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NEET-UG paper leak row: SC posts hearing on July 18

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NEET-UG paper leak row: SC posts hearing on July 18

New Delhi, July 11 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Thursday fixed July 18 for hearing on a batch of petitions alleging irregularities in the conduct of NEET-UG examination.

Rising early for the day, a Bench presided over by CJI, DY Chandrachud, suggested taking up the issue for hearing on Friday at the top of the list.

The petitioner’s side suggested listing the matter for coming Monday as they were served affidavits filed by the Centre and National Testing Agency (NTA) late on Wednesday night.

However, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, the second-highest law officer of the Centre, expressed personal difficulty to appear on coming Monday and Tuesday.

Ultimately, the Bench, also comprising Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, decided to list the batch of petitions, including pleas seeking cancellation of NEET exam, on July 18 on the joint request of the parties, noting that the CBI has put on record the status report in relation to paper leak allegations.

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In its latest affidavit, the Centre told the top court that the data analysis conducted by IIT-Madras shows that there is neither any indication of mass malpractice nor a localised set of candidates being benefitted, leading to abnormal scores in NEET-UG examination held on May 5 this year.

“There is an overall increase in the marks obtained by students, specifically in the range of 550 to 720. This increase is seen across the cities and centres. This is attributed to 25 per cent reduction in syllabus,” said the Centre, adding that candidates obtaining such high marks were spread across multiple cities and multiple centres, indicating very “less likelihood of malpractice.”

After a comprehensive data analysis using the parameters like marks distribution, city-wise and centre-wise rank distribution and candidates spread over marks-range, experts of IIT-Madras opined “no abnormality”, the affidavit said.

In an earlier hearing held on Monday, a Bench presided over by CJI Chandrachud, to decide if re-test should be ordered in entirety, directed the NTA to make full disclosure before the apex court regarding the nature of paper leak, the places where leaks took place, and lag of time between the occurrence of leak and conduct of examination.

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It also asked the CBI to file a status report indicating the status of investigation and the material collected during the course of the probe.

–IANS

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'No need to panic': K'taka minister to industry leaders after govt withholds job quota bill

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'No need to panic': K'taka minister to industry leaders after govt withholds job quota bill

'No need to panic': K'taka minister to industry leaders after govt withholds job quota bill

Bengaluru, July 18 (IANS) Karnataka’s Minister for Large and Medium Industries M.B. Patil has justified the Congress government’s decision to withhold the introduction of the bill providing reservation of jobs in the private sector for Kannadigas and assured industry leaders that they “need not to panic”.

Patil took to social media platform X on Wednesday and stated that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has taken due cognisance and the bill is “withheld until further consultations and due diligence”.

“The government is committed to further creation of jobs, and furthermore for Kannadigas, however in a more amicable manner,” he said.

Meanwhile, state IT & BT Minister Priyank Kharge slammed Andhra Pradesh HRD Minister Nara Lokesh’s call for NASSCOM members to relocate businesses to Vizag from Bengaluru in the backdrop of the proposed bill.

“Karnataka has always excelled in the most of the sectors due to our consistent relationships and consultative approach with industry leaders, advisory bodies, and consortiums in drafting policies and schemes. As with previous initiatives, this draft bill will include recommendations from our industry partners,” the IT Minister said in a post on X.

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“Our goal is to develop a global workforce using local talent, while also encouraging global investments and creating employment opportunities,” he said.

“By the way, wouldn’t you also like to ensure that every company invested in Andhra Pradesh employs deserving, trained and skilled individuals from Andhra Pradesh?” Priyank Kharge asked Lokesh.

“Dear NASSCOM members, be rest assured, we will not do anything that will not withstand legal scrutiny. This is your government and as always we are just a call away,” he added.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Congress-led Karnataka government the bill is still in the preparation stage. The proposed bill has faced stiff opposition from industry bodies and business tycoons.

“The draft bill intended to provide reservations for Kannadigas in private sector companies, industries, and enterprises is still in the preparation stage,” the Chief Minister wrote on X.

He further said that a comprehensive discussion will be held in the next Cabinet meeting to make a final decision.

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–IANS

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Bengal govt sets up panel to review new criminal laws, Guv questions move

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Bengal govt sets up panel to review new criminal laws, Guv questions move

Bengal govt sets up panel to review new criminal laws, Guv questions move

Kolkata, July 18 (IANS) With the West Bengal government issuing a notification on Wednesday evening regarding the formation of a seven-member committee to review the three new criminal laws, Governor C.V. Ananda Bose immediately raised questions on the objectives of the panel.

“The state government is pleased hereby to constitute a committee for reviewing the said criminal laws, i.e. Bharatiya Nyaya Sanita, 2023 (BNS), the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, 2023 (BNSS) and the Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam, 2023 (BSA),” read the notification released by the state government.

The office of the Governor, within an hour, sought a report from Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on the objectives of the committee.

In the statement, Governor Bose also reminded the Chief Minister that West Bengal cannot be a “banana republic”.

“The West Bengal Governor has called upon Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to furnish an immediate report on the objectives of the committee for the review of the amended CRPC, IPC and Evidence Act. Governor wants specific report on whether the West Bengal government, has responded to the proposal on time when asked for by Govt of India,” the Governor’s office said.

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–IANS

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Assam Rifles chief briefs Manipur Governor about security situation, preparedness

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Assam Rifles chief briefs Manipur Governor about security situation, preparedness

Assam Rifles chief briefs Manipur Governor about security situation, preparedness

Imphal, July 17 (IANS) Assam Rifles Director General Lt. Gen. Pradeep Chandran Nair on Wednesday briefed Manipur Governor Anusuiya Uikey about the prevailing security situation in the state.

A Raj Bhavan official said that Lt Gen Nair, accompanied by the force’s Inspector General, South, Major Gen. Ravroop Singh, informed her about the deployment of Assam Rifles personnel in the state in the wake of the ethnic conflict which has been continuing since May last year.

They also explained in detail about the preparedness of the force to face any eventualities at any point in time in the state, the Raj Bhavan official said.

The Governor often holds meetings with top officials, including Chief Secretary Vineet Joshi, the state government’s Chief Security Advisor Kuldiep Singh, and Director General of Police Rajiv Singh to review the prevailing situation in the state.

The ethnic strife-devastated Manipur still witnesses incidents of violence. A Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawan was killed and three other security personnel got injured when suspected militants ambushed a joint patrol party in Jiribam district earlier this week. The three injured include a CRPF jawan and two Manipur Police personnel.

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Jiribam witnessed a wave of violence after the killing of 59-year-old farmer Soibam Saratkumar Singh on June 6, leading to 900 tribals belonging to the Kuki and Hmar communities taking shelter at the homes of relatives and friends in two villages in Cachar district of southern Assam, while around 1,000 people, mostly belonging to the Meitei community, are now sheltered in seven relief camps in Jiribam.

–IANS

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Haryana CM opens Asia's largest apple market in Pinjore

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Haryana CM opens Asia's largest apple market in Pinjore

Haryana CM opens Asia's largest apple market in Pinjore

Chandigarh, July 17 (IANS) Haryana Chief Minister Nayab Singh Saini on Wednesday inaugurated the first phase of Asia’s largest modern apple, fruit, and vegetable market in Pinjore in Panchkula district.

To boost business in the modern apple, fruit, and vegetable market, he also announced the reduction of market fees from one per cent to 0.5 per cent. Besides, he also announced the expansion of the Haryana Mukhyamantri Kisan Evam Khetihar Mazdoor Jiwan Suraksha Yojana, 2013, increasing the upper age limit from 65 years to 75 years.

The Chief Minister said previously no compensation was provided for accidents caused by lightning strikes on farmers and farm labourers. Now, such accidents will also be covered under this scheme.

He also said under the Atal Kisan Mazdoor Canteen Scheme the government has decided to open 100 canteens in the state to provide subsidised meals at Rs 10 per plate throughout the year to farmers and labourers. So far, 48 canteens have been made operational and other canteens will also be opened soon.

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Regarding the Vivadon Ka Samadhan policy, he announced no compound interest will be charged from all plot holders in the market yard and all outstanding amounts will be calculated at simple interest only. Additionally, no penal interest will be charged if the instalment is paid within 20 days of the due date. He also announced the abolition of HRDF on all fruits and vegetables and extended the Vivadon Ka Samadhan scheme till September 30.

Earlier, the Chief Minister laid the foundation stone for the construction of a new grain market at Sagga village in Karnal district, costing Rs 8.99 crore, and the special repair works of the Babain grain market in Kurukshetra district, costing Rs 6.69 crore, to maintain various basic facilities. He also announced a grant of Rs 5 crore for various development works in the Kalka Assembly constituency.

Saini said the modern apple, fruit, and vegetable market in Pinjore will be the largest modern market in Asia. Spread over 78 acres, the construction of this market will cost Rs 220 crore. The first phase has been constructed over 10 acres at a cost of Rs 14.66 crore. The second phase is in progress and will be completed by December 31.

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He said that the establishment of this market will benefit the fruit and vegetable farmers and traders of Haryana, as well as the apple growers and traders from Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.

–IANS

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3-yr-old undergoes successful liver transplant at Hyderabad’s Osmania Hospital

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3-yr-old undergoes successful liver transplant at Hyderabad’s Osmania Hospital

3-yr-old undergoes successful liver transplant at Hyderabad’s Osmania Hospital

Hyderabad, July 17 (IANS) Doctors at the Osmania General Hospital, the oldest government-run hospital in Hyderabad, have successfully performed a liver transplant on a three-year-old boy.

Modugu Chohan Aditya of Khammam district was suffering from congenital biliary atresia and liver failure.

An advanced liver donor transplant procedure was performed successfully on July 3 by Madhusudan and his team of surgical gastroenterology and liver transplantation at the Osmania General Hospital.

According to a statement issued by the Chief Minister’s Office, the child’s mother Amla donated a part of her liver to her son. Both the mother and child were discharged on July 16.

So far, 30 cases of liver transplant, including 8 paediatric liver transplant cases, have been successfully performed at the Osmania General Hospital.

Established in 1910, Osmania Hospital is the oldest hospital and one of the biggest government-run healthcare facilities in Telangana.

–IANS

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