Times of India | 3 days ago | 24-11-2022 | 11:00 am
NASHIK: Chief minister Eknath Shinde said that no village of Maharashtra will be allowed to merge with any other state. Shinde was in Shirdi on Wednesday with his wife to offer prayers and seek Saibaba's blessings. Ahmednagar guardian minister Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil and school education minister Deepak Kesarkar were also accompanying the CM. "There is no question of any village of Maharashtra getting merged with any other state. Our government will take all measures to ensure that no problems are caused to the villages in the Jath taluka of Sangli," Shinde told reporters. Shinde's statement comes against the backdrop of his Karnataka counterpart Basavraj Bommai's comment on Tuesday. Bommai had said that his government is actively considering the resolution of the Jath taluka villages to merge with Karnataka, as the Maharashtra government had allegedly failed to address the water and irrigation problems there. "The resolution adopted by those villages was way back in 2012 when they faced water problems. However, since then, schemes have been planned in the Jath taluka villages, and some of them have been already been implemented. Others will be implemented in due course of time. It is our responsibility to ensure that all these schemes are implemented in a proper manner in the villages. Moreover, we have announced several welfare schemes for Marathi-speaking people residing in the Maharashtra-Karnataka border areas," added Shinde.
MUMBAI: Ships of the Western Fleet hosted around 4,000 children from more than 20 schools across the country on Saturday and Sunday as part of Navy Week 2022. Students from the National Cadet Corps, Sainik schools, Rotary schools, private and government schools, and National Association for the Blind visited the ships over two days. "They were conducted onboard and familiarised with the operational capabilities and roles played by Indian Navy in ensuring maritime security of the nation. During the visit, the students saw a static display of various weapons in Indian Navy's inventory, including surface-to-air and surface-to-surface missiles, and torpedoes launched by ships, submarines and aircraft," a Naval spokesperson said.
OF THE 2,33,13,762 children enrolled in government and aided schools across Maharashtra 19,55,515 (8.38 per cent) do not have Aadhaar cards, according to recently released data from the state government. Of the 2,13,58,247 children, who have Aadhaar cards 40,01,250 are invalid meaning their enrolment will not be counted in addition to those having no Aadhaar card.Ahead of the teacher approval process, the data has become a cause of worry for many schools. Posts of teachers allotted to each school are based on the number of enrolled students. Students having valid Aadhaar cards are considered enrolled, and it is factored in while calculating the student-teacher ratio to approve required posts of teachers.The data reveals 91 per cent of students have Aadhaar enrolment and 18 per cent of it is invalid.“There are mistakes in particulars such as name, date of birth or gender etc on invalid Aadhaar cards. Due to lack of willingness among parents to take steps for correction, the schools are going to have to take the responsibility,” said Mahendra Ganpule, spokesperson for Maharashtra Headmasters’ Association, adding that apart from the fixation of approved posts of teachers, from January 2023, midday meal scheme is going to be linked with Aadhaar.According to the district-wise data, the Pune district tops the list with 18,03,893 children out of 21,13,564 having Aadhaar cards, but 17 per cent of these are invalid. Thane district takes the second place with 15,23,235 of 17,55,388 students having Aadhar, but 16 per cent of those are invalid. Mumbai suburban ranks fourth in the list after Nashik district.The Pune district also has the highest student count without Aadhar at 3,09,671. The districts of Thane, Mumbai and Aurangabad take the second, third and fourth positions in terms of students, who have no Aadhaar.“Considering that these are the districts with highest student enrollment; in case of the count of students enrolment with or without Aadhaar they appear at the top in sheer numbers,” explained an official from the school education department, adding that the schools have been additional time till December 12 to complete Aadhaar updation on the student portal.
Eligibility criteria for admission to BSc Nursing course in Maharashtra has changed. Aspirants will now have to re-register with the Maharashtra Common Entrance Test (CET) Cell with marks obtained in Physics, Chemistry and Biology (PCB) in Class XII examinations.Considering that admissions to 1,200 out of 6,030 total seats in BSc Nursing have already been confirmed after the first round of admissions, the new criteria will be applicable for the remaining seats.The change has been introduced amid the ongoing process following an order by the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court last week stating that nursing admissions will now be on the basis of marks obtained by candidates in Physics, Chemistry and Biology (PCB) in Class XII examinations; instead of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET).The Private Nursing School and College Management Association (PNSCMA) had moved court against the CET Cell circular issued in June stating that admission to nursing courses be done on the basis of the qualifying criteria set by the Indian Nursing Council (INC).Referring to this criterion issued by the INC in April this year, PNSCMA president Dr Balasaheb Pawar said, “It stated that states can either hold a 100-mark aptitude test for nursing admissions or admit candidates who have scored 50 percentile and above in NEET. While the former was not planned in Maharashtra, the latter was unfair to aspirants as until now candidates seeking admission to BSc Nursing were only expected to have appeared for the NEET.”The association on Sunday held a counselling session for colleges and candidates regarding the changed process and appealed candidates to re-register for the admission.
“I knew I wanted to be a lawyer since I was nine,” says 68-year old senior advocate Santosh Kumar Rungta, who has been visually impaired since childhood. “It was in the third standard that I decided that if I ever want to make some difference in the life of the blind the only profession to achieve this is the legal profession. I studied with this single focus in mind.”Rungta made the news last week when Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud told the senior advocate, who was appearing in a matter related to the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission, that he will ask the National Informatics Centre to work with him on making the court’s software disabled-friendly.There is a reason the CJI sought his assistance. Over the last four decades, Rungta has been at the forefront for fighting for the rights of people with visual impairments and other disabilities. He was made a senior advocate in 2011 by the Delhi High Court, the first blind lawyer to receive this designation.His work in court for those with visual impairments began in 1993, when he argued in the Supreme Court — and won — for allowing blind and partially blind candidates to write UPSC exams in Braille or with the help of a scribe. On October 8, 2013, it was in a case argued by him that the apex court directed the government to implement three per cent reservation for disabled persons in government jobs. In 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic, Rungta moved the Delhi High Court challenging the non-inclusion of persons with disabilities in the Antyodaya Anna Yojana and the National Food Security Act.Born to a business family in Kanpur, Rungta says that he had difficulty in his eyes since birth. “I have had glaucoma since birth. This resulted in a situation that I could not see in any kind of light and my eyes had to be covered,” Rungta says. After losing his father when he was barely two years old, Rungta soon realised that he was treated differently by those around him.“The attitude of business families is that if I could be a potential contributor to the business then one could consider giving me a status at a later stage. At a very early age, whatever I could gather from hearing from my family members, I realised that there was some kind of charity approach in their behaviour towards me,” Rungta says, adding that it was this approach that “created a sharp reaction” within him. “This was a trigger for me. I knew I had to do something to be independent,” he says.In 1960, when Rungta was six years old he was admitted at Modern School for Blind Children, Dehradun, a residential special school by one of his elder brothers. He says that some of the teachers at the school focussed on “individualised teaching” which he greatly appreciates.Rungta completed his LLB from Kanpur in 1978 from Dayanand College of Law and in the same year became the All-India General Secretary of National Federation of Blind at the age of 24. “Since the headquarters of the federation were in Delhi and I was the chief office bearer it was my responsibility to look after the federation and that’s how I landed in Delhi. I also decided to continue my legal studies and pursued LLM from Delhi University’s Law Faculty,” he explains.After enrolling with the Bar Council of Delhi in 1982 Rungta had initially thought of going back to Kanpur to practice. “I had booked my tickets and I was paying one last visit to then Delhi Development Commissioner SC Vajpayee who had been helpful in our effort to ensure employment for the blind in the Delhi government. It was he who insisted that I start my practice in Delhi and through his help I was empanelled “gaon sabha” cases under Delhi Land Reform Act,” Rungta says. He recalls that his first case pertained to the encroachment of farmer’s land by zamindars wherein he was asked to argue to seek interim relief for the farmers. Rungta argued the case before a Justice Wadh of the Delhi High Court knowing fully well that the petition filed was ‘defective’ and poorly drafted. He says: “I was asked at the outset by the bench, ‘Is this the right way of drafting, why should I not throw it out’. I told the judge that I had not drafted the petition to which he asked me to point out the defects in the petition. I was very happy as I knew all of them…when I reached the seventh defect, the judge asked me to stop and heard me and I got interim relief.” Rungta was only 28 when he secured interim relief in his first case.Having relied on braille notes all his life, Rungta believes that although technological advancements have helped visually impaired lawyers immensely, one cannot completely depend on technology while appearing before courts. “Just last week I was appearing in a matter and I realised that my braille notetaker did not switch on. I was next to argue and I luckily had the hard copy of my braille notes as backup,” he explains, adding that his speed of reading also becomes slower as compared to reading hard braille copy where the lines are longer.He had some hiccups in his interaction with the courts. Rungta is reminded of an incident in the Delhi HC before a single judge bench where his matter was dismissed without him having uttered a word. “It didn’t happen once but five times. I can’t say with certainty what the reason was, but else could it be?”In another incident, there was a very open assertion by the bench in one of the lower courts — who refused to recognise him as an advocate because of blindness. “I was told that how could I be recognised as an advocate, when I can’t identify the signature and so questioned my competence on accepting the vakalatnama,” he says.These incidents aside, Rungta has had a flourishing practice since the past four decades. He says that he has had visually impaired juniors in the past and is open to more in the future. When asked how he faces everyday challenges while appearing in court, Rungta explains that he always keeps his “ears towards where the bench sits”.“I don’t rely on my juniors to ascertain whether the judge has entered the courtroom. I listen to what is happening in the court. I try to understand if the court master is talking, if the lawyers in the courtroom–these are things that I picked up over the years, especially when I did not have infrastructure to me,” Rungta says.On the improvement of infrastructure in courts to make them more disabled-friendly, Rungta says that when it comes to mobility requirements for visually impaired persons, human assistance and walking sticks are the most useful. Though ramps are useful for the physically disabled, the construction of pathways with blocks for visually impaired persons sometimes causes more trouble for people that can see. “What is really needed is e-courts to become compatible with softwares used by visually impaired lawyers. PDF files should be compatible for us. We still don’t have sign interpreters for hearing impaired lawyers. For blind witnesses appearing in cases, braille printers should be provided so that they can read their statements and affirm their signatures as required,” he suggests.Rungta’s lives with his wife, Sushma Rungta, who retired as director at the Lok Sabha Secretariat . While his son 33-year old Aviral runs his own business, his daughter, 37-year old Pratiti Rungta, is also an independent advocate practising electricity and debt recovery tribunal matters.For aspiring visually impaired lawyers, Rungta had this to say: “There is no better profession for them than the legal profession. But they need to have the attitude and the commitment to succeed. They need to be patient, selective in their first case, put in extra labour, use technology but avoid becoming over dependent and keep abreast of all laws. If they follow this they are bound to succeed. It may take them longer than those who can see, but they will eventually.”
BJP national general secretary CT Ravi on Thursday said that there was no border dispute between Karnataka and Maharashtra. During an ET Roundtable, Ravi said that recently, the age-old border issue regarding villages in Karnataka and Maharashtra came up and Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai and Maharashtra deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis made some comments on this. Both the states have BJP-led governments. There are certain Marathi-speaking areas in Karnataka such as Belagavi which Maharashtra always claims to belong to them. Similarly, there are some Kannada-speaking areas like Jat which Karnataka claims to belong to their state, he said.Ravi is an MLA from Karnataka and is currently party in-charge of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Goa."We are thinking about PoK. Both Jat and Belagavi are inside the country and are in safe hands. Our thought is how to bring PoK back," he said.On hijab, he said: "We never oppose hijab. But schools have a dress code and it is common for everyone. Is it right to defy that dress code?" He gave an example of the recent anti-hijab movement in Iran and said that people are protesting hijab in a country which follows Sharia Law. "Here, in India, which has a uniform law, some people are protesting for Sharia."Regarding the education policy, he said: "After NEP implementation, there is no dispute. NEP gives everyone the opportunity to get education in their mother tongue." "If someone in Belagavi wants to get an education in Marathi, they can do it. Similarly, Kannada-speaking people in Maharashtra can get education in their language. If you look at the history of India, several wars took place over different regions. But no war happened over language. There is an interrelation between all Indian languages. We are here to strengthen that relationship," he said.