Srinagar, Apr 13: The J&K High Court has put on hold the counselling for admissions to the post-graduate courses in medical colleges in the state.
Hearing an appeal from the open merit candidates against an order passed in favour of the reserved-category candidates, a division bench of Justices Muhammad Yaqoob Mir and Ali Muhammad Magrey on Thursday directed the Jammu and Kashmir Board of Professional Entrance Examination (BOPEE) to halt the counselling till further directions.
Representative of the open merit candidates, Dr Sheena Shah told The Kashmir Monitor that the reserved-category candidates had objected to the BOPEE implementing an amended rule pertaining to J&K Reservation Act 2004.
“The un-amended rule was more advantageous to the category candidates. For instance, if a category candidate was ranked 100, which is good in the state, he or she was automatically moved to the open merit pool and offered a seat there,” she said.
“If that candidate was offered a seat in, let’s say, MD medicine and he wanted to opt for some other stream, the seat should have ideally gone to the next in the rank—the candidate at 101. But what used to happen was that this candidate (the one at rank 100) would block his seat (MD Medicine) for the next category candidate, even if that next (reserved category) candidate figured at, say, 700th position.”
This way, she said, the reserved-category candidates used to grab “the cream of disciplines”.
The government on January 30 amended Rules 15 (Distribution of seats) and 17 (Allotment of Disciplines) of the Act.
Accordingly, the distribution of seats between open merit and reserved categories was changed from 65:35 to 75:25.
In case of the allotment of seats, as per the amended rule, the disciplines would become available (to the category students) “after allotment of seat to the last open merit candidate as allocable under rules”.
However, the reserved category candidates filed a writ petition against the amended rule, demanding that it should not be applied onto the current admission process.
On March 26, Justice Tashi Rabstan of J&K High Court, Jammu, directed the BOPEE to conduct counselling of all the candidates who competed in the process of National Eligibility Entrance Test PG 2018 in accordance with un-amended Rule 17.
The reserved category candidates, represented by counsels Advocate Sunil Sethi and Advocate Veenu Gupta, had argued that since the process for NEET exams started in 2017, the amended rules should not have been applied to their batch.
Dr Shah, however, said that NEET test has nothing to do with counselling and allotment of seats as its only objective is to decide the eligibility.
“Besides, January 30 amendment of rules came almost a month before BOPEE started registration for the counselling on February 28,” she said.
“Category of seats is fine but you cannot have category for the disciplines and a candidate blocking the seat for another reserved category candidate,” she said.
Advocate Zaffar Shah, the counsel for the open merit candidates, told The Kashmir Monitor that under the un-amended rule merit was compromised.
“Candidates with lower merits would get better disciplines. The change that the government has brought is in the larger public interest as the disciplines will be distributed only and only as per the merit,” he said.
Azad on Jharkhand lynching: Keep new India with you, give us old India
New Delhi, Jun 24: Coming down heavily on the government over recent incidents of lynching and crime in Jharkhand, leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad on Monday said the state has become a factory of lynching and violence, “requesting” Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “give us our Old India where there was love, culture.”
“Dalits and Muslims are killed there every week. The PM, we are with you in the fight of ‘Sabka saath sabka vikas’, but it should be there for people to see it. We can’t see it anywhere,” Azad said in Rajya Sabha.
“I request you to keep the New India to yourself and give us our Old India where there was love, culture. Hindus used to feel the pain when Muslims and Dalits used to get hurt. When something used to get into the eyes of Hindus, Muslims and Dalits used to shed tears for them,” he added.
“In Old India, there was no hatred, anger or lynching. New India is one where humans are enemies of each other. You won’t be scared of animals in a jungle, but you’ll be scared of humans in a colony. Give us India where Hindus, Muslims,Sikhs and Christians live for each other,” he said.
In yet another lynching incident, a Muslim man was beaten up mercilessly for over 18 hours on the suspicion of theft in Jharkhand’s Kharsawan district on Saturday. The 24-year-old victim, identified as Tabrez Ansari, was attacked by a mob on June 18 and was later handed over to the police. He had been in the judicial custody since June 18 and was taken to a hospital on June 22 after his condition deteriorated. On the same day, Ansari succumbed to his injuries at the hospital.
Several videos of the incident emerged on social media show a man hitting Tabrez brutally with a wooden stick while forcing him to chant “Jai Shri Ram” and “Jai Hanuman”. The videos of the Jharkhand mob lynching case have gone viral on social networking sites ever since the incident came to the light.
GoI approves amendments to give more teeth to NIA
New Delhi, Jun 24: The Union Cabinet is learnt to have approved a proposal to amend two laws to give more teeth to the NIA in probing ‘terror’ cases in India and abroad, sources said Monday.
Separate bills will be introduced in Parliament in the coming days to amend the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, they said.
The amendments will also allow the NIA probe cybercrimes and cases of human trafficking, sources aware of the proposal said.
Amendment to Schedule 4 of the UAPA will allow the NIA to designate an individual suspected to have ‘terror links as a terrorist’. As of now, only organisations are designated as ‘terrorist organisations’.
The NIA was set up in 2009 in the wake of the Mumbai attack that had claimed 166 lives.
Since 2017, the Union Home Ministry has been considering the two laws to give more power to the NIA to meet fresh challenges, the sources pointed out.
Another proposal to introduce a bill to extend the facility of proxy voting to overseas Indians could not be taken up Monday.
A similar bill had lapsed following the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha last month.
“The agenda of the Law Ministry stands postponed,” a functionary said.
As of now, overseas Indians are free to cast their votes in constituencies they are registered.
The Bill seeks to give them the option of proxy voting, which is as of now available to service personnel only.
Another proposal to amend the Representation of the People Act related to the spouses of service voters could not be taken up on Monday.
As of now, an armyman’s wife is entitled to be enrolled as a service voter, but a woman army officer’s husband is not, according to the provisions in the electoral law.
The bill proposes to replace the term ‘wife’ with ‘spouse’, thus making the provision gender-neutral. Members of the armed forces, central armed police forces, personnel of state police forces posted outside their state and employees of the Centre posted outside India are eligible to be enrolled as service voters.
Youths click selfies, walk alongside Leopard in Kishtwar
Srinagar, Jun 24: Pointing towards the increasing man-animal conflict is J&K, a video that went viral on Monday shows a few youth carelessly walking right alongside a leopard on a tarred road while clicking photos and videos in some mountainous region.
The incident reportedly took place in Chingam area of Kishtwar district. The video shows at least three youth audaciously ambling near the leopard that, surprisingly, isn’t aggressive.
The incident comes to the fore days after days after two leopards were spotted in residential areas of Budgam and Srinagar.
Deputy conservator of forests, wild life division, Kashmir, Rouf Zargar had told The Kashmir Monitor that one female leopard and an adult cub were spotted at Ompora, Budgam.
“They were spotted in the adjacent villages of Budgam and Airport. We are doing our best to trace them. Till the time we catch those, people should refrain from moving out during nights and in the wee hours,” he said.
There has been a spike in man-animal conflict in the last few years with several incidents of attacks by bears and leopards taking place in multiple areas of the valley.
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