot shot at Trump for not mentioning Mahatma

“The distinction cannot be more stark…The visiting US president Barack Obama wrote about Gandhi in 2010 that ‘a hero just not to… India but for the whole world’.”

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New Delhi, Feb 24 : Congress on Monday criticised US President Donald Trump for not mentioning Mahatma Gandhi in the visitor book of Sabarmati Ashram and instead praising Modi and called him “great friend” (PM Modi) and called his tour a “wonderful visit”

“This is a snapshot of the note that someone sent. It ostensibly is @realDonaldTrumps note at Sabarmati. No mention of the Great Mahatma. Does he even know who Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was?” Manish Tewari wrote while tweeting the pictures of the visitor book.

Tewari also shared the picturess of Barack Obama who praised Gandhi during his visit. “And this is what @barackobama had to say about the Great Mahatma possibly at Rajghat or Sabarmati.

“The distinction cannot be more stark…The visiting US president Barack Obama wrote about Gandhi in 2010 that ‘a hero just not to… India but for the whole world’.”

“Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth. Messrs Modi and Trump doing their best to prove Einstein right in a way he didn’t intend — by erasing the Mahatma from his abode!” tweeted Tharoor

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India

Justice B.P. Dharmadhikari named Acting CJ of Bombay HC

A fortnight ago, his cousin Justice S. C. Dharmadhikari, who was the then seniormost judge after the CJ, had resigned from his post.

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Mumbai, Feb 24 : Justice Bhushan P. Dharmadhikari has been appointed as the Acting Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court, a Rashtrapati Bhavan communique said on Monday.

Justice Dharmadhikari’s appointment follows the retirement of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog last week.

Justice Dharmadhikari is presently the seniormost judge of the high court.

A fortnight ago, his cousin Justice S. C. Dharmadhikari, who was the then seniormost judge after the CJ, had resigned from his post.

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India

SC judge says opposing govt can’t be labelled as anti-national

“There have been many recent incidents where people have been called anti-national because they dissented from the government,”

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Supreme Court judge Justice Deepak Gupta

New Delhi, Feb 24 : Supreme Court judge Deepak Gupta on Monday said if attempts are made to quell dissent, then it will have a chilling effect on democracy, as “governments are not always right” and that opposing government can’t be labelled as anti-national.

Speaking at the lecture hosted by Supreme Court Bar Association on democracy and dissent, Justice Gupta emphasized the essence of democracy by stating that majoritarianism is antithesis to democracy. “There have been many recent incidents where people have been called anti-national because they dissented from the government,” he said.

“If some party gets 51% votes, does that mean the other 49% should not speak for 5 years…every citizen has a role to play in democracy….governments are not always right,” said Justice Gupta.

“Just because you take a contararian view, it does not mean disrespect to the country. Whenever there is a clash of ideas, there will be dissent. Right to question is an inherent part of democracy.”

He reiterated that the Opposition has the right to protest as long as peaceful means are adopted. Justice Gupta also cited excerpts from a lecture recently given by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, which said: “Blatant labelling if dissent as anti-national stops deliberative democracy.”

Citing vital components of democracy, Justice Gupta said democracy is considered successful, if it protects the civil rights of the citizens. “Dissent has an important role, it should be encouraged…it leads to finding better ways to run the country”, he added.

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