Maharashtra School News

Pune Knowledge Cluster launches ‘Teach with Tech’ to bridge digital divide in school learning
The Indian Express | 2 hours ago | |
The Indian Express
2 hours ago | |

The Covid-19 pandemic brought to the fore the digital divide in many sectors, particularly in education. Identifying these gaps and the need to promote e-learning for future learners, the Pune Knowledge Cluster (PKC) Friday launched ‘Teach with Tech’ for school students and teachers.The project aims to create digital content aligning with the National Education Policy 2020, train teachers in using digital tools to improve the learning process, develop and impart skills, critical thinking and problem-solving abilities in students among others.Speaking on the occasion, Professor Ajit Kembhavi, PKC Principal Investigator, said, “We are all familiar with the conventional learning methods involving physical classes, teachers physically teaching in classrooms and students taking notes in books. But the Covid-19 pandemic affected physical learning for many students in the absence of digital tools. But the pandemic helped introduce remote learning.”“We have now launched digital learning project before there arises a similar situation. This is a step to help stay prepared and thus keep learning going. The project will also facilitate teachers to stay updated,” he added.PKC has adopted five Pune-based schools where the pilot project will be introduced in the ongoing academic year. Using its CSR funding, Lenovo will support the project by providing tablets to the schools identified in the project.Teach with Tech aims to conduct 100 sessions, 20 for each of the five schools, during the upcoming months. They target to reach out to 750 students and 250 teachers from Zilla Parishad schools in Pune in the pilot phase.Pankaj Harjai, APAC Table head, Lenovo, said, ” Lenovo wants to enable and make education easier for teachers and students through technology.”The five schools to benefit from the project include Modern High School, Shishu Vihar, Pune Vidyapeeth High School, Shri Shivaji Vidya Mandir, Nutan Marathi Vidyalay Girls High School and Baburao Gholap School. At the Shishu Vihar school, the project will be implemented for students of classes VI and VII.The timely availability of tablets or mobile phones for learning has been a pressing issue for Marathi-medium schools, said a teacher from the Girls High School.

Pune Knowledge Cluster launches ‘Teach with Tech’ to bridge digital divide in school learning
HSC and SSC exams 2023: Candidates asked to pay more to submit forms for preferred institutions
The Indian Express | 16 hours ago | |
The Indian Express
16 hours ago | |

External and private student candidates registering for the HSC and SSC examinations in February-March 2023, which are to be conducted by the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE), faced a hurdle while filling up their examination application forms after several of them were asked to pay additional fees by the contact centres at their preferred schools or junior colleges. External and private students can register for the examinations through Form no 17, which is also useful for ones who have left school because of social, economic, family or personal problems.“I had filled out the form online and also paid the required examination fees by visiting a cyber cafe. When I went to a junior college to submit my forms for the process of verification, I was asked to pay Rs 6,000 straight up. I could not pay the fee and ended up going to another junior college in Nana Peth. There too, they asked for Rs 500 but at least I got to submit my examination form,” said a 17-year-old student, requesting anonymity.Pratiksha Hawale, a mobiliser at Manodaya Centre, Shivajinagar, said many students were not allowed to submit their forms at schools or junior colleges. “There are many students who moved away from the education system due to social and economic problems. One such student, a 17-year-old who will be appearing for her 10th standard examination, was not allowed to submit her form, with the college citing unavailability of seats. The student was asked to try a college centre in Alandi. Her parents asked her to leave her studies. It is sad that while we try to bring such students back into the education system, such issues make access even more difficult.”Mandar Shinde, a child rights activist and convenor at Action for the Rights of the Child (ARC), said they approached the state board and the divisional board officer after receiving such complaints from students. “We had received several such complaints from various organisations and children that we work with. We tried to resolve the issue at the divisional board but they could not initiate action as the schools and junior colleges come under the education department… The authorities have assured us that they will take action against schools brought to their notice.”Sharad Gosavi, chairman of the MSBSHSE, said that an official letter has been issued to all divisional centres to ensure that no student is asked to pay an additional fee. “A complete inspection report will be sought with respect to this matter. Defaulting schools or junior colleges will have to face action.” “I had filled out the form online and also paid the required examination fees by visiting a cyber cafe. When I went to a junior college to submit my forms for the process of verification, I was asked to pay Rs 6,000 straight up. I could not pay the fee and ended up going to another junior college in Nana Peth. There too, they asked for Rs 500 but at least I got to submit my examination form,” said a 17-year-old student, requesting anonymity.Pratiksha Hawale, a mobiliser at Manodaya Centre, Shivajinagar, said many students were not allowed to submit their forms at schools or junior colleges. “There are many students who moved away from the education system due to social and economic problems. One such student, a 17-year-old who will be appearing for her 10th standard examination, was not allowed to submit her form, with the college citing unavailability of seats. The student was asked to try a college centre in Alandi. Her parents asked her to leave her studies. It is sad that while we try to bring such students back into the education system, such issues make access even more difficult.”Mandar Shinde, a child rights activist and convenor at Action for the Rights of the Child (ARC), said they approached the state board and the divisional board officer after receiving such complaints from students. “We had received several such complaints from various organisations and children that we work with. We tried to resolve the issue at the divisional board but they could not initiate action as the schools and junior colleges come under the education department… The authorities have assured us that they will take action against schools brought to their notice.”Sharad Gosavi, chairman of the MSBSHSE, said that an official letter has been issued to all divisional centres to ensure that no student is asked to pay an additional fee. “A complete inspection report will be sought with respect to this matter. Defaulting schools or junior colleges will have to face action.” Pratiksha Hawale, a mobiliser at Manodaya Centre, Shivajinagar, said many students were not allowed to submit their forms at schools or junior colleges. “There are many students who moved away from the education system due to social and economic problems. One such student, a 17-year-old who will be appearing for her 10th standard examination, was not allowed to submit her form, with the college citing unavailability of seats. The student was asked to try a college centre in Alandi. Her parents asked her to leave her studies. It is sad that while we try to bring such students back into the education system, such issues make access even more difficult.”Mandar Shinde, a child rights activist and convenor at Action for the Rights of the Child (ARC), said they approached the state board and the divisional board officer after receiving such complaints from students. “We had received several such complaints from various organisations and children that we work with. We tried to resolve the issue at the divisional board but they could not initiate action as the schools and junior colleges come under the education department… The authorities have assured us that they will take action against schools brought to their notice.”Sharad Gosavi, chairman of the MSBSHSE, said that an official letter has been issued to all divisional centres to ensure that no student is asked to pay an additional fee. “A complete inspection report will be sought with respect to this matter. Defaulting schools or junior colleges will have to face action.” Mandar Shinde, a child rights activist and convenor at Action for the Rights of the Child (ARC), said they approached the state board and the divisional board officer after receiving such complaints from students. “We had received several such complaints from various organisations and children that we work with. We tried to resolve the issue at the divisional board but they could not initiate action as the schools and junior colleges come under the education department… The authorities have assured us that they will take action against schools brought to their notice.”Sharad Gosavi, chairman of the MSBSHSE, said that an official letter has been issued to all divisional centres to ensure that no student is asked to pay an additional fee. “A complete inspection report will be sought with respect to this matter. Defaulting schools or junior colleges will have to face action.” Sharad Gosavi, chairman of the MSBSHSE, said that an official letter has been issued to all divisional centres to ensure that no student is asked to pay an additional fee. “A complete inspection report will be sought with respect to this matter. Defaulting schools or junior colleges will have to face action.”

HSC and SSC exams 2023: Candidates asked to pay more to submit forms for preferred institutions
Minor sustains 17 stitches on face in stalker’s attack: Cops
The Indian Express | 19 hours ago | |
The Indian Express
19 hours ago | |

A minor girl sustained 17 stitches on her face after an alleged stalker attacked her in an attempt to slit her throat for denying his advances.According to police, the incident happened Wednesday evening when the 14- year-old girl went to answer nature’s call near her house. She was intercepted by the accused, an alleged eve-teaser, who inflicted repeated blows on her face using a knife. The accused sped from the spot as neighbours rushed to the spot after hearing the survivor’s cry for help.The victim was rushed to New Civil Hospital where doctors said she got 17 stitches on her face. The accused, who is still at large, also allegedly made calls to her family members and threatened them to kill the victim.The girl’s mother lodged a complaint at the nearby police station against the accused who has allegedly fled to his native in Maharashtra. The police have registered a case under IPC Sections 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapon), 354 (a) (1)(2) (sexual harassment, and demand or request for sexual favours) and 354 (d) (stalking).“The accused used to come to a nearby house. He tried to befriend her but she turned down (the approach). The accused was regularly harassing her while she was on her way to school… We have sent our teams to Maharashtra to catch him. The condition of the girl is stable,” said Assistant commissioner of police Z R Desai.

Minor sustains 17 stitches on face in stalker’s attack: Cops
IAS officer’s initiative scales up students’ learning level in Sangli schools
The Indian Express | 1 day ago | |
The Indian Express
1 day ago | |

In November 2021, when the results of the National Achievement Survey (NAS) were released, the figures took 31-year-old IAS officer Jitendra Dudi, the Chief Executive Officer of Sangli district, by surprise. Students from Maharashtra, though better than the national average, still scored poorly – one in three students of Class III couldn’t answer basic questions related to language and mathematics as per their expected learning level.It was then that Dudi decided to take it up as a mission to improve the learning outcomes among the zila parishad school students in his district and thus began the ‘Learning Improvement Programme (LIP)’ in Sangli.From getting every child assessed individually, preparing report cards and distributing to class teachers, devising strategies to creatively teach students foundational language and numeracy skills, encouraging teachers to get creative, involving mothers in learning and forming WhatsApp groups – the project has come a long way in the last nine months.Reaching over 1-lakh children, more than 5,500 teachers and 90 block-level and district-level cadre, the LIP has now completed over six months. Its success is a case study in teaching-learning innovation.In December 2021, Dudi collaborated with Pratham Foundation and conducted a baseline assessment of every single student.“Sangli is the first district where every student from Class I to VIII was assessed. We prepared a report card of every student and suggested interventions,” said Machhindra Padwal, co-ordinator, Pratham Foundation.Then began a six-month intervention programme. A group of 250 teachers was selected to develop content – albeit creatively. “Generally, when we give teachers ready-made content, their acceptance level is low. We asked them to develop their own content. We decided to use local stories… involved mothers who became our volunteers,” said Dudi.The ‘volunteer mothers’ ran a summer camp for the older kids in May, engaging children daily in innovative activities.One such volunteer,  Jayshree Vithhal Kharade from Kadegaon taluka’s Hinganrao Budruk, said, “The teachers first called us to school and gave us a booklet, many worksheets and other material. They asked us to form groups of children living in our vicinity, I  took responsibility of five students. We used objects like vegetables, leaves, or utensils to teach kids,” she said. The mothers would meet weekly to discuss their progress and experience.Besides all this, a radio programme — ShaleBaherchi Shala — was broadcast thrice a week.In July 2022, six months after the project started, a midline assessment was conducted. The findings are such — the percentage of children in Grades 3-5 who are readers (can read a Grade 2 level text) has gone up to 79 per cent, an increase of nine percentage points. There was a 17% percentage point jump in the number of Grade 3 children who could solve a 2×2 addition problem. For Grades 4 and 5, there was an improvement of at least 10 percentage points in the number of children who could tackle the writing section of the pen-and-paper test.“The improvement has been tremendous. Our aim is to get above 85 to 90 per cent score in all aspects of all our learners by our next survey in February-March 2023,” said Dudi.

IAS officer’s initiative scales up students’ learning level in Sangli schools
‘Teach Gujarati compulsorily in primary schools’
Times of India | 2 days ago | |
Times of India
2 days ago | |

AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat high court on Tuesday sought an explanation from the state government as to why it has not implemented the policy of introducing Gujarati as a mandatory subject in primary schools. The bench of Justice Sonia Gokani and Justice Nisha Thakore issued a notice in response to a PIL filed by Matrubhasha Abhiyan through advocates Amar Bhatt and Archit Jani. The petitioners cited a government resolution passed on April 13, 2018, which made it mandatory for all schools in the state to teach Gujarati language in primary sections, at least from the second term of the academic year 2018-19. The petitioner complained that though the government has adopted the policy, it has not implemented it. With more schools offering English medium education, and the number of Gujarati medium schools decreasing, learning of Gujarati has been adversely affected. The lawyers submitted that states like Telangana and Maharashtra have not only made a policy for mandatory teaching of local languages, but also passed legislations, which are in consonance with Article 29 of the Constitution. It was also submitted that the government has not taken efforts to implement the policy in schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Indian Certificate for Secondary Education (ICSE) and International Baccalaureate (IB). During the hearing, the lawyers highlighted the recommendations of the Kothari Commission, the New Education Policy of 2020, and the insistence on the three-language formula but asserted that the implementation has been a problem in Gujarat. The state government insisted that CBSE, ICSE and IB should also be questioned by the high court on why they have not implemented the government diktat on teaching of Gujarati in primary schools. However, the judges said that the government is a policy maker and its implementer, and therefore the boards are not required to be impleaded as party respondents. The court also sought explanation from the government on why it feels that it is at the mercy of the boards for teaching Gujarati language. The matter will be further heard on October 18.

‘Teach Gujarati compulsorily in primary schools’
Midday meal scheme runs without oil, pulses, veggies as Maharashtra funding stops
Times of India | 3 days ago | |
Times of India
3 days ago | |

PUNE: The midday meal scheme across the state has been floundering for the past few weeks with no cooking oil, pulses or vegetables to cook the 'khichdi' that is served to school students in both rural and urban areas. Schools have been given foodgrain but no other supplies. They have also not been sent funds to make these purchases. In some schools, principals are spending on ingredients from their own pockets because they do not want the children to suffer. Other schools have not even received their supply of foodgrain. State government officials said funds would soon be released for the scheme. State education director Mahesh Palkar said the Union government recently disbursed the first instalment of Rs 400 crore to the state. The state government will allocate the amount to the education department, which in turn will disburse the amount to schools and kitchen contractors. The process would take another fortnight," Palkar said. Kitchen contractors and women self-help groups that provide cooked meals to schools have written to the state government to speed up the reimbursement process, but have been told to wait. Rajesh Gaikwad, who manages a centralised kitchen in Pune, said, "We are managing from our own pockets. The system is to reimburse us for the raw material. The reimbursements have been pending since March." Most students in rural areas rely on the meals provided by schools, which help curb malnutrition. Teachers said the meals convince parents to send their children to school. Mahendra Ganpule, a senior official of the principals' association in Maharashtra, said, "When kitchen contractors go to the government for reimbursements, the officers threaten to terminate their contracts and hand them to someone else. Fear of losing the contracts makes them continue with their funding." The state government recently told all kitchen contractors and schools to fill up information in the online system about how many children ate daily and the quantity of meals cooked every day. A manager at a centralised kitchen shed in Bhor taluka said the online system does not work because it is not possible to share the data in the system every day. "We are able to feed the data on some days but on other days the system is either down or we are unable to give inputs due to the workload. The state considers online data and refund contractors and self-help groups, accordingly. The scheme is a big mess in the state," he added.

Midday meal scheme runs without oil, pulses, veggies as Maharashtra funding stops
Teacher approaches court against letting day teachers work in night schools
The Indian Express | 3 days ago | |
The Indian Express
3 days ago | |

Amid the ongoing protest by teachers against the new policy for night schools in which daily timings have been reduced, a teacher from a night school in Ahmednagar has approached court against the reduced timing and permission for day-school teachers to work in night schools on half salary.Sharad Pawar, a teacher from a night school in Ahmednagar, has filed a petition with the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court. “I am standing against the injustice towards the students studying in night schools. They are studying in night schools because of different hardships. They need to have teachers who are dedicated to their education. It is unfair that teachers from day-schools teach in night schools, after having completed their regular duty. Most schools are in Mumbai and we are all aware about the time and energy spent in commuting in that city. Teachers from day-schools will not be able to give justice to teaching at night schools,” said Pawar who also feels that when there are so many eligible teachers available in Maharashtra waiting for jobs, it is unfair to allow additional opportunity for those already having a full-time job.The night schools, organisations running those, and also teachers have been protesting against the Government Resolution (GR) issued in July which allows day-school teachers to work at night schools for half-salary. The same GR also declared that the timing of the night schools will be reduced from three-and-a-half hours to two-and-a-half hours, daily.

Teacher approaches court against letting day teachers work in night schools
Chhagan Bhujbal writes to Shinde, Fandavis, says Tekchandani ‘troubling him’ on WhatsApp
The Indian Express | 3 days ago | |
The Indian Express
3 days ago | |

Days after NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal was booked for allegedly threatening his former associate Lalit Tekchandani, Bhujbal wrote to Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis recently saying he never abused or threatened Tekchandani and that the latter had been “troubling” him on WhatsApp.“I had been getting vulgar messages from an unknown mobile number from September 29 after my statement on Goddess Sarswati was presented in a twisted format. I have kept the screenshots of some of those messages. My colleague tried to find out who this number belonged to by calling it twice or thrice. As a result, Samata Parishad workers were asked to check this,” said Bhujbal in his letter, which was sent on October 1.Bhujbal said that after an FIR was registered against him, he learned that the number belonged to Tekchandani, who has “developed professional enmity against him”. “When I checked with my workers, I came to know that one of my workers, Sapna Mali, had sent a WhatsApp message to him. It was neither abusive nor a threat,” he said in the letter.When contacted, Bhujbal said the Cyber Crime Cell of Mumbai Police is capable to find out if he had made any threat against Tekchandani. “First of all, he is talking about my speech on Goddess Sarswati, which I made indoors in front of a crowd at Mahatma Phule Samata Parishad. I can speak my mind in front of them. Secondly, I gave a press conference explaining that my statement was twisted,” he said.“Instead of these social reformers, portraits of Goddesses Saraswati and Sharda are displayed in schools. We haven’t seen them and they haven’t taught us anything. If at all they have taught, it is to three per cent people who kept us away (from education). Why should we pray before them?” Bhujbal had said at a programme in Mumbai.Bhujbal, a prominent OBC leader from Maharashtra, was speaking at a programme marking completion of 150 years of formation of Satyashodhak Samaj. In his speech, Bhujbal had demanded that portraits of social reformers like Savitribai Phule, Jyotiba Phule, Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj, Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil and Babasaheb Ambedkar be displayed in schools.

Chhagan Bhujbal writes to Shinde, Fandavis, says Tekchandani ‘troubling him’ on WhatsApp
Deadline extended to apply for National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship Scheme
The Indian Express | 4 days ago | |
The Indian Express
4 days ago | |

The last day to submit applications for the National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship Scheme has been extended till October 15. The candidates can register online at scholarships.gov.in to apply for scholarships provided by the government. The scholarship is provided by the department of school education and literacy to meritorious students belonging to economically weaker sections.The scholarship aims to prevent the drop-out of students after class 8 and encourage them to continue their education at the secondary stage. One lakh fresh scholarships are awarded to selected students from class 9 every year and their continuation/ renewal in classes 10 to 12 for students studying in state government, government-aided and local body schools. The amount of the scholarship is Rs 12,000 per annum.NMMSS scholarships are disbursed directly into the bank accounts of selected students by electronic transfer through the Public Financial Management System (PFMS) following DBT mode. The scholarship is provided by the Centre.Students whose parental income from all sources is not more than Rs 3.50 lakh per annum are eligible to avail the scholarships. The students must have a minimum of 55 per cent marks or equivalent grade in class 7 examination for appearing in the selection test for award of scholarship (for SC/ST students it should be 50 per cent).The last date of INO level (L1) verification is October 31 and of DNO level (L2) verification is November 15.

Deadline extended to apply for National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship Scheme
‘If at all Saraswati taught, it was to those 3%’: Chhagan Bhujbal’s OBC politics hits a row
The Indian Express | 4 days ago | |
The Indian Express
4 days ago | |

Not unknown to controversy, senior NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal has this time ventured into a caste minefield, leaving not just him but also his party squirming.Last week, speaking at a meeting of the Samata Parishad (an OBC outfit founded by him in the early 1990s) in Mumbai, Bhujbal questioned the rationale behind putting up portraits of Goddess Saraswati in schools. Instead, he said, social reformers such as Jyotirao Phule should be honoured in schools and colleges.“In schools, we have portraits of Saraswati and Sharada. Have you seen Saraswati? Has she taught you? If at all Saraswati taught, it must be to those 3%… we were kept out,” Bhujbal said.While Bhujbal did not specify, the 3% remark was seen as directed at Brahmins. The upper caste community comprises 3% of Maharashtra’s population. The politically dominant community are the Marathas, forming 33%, while OBCs such as Bhujbal himself make up 40%. Dalits comprise 13%, tribals 8% and denotified tribes another 3%.In his speech, Bhujbal said: “Social reformers like Savtribai Phule, Jyotiba Phule, Dr B R Ambedkar opened the doors of education for OBS, Dalits.”Bhujbal’s remarks have been met with strong reaction by various right-wing student organisations and mainstream parties. Apart from this, a police case has been registered against the NCP leader under Section 506 (2) (criminal intimidation) of the IPC. A former aide, Lalitkumar Tekchandani, has accused Bhujbal and two other unidentified people of issuing death threats to him after he shared videos of Bhujbal’s speech.Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said, “We are not going to remove portraits of Saraswati from schools. We will go by public sentiments.”Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis said Saraswati was the Goddess of learning. “Those who don’t subscribe to our culture, Hindutva make such statements.”The NCP has largely washed its hands of the statement of one of its most seasoned leaders, coming amidst the festive season, leaving it to Bhujbal to do damage control. On Sunday, the 74-year-old visited the Kalika Temple in Nashik, which has idols of Goddesses Kali, Laxmi and Saraswati, for aarti.Seeking to put the controversy behind him, Bhujbal said, “I was not asking anybody to bring down Saraswati portraits. My concern was as to why portraits of great social reformers were not put up in schools… How and whom one worships at home is an individual’s right and freedom, but why bring it to school?”An NCP leader regretted that Bhujbal used the wrong words to make his point, and while OBC leaders including him are known for anti-Brahminism, he should not have dragged the Goddess into the argument.“Social reformers in Maharashtra have always attacked casteism and religion. In that sense, Bhujbal has not done anything different. But then there are other ways to make your point. There are individuals who don’t believe in any religion or God. One can be an atheist. But why question someone else’s belief?” the leader said.Bhujbal insists his remarks have been wrongly perceived. “I am not against Hindu gods or goddesses, I have just suggested that social reformers should find a place in schools,” he said.His close aide in the Samata Parishad said, “The backward classes, Dalits and tribals have been subjected to atrocities by upper castes, landlords. Caste sentiments still prevail. So, what he said was not entirely wrong. But I admit he should not have named Saraswati.”A steadfast OBC leaderBhujbal, who belongs to the Mali (gardener) community and is an engineering diploma holder who once helped his grandmother sell vegetables, has often faced controversies in his political career spanning over four decades. However, among politicians with few lasting loyalties, his commitment to OBC politics has never wavered.Reflecting the contradiction of Maharashtra politics, where the Shiv Sena represents as much Maratha chauvinism as Hindutva politics, Bhujbal began his politics with the Sena in the 1960s, inspired by Bal Thackeray, and made his way slowly up the ranks – from BMC corporator to two-time mayor of Mumbai, to the lone Sena MLA in the Assembly in 1985 and 1990.In 1991, Bhujbal held true to his politics again when he quit the Sena to join the Congress citing Thackeray’s opposition to the Mandal Commission recommendations for OBC reservation. It was in the Congress that he found his new political master, Sharad Pawar. When Pawar formed the NCP, Bhujbal moved with him, reportedly even turning down promises of CM post if he stayed.Bhujbal was entrusted by Pawar with the NCP state president’s role to consolidate OBCs in 1999. Later, when the Congress-NCP came to power in 1999, he was made Deputy CM and given the Home portfolio.His politics came full circle when, as Home minister, Bhujbal did the unthinkable and ordered the arrest of the all-powerful Bal Thackeray for inflammatory writings in the Sena mouthpiece Saamna. Although Thackeray got bail immediately, Bhujbal had earned his stripes.In 2003, Bhujbal had his first brush with the law when he had to step down as Deputy CM following allegations against him in the multi-crore bogus stamp scam popularly known as the Telgi scam.Many at the time believed it would be the end of his political career. However, he survived and within a year, returned as PWD Minister. Later, he got a second shot as Deputy CM from 2008 to 2010.At the height of the Modi wave in 2014, the NCP fielded Bhujbal from the Nashik Lok Sabha seat. While he lost, he made it to the Assembly six months later from the Yeola constituency.In March 2016, he was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on charges of receiving kickbacks to award government contracts as PWD Minister, including for the Maharashtra Sadan in Delhi built at a cost of Rs 870 crore. Bhujbal spent two years in jail before release. A year later, he contested from Yeola again in the Assembly polls, and retained the seat.While compared to his fiery past, Bhujbal is much more mellow now, he retains the streak when it comes to OBC politics, especially as a counter to the BJP. He has often taken on the BJP-RSS, accusing it of divisive politics and spreading communal hatred.NCP leaders admit they often advise him caution, but he is not intimidated on account of the cases against him, dismissing the same as “political vendetta”.

‘If at all Saraswati taught, it was to those 3%’: Chhagan Bhujbal’s OBC politics hits a row
Maharashtra BJP chief slams Uddhav Thackeray for taking jibes, warns of more exits from his Sena faction
The Economic Times | 4 days ago | |
The Economic Times
4 days ago | |

The BJP's Maharashtra unit president Chandrashekhar Bawankule on Monday said Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray should stop taking jibes at others or else the few party members standing by him will also leave the fold. Talking to reporters at Nagpur airport, Bawankule said people were showing confidence in Eknath Shinde-Devendra Fadnavis government who are working 18 hours a day for people of the state. "By 2024, several good workers from other parties will join the BJP. The Congress and NCP will be in for big shocks. If Uddhav Thackerayji does not stop taking jibes at others and instead think about Maharashtra's development, then the few workers left with him will also leave. He will only have 'hum doh hamare doh' and there will be no one else with him," the BJP leader said. Reacting to Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole's statement terming Devendra Fadnavis as Spider-Man for his appointment as the guardian minister of six districts, Bawankule said the deputy chief minister can not only manage six, but even eight districts. "He (Patole) does not know about Fadnavis' ability, which the whole of Maharashtra has seen from 2014-2019. He (Fadnavis) does have any private businesses, factory, societies or banks. He works 18 hours a day for the public and a person who works 18 hours for people can accept any challenge," Bawankule said. The BJP leader also took a pot shot at senior NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal over the latter's comment about displaying portraits of goddess Saraswati at schools in Maharashtra. Bhujbal had last week demanded that the portraits of social reformers like Savitri Phule, Jyotiba Phule, Shahu Maharaj, Bhaurao Patil, and B R Ambedkar be displayed in schools. "The manner in which Bhujbal has questioned the display of goddess Saraswati's portraits in schools, he sounds like Owaisi (AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi) of the NCP," Bawankule said.

Maharashtra BJP chief slams Uddhav Thackeray for taking jibes, warns of more exits from his Sena faction
"Will Be Left With Hum Doh Hamare Doh": BJP Leader Jabs Uddhav Thackeray
Ndtv | 4 days ago | |
Ndtv
4 days ago | |

Chandrashekhar Bawankule said Uddhav Thackeray should stop taking jibes at others.(File)Nagpur: The BJP's Maharashtra unit president Chandrashekhar Bawankule on Monday said Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray should stop taking jibes at others or else the few party members standing by him will also leave the fold.Talking to reporters at Nagpur airport, Chandrashekhar Bawankule said people were showing confidence in Eknath Shinde-Devendra Fadnavis government who are working 18 hours a day for people of the state."By 2024, several good workers from other parties will join the BJP. The Congress and Nationalist Congress Party(NCP) will be in for big shocks. If Uddhav Thackerayji does not stop taking jibes at others and instead think about Maharashtra's development, then the few workers left with him will also leave. He will only have 'hum doh hamare doh' and there will be no one else with him," the BJP leader said.Reacting to Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole's statement terming Devendra Fadnavis as Spider-Man for his appointment as the guardian minister of six districts, Chandrashekhar Bawankule said the deputy chief minister can not only manage six, but even eight districts."He (Patole) does not know about Fadnavis' ability, which the whole of Maharashtra has seen from 2014-2019. He (Fadnavis) does have any private businesses, factory, societies or banks. He works 18 hours a day for the public and a person who works 18 hours for people can accept any challenge," Chandrashekhar Bawankule said.The BJP leader also took a pot shot at senior NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal over the latter's comment about displaying portraits of goddess Saraswati at schools in Maharashtra.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comChhagan Bhujbal had last week demanded that the portraits of social reformers like Savitri Phule, Jyotiba Phule, Shahu Maharaj, Bhaurao Patil, and B R Ambedkar be displayed in schools."The manner in which Bhujbal has questioned the display of goddess Saraswati's portraits in schools, he sounds like Owaisi (AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi) of the NCP," Chandrashekhar Bawankule said.

"Will Be Left With Hum Doh Hamare Doh": BJP Leader Jabs Uddhav Thackeray
Navi Mumbai: Day after building crash, man pulled out dead from beneath debris
Times of India | 4 days ago | |
Times of India
4 days ago | |

NAVI MUMBAI: A day after a part of a building fell at Koparkhairane, the body of a man was pulled out of the debris on Sunday. morning. The deceased, Priyavart Dutt (31), lived in the house on rent. Other residents had voluntarily moved out of their homes earlier that day after finding the building "rickety". They have been housed in a municipal school building. A portion of the three-storey Sai Prasad building in Bonkode village collapsed late Saturday. Somnath Kekan, Town Planning Officer, NMMC, said: "The building was illegally constructed without permission. It had no commencement certificate by NMMC." The old building was constructed by the land owner, Narayan Mhatre, and developer Ganpat Chavan, when the gram panchayat (village council) had jurisdiction. "Permission to construct was to be taken from the panchayat... After the area was included under NMMC, it was mandatory to take an NOCfrom NMMC," said Ambarish Patnigere, deputy municipal commissioner. Dutt had returned home around 7.30 pm and could have slept in the flat before a wing of the building fell. In all, 34 families lived in the two wings. The building was constructed more than two decades ago. Prashant Gawade, NMMC's Koparkhairane ward officer said that the land owner and developer of Sai Prasad building have passed away. "Hence, no FIR has been registered in the collapse incident," said Gawade.

Navi Mumbai: Day after building crash, man pulled out dead from beneath debris
Mumbai: Teacher slaps class IX student, ruptures his eardrum, booked
Times of India | 4 days ago | |
Times of India
4 days ago | |

MUMBAI: A class ninth student was left with a ruptured eardrum after his Sanskrit teacher allegedly slapped him suspecting him of making noise during his lecture. Santa Cruz police booked the teacher, Kamlesh Tiwari (50), under the IPC section 325 (grievous hurt) and under Section 75 in The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act for cruelty to a child. They are yet to make an arrest in the case after the FIR was registered on September 30. The incident occurred on September 27. Tiwari who was taking the Sanskrit class suspected that Neeraj Yadav (14) was not concentrating on the lecture. "We are collecting details and recording statements are in the process. Based on the probe further action will be initiated against the teacher," said a Santa Cruz police officer. The complaint was filed by Neeraj's mother Poonam (37) after the doctor's report showed that he had suffered a hole in his eardrum. In the complaint, Poonam said: "The teacher mistakenly slapped my son as he had kept his hand on his mouth. My son said other students were talking loudly during the lecture which annoyed the teacher who thought he was talking by keeping his palm on his mouth." After the incident, the school principal got two female teachers to take Neeraj to the doctor to carry out a medical examination after he complained of pain and was unable to hear properly. "The principal informed Neeraj's mother about the incident and asked to consult an ENT specialist. The examination showed Neeraj's eardrum has ruptured," said the police.

Mumbai: Teacher slaps class IX student, ruptures his eardrum, booked
5G will bring in big transformation in education, banking, health sectors: Maharashtra CM
The Indian Express | 6 days ago | |
The Indian Express
6 days ago | |

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde Saturday said that the 5G technology would usher in a major transformation in core sectors such as education, agriculture, banking, and health.He was speaking at a municipal corporation-run school in Panvel in the Raigad district that was picked as a virtual classroom for the nationwide launch of the 5G network.Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday inaugurated the 5G services in select cities at an event in Delhi.As part of the launch, Savitribai Phule School in Panvel was connected with 5G, and Class VIII students of the school participated in the event along with CM Shinde.Shedding his CM’s protocol, Shinde went inside a classroom and became a student himself as he sat on a bench along with the students and engaged in a freewheeling interaction with them.While witnessing the technology revolution, Shinde said, “Today, even I have become a student like you. I feel immense joy to be part of the school. Along with you all, it is a great feeling to witness the technological revolution,” CM Shinde said.The Chief Minister said, “Due to the 5G technology the internet speed will increase. Its maximum benefit will be in the field of education. Students can avail the technology for quality education.”While asking the students to strive for excellence, Shinde said, “Make use of the high-speed internet for studies. Study well. Don’t use this for playing games or downloading movies only.”He also thanked PM Modi on the occasion.“The digitalisation will help in bridging the barrier. It brings the best quality education to the doorstep of each and every student. Technology has helped students access vast and diverse fields. It makes education more complete with smart classrooms,” Shinde said on the occasion.

5G will bring in big transformation in education, banking, health sectors: Maharashtra CM
Prashant Kishor interview: ‘Nitish has stopped listening … Having coffee with some leaders, photo-ops not the way to build formidable Oppn’
The Indian Express | 6 days ago | |
The Indian Express
6 days ago | |

Poll strategist Prashant Kishor, who sets off from West Champaran Sunday for a yatra lasting one-and-a-half years, speaks to The Indian Express about his Jan Suraaj campaign, his political party that is in the works, the support he is getting, Rahul Gandhi’s Yatra, and why the Congress presidential poll could not have had “worse timing”.Now that you have already travelled across 25 of Bihar’s 38 districts before your scheduled padayatra, what are your takeaways and plans?There is a vast majority of people who are showing a huge fatigue factor with the present regime. Whether they are JD(U) or RJD supporters, or others, they want something new. For the first time, I have been seeing people use terms or words they did not use for Nitish Kumar till 2014-’15, till the time I worked for him. No one used abusive words for Nitish till 2015. But people are using abusive words for him now … When I used to move around a lot for him before the 2015 polls, he used to say that the worst that could happen is that he might lose. He would say, ‘Hamne ijjat kamai hai, log mujhe gaali nahi denge (I have earned respect, people will not abuse me)’. I think that phase is over for Nitish Kumar. People will say Lalu and Nitish are the same. There is corruption, lethargy and inefficiency in the lower bureaucracy. There is no fear of government among such functionaries.What are people saying about the liquor law Nitish Kumar often talks of?The failure of the liquor law is a huge factor. People say, ‘Sab kuchh barbaad ho gaya (everything is destroyed)’. They explain how the liquor mafia rules the roost and some policemen also extort money in the name of implementation or non-implementation of the liquor law. There has been criminalisation of the youth (because of an illegal liquor trade). As for women, what I could sense after talking to a few lower court lawyers is that women are the worst sufferers, with their husbands, sons and brothers being sent to jail for drinking. The liquor law has badly affected law and order, with most of the police force being engaged in the implementation of the law or hiding facts from the government. I got such feedback after talking to some IPS officers … when I met Kisan Chachi (social activist Rajkumari Devi in Muzaffarpur), a mukhiya told me how the local police often get womenfolk from Mushahari to wash utensils at police stations. These women’s husbands often get arrested after drinking.How have you selected your padayatra route? Have you also kept the social combination in mind?A padayatra of this magnitude has not been attempted in Bihar in the last 75 years. It will be a 3,500-km total on-foot yatra. No vehicle will be used, nor will I go back to Delhi or Patna and resume. I will stop at villages where I reach in the evening. I have avoided national highways. I will visit all blocks and all towns and most of the panchayats. My idea is to visit a maximum number of villages and identify people who should be encouraged to join politics. Just take the example of West Champaran from where I will start my padayatra, I will be moving around in this district for 35 days. That’s why I have kept one-and-a-half years to complete the padayatra. As for the social combination, it is true that caste is a reality in Bihar, but people do not see me as a caste leader. I have a different USP. They expect me to bring change. There is also a section of people who think that I can bring about change. There is also a set of people who think if I help them, they can win local-level elections.Who are the ones coming along with you? Social activists, RTI activists, politicians falling by the wayside?All sorts of people mentioned above. Besides an interest among the youth, what surprised me the most is senior citizens’ deep interest in my programmes. Just the other day, I met an 88-year-old Gandhian from Muzaffarpur who wants to join my yatra. During a recent meeting in Madhubani, 22 of 25 people who met me were 70-plus. These are the people who have lived their life but still believe things can still change. Shaayad kuchh ho jaaye (hope for something good to happen). I was telling my wife that I met hugely talented and well-read people in villages.Another padayatra, the Bharat Jodo Yatra by Rahul Gandhi, is on. What is your take on it?The route of this yatra is beyond my understanding. Ideologically or politically, Kerala or Telangana cannot be the nerve centre of this yatra, especially when the Gujarat Assembly elections are round the corner. Though I am no one to suggest, the yatra should have started from Gujarat for obvious political reasons. The Congress should have started the battle from the place that matters the most. From Gujarat, Rahul Gandhi could have gone to Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, and Telangana. Some people argue that their yatra is for a larger cause, not the Gujarat polls. Then, UP, Bihar, Rajasthan, or Madhya Pradesh could have the ideal place to start it. The Congress should have focussed on states where a maximum of 300 BJP Lok Sabha seats came from.How do you see the Congress’s presidential election? Do you see the party looking beyond the Gandhi family?The timing of the Congress presidential poll could not have been worse, even if it is about the party looking beyond the Gandhi family. It is rattling the ship before it enters troubled waters. It is like changing the captain when there is an announcement of a storm. It is tough to expect the incoming person (president) to overhaul the system in one-and-a-half years before the next Lok Sabha polls. It could have made sense had it happened soon after the 2019 LS polls … As for Congress moving beyond dynasty, it will come out of the Gandhi family sooner or later. I do not know if it is desired.Do you see Bihar politics becoming bipolar, with Nitish Kumar perhaps playing his last innings as CM? What has changed since Nitish joined the Grand Alliance?I have no idea about it getting bipolar. What happens to the JD(U) post-Nitish is also up to its leaders to figure out. I am also not sure if the JD(U) will merge with the RJD … Nothing has changed with Nitish joining the Grand Alliance except the change in the number plates of some ministers. There is the same old culture in governance and bureaucracy. Work ethics and government mechanism are the same.And what about Nitish Kumar’s prime ministerial ambitions and efforts for Opposition unity?Having cups of coffee with some leaders and going for photo-ops is not the right approach to building a formidable Opposition. There has to be a clear message and narrative. Vast machinery is needed to run an effective campaign to build momentum that can defeat the BJP.What is your biggest criticism of the Nitish government?Investment in health and education is a must. My biggest criticism of Nitish Kumar is that despite being an educated person the education system has totally collapsed under his rule. We used to have basic schools, which have collapsed now. There used to be at least two to three government schools in each district where seats were fought for. But we do not have it. Maybe, Simultala school of Jamui in the entire state. The failure of the education system will affect two to three generations whereas broken roads can be repaired. For Nitish Kumar, education meant only constructing one or two-room pink buildings, never-ending agitation by teachers, distribution of school uniforms and bicycles, and a third-rate midday meal scheme. Tell me, where is learning? When I was part of the JD(U), I suggested one good school be built in every block. His response was that the idea was shot down by the UPA government in name of ensuring equality in education. But my counter suggestion was that the state government should still fund such schools. Somehow, Nitish Kumar has stopped listening. Nobody dared speak in front of him. During his evening meetings, hardly anyone would dare suggest anything. They would only listen to Nitish Kumar and speak five-six words in a three-hour sitting.What is the alternative model you are offering to the people of Bihar?Any alternative model has to give top priority to health and education. And unless the right people come to politics, some tinkering here and there will not help. Right-thinking people have to come together, they do not have to be afraid of anything and must not worry about where the money will come from (to help them contest elections).But where will the money come from?In the next couple of months, one will see the biggest crowdsourcing in Bihar. The biggest operators of crowd-funding will come to the state.When will you announce your party and will you lead it?We will announce the party soon after the padayatra. I have already announced that I will not lead it. I will neither be elected nor selected. But it will have a leader who will be selected from among its workers … Though it could be outrageous to draw an analogy of my venture with Mahatma Gandhi’s association with the Congress, he was the Congress president for just a year, what I want to suggest is that examples exist in our political history itself.How do you describe Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, Chirag Paswan, and Kanhaiya Kumar, the three young leaders from Bihar?Tejashwi is the son of Lalu Prasad, Chirag is a friend, and I have not heard or seen much of Kanhaiya Kumar in Bihar.What is your political ideology — Left, Right, or Centre?Left, Right, and Centre are from western democracies. That way, I am Centre-Left. I am a great believer in a welfare state that has to be maintained and respected. People cannot be left to market forces. Wealth creation and its creators have to be respected. One cannot distribute poverty. In the Hindi heartland, in the name of socialism, poverty was distributed and re-distributed. Look at the south Indian states. They also believe in social justice but they focussed on education, educating girls, and decentralisation of power. Take the example of Lalu Prasad, who distributed and redistributed poverty. He killed Panchayati Raj institutions … I am a great votary of Panchayati Raj institutions and believe that one-third of development funds should be routed through them.What else do you have in mind for good governance?I am in favour of the lateral entry of talented people in government to work as multipliers. Vikram Sarabhai, Homi Jehangir Bhabha, and APJ Abdul Kalam in space and missile science, Verghese Kurien in White Revolution, MS Swaminathan in Green Revolution, Sam Patroda in telecommunications, and Nandan Nilekani in Aadhar were game-changers. All of them are examples of lateral entry into government. Imagine, we have a pool of thousands of such people who can make lateral entries to work as multipliers.In recent times, only Arvind Kejriwal’s political venture has succeeded. Do you also have some populist initiatives in mind such as Kejriwal’s free electricity and water schemes?I am not at all inspired by Arvind Kejriwal. If inspiration has to come from anywhere, it is from the Congress of pre-Independence days, in terms of selection of leadership, organisational stricture or having social and moral standards. I do not think that Kejriwal has succeeded because of what one calls populist measures. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had done so in 2017 but it did not succeed. It succeeded this time because the Congress has set its house on fire. The AAP has gone with the same model for Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat but the results may be different. While it can be the main Opposition in Gujarat, it may not do well in Himachal Pradesh. Freebies do not work. One has to be credible. I am taking a long route. After all, who takes two years to start a party?

Prashant Kishor interview: ‘Nitish has stopped listening … Having coffee with some leaders, photo-ops not the way to build formidable Oppn’
Gained in translation: American Khan Academy now in Punjabi for govt school kids
The Indian Express | 6 days ago | |
The Indian Express
6 days ago | |

When American educationist Sal Khan started Khan Academy in 2008, he would probably not have imagined the platform would eventually help government school children in rural Punjab solve maths problems — in their mother tongue, Punjabi.A room at the Punjab Education Department’s office in Mohali was turned into a studio, with softwares for screen recording and editing, tablets with a digital pen, some laptops and a microphone. A team of 26 government teachers took on the mammoth challenge of translating Khan Academy’s entire maths content for Classes 6 to 10 into Punjabi from English. A year later, and after translating nearly 11 lakh words and creating 440 new videos, Khan Academy’s Punjabi website is now live for students and teachers to login and study, anytime, anywhere.Behind this is a memorandum of understanding signed over three years ago by Punjab’s State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) and the globally acclaimed online coaching platform to help children in government schools.Punjab has made the website fully functional in Punjabi, with over 9.5 lakh students from its government schools registered as users and 3.3 lakh of them actively using it. Every mathematics teacher also has a login ID to check students’ progress.For Khan, who was born to a Bangladeshi father and Indian mother in the US, it all started when he had started helping his 12-year-old cousin in solving maths problems over the phone. Soon, he developed a software to help kids study online. Currently, Khan Academy reaches at least 13 crore students across 190 countries and a crore in India via video lessons and online content focusing on maths and science, which is free to use for all. It currently has 7.46 million subscribers on YouTube alone.To ensure that content and videos in Punjabi matched the standards and format followed by Khan Academy globally, the Punjab teachers were given training by its staff and a review process was followed before putting it on the website.“Initially, we had signed the MoU with Punjab for piloting the project as a pilot in 180 schools in 2019, which was increased to 1,082 schools in 2021-22. It was then extended to all government schools in Punjab and localisation of our content in Punjabi was started because SCERT felt students would learn better if taught in their own language,” says Revanth Voothaluru, senior programme lead and Punjab coordinator for Khan Academy, India operations, which is working on a pro bono basis with Punjab government.For the teachers, however, it wasn’t a simple task to ensure that while trigonometry as “tikonmiti”, statistics as “ankda vigyan” and algebra as “beejganit” are explained in the simplest possible way to the students, the standards and formats of the organisation headquartered in California were also maintained. From using a tablet instead of a blackboard for writing answers to getting familiar with screen recording software, the teachers even mastered editing software to create at least 440 new video lessons which were originally in English, covering the entire syllabus for Classes 6 to 10.Nirmal Kaur, assistant state project director, Punjab Education Department, and nodal officer for the project, said since Khan Academy’s content for India is based on the NCERT syllabus, it made the work a bit easier. “Punjab’s SCERT also follows NCERT content so we just had to focus on translating from English to Punjabi. Our 26 teachers specialising in maths worked day and night to make it possible. While 22 worked as text translators, four were video creators. Now we have two periods fixed in a week in all schools for practising maths on this customised website and teachers can also track students using their login ID. We had transformed one of our rooms into a studio to record videos in the particular format,” she says.The Khan Academy follows a particular format for video lessons—there is only text and audio-visuals without the teacher visible. A student can only see an answer being scribbled on the black slate-like screen, with the audio of the teacher explaining it step-by-step. “Teachers were provided with Wacom pen tabs, laptops, microphones and two softwares— Sketchbook and Camtasia—to replicate the original format,” says Nirmal Kaur.One of the video creators, maths lecturer Seema Sharma, explains how it works. “Initially, we had to listen to the original video at least 3-4 times as they were in a foreign accent. It was difficult for us. And then we had to record the same video in Punjabi,” she says. “We would solve the question on the tab using Sketchbook which appears like a blackboard. The text we wrote would appear on the laptop screen and get recorded with Camtasia, the screen recording software. We would explain the topic simultaneously via microphone and then final editing was done,” she says. “Sometimes we even took work home so that videos could be recorded in silence during the night.”According to the data, compiled by Khan Academy, Punjab is leading among all the Indian states it has a collaboration with — both in terms of translation and usage.Voothaluru says: “We are in the process of creating regional language websites for Maharashtra and Assam, but Punjab is the first where it has been completed and being used. Earlier, we had also started work in Kannada for Karnataka but the project was stopped midway due to their internal issues and it was never introduced in their schools.”The usage data shows that in Uttar Pradesh, where the academy’s Hindi content is being used in Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidalayas (Classes 6-8), there are 7,23,000 registered students of whom 42,000 are active. In Maharashtra (Classes 1-10), there are 43,000 registered students of whom just 1,300 are active. “In Punjab there are 9.5 lakh registered students (Classes 6-12) of whom 3.3 lakh are active. We have also partnered with the Union Territory of Chandigarh and Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs) but it has just started,” he added.The MoU in Punjab was signed under the leadership of former education secretary Krishan Kumar.Pardeep Aggarwal, Punjab’s Director General of School Education, and Maninder Sarkaria, SCERT director, who continued with the project after Kumar’s transfer, say that due to the pandemic, it was decided to focus on such platforms that can help students at home too.However, according to teachers who are using the platform now in their schools, while it is a great initiative to introduce content in Punjabi, there were some issues on the ground restricting the usage.“Students in government schools come from underprivileged backgrounds and do not have access to smartphones or internet at home. While we are making them practise on the Khan Academy platform in schools, they cannot complete assignments at home. They also do not have enough data packages to access videos at home. But since the content has been introduced in Punjabi, it is now reaching more students who earlier had issues with the English website,” says Manjinder Kaur, maths teacher from Government Senior Secondary School in Jhansla village of Patiala. “Some schools also have a shortage of computers,” she adds.Yogesh Nayyar, a teacher from Ferozepur, said: “Content in Punjabi is a good initiative for rural students, but seeing current times, it is important to make them fluent in English too. We are using English and Punjabi websites both and they are enjoying learning with videos. We have 20 computers in our lab but we also show them videos on projectors.”The Punjabi platform can be accessed and used by any student, from any school by logging into pa.khanacademy.org.

Gained in translation: American Khan Academy now in Punjabi for govt school kids
  • Gained in translation: Khan Academy in Punjabi for govt school kids
  • The Indian Express

    When American educationist Sal Khan started Khan Academy in 2008, he would probably not have imagined the platform would eventually help government school children in rural Punjab solve maths problems — in their mother tongue, Punjabi.A room at the Punjab Education Department’s office in Mohali was turned into a studio, with softwares for screen recording and editing, tablets with a digital pen, some laptops and a microphone. A team of 26 government teachers took on the mammoth challenge of translating Khan Academy’s entire maths content for Classes 6 to 10 into Punjabi from English. A year later, and after translating nearly 11 lakh words and creating 440 new videos, Khan Academy’s Punjabi website is now live for students and teachers to login and study, anytime, anywhere.Behind this is a memorandum of understanding signed over three years ago by Punjab’s State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) and the globally acclaimed online coaching platform to help children in government schools.Punjab has made the website fully functional in Punjabi, with over 9.5 lakh students from its government schools registered as users and 3.3 lakh of them actively using it. Every mathematics teacher also has a login ID to check students’ progress.For Khan, who was born to a Bangladeshi father and Indian mother in the US, it all started when he had started helping his 12-year-old cousin in solving maths problems over the phone. Soon, he developed a software to help kids study online. Currently, Khan Academy reaches at least 13 crore students across 190 countries and a crore in India via video lessons and online content focusing on maths and science, which is free to use for all. It currently has 7.46 million subscribers on YouTube alone.To ensure that content and videos in Punjabi matched the standards and format followed by Khan Academy globally, the Punjab teachers were given training by its staff and a review process was followed before putting it on the website.“Initially, we had signed the MoU with Punjab for piloting the project as a pilot in 180 schools in 2019, which was increased to 1,082 schools in 2021-22. It was then extended to all government schools in Punjab and localisation of our content in Punjabi was started because SCERT felt students would learn better if taught in their own language,” says Revanth Voothaluru, senior programme lead and Punjab coordinator for Khan Academy, India operations, which is working on a pro bono basis with Punjab government.For the teachers, however, it wasn’t a simple task to ensure that while trigonometry as “tikonmiti”, statistics as “ankda vigyan” and algebra as “beejganit” are explained in the simplest possible way to the students, the standards and formats of the organisation headquartered in California were also maintained. From using a tablet instead of a blackboard for writing answers to getting familiar with screen recording software, the teachers even mastered editing software to create at least 440 new video lessons which were originally in English, covering the entire syllabus for Classes 6 to 10.Nirmal Kaur, assistant state project director, Punjab Education Department, and nodal officer for the project, said since Khan Academy’s content for India is based on the NCERT syllabus, it made the work a bit easier. “Punjab’s SCERT also follows NCERT content so we just had to focus on translating from English to Punjabi. Our 26 teachers specialising in maths worked day and night to make it possible. While 22 worked as text translators, four were video creators. Now we have two periods fixed in a week in all schools for practising maths on this customised website and teachers can also track students using their login ID. We had transformed one of our rooms into a studio to record videos in the particular format,” she says.The Khan Academy follows a particular format for video lessons—there is only text and audio-visuals without the teacher visible. A student can only see an answer being scribbled on the black slate-like screen, with the audio of the teacher explaining it step-by-step. “Teachers were provided with Wacom pen tabs, laptops, microphones and two softwares— Sketchbook and Camtasia—to replicate the original format,” says Nirmal Kaur.One of the video creators, maths lecturer Seema Sharma, explains how it works. “Initially, we had to listen to the original video at least 3-4 times as they were in a foreign accent. It was difficult for us. And then we had to record the same video in Punjabi,” she says. “We would solve the question on the tab using Sketchbook which appears like a blackboard. The text we wrote would appear on the laptop screen and get recorded with Camtasia, the screen recording software. We would explain the topic simultaneously via microphone and then final editing was done,” she says. “Sometimes we even took work home so that videos could be recorded in silence during the night.”According to the data, compiled by Khan Academy, Punjab is leading among all the Indian states it has a collaboration with — both in terms of translation and usage.Voothaluru says: “We are in the process of creating regional language websites for Maharashtra and Assam, but Punjab is the first where it has been completed and being used. Earlier, we had also started work in Kannada for Karnataka but the project was stopped midway due to their internal issues and it was never introduced in their schools.”The usage data shows that in Uttar Pradesh, where the academy’s Hindi content is being used in Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidalayas (Classes 6-8), there are 7,23,000 registered students of whom 42,000 are active. In Maharashtra (Classes 1-10), there are 43,000 registered students of whom just 1,300 are active. “In Punjab there are 9.5 lakh registered students (Classes 6-12) of whom 3.3 lakh are active. We have also partnered with the Union Territory of Chandigarh and Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs) but it has just started,” he added.The MoU in Punjab was signed under the leadership of former education secretary Krishan Kumar.Pardeep Aggarwal, Punjab’s Director General of School Education, and Maninder Sarkaria, SCERT director, who continued with the project after Kumar’s transfer, say that due to the pandemic, it was decided to focus on such platforms that can help students at home too.However, according to teachers who are using the platform now in their schools, while it is a great initiative to introduce content in Punjabi, there were some issues on the ground restricting the usage.“Students in government schools come from underprivileged backgrounds and do not have access to smartphones or internet at home. While we are making them practise on the Khan Academy platform in schools, they cannot complete assignments at home. They also do not have enough data packages to access videos at home. But since the content has been introduced in Punjabi, it is now reaching more students who earlier had issues with the English website,” says Manjinder Kaur, maths teacher from Government Senior Secondary School in Jhansla village of Patiala. “Some schools also have a shortage of computers,” she adds.Yogesh Nayyar, a teacher from Ferozepur, said: “Content in Punjabi is a good initiative for rural students, but seeing current times, it is important to make them fluent in English too. We are using English and Punjabi websites both and they are enjoying learning with videos. We have 20 computers in our lab but we also show them videos on projectors.”The Punjabi platform can be accessed and used by any student, from any school by logging into pa.khanacademy.org.

School lift death in Mumbai: Two from service agency booked
Times of India | 6 days ago | |
Times of India
6 days ago | |

MUMBAI: Close to two weeks after a young teacher lost her life in a lift accident at a school in Malad, the police registered a case of negligence against two individuals from an agency that was responsible for the maintenance of the lift. On September 16, Jenel Fernandes (26) was entering the lift on the sixth floor to go down to the teachers' room on the second floor. The lift started moving upwards when its doors were still open, dragging Fernandes along and injuring her grievously. The incident occurred at the St Mary's English School in Malad (West). The police investigation found that the school management had contracted an agency from Thane, Classic Elevators, for maintenance. According to the contract, the lift was supposed to be serviced every month. The last servicing, as per the service card, was done in June. Electrical inspectors from the industries, energy and labour department carried out an inspection. Their report was submitted to the police on September 27. On its basis, an FIR was registered on Thursday against the owner of Classic Elevators and a service engineer working for the agency under Section 304 (A) of the IPC. Representatives of the agency claimed that they serviced the lift every month but just did not make entries in the service card, said the police. "We are also probing if the school management was responsible for not insisting on a monthly maintenance check of the lift," said a senior officer. The lift operated on down collective (DC) control, which means that it ignores all calls while moving up and answers the calls in order on the way down. Most lifts in residential areas are DC control. The inspection report submitted by the industries, energy and labour department said the wiring of the school lift showed wear and tear. As a result, the lift did not wait for the doors to close and started moving upwards when a call was given from an upper floor.

School lift death in Mumbai: Two from service agency booked
SC collegium recommends elevation of Justice Prasanna B Varale as Chief Justice of Karnataka HC
The Indian Express | 1 week ago | |
The Indian Express
1 week ago | |

The Supreme Court collegium led by Chief Justice of India U U Lalit, in its meeting held on September 28, recommended the elevation of Justice Prasanna B Varale of the Bombay High Court as Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court. Justice Varale’s elevation will be after the Central government clears his appointment and issues a notification for the same.Along with Justice Varale, three senior judges of the Bombay High Court were recommended to be elevated as chief justices of other high courts or as Supreme Court judge.Born on June 23, 1962 at Nipani, Justice Varale graduated in Arts and Law from Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Maratha University and enrolled as an advocate on August 12, 1985. Justice Varale joined the Chamber of advocate S N Loya and practiced civil and criminal law.He was also a lecturer at Ambedkar Law College in Aurangabad from 1990 to 1992. He worked as assistant government pleader and additional public prosecutor at the high court bench in Aurangabad and as additional standing counsel for the Union of India. He was appointed as a judge of the Bombay High Court on July 18, 2008.Earlier this month, a bench led by Justice Varale allowed pleas by nine persons, including Dadra and Nagar Haveli (DNH) Union Territory administrator Praful Khoda Patel, seeking to quash a Mumbai Police FIR over the death of parliamentarian Mohan Delkar on February 22 last year.The high court bench led by him also initiated a suo motu PIL on a stalled project to publish the writings and speeches of Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar.A division bench led by Justice Prasanna B Varale had also initiated a suo motu PIL in January this year wherein the court took cognisance of a news report about the risky journey of girls from Khirkhindi village in Satara district, who had to row a boat across the Koyna dam every day to reach their school. It had asked the Maharashtra government to provide help to school children facing a similar plight in the state.The Supreme Court collegium, in its meeting held on September 26 had recommended the elevation of Justice Dipankar Datta, Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court, as a judge at the apex court. Earlier this year, two Bombay High Court judges Justice S S Shinde and Justice Amjad A Sayed were elevated as chief justices of Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh high courts, respectively. While Justice Shinde retired as the chief justice of Rajasthan HC last month, Justice Sayed has tenure as Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh HC till January 2023. In April 2019, Justice Abhay S Oka of the Bombay High Court was elevated as the Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court and in August 2021 he was elevated as a Supreme Court judge.

SC collegium recommends elevation of Justice Prasanna B Varale as Chief Justice of Karnataka HC
  • SC collegium recommends elevation of Bombay HC Chief Justice Dipankar Datta to apex court
  • The Indian Express

    The Supreme Court collegium led by Chief Justice of India U U Lalit, in its meeting held on September 26, recommended the elevation of Justice Dipankar Datta, Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court, as a Supreme Court judge.Justice Datta, who was a senior judge at the Calcutta High Court, was appointed as the Bombay High Court Chief Justice on April 28, 2020. He will be elevated to the apex court after the central government clears his appointment and issues a notification in this regard.The son of the late Justice Salil Kumar Datta, a former judge of the Calcutta High Court, Justice Datta was born on February 9, 1965. He obtained his LLB degree from the University of Calcutta in 1989. He enrolled as an advocate the same year and practiced in the Supreme Court and in high courts, dealing with constitutional and civil cases.Justice Datta has served as the junior standing counsel for West Bengal between May 2002 and January 2004, and as a counsel for the Union government since 1998. He was elevated as a permanent judge of the Calcutta High Court on June 22, 2006.He took over as the Chief Justice of Bombay HC after Justice Bhushan P Dharmadhikari during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and ensured the functioning of the court through virtual and hybrid modes. Justice Datta also passed several directions to authorities to provide medical assistance to citizens besides redressing the grievances of migrant workers during the lockdown. He also changed the working hours of the high court from 11 am-5 pm to 10.30 am-4.30 pm. Before him, the last Bombay HC Chief Justice to have been elevated to the Supreme Court was Justice Anil Dave, who became an apex court judge in April 2010.In July 2020, a bench led by Chief Justice Datta passed directions to the state government to reduce overcrowding in jails during the pandemic and pulled up the prison department on the “sorry state of affairs”On December 16, 2020, in a setback to the then Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray-led state government, a division bench including Justice Datta, while hearing the central government’s plea through its salt commissioner laying claim to the 102-acre Kanjurmarg salt pan land, stayed the order of the collector that transferred the said land to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) for the Metro car shed project.In a judgment on PILs filed by former police officers of Maharashtra seeking restraining orders against “media trial” in the Sushant Singh Rajput death case passed in January 2021, a bench led by Justice Datta had held that a “media trial” pending the investigation of any case violates the Programme Code under the Cable TV Network Regulation Act and does have an impact on the probe by “interference with administration of criminal justice.”Moreover, on April 5 last year, a bench led by Chief Justice Datta directed the CBI to carry out a preliminary inquiry into the corruption allegations made by former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh against the then state home minister Anil Deshmukh, while terming the case as “unprecedented”. In the same month, Justice Datta pulled up the state government over fire incidents in hospitals across Maharashtra and observed that the safety of patients was of paramount importance.In July 2021, a division bench led by Justice Datta had directed the civic authorities to ensure that elderly and disabled persons have the benefit of Covid-19 vaccination at their residence as per the policy formulated by the state government, despite the Centre not being willing to adopt a policy for the same.The following month, Justice Datta held it “desirable” for Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to take a decision at the earliest regarding the recommendation by the state council of ministers under then CM Uddhav Thackeray on the nominations of 12 members to the Legislative Council – pending for eight months at that point – and said the seats “cannot be kept vacant indefinitely”. Those 12 names were recently scrapped by the current dispensation under Eknath Shinde.On February 26 this year, a bench of Chief Justice Datta and Justice Girish S Kulkarni passed a judgment in a suo motu PIL raising concerns over the collapse of unauthorised buildings and issued a slew of directions to the civic bodies and planning authorities in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR).The same day, Justice Datta refused to interfere in a PIL against special permission granted in 2002 to Lake City Corporation for purchasing lands for a private hill station Lavasa in Pune district and said that the “judicial hands-off” approach is best suited in the case due to “gross delay” in the filing of PIL. The court, though, observed “personal interest” and “exertion of influence and clout” by NCP chief Sharad Pawar and his daughter Supriya Sule in the impugned project and that NCP leader Ajit Pawar, who was the irrigation minister and ex-officio chairman of Maharashtra Krishna Valley Development Corporation (MKVDC) “failed to disclose the direct or indirect interest and was found to be remiss in his duty only to that extent.”CJ Datta, on July 29 this year, directed the Mumbai suburban collector to take steps to remove 48 structures, including unauthorised portions of buildings near the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA), which flouted height norms and were in the way of the approach surfaces of the runaways. On Monday, he dismissed as withdrawn a PIL filed by Jain Charitable Trusts seeking a restriction or ban on the advertisement of non-vegetarian food in print and electronic media. The high court asked the petitioners why they were seeking to encroach on others’ rights.

No homework culture will limit students’ learning in formative years
Times of India | 1 week ago | |
Times of India
1 week ago | |

The Maharashtra government plans to do away with the practice of giving homework to school students. The decision is meant for students studying in classes I to IV whose aim is to make their early years in school learning sans any pressure. As of now, the proposal is in its initial phases and the government would initiate talks with teachers’ associations of the state for drafting a final plan to implement the order. However, academicians feel that completely doing away with homework would be detrimental to the academic interest of students. There has already been a learning loss due to COVID which would be accentuated if the proposal of giving no homework is implemented. Speaking to Education Times, Maithili Tambe, CEO, The Academy School, Pune, says, “The proposal of Maharashtra school education ministry to do away with the system of giving homework to students of classes I to IV will be counter-productive. As the school timings in Maharashtra are less, no homework can hurt the academic performance of students. They must be habituated to doing homework between classes I and IV as these are the formative years of learning that foster discipline amongst students and encourage them to learn independently.” “The Indian education system stressed on giving homework as it helps in retaining information and reliving the concepts learnt throughout the day. “It is essential as it bridges the dots and builds a connection between the teachers, parents, school and students. The hours that students need to put in doing the homework should be well-defined according to the level of classes so that it does not drain them mentally, physically and emotionally,” adds Tambe. Shamal Chandrama Kalgutkar, supervisor, IES VN Sule Guruji English Medium School, Mumbai, says, “If students are given no homework, below average students will lose interest in their studies which will have an adverse impact on their academic performance. This will have a negative effect on their learning process. If students get habituated to the practice of doing no homework, they will not be able to correlate the topics taught in class with their own thought process as doing homework develops an independent thought process of what is taught in the classroom. Due to getting no homework students will adopt a casual attitude towards their studies. However, too much of homework is also not good for the students” N Aruna Rao, principal, Orchids- The International School, Hyderabad, says, “Giving homework to students is essential as it is a regular follow up of what is being taught in the school. By doing homework, students will get in a habit of revising the topics that have been taught in school which will surely be in their academic interest. In Telangana, there is a homework policy in place for classes I to V, which sets the maximum time limit for the students who need to be involved in doing homework in different classes. For instance, a class I student need not spend more than 5-10 minutes doing homework. Also, due to COVID, the students are struggling to follow the timetable structure due to which their routine schooling has been affected. No homework policy will result in students losing crucial learning parts.”

No homework culture will limit students’ learning in formative years
Nagpur & Washim: Collect data of schools with less than 20 students, officials told
The Indian Express | 1 week ago | |
The Indian Express
1 week ago | |

Even after opposition from teachers, the state government has begun the process of closing down schools having less than 20 students.On Tuesday, the education department issued notices to the block education officers (BEO) of Nagpur and Washim districts, asking them to collect information about schools in their regions that have less than 20 students. “Upon identifying the schools, prepare a report on whether students and teachers from such schools can be adjusted in nearby zilla parishad (ZP) schools,” the order added.While in Washim, the BEO has been asked to complete the process of merger and submit reports, in Nagpur, a meeting of BEOs has been called to decide on an action plan for the same.Vijay Kombe, a ZP teacher from Wardha, who is also the state secretary of Maharashtra Rajya Prathamik Shikshak Samiti — the primary teachers’ organisation for zilla parishad schools — said: “Owing to no clarity from the state government, several ZP schools are on the verge of closing down. It is disappointing that the government has failed to pay any heed to the issues raised by teachers. Many schools are located in hilly or inaccessible areas… if they are closed, the students will struggle to commute to nearby schools.”Liladhar Thakare, Nagpur district head of ZP teachers’ association, said, “This is harmful to the school education public sector. The Right To Education Act says that every child should be provided basic education facility within 1 km of his/her residence. If this new order is implemented, students will have to travel more distance to reach schools… and in some areas, the commute is not easy due to location specific difficulties.” On Tuesday, the education department issued notices to the block education officers (BEO) of Nagpur and Washim districts, asking them to collect information about schools in their regions that have less than 20 students. “Upon identifying the schools, prepare a report on whether students and teachers from such schools can be adjusted in nearby zilla parishad (ZP) schools,” the order added.While in Washim, the BEO has been asked to complete the process of merger and submit reports, in Nagpur, a meeting of BEOs has been called to decide on an action plan for the same.Vijay Kombe, a ZP teacher from Wardha, who is also the state secretary of Maharashtra Rajya Prathamik Shikshak Samiti — the primary teachers’ organisation for zilla parishad schools — said: “Owing to no clarity from the state government, several ZP schools are on the verge of closing down. It is disappointing that the government has failed to pay any heed to the issues raised by teachers. Many schools are located in hilly or inaccessible areas… if they are closed, the students will struggle to commute to nearby schools.”Liladhar Thakare, Nagpur district head of ZP teachers’ association, said, “This is harmful to the school education public sector. The Right To Education Act says that every child should be provided basic education facility within 1 km of his/her residence. If this new order is implemented, students will have to travel more distance to reach schools… and in some areas, the commute is not easy due to location specific difficulties.” While in Washim, the BEO has been asked to complete the process of merger and submit reports, in Nagpur, a meeting of BEOs has been called to decide on an action plan for the same.Vijay Kombe, a ZP teacher from Wardha, who is also the state secretary of Maharashtra Rajya Prathamik Shikshak Samiti — the primary teachers’ organisation for zilla parishad schools — said: “Owing to no clarity from the state government, several ZP schools are on the verge of closing down. It is disappointing that the government has failed to pay any heed to the issues raised by teachers. Many schools are located in hilly or inaccessible areas… if they are closed, the students will struggle to commute to nearby schools.”Liladhar Thakare, Nagpur district head of ZP teachers’ association, said, “This is harmful to the school education public sector. The Right To Education Act says that every child should be provided basic education facility within 1 km of his/her residence. If this new order is implemented, students will have to travel more distance to reach schools… and in some areas, the commute is not easy due to location specific difficulties.” Vijay Kombe, a ZP teacher from Wardha, who is also the state secretary of Maharashtra Rajya Prathamik Shikshak Samiti — the primary teachers’ organisation for zilla parishad schools — said: “Owing to no clarity from the state government, several ZP schools are on the verge of closing down. It is disappointing that the government has failed to pay any heed to the issues raised by teachers. Many schools are located in hilly or inaccessible areas… if they are closed, the students will struggle to commute to nearby schools.”Liladhar Thakare, Nagpur district head of ZP teachers’ association, said, “This is harmful to the school education public sector. The Right To Education Act says that every child should be provided basic education facility within 1 km of his/her residence. If this new order is implemented, students will have to travel more distance to reach schools… and in some areas, the commute is not easy due to location specific difficulties.” Liladhar Thakare, Nagpur district head of ZP teachers’ association, said, “This is harmful to the school education public sector. The Right To Education Act says that every child should be provided basic education facility within 1 km of his/her residence. If this new order is implemented, students will have to travel more distance to reach schools… and in some areas, the commute is not easy due to location specific difficulties.”

Nagpur & Washim: Collect data of schools with less than 20 students, officials told
NCP Leader Questions Displaying Goddesses' Portraits In Schools, Chief Minister Hits Back
Ndtv | 1 week ago | |
Ndtv
1 week ago | |

Bhujbal had demanded that the portraits of social reformers be displayed in schools. (file)Nashik, Maharashtra: Senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Chhagan Bhujbal has questioned the displaying of portraits of goddess Saraswati at schools in Maharashtra. Reacting sharply, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and his deputy Devendra Fadnavis said the portraits of the goddess will not be removed as she is the deity of knowledge.Speaking at an event in Mumbai earlier this week, Mr Bhujbal had demanded that the portraits of social reformers like Savitri Phule, Jyotiba Phule, Shahu Maharaj, Bhaurao Patil, and B R Ambedkar be displayed in schools."Instead of these social reformers, portraits of goddesses Saraswati and Sharda are displayed in schools. We haven't seen them and they haven't taught us anything. If at all they have taught, it is to 3 per cent people who kept us away (from education). Why should we pray before them?" the former minister asked.Both Mr Shinde and Mr Fadnavis said that portraits of the goddess will not be removed from schools."No photos will be removed. Some people (Mr Bhujbal) may feel anything. We will do nothing as per their wish. We will do whatever the common people want," the chief minister told reporters in Nashik, the home turf of Mr Bhujbal, a prominent OBC leader, on Wednesday.Deputy CM Fadnavis said the portraits of national icons can be installed in schools but goddess Saraswati's photos will not be removed."Devi Saraswati is the goddess of knowledge. Those who don't accept our culture and Hindutva, make such statements," he said when asked about Mr Bhujbal's remarks.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comMeanwhile, security has been stepped up outside Mr Bhujbal's residence- Bhujbal Farm- in Nashik.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NCP Leader Questions Displaying Goddesses' Portraits In Schools, Chief Minister Hits Back
Maharashtra: Garba event at Ramdaspeth to go ahead sans loudspeakers
Times of India | 1 week ago | |
Times of India
1 week ago | |

NAGPUR: The Nagpur bench of Bombay high court has allowed a garba event in Ramdaspeth to be held this year, but without any loudspeakers. Staging of the event was challenged by petitioners Pawan Sarda, Rahul Dalmiya and Dr Shubhangi Deshmane, citing that the venue falls under a silence zone due its proximity to hospitals. The petitioners contested the permission Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) and city police granted to Ramdaspeth Plot Owners and Residents Association to hold the garba event at the playground of Mor Hindi Primary School. The court was also informed of a 2019 memorandum of understanding (MoU) wherein the association (host of the event) had categorically agreed that no such event will be organized in Ramdaspeth in future. The association contended that the petitioners approached the court quite late. They also mentioned that flat owners and hospitals have given their consent to holding of the event and it is only the three petitioners who have objected. Justices SB Shukre and GA Sanap noted that since the venue falls under the category of silence due to it being within 100 metres of two hospitals, the authorities should not have granted permission in view of Noise Pollution Rules, 2000. Under this, there is a ban on the use of sound-producing instruments such as speakers, music systems, loudspeakers, amplifiers, drums and trumpets in silence zone. HC permitted the association to hold the event this year without using any musical instruments, however it was held that from the next year, the association shall be bound by the MoU and no such event shall be held. Advocate RM Bhangde appeared for the petitioners, while senior advocates MV Samarth and CM Samarth appeared for the residents association. Advocate JB Kasat appeared for NMC while advocate Anand Deshpande was the government pleader for the state of Maharashtra.

Maharashtra: Garba event at Ramdaspeth to go ahead sans loudspeakers