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India born judge in race to be US Supreme Court Judge

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Washington: Chandigarh-born Indian-American judge has risen the ranks in the race of succession to be the new US Supreme Court justice. The sudden death of a US Supreme Court judge has put him at the top of the contention in the year of political battles.

Srikanth Srinivasan, 48, who became a judge of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit – a traditional launching pad for Supreme Court nominees – in May 2013 after a 97-0 Senate vote was on the short-list of many in the media.

Speculation over whom President Barack Obama would nominate to replace Antonin Scalia started hours after the conservative judge’s death Saturday morning in Texas even as top Republicans said the choice should be left to the next president.

Obama said Saturday he would nominate a successor “in due time,” and the Senate will get “plenty of time to give that person a fair hearing and a timely vote” even as Senate Republican leaders and presidential candidates were dead set against the move.

Any list of potential replacements begins with Srinivasan, said CNN noting that Obama would likely try to find someone that at least some Republicans in Congress might find acceptable given that the opposition party controls both chambers.

Obama first nominated him to the post in 2012, and the Senate confirmed him,

97-0, in May 2013, including votes in support from Republican presidential contenders Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.

Srinivasan’s father hailed from Mela Thiruvenkatanathapuram, a village near Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu. His family, including two younger sisters, migrated in the late 1960s to Lawrence, Kansas.

His father was a professor of mathematics at the University of Kansas, and his mother taught at the Kansas City Art Institute and later worked at the University of Kansas computer science department.

Srinivasan was a high school basketball star in Kansas before attending Stanford University, which he graduated from in 1989.

He was Obama’s principal deputy solicitor general, most notably working on the successful fight against the Defence of Marriage Act.

Srinivasan also has experience on the other side of the aisle, serving as an assistant to the solicitor general during the George W. Bush administration and as a clerk to Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. He was once a partner in the law firm O’Melveny & Myers.

Meanwhile, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell insisted the next administration should make the appointment.

But Democratic Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said “failing to fill this vacancy would be a shameful abdication of one of the Senate’s most essential Constitutional responsibilities.”

The succession battle comes at a time when the Court is expected to hear several cases with huge political implications, including on abortion and affirmative action.(IANS)

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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Facebook Introduces Free Online Education Programme in The US

The "We do" module lets educators and students learn together. And the "You do" is designed to help students practice their new skills

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Facebook likely to launch camera-equipped hardware for TVs. Pixabay

Facebook has launched in the US free online education programme CodeFWDTo to increase the numbers of underrepresented and female students interested in pursuing computer programming.

“We’re working on a number of initiatives like CodeFWD to widen the pipeline of diverse talent studying computer science so the next generation of tech innovators reflects and incorporates diverse perspectives, building a future that benefits us all,” Lauryn Ogbechie, Education Partnerships Director at Facebook, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Created in partnership with connected toys maker Sphero, CodeFWD by Facebook, has been designed for both English and Spanish speakers.

It is a three-step programme where educators and organisations introduce computer programming to 4th to 8th grade students.

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Facebook App on a smartphone device. (VOA)

With the first module “I do”, CodeFWD prepares educators to introduce the basics of computer programming to their students, even as they may be discovering the concepts themselves.

The “We do” module lets educators and students learn together. And the “You do” is designed to help students practice their new skills.

Also Read- Actress Disha Patani Can’t Judge Herself in Terms of Acting

“After completing these three steps, educators who want to continue developing their students’ coding skills using a tangible, hands-on product can apply to earn a free classroom set of programmable robots from our partners at Sphero,” Ogbechie said. (IANS)