Dalits Media Watch – English News Updates 09.08.15

50 Dalits in Haryana convert to Islam – DNA


Overdue SC/ST Amendment bill passed after avoidable one year delay – Two Circle


Researchers pick holes in self-financing system – The Hindu


Prison no hindrance, UP man pursues education dream – The Times Of India


Mala Mahanadu stir for reservations in private sector – Web India


AP govt to help 300 SC students study abroad: Minister – The Financial Express


State Scholarship Council in The Offing – The New Indian Express


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Part I – Untouchability & Casteism (Castes) Still EXISTS even Today in India- 2015.



50 Dalits in Haryana convert to Islam


Sunday, 9 August 2015 – 7:20am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: dna | From the print edition

Azaan Javaid

Nearly 50 members of the Dalit community of Haryana’s Bhagana village on Saturday converted to Islam during protest demonstration at Jantar Mantar in the National Capital. The demonstration, organised by Bhagana Kand Sangarsh Samiti (BKSS) was against the alleged persecution faced by the Dalit community at the hands of upper caste Jats.

Nearly 50 members of the Dalitcommunity of Haryana’s Bhagana village on Saturday converted to Islam during protest demonstration at Jantar Mantarin the National Capital. The demonstration, organised by Bhagana Kand Sangarsh Samiti (BKSS) was against the alleged persecution faced by the Dalit community at the hands of upper caste Jats.

At the heart of the conflict in Haryana is the struggle over land and it’s use and ownership by the poor Dalits which has been grabbed by the dominant castes.

Speaking to dna 45-year-old Ved Pal of the BKSS said that the movement to convert to Islam has been gaining pace ever since the brutal gang rape of four Dalit girls in Bhagana village in 2014.The girls were going out to fetch water in the evening and they saw a white colored car rushing towards them and grabbed them inside the car.

The girls, aged between 13 and 18 years, belong to the landless Dhanuk caste, and worked for upper caste landowners. Ved Pal said the khap panchayat had imposed a social boycott against the caste group, forcing 250 families to leave their homes and flee the village.

“The villagers had to leave our village facing total boycott. Barbers not cutting hair, kids being removed from schools and denying entry into temples is a common happening,” Pal said.

On Saturday afternoon, around 50 people, all of them men, gathered for demonstration and after brief speeches of community leaders converted to Islam. The protesters recited verses of Quran and offered prayers as well.

The development comes after almost a year of holding a sit-in protest at Jantar Mantar. Previously, in a written statement, the victim families had said some of the victims have already converted to Islam in protest against the atrocities of upper caste Hindus.

Satish Kajla, was among the men who converted to Islam on Saturday. While speaking to reporters said that by becoming Muslims he hopes that other Islamic nations would raise voice against the persecution the Dalit community faces.

Two Circle

 Overdue SC/ST Amendment bill passed after avoidable one year delay


Submitted by TwoCircles.net on 9 August 2015 – 1:34am

 By TwoCircles.net Staff Reporter,

New Delhi: A full one year after its introduction, the long overdue amendments to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes bill, providing stringent actions for offences against people belonging to the Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes, have finally been passed by the parliament.

On Tuesday amidst boycott by many opposition parties over suspension of 25 Congress MPs, the Lok Sabha passed The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2014.

The bill was introduced in parliament on July 7, 2014 and referred to the standing committee on July 17 2014.

When it was sent to the standing committee by the Lok Sabha it was strongly objected by the Congress who wanted to immediately pass the bill rather than further delay by sending it to standing committee.

The Amendment Ordinance 2014 that was brought by Congress led government had certain important amendments in the SC & ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989 to simplify the process of hearings and strengthen investigation mechanisms. It was signed by the president on March 4, 2014 and had come into force immediately but was not ratified by the next parliament within six months and hence it had lapsed.

After its introduction in the parliament by BJP government, it took one more year to pass the bill when it was passed on Tuesday by the Lok Sabha. The bill is virtually the same as the ordinance that was brought by former United Progressive Alliance.

This new bill makes it a punishable offence for public servants to ‘willfully neglect’ duties on matters relating to atrocities against SCs and STs.


  • The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2014 was introduced in the Lok Sabha by the Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Thaawar Chand Gehlot on July 16, 2014.
  • The Bill replaces the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Ordinance, 2014.
  • The Bill seeks to amend the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. The Act prohibits the commission of offences against members of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (SCs and STs) and establishes special courts for the trial of such offences and the rehabilitation of victims.
  • Actions to be treated as offences: The Act outlines actions (by non SCs and STs) against SCs or STs to be treated as offences. The Bill amends certain existing categories and adds new categories of actions to be treated as offences.
  • Forcing an SC or ST individual to vote or not vote for a particular candidate in a manner that is against the law is an offence under the Act. The Bill adds that impeding certain activities related to voting will also be considered an offence. Wrongfully occupying land belonging to SCs or STs is an offence under the Act. The Bill defines ‘wrongful’ in this context, which was not done under the Act.
  • Assaulting or sexual exploiting an SC or ST woman is an offence under the Act. The Bill adds that: (a) intentionally touching an SC or ST woman in a sexual manner without her consent, or (b) using words, acts or gestures of a sexual nature, or (c) dedicating an SC or ST women as a devadasi to a temple, or any similar practice will also be considered an offence. Consent is defined as a voluntary agreement through verbal or non-verbal communication.
  • New offences added under the Bill include: (a) garlanding with footwear, (b) compelling to dispose or carry human or animal carcasses, or do manual scavenging, (c) abusing SCs or STs by caste name in public, (d) attempting to promote feelings of ill-will against SCs or STs or disrespecting any deceased person held in high esteem, and (e) imposing or threatening a social or economic boycott.
  • Preventing SCs or STs from undertaking the following activities will be considered an offence: (a) using common property resources, (c) entering any place of worship that is open to the public, and (d) entering an education or health institution.
  • The court shall presume that the accused was aware of the caste or tribal identity of the victim if the accused had personal knowledge of the victim or his family, unless the contrary is proved.
  • Role of public servants: The Act specifies that a non SC or ST public servant who neglects his duties relating to SCs or STs shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term of six months to one year. The Bill specifies these duties, including: (a) registering a complaint or FIR, (b) reading out information given orally, before taking the signature of the informant and giving a copy of this information to the informant, etc.
  • Role of courts: Under the Act, a court of Session at the district level is deemed a Special Court to provide speedy trials for offences. A Special Public Prosecutor is appointed to conduct cases in this court.
  • The Bill substitutes this provision and specifies that an Exclusive Special Court must be established at the district level to try offences under the Bill. In districts with fewer cases, a Special Court may be established to try offences. An adequate number of courts must be established to ensure that cases are disposed of within two months. Appeals of these courts shall lie with the high court, and must be disposed of within three months. A Public Prosecutor and Exclusive Public Prosecutor shall be appointed for every Special Court and Exclusive Special Court respectively.
  • Rights of victims and witnesses: The Bill adds a chapter on the rights of victims and witness. It shall be the duty of the state to make arrangements for the protection of victims, their dependents and witnesses. The state government shall specify a scheme to ensure the implementation of rights of victims and witnesses.
  • The courts established under the Bill may take measures such as: (a) concealing the names of witnesses, (b) taking immediate action in respect of any complaint relating to harassment of a victim, informant or witness, etc. Any such complaint shall be tried separately from the main case and be concluded within two months.

The Hindu

 Researchers pick holes in self-financing system



Industrial barons have chosen the sector as another investment opportunity

espite its once famed commitment to the ideal of free, universal education for all, researchers say that the higher education sector in Kerala, dominated by self-financing institutions, marches on its belly, driven by the aspirants’ ability to pay, expanding inequity and education exclusion.

“Education exclusion, instead of declining has increased to an unmanageable scale,” says a social class analysis ‘Education Exclusion in the Professional Self-Financing Sector in Kerala’ by the Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy, Cochin University of Science and Technology.

Though self-financing sector in professional education had a “humble beginning,” it has been “shaped and reshaped as an industrial sub-sector” to make profit as industrial barons chose it as another investment opportunity.

A kind of dualism

The study also found “a kind of dualism” in which quality education is available only to the rich “in the form of public English-medium system.” D. Rajasenan, who led the study, said that the number of Scheduled Tribe students who sought admissions to self-financing institutions formed less than three per cent of the total admissions.

The percentage of Scheduled Caste students stood between seven and eight per cent. Their combined pass percentage stood between six and seven.

The key reason for this, he said, was the private cost on education, which means what the students have to pay for expenses other than tuition. Co-curricular and extra-curricular activities are often prohibitively priced for students from humble economic backgrounds.

While the caste-based reservation system has not helped improve the situation, even the universities, and government engineering and medical colleges have turned out to be centres of education exclusion because of the “hidden costs”.

Most of the data for the study were collected by a survey of 900 students comprising 450 engineering students, 225 students of medicine. and 225 management students in Thrissur, Ernakulam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, and Palakkad districts.

The three streams of studies were chosen because they are the “axes around which higher demand, status and earning rotate,” the study said.

The Times Of India

 Prison no hindrance, UP man pursues education dream


Binay Singh,TNN | Aug 9, 2015, 07.15 AM IST

VARANASI: The double damnation of being a dalit and a prisoner could not deter Ajeet Kumar Saroj from his dream of pursuing higher studies and building a future for himself once he walks out of the jail. Serving a 10-year term for culpable homicide not amounting to murder, Ajeet was awarded the gold medal for securing the highest marks in a diploma course of the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) at a convocation here on Saturday. 

This was also the first time that a diploma-holder was felicitated at the University’s convocation in which degrees are conferred upon graduate, post-graduate and doctorate students. 

Ajeet (23), lodged at the Varanasi Central jail after being sentenced to 10-years imprisonment in 2012 under section 304 of the IPC, was awarded gold medal at the 28th convocation of IGNOU held at KN Udupa Auditorium of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) on Saturday. Vice-chancellor of Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Avadh University, Faizabad, Prof GC Jaiswal awarded him the medal. Ajeet was also invited to share his experience from the convocation stage. 

“He is a meritorious student, but it is our bad luck that he is behind bars. I am sure he would achieve success in life,” his mother Sushila Devi said after embracing her son. Ajeet topped in the country by getting 75% marks in the one-year Diploma in Tourism Studies. “After his imprisonment, he enrolled himself in several certificate programmes in IGNOU and scored more than 65% marks in each programme,” said regional director of IGNOU, Varanasi centre, Dr AN Tripathi. 

Appreciating Ajeet’s commitment, jailer and jail-coordinator of IGNOU Bhola Nath Mishra said, “He (Ajeet) will be an inspiration for other prisoners pursuing IGNOU courses.” 

Ajeet is also pursuing B.Com (3rd year) through IGNOU. “I have done three diploma and four certificate courses after I was lodged in jail on February 1, 2012. I wish to do MBA for my future career after getting out,” Ajeet, whose father Ram Bachan Saroj is a small-time farmer at Chakke village in Jaunpur district, said. “We have made an appeal in the High Court for his bail so that he can do better in his studies,” his father said. Ajeet told TOI that he is greatly inspired by late South African statesman Nelson Mandela, who spent years in jail and went on to become the country’s President.

Web India

 Mala Mahanadu stir for reservations in private sector


Kakinada | Saturday, Aug 8 2015 IST

East Godavari district unit of Mala Mahanadu at its executive meeting here today with Dhanarasi Shyam sunder in the chair, has resolved extending support to the call given by the SC ST associations for organising a massive rally in the citytomorrow seeking extension of reservations to private sector also.

By another resolution, it has denounced the new industrial policy evolved by both the state and central governments paving the way for closing down or handing over the public sector undertakings to the corporate companies. `It is nothing but diluting the reservation facility provided to the SC STs by Dr Ambedkar. Already employment opportunities are getting diminished day by day and the new industrial policy would worsen the situation. Hence it is high time that reservations needed to be extended to private sector also the resolution said. UNI 

The Financial Express

 AP govt to help 300 SC students study abroad: Minister


Andhra Pradesh government today said that it will provide financial assistance to 300 students belonging to scheduled castes (SC) to enable them to pursue higher education in foreign countries.

By: PTI | August 9, 2015 7:50 AM

 Andhra Pradesh government today said that it will provide financial assistance to 300 students belonging to scheduled castes (SC) to enable them to pursue higher education in foreign countries.

“300 SC students would be provided financial assistance to pursue higher education in foreign countries under Dr Ambedkar Overseas Education Scholarship Scheme in the state in this academic year,” Ravela Kishore Babu, state Minister for Social welfare, said.

He said that 33 SC students have already availed such assistance.

Under NTR Higher Education Scheme, the government will provide financial assistance for SC students to join national level prestigious educational institutions for higher education, he further said.

He inspected a few welfare hostels in the city, and informed that all social welfare hostels would be converted into residential schools in a phased manner.

The New Indian Express

 State Scholarship Council in The Offing


By Express News Service Published: 09th August 2015 04:16 AM Last Updated: 09th August 2015 04:16 AM

BHUBANESWAR:  The State Government is busy finalising the modalities for constituting a scholarship council that would streamline the process of awarding scholarships to meritorious students.

The proposed council will provide a common portal for various scholarship schemes of the Central and State Governments. It would also create a transparent database of the scholars thereby avoiding duplication in processing. Currently, scholarships are being given to eligible students by School and Mass Education, Higher Education, SC/ST Development and Employment and Technical Education and Training (ETET) Departments.

While the budget provision for SC/ST Department is Rs 800 crore, for Higher Education, it is Rs 40 crore and School and Mass Education has a scholarship provision of Rs 100 crore.

At a recent meeting of all departments chaired by Chief Secretary GC Pati, it was decided that an apex body would be proposed by the Higher Education Department to look after the overall functioning of the council which will be headed by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. Ministers of beneficiary departments would be the members of the council. For day-to-day management, there will be an executive body of the council in which Chief Secretary GC Pati will be the chairman and Development Commissioner would be the vice-chairman.

In June, Naveen had directed Pati to examine the proposal for constituting a council exclusively for awarding scholarships to students of Odisha.

Higher Education Secretary Gagan Dhal said the council is aimed at streamlining the scholarship disbursal process.

News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET


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