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Gujarat government collecting data of Muslim students

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Vijay Rupani

Gandhinagar, Nov 27 :The BJP-ruled Gujarat government has been collecting data of Muslim students, appearing for Class 10 and 12 board examinations, for the last five years, state Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama said here on Tuesday.

The Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Board (GSHSB), which comes under the Gujarat government’s Education Department, has been collecting this specific data.

The data collection is done from the school authorities in the online board examination forms. The information is accessible through a special username and password-protected software for the filling of students’ examination forms.

When the school authorities fill the forms online, a question is asked whether the student is from the minority community. After being answered “Yes”, the user is given only two options, “Muslim” or “Other”.

This practice has been going on since 2013, the Education Minister confirmed to IANS.

When asked why only Muslims are being separately identified when there are other minority community students in Gujarat as well, Education Minister Chudasama told IANS at his state Secretariat office on Tuesday evening: “To collect data.”

When repeated why only Muslims, he said the same thing: “To collect data.”

The Minister parroted this line for every subsequent question, including when asked why is this data being collected.

“This is to collect data. We have been maintaining this data since 2013. To date, nobody has ever complained about it,” Chudasama said.

Asked whether the government will change it, he added: “Why should we change anything?”

Asked why no school authorities are questioning this practice when it is continuing since 2013 and there are scores of schools of the minority community in the state, Asif Khan Pathan, Principal of Crescent Higher Secondary School here said: “You see, we already face so many problems of our own; we found this practice unusual, but we never thought of complaining or even questioning the government’s motive behind this.”

“Many of us were not aware,” said Kausar Ali Saiyad, the founder of Hamaari Awaaz, an organisation working for the Muslim community.

“If the government is really concerned about higher education of Muslim students and is collecting data, I will be glad. But I have not seen this happening in any of the government’s policies for post-metriculation scholarships or any other schemes for Muslim students,” Kauser Ali said.

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Women’s Wall: Kerala Assembly in turmoil, MLAs come to blows

The opposition Congress-led UDF has been up in arms against the Pinarayi Vijayan government for turning Sabarimala into a police fortress, causing innumerable hardships to the pilgrims.

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Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 13 : Kerala MLAs came to blows on Thursday inside the Assembly after the opposition called the upcoming Women’s Wall event on New Year’s Day meant to take forward gender equality, “nothing but a communal wall that will be dismantled”.

The Assembly session, which concluded on Thursday, has been facing turmoil right from the beginning of the 13-day session, coinciding with the ongoing Sabarimala pilgrimage amid prohibitory orders.

The opposition Congress-led UDF has been up in arms against the Pinarayi Vijayan government for turning Sabarimala into a police fortress, causing innumerable hardships to the pilgrims.

On Thursday, as the question hour ended, Deputy Leader of Opposition and senior Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) member M.K. Muneer sought to move an adjournment motion to discuss the Women’s Wall programme of the state government.

Vijayan responded saying that the event was being held to take forward the ideology of gender equality and uphold the dignity of women.

“If you (the opposition) are against this, please say that. We assure the House, no government money is being spent for this programme. The state government is just taking part to see that the ideology of great reformer Sree Narayana Guru is taken forward,” he told the Assembly.

Vijayan asked the opposition: “How can you all say that this is a communal event?” His speech was greeted by the treasury benches by thumping the desk.

Then, Muneer got up to speak. He said: “Like in West Germany, if the Berlin wall was dismantled, the Women’s Wall, which is a communal wall would be dismantled.”

That was all that he could say, and the entire treasury bench was up on their feet, sloganeering.

They trooped to the Speaker’s podium, forcing P. Sreeramakrishnan to adjourn the house.

When the house met again, Muneer said: “Why is that when I say the word communal wall, you go berserk, when others use the same word, there is no issue. I stick by what I said that this is nothing but a ‘communal wall’.

“You (Vijayan) say that this wall is part of the renaissance movement, but what right do you have to speak about renaissance.

“It’s just not the Hindus who took part in the erstwhile Renaissance Movement, Christians and Muslims also took part and we wish to ask you what wall are you now going to build without the Christians and Muslims,” said Muneer.

Following which the sloganeering from across the benches increased, forcing the Speaker to rush through the listed business of the day.

The sloganeering and trooping of both benches’ MLAs almost led to a clash, with P.K. Basheer of the IUML and V.Joy of the CPI-M coming to blows.

State Agriculture Minister V.S. Sunilkumar forcefully took away Joy, while Basheer was also taken away by others.

With the session coming to a close, Congress’ Ramesh Chennithala said: “Vijayan knows that he has been caught on the wrong foot on the ‘communal wall’. This is a communal wall and we will oppose it.”

The three protesting UDF members moved out of the foyer to take the protest outside the Assembly, as it was closed.

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Light rain, snow in Jammu and Kashmir

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jammu kashmir snowfall

Srinagar, Dec 13: Light rain and snow occurred in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday as the weather office has forecast an improvement in the weather.

“We are expecting improvement in the weather from today (Thursday) afternoon,” an official of the MET Department said.

The rain and snowfall occurred during the last 24 hours in the state.

At minus 9.5 degrees Celsius, Gulmarg was the coldest in the Kashmir Valley, while Srinagar recorded 0.1 and Pahalgam minus 1.5 as the minimum temperatures.

Jammu city recorded 7.9 degrees Celsius, Katra town 6.5, Batote minus 1.5, Bannihal 0.5 and Bhaderwah 0.1 as the minimum temperatures on Thursday.

IANS

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Boy killed in Noida celebratory firing

To mark the occasion, someone from the groom’s side opened fire in the air and a bullet hit the victim identified as Gaurav, who died on the spot.

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GUN FIRING
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Noida, Dec 13: A 14-year-old boy was killed during celebratory firing at a wedding function in Noida, police said on Thursday.

The incident took place on Wednesday night at Ghodi Bacheda village in Jarcha area.

To mark the occasion, someone from the groom’s side opened fire in the air and a bullet hit the victim identified as Gaurav, who died on the spot, according to the police.

His father Jagdish has filed a complaint with the police, naming four persons including the groom, for being responsible for the death of his son.

“A complaint has been filed and we are gathering video and other evidences based on which action will be taken,” police official Ramsen Singh said.

IANS

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