Dalits Media Watch – English News Updates 04.08.15

Dalit couple’s head tonsured, paraded in village – The Times Of India

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/varanasi/Dalit-couples-head-tonsured-paraded-in-village/articleshow/48340641.cms

Govt sets March ’16 deadline to end manual scavenging in state – The Indian Express

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/maharashtra/govt-sets-march-16-deadline-to-end-manual-scavenging-in-state/

State govt staff threaten stir over promotion quota – The Times Of India

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/noida/State-govt-staff-threaten-stir-over-promotion-quota/articleshow/48337760.cms

Data on death penalty convicts goes ‘missing’ – DNA

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-data-on-death-penalty-convicts-goes-missing-2110587

SCs to be allowed to sell small piece of land to non-Dalits – The Times Of India

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/lucknow/SCs-to-be-allowed-to-sell-small-piece-of-land-to-non-Dalits/articleshow/48337320.cms

State scholarship sends 30 SC/ST to US for master’s course – The Hindu

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/state-scholarship-sends-30-scst-to-us-for-masters-course/article7498326.ece

Policy in place but PSUs procure very little from Dalit enterprises – The Indian Express

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/policy-in-place-but-psus-procure-very-little-from-dalit-enterprises/

Please Watch:

Sikhs in India Untouched (in Punjab)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTv4JmeznnQ

The Times Of India

 Dalit couple’s head tonsured,

paraded in village

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/varanasi/Dalit-couples-head-tonsured-paraded-in-village/articleshow/48340641.cms

TNN | Aug 4, 2015, 11.36 AM IST

VARANASI: Eloping with a minor girl proved costly to a Dalit youth of Koirajpur village in Baragaon police station area as his own family got their head tonsured and paraded them in the village when they returned home after four days of elopement on Sunday. 

The police have arrested four persons, including the youth and his brother, in this connection. 

According to reports, one Raju (20) eloped with a 14-year-old girl from the village on July 30. 

They returned home on Sunday afternoon. When the girl’s father, a daily wager, went to Raju’s house, he was allegedly thrashed by the youth’s family members. 

Later, family members of the youth gathered at the spot, shaved the couple’s heads and paraded them in the Dalit basti of the village. 

The girl’s father alleged that he had also gone to Harahua police outpost but his complaint was not entertained. 

Contacted on Monday, Baragaon police inspector Isha Khan said an FIR has been registered under sections 363, 366, 368, 376, 323, 504, 506 of IPC and POCSO Act in this connection. “The police have arrested four persons including the youth Raju, his elder brothers Ramji, Shyamji and sister-in-law Urmila,” he added.

The Indian Express

 Govt sets March ’16 deadline to end manual scavenging in state

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/maharashtra/govt-sets-march-16-deadline-to-end-manual-scavenging-in-state/

The Maharashtra government has set March 2016 as the deadline to end manual scavenging in the state.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has directed officials to ascertain the exact number of manual scavengers and prepare alternative employment plans to end the practice by March. The social justice and water and sanitation departments have been told to look into the matter.

Manual Scavenger

The state has the highest number of households engaged in manual scavenging.

According to the latest caste census data, 63,713 households in Maharashtra have manual scavengers. Madhya Pradesh, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka are some other states that still have the practice.

Fadnavis said, “Maharashtra was the first to raise concern over manual scavengers. Various cleanliness schemes were undertaken but manual scavenging continues in some parts of the state.”

The state administration is stressing the “toilet for every household” and providing incentive of up to Rs 12,000 for construction of toilets in rural Maharashtra.

This in turn is expected to bring down the number of manual scavengers.

A senior official said, “Generally, manual scavengers were from a community representing dalits. The socio-economically backward were expected to do such menial jobs. Over the years, there have been reforms and protests over manual scavengers. Today, the biggest challenge which still remains in the employment of manual scavengers to clean the human excreta along the railway tracks.”

In rural Maharashtra, 42 per cent households do not have toilets. A major campaign for community toilets undertaken 15 years ago did not succeed.

In almost 25,000 drought-prone villages, lack of running water posed a hurdle to the success of the campaign.

Individuals continued to prefer open fields to community toilets.

In view of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, and the directive to put an end to manual scavenging, the state government has decided to promote eco-friendly toilets both in urban and rural Maharashtra.

Fadnavis said, “It is demeaning for a human being to carry human excreta. We have to ensure toilets are built in rural landscapes to phase out manual scavengers.”

The Times Of India

 State govt staff threaten stir over promotion quota

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/noida/State-govt-staff-threaten-stir-over-promotion-quota/articleshow/48337760.cms

Meenakshi Sinha,TNN | Aug 4, 2015, 03.56 AM IST

NOIDA: State government employees met Gautam Budh Nagar MP Mahesh Sharma on Sunday evening to register their protest against the government’s plan to introduce the Constitution (117th Amendment) Bill, 2012, that aims to provide quota in promotions to scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. 

The protesters included employees of Noida and Greater Noida Authorities, Yamuna Expressway Authority, and employees from the departments of power, water, education, PWD, irrigation, trade and finance, and the district administration. 

“We are against the policy of reservation in promotions and will go on an indefinite strike if the bill is implemented. We met Mahesh Sharma to reiterate this demand of ours and asserted that the said amendment is against the basic structure of the Constitution. We want him to raise our concerns in Parliament,” said Dinesh Kumar Jain, executive engineer of PVVNL. 

The 117th Constitution Amendment Bill providing for quota for SCs and STs in government job promotions was passed by the Rajya Sabha in 2012, when the Congress-led UPA was in power, but the bill has been stuck since then. There have been reports, however, that the NDA government could introduce it in the Lok Sabha in an attempt to end the parliamentary logjam. 

Jain, who is the convener of the Noida wing of Sarvjan Hitaye Sanrakshad Samiti (SHSS – general welfare protection committee), said that employees would go on a nationwide agitation if the bill was passed. 

“If the central government makes any move to implement the 117th amendment to the Constitution, then all government officials, employees and teachers of Noida will stage an indefinite sit-in protest. We will hold protests without any prior notice and the central government will be responsible for the agitation. We will also approach MLAs and MPs if the matter is not addressed soon,” said Kushalpal Singh, president SHSS.

DNA

 Data on death penalty convicts goes ‘missing’

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-data-on-death-penalty-convicts-goes-missing-2110587

Monday, 3 August 2015 – 8:15pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: dna webdesk

National Law University has said that some prison authorities have reported that data related to death row convicts has either been lost or destroyed by termites.

In a serious lapse by prison authorities, records of death penalty convicts who have been executed since India’s independence, have gone missing from many prisons, according to a report in a leading English daily. National Law University (NLU) has been compiling data on all death penalty cases in India since 1947, as part of a research study to examine the fairness with which capital punishment is awarded. 

However, NLU director Anup Surendranath, who is heading the death penalty research project, said that some prison authorities had written to them saying that records had either been lost or destroyed by termites.

NLU is being aided in the study by the Central government and was able to confirm data related to 755 executions. According to a report of the Law Commission (1967), the total number of cases in which the death sentence was awarded between 1953 to 1963 was 1,410. 

The missing files include mercy pleas of four convicts – Krishna Mochi and three others convicted in the Krishna Mochi & Ors vs. Bihar case of 2001. Their pleas were sent to the President in 2003, but an RTI filed by Suhas Chakma of Asian Centre for Human Rights found that the records were missing from the Home Ministry. 

Surendranath said that they have been unable to find an exhaustive list of prisoners executed in India. The data produced by the National Crime Records Bureau reportedly has gaps, as the numbers given by them are contradictory.  

Till now, the NLU has interviewed 373 surviving death penalty convicts, and has drawn their socio-economic profiles which shows that a majority of them belong to backward classes, religious minorities and economically-weak sections. Also, 94% prisoners sentenced to death in terror cases are Dalits and religious minorities.

The NLU will make public a detailed analysis of the socio-economic profile, legal representation and death row duration of convicts by mid-August. 

The Times Of India

 SCs to be allowed to sell small piece of land to non-Dalits

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/lucknow/SCs-to-be-allowed-to-sell-small-piece-of-land-to-non-Dalits/articleshow/48337320.cms

Subhash Mishra,TNN | Aug 4, 2015, 02.20 AM IST

LUCKNOW: In a major change in the land law in the state, the UP government is likely to allow members of scheduled caste to sell their land to non-Dalits even if their holding is less than 3.5 acre. According to highly placed sources, the state cabinet in its meeting on Tuesday is likely to accept a recommendation to this effect made by a committee set up to present the Revenue Code Bill 2015. This recommendation is a key feature of the bill.

As per the existing rules, a Dalit can’t sell his land to a non-Dalit if his holding is less than 3.5 acre. If the cabinet accepts the recommendation made by the committee formed under additional advocate general RBS Yadav, members of scheduled caste with smaller holdings would be able to sell their land to non-dalits.

Subsequent governments in the state have been trying to effect this change, but have not been able to do so. Even SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav as cooperative minister in 1977 had initiated this move couldn’t be successful. A fresh attempt in this regard was made in 2012 when the SP came to power with full majority and set up a committee under Yadav for presenting the revenue code bill having many provisions for land reforms in the state.

The committee strongly recommended for repealing the existing provision in favour of the non-Dalits and had met the chief minister last month who had asked the members of the committee to take feedback from different political parties and other sections of the society.

Speaking to TOI, RBS Yadav confirmed that he has recommended for the same on the ground that in many cases members of the SCs need money for urgent matters like treatment of deadly diseases, but they don’t get buyers as their choice is restricted to selling it to the members of their own community only. “So, they have to go for distress sale and get peanuts for their land which is an injustice for them,” he said, adding “that’s why the committee has asked that the SCs should be allowed to sell their land to anyone whenever needed.”

When asked about taking opinion of the major political parties as desired by the chief minister, the he said except BSP, most of the parties have agreed to his recommendations.

Speaking to TOI, Leader of Opposition and BSP leader Swami Prasad Maurya retaliated that it was an onslaught on the rights of the SCs who are already socially, economically and politically weak and depriving them of their land would amount to snatching their livelihood and weakening them further.

The Hindu

 State scholarship sends 30 SC/ST to US for master’s course

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/state-scholarship-sends-30-scst-to-us-for-masters-course/article7498326.ece

SANDEEP KUMAR

Born in a daily labourer’s family, Kannekanti Sudev Yashwant of Ibrahimpatnam worked hard and graduated as an engineer (ECE) from the Nuzvid IIIT on the strength of scholarships. Just as he was wondering what to do next, he managed to make it to the list of 30 candidates whose master’s education overseas will be sponsored by the State Government under the B.R. Ambedkar Overseas Study Programme.

“It is a dream come true. I wanted to pursue my Master’s and gain international exposure,” said a beaming Yashwant, who is scheduled to go to the US on August 11 to pursue a Master’s degree in computer science at Texas A&M.

The State Government plans to send 300 candidates like Yashwant for overseas education in different countries. This year it has shortlisted 30 candidates for the programme. The second batch will be finalised in January 2016.

Under the programme, the government sponsors each candidate to the tune of Rs 10 lakh. An additional Rs. 5 lakh will be facilitated as a loan from the Scheduled Caste Corporation, said Social Welfare Minister Ravella Kishore Babu.

In 2013, 66 candidates were sent overseas for higher education from the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh, 48 from Telangana and 18 from Seemandhra. In 2014, 32 candidates were so sponsored.

Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu presented cheques for Rs. 10 lakh each to the selected candidates here on Saturday. Among the 30 candidates, six candidates, three male and three female, hail from Krishna district.

The candidates said they were screened by a team of senior officials in Hyderabad. Chatla Mallika haails from Chimalapadu village in A. Konduru mandal in Krishna district. Her father is a tenant farmer. She completed the engineering course from Nuzvid IIIT and is travelling to the US for her master’s in civil engineering at Alabama University. Didla Vamsi from the city and his father D. James is a lorry driver. He is an engineering graduate and is heading to the US for a PG programme in computer science at New Hampshire University.

Ajay Kumar from Penumalauru, born into a low-income family. He completed his B. Tech from Andhra Loyola College and he too is heading to Texas A&M for a master’s programme in computer science. P. Krishna Manjira hails from Challapally. Her parents too are daily labourers. An engineering grad from R.V.R and J.C College, Guntur, she bagged a seat in the IT programme at Maryhordin Belar University. T. Aparna is from Bhavanipuram and the daughter of car driver. She bagged a seat in the computer science programme at Polytechnic University, California.

The Indian Express

 Policy in place but PSUs procure very little from Dalit enterprises

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/policy-in-place-but-psus-procure-very-little-from-dalit-enterprises/

While procurement from SC/ST enterprises was way below target in 2013-14, that from all MSEs was much better at Rs 12,440.76 crore or 15.30 per cent of the total PSU procurement during the year.

Written by P Vaidyanathan Iyer | New Delhi | Updated: August 4, 2015 6:06 am

The first comprehensive survey of procurement undertaken by public sector undertakings (PSUs) from micro and small enterprises (MSEs) promoted by Dalit (Scheduled Castes/ Scheduled Tribes) entrepreneurs showed that their supplies were just Rs 419 .37 crore in 2013-14 — 0.51 per cent of the total PSU procurement of Rs 81,319.28 crore during the year.

The government’s Public Procurement Policy for MSEs, Order 2012, issued on April 25, 2012, requires all central ministries, departments and central PSUs to ensure at least 20 per cent procurement from MSEs, and within this, 4 per cent from MSEs promoted by Dalits (SCs/STs).

While procurement from SC/ST enterprises was way below target in 2013-14, that from all MSEs was much better at Rs 12,440.76 crore or 15.30 per cent of the total PSU procurement during the year.

The policy announced during the UPA government, as part of its larger ‘affirmative action’ agenda, did not make it mandatory for the departments, ministries and PSUs to stick to the procurement order in the first three years. From April 1, 2015, it will be mandatory for ministries, departments as well as PSUs to meet the guidelines.

Contrast this with the number of small and micro enterprises in the country and the share of Dalits and other backward classes. The 2013 survey by the National Sample Survey Office reveals there are 5.77 crore MSEs employing 12 crore people, and over 60 per cent of units are owned by persons belonging to SCs, STs and OBCs.

Anup Pujari, Secretary, Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME), told The Indian Express that there needs to be more awareness on both sides – the PSUs and government, and the MSEs promoted by entrepreneurs from the backward community. “It is theoretically possible to increase procurement to 4 per cent from MSEs owned by SCs and STs. We need to make more efforts,” Pujari said.

When his comments were sought, R G Rajan, Chairman and Managing Director of Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilisers, and the chairperson for Standing Conference of Public Enterprises (SCOPE), said while PSUs fared reasonably when it came to procurement from MSEs, identification was proving difficult in the case of Dalit entrepreneurs, “But yes, we need to undertake targeted vendor meetings. PSUs must be more proactive,” he said.

A National Board for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, chaired by Union Minister Kalraj Mishra, is scheduled to meet next month and the Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DICCI), representing SC/ST entrepreneurs, also represented in the board, is expected to seek more active government support to sensitive PSUs.

DICCI president Milind Kamble told The Indian Express that the ministry and his chamber sent several reminders and letters to PSUs. “But I have not received response from a single PSU over the last two three years,” he said. In fact, the survey undertaken by the government states that 48 of 179 functional PSUs did not procure at all from SC or ST enterprises. The MSME ministry was awaiting information from 17 PSUs while 13 PSUs did not supply any data when the results were shared with the national board earlier this year.

The Office of Development Commissioner, MSME, sent at least seven reminders in 2012 and 2013 to secretaries of ministries and departments as well as CPSUs. After some PSUs complained about lack of clarity in identifying MSEs, the ministry issued a statement in June 2013 that an MSE in which 51 per cent is owned by SC or ST entrepreneurs should be considered as one promoted by Dalits for the purpose of procurement.

The Times Of India

 High court seeks chancellor’s reply in VKSU VC case

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/High-court-seeks-chancellors-reply-in-VKSU-VC-case/articleshow/48336346.cms

Purushottam Kumar | Aug 4, 2015, 12.21 AM IST

Patna: The Patna high court on Monday sought the chancellor’s reply regarding appointment of Veer Kunwar Singh University (VKSU) vice-chancellor.

Hearing a PIL, a division bench of acting Chief Justice Iqbal Ahmed Ansari and Justice Chakradhari Sharan Singh directed the chancellor to file the reply by August 10.

The PIL was filed by one Ram Tawakya Singh, who alleged that the appointment of VKSU VC did not conform to the rules. He also alleged that the present VC didn’t have the academic qualifications required for holding the post in any university.

Reply sought on bridge collapse: Hearing a PIL in a matter related to collapse of a newly built bridge before its inauguration in Muzaffarpur district, the same division bench sought reply from the state government. The bridge collapsed on August 30, 2014.

The PIL was filed by one Surendra Narayan Choudhary submitting that the Basghatta bridge was built by Bihar State Bridge Construction Corporation over river Bagmati in Muzaffarpur at a cost of Rs 25 crore. He alleged that rampant corruption and poor quality material used in the bridge construction led to its collapse.

Order reserved: The Patna high court on Monday heard a PIL regarding reservation in APP (additional public prosecutor) examination and reserved its order. A division bench of acting Chief Justice Iqbal Ahmed Ansari and Justice Chakradhari Sharan Singh was hearing the matter. The PIL was filed by the Bihar State SC/ST Advocate Union & others seeking reservation for SC/ST advocates in the appointment of APPs.

Why Hindi ignored: The same division bench also reserved its order regarding holding the examination for appointment of ADJs in Hindi as well. The court was hearing a PIL filed by one Sanjay Kumar, who sought to know why at ADJ examination questions were not set in Hindi? Why Hindi is being ignored?

The Times Of India

 IIT-Roorkee takes back all 72 expelled students

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/IIT-Roorkee-takes-back-all-72-expelled-students/articleshow/48334605.cms

Shivani Saxena,TNN | Aug 3, 2015, 10.14 PM IST

DEHRADUN: In a turnaround that triggered massive celebrations in the IIT-Roorkee campus, the institute on Monday took back all the 72 students it had expelled earlier on the grounds of poor performance. 

The institute had on July 8, as reported first by TOI, in an unprecedented step struck off its rolls 73 students from the first year BTech batch. All of them had scores of less than 5 CGPA (cumulative grade point average) in their examinations and were expelled from college after a late-nigh senate meeting. 

One of the students, however, had his expulsion nullified after it was found on re-checking that he had a CGPA of more than 5, as mandated by the institute’s rules. Seventy-two students, though, were out in the cold. Their problems were later compounded after the Uttarakhand high court, which they had petitioned, upheld the institute’s decision. 

About the latest development, Prashant Garg, registrar at IIT-Roorkee and secretary, senate, told TOI, “All students who have less than 5 CGPA at the end of the first year of the undergraduate programme (Btech) will be re-admitted as a one-time measure, but on strict conditions.” 

These “conditions” entail that all the 72 students whose names were struck off the rolls of the institute on July 8 shall be put on academic probation throughout the first year. They will also have to repeat the year and will be bound to clear again all the courses of both autumn and spring semesters of the first year, besides maintaining a minimum attendance of 75% in every subject. 

Other conditions that have been put includes: there shall be no backlog in any subject in either of the semesters at the end of the first year and students will have to obtain a CGPA of more than or equal to 5. 

“The decision by the senate has been taken in the students’ favour after many deliberations,” said a senior official at the institute. “The students, however, will have to get themselves registered on or before August 10 and their attendance will be counted from the date of registration. Every single student will have to agree in writing to all the conditions before being re-admitted.” 

The expelled students and their supporters immediately updated their Facebook statuses and said, “We did it”. Days after the expulsion there had been a huge online campaign, with the hashtag ‘Take them back’, that garnered thousands of petitioners. 

Ecstatic at the reversal of the expulsion orders, Raj Maheshwari, one of the students who had been asked to go, said, “I am in Nagpur right now and I was thinking of applying to other colleges. But today’s decision has brought back all of us from the lowest point of our lives. Roorkee jaa raha hun waapas (I am going back to Roorkee).” 

Another student, Abhishek Mandal, said, “I am very happy to have got a second chance and with the fact that the administration finally decided in favour of us students. I will make sure I perform to the best of my capability this year and such a thing in my life never happens again.” 

News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET

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