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Kashmiri footballer quits militancy, Army calls him ‘brave’

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Majid Khan
Majid Khan, Photo Credit Tweeted by ANI

Pulwama (Jammu and Kashmir), Nov 17 : Majid Khan, a young footballer whose decision to join the LeT stunned Kashmirs, has given up militancy, the Army announced on Friday, with the 20-year-old making a brief appearance at a press conference here.

Amid conflicting reports whether Majid Khan had surrendered or was caught, Major General B.S. Raju said: “The brave young man, Majid Khan, decided on his own to shun violence and returned to lead a normal life, pursuing his academics and passion for football.”

The Army, he said, merely facilitated his decision.

“He was neither apprehended nor did he surrender. We only facilitated his return,” Gen Raju said, providing no details about how Majid made contact with the family or the security agencies.

Majid, wearing a black Kashmiri phiran, made a brief presence before journalists. But he did not speak and was quickly escorted out of the venue by a police officer.

Gen Raju complimented his parents, especially the mother, whose persuasion he said helped the young man to change his mind.

Majid’s mother’s passionate and wailing appeal to her only son to return home went viral on social media — just like Majid’s earlier photographs showing him with an AK-47.

Gen Raju, who commands the Army’s Victor Force, which oversees all anti-military operations in southern Kashmir, urged other Kashmiri youths to also give up militancy.

“Those youths who have strayed and have committed no crime are welcome to come back and no action will be taken against them. I appeal also to those who might have committed some crime to return within the parameters of law.”

The Kashmir Valley’s police chief, Muneer Khan, said no charges would be pressed against Majid and he would be allowed to join his family.

Army sources had earlier said that Majid, a second year college student, surrendered after walking into a Rashtriya Rifles camp at Kulgam on Thursday evening. He came with his arms and ammunition.

The sources added that he was handed over to Army’s 15 Corps in Awantipora town.

There was a sense of relief among Majid’s friends and relatives when they learnt that he had crossed back — into safer hands.

“It is great to hear that he will be now serving his parents and pursuing his passion about football,” a relative who did not wish to be named told IANS.

The relative said Majid was the only son of his parents, who were shocked when they came to know that he had joined the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which is active in the Kashmir Valley.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti tweeted: “A mother’s love prevailed. Her impassioned appeal helped in getting Majid, an aspiring footballer, back home. Every time a youngster resorts to violence, it is his family which suffers the most.”

Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said: “It is a very good development. Hope he can go back to leading a normal life and not be harassed.”

IANS

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Delhi govt forms committees for its own Board of Education

Our vision for the next five years is to transform the education system of Delhi and it is our hope that these two committees would tell us “HOW”, he added.

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NEET Students Counselling

New Delhi, July 15 : Delhi Education Minister Manish Sisodia on Wednesday announced the formation of two committees which will prepare the scheme and framework for creation of Delhi Education Board and Curriculum reforms.

In the Annual Budget 2020-21, the Delhi Government had announced its plans for curriculum reforms and creating a new Board of Education.

“Last five years showed us what we can achieve within the existing education system. Now our aim is to redefine the education system to prepare our students for the challenges of the 21st century world,” said Sisodia.

The first committee for the creation of the framework for the Delhi State Education Board will study global best practices in learning assessment, re-imagine current assessment practices and provide a roadmap for an innovative and student-friendly scheme of assessment.

Members of this committee include Professor Ankur Sarin of IIM Ahmedabad, Dr Wilima Wadhwa, Director of ASER Centre, Ashok Pandey, Director of Ahlcon Group of Schools, among others.

According to government officials, “Committee for the creation of the new curriculum for children up to the age of 14 years will study globally renowned best practices in curriculum and reforms and recommend what is best suited for Delhi.”

The Committee is mandated to re-imagine current curriculum, pedagogical practices and provide a roadmap for an innovative, student-friendly curriculum for the pre-primary, primary and upper primary stages in schools of Delhi.

Abha Adams, Advisor Education of Step by Step School, Ameeta Wattal, Principal of Springdales School, Rukmini Banerji, CEO of Pratham Education Foundation, Vinod Karate, Social Entrepreneur and CEO of The Teacher App, amongst others will be members of this committee.

Sisodia also convened a joint meeting of the Delhi Education Board Committee and Delhi Curriculum Reform Committee at the Delhi Secretariat.

“Our Delhi government schools have showcased exemplary performance in class 12 board exam results. This is a reflection of the work that has been done in the last five years. But 98 per cent result is not enough, we have to work together to take education to the next level,” he said.

Our vision for the next five years is to transform the education system of Delhi and it is our hope that these two committees would tell us “HOW”, he added.

In the meeting, member Rukmini Banerji said, “In India we see an increase in urbanization, that is a reality around which our education model should be redesigned. And therefore Delhi can be a good starting point for re-imagining how education should be in urban India.”

Ankur Sarin, faculty member, IIM Ahmedabad said, “We should try and achieve a balance between the inward-looking mindset and the outward ambition to think beyond Delhi.”

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Delhi records 1,647 new Covid cases, 41 deaths in 24 hours

Over 6,564 RT-PCR and 15,964 rapid antigen Covid-19 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours.

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Corona Death Body

New Delhi, July 15 : With 1,647 new coronavirus cases and 41 deaths in the last 24 hours, the national capital recorded a total tally of 1,16,993 cases and 3,487 deaths, health officials said on Wednesday.

According to Delhi government’s daily health bulletin, as many as 95,699 people have recovered, almost five times the number of active cases which stand at 17,807. Total of 2,463 patients recovered in the last 24 hours.

On June 23, the city had witnessed the highest single-day peak of 3,947 cases, but the number has come down steadily since then despite the number of tests increasing.

Testing numbers in the city have also gone up since the commencement of rapid antigen tests last month. Over 6,564 RT-PCR and 15,964 rapid antigen Covid-19 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours.

Currently, 4,021 beds are occupied in the hospitals out of a total capacity of 15,363 beds — 2,029 in the dedicated COVID Care Centres out of 9,284 and 167 beds in the dedicated COVID Health Centres as against the availability of 554 total beds. Over 9,943 people are under home isolation.

The number of containment zones in the national capital stood at 659. Last week, the number of containment zones increased by more than 150 after the city government decided to break existing hotspots into smaller clusters for better surveillance.

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Air India To Send Certain Employees On Leave Without Pay For Up To 5 Years

For example, GoAir has put most of its employees on compulsory LWP since April.

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Air India has started the process of identifying employees, based on various factors like efficiency, health and redundancy, who will be sent on compulsory leave without pay (LWP) for up to five years, according to an official order.

The airline’s board of directors have authorised its Chairman and Managing Director Rajiv Bansal to send employees on LWP “for six months or for a period of two years extendable upto five years, depending upon the following factors – suitability, efficiency, competence, quality of performance, health of the employee, instance of non-availability of the employee for duty in the past as a result of ill health or otherwise and redundancy”, the order said on Tuesday.

The departmental heads in the headquarter as well as regional directors are required to assess each employee “on the above mentioned factors and identify the cases where option of compulsory LWP can be exercised”, stated the order dated July 14.

“Names of such employees need to be forwarded to the General Manager (Personnel) in headquarter for obtaining necessary approval of CMD,” the order added.

In response to queries regarding this matter, Air India spokesperson said,”We would not like to make any comment on the issue.”

Aviation sector has been significantly impacted due to the travel restrictions imposed in India and other countries due to the coronavirus pandemic. All airlines in India have taken cost-cutting measures such as pay cuts, LWP and firings of employees in order to conserve cash flow.

For example, GoAir has put most of its employees on compulsory LWP since April.

India resumed domestic passenger flights from May 25 after a gap of two months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the airlines have been allowed to operate only a maximum of 45 per cent of their pre-COVID domestic flights. Occupancy rate in Indian domestic flights has been around 50-60 per cent since May 25.

Scheduled international passenger flights continue to remain suspended in India since March 23.

The passenger demand for air travel will contract by 49 per cent in 2020 for Indian carriers in comparison to 2019 due to COVID-19 crisis, said global airlines body IATA on Monday.

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