*Date:04/07/2008* *URL: http://www.thehindu.com/2008/07/04/stories/2008070461690100.htm* Front Page http://www.thehindu.com/2008/07/04/01hdline.htm 21 PU colleges face action * Sudipto Mondal *Reservation norms violated, donation collected: report * Deputy Commissioner formed the committee following complaints from civil rights groups PU Board official says some of these 21 colleges might lose accreditation MANGALORE: Of the 69 accredited private and aided pre-university (PU) colleges in Mangalore taluk, 21 have been found violating admission norms prescribed by the PU Board. This is the conclusion of a 13-member committee constituted by Deputy Commissioner M. Maheshwar Rao to look into the issue. Deputy Director of PU Education R. Basavarajappa told *The Hindu* that action would be taken against the colleges and some might even lose accreditation. He said the report was received by him from the office of the Deputy Commissioner and it would be forwarded to the PU Board in Bangalore for further action. The committee, which was formed after a few civil rights organisations exposed gross violations by the colleges in the city, first short-listed 28 colleges for its survey. Of these, only seven were found to be adhering to the rules. Expert PU College in Kalakunj Road, St. Aloysius PU College on Lighthouse Hill Road and St. Agnes PU College at Bendoor were the worst offenders, according to the report, a copy of which is available with *The Hindu*. In the case of Expert College, the report says: The prescribed norms and procedures for admission have been flouted, not adhered to and violated to the fullest extent possible. About St. Aloysius PU College, it says: Total admission is not transparent and must be looked into very seriously. St. Agnes PU College has been found violating reservation norms, charging extra fees and forcing students to buy its prospectus. Expert PU College has been found charging extra fees and collecting donation from students. The college has conducted its own entrance test for the applicants, which was a grave violation. The college has made it mandatory for its students to enrol for coaching classes. The college has not followed the calendar of events prescribed by the PU Board and has failed to provide internal reservation, the report says. According to the report, St. Aloysius PU College has been running 25 sections while there was permission only for 23 sections. It has illegally admitted students directly from its high school. The college has withheld the name and marks secured by the applicants in the merit list put up on its notice board. It has flouted internal reservation and other reservation norms for socially and educationally backward sections. One of the committee members says he spoke to several parents of the students studying in the college and they told him that they had to pay donation. St. Agnes PU College has admitted students belonging to socially backward sections in the general merit category. Parents of students have been made to pay large sums as donations, the report says. Narendra Nayak, head of Expert PU College, said: Ours is a new college and even colleges that are 100 years old find it tough to follow the rules. We might have committed some minor mistakes and they will surely not be repeated in the future. The principal of St. Agnes College (Sister) Linette denied the findings. We have followed all the procedures, she said. The other 18 colleges have been found guilty of not adhering to the calendar of events. The calendar of events stipulates all the important dates in the admission process starting with the publication of the list of available seats to the date of reopening. The other 18 colleges are: Srinivasa College, Pandeshwar; Govindas College, Surathkal; Bharat College, Ullal; Ashrat college, Ullal; P.A. College, Nadapadavu; Narayanaguru College, Kudroli; Kapitania College, Nagori; Paduva College, Nanthoor; Kittal College, Gorigudda; B.E.M. College, Rathabeedhi; Milagres College, Hampanakatta; Ramkrishna PU College, Bunts' Hostel; Victoria College, Lady Hill; Sharada College, Kodialbail; St. Anne's College, Pandeshwar; Canara College, Kodialbail; St. Mary's College, Falnir; and St. Raymond's College, Vamanjoor.
http://andhracafe.com/index.php?m=showid=35024 Kantri gets into controversy Updated: 07-04-2008 HYDERABAD: Now it is the time for Madiga Reservation Porata Samiti (MRPS) to raise controversy against Jr NTR's film `Kantri'. After 50 days of the release of the cinema, they found objection as the film allegedly showing Dr B R Ambedkar in a poor light. MRPS alleged that the producer of the film haddeliberately hurt the feelings of the Dalits. Its leader Manda Krishna Madiga demanded that the three-minutes scene be deleted completely. If the Censor Board did not rectify the mistake, he warned that Dalit organizations would organize protests in front of the b oard's office and the cinema halls screening this film. According to him, the very opening scene of the film showed the henchmen of the villain seeking out youths loitering near the statue of B R Ambedkar for distribution of counterfeit currency. As if this were not enough, the director captures close-ups of the statue and, in the given context, this was tantamount to nothing but insulting the architect of the Constitution, he added. Why didn't you show NTR's statue or Vangaveeti Mohan Ranga Rao's statue, he asked. He demanded that the Censor Board members tender an apology within 48 hours.
http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/07/03/untouchable-women-enjoy-a-night-of-fashion/ July 3, 2008, 1:50 pm 'Untouchable' Women Enjoy a Night of Fashion By C.J. Hughes Dalits, or untouchables, strutted side by side with more conventional models at fashion show held at the United Nations building in New York. (Photos: Béatrice de Géa for The New York Times)Tabla drums warbled and lights beat down as the woman glided down the runway, her sari billowing loosely and hair pulled tight. As fashion shows go, the sashay-spin-repeat sequence was fairly routine. But the background of many of the models at this event on Wednesday evening, held inside a fourth-floor dining room at the United Nations, was anything but. Known as Dalits, or untouchables, the women have such a low social standing in their native India that they sit below the lowest rung of the officially banned but still-present caste system. Women dressed in pool blue, to honor the United Nations' official shade.In fact, this particular group of women — 17 on stage, another 20 or so in the audience, all with dresses that were pool blue, to honor the United Nations' official shade — once cleaned septic systems for a living. But for those who imagine that the indelicate task can somehow be pulled off by sticking a hose from a truck into a tank in the ground, guess again. Using straw brushes, these women, nicknamed scavengers, would hand-sweep the contents of often-dry latrines into bamboo baskets, then cart away the results on their heads. Reviled to the point where others would let them die in the streets rather brush their skin, according to event organizers, theirs was a grimy and dangerous existence that would make a Dickensian lifestyle, in contrast, an improvement. Gandhi had a wish to make a scavenger the president of India, said Bindeshwar Pathak, a New Delhi businessman, at a panel that took place before the event in an auditorium lined with ash wood. Mr. Pathak, who is the head of an international company that manufactures flush-style private and public toilets, has also built four clinics across India to teach scavengers — there are an estimated 500,000, of 160 million untouchables, which make up 16 percent of the population — basic hygiene, literacy and job skills, to better their fates. Indeed, Wednesday's fashion show was partly a tribute to Mr. Pathak from the United Nations Development Program, which in a 156-page report released Tuesday praised his for-profit, private-sector solution to an intractable social problem. Giving them this opportunity shows the world that scavengers are equal to everybody else, Mr. Pathak said. The former scavengers, none of whom had traveled outside India before, also seemed to help publicize what the United Nations has decreed the International Year of Sanitation. This effort (earlier ones focused on peace, and microcredit) is to reduce by half the 2.4 billion people who drink and bathe in dirty water by 2015, though with just 300,000 aided so far, progress has admittedly been slow. It's a huge undertaking, said Vijay Nambiar, chief of staff to Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary general, at the preshow panel. But we must raise awareness of sanitation with special attention to the privacy, dignity and security of women. Though the message was somber, the mood turned light after guests adjourned to the Delegates Dining Room, which provided views of a twinkling Queens. Waiters in tuxedos balanced platters of wedge-shaped samosas by tables of saffron chicken and lentil salad. On the nearby 50-foot runway, the former scavengers strutted side by side with more conventional models, whose bobbed hairdos and heavy makeup balanced bright gold, pink and green chiffon gowns. Some in the 175-person crowd leaped at the chance to meet Mr. Pathak, whose social service may be as admired as his entrepreneurial talent. Although his net worth hasn't been widely reported, his company, Sulabh International, made a profit of $5 million in 2005, according to the United Nations report, which is a Bill Gates-level sum in an impoverished nation. Much of that revenue presumably came from Sulabh's numerous public pay toilets, which are also found in Ethiopia, Madagascar and Afghanistan; Mr. Pathak also runs a popular New Delhi toilet museum. I'm here because I think what he's done is remarkable, said Anjali Sud, 24, of the Upper West Side, who works for a magazine publishing company but volunteers at the United Nations in her spare time. As she spoke, her sister Anisha Sud, 21, passed a pen to Mr. Pathak for an autograph. Fawning, too, was Virender Yadav, 54, a New Delhi native who now lives in Richmond Hill, Queens, and whose arms were piled high with free brochures and books. This is very unusual, I was very surprised, to learn that former scavengers would be in New York City, Mr. Yadav said. I am so glad they are bringing them up in the world, he added. The culture shock wasn't lost on the former scavengers, either, such
http://www.tehelka.com/story_main39.asp?filename=cr120708khakhiclad.asp From Tehelka Magazine, Vol 5, Issue 27, Dated July 12, 2008 ENGAGED CIRCLE caste Khakhi-Clad Activists Tamil Nadu deploys an unlikely weapon to counter caste discrimination — 'social justice tea parties' hosted by none other than the state police, reports PC VINOJ KUMAR OF LATE, rural Tamil Nadu has been witnessing a strange sight; policemen sipping tea and munching biscuits with villagers in local teashops, trying to convince them that they should not discriminate against Dalits. Through these 'social justice tea parties', the cops are attempting to drive home the message that untouchability is an offence and those practising it would be booked under law. Introduced since last year, it is an innovative attempt to eradicate untouchability by the Social Justice and Human Rights (SJHR) wing of the State police, which deals with atrocities against Dalits. Till date, the wing has organised over 500 tea parties, where both Dalits, non-Dalits and representatives of NGOs are invited as guests. Most of these parties are held in the vicinity of village teashops, where in many places Dalits are served tea in separate tumblers. Prateep Philip, IG of Police who is head of SJHR, identified teashops as an ideal location to gather people and spread the message against discrimination. Tea shops are village hubs, where people congregate and socialise. They are also known to be epicentres of alleged discrimination against Dalits through the twotumbler system. We chose to convert the negative into positive by using the very tea shops to fight against discrimination, he says. Through these tea parties, the police want to promote confidence among Dalits and create awareness about provisions in the law that protect them against discrimination. They are educated about offences under the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955, and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. According to Philip, the initiative has increased awareness levels among Dalits about their rights and the obligations of others vis-avis laws relating to discrimination and atrocities against them. He says the number of cases registered under the SC/ST Act has increased from 851 cases in the previous year to about 1,359 cases last year. It is the highest number of cases registered in a year in the history of the Tamil Nadu police, says the officer, whose efforts in developing community policing in the state got him the UK's prestigious Queen's Award in 2002 from Queen Elizabeth II for Innovation in Police Training and Development. SJHR has now got the go-ahead to organise tea parties in about 37,854 of the 81,787 villages in the State in the next 12 months. The government has allocated Rs 70 lakh for the programme. SJHR hopes to take the campaign against untouchability to about 2 crore people within a year. We can achieve the target if each person who attends our tea parties takes the message to at least five others, says Philip. The activism in the SJHR wing coincides with a period of intensive campaigning against untouchability in the state in the last one year. Social outfits have been holding protests against the two-tumbler system. In August 2007, Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam (PDK) published in its party organ Periyar Muzhakkam the list of shops in some of the districts where the two-tumbler system was being practised. PDK cadres held demonstrations in front of the shops and broke the glass tumblers as a mark of protest and courted arrest in large numbers. The state unit of the CPM has floated the Tamil Nadu Untouchability Eradication Front (TNUEF). In Virudhunagar district, the members of the front identified teashops having separate tumblers for Dalits and took up the matter with district authorities. Many shops stopped the practice. Some closed down and others switched to serving tea in disposable cups, says P. Sampath, state convenor of the Front. Sampath welcomes the police tea parties but says unless such efforts are combined with a broader, government sponsored mass campaign, the results may not be sustainable. HOWEVER, A. Kathir, director of Evidence, a Madurai based NGO that has been exposing various forms of discrimination against Dalits dismisses the police department's 'social justice tea parties' as humbug. These parties won't serve any purpose, except give some publicity to the police. If the government really is serious about eradicating untouchability, it has to launch a mass movement on the lines of the literacy campaign or the awareness campaign for AIDS that it conducted in the past. In those campaigns, the messages were taken to nooks and corners of the state on a war footing. But Philip, who believes in the credo that the police must take an active role as social reformers, thinks that he could bring a change through the tea parties. He says police chiefs from about 15 out of the 30 districts in the state have already
http://www.zeenews.com/articles.asp?aid=453098sid=REG Teenager raped by MP cop Khargone (MP), July 04: A 14-year-old tribal girl was raped, allegedly by a head constable here on Thursday, police said. The accused, Zakir Khan, forcibly entered the girl's house near Bisthan police post when she was alone and raped her yesterday afternoon, Bhagwanpura police station in charge P C Chastha said. The victim was brought to the Khargone district hospital for medical examination, he said. A case has registered against the policeman under various sections of IPC and the SC/ST Atrocities (Prevention) Act. Meanwhile, activists of the ruling BJP blocked the road leading to the hospital alleging that police allowed khan to disappear after the incident. They also tried to set afire the Bishtan police post, but police prevented them from doing so. Additional police force has been deployed at the post.
http://www.indiapress.org/gen/news.php/The_Tribune/400x60/0 'Murdered' girl's kin threaten stir Our Correspondent Fatehabad, July 3 The issue of the alleged murder of a teenaged Dalit girl in Ratia town in this district has taken a new turn with the local Balmiki Sabha and kin of the victim threatening to launch an agitation on the issue. Hina, a 13-year-old girl from Jalandhar, who had come at Ratia to see her maternal aunt, had disappeared on June 16 when she had gone to purchase sugar from the market. Her body was recovered by the police from under the bushes from a vacant plot on June 23. Her kin had lodged an FIR of kidnapping against two motorcycle-borne youths, who, they alleged, murdered her after raping her. SP Saurabh Singh, however, had ruled out the possibility of rape and had said the youths named by victim's kin had been found innocent. He had said that it appeared to be a case of animosity. A meeting of the Balmiki Sabha was held on July 1 in the Balmiki Basti dharamshala. Pawan Kumar presided over the meeting. Talking to mediapersons. Pawan Kumar alleged that the family had expressed its suspicion against two youths, who, allegedly lured away the girl and killed her after raping her. He said despite several meetings with the local police, the kin had got nothing except assurances. Harkesh Kumar, father of the victim, alleged that his daughter's blood-stained body was found under mysterious circumstances, but the police was treating it as natural death. The girl's father and the Balmiki Sabha warned that in case the police failed to do anything, they would meet the higher authorities in Chandigarh and launch an agitation.
http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/Court-dismisses-police-plea/330649/ Court dismisses police plea Anju Agnihotri Chaba Jalandhar, July 02 Police had sought cancellation of case against the former SHO In the case of Nurmahal suicides in which Sukhdev Singh and his family took the drastic step after alleged police torture, Court of Additional Sessions Judge BK Mehta today dismissed the police's application in which they had sought cancellation of the case against the former SHO. Three members of the family had committed suicide after cousin of the deceased allegedly eloped with a girl and the police tortured Sukhdev to know the whereabouts of the runaway couple. The court has also ordered reinvestigation of the case. Complainants, Resham and Surjit Kaur, brother and sister of Sukhdev, filed a protest petition against the cancellation report. They alleged that the facts of the police reports were wrong and baseless. Resham said they had never executed any compromise with SHO Shiv Dev Singh Kahlon. Resham said, If the SHO was innocent, then why did he offer me Rs 10 lakh and later issued life threats? Notably, Sukhdev, 30, his pregnant wife and six-year-old daughter had committed suicide by jumping in front of a train at Mahunwal village in Nurmahal last year on June 8. The magisterial probe had indicted the then SHO Shiv Dev Singh Kahlon of illegal confinement, torture and corruption. Kahlon was booked under various sections, including 306, 120 (B), 217, 32 and 342 of the IPC and sections 3 and 4 of the SC/ST Act and the Prevention of Corruption Act and was arrested on July 1, 2007. Now, the police had stated in its report that the family had committed suicide because of personal problems. Kahlon was booked on the basis of inquiry report of Phillaur SDM Pritam Singh. Earlier, the probe was to be conducted by the Jalandhar Police, but later it was handed over to Kapurthala Police. DSP (D) Harinderjit Singh conducted the inquiry and reported that the SHO was innocent and the complainant had struck a compromise with him. But Resham said the police took his signature on blank papers, which they might have used in their favour. He added that they have full faith in the judiciary.
Dalits ask Government to abolish caste-based discrimination http://www.indiapress.org/gen/news.php/The_Hindu/400x60/0 Special Correspondent India urged to ratify the U.N. Convention against Torture More than 10 countries raised specific questions concerning caste-based discrimination It cannot be considered a form of racial discrimination: Solicitor-General JAIPUR: Dalit activists who attended a dialogue on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the U.N. General Assembly's Human Rights Council in Geneva this past month have called upon the Union Government to take urgent steps to abolish caste-based discrimination and ensure effective implementation of laws for protection of Scheduled Castes. A five-member delegation of Dalits took part in the debates on the report of the Working Group on UPR for India in Geneva between June 9 and 13. P. L. Mimroth, chairman of the Centre for Dalit Rights, Jaipur, led the group, while India was represented by Swashpawan Singh, Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the U.N. Office. Mr. Mimroth said on his return here that India had for the first time admitted in a U.N. forum the existence of discrimination and marginalisation on the basis of castes and tribes. The Permanent Representative to the U.N. also stated that action at the government level to end discrimination was not enough and other stakeholders were being engaged to address the gaps. Mr. Singh's admission in the U.N. body is a long-awaited indication of the Centre's intent to do something for protecting the rights of Dalits, said Mr. Mimroth, adding that it was high time the Centre initiated measures to stop violation of Dalit rights in the areas of access to education, health care, housing, employment and freedom of faith. More than 10 countries raised specific questions or recommendations concerning caste-based discrimination in India. This seemed to be a strong message to the Centre that the international community was deeply concerned about the persistence of this form of discrimination that affected more than 16.7 crore Dalits. Addressing the meeting, National Human Rights Commission's representative Aruna Sharma called upon India to ratify the U.N. Convention against Torture. She said policemen at the lower rung in the hierarchy often resorted to torture and harassment of people detained on suspicion of involvement in crimes. However, Solicitor-General G. E. Vahanvati said the caste-based discrimination could not be considered a form of racial discrimination because the caste system, which was unique to India, was not racial in origin. The Dalit delegation affirmed that the change in India's stand in the U.N. body had taken place following concerted efforts and strong protests by Dalit organisations. Only a decade ago, India's representatives in the global forums were in a denial mode. They used to describe the occurrence of caste-based discrimination as isolated incidents, said Mr. Mimroth. The Netherlands representative, Robert-Jan Sieben, called upon India to inform the Human Rights Council not only about the progress made on recommendations it agreed to but also on the efforts on recommendations it did not agree to. Besides Mr. Mimroth, other members of the delegation were Manas Jaina, Director, Development Initiative, Orissa; Bulu Sareen, national coordinator, European Initiative for Democratic and Human Rights (EIDHR) Project, New Delhi; Kewal Uke, State coordinator, EIDHR Project, Maharashtra; and M. Thangave, convenor, Vijuthangal Sanstha, Tamil Nadu. They also attended a series of conferences on human rights, civil rights, justice and discrimination held in the U.N. Office.
http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/StoryPage.aspx?id=a96ef7db-3f1e-4f3a-a516-cd9b6e3db72dHeadline=Panel+members+to+hit+road+for+review Plan panel members to hit road for review Chetan Chauhan New Delhi, July 04, 2008 The country's top plan body wants to gauge the impact of various central government schemes on people just before the elections. So it has decided to send its members to various states in the next one-and-a-half months. Stated reason mid-term appraisal of the schemes. Probable reason educating people about the benefits of these schemes. In a first, a decision was made on Tuesday at an internal meeting of the Planning Commission. We are in the middle of second year of the 11th plan in which special schemes have been launched. It is sort of a mid-term review, the commission's deputy chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia said when asked about the idea behind the decision. Although technically the 11th plan is in its second year, it was approved only in November last year. Most of the schemes envisaged in the plan are still in the nascent stage whereas some have been introduced from this financial year only. This makes it apparent that the visits will provide the government more than just feedback on its schemes. Normally, the commission hires consultations to conduct mid-term appraisal of the schemes. But, the commission has decided to take a break from this age-old tradition. Starting from mid-July, each planning commission member will visit the states, for which he or she is responsible in the commission. Ahluwalia said the members have been asked to submit their report within a few months, probably before August-end. During the visit, the members will also review implementation of flagship programmes, which the UPA government believes has brought change in rural lives and can help them in elections. The government has been claiming success of National Employment Guarantee Programme, under which more than 1.8 crore people have got a bank account, Sarva Siksha Abhiyan, which has brought 94 per cent children to schools and inclusive development schemes for benefit of SC/ST and minorities. Similarly, the government claims to have provided Rs 1,32,000 crores for rural roads for connecting villages with the mainstream.
http://www.ibnlive.com/news/iitd-takes-back-2-dalit-students-but-says-no-caste-bias/68257-3.html IIT-D takes back 2 Dalit students, but says no caste bias Shreya Dhoundial / CNN-IBN New Delhi: Under pressure from the National Commission for Scheduled Castes/Schedules Tribes Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi had its arm twisted to take back the students it expelled. Akhilesh Kumar, a fourth year student of mechanical engineering at IIT-Delhi is one of the 12 SC/ST students who were terminated from the institute this year for poor academic performance. Akhilesh was diagnosed with schizophrenia recently and says he deserves a chance to complete his degree. He alleges that the reason IIT-Delhi isn't showing leniency is because of his caste. Professors forcefully asked me 'are you from SC/ST' and if you are not able to answer them then they say that the only reason you are here is because of reservation. You are like a sarkari jammaai (government's son-in-law), Akhilesh alleges. Worried about remarks like those of Akhilesh's at the country's premier engineering institute, the SC/ST Commission had asked the IIT to review the 12 expulsions. IIT-Delhi set up a review committee headed by a retired Dalit professor and revoked three expulsions, two of them of SC students. But the SC/ST Commission is far from happy. Chairman of the SC/ST Commission Buta Singh says IIT-Delhi is openly flouting University Grants Commission's (UGC) guidelines on Dalit students. He says he will now ask the HRD Ministry to revoke the suspension of the remaining 10 students Their review should be taken up by an outside agency because I have lost my faith in the IIT, says Buta Singh. IIT-Delhi has refused to comment on the issue. But in a press release the institute says, All allegations of caste bias against the institute are imagined. A special review committee went by the rulebook, looked into each of the cases separately. No students or parent bought up the issue of caste discrimination during the meeting. Dalit students say it's not just this case and that they are often made to feel guilty about being at IIT-Delhi and have no institutional space here. IIT-Delhi on the other hand is upset that a case of academic incompetence is being twisted into one of caste discrimination and the truth as always is in the middle. And it is an inconvenient truth perhaps that both sides need to confront sooner rather than later.