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Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra to enter Rajasthan on Sunday

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Jaipur, February 24 (IANS) The Bharat Jodo Nyaya Yatra will enter Rajasthan via Dholpur on Sunday, where the flag of the Yatra will be handed over to Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee (RPCC) President Govind Singh Dotasra by his Uttar Pradesh counterpart Ajay Rai, Congress officials confirmed here on Saturday.

Dotasra has formed a coordination committee to oversee the arrangements put in place for the Yatra, said party spokesperson Swarnim Chaturvedi.

The members of this committee include RPCC general secretaries Lalit Tunwal and Ramsingh Kaswa, Swarnim Chaturvedi, and the President of Rajasthan Pradesh Mahila Congress, Rakhi Gautam.

–IANS

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Bharat Adivasi Party demands 'DNA card' after Raj Minister's remark on tribals' lineage

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Jaipur, June 22 (IANS) The Bharat Adivasi Party (BAP) on Saturday demanded the Centre to issue ‘DNA cards’ on the lines of Aadhaar card after Rajasthan Education Minister Madan Dilawar’s remark that BAP leaders do not consider themselves as part of the Hindu community.

Interacting with mediapersons in Jaipur on Friday, Dilawar said, “The party which carries out activities to break the country and the society will not be tolerated under any circumstances. If BAP leaders do not consider themselves as Hindus, their DNA should be tested.”

Reacting to the minister’s remarks, BAP, which has three MLAs in the state Assembly, said in a post on X: “Madan Dilawar has been making controversial statements. His recent statement about the tribal community that those who do not consider themselves Hindus should get their DNA test done is highly condemnable. We demand the Central government to issue DNA cards on the lines of Aadhaar card which should be made the basis of identification.”

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Commenting on the matter, BAP MP from Banswara, Rajkumar Roat, said, “The Education Minister has lost his mental balance after his party (BJP) lost the Lok Sabha polls in Banswara and elsewhere in the state. People of Rajasthan will tell him whose DNA needs to be tested.”

Roat added, “This is the Education Minister of Rajasthan, who comments on tribals and Hindu religion. Think what kind of education he will give to the children!”

He also reiterated that tribals are not Hindus, as he told Dilawar, “What you are opposing has been proved in various courts.”

Meanwhile, many tribal leaders have launched a campaign on social media against the Education Minister comments with the hashtag ‘Adivasi Hindu Nahin Hai’.

–IANS

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NEET row: High-level committee formed under ex-ISRO chief for smooth conduct of exams

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New Delhi, June 22 (IANS) The Centre on Saturday said that it has formed a high-level committee under the former ISRO Chief which will make the necessary recommendations regarding the smooth and fair conduct of exams through the National Testing Agency (NTA) for NEET and other examinations.

The committee will work under the Chairmanship of K. Radhakrishnan, former Chairman, of ISRO and Chairman of BoG, IIT Kanpur.

“The committee will submit the report in two months and will make necessary recommendations on reform in the mechanism of the examination process, improvement in data security protocols and structure and functioning of NTA,” an official of the Ministry of Education said.

The ministry said that the other members include Dr. Randeep Guleria, Former Director, AIIMS Delhi. Prof. B J Rao, Vice Chancellor, Central University of Hyderabad. Prof. Ramamurthy K, Professor Emeritus, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Madras. Pankaj Bansal, Co-Founder, People Strong and Board Member- Karmayogi Bharat. Prof. Aditya Mittal, Dean Student Affairs, IIT Delhi. Govind Jaiswal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Education.

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The Terms of Reference of the committee include reform in the mechanism of the examination process, to analyse the end-to-end examination process and suggest measures to improve the efficiency of the system and to forestall any possible breach. To conduct a thorough review of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)/Protocols of the NTA, and suggest measures to strengthen these procedures/protocols along with monitoring mechanisms to ensure compliance at every level.

It will also evaluate the existing data security processes and protocols of NTA and recommend measures for its improvement. It will also examine existing security protocols related to paper-setting and other processes for different examinations and make recommendations to enhance the robustness of the system.

For Structure and Functioning of the National Testing Agency the committee will make recommendations on the organisational structure and functioning of the National Testing Agency (NTA) for implementation of recommendations given under points (i) and (ii) and clearly defining the roles and responsibilities of functionaries at every level.

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It will also assess the current Grievance Redressal Mechanism of the NTA, identify areas of improvement and make recommendations for enhancing its efficiency.

The Committee can co-opt any Subject Matter Expert to assist them.

–IANS

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Bridge over Gandak canal collapses in Bihar's Siwan

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Patna, June 22 (IANS) A bridge on the Gandak canal collapsed in Bihar’s Siwan district on Saturday.

The incident occurred just a few days after a bridge collapsed in the state’s Araria district on June 18.

The one-pillar bridge, connecting Pateda and Kanauli villages in the Maharajganj sub-division which was built 45 years ago, collapsed around 5 a.m.

“The bridge was constructed through public contribution. It collapsed due to the negligence of the district administration,” said Mohammad Naim, a villager.

“The state government should make alternate arrangements to connect the affected villages. Around 20,000 people will be affected by it. Shockingly, no one from the district administration came here to inspect the bridge,” he said.

–IANS

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Mizoram to implement three new criminal laws from July 1

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Aizawl, June 22 (IANS) The Mizoram government has taken a series of initiatives including training of Police personnel, church leaders, students and NGO functionaries, to implement the three new major criminal laws from July 1, officials said on Saturday.

A senior Mizoram Home Department official said that the state government has taken various steps to ensure the smooth implementation of the three new criminal laws — Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS), Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS) and Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam (BSA).

The Union Home Ministry has earlier announced that the colonial-era Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), and the Indian Evidence Act would be repealed and replaced by the BNS, the BNSS and the BSA on July 1.

The official said that over 1490 Police personnel from various districts of Mizoram were trained about the new criminal laws.

Besides providing training to 93 per cent of the Police staff and supervisory officers, training had also been conducted for 1965 people comprising church leaders, students and functionaries of various NGOs.

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The state government also constituted five new committees under the Police Headquarters level to deal with legal issues, technology upgradation, training, digital investigation and financial implications.

“These committees studied the various needs and requirements and made suggestions and recommendations based on these studies to ensure successful implementation of the new laws,” the official said.

The training programmes were conducted with the cooperation of the Bureau Police Research and Development (BPR&D), Mizoram Law College, and the Forensic Science Laboratory.

An official statement said that forensic investigation training is also being conducted and is expected to be completed by June 28.

Training for Judicial Officers and Public Prosecutors is to be jointly conducted by the Government of Mizoram and the Gauhati High Court from June 24 to 29, in which the training will be imparted by the Judicial Academy, Assam.

Training had also been conducted for Jail Superintendents and Jailors and Assistant Jailors on June 13-14.

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Officials said that those who have completed training are themselves expected to spread awareness and sensitisation among the general public as well as police personnel, and awareness videos on the quintessence of these new laws have also been prepared both in English and Mizo languages.

An instruction manual for videography and photographs while recording a statement and conducting an investigation on FIR, Zero FIR and e-FIR has been prepared.

Mizoram Police has bought four forensic vans, which have been stationed at Aizawl, Lunglei, Champhai and Kolasib districts.

Mizoram government has approved the implementation of Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS) and the Law and Judicial Department issued the notification on Friday.

–IANS

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Atal Setu ramp repair work in full swing, to be completed tonight: MMRDA

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Mumbai, June 22 (IANS) The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) said on Saturday that the repair work on the approach ramp to the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL), also known as the Atal Setu, is in full swing and will be completed by tonight.

After a detailed inspection by the MMRDA’s operation and maintenance teams, the work started on Friday night despite heavy rain and has continued since then in full swing.

Built at a cost of Rs 17,840 crore, the six-lane bridge is 21.8 km long with a 16.5 km sea link connecting South Mumbai and Navi Mumbai.

In the past couple of days, there was speculation that the Atal Setu had allegedly developed cracks following which Maharashtra Congress President Nana Patole went to the spot for an inspection on Friday.

Meanwhile, the MMRDA has reiterated that “the cracks on the approach road from Ulwe (Navi Mumbai side) are minor and located along the edge of the road”.

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It added that the re-patch work on the cracks — detected at three locations — has been taken up without disrupting the MTHL traffic.

The MMRDA also said that contrary to the rumours, the cracks are not on the MTHL bridge, but on the approach ramp towards Mumbai on the Navi Mumbai end.

“The cracks on Ramp 5 are minor longitudinal cracks in the asphalt pavement and do not indicate any structural defects,” the MMRDA said.

The repair work has been taken up by the Package 4 contractor (Strabag Infrastructure & Safety Solutions GmbH and Strabag AG.

On Friday evening, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said in a post on X: “There is no crack on Atal Setu, nor is there any danger to Atal Setu. This is a picture of the approach road. But one thing is clear – Congress has made a long-term plan to create a ‘rift’ with the help of lies… Only the people of the country will defeat this ‘daraar’ plan and the corrupt behaviour of the Congress…”

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After visiting the bridge on Friday, Patole claimed that barely six months after the Atal Setu was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi (on January 12), cracks have appeared on it and a half-kilometre stretch of the road on the Navi Mumbai side has sunk by around one foot.

He pointed out that the government spent Rs 18,000 crore for the MTHL with loans, and “this is not development but sheer corruption, and the state government is filling its own pockets while playing with the lives of the people”.

–IANS

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