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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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Bihar DGP Gupteshwar Pandey Steps Down from Service, Likely to Contest Upcoming Polls

Sanjiv Kumar Singhal, the Director General of Civil Defence and Fire Services, has been given the additional charge of DGP Bihar till further orders.

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Gupteshwar Pandey IPS

Bihar Director General of Police (DGP) Gupteshwar Pandey on Tuesday stepped down from his post after taking voluntary retirement from the services. His request seeking VRS was approved by Governor Phagu Chauhan.

Pandey is likely to contest the upcoming state Assembly polls.

Sanjiv Kumar Singhal, the Director General of Civil Defence and Fire Services, has been given the additional charge of DGP Bihar till further orders.

Pandey, who was involved in the investigation of actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, found himself mired in controversy after his sexist comment aimed at Rhea Chakraborty. Hours after the Supreme Court last month ordered a CBI probe into Rajput’s death, Pandey had said that Chakraborty did not have the “aukat” (stature) to comment about Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

Pandey had later apologised for the remark.

Earlier this month, Pandey had hailed Chakraborty’s arrest by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) as a big win for Bihar.

Pandey has been an Indian Police Service officer since 1987. He was selected as Bihar DGP in February last year out of 12 IPS officers recommended by the state government to the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

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Nitish gets livid over documentary showing pind-daan in Gaya

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Nitish Kumar

Patna, Sep 22 : Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday become angry with the water resources development ministry over a representative video documentary showing a pind-daan, a ritual conducted at the cremation of a person.

In the run-up to the Bihar assembly elections, Kumar has laid down the foundation stone of 77 projects worth Rs 2814.47 crore.

One of these projects relates to a rubber dam project on Falgu river in Gaya.

During its inauguration, the water resources development ministry played a video documentary in which a pind-daan ceremony on Falgu river in Gaya was shown.

As soon as it went on screen, CM Nitish Kumar got livid. He shouted in the middle of the documentary for wrong selection of visuals by the ministry concerned.

He said the Gaya district is renowned around the world for the Bodhi Temple where Lord Buddha gained wisdom. The pictures inside the temple are unique. “People go to Gaya to see this temple. It is an icon of Gaya and not the area where the pind-daan takes place on Falgu river,” Kumar said during the virtual inauguration.

“I have repeatedly told the ministry concerned to avoid representing Falgu river in Gaya, still they are making the same mistake again,” Kumar said.

The video documentary showcased the rubber dam and renovation on the either side of the river banks.

Since, elections are round corner in Bihar, there is an assumption that showing rituals related to death isn’t auspicious.

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Stubble Burning: 332 villages identified as red zones in Haryana

Additional chief secretary (ACS), agriculture, Sanjeev Kaushal said the Haryana government has also decided to provide financial assistance to 11,311 individual farmers who have applied for agricultural implements under the crop residue management scheme.

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stubble burning

In anticipation of stubble burning incidents across the state, the Haryana agriculture department has identified red, yellow/orange and green zones in every district on the basis of incidences of crop residue burning last year. An official spokesperson said 332 villages fall under the red zone and 675 in yellow zone.

Additional chief secretary (ACS), agriculture, Sanjeev Kaushal said the Haryana government has also decided to provide financial assistance to 11,311 individual farmers who have applied for agricultural implements under the crop residue management scheme ‘Promotion of Agricultural Mechanization for In-Situ Management of Crop’, in the current growing season. The total assistance of about ₹155 crore at the rate of 50 % will be given.

The department will also provide 454 balers, 5,820 super seeders, 5,418 zero till seed drills, 2,918 choppers/mulchers, 260 happy seeders, 389 straw management systems, 64 rotary slashers/shrub masters, 454 reversible mould ploughs and 288 reapers to the beneficiaries.

Online applications for agricultural implements were invited from individual farmers and societies till August 21. As many as 11,311 farmers applied for 16,647 implements, against a target of 2,741, in the individual category, he said.

The state government has also decided to give preference to small and marginal farmers in hiring of machinery from Custom Hiring Centres (CHCs), and in providing equipment to individual beneficiaries under the scheme. A comprehensive plan has been approved for crop residue management to prevent stubble burning. It included fusion of in-situ and ex-situ crop residue management techniques, apart from monitoring activities through a dedicated control room, and registration of FIRs against violators.

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