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Education reforms expected after survey analysis, says Javadekar

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Javadekar

New Delhi, Nov 14 : Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar on  Tuesday said educational reforms may be implemented after a detailed analysis of the National Assessment Survey (NAS) has been done by March next year.

Under the nationwide survey carried out on Monday, learning competencies of students of Class 3, 5 and 8 were tested and over 25 lakh students sat for the exams.

“This is an extremely credible survey… because surveys done by foreign agencies tend to have a small sample size,” Javadekar told media persons.

“First results (of NAS) will be out by the end of November and a detailed analysis will be done by March that will help us with more reforms wherever needed.”

Javedekar sated that to execute the mammoth exercise, around 1.7 lakh “field investigators”, including B.Ed graduates and teachers, were appointed.

In addition, a total of 12,000 officials from different departments, excluding that of Education, were present as “observers”, he asserted.

Wefornews Bureau 

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Top CBI official seeks court-monitored probe in Asthana bribery case

The application challenging his transfer to Nagpur, refers to a purported message from Law Secretary Suresh Chandra conveying a message of Cabinet Secretary P.K. Sinha offering “full protection” to Sana Sathish Babu, who is a witness in the Moin Qureshi case.

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Manish Kumar Sinha CBI
Picture credit : flickr

New Delhi, Nov 19 : A top CBI official, Manish Kumar Sinha, on Monday moved the Supreme Court seeking a court-monitored SIT probe into the allegation of bribe against Special CBI Director Rakesh Asthana in the meat exporter Moin Qureshi case with the petition referring to charges of bribe being made to a Union minister and the other accused claiming connections with the “high and mighty” in the power corridors including NSA Ajit Doval.

Sinha, a DIG-rank officer transferred to Nagpur on the dramatic night of October 23 when he was supervising the probe against Asthana, has said his transfer was “arbitrary, motivated and malafide”.

The application challenging his transfer to Nagpur, refers to a purported message from Law Secretary Suresh Chandra conveying a message of Cabinet Secretary P.K. Sinha offering “full protection” to Sana Sathish Babu, who is a witness in the Moin Qureshi case.

Seeking the top court direction for the summoning of the records pertaining to the case against Asthana to ensure their safe custody and not tampered with, Sinha in his application for impleadment has cited several instances where people who were interrogated in the case flaunted their high connections and one Manoj Prasad “dropped” the name of NSA Ajit Doval in the course of interrogation.

The payment of alleged illegal gratification involved a case against meat supplier Moin Qureshi. The accused in the case are Asthana, Deputy Superintendent of Police Devender Kumar, investigating officer, two private persons Manoj Prasad and Somesh Prasad and unknown others.

This is a case in which Sathish Babu Sana is a complainant who has recorded his complainant before a magistrate in Delhi.

Recalling the course of the events, Sinha in his application says that Manoj Prasad was intercepted at Delhi Airport on his arrival from Dubai. He was brought to CBI HQ. In the first few hours of his arrival at CBI HO, Manoj was “garrulous and arrogant, both at the same time, and in equal measure.”

“He tried his best to ward off the investigation by dropping names of ‘high and mighty’ and mentioning his ‘top contacts’ to create fear in our mind”, says the application.

Taking exception to CBI picking him from the airport, Manoj told the interrogators that his father Dineshwar Prasad “retired as Joint Secretary, R&AW and has close acquaintance with the present National Security Advisor Shri Ajit K. Doval.”

Manoj Prasad also claimed that his brother Somesh Prasad was “very close to an officer at Dubai (name withheld) and to Samant Goel, presently Special Secretary, R&AW and he can get us “finished off”/”kicked out.”

Manoj also claimed that he and his contacts Samant Goel “helped the NSA Shri Ajit Doval on an important personal matter.” He further claimed that India opted out of a contest from Interpol.

The application says that no attempt was made to verify his claim about his closeness to NSA Doval.

Regarding the genuineness of this claim of Manoj, no attempt was made to verify the claim regarding the NSA Shri Doval.

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Congress targets Modi over CBI officer’s revelations against Doval, CVC

He has also claimed that Sana Sathish Babu had met Central Vigilance Commissioner Chaudhary in the matter and that Union Law Secretary Suresh Chandra had contacted him (Sana) on November 11.

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Ajit Doval

New Delhi, Nov 19 : The Congress on Monday targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi after senior CBI official M.K. Sinha alleged in the Supreme Court that NSA Ajit Doval and Central Vigilance Commissioner K.V. Chaudhary had interfered in the investigation against CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana facing bribery charges.

In his application seeking quashing of his transfer to Nagpur on the dramatic night of October 23, Sinha, who was probing the Asthana case before being shunted out, also alleged that a “few crore of rupees was paid to Union Minister of State for Coal and Mines Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhari” by Sana Sathish Babu, a witness in the case against meat exporter Moin Qureshi.

Detailing his interrogation of Manoj Prasad, a middleman arrested in the Asthana case, Sinha said in the petition: “As per Manoj Prasad, Dineshwar Prasad, father of Manoj and Somesh, retired as Joint Secretary, R&AW, and has close acquaintance with … NSA Ajit K. Doval.

“This was one of the first things Manoj claimed on being brought to CBI HQ and expressed complete surprise and anger as to how CBI could pick him up, despite his close links with the NSA Doval.

“Prasad claimed that recently his brother Somesh and Samant Goel helped the NSA on an important personal matter. He further claimed that India opted out of a contest from INTERPOL. Regarding genuineness of this claim of Manoj, no attempt was made to verify the claim regarding the NSA,” said the petition.

Expressing alarm over the assertions made by Sinha before the court, Congress spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala said “democracy was in peril and Constitution in danger”.

“Deeply shocking revelations have surfaced in public domain, which puts a question mark on Prime Minister Modi, functioning of PMO, allegations of bribery against Minister and NSA helping the accused and CVC being named in these murky dealings,” Surjewala told the media here.

“The assertions have been made under oath before the Supreme Court by someone who has been privy to relevant documents and they expose the stench of corruption that pervades the Modi government,” he said.

Besides urging the apex court to order a separate probe into the allegations made against the top Modi government officials and Ministers, the Congress leader said the party will raise the issue in Parliament.

Citing a conversation involving R&AW officer Samant Goel, the petition says: “On 23.10.2018, someone spoke to Samant Goel and asked to help him to which Samant Goel replied that things have been managed with PMO and everything is fine. The same night the entire investigating team was shifted.”

He has also claimed that Sana Sathish Babu had met Central Vigilance Commissioner Chaudhary in the matter and that Union Law Secretary Suresh Chandra had contacted him (Sana) on November 11.

He had also alleged that when CBI officer A.K. Bassi, who was investigating the Asthana case, asked for permission to seize Asthana’s cell phones and for a search, “the Director CBI did not give immediate permission and reverted that the NSA has not permitted the same”.

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Sabarimala: Devaswom Board asks SC for more time to implement order

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Sabrimala Temple

New Delhi, Nov 19 : The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) that manages the Sabarimala temple on Monday moved an application in the Supreme Court seeking more time to implement the apex court’s order allowing women of all age groups into the temple.

The Board has cited lack of infrastructure at the shrine post August’s devastating floods as also the simmering law and order situation amid a section of devotees resisting the entry of women.

The Supreme Court had on September 28 allowed the entry of women of all ages into the temple, where women aged 10-50 years (or menstruating age) were not traditionally allowed.

In response to a number of pleas, the apex court on November 13 agreed to hear all review petitions on January 22. Meanwhile, it has put no bar on the entry of women.

November 16 to January 20 is the pilgrimage season at Sabarimala.

“In order to cater to the entry of women and to ensure their safety and well-being, additional infrastructure such as restrooms, washrooms and other necessary facilities will have to be created at Sabarimala, Pampa and Nilakkal, for which the applicant would require some time so as to make additional arrangements to put such infrastructure in place,” the TDB said in its application.

It pointed out that even the “unprecedented security and efforts” by the state authorities have not “discouraged the protesters from threatening and impeding women devotees” from paying obeisance at the Sabarimala temple.

The security of women being the primary responsibility, “The applicant submits that at present, it is not in a position to provide that much of additional facilities for them,” it said.

The TDB emphasised at the outset in its application that it was “bound by the judgement dated September 28, 2018 passed by this court” and was “duty-bound to implement the same in letter and spirit”.

“However, the applicant is facing certain practical difficulties which has constrained it to approach this court. It is submitted that calamitous floods in August damaged and destroyed the infrastructure at Pampa and its surrounding areas which is the base camp of the pilgrimage for the devotees of Lord Ayyappa.

“The buildings, stalls, pilgrim shelters, toilet facilities, sewage network system etc were almost completely washed off,” it said.

It said the basic amenities at Nilakkal (where the base camp has been shifted to) and Pampa are being provided through temporary toilets and bio-toilets to meet the increasing needs of pilgrims.

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