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Need info through RTI, be patient and wait before CIC clears 38,000 pending appeals

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By Newsgram Staff Writer

Getting information through Right to Information or RTI applicantion is not a child’s play. Whether you want to know about the utilisation of funds in any government run projects in your locality or you are eager to seek information from the Prime Minister’s Office, the Supreme Court or the Municipal Corporation, patience is the mantra for you.

The  government disclosed that close to 38,000 second appeals under the Right to Information Act or RTI are pending with the Central Information Commission or CIC in a written reply to Loksabha this year. According to the government data as many as 22,000 appeals were waiting to be heard till August last year.

“The Prime Minister’s Office is among the top public authorities to reject the maximum number of RTI applications received by them during 2013-14’’ states CIC Annual Report.

RTI activists believe that the delay in appointment of a new Chief Information Commissioner, after the former CIC chief Rajiv Mathur retired in August last year can be one of the reason. RTI Act clearly mentions that the applications and first appeals are required to be mandatorily disposed off within 30 days of their receipt. However, no time limit has been prescribed for disposal of second appeals pending with the CIC.

 

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Was Taj Mahal Once a Shiva Temple? The Debate over the Tomb Continues

According to some historians, Taj Mahal was incipiently a Shiva Temple offered to the Mughals as a form of the gift by a Rajput king

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Taj Mahal. Wikimedia

New Delhi, August 16, 2017: The famous monument from the Mughal era, Taj Mahal is once more in contention as the Central Information Commission (CIC) has requested the Central government to clear up unequivocally whether it is a tomb or a Shiva Temple. An RTI came to the CIC regarding the same, in response to which the quasi-constitutional body solicited answers from the culture minister.

But where did this question come from and what is the source?

According to some historians, Taj Mahal was incipiently a Shiva Temple offered to the Mughals as a form of the gift by a Rajput king. The hypothesis says that the temple was later formed into the monument that dwells graves of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and his adored wife Mumtaz Mahal, mentioned IndiaNews.

Also Read: Firozabad Glass Industry is Declining: Is Taj Mahal to be Blamed? 

In 2015, a case was recorded in Agra by six lawyers, requesting that the tomb ought to be given over to Hindus for worship. The litigation solicited to forbid Islamic religious actions performed in the monument and remove the graves.

PN Oak, a revisionist historian also made the claim in his 1989  book “Taj Mahal” that the name Taj Mahal was procured from a Sanskrit word “Tejo Mahalay’ meaning a Shiva Temple.

The Cultural Minister Mahesh Sharma denied the claims in response to the question put forward to him that the Seventh wonder of the world was a Shiva Temple.


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Sainik School Model to be Incorporated in Non-Military Schools, suggests Prime Minister’s Office to HRD

The elements of military school training the PMO wants to introduce in regular schools include discipline, physical training and ‘patriotic sentiments’

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Two Army T-55 Tanks dedicated to Sainik School, Korukonda. Wikimedia
  • PMO advised HRD ministry to include elements of a Sainik school in regular school
  • The inclusion of elements will incorporate “holistic development” of students
  • Kendriya Vidyalayas and Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas will have Sainik school like features

July 21, 2017: The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has advised the HRD Ministry to include elements of a military school in regular schools too. This will incorporate discipline, physical fitness, and patriotism in non-military schools. The PMO has suggested the inclusion of such elements in all schools for “holistic development” of students. According to a report, the meeting on Tuesday, July 18 was called out by the PMO to discuss the proposal with Senior HRD officials.

The idea of introducing military elements in schools was first introduced under the NDA government at a meeting of the Central Advisory Board of Education (highest government advisory body on education) held in October last year. In the meeting, Mahendra Nath Pandey, Minister of state for HRD accentuated the importance of military education for students to promote the idea of patriotism and nationalism, mentioned Indian Express report.

He further adds,  if 2,000 of the 10,000 students at Nalanda University were trained in military education, they would have foiled “Bakhtiyar Khilji’s plan” to plunder and raze the institute.

Sainik Schools were established in 1961 by the then Defence Minister V K Krishna Menon with the purpose of preparing youngsters for the defense services.

Sainik Schools were established in 1961 to prepare youngsters for the defense services. Click To Tweet

The HRD ministry is exploring new ways to introduce Sainik School like features in Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs) and Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs), which are also residential school. The PMO’s suggestion was also discussed with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).

ALSO READ: Five boarding schools which teach Army training in India

Students at these residential schools have to join the National Cadet Corps (NCC), undergo rigorous physical training and adopt patriotic lives. The Ministry of Defence directs 25 such schools.

Stressing on the binding need for nationalism and patriotism in CABE meeting, Madhya Pradesh’s education minister also affirmed that more Sainik Schools should be set up by the government.

-Prepared by Staff writer at Newsgram

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Nearly 35 percent paucity of teachers in 23 IITs: RTI

Gaud stated that currently, IITs stand at 1:16 student-teacher ratio while they are trying to attain 1:10 student teacher ratio

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IIT Bombay, Wikimedia

Indore, February 15, 2017: “As against sanctioned strength of 7,744 teachers, 5,072 teachers are teaching 82,603 students in 23 IITs. This means 2,672 posts are lying vacant which is 35 per cent,” Neemuch-based activist Chandrashekhar Gaud told citing a reply from an official in Union HRD ministry. The break up was provided till 1st October, 2016

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An RTI inquiry unveiled that around 35 percent of posts of teachers are remaining vacant in 23 IITs in the entire country.

Gaud stated that currently, IITs stand at 1:16 student-teacher ratio while they are trying to attain 1:10 student teacher ratio.

According to “Super 30” founder, Anand Kumar spoke, “the government opened new IITs in the last couple of years in a haste, but has failed to provide necessary infrastructure like laboratories etc. This is affecting the quality of these IITs, which in long term could affect the brand IIT at a global level.”

According to Gaud, the old IITs too are equally affected by the paucity of teachers.

“In old IITs, 30 per cent posts of teachers are lying vacant at IIT Bombay, Delhi (35%), Guwahati (27%), Kanpur (37%), Kharagpur (46%), Madras (28%), Roorkee (45%) and IIT BHU (47%),” he stated quoting from the HRD reply.

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Only 3935 teachers are working against 6250 posts that accounts 37 per cent lesser than sanctioned strength, in these eight IITs

The paucity of teachers in IIT Bhubaneshwar is 35%, IIT Gandhinagar (11%), IIT Hyderabad (16%), IIT Jodhpur (39%), IIT Patna (20%), IIT Raipur (24%), IIT Tirupati (39%), IIT Palakkad (28%) and IIT Dhanbad (36%).

 

-prepared by Sabhyata Badhwar of NewsGram. Twitter: @SabbyDarkhorse