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New Delhi, July 9 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Thursday granted more time to the Delhi University to draw up a plan for conducting examinations for final year students, expressing displeasure on its changing stance. The court said that the varsity is turning turtle too often.

A division bench of the High Court presided by Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad directed the varsity to file an affidavit by July 13 narrating how it is going to conduct the final year examinations (whether online, offline or mixed modes) and a proper and final date sheet in order to give a clarity to the students.

“Chart out a course and be clear on where you want to go,” said the court while asking the varsity to file an affidavit posting the matter for further hearing on July 14.

The time was granted after senior advocate Sachin Dutta appearing for the varsity informed the court that a new plan has to be formulated in accordance with the latest UGC guidelines.

The court expressed its displeasure over the University”s move to constantly change its stance regarding the conduct of the final year examinations. “Delhi University is turning turtle too often,” the High Court said.

Initially, the varsity had announced that the online Open Book Examination (OBE) would commence from July 1, which was later postponed to July 10 and again it was postponed till August 15 without giving a specific date as to when the exams would take place.

The court came down heavily on the varsity and said, “What do you want us to do, constantly monitor Delhi University as to when the exams would take place?”

Dutta informed the court that a meeting of the varsity officials took place where it was discussed that more time should be given for acclimatizing students with the new mode of examination as there were many complaints.

He then informed the bench that a fresh date sheet would be issued after consultation with the Ministry of Human Resource and Development and the UGC.

Following these submissions, the bench questioned that the date sheet is a sole affair of the varsity. “The date sheet has nothing do with the UGC or Ministry,” the bench said.

“The way DU is conducting itself in the past two weeks, we aren”t impressed. Careers of thousands of students are dependent on this passing out certificates. If DU does not empathise with its students, where will they go,” the court said.

The bench also noted that the mock tests conducted by the varsity had a lot of glitches. It also asked DU to prepare a schedule which is not as far as the proposed date of August 15. However, the DU counsel mentioned that the UGC guidelines have granted time till September to complete the exams.

Responding to the same, the court asked DU as to why can”t it conduct the exams sooner when it was ready to conduct the same on July 1.

During the hearing, Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal for Petitioner Prateek Sharma stressed that DU must clarify the mode and manner of examination it intends to conduct now.

Following this, the court asked DU to clarify its stand on when and how the examinations would be taking place. “We have all gone through this examination process which is nerve-wrecking for the students especially in such times where a pandemic is in place,” said the judge.

The court was hearing a batch of petitions led by one Anup challenging the cancellation of the examinations in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The plea sought quashing and withdrawal of the notifications of May 14, May 30 and June 27, 2020 in respect of undergraduate and postgraduate students, including students of the School of Open Learning and Non-Collegiate Women Education Board.

The batch of petitions included another petition filed by NSUI Delhi chief Akshay Lakra which sought quashing of the notifications regarding the OBE as well as the Examination Schedule issued by the Respondent No 1 — (DU).

“The Delhi University without following the procedure established by law, unilaterally and arbitrarily decided to hold Online Open Book Exams for the students of Delhi University,” the plea filed by the NSUI Delhi President said.

He also alleged in his plea that DU has flouted the laws as laid down under the applicable statutes and deliberately overlooked the Academic Council and Executive Council and grievances/representation raised by the esteemed members of the Academic Council and Executive Council while issuing the said notifications.

“The Respondent No 1 has unlawfully interfered in the sphere reserved exclusively for the expert bodies which derive their powers from the statutory provisions of the applicable laws,” Lakra said in his petition.

–IANS

India

How will the govt ensure farmers get MSP, asks Chidambaram

“Does the Minister and the government think that the farmers are so foolish to believe the empty promise of the government?”

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P Chidambaram

New Delhi, Sep 20 : As Parliament passed the two contentious agricultural Bills on Sunday, former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram asked the government how it will guarantee that farmers get the minimum support price (MSP) for their produce.

“Agriculture Minister says that government will guarantee that the farmer will get MSP. Private trade takes place even today. The price paid to the farmer is invariably less than MSP. If the Agriculture Minister can magically ensure MSP, why has he not done that so far?” he said, in a series of tweets.

“How will the Minister know which farmer sold his produce to which trader? How will he know the millions of transactions that will take place every day all over the country? If he does not have the data, how will he guarantee MSP is paid in every transaction?” Chidambaram said.

“Does the Minister and the government think that the farmers are so foolish to believe the empty promise of the government?”

Charging the Modi government with not fulfilling its earlier promises, he asked if it had managed to put Rs 15 lakh in the bank account of every Indian, doubled farmers incomes and created 2 crore jobs every year.

On Sunday, the Congress and other opposition parties objected to the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 as they were presented in the Rajya Sabha and demanded they be sent to a select committee.

The bills, which have already been passed by the Lok Sabha earlier this week, were subsequently passed amid protests and walkouts by opposition members.

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India

Sukhbir urges President not to sign farm Bills

Badal, whose party is one of the oldest allies of the ruling BJP and part of the ruling NDA, said the passage of two Bills marked a sad day for the country’s millions and for democracy.

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Ram Nath Kovind

Chandigarh, Sep 20 : Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal on Sunday urged President Ram Nath Kovind not to sign the farm Bills.

He requested him that the Bills be returned to Parliament for reconsideration.

“Please stand by the farmers, ‘kisan mazdoors’, ‘aarhtiyas’ (agents), labourers and Dalits,” Badal said in a statement.

“Please intervene on their behalf with the government, otherwise they will never forgive us,” he said.

“Don’t let the ‘annadata’ or farmers starve or sleep on the roads.”

Badal, whose party is one of the oldest allies of the ruling BJP and part of the ruling NDA, said the passage of two Bills marked a sad day for the country’s millions and for democracy.

“Democracy means consensus, not majority oppression,” he added.

Two of the three farm Bills have already been passed by Parliament with the Rajya Sabha passing the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 on Sunday. They were passed by the Lok Sabha earlier this week.

The party’s lone minister in the Narendra Modi government, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, resigned from the Union Cabinet on September 17 to protest the farm bills.

The SAD also hit out at the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party for what it called “back-stabbing the farmers” by not opposing the passage of the Bills in the Lok Sabha.

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Disaster

Government failed to curb COVID-19: Shashi Tharoor

He highlights the failure of the government to curb COVID-19, adding that government’s ₹20,000 crore package inspired little confidence.

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Shashi Tharoor in Lok Sabha
Senior Congress Leader and Lok Sabha MP Shashi Tharoor (File Picture)

New Delhi: As Lok Sabha discusses COVID-19 situation, Shashi Tharoor shares WHO data to state that India has the highest number of daily Infections and deaths in the world.

Government did not listen to Rahul Gandhi’s warning. Instead it was more interested in toppling the government in Madhya Pradesh.

He highlights the failure of the government to curb COVID-19, adding that government’s ₹20,000 crore package inspired little confidence.

He states that there was minimal effort by government to reach out and consult other stakeholders, particularly state governments in opposition.

The Opposition MP also spoke about the danger faced by students while giving exams and thanked the healthcare workers for their services.

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