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Governments not serious about 90 percent unsafe buildings in Delhi: HC

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New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday took strong objection to the central and Delhi governments showing apathy towards the issue of 90 percent of buildings in the capital being “structurally unsafe” to withstand a seismic zone (SZ) IV earthquake.

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A division bench of Justice B.D. Ahmed and Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva directed the central and Delhi governments to give a status report on action taken to ensure structural integrity of buildings here saying they were waiting for a “disaster to happen”. “The union of India and Delhi government are not interested (in the issue). And MCD is allowing all kinds of rampant illegal construction,” the bench remarked seeking their response within two weeks. “Only 10 percent of buildings in MCD areas are earthquake safety norm compliant, that means 9 out of 10 will flatten when earthquake comes. So, how much population will be wiped out, the bench asked the Center and MCD’s counsel.”

“Alarming position has been revealed that only 25 percent of capital’s areas is planned or approved while the rest 75 percent is unplanned or unauthorized. There are 17,000 unauthorized colonies here with no layout plan but they are in the process of regularization by the government,” the high court said. The MCD in its affidavit filed in the high court said: “The corporation is planning to seek help of IIT Delhi, Central Building Research Institute (CBRI), Roorkee, RITES, Indian Association of Structural Engineers Association etc to suggest ways and means of ascertaining the structural integrity of these buildings and steps to strengthen or retrofitting requirement in accordance with the provision of Modified Building Bye Laws. “The MCD also said old buildings and buildings in the unplanned areas do not have the record of their design and drawing details.

It further said the corporation was planning to launch a public awareness program in which people living in buildings about 30 or more years old will be asked to obtain a structural fitness certificate for their building from the impaneled structural engineers. The court was hearing a PIL filed by advocate Arpit Bhargava seeking directions to immediately determine the seismic stability of buildings in Delhi. In the PIL, Bhargava also sought direction to the authorities to take consequent remedial measures in a time bound manner in the larger public interest. “It is apparent that construction is carried out in these colonies without obtaining any approval from any authorities,” the PIL said adding that approximately 50 lakh people were staying in these unauthorized colonies.

(IANS)

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JNU was awarded ‘Best University’ for its good works, not for Hostage Drama, says HRD Minister

"Recently JNU was given best university award. This was not given for making the Vice Chancellor hostage but for the good works done by the university. These good works don't come into the limelight"

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New Delhi, March 28, 2017: Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) got the best university award for its good work and not for the controversy last year during which the Vice Chancellor was taken hostage’. Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar remarked this statement while discussing a bill in Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

“Recently JNU was given best university award. This was not given for making the Vice Chancellor hostage but for the good works done by the university. These good works don’t come into the limelight,” Javadekar said in the Lok Sabha while concluding the debate on the National Institutes of Technology, Science Education and Research (Second Amendment) Bill, 2016.

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Javadekar’s comments came after Congress pioneer Mallikarjun Kharge questioned the Minister’s reference of vacancies in JNU.

Pointing out to the vacancies of professors in JNU, Javadekar said: “There are over 100 vacancies for SCs/STs in JNU while around 25 posts of disabled professors are vacant since long ago.”

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Karge objected to it by stating that it’s not only in the JNU, but in many central universities, teaching posts are lying vacant for many years. It’s the duty of the minister to respond to such obligations.

“I know why you are raking up JNU only,” Kharge said.

Last year in October, Students of JNU had staged protests outside the administrative Block, forcing the Vice-Chancellor M. Jagadesh Kumar and Rectors to remain confined inside the building, over the disappearance of student Najeeb Ahmed.

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Earlier, three of its students were arrested on sedition charges in connection with an event on the campus during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised.

Responding to members’ queries, Javadekar said that vacancies in universities are a serious issue and there are many reasons for it.

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“There are vacancies in central universities, state universities and also in private universities. We are trying to constitute a dynamic platform where all vacancies will be exhibited on our website,” he said.

The Minister said that for filling up the vacancies the government needs to create an atmosphere where students prefer to be teachers and professors.

”We need to create interest among students so they could prefer this profession,” he said.

Javadekar said that whenever he visited any university, he always asked students: “Who wants to be a teacher? Who wants to be a professor?”

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“Recently I visited an IIT where I asked the same question to students. I was very happy when majority of students said they want to join the teaching line,” he said.

He also expressed concern over the cases of suicides on campuses.

“Even a single case of suicide in campuses is unfortunate,” the minister said.

-prepared by Ashish Srivastava of NewsGram Twitter @PhulRetard

 

 

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Can a Patient without Donors advertise for Transplantation?

Delhi High court was faced with the question; Can a common citizen without a donor for transplantcan use the help of media to advertise for his/her cause?

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Doctors (representational Image), Pixabay

New Delhi, Mar 4, 2017:  Can the authorities allow a person who has no family donor to advertise to get a volunteer for a kidney transplant? This is a question on which the Delhi High Court looked for the views of the government on Feb 28, this year.

The patient who raised the issue drew the attention of the court to the fact that it is easy in case of celebrities or well-known public figures to get volunteer donors because of media attention but common citizens do not have a right to avail the benefit of such media advertisements.

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Seized with the matter, Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva, asked the Ministry for Family Health and Welfare to look into various aspects related to the transplantation of kidney raised by the petitioner.

According to PTI reports, The judge also sought the opinion of the National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO), the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and  the apex centre for registry, procurement and distribution of organs and tissues on the plea of the patient who has narrated his ordeal of 15 long years.

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NOTTO’s response was sought as the patient has prayed for scrapping of the body which maintains a registry of donations and transplantation of tissues and organs.

The patient named Vinod Kumar Anand, has suffered the loss of both of his kidneys and the one donated by his wife due to renal problems.

During the hearing, the patient’s advocate, Ashok Aggarwal, was asked by the court to explore the possibility of kidney exchange between his family and that of someone else who also required the organ.

Kidney exchange or ‘swap’ is a simple barter system in which a swap pair consists of a recipient (patient) and a donor (a family member). A swap transplant like this involves an exchange of organs between two families, who cannot donate the organ to their own family member due to the mismatch of a blood group.

– prepared by Durba Mandal of NewsGram. Twitter: @dubumerang

 

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An IITian from Kharagpur, Mainak Sarkar also linked to another killing in Brooklyn Park

According to a marriage license application Sarkar, hails from Durgapur in West Bengal and got married to Ashley Erin Hasti in 2011

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UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles). Image source: WikiMedia
  • Mainak Sarkar had shifted to the US only in 2000s after a successful stint as a software developer in South India
  • The killings are believed to have been provoked by Sarkar’s anger on Klug for stealing his computer code
  • A body of a woman was found in 2400 block of Pearson Parkway in Brooklyn, which was later identified as one in the killer’s ‘kill list’

The gunman identified as “Mainak Sarkar” in connection with the killing of the UCLA engineering professor, William Klug has in a shocking disclosure been linked to another killing in Brooklyn Park, north of Minneapolis.

A body of a woman was found in 2400 block of Pearson Parkway in Brooklyn, which was later identified as one in the killer’s ‘kill list’. The 38-year-old Mainak Sarkar, before travelling 2000 miles to kill Klug, had shot dead the woman in Minnesota, according to the Los Angeles Police. Officials haven’t disclosed the name of the woman yet.

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“In the residence in Minnesota, we found multiple items, including extra ammunition and also a note with names on it indicating a kill list,” Los Angeles police chief Charlie Beck told Los Angeles television station. The list had the wording “kill list” on it, says Beck. The list also had the name of another professor, who is unharmed.

Police on UCLA campus after the shooting. Image source: bbc.com
Police on UCLA campus after the shooting. Image source: bbc.com

“Your enemy is my enemy. But your friend can do a lot more harm. Be careful about whom you trust,” says a blog post by Sarkar, dated March.

The killings are believed to have been provoked by Sarkar’s anger on Klug for stealing his computer code. While this appears to be the cause as of now, UCLA denies such claims.

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Sarkar was armed with two 9mm pistols and multiple ammunition clips, said Police. As further investigation continues in the case, it became known that he had shifted to the US only in 2000s after a successful stint as a software developer in South India.

Sarkar, hailing from Durgapur in West Bengal got married to Ashley Erin Hasti in 2011, according to a marriage license application obtained by Reuters. He is described as “brilliant”, “able” and “trustworthy” by friends and colleagues.

-by Maariyah, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: @MaariyahSid

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