Top 10 News Today: Rahul Gandhi, Smriti Irani spat, Uttarakhand floods scam, Delhi University admissions, more
Rahul Gandhi and HRD Minister Smriti Irani were locked in a spat after protests by NSUI workers outside her official residence over derecognition of a student group by IIT Madras. While Rahul said the derecognition was aimed at “crushing dissent”, Irani accused him of fighting his battles hiding behind NSUI. “IIT student group banned for criticising the Modi Government. What next? Free speech is our right. We will fight any attempt to crush dissent and debate,” Rahul said on the twitter account of his office. Replying to him in a series of tweets, Irani said, “next time fight ur (your) battles ur (your)self, don’t hide behind NSUI. N (And) by d (the) way I’m returning to Amethi soon. See you there.” Challenging Rahul, she said, “give me a time n (and) place n (and) I’m ready to debate everything re (regarding) governance including education.” She also said, “yesterday u (you) told NSUI to create disorder where there is order. Today ur (your) goons come to my house as I’m away at work.” The political slugfest erupted after the IIT Madras was at the centre of controversy over derecognition of a students group, many of whom are Dalits, following a complaint that it was critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Irani backed IIT’s action.
5. Smriti Irani, Rahul Gandhi row: "They (the group) are using IIT Madras as a stage as a publicity."
<b>Uttarakhand floods scam: </b>When lakhs of people in flood-ravaged Uttarakhand went hungry during the 2013 disaster, officials of the state government savoured mutton chops, chicken, milk and cottage cheese in the course of their Rs 7000 per day hotel stay supervising relief efforts. From claiming Rs 194 for half a litre of milk to supplying diesel to two-wheelers, claiming more than Rs 7,000 per day for hotel stay, paying relief twice to same people, purchasing 1,800 rain coats from same shop for three days to making payment of Rs 98 lakh towards fuel purchase to a helicopter company, a string of financial bunglings have come to light through responses to RTI queries. Taking cognizance of these alleged irregularities when Uttarakhand was reeling under one of the worst natural disasters, state Information Commissioner Anil Sharma has suggested a CBI probe. (File Photo: PTI) (29/05/2015)
<b>Delhi University offline application begins, over 20,000 forms sold on Day 1 : </b>Over 20,000 forms were sold on the first day of the offline application process for admission to Delhi University's undergraduate courses that began today. "A total of 21,813 forms were sold on day one of the offline application process. Maximum forms were sold at SGTB Khalsa college which is the only registration centre in North Campus," Delhi University's spokesperson and Joint Dean of Students' welfare Malay Neerav said. With the varsity deciding to start the online registration process eight days prior to the traditional offline admission process this year, the admission seeker's interest in the paper form filling has decreased. "Last year, the number of forms sold on day 1 was 32,460 and 18 registration centres were set up," Neerav said. Since the start of online registrations process from May 28, the varsity has received 2.3 lakh applications. (PTI) (05/06/2015)
<b>Question on beef stumps Rajnath Singh: </b>Home Minister Rajnath Singh today used cricket parlance to define his ministry's work but was stumped by a question about his views on ministerial colleague Mukhtar Abas Naqvi's suggestion that beef eaters should go to Pakistan. "The score as of now is one strong year with no loss of wicket," Singh said in his opening remarks at a press conference called to highlight achievements of the NDA government's over the last year. When the 63-year-old UP veteran, with his junior in the ministry Kiren Rijiju by his side, began to take questions, a journalist sought to 'stump' Singh by asking a question in the cricket jargon. "Mr Home Minister, you spoke about a year without loss but what about the 'hit-wicket' that your cabinet ministers often end up doing by making statements like those eating beef should go to Pakistan?" the reporter asked. He also wondered whether Rijuju, who was reported to have said he ate beef, should be sent to Pakistan. Unable to suppress a smile, Singh just said,"All those who are in India will stay in India." (PTI) (29/05/2015)
<b>Radioactive leak at IGIA cargo terminal; ops suspended : </b>A leak of radioactive substance from a consignment unloaded from a Turkish Airlines plane was detected at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here today, forcing suspension of cargo operations. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the leak has been "plugged" and a team from the atomic energy department is on the spot. According to Customs officials, cargo operations have been suspended till safety clearance is given by the concerned agencies. "Entire area has been cordoned off. Staff have been evacuated. All cargo operations have been suspended till concerned agencies give safety clearance," Chief Commissioner of Delhi Customs B K Bansal said. The matter came to light when a pair of loaders felt irritation while handling containers that arrived on board a Turkish Airlines craft at 4:35 AM. Leakage was observed from four of the 10 containers of 13 kg each that were imported from Turkey. (File photo: PTI) (29/05/2015)
<b>Heat wave toll goes up to 2,005 : </b>The nationwide death toll today rose to 2005 as the intense heat wave continued to sweep many parts of the country, with Palamau in Jharkhand recording the highest temperature of 47 degrees celsius. Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, which bore the brunt of the scorching sun, together accounted for 1979 deaths. The two states saw the death of 205 people since yesterday — 156 in Andhra Pradesh and 49 in Telangana. In Odisha, the Special Relief Commissioner's Office received reports of 108 deaths allegedly due to sun stroke but it confirmed only 17 deaths related to heat and said 70 other cases are under investigation. Gujarat has reported 7 deaths and Delhi two deaths due to heat. Heat wave conditions also continued in many other states, including Delhi, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. (PTI) (29/05/2015)
<b>JKLF launches 'jail bharo' agitation; Yasin Malik detained: </b>Alleging lack of space for "political" activities, separatist JKLF today launched a 10-day 'jail bharo' agitation, with its chairman Yasin Malik and some other supporters being taken into custody here. Malik and his 10 associates were taken into preventive custody after they took out a march from Maisuma area near Lal Chowk and courted arrest, police said. "The government is not giving us any space (for political activities). But we will not sit silent and will fight against the curbs," Malik told reporters while targeting the PDP-led dispensation of Jammu and Kashmir. (PTI) (29/05/2015)
<b>Dharmendra to undergo surgery: Hema Malini : </b>Veteran actress Hema Malini has said that her husband, actor Dharmendra, who was hospitalised following weakness and shoulder pain, will undergo a surgery. The 79-year-old actor was admitted to a hospital here on May 27. "Just an update on Dharamji. He got admitted to Breach Candy to check his blood count as he felt tired all the time and to check his shoulder pain," Malini posted on twitter today. The actress and BJP politician revealed Dharmendra is currently under observation and asked fans to pray for his speedy recovery. "His haemoglobin count was a bit low so he was anaemic. Under observation now and he may have a shoulder surgery a little later. Pray he is ok fast," Malini added. (File Photo: PTI) (29/05/2015)
<b>Complete change of higher education system needed: Former President A P J Abdul Kalam : </b>AFormer President A P J Abdul Kalam today advocated a "complete" change of the higher education framework in the country and stressed on skill development to come up with a workforce to meet future challenges. Kalam suggested that students in schools and colleges be handed over "skill certificates" apart from the conventional degrees. "In decades time, India will need 300 to 500 million employable skilled youth and there is a need to completely change the university education syllabus and secondary school education syllabus. "Two certificates should be given to students. In schools, one skill certificate and one education certificate and in college, degree and diploma on the expertise acquired. In schools from class 9 to 12, 25 per cent of the time has to be alloted for skill development programme," he said. (PTI) (29/05/2015)
<b>Govt slammed for dropping saint's name from Swachhata Abhiyan : </b>Taking a swipe at the BJP-led government in Maharashtra for appointing Bollywood actor Aamir Khan as the face of its Swachhata Abhiyan, NCP today said dropping the name of Sant Gadge Baba from the programme was an insult to his ideology. NCP state president Sunil Tatkare said former minister late R R Patil had initiated the cleanliness campaign named after Sant Gadge Baba. "The Sant Gadge Baba Gram Swachhata Abhiyan was then adopted at the national level and then internationally," he said. "But the new government has removed Sant Gadge Baba from the name and made Aamir Khan as the brand ambassador. This shows how low governance has stooped," he said. (PTI) (29/05/2015)