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Municipal by-elections to be conducted within three months: Delhi HC

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New Delhi: The Delhi High Court ordered State Election Commission to conduct by-elections in 13 municipal wards in the national capital within three months.

A division bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath gave the directions to the poll panel while hearing a PIL filed by 20-year-old law student Sanjana Gahlot after she saw the poor condition of her village in west Delhi and later came to know that there was no counselor to look after the civic issues.

The PIL sought to hold by-elections in 13 wards and to fill casual vacancies in the councillorship in all the three Municipal Corporations of Delhi (MCD).

The state Election Commission told the court that it needed Rs.21 crore to conduct these elections.

The Delhi government also informed the court that it was in the process of evaluating the request by the state Election Commission for the release of funds and manpower for holding the by-elections.

A councilor is the most important elected representative in a ward. He/she addresses issues such as sanitation, cleanliness, development, the PIL stated.

The councilors of nine wards had resigned from their position in December 2013 after being elected as legislators in the Delhi assembly elections. Four more resigned after the February 2015 assembly polls. No by-elections have been held to fill these vacancies.

Seven wards in the South Delhi Municipal Corporation, four in North DMC and two in the East DMC are currently without councilors.(IANS)

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Publishers Body Welcomes HC Order Lifting Non-NCERT Book Ban

"The ruling, in addition to providing convenience to children and parents, will also enable them to choose books depending on their preference,"

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Good education can reduce the impact of childhood abuse. Pixabay
Good education can reduce the impact of childhood abuse. Pixabay

The Association of Publishers in India (API) on Tuesday welcomed the Delhi High Court order which stipulated that sale of non-NCERT books must not be disallowed in CBSE-affiliated schools, calling the practice “discriminatory”.

“The court decision exemplifies the point that an ideal education system is the one that recognizes the role of multiple stakeholders and is learner-centric. The decision has been welcomed by not just students and parents but also by schools, private publishers, authors and others as it symbolizes ‘freedom of choice’ in education,” the representative body of publishers of academic texts said in a statement.

ALSO READ: The glorious tales of Chaar Sahibzaade to be included in NCERT syllabi

“The ruling, in addition to providing convenience to children and parents, will also enable them to choose books depending on their preference,” it said.

NCERT
Arguing that the sale of books, stationery and other items sold by the school be treated as “essential requirements”, the court last week in a decision refused to put a ban on these activities. Pixabay

 

In doing so, the court overturned the April 2017 injunction issued by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), which asked affiliating schools not to indulge in “commercial” activities.

ALSO READ: App allowing free download of all NCERT books to be launched soon

The court said the availability of uniforms, non-NCERT reference books or even food items for sale only to the students of the school does not fall in the category of and cannot at all be considered as commercialization.

Earlier in its circular, the board had asked the schools to “desist from the unhealthy practice of coercing parents to buy textbooks, notebooks, stationery, uniforms, shoes, school bags etc from within the premise or from selected vendors only” and directed them to operate as doing “community service” as per the board by-laws.

Minister of State for Human Resource Development Upendra Kushwaha, in December last year, told Parliament that CBSE has not directed students or schools to buy or prescribe NCERT books only. (IANS)

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