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The first Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) board exam in English subject for class 10 students began across Karnataka under Covid cloud as per lockdown guidelines, an official said on Thursday.”

As scheduled, the 3-hour exam in English began at 10.30 a.m. at all the 3,179 centres across the state, as per the guidelines. Though 8.5 lakh students registered to appear, we will know after the exam how many of them wrote or missed for what reasons,” Karnataka Secondary Education Examination Board Director V. Sumangala told IANS here.

Of the 8.5 lakh students registered for the exams, which will conclude on July 4, 4,48,560 are boys and 3,99,642 are girls.Of the total centres, 2,879 are main and 300 in block, set up to accommodate students spilling over from other centres to ensure social distancing.

“All students will be given 15 minutes extra from 1.30 p.m. to complete if any question remains or revise their answer sheets before handing over to the teachers,” Sumangala said.

As directed, most students reported at all centres by 9.00 a.m. for thermal screening, wearing mask and washing hands with sanitizer for entering the exam hall by 10.15 a.m.A whopping 86,000 people, including 63,000 state-run school teachers and 23,000 from other departments like health, police and social welfare are on duty for the smooth conduct of the exams in 6 subjects, including English, Kannada, third language, natural science, social science and mathematics.”

About 200-250 students have been accommodated at each centre, with about 200 centres located in the containment zones, said Sumangala.The exams were earlier scheduled from March 27 to April 9, but were put off as the lockdown was extended thrice up to May 31.As a 2-metre distance has to be kept between two students, more exam centres have been arranged to comply with the guidelines.

Each exam centre has also been equipped with sanitizer dispensers to wash hands before and after the exam.Students who shifted to their home town during the prolonged lockdown have been allowed to write exams from the nearest centre, where they are staying.”

All arrangements have been made for the safe conduct of the exams,” said Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar said after reviewing the preparedness with officials through video conferencing on late Wednesday.

He urged parents to send their wards to the exam centres without any worry.Sudhakar, a medical doctor by profession, urged parents to send their wards to the exam without worry as all precautions have been taken to ensure not even a student would be infected by the corona virus.”The entire country is looking at Karnataka”s decision to conduct the SSLC exams despite rising Covid cases in the state.

Hence, this should be taken as a challenge to conduct them carefully,” asserted Sudhakar.Directing the officials to strictly follow the guidelines, the minister said it was their collective responsibility to ensure every student was safe from the moment he or she leaves home to the exam centre and returned after the exam.”

Vehicles ferrying students where public transport is not available, surroundings near exam centres, exam halls and toilets must be sanitised,” reiterated the minister.As there are 458 containment zones across Bengaluru, the minister directed the officials to take any student found ill to the nearest health centre.

State Education Minister S. Suresh Kumar, Additional Chief Secretary Javed Akhtar and senior officials of the concerned departments participated in the meeting.

India

Deception, disinformation part of China’s game plan with India

The former diplomat predicted that Beijing will insist that it is on its own territory and defend its position at all cost while accusing Indian troops of being the aggressors.

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India China Galwan Valley

New Delhi, Aug 10 :: China’s game plan for the stand-off along the Line of Actual Control with India in Ladakh will include a combination of pressure, deception, disinformation and continuation of its long-term expansionist policies.

This was deduced by the Delhi Policy Group (DPG), one of India’s oldest think tanks on strategic and international issues of critical national interest, from the statements from a series of meetings between senior Army commanders, foreign ministers and ministries and the special representatives on the border question of the two countries.

In his paper on ‘China’s post-Galwan Posture’, former ambassador Nalin Surie, distinguished fellow for diplomacy at DPG, said that over six weeks after the brutal, unprovoked, illegal and fatal attack by Chinese troops on Indian soldiers in East Ladakh, the situation there remains tense and fragile.

“Chinese obduracy has ensured that the rebuilding of confidence, let alone trust, in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is in serious doubt,” he said.

India and China have made no headway in de-escalation in the Pangong Tso lake region of Ladakh, where both sides have built up forces and are preparing to dig in for the long haul.

Surie in his paper said that the “Chinese game plan to extricate itself from a situation of its own creation which has won it no friends except Pakistan” would contain “a mix of pressure, deception, disinformation and not having to abandon its long term and long held objectives”.

The former diplomat predicted that Beijing will insist that it is on its own territory and defend its position at all cost while accusing Indian troops of being the aggressors.

China will also insist that India should compromise its position and “meet the Chinese side halfway”, Surie said.

The third line of attack, Surie said, will be to repeatedly “warn India not to misjudge or make a strategic calculation of the current situation and not underestimate China’s firm determination to safeguard its territorial sovereignty”.

The Chinese Ambassador to India Sun Weidong warned of this on July 10, and reiterated his advice at a public forum in New Delhi on July 30.

China has concerns at the growing congruence of interests in the Indo-Pacific and Indian Ocean region between India and the US and other QUAD countries, particularly post the Chinese attacks in East Ladakh, the DPG paper said.

Besides, the growing distrust between the Trump administration and China, Beijing may also be worried about Russia’s neutrality.

As a result, Surie said that the Chinese will also put pressure on New Delhi by claiming that India will greatly suffer from economic decoupling.

“India’s decisions on Chinese Apps, Chinese tenders for projects and investments in India have undoubtedly caused considerable disquiet. Given the state of the world economy and the future prognosis, loss of one of the largest and fast growing markets in the world is not going to be easily digested by China,” the former Ambassador said.

Part of China’s response will be to strengthen its economic assistance and cooperation with our neighbours and other economic partners, Surie said.

Incidentally, the Chinese embassy in New Delhi threatened Strat News Global, an independent media portal of “severe consquences” if it did not “delete a video” comparing Xi Jinping with the Nazi tyrant Adolf Hitler.

Strat News Global founder and editor-in-chief Nitin Gokhale revealed this on Twitter, confirming Surie’s analysis that China will use pressure, deception and disinformation in the long haul with India.

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India

Preparations on to resume anti-CAA, anti-NRC protests in India

The unlock stage has reached to an advanced level in the country and the Central an state governments are permitting every kind of activities in the countryand there is no reason that protests can’t be started.

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Resolution against CAA

Senior Supreme Court lawyer Mehmood Pracha said that Government has allowed unlock India and is now implemented across the country which is now in advanced stage, therefore the CAA-NRC protests can be re-started from August 15.

The process to resume anti-CAA protests has started.The efforts have gained momentum to re-start anti- CAA, anti-NRC protests which were cancelled due to coronavirus in Aligarh. Senior Supreme Court lawyer Mehmood Pracha reached Aligarh on Sunday and during an interview to news18, he said that preparations are in full swing to re-launch protest against (Citizenship (Amendment) Act, (National Register of Citizens).

The unlock stage has reached to an advanced level in the country and the Central and state governments are permitting every kind of activities in the country and there is no reason that protests cannot be started.

He said that people of Aligarh are demanding that to save the Constitution of India the protests can be started. The protests which were stopped due to coronavirus can now resume.

All types of activities have started and the state and central governments have issused guidelines for the work to resume.

Moreover, how a Muslim community can do the religious activities during Muharram under the ambit of legal guidelines are also to be discussed.

The Lawyer said, “the people of the country knows that the Supreme Court gave permission for the Jagannath Puri Rath yatra and the guidelines that were issued for the Jagannath Puri Rath yatra, should be given for all the religions. The permission should be granted for religious activities of Muslims and protests can be started during Aug 15.

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India

Citizenship query: It’s not unusual, Chidambaram comes out in Kanimozhi’s support

While non-Hindi speaking recruits to central government posts quickly learn functional spoken Hindi, why cannot Hindi-speaking recruits to these posts learn functional spoken English? the senior Congress leader asked.

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P Chidambaram

New Delhi: Former Union Minister P Chidambaram, a native of Tamil Nadu, has come out in support of DMK MP Kanimozhi, who had tweeted about an incident at an airport wherein she was asked about her citizenship and pointed to his own experiences.

“The unpleasant experience of DMK MP Kanimozhi at the Chennai airport is not unusual. I (too) have experienced similar taunts from government officers and ordinary citizens, who insisted that I speak in Hindi during telephone conversations, and sometimes even face to face,” Chidambaram said.

Read: CISF orders inquiry after DMK MP Kanimozhi asked ‘are you Indian’ at Chennai airport

The former Union Minister said: “If the Centre is genuinely committed to both Hindi and English being the official languages of India, it must insist that all central government employees are bilingual in Hindi and English.”

While non-Hindi speaking recruits to central government posts quickly learn functional spoken Hindi, why cannot Hindi-speaking recruits to these posts learn functional spoken English?” the senior Congress leader asked.

Meanwhile, the BJP has dismissed her allegation as ‘electoral stunt’. BJP General Secretary (Organisation) BL Santhosh tweeted to counter Kanimozhi’s charge, saying that “assembly elections are 8 months away … the campaign starts”.

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