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IIT graduates bridge education gap in Kashmir

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Kolkata, May 17: Facing off-and-on internet bans, curfews and inaccessibility to books in Jammu and Kashmir, a bunch of IIT graduates have got together to help students and engineering aspirants realise their dreams.

Through their RISE organisation, Mubeen Masudi (IIT-Bombay), Imbesat Ahmad (IIT- Kharagpur), Salman Shahid (Chemical Engineering, IIT-Kharagpur) and Saifi from the Delhi Technical University are “bridging the gap between opportunities and the students in Kashmir”.

“Here in Kashmir, no matter which stream students belong to or what career they aspire for, they lack proper information and counselling. They lack guidance. Information has not flown here as it has in other cities.

“We provide the right information at the right time to help students prepare for entrance exams, give their ideas shape and facilitate them with best educational tools,” RISE co-founder Ahmad, M.S., Physics, IIT-Kharagpur, told IANS from Srinagar.

Since starting out in 2012 with four students, they currently have 200 under their wing. Last year, RISE sent four students to IITs and this year, 40 have qualified for NITs.

“We could have had a far better result but last year’s curfew came in the way. Currently, we are targeting engineering institutes like IITs and NITs. Last year, one student got selected by Princeton University and one by the University of Washington. Net ban, curfews, strikes, etc., make things difficult. Book shops are shut and ecommerce sites do not work here,” Ahmad said.

“For exams like Scholastic Aptitude Test for admission to US colleges, you need the internet,” he pointed out.

They even survived the ravages of the 2014 floods.

“We had set up a library here with our books. We lost around 4,000 books. For over a month, our activities were crippled. What happens is students lose their morale because they already feel that a student in any other city has a head start over them and when classes are cancelled, it kills precious time.

“Once a student feels he or she is lagging, it is important to encourage them to persevere and that is where our role becomes important,” said Ahmad, who hails from Patna.

It all began for Ahmad when he visited Kashmir for an education workshop and realised the education scenario in India’s northernmost state was in dire straits. He came in touch with Masudi who hails from the state and they decided to join hands to reverse the situation.

“Last year we had 110 students and for 40, our services were totally free. For the rest, the cost varies from Rs 10,000 to Rs 35,000 for a coaching period ranging from four months to two years. The charges depend on how much they are ready to pay, what their financial capacity is. Money is not an issue here. Parents are ready to pay. There are people who can pay 10 times this but even at this price you can’t get someone from IIT or NIT to come and teach here. Money is there but resources aren’t,” he said.

“There are around 30 per cent girls among our students. The ratio is pretty good here. There is aspiration among the students and we are trying to give them a boost,” Ahmad added.

By Sahana Ghosh

IANS

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Bengal MLA was ‘killed’ as he joined BJP: Tripura CM

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Biplab Deb

Agartala, July 13 : Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Monday alleged that West Bengal legislator Debendra Nath Ray was killed because he joined the Bharatiya Janata Party last year.

Deb, who was the Tripura state BJP President until recently, in a tweet said: “Body of Sri Debendra Nath Ray, BJP MLA from Hemtabad, a reserved seat, in Uttar Dinajpur, was found hanging in Bindal, near his village house. People are of clear opinion that he was first killed & then hung. His crime? He joined the BJP in 2019.”

The 65-year-old MLA was found mysteriously hanging on Monday morning, a few meters away from his home near a local market in his village, about 454 km from West Bengal capital Kolkata.

Ray had joined the BJP in 2019. Earlier, he was elected to the state assembly as Communist Party of India-Marxist nominee in 2016.

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Doctor who managed Goa’s only Covid hospital tests positive

The state currently has more than 900 active Covid-19 cases, with 17 fatalities linked to coronavirus.

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Dr Gomes

Panaji, July 13 : Dr. Edwin Gomes, who had emerged as the face of Goa”s Covid-19 treatment and care effort, and had served as the in-charge of medication of patients at the state’s only designated Covid-19 hospital, has tested positive for the viral infection, a government spokesperson said.

“Dr. Gomes has been admitted to a state government facility for doctors infected by coronavirus,” the spokesperson said.

Gomes, 58, is also the head of medicine at the state”s only medical college, the Goa Medical College, and had last week ended his unbroken 98-day shift at the designated Covid-19 hospital.

The state currently has more than 900 active Covid-19 cases, with 17 fatalities linked to coronavirus.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has said that “four to five” Covid-19 patients who died, were suffering from cancer. “Eight to 10 patients were above the age of 80 years, while one also died of liver failure. The death rate has increased due to co-morbid conditions,” Sawant told reporters at the State Secretariat.

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Delhi riots: Court rejects bail plea of Tahir Hussain

Communal clashes broke out in northeast Delhi on February 24 after clashes between citizenship law supporters and protesters spiralled out of control leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured.

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Tahir Hussain

New Delhi, July 13 : A Delhi court on Monday dismissed the bail application of suspended Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) councillor, Tahir Hussain, in connection with the murder of Intelligence Bureau (IB) staffer Ankit Sharma.

Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav observed, “There is enough material on record to presume that the applicant was present at the spot of crime and was exhorting the rioters of a particular community and as such, he did not use his hands and fists, but rioters as ”human weapons”.”

Intelligence Bureau (IB) staffer Ankit Sharma was killed in Chand Bagh area during the northeast Delhi violence on February 25. His body was recovered from the drain and had 51 sharp and blunt injuries on it.

The court further said that there is a possibility that if Hussain is released on bail at this stage, he may tamper with the evidence or threaten the witnesses.

Hussain, who is in judicial custody since March, had sought bail on the grounds that there is no cogent evidence to connect him to the alleged murder of Sharma.

Besides this, the court also noted that Hussain”s involvement is being investigated upon with regard to his connection with members of PFI, Pinjratod, Jamia Co-ordination Committee, United Against Hate Group and anti-CAA protesters.

“Riots in the area of northeast Delhi were carried out in an organized manner and as part of the deep-rooted conspiracy,” said the sessions judge while denying bail to Hussain.

Hussain has also been booked under the stringent anti-terror law — Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, in a case related to alleged conspiracy in the riots.

Communal clashes broke out in northeast Delhi on February 24 after clashes between citizenship law supporters and protesters spiralled out of control leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured.

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