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Granting ’eminence’ tag to Jio Institute brazen cronyism: CPI-M

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New Delhi, July 10: The CPI-M on Tuesday slammed the Centre’s decision to include the non-existant Jio Institute in the category of ‘Institutes of Eminence, and called it “brazen cronyism”.

“The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India-Marxist strongly opposes the move by the Narendra Modi government to accord ‘Institution of Eminence’ status to the Reliance Foundation’s Jio Institute.

“We condemn this move of the government which cannot be construed as anything but brazen cronyism,” the party said in a statement.

It said for an institution to stand the test of time and evolve into a truly ‘world class’ institution of higher learning and research is a challenging process.

“It takes great perseverance and creativity to earn that tag of eminence. It is bewildering that the Jio Institute, which is non-existent and notional, has been given that status solely on a ‘drawing board’ projection,” it added.

Some time back, the government had announced that 20 institutions, 10 each from the public and private sectors, would be selected as institutions of eminence.

A Committee headed by former Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswami was tasked to identify these institutions.

The government released a list of six ‘Institutions of Eminence’ on Monday which included IIT-Delhi, IISc-Bangalore, IIT-Bombay, BITS Pilani and Manipal Academy of Higher Education, besides Jio Institute.

“The entire exercise and the considerations by the Gopalaswami Committee have remained largely outside the public domain.

“The Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry has now come out with an announcement that the total number will be reduced from 20 to just six and one of the chosen three private institutions is Reliance Foundation’s Jio Institute,” the statement said.

The Left party stressed that the decision would have a “debilitating effect” on the entire sphere of higher education “underlining the obsession of the government to promote privatisation and undermining public-funded higher education”.

Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Issac also on Tuesday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the Centre’s Jio institute move.

Issac wrote in his Facebook that the only comparison he can make with Modi is that of King Farouk I of Egypt who suffered from nightmares in which he was chased by an angry lion and haggard from loss of sleep, he went to the zoo and shot two lions in their cage.

“It’s only because it’s Ambani that Modi gave this on a platter and he gave it to an institute where not even the foundation has been laid.

“Even if Ambani desires for the moon, it will be brought to his residence in Mumbai by the Centre,” said Issac.

Issac pointed out that the “Institution of Eminence” has even excluded an institution like the Jawaharlal Nehru University New Delhi.

By this surprising move, Modi has replaced the legendary Delhi Sultan Muhammad Bin Tuglak and shamed India, said Issac.

The Indian Institutes of Technology at Delhi and Bombay, the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, the Birla Institute of Technology at Pilani, Rajasthan, which was set up in 1964, and the Manipal Academy of Higher Education, which began with Kasturba Medical College in 1953 are those in the list.

IANS

Cities

BJP MLA Manvendra Singh quits party, says ‘Kamal Ka Phool, Badi Bhool’

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jaswant-singh manvendra-singh

Jaipur, Sep 22 : Former Union minister Jaswant Singh’s son and BJP MLA from Sheo constituency in Rajasthan, Manvendra Singh, on Saturday announced his decision to severe ties with the party.

He made the announcement while addressing a mammoth “Swabhimaan Rally” in Pachpadra of Barmer district.

The differences between Manvendra and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) surfaced in 2014 when his father Jaswant Singh was denied ticket from Barmer parliamentary seat, from where the party fielded Colonel Sonaram. Jaswant Singh still contested as an Independent and lost the election.

On Saturday, amid thousands of supporters, he raised a slogan “Kamal Ka Phool, Badi Bhool” in the rally. He said that he had been maintaining silence for the last four-and-a-half years obeying senior leaders of the party. “But, now I have lost all my patience.”

He also sought opinion on his decision from the people attending the rally, to which the crowd responded saying “BJP Chhodo” in unison.

The rally was attended by many senior leaders from the Rajput community.

Speaking on the occasion, he said: “My fight for self-respect will spread to the entire state and its impact will also echo at the central level. Pachpadra is the starting point of this storm and its impact will also reach Jaipur.”

However, Manvendra has not yet disclosed the course his political career will take from here on, but announced that he will contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Meanwhile, speculations are rife that he would join the Congress party soon.

When contacted, Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee (RPCC) President Sachin Pilot told IANS that he would not make any comments on the matter now.

However, he said that the list of BJP leaders leaving the party is getting longer which shows that all is not well with the party.

“Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje should introspect on this issue,” he added.

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Election

Congress heads for landslide victory in Zila Parishad polls

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Congress

Chandigarh, Sep 22 : The ruling Congress in Punjab on Saturday won the most seats in the Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samiti elections and headed for a landslide victory as counting was underway. The main opposition AAP in the state assembly faced a humiliating defeat.

Out of 113 Zila Parishad seats — out of a total of 354 — for which results have been declared, the Congress won 106, the BJP-Akali combine six and independents won one. The Aam Adami Party had not won a single seat.

Among prominent winners were former Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee President Bibi Jagjir Kaur’s daughter Ranjit Kaur; Housing Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa’s son Ravi Nandan Singh Bajwa; Congress legislator Ramanjit Sikki’s son-in-law Maninderjit Singh Mani; and former Congress legislator Kawaljit Singh Lally’s son Mehtab Singh.

In Patiala, the home constituency of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, the Congress has won 43 Panchayat Samiti seats and the Shiromani Akali Dal four.

The Akalis suffered a humiliating defeat in their home turf Muktsar as the Congress won 10 of the 13 Zila Parishad zones.

All six Zila Parishad seats in Ludhiana were won by the Congress.

The Congress won a majority in Gurdaspur by securing 154 of the total 213 Panchayat Samiti zones. In Zila Parishad, the Congress won 15 of the 25 seats and was leading in the remaining seats.

Out of the total 148 seats of the Panchayat Samiti in Bathinda, the Congress won 31, Akalis four and the AAP and independents three each. The counting for 107 seats is on.

Sporadic skirmishes, mainly between the Congress and the Akalis, were witnessed during the Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samiti polls on September 19.

The voting percentage was 58 per cent.

A total of 354 Zila Parishad and 2,900 Panchayat Samiti members will be elected. There are 22 Zila Parishads and 150 Panchayat Samitis in the state.

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh congratulated his party on their victory saying people had endorsed the positive development and rejected the Akalis’ “malicious campaign”.

Pointing out that this was the fourth consecutive humiliating defeat of the SAD-BJP combine, after back-to-back victories for the Congress in the state assembly, Urban Local Bodies, Gurdaspur parliamentary and Shahkot assembly by-polls, he termed it a vindication of his party’s efforts to bring the state out of the quagmire of devastation into which it had been plunged by the previous SAD-BJP government.

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Politics

RSS undermining institutions, trying to take over education system: Rahul

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Rahul on BJP RSS

New Delhi, Sep 22 : Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday accused the BJP and the RSS of undermining the institutions like the Supreme Court, Election Commission and said that it was trying to take over the education system.

Interacting with college and university teachers from nearly 20 states as part of the party’s outreach campaign, he slammed Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat over his three-day conclave, ‘Future of Bharat: An RSS Perspective’ and asked “who are you to organise whole nation?”

“Their agenda is: Let us capture all institutions of the country and let us capture sone ki chidiya (the golden bird) with a bypass surgery,” Gandhi said.

He said that the educational institutions, the Supreme Court, the Election Commission, were being systematically captured by the BJP and RSS.

“But they (the BJP and the RSS) will not succeed,” he said.

He claimed that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the RSS wanted to install their people at the institutions of higher learning to curb dissent and make money.

“The RSS vision of India, like (BJP President) Amit Shah said, is that of a golden bird. They view it as a product and how it is to be utilised. They decide on who utilises it,” he said.

He said they are fighting the “attempted capture” of the golden bird by the RSS and have understood clearly electoral battle for them.

Slamming Bhagwat for his comments over organising the whole nation, the Congress chief said, “Bhagwat in his speech has said they are going to organise the whole nation. Who are you to organise the whole nation, Bhagwat? The nation will organise itself.”

“Are you some God that you are going to organise the nation of 1.3 crore billion people? Cannot you understand how arrogant you are? Do you think the nation is going to sit there and get organised by you?

“It is a fantasy which will be smashed in the next couple of months,” he said.

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