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Hopeful of saving reservation for SC/ST: Prakash Javadekar

Press Trust of India

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NEW DELHI: The government has put on hold recruitment for teaching positions in universities and colleges pending a decision on the special leave petition it has filed against a court order curtailing reservation for SC/ST and OBCs, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said today.

He said the government is committed to 50 per cent reservation to SC/ST and OBCs and it “does not agree” with the Allahabad High Court ruling that had in last April struck down a circular prescribing institution-wise reservation to fill vacant faculty positions.

“We are hopeful we will be able to save reservation for SC, ST and OBCs,” he said replying to zero hour mention by opposition members in the Rajya Sabha.

 

“Reservation is a Constitutional right… we stand by reservation and are committed to provide it to SC/ST and OBCs,” he said adding the Union Government and University Grants Commission (UGC) have filed separate SLPs against the order and the next date of hearing is on August 13.

He said the Allahabad High Court order was later upheld by the Supreme Court, forcing UGC to issue the March 5 circular laying down a new mechanism for implementing faculty reservations, which is calculating total posts department or subject-wise rather than institution-wise.

This meant calculating reservation in teaching posts by department, instead of basing the quota as on the number of posts available at university.

Previously, SC, ST and OBC faculty positions were calculated by treating the entire university as a unit. It grouped all posts of a grade, such as assistant profession, in all departments of a university to calculate quota. Under the new formula, where every department will be considered one separate unit, there will be a lower chance of positions being set aside for quota as there may be fewer openings.

Javadekar said his ministry had yesterday ordered a stop on filling of vacancies at universities/colleges pending decision on SLP.

“No harm will be done to reservations (to SC, ST and OBCs),” he said.

Earlier, raising the issue through a zero hour mention, Ram Gopal Yadav (SP) said the UGC had on March 5 issued a new 13-point reservation roster for SC/ST and OBC category that provided for preparing reservation list keeping department/ subject as a unit instead of the university/college.

He said as per the Constitution, 15 per cent, 7.5 per cent and 27 per cent reservation is provided for SC/ST and OBC respectively.

Till now, the UGC had specifically prohibited the practice of making department-wise cadres as that would lead to denial of reservation in small departments.

He demanded that the UGC order be declared “null and void”, a demand that was supported by Leader of the Opposition and Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad who said the roster would curtail reservation to SC, ST and OBC.

Azad said while the Constitution provided for reservation to SC and ST, the Congress-government had in 1993 provided the same to other backward classes (OBCs).

 


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National

Time and again exit polls have failed to catch people’s pulse: Naidu

Agencies

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Amaravati: With most of the exit polls predicting a rout for his party in Andhra Pradesh, Telugu Desam party president N Chandrababu Naidu said that time and again such polls failed.

“Time and again exit polls have failed to catch the people’s pulse. Exit polls have proved to be incorrect and far from ground reality in many instances. While undoubtedly TDP govt will be formed in AP, we are confident that non-BJP parties will form a non-BJP govt at the center (sic),” Naidu said in a late night tweet.

Barring one or two, almost all exit polls predicted a thumping victory for the main opposition YSR Congress in the state elections. They also said the YSRC would win close to 20 of the 25 Lok Sabha seats in the state.

 

Though not dismal, the polls gave good numbers to the TDP as well. In another tweet, he said, “We reiterate our demand to the ECI to count VVPATs in at least 50 per cent of polling stations. VVPATs should be counted in 5 polling stations in each Assembly Constituency at the beginning of counting process. In case of discrepancy, all VVPATs of Assembly Constituency shall be counted. (sic)”

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National

‘What has he achieved by sitting inside the cave?’ LJD on PM’s Kedarnath visit

Agencies

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New Delhi: Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) leader Sharad Yadav took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for visiting and meditating at Kedarnath temple and allowing media to cover it on a large scale even as the last phase of seven-phased Lok Sabha election was underway.

He asked if the Prime Minister wants to convert the Lok Sabha into a ‘Kirtan Sabha’.

“The Prime Minister of the biggest democracy in the world is sitting inside the cave. What has he achieved by sitting inside the cave? Did any invention take place? Does he want to convert the Lok Sabha into a Kirtan Sabha?” Yadav said while speaking to ANI.

 

Prime Minister Modi on Saturday offered prayers at the Himalayan shrine of Kedarnath, a day after campaigning for the Lok Sabha polls came to a close.

After spending over 15-hours meditating inside a holy cave of Kedarnath, he visited Badrinath, another temple in Uttarakhand’s revered ‘Char Dham’ on Sunday.

Several opposition leaders have been targeting Modi for his visit to Kedarnath and Badrinath temples stating that his action was a clear violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) and it influences voters through a public display of his personal religious activities.

Echoing similar sentiments, the LJD leader said: “I do not understand what people get from such caves? Did people bring him to the Centre to perform religious activities? This is all drama to gain publicity for which the Prime Minister has even violated poll conduct.”

Yadav, on being asked about his view on the exit polls which are giving a clear majority to BJP-led NDA at the Centre, said: “Exit polls have no value. This is unfortunate for the country that we copy everything from the United States and Europe. Exit poll cannot be held in this country. I personally never believe in the exit polls as they have no accurate figures.”

ABP-Nielsen poll projected 267 for the NDA, 127 for the UPA and 148 for ‘Others’. Of the ‘Others’, the grand alliance in Uttar Pradesh is getting an estimated 50 seats.

Voting was held on Sunday for 59 Lok Sabha seats — 13 each in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, nine in West Bengal, eight each in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, all four in Himachal Pradesh, three in Jharkhand and the lone seat of Union Territory Chandigarh.

As per the EC, a voter turnout of 62 percent was registered till 7 pm in the seventh phase. Counting of votes is scheduled on May 23.

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National

Exit polls are shown by media but BJP will be thrown out of power: Babbar

Agencies

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Agra: Congress leader Raj Babbar claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP government will remain at the Centre only till 6 am on May 23 and they will be thrown out of power by 6 pm.

“Exit polls are being shown by the media. But what is in the people’s heart will be reflected in the results on May 23. People will surely tell their ‘Mann Ki Baat’ to PM Modi. This time, it has been ensured that Prime Minister Modi and BJP government will be in power till 6 am on May 23 and after 6 pm they will not be in power,” Raj Babbar said while speaking to ANI here.

The Congress leader, who is contesting from Agra, took a dig at Prime Minister Modi’s Kedarnath visit and the traditional Garwali outfit which he sported while offering prayers at the temple. “I wore several traditional outfits in my acting career and even went to sacred pilgrimage. I believe one should not comment on an individual’s religious sentiments but this was too much,” he said.

 

Several opposition leaders, including Congress president Rahul Gandhi, have been targeting Modi for his visit to Kedarnath and Badrinath temples stating that his action was a clear violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) and it influences voters through a public display of his personal religious activities.

Prime Minister Modi on Saturday offered prayers at the Himalayan shrine of Kedarnath, a day after campaigning for the Lok Sabha polls came to a close.

After spending over 15-hours meditating inside a holy cave of Kedarnath, he visited Badrinath, another temple in Uttarakhand’s revered ‘Char Dham’ on Sunday.

The exit polls are giving a clear majority to BJP-led NDA at the Centre. ABP-Nielsen poll projected 267 for the NDA, 127 for the UPA and 148 for ‘Others’ while CNN News 18-IPSOS exit poll gave the BJP and its allies the highest number of 336 seats with the saffron party on its own getting 276 seats, four more than it had won in the 2014 elections.

Voting was held on Sunday for 59 Lok Sabha seats — 13 each in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, nine in West Bengal, eight each in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, all four in Himachal Pradesh, three in Jharkhand and the lone seat of Union Territory Chandigarh.

As per the EC, a voter turnout of 62 per cent was registered till 7 pm in the seventh phase. Counting of votes is scheduled on May 23.

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