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Child slavery down in India but child abuse up: Satyarthi
Amiya Kumar Kushwaha, New Delhi, May 21: The number of child workers in India has fallen considerably but incidents of sexual violence against children has gone up, Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi has said.Satyarthi also being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 had greatly helped him in his long-running campaign against child labour and child abuse not just in India but across the world.Speaking to IANS journalists, the 63-year-old said that problems cannot be just left to the government to resolve and that the young will have to use social media to spread awareness about the suffering of bonded children.Satyarthi said the number of child workers in India had fallen from 12.5 million in 2001 to 10 million in 2011 and further to 4.2 million now."I cannot verify the accuracy of this data but I can say there is improvement (in the situation)."But Satyarthi, who heads the NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), pointed out that there was a steep hike in incidents of child abuse and...




In meeting with PM, Ajmal raises citizenship issues of Assam residents
IndiaTomorrow.net, New Delhi, May 13: In a recent meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Member of Parliament from Assam and national president of All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), Maulana Badruddin Ajmal has raised three major issues of citizenship of Assamese Muslims.   "We told him (PM Modi) that names of 48 lakh women have been removed from the voter list. This should not be done. Their names should be reinstated in the NRC (National Register of Citizens). We urged the PM to order an enquiry into it," Ajmal, two-time Lok Sabha MP from Dhubri," told IndiaTomorrow.net outside the Prime Minister's Office.   He was part of a high-level delegation of Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind that met PM Modi here on Tuesday. The delegation discussed various issues including cow vigilantism and measures to establish "closer interaction between the Government and the Muslim Community on issues of larger national interest".   Perfume baron Ajmal, howev...




BJP communalising triple talaq, trying to impose Hindu personal law: IMSD
We have repeatedly and publicly asked for the BJP or anyone from the Sangh Parivar to offer a draft of what a Uniform Civil Code would look like. Which code are they referring to? -- Javed Anand  New Delhi, May 4: A Muslim group on Wednesday accused the BJP government of communalising triple talaq, while terming its proposal of Uniform Civil Code an attempt to impose Hindu personal law."BJP has made a lot of noise (about triple talaq and nikah halala). Without questions, they are communalising and politicising the whole issue," Indian Muslims for Secular Democracy (IMSD) General Secretary Javed Anand told IANS.He said that it was "interesting" that this call for an Uniform Civil Code came from one particular ideological quarter - the Sangh Parivar - but there was no clarity on what it would entail."We have repeatedly and publicly asked for the BJP or anyone from the Sangh Parivar to offer a draft of what a Uniform Civil Code would look like. Which code a...




'RSS government' will never recognise progressive writers: Nayantara Sahgal
The state cannot tell you to do this and that with regard to religion. That was a very precious inheritance where all Indians felt equal and felt safe. Now I am sorry to say that the minorities do not feel safe, in particular the Muslim community is being hounded, persecuted and killed. That is not accepted by any civilised Indian: Sahgal Saket Suman, New Delhi, April 30: A member of the Nehru-Gandhi family and one of India's foremost writers with feminist concerns, Nayantara Sahgal returned her Sahitya Akademi award in 2015 to protest against rising intolerance in the country. Will she ever accept a recognition from the state again? Never!The widely acclaimed author of the novel "Rich Like Us", for which she received the 1986 Sahitya Akademi Award, in fact, laughed off the idea. Dubbing the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance regime as the "RSS government", she said it is not possible for them to recognise progressive writers like her.&...




I have faced a lot of racial abuse in the country: Mizoram Chief Minister
Tridib Baparnash, New Delhi, April 25: Lashing out racial abuse faced by northeastern people in major Indian cities, Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla says he himself was a victim of such slurs in various corners of the country."Racial abuse is the worst thing in this country. I have faced it myself a lot of times. These are foolish people who do not know their own country," the 74-year-old Chief Minister told IANS in an interview ."In a reception some 20-25 years ago, one gentleman said to me 'You don't look like an Indian' to which I replied?: 'Tell me in one sentence what does an Indian look like?' "The five-time Chief Minister said it is not only the common people but politicians at the national level -- cutting across party lines -- who do not have a basic idea of India."Even the national leadership, be it the BJP or the Congress or any other political party, if you do not know your own country, how can you be a leader?""Many of these national...




There is no glory in war: Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt
"Those who see glory in war must go to the soldiers whom they pretend to worship... or even to their families, and ask them what they think of war." Natalia Ningthoujam,  New Delhi, April 15: Mahesh Bhatt has often been slammed for unearthing talent from Pakistan and giving it a platform in Indian filmdom. But the filmmaker, who has worked with artistes like Atif Aslam, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Sara Loren from across the border, believes there is no glory in war. He says problems, including betweern India and Pakistan, should be solved through peaceful means without firing a bullet.Be it a warning by a regional political party in the wake of the Uri attack in India last year or criticism from members of the film fraternity, Bhatt has been targeted for working with artistes from Pakistan despite India's strained bilateral ties with the nation.Talking about such attacks on him, Bhatt told IANS in an interview: "We are on the brink of doom. We nee...




Fee Hike: Private schools working as mafia, say angry parents
Ghazanfar Abbas, IndiaTomorrow.net, New Delhi, April 11: The big fee hike by private schools in different parts of the country including Delhi and Haryana has forced parents to come out on the streets to protest.   "Till last year, we're paying Rs 10,000 as quarterly fee. From this year, they hiked it to Rs 26,000 quarterly," says C K Rathore, one of scores of parents from Haryana protesting against the fee hike near the Parliament House here on Sunday.   Praveen Sharma, also a parent says: "I have two children - son reads in 12th Class and daughter in 7th class. Every year, the school hike fee, annual charges and development charges. My children have been studying there for 15 years, but I haven't seen any development work."   "In summer, they don't properly arrange water for children," she claims.   She reveals nexus between schools and private publishers.   "Private schools have NCERT books in syllabus from class...




Gau Rakshaks wanted to set us ablaze in Alwar: Victim
IndiaTomorrow.net, New Delhi, April 9: The brutal gang of cow vigilantes (Gau Rakshaks) in Alwar had more sinister design than just assaulting the cattle traders who had purchased cows and calves from the government-run cattle fare in Jaipur and were on way to their home in Mewat of Haryana.   One of the victims has said that after brutally assaulting them, the cow vigilantes wanted to set them ablaze but could not succeed as the police arrived on the scene at the right time.   "We had gone there to purchase buffaloes. Buffaloes were costlier than cows there. So we purchased cows to get milk during the coming Ramadan. While we were returning, they stopped our vehicle. They were on bikes. They started beating us. We showed them official purchase documents but they tore and threw them away," recalled Mohammad Rafiq who was with Pahlu Khan who succumbed to the brutal assault.   Five persons including Rafiq and Khan had gone to Jaipur. They are cattle tr...




JNU seat cut: Our future looks bleak, say research aspirants
Ghazanfar Abbas, IndiaTomorrow.net,  New Delhi, April 8: A large number of students pursuing their masters from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) are uncertain about their future after massive seats cut in MPhil/PhD programs. Acting on the University Grants Commission (UGC) notification 2016 for admission in MPhil/PhD programs at central universities, JNU has offered either no seat or very few seats in its various centers for 2017-18 session.   IndiaTomorrow.net talked to many students of JNU who are concerned about their career as there are no seats in the research programs they had aspired to take admission in this year.   "My center had 60 seats for research, this year it has zero seat. I came here with a dream to do research at India's top university but due to the sudden seat cut, I have no idea what to do," said Ramesh Kumar, pursuing masters in Hindi.  Shahadat, an MA (Arabic) student also showed his hopelessness as there is no seat for MPhi...




UGC regulations will curtail autonomy, social diversity at universities: Academicians
Ghazanfar Abbas, IndiaTomorrow.net,  New Delhi, March 27: The University Grants Commission (UGC) notification regulating admission procedure for research programs (M.Phil./Ph.D.) at central universities is not just curtailing the autonomy of these educational institutions but will also affect the present social diversity there, say eminent academicians in exclusive interviews to IndiaTomorrow.net.   “In every state and part of the country, universities have their own acts. They have to work according to those acts. So any suggestion that this 100 per cent viva voce norm is followed at all universities is incorrect. To say that they have to respect the UGC guidelines means inflexibility…that is straightforward violation of autonomy,” said Prof. Ayesha Kidwai, Centre for Linguistics, School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University.   She also criticized the cut in the number of seats for research programs. “The...




UGC regulations may finish JNU as premier research university: JNUTA
Acting on the UGC notification, JNU has cut about 86% seats in M.Phil./Ph.D. programs for the academic session 2017-18. It is said that the Academic Council of JNU had approved an intake of 1406 students for M.Phil/Ph.d for the coming academic year, but the JNU administration has brought it down to 194 seats. Ghazanfar Abbas, IndiaTomorrow.net, New Delhi, March 23: In the wake of the massive cut in seats for M.Phil. and Ph.D. aspirants at country's premier Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), the teachers' body of JNU has strongly criticized the University Grants Commission for its controversial May 2016 notification regulating admissions in M.Phil. and PhD. courses at central universities in the country.   Acting on the UGC notification, JNU has cut about 86% seats in M.Phil./Ph.D. programs for the academic session 2017-18. It is said that the Academic Council of JNU had approved an intake of 1406 students for M.Phil/Ph.d for the coming academic year, but the JNU admini...




Want Development, Inclusion from CM Yogi, say people from across UP
IndiaTomorrow.net, Lucknow, March 20: Soon after Adityanath Yogi was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh here on Sunday, IndiaTomorrow.net talked to common people in different parts of India's most populous state to know their expectations from the new government particularly when it will be headed by a man whose politics has so far been based on Muslim bashing.   Though Yogi himself has rarely talked about development in his recent election campaign, people said he, as Chief Minister of the state, will have to work for development.   The second thing that most of the people said has also been a stranger in Yogi's political dictionary. Inclusion. Yes, people said Yogi will have to take all sections of the society along.   Allahabad He will have to work for development of the state. All politics is in the name of development. Otherwise, Akhilesh Yadav or Mayawati would not have lost elections.   Agra There is little infrastructure development i...




Ironic that BJP promises to make UP free of crime after fielding maximum number of tainted candidates: Azad
Saiyed Danish for IndiaTomorrow.net, Lucknow, March 03: ‘Who does more ‘gundagardi’ (hooliganism) than BJP? I’m sure they have no answer to that. It is ironic that a party which has fielded maximum number of tainted candidates claims to make UP free of crime,” said Ghulam Nabi Azad, senior Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, in an exclusive interview with IndiaTomorrow.net.Excerpts from the interview: Q. What is the reason behind the alliance with Samajwadi Party?   A. It is not only SP. I think, everybody must accept the fact that for the first time, there are four players in the UP elections. For almost three decades, there were only two players: SP and BSP. BJP was just a new entrant and the Congress party had lost that glory. The scenario changed since 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The BJP secured 73 seats out of 80 parliamentary seats in the state and based on this result they believe that they can grab power in Uttar Prades...




There should be no space for violence at university: Yogendra Yadav
Ghazanfar Abbas, IndiaTomorrow.net,New Delhi, Mar 01: Swaraj India president Yogendra Yadav has accused BJP of using university as a battlefield. He was commenting in reference to the Ramjas College incident where some members of ABVP, students group linked to BJP, have been accused of beating students, teachers and mediapersons over a seminar. Talking to IndiaTomorrow.net after the massive protest demonstration against ABVP at Delhi University on Tuesday, Yadav said: “University is the place where thoughts are tested. University is the place where a viewpoint is countered by another viewpoint, logic by logic and proverb by proverb. There is no space in university for violence.” He said the Ramjas College incident has harmed the dignity of the education institution. “What has happened at Delhi University for the last one week is an attempt to violate the minimum dignity of the university. It is an attempt to bring goondagardi (hooliganism) in university...




I have aged but not my perspective or writing: Keki N. Daruwalla
Saket Suman, New Delhi, Feb 27: He is one of India's foremost poets and short story writers, a Padma Shri recipient and was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1984, which he returned in 2015. Even at the age of 80, the writer is all about smiles, saying that age has had no impact on his perspective or writing."I do not think growing old has had any lasting impact. I like to write about contemporary things and things that matter. I have aged but not my perspective or my writing. I am now 80 years old and I am just grateful that I can still come up with things, which are not only well liked and read but also equally relevant," Keki N. Daruwalla told IANS in an interview.And why not, if you look at his just-released book "Daniel Comes to Judgement" (Niyogi Books/Rs 395/214 pp). Vignettes from the vast repository of a wordsmith who can straddle myth and reality with ease, the 20 short stories breathe life into metaphors, coalesce fact with fancy and still sound fascin...




ABVP has problem with idea of free debate, not me, says Umar Khalid
Ghazanfar Abbas, IndiaTomorrow.net,New Delhi, Feb 25: Umar Khalid, whose name in the list of speakers for a seminar at Ramjas College was said to be the main reason behind the violence, has questioned as to why Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) vandalised the seminar and beat up students and teachers even when the invitation to him was already cancelled and he wasn’t at the venue. JNU research scholar Khalid further said that he was not the ‘problem’ but the seminar i.e. platform of debate and discussion which, he said, ABVP has always opposed. “I did not go to Ramjas College on that day (21 Feb – first day of the seminar) as the Delhi Police had refused to provide me protection. Effectively I had to cancel my visit thinking that my presence could jeopardize the situation and put people at risk,” said Khalid. Though he wasn’t at the seminar, a group of ABVP members came up, vandalized the place and beat up students and some teacher...




Those who create quarrels among people will not get success: Rajmohan Gandhi
Ghazanfar Abbas, IndiaTomorrow.net,New Delhi, Feb 21: Two days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s controversial Qabristan-Shamshan remarks triggering a debate over the decline in language of politicians during election campaigns, Mahatma Gandhi's grandson Rajmohan Gandhi has said that those who try to create quarrels among people will not get success.  Without naming anyone Rajmohan Gandhi said: “Our society is very intelligent. If they try to create quarrels between the people, they will not get success.”   He said this while replying to a question over PM Modi’s controversial remarks during an election campaign rally in Fatehpur district of Uttar Pradesh. Modi on Sunday alleged that Samajwadi Party (SP) is discriminating with public on the lines of religion and castes. “Gaon mein agar kabristan banta hai to shamshan bhi banna chahiye(If you create graveyard in a village, then a cremation ground should also be created there). Ramzan me bi...




I am no 'Sanghi', there will be no seat cut: JNU Vice-Chancellor
Vishal Narayan, New Delhi, Feb 18: There will be no seat cuts in M.Phil and Ph.D courses and there is no reason for anyone to be agitating for the revocation of the UGC Gazette order of May 2016, says JNU Vice-Chancellor M. Jagadesh Kumar.A full year since becoming the Vice-Chancellor (VC) of unarguably the most politically-charged university in the country, Kumar finds himself in the eye of a student-politico storm, during which he has been accused of cutting the admission seats and been called a "Sanghi" - a follower of the right wing Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) ideology -- by the agitating students."There has been a rumour that there will be massive seat cut for the M.Phil and Ph.D. candidates, which is not the case. There will not be a seat cut at all," Kumar told IANS in an interview.The University Grants Commission (UGC) notification adopted by the university entails an upper cap on the number of students a faculty member can guide. But as Kumar observed...




Quality education has never been a priority of political parties, say youths in Bareilly
Ghazanfar Abbas, IndiaTomorrow.net, Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, Feb 13: Good education and better job are the two major concerns for youths anywhere - and also in Bareilly district of Uttar Pradesh. Youths say all governments have just promised good education but did little.   "There has been very little improvement on the front of education here. Every government promises to improve standard of education but that promise is not implemented on the ground. Quality of education is deteriorating day by day. Government must look into. Society should also do its responsivity," says Laxmi Narayan Singh, a student at Bareilly College, while talking to IndiaTomorrow.net.   Upendar Singh, another student standing inside the campus of Bareilly College, says: "Our education system is poor from the base level. If the base level is improved then we will see improvement up to higher level. There is a need to develop government schools where no one wants to send their child...




SP-Congress alliance may form government in UP: Voters
Ghazanfar Abbas, IndiaTomorrow.net,Looking at the recent pre-poll alliance between Samajwadi Party (SP) and Congress (INC) as a strong coalition, a large number of voters draw that the SP-Congress alliance may form government in Uttar Pradesh after winning majority of seats in the upcoming assembly elections. Many consider the alliance will be equally beneficial for both the parties, some say it will benefit Congress more than Samajwadi Party.IndiaTomorrow.net talked to some voters from different walks of life to know their view about the SP-Congress alliance. “SP-Cong alliance will impact the UP Polls, but it will benefit Congress more than SP,” says Rajinder Singh, a businessman from Noida.Hari Om, a street vendor from Badaun, said, “I think this alliance may help them (SP and Cong) form govt.”“This will impact BJP as all these parties are against BJP like we saw in Bihar elections. I think youths will mostly go for SP,” Vishnu Tripathi, an enginee...




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