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PM Modi greets nation on Guru Gobind Singh birthday

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday extended greetings on the birthday of Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th guru of Sikh religion.

Modi tweeted:

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Born in 1966 at Patna Sahib, Bihar, Guru Gobind Singh inaugurated Khalsa, the collective body of all initiated Sikhs represented by the five beloved-ones and can be called the Guru Panth, the embodiment of the Guru and the final temporal leader.

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DU students ‘not thoroughly prepared’ for open book exams: High Court

Meanwhile, a separate bench of Justice Prathiba M. Singh reserved orders on a batch of pleas challenging the DU’s decision to conduct online OBE for final year students.

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New Delhi, Aug 5 : The Delhi High Court on Wednesday observed that final year students of the Delhi University “are not thoroughly prepared” to participate in the online open book examination (OBE) proposed by the varsity.

“This is a clear indication that the final year students are not thoroughly prepared to participate in the online OBE that the University of Delhi has proposed to conduct,” a division bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad observed after comparing the data relating to the first and second phase of mock tests that were conducted by the varsity.

The data revealed that as against 1,83,376 students who had registered to participate in the OBE in the first phase, 1,86,814 students had registered themselves in the second phase.

However, the total number of the students who had logged in during the first phase were 93,185 whereas only 75,593 had logged in the second phase. The total number of papers attempted by the students in the first phase were 60,181 whereas, in the second phase, the total number of papers attempted were 51,176.

The data also revealed that the total number of papers submitted in the first phase were 33,162 whereas, in the second phase, the total number of papers submitted were 23,693.

After seeing the data, the bench said: “Even for the PWD (person with disability) category students and VH (visually handicapped) students, the data of the second phase of the mock test is no better than that of the first phase, if not worse.”

The observations were made while the bench was hearing a plea filed by Prateek Sharma, a physically disabled student, highlighting the difficulties that will be faced by disabled students in taking the online exam.

The court also granted 10 days time to the varsity to file an affidavit clarifying its position along with the exact date by which the results of the final year students who propose to sit in the online open book examination will be declared.

“It shall also be stated as to how many students had actually logged in to participate in the online OBE and the assessment of the number of students who will take the examination physically at a later date, to be indicated by the University,” the bench said while slating the matter for further hearing on August 17.

Meanwhile, a separate bench of Justice Prathiba M. Singh reserved orders on a batch of pleas challenging the DU’s decision to conduct online OBE for final year students.

During the hearing, the DU submitted that the OBE were the best option to check the student’s knowledge in keeping with the UGC’s guidelines while adhering to the restrictions thrown by the global pandemic.

“The idea behind OBE was to prevent students from assembling in one hall as it would be difficult to maintain social distancing during the pandemic situation. There were detailed deliberations,” senior advocate Sachin Dutta, representing the DU, said.

He further told the court that a student does not need very high technology to sit for online OBE as having an email will be sufficient and that connectivity issues will be far more in other modes.

While the hearing was underway, with a lot of students too present, music suddenly started playing in the background, following which Justice Singh said: “I don’t know what they are celebrating.”

Initially, the varsity had announced that the online OBE would commence from July 1, which was later postponed by the varsity to July 10 and again, the institution has now postponed the same till August 15, without giving a specific date as to when it would take place.

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Kashmir Lt Governor GC Murmu quits amid buzz that he could be next CAG

There has been no official word on GC Murmu’s exit from Jammu and Kashmir’s Raj Bhawan. But there is speculation that he is seen to be in line to take over as the next Comptroller and Auditor General when Rajiv Mehrishi completes his term this week on 7 August.

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Girish Chandra Murmu, the former bureaucrat appointed as Jammu and Kashmir’s first Lt Governor, has resigned, public broadcaster All India Radio said on Wednesday evening. Murmu was appointed Lt Governor on 31 October, Jammu and Kashmir’s first when the union territory carved out of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir was notified.

There has been no official word on Murmu’s exit from Kashmir’s Raj Bhawan. But there is speculation that he could be in line to be the next Comptroller and Auditor General when Rajiv Mehrishi completes his term this week on 7 August.

Rajiv Mehrshi was appointed India’s top public auditor in 2017 after his retirement from the civil services. Before this, Mehrishi – also a retired IAS officer of the 1978 batch – has been India’s finance secretary and home secretary. Mehrishi can hold this office till he turns 65, on 8 August.

There is buzz that Mehrishi could be appointed as Jammu and Kashmir’s Lt Governor.

This is not the first time that GC Murmu, a 1985 batch IAS officer from Gujarat cadre, is resigning ahead of his tenure. Lt Governors of union territories, quite like governors of states, are appointed on a five-year term.

Murmu was the expenditure secretary in the Union finance ministry when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah decided to elevate him to the new union territory’s Raj Bhawan. Murmu had then resigned from the IAS a month before his retirement in November-end 2019.

Murmu, who is said to have the trust of PM Modi and Shah, had worked with them in Gujarat when he was posted in the home department. After PM Modi came to Delhi in 2014, Murmu moved to the Gujarat chief minister’s office as principal secretary to Anandiben Patel who had succeeded Modi in the state. He joined the central government less than a year later as a joint secretary in the finance ministry.

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HC asks trial court to decide on pleas against Kapil Mishra, Thakur

The submission came while the court was hearing a batch of matters relating to the violence and riots that erupted in northeast Delhi in February.

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Anurag Thakur Parvesh Verma Kapil Mishra

New Delhi, Aug 5 : The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the trial court to decide, “in accordance with the law”, on a petition by CPI-M leader Brinda Karat seeking lodging of FIRs against BJP leaders Anurag Thakur, Parvesh Verma and others for their alleged hate speeches in relation to the anti-CAA protest at Shaheen Bagh.

A division bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan, while disposing of Karat’s application, asked the magistrate concerned at the Rouse Avenue court to decide on the matter.

The direction came after Karat’s counsel Tara Narula requested the court to dispose of the matter with directions to the trial court to consider it.

Narula further apprised the bench that the magistrate’s court had earlier reserved its judgment on the application after hearing the arguments of all sides but did not pronounce its order as similar issues were pending in the High Court.

The submission came while the court was hearing a batch of matters relating to the violence and riots that erupted in northeast Delhi in February.

After hearing the matter briefly, over video conferencing, the court posted the matters for further hearing on August 24.

Recently, the Delhi Police, in its affidavit filed before the court, had stated that the statements of various political leaders are being examined and necessary action will be taken if evidence is found against them.

“Speeches of political leaders including Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi, Anurag Thakur, Kapil Mishra, Parvesh Verma, Waris Pathan, and others are being examined by the Delhi Police and necessary action in this regard will be taken in due course of time if it is found that their speech had any nexus with the riots,” the affidavit said.

Meanwhile, after a brief hearing, the division bench, headed by Chief Justice Patel, also adjourned, till August 24, the batch of matters relating to the violence in and around the campus of the Jamia Milia Islamia in December last year.

On Tuesday, senior advocate Colin Gonsalves told the bench that the alleged police brutality unleashed on the Jamia students then “was to tell the students to drop the idea of going to the Parliament”.

“The beating was really serious and severe like the police was going against their enemies. Students are not certainly enemies, I suppose…. This was to tell the students that they should forget the idea of marching to the Parliament,” he said.

During the course of hearing, senior counsel Salman Khurshid, appearing for another petitioner, supported Gonsalves’s argument that the police action was intended to stop the students from carrying out a march to the Parliament, saying that while the police can regulate such a march, but here, they decided to not to allow it at all.

Khurshid further said that the gathering of students was intended to be peaceful. “Such march is an ethos of our democracy even if it’s dissent towards the government,” he argued.

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