Dalits Media Watch
News Updates 30.03.12
MBBS 1st year student bid to end life - The Times Of India
Engineering college hauled up by MTU in fee row - The Times Of India
Thakurs and Dhobis clash over water, 1 dead - The Pioneer
'Made-Snana', Brahmin 'atrocity against Dalits' to be banned: CM - Financial Express
Social security scheme for unorganized workers launched - The Times Of India
The Times Of India
MBBS 1st year student bid to end life
TNN | Mar 30, 2012, 04.06AM IST
LUCKNOW: A first-year MBBS student at Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Medical University (CSMMU) attempted to commit suicide by consuming sleeping pills on Thursday morning, five months after he failed in the physiology paper. The examinationswere held in October and results were announced last November.
"He consumed more than 30 sleeping pills which were enough to take his life," said one of the students. The agitated student tried to stall patient care services at the Trauma Centre, however, the services were restored after police intervened. CSMMU spokesperson Dr Abbas Mahdi, said, "He (Neeraj) is stable and undergoing treatment at the medicine department emergency of Trauma Centre."
According to Neeraj's friends, the first year final examination were held in September 2011. But as he was not well, he took the supplementary examination in October. When the results were declared in November, he failed to clear the physiology paper and was one of the 18 students who were not promoted to the second year.
The 20-year-old went into depression, his friends said, adding that he also started skipping classes. On Thursday, when he didn't turn up for the class, some of his friends went to his hostel room to check. They found him in an unconscious state in his hostel room. Seeing strips of an anti-depressant littered around, the students informed their seniors and rushed him to Trauma Centre of the university. Timely medical intervention saved his life.
The incident turned serious as Neeraj belongs to the reserved category student (Scheduled Caste). This revived the issue of alleged caste based discrimination by teachers in the institution. When asked to comment in this regard, CSMMU vice-chancellor Devendra K Gupta said, "Though the real cause is still not known, we presume that he was depressed over his failure. However, as far as the allegation of discrimination is concerned, I am sure that there has been no discrimination of any sort at any level."
Neeraj's classmates described him as a bright student. "He cracked the CBSE medical entrance exam and was among top 30 students in his category. Even in the first year examination, he topped in anatomy and secured first division marks in biochemistry. So, it sounds strange that he could not clear physiology paper," his batchmate Irfan said. Another batchmate Mithlesh Kumar said, "Neeraj faired well in high school and intermediate. In both the exams, he secured more than 85% marks. He cracked medical entrance exam in the first attempt," said Mithlesh.
More than 18 students failed in physiology in the first year exam this year and those failing for several years have also fallen prey to this subject. "There is something wrong with the system," alleged Subrat Gupta, a final year student.
The V-C said, "We should not mix the two issues. The case of students failing for several years is different from the case of Neeraj and those who failed for the first time. About 10-15% students fail in all subjects. Our system is fair and transparent. The copies are bar-coded and the answer-sheets are centrally examined."
Did V-C scold Neeraj?
Lucknow: Some batch mates of Neeraj claimed that he was scolded by 'V-C sir' on March 22. "He looked tensed, when he returned after meeting the V-C. In fact, it appeared that he had lost all hopes," recalled a student. Neeraj had reportedly gone to find out the progress of a settlement finalised before SC/ST Commission of India, Delhi on March 13.
However, as per claims, the V-C pulled him up 'for daring to spearhead a campaign for wrong people.' He allegedly scolded him to 'stay within limits' and even threatened him of consequence including ruining the career.
When asked to comment, V-C Prof DK Gupta said, "Neeraj was very much there before the commission. He subsequently came here (to the V-C office) also and we had a heart to heart discussion. (He had come along with many other students not alone) And they all were happy. But, I think there is a group of students in this university who had been misguiding them."
CSMMU spokesperson AA Mahdi also rubbished the claim saying, "This is a baseless allegation. Some wrong persons are trying to take advantage of the situation by planting such stories." He added that the settlement contains eight points of which two are crucial. One of them relates to re-evaluation of answer books in the presence of external observers, while the other is about promoting students to second year.
"With regard to the issue of re-evaluation, it has already been clarified that there are no provisions in the university rules that allow a re-check. A high court order bans re-evaluation as well. Still, we have written to the chancellor to take a call on the issue. Lack of rules/provisions is the problem, in case of the demand for promotion to second year. So, we have asked the students to submit a representation to us and we would put the matter before the Medical Council of India. Based on MCI's direction, the future course of action would be decided," said Dr Mahdi.
It may be noted that the students want another high court order that promoted a student to the next class to be taken as the base for their promotion as well. The university says that it is not possible to go their way. "The judgment came in an individual case and cannot be replicated," said an official in CSMMU.
The Times Of India
Engineering college hauled up by MTU in fee row
Aniruddha Ghosal, TNN | Mar 30, 2012, 04.52AM IST
NOIDA: A private college in Greater Noida affiliated to Mahamaya Technical Universityhas come under the scrutiny of both the university and district administration after it allegedly admitted students belonging to the SC/ST quota after taking the complete fees from them. There are special provisions for such students who are exempt from paying the regular fees.
District administration officials said DIT College of Engineering made the SC/ST students pay fees usually due from students of the general category. "This amounts to a violation of the Harijan Act and we have filed an FIR against the college in Kasna police station in Greater Noida," said an official.
The matter was brought to the notice of the university, to whom the college is affiliated, and officials sent a letter to the erring institution on March 19 demanding an explanation. "The college was told that they had one week to reply and explain the circumstances that prompted them to take the complete fees from the SC/ST students," said an MTU official.
The college replied to the university on March 24 claiming that the students had 'voluntarily' paid the fees and they had not been pressured by the college. According to senior MTU officials, the matter is still under investigation with senior university officials describing the explanation as 'weak'.
"We are taking the matter very seriously. Violation of the dalit Act is a serious offence and we will be taking action against the college if the matter is proven to be true," said a senior MTU official.
Thursday, 29 March 2012 21:29
Pioneer News Service | Lucknow
In the first incident of caste conflict in the present SP dispensation, beligerent groups of Thakurs and Dhobis came to a head over collecting potable water from a handpump in Etah on Wednesday evening. The incident culminated firing which left a Thakur dead and another with serious injuries.
As per reports, Nanhe Singh, Kallu Singh, Budhpal Singh and two others went to a handpump installed by the state government at Nagla Danda village of Jaithara police circle around 7 pm on Wednesday. As they neared the pump, they saw another group 9Mostly of Dhobi caste) pumping out water from the source. As the other group continued to collect water without making way for the socially dominant group, the latter got irritated and started hurling expletives at the former. This led to an altercation and culminated in a free for all.
Meanwhile, Bhaiyalal, Nanhe and Dhara Singh of the first group managed to lay their hands on country made pistols and fired at the Thakurs from close range. The firing resulted in serios injuries to Kallu Singh and Budhpal Singh of the other group. As the locals stated converging on the site, the assailants fled the scene. The injured were taken to the district hospital where Kallu Singh was declared dead upon arrival. The condition of Budhpal Singh deteriorated during treatment after which the doctors attending on him referred him to the Agra Medical College.
Surprisingly, when village pradhan Mukesh went to the Jaithara police station to enquire about the incident and well being of the victims, the cops took him into custody claiming that he was the mastermind of the bloody attack. His only fault was that the pradhan happened to be of the same caste as that of the absonding accused. Later a case was registered and the police was trying to trcak own and arrest the three prime accused.
'Made-Snana', Brahmin 'atrocity against Dalits' to be banned: CM
Posted: Thursday, Mar 29, 2012 at 2005 hrs IST
Bangalore: After months of public debate, Karnataka Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda today announced that 'Made-Snana', a controversial ritual practised in some temples of the State for centuries, would be banned in two months.
"The practice of Made-Snana will be stopped within two months," Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda said in a suo motu statement in the Legislative Council, where Tontadarya (BJP) raised a question on various temple superstitions being practised in the State.
Made-Snana is a ritual where people roll on plantain leaves off which Brahmins have had their meals, to fulfil 'Harake' (an offering made for a wish) and also with the belief that it would help in curing skin diseases.
The practice, particularly in Subramanya temple in Dakshina Kannada district, has become an issue of intense debate in the state, with sections of the society seeing the ritual as an "atrocity against Dalits", while supporters maintain that people perform it voluntarily with certain beliefs, which can't be questioned.
About 100 swamijis heading various mutts in the state had congregated at Freedom Park earlier this week to protest against age-old superstitions, especially Made-Snana, and demanded a ban on them.
Informing the House that he has already started a dialogue with people concerned, the Chief Minister said he is in contact with pontiff of Pejawar mutt Vishwesha Teertha Swamiji and others in an attempt to stop the ritual.
The Times Of India
Social security scheme for unorganized workers launched
TNN | Mar 30, 2012, 06.55AM IST
PATNA: State government launched the Unorganized Sector Workers and ArtisansSocial Security Scheme at a function organized on Thursday to mark Bihar centenary. CM Nitish Kumar said people, aged between 18 and 65 years and working in unorganized sectors, will be covered under this scheme.
He said the dependents of a worker who dies in an accident will be given Rs 1 lakh and Rs 75,000 in case of injury leading to disability. Rs 30,000 will be given in case of natural death. He also announced that the children of those working in 88 types of unorganized sectors will be given a monthly stipend of Rs 1,200 to study in industrial training institutes (ITI) or polytechnics.
Earlier, CM said, the state had a policy to provide ex-gratia in case of accidental death of a non-resident Bihari workers in unorganized sectors. But, now, even injured workers would get help. Bihar is the only state which is taking care of its non-resident workers, he said. CM recalled that in 2007 in Punjab, a policy of work permit for non-resident labourers had been introduced which had been opposed by workers from Bihar and UP. Acting on the reports, he spoke to the then Punjab CM Captain Amrendra Singh and sent a team of legislators and officials there. The government withdrew the policy under pressure, he added.
Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi said there were a lot of agencies taking care of the workers in organized sectors but nobody is bothered for the large army of workers in unorganized sectors. Labour resources minister Janardan Singh Sigriwal said the scheme would benefit about 50,000 labourers engaged in construction works, he added.
The dignitaries as well as the participants lit candles in the hall for a few moments and chanted the song, 'Le mashal chal pare hai log mere gaon ke' (villagers have started moving with torchlight in their hands). Principal secretary of labour department Vyasji and labour leader R N Thakur also spoke on the occasion.
On behalf of
Dalits Media Watch Team
(An initiative of "Peoples Media Advocacy & Resource Centre-PMARC")
Peoples Media Advocacy & Resource Centre- PMARC has been initiated with the support from group of senior journalists, social activists, academics and intellectuals from Dalit and civil society to advocate and facilitate Dalits issues in the mainstream media. To create proper & adequate space with the Dalit perspective in the mainstream media national/ International on Dalit issues is primary objective of the PMARC.