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Ex-Servicemen launch hunger strike for OROP

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New Delhi: Ex-servicemen stage a demonstration to press for `One Rank One Pension` at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, on June 15, 2015. (Photo: IANS)

New Delhi: Scores of ex-servicemen on Monday launched an indefinite relay hunger strike here over the delay in implementing the One Rank, One Pension (OROP) scheme for them and threatened to intensify their agitation.

Raising slogans like “One Rank, One Pension”, “No delay, no dilution” and “Sainik ekta zindabad”, the former soldiers and officers of the Indian armed forces launched the hunger strike at Jantar Mantar, within the shouting distance of Parliament House.

Ex-servicemen in batches of 50-55 will sit on a 24-hour hunger strike every day till the government announces a specific date for implementing the OROP scheme.

“We won’t budge until the government gives us a date for implementing ‘One Rank, One Pension’,” Maj. Gen. Satbir Singh (retd.), president of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement which is spearheading the protest, told IANS.

Col. Anil Kaul (retd.), media adviser of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement, said protests were on in many cities across the country.

“The hunger strike has begun today (Monday) in various cities. This will go on indefinitely till we get a definitive response from the government,” he said.

Sources from the defence ministry, meanwhile, said the file on OROP was with the finance ministry, as Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar once again on Sunday night urged the veterans to be patient.

Speaking at a conference in Jaipur on Sunday, the defence minister said “promises” made will be kept and that they should be “patient”.

The nationwide agitation was launched on Sunday by retired servicemen.

Protesting at Jantar Mantar on Sunday, the veterans signed a petition in blood, demanding fast implementation of the scheme which will ensure same pension for the same rank irrespective of the date of retiring.

The petition was sent to President Pranab Mukherjee’s office.

With the OROP, defence personnel who retired in the past would be able to draw the same pension as officers and soldiers of the same rank retiring now.

OROP is expected to benefit 25 lakh ex-servicemen and widows of defence personnel. (IANS)

 

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Can’t have one solution for entire nation: Parrikar

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parrikar
Wikimedia

Panaji, Sep 15 (IANS) One blanket solution for a problem can never work for the whole country, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Friday, underlining that the Supreme Court order last year banning the sale of liquor 500 metres from highways was one such solution.

“Be it legislation, judiciary or government, we think that one type, one bracketed solution is appropriate for all problems… (But) What may be good in New Delhi may not be good in Goa. It may be actually negative in Goa. It will not work in Goa,” Parrikar said.

“One solution cannot be there for the nation,” he said.

Parrikar was speaking on the concluding day of a two-day conference near Panaji on ‘Good Governance and Replication of Best Practices’ organised by the Central Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances.

Commenting on the apex court’s order banning alcohol sale along highways, Parrikar said: “The basic logic was punish a drunk driver. After the order I found many drunk drivers carrying bottles. Earlier two pegs or three pegs was what they took, now they drink a bottle. Now they carry (bottles).”

“Punish a drunk driver… The positive aspect is considered. But at the same time one solution cannot be there for the nation,” he said.

The former Defence Minister said while many legislations may induce good governance, they also “induce certain negativity”. “Despite of that, I feel that these acts are necessary,” Parrikar said. (source:IANS)

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Goa CM Manohar Parrikar to deliver Keynote Speech at Brihan Maharashtra Mandal in US

Parrikar told reporters that the five day visit was planned and finalised when he was serving as Defence Minister

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Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar will be in US to attend a convention organised by the Brihan Maharashtra Mandal at Michigan. Twitter

Panaji, July 4, 2017: Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Tuesday said he will be on a personal visit to the US to attend a convention organised by the Brihan Maharashtra Mandal at Michigan, where he will be delivering the keynote speech.

Parrikar told reporters that the five day visit was planned and finalised when he was serving as Defence Minister.

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“This invitation was given and accepted when I was Defence Minister. Then, as a Defence Minister, I was thinking of planning a visit to the US, which I had agreed to visit every quarter. Once from the US Secretary of Defence and once from me. Every sixth month I was to visit US. So I was thinking of planning this (attending the event) around that time, so that both can be done.

“But now that I have become chief minister, they (the organisers) insisted that I still come,” he also said. (IANS)

 

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Osmania University turns 100: India’s First University to adopt Urdu as medium of Instruction

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A text written in Urdu language , Wikimedia

Hyderabad, April 25, 2017: It was India’s first university to adopt Urdu as the medium of instruction — but with English as a compulsory subject. And, as it turns 100 on Wednesday, Osmania University has blended tradition with modernity to emerge as one of the country’s oldest and most prestigious institutes of higher learning.

With President Pranab Mukherjee set to launch the centenary celebrations, the spotlight is on the premier seat of learning, known for its chequered history.

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Standing tall on its sprawling and picturesque campus, it bears testimony to the grandeur of the princely Hyderabad state, the tumultuous times before the state’s merger with India and several movements ranging from ‘jobs for locals’ to separate statehood for Telangana.

From its genesis in the rich Muslim legacy to cultural diversity and from its transformation as a modern institution imparting education in English and various branches of science and technology, Jamia-e-Osmania, as it was earlier known, has come a long way.

Its distinguished alumni include former Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao; India’s first astronaut, Squadron Leader Rakesh Sharma; celebrated film director Shyam Benegal; former RBI Governor Y. Venugopal Reddy; founder and chairman of Cobra Beer and Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, Karan Bilimoria; and Magsaysay awardee Shantha Sinha.

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It was on April 26, 1917, that Nizam VII Mir Osman Ali Khan issued a ‘farman’ (royal decree) for the establishment of Osmania University.

“The fundamental principles in the working of the university should be that Urdu should form the medium of higher education, but a knowledge of English as a language should, at the same time, be deemed compulsory for all students,” said the decree.

Within two years of the decree, classes began for the first batch from a building in Gunfoundry area, conservation activist P. Anuradha Reddy pointed out.

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Arts and theology were only the two faculties in the first year with 225 students and 25 faculty members. It offered courses in different languages like Sanskrit, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Persian and Arabic besides Urdu and English.

As the ‘purdah’ system was strictly in vogue those days, the classes in the first few decades were conducted separately for boys and girls. A curtain would be hung between boys and girls for a common class or during guest lectures.

Academicians say Osmania University symbolised renaissance in the Indian educational system.

The move to set up the university with Urdu as the medium of instruction was seen as the first step to revolt against the supremacy of the foreign language in India. It was hailed by Rabindernath Tagore.

He wrote to Nizam: “I have long been waiting for the day when, freed from the shackles of a foreign language, our education becomes naturally accessible to all our people. It is a problem for the solution of which we look to our Native States, and it gives me great joy to know that your State proposes to found a University in which instructions are to be given through the medium of Urdu. It is needless to say that your scheme has my fullest appreciation.”

In 1934, the university was allotted 566 acres in the Adikmet area for its permanent campus. The Nizam laid the foundation stone for the iconic Arts College building, which later became the symbol of the university.

Rail tracks were laid to ferry workers and construction material and to speed up construction activity. Four years later, the campus and the Arts College, with its magnificent facade, was inaugurated.

A blend of Qutub Shahi and Mughal architecture, the granite structure was designed by Belgian architect Monsieur Jasper. With 164 vast rooms and a plinth of 2.5 lakh square feet, the Arts College is one the last major structures built by the Nizam.

In the pre-Independence era, Urdu was the medium of instruction in all branches of higher education, including medicine and engineering. Under-graduate, post-graduate and Ph.D. programmes were introduced in almost all the faculties.

Some of the premier institutions started in the city like Nizamia Observatory, Nizam College, Medical College, Law School and Teachers’ Training College were transferred to the university.

One such institute was the Dairat-Ul-Maarif, which was founded in 1888 to collect, preserve, edit and publish rare original and standard works in Arabic on humanities, religion, science and the arts.

The transformation at Osmania was obvious following the merger of Hyderabad state with India in September, 1948, more than a year after country’s independence.

English replaced Urdu as the medium of instruction. Over the next two decades, the university added new disciplines and introduced diploma programmes in foreign languages like French, German and Italian. The Women’s College, which earlier operated from temporary buildings, moved to its present location.

The University permitted a number of affiliated colleges to be started to meet the growing demand. Today, it claims to have 1,000 colleges affiliated to it — arguably the largest in Asia and 550,000 students.

It continued its onward journey in the subsequent decades by giving impetus to research activities and introducing fresh courses to meet the new requirements of the job market.

In order to make higher education accessible to the deprived and disadvantaged, the Centre for Distance Education was established in 1977.

The university currently has 12 faculties and 53 departments with over 10,000 students. It conducts 25 undergraduate programmes and 75 post-graduate courses.With students coming from different regions and socio-economic backgrounds and even from abroad, the campus is known for its cultural diversity.

While continuing its march for academic excellence since inception, the university also became a nerve centre for various movements, reflecting the country’s socio-political changes.In 1952, the university students stood up in protest when the central government proposed to take over it convert it into a central varsity with Hindi as medium of instruction. Around same time, the campus was also rocked by protests demanding jobs for locals.

It witnessed massive violent protests in early 1970s during the Telangana movement. In the aftermath of the violent agitation, the employers had even stopped recruiting Osmania graduates.

While the first movement died down in 1971, nearly four decades later the university once again became the epicentre of Telangana movement, which culminated in the formation of the separate state in 2014. – (IANS)