LATE CITY, 18 PAGES, AHMEDABAD, `3.00 ● MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2018 ● WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM TheIndian EXPRESS DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE NEW SET OF ALLEGATIONS India-Pak low: Diplomats and families facing ‘intimidation’ Building Ram Temple is ‘certain’, says RSS gen secy Accused of stalling Indian plans in Islamabad, Pak raises charges in Delhi SUSHANT SINGH & SHUBHAJIT ROY NEW DELHI, MARCH 11 Hundreds of protesting farmers from Nashik arrive in Thane late Saturday on their way to Mumbai. Janak Rathod EXPLAINED, PAGE 11 Sea of farmers in Mumbai, here’s what they say VISHWAS WAGHMODE MUMBAI, MARCH 11 VIVEK DESHPANDE NAGPUR, MARCH 11 A DAY after taking over as RSS Sarkaryawah (general secretary) for a fourth consecutive term, Suresh Joshi told reporters that the RSS did not approve of damaging or pulling down statues, or attacking churches. Acts such as these were carried out by “antisocial elements”, Joshi told a press conference on Sunday. “The RSS has always spoken out against such incidents,” Joshi said in response to a question on the pulling down of a statue of Lenin in Tripura soon after the BJP’s victory in the Assembly elections. “We had condemned when there were incidents of attack on churches too. On some occasions of confusion and conflict, anti-social elements become active, and do such acts,” he said. “The truth behind it (the toppling of Lenin’s statue) will soon come out,” Joshi added. The 70-year-old RSS leader said it was “certain” that only a Ram Temple would be built in Ayodhya; however, a “process” would have to be followed. “It’s a foregone conclusion (tay hai) that there can’t be anything else there except Ram Temple. But for anything to happen, a process has to be gone through. Currently, the Supreme Court is hearing the case about title ownership. It will be resolved soon,” he said. Asked about the role of the RSS in the seemingly unstoppable march of the BJP across the country and, likewise, the role of the BJP in the growth of the RSS, Joshi said, “It is not that anyone comes or goes because of CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 DECISION 2018 UP | BIHAR TURNOUT LOW IN BIG UP BATTLES PHULPUR 37% GORAKHPUR 43% ARARIA 57% FULL COVERAGE, P 10 THROUGH SUNDAY, the financial capital witnessed 40,000 farmers and tribals from across Maharashtra march slowly across the length of the city. Having walked over 160 km in six days, the men and women traversed their final 20 km into central Mumbai even as the state government scrambled to prevent the embarrassment of a gherao of the legislature as threatened by the CPI (M)-affili- Kashmir issue isn’t political: Drabu; retract, orders PDP ated All India Kisan Sabha that has organised the long march. The farmers, including a very large number from tribal-dominated talukas in Nashik, Thane and Palghar, are demanding a loan waiver free of any conditions, implementation of the Forest Rights Act, fixed remunerative prices for agri produce, and implementation of the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission. As the Shiv Sena, Congress, MNS, and others extended support to the protesting farmers, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis invited a delegation of farmer leaders for talks on Monday afternoon. Who are among the protesting 40,000? Radhabai Kisan Gagonde, 65 The senior citizen from Dahivi village in Nashik’s Dindori tehsil has walked all six days. She is seeking transfer of a one-acre plot of forest land that she has been tilling for two decades to her name. “I spent my entire life working in others’ fields. Now, I want the land to be transferred EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, MARCH 11 BASHAARAT MASOOD SRINAGAR, MARCH 11 JAMMU AND Kashmir Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu has said that Kashmir is “not a political issue”, rather, it is a society with “social issues” — a statement that has set off a political firestorm in the state. Drabu’s statement has come at a time when the PDP and its coalition partner, the BJP, are at loggerheads on a range of issues, and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has openly pressed for talks with Pakistan. ‘A society Drabu is with social considered to be issues’ close to the BJP leadership at the Centre. The PDP has asked the finance minister to “retract his statement immediately”. At an event, ‘Kashmir: The Way Forward’, organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry at New Delhi on March 9, Drabu said: “Don’t see J&K as a conflict state and a political issue. It is a society which has social issues right now. We are trying to find our own space and we are going through a process which many other countries are also going through. “It (J&K) is not a political CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CM SEEKS CENTRE’S HELP IN JOURNALIST’S CASE, PAGE 5 to our names, so that my grandchildren are able to get an education and have a better life,” said Radhabai, who is a member of the Kisan Sabha, and had been among the 40,000 farmers who protested in Nashik city in March 2016. INDIA STEPPED up efforts at positioning itself as a global climate leader at the first conference of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) Sunday, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledging to generate 175 gigawatts (GW) of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2022, including 100 GW from solar and 60 GW from wind. Modi said that India has launched the “world’s biggest renewable energy programme” with this target in mind. Speaking at the conference, which India co-hosted with France, the Prime Minister also referred to the Vedas and said that they considered the sun as the soul of the universe and a With French President Emmanuel Macron in Delhi. nourisher of life. “We have to look at this ancient, balanced and all-encompassing philosophy when we today look for ways to deal with the challenge BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY Hiraman Waghmare, 46 Hiraman tills five acres of forest land in Chikadi village in Nashik’s Suhana tehsil. He is entirely dependent on a good CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 India co-hosts first solar alliance meet, Modi says 100 GW by 2022 of climate change,” he said. Elaborating on India’s target, Modi said, “Of the target for solar energy generation, we have already achieved 20 GW installed solar power.” He also announced that 500 training slots will be created for member countries and a solar technology mission launched to lead R&D in the sector. The ISA is the first international treaty-based organisation headquartered in India. It was established following the Paris Declaration as an alliance dedicated to the promotion of solar energy among its member countries. Of the 121 countries associated with ISA, 61 have joined the alliance and 32 have ratified the framework agreement. In his speech, French President Emmanuel Macron CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Araria will be ISI den if RJD wins: Bihar BJP chief ARUN JANARDHANAN CHENNAI, MARCH 11 AT LEAST 65 trekkers, many of them believed to be college students, IT employees and families with children from Chennai, Coimbatore and Tirupur, were trapped Sunday in a fire that swept through the Theni forest in Tamil Nadu, bordering Kerala. Five persons were confirmed to have suffered serious burn injuries, and police and forest officers engaged in rescue operations said they feared at least three others may have been killed. GROUND ZERO, NEAR THENI Karnataka Theni Kerala NEW DELHI, MARCH 11 Chennai Ta m i l Nadu Madurai RAHUL TRIPATHI Arabian sea The five seriously injured were among 15 who were rescued late evening by local CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 OF THE 14 states and Union Territories that have replied to the Home Ministry on a proposal to abolish the death penalty, only two, Karnataka and Tripura, want the practice to be done away with. In its report in 2015, the Law Commission of India, then headed by Justice A P Shah, had proposed the abolition of capital punishment for non-terrorism cases, following which the ministry had sought comments from 8 THE EDITORIAL PAGE CONTINUED ON PAGE 6 New faculty quota norms are faulty BY BHALCHANDRA MUNGEKAR EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE PATNA, MARCH 11 POLICE IN Araria have registered a case against Bihar BJP chief and Ujiyarpur MP Nityanand Rai for making a provocative speech during the byelection campaign for the Araria Lok Sabha seat. Rai had said at Narpatganj in Araria on March 9 that if RJD candidate Sarfaraz Alam won, Araria would become a “den of the ISI”. Narpatganj police station incharge Sunil Singh told The Indian Express: “We have lodged a case against Rai for making a provocative speech during a Holes in accreditation of ITIs: Cycle stand is workshop, no building Parliament panel slams agency, Skills Ministry says action is being taken ANIL SASI NEW DELHI, MARCH 11 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 UTTARAKHAND BJP MLA ACCUSED OF DALIT ASSAULT, PAGE 5 65 trapped in Tamil Nadu Death penalty should stay, forest fire, deaths feared say 12 out of 14 states/UTs Bay of Bengal Suresh ‘Bhaiyyaji’ Joshi, in Nagpur, Sunday. PTI UNDERLINING THE chill in India-Pakistan relations, Islamabad has accused New Delhi of allegedly “harassing” its diplomats and their families in India, and threatened to pull them out of the capital if the “intimidation” did not stop. The charges, detailed in diplomatic correspondence known as note verbale, come after several complaints arose of harassment of Indian diplomats in the Pakistani capital, including hurdles being created for the High Commission to use its residential complex and the High Commissioner’s membership of Islamabad Club being stalled. Diplomatic sources told The Indian Express that the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi had written four note verbale to the Ministry ofExternal Affairs on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, alleging specific incidents ofharassment of diplomats, their family members and Indian workers in the High Commission. Sources said that a similar demand was also made to the Indian High Commission in Islamabad, with Pakistan threatening to pull out its families from New Delhi. The note verbale allege a total of 18 incidents “of harassment and intimidation against the officers of the High Commission as well as the supporting staff” over the last week, which have been “brought to the attention of Foreign Secretary H.E. Mr Vijay Keshav Gokhale by the High Commissioner for Pakistan, H.E. Mr Sohail Mahmood and by acting foreign secretary to High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria”. One of the alleged incidents on March 8 refers to “the morning between 0735-0800 hours, state governments. Among the states and UTs that vetoed the abolition of capital punishment were Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu and Delhi. A senior government official told The Indian Express, “We have been writing to states but only 14 have replied so far. Some of the big states such as Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra are yet to give comments. And Tripura, after the change in regime, may change its stand.” The 12 states, while arguing CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 FROM AN old cycle stand being labelled as a workshop to several institutes functioning without basic safety provisions such as earthing of installed electrical equipment. These are just some of the key findings in a series of audits conducted by the Directorate General of Training (DGE&T) on accreditation granted to Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), which are at the heart of the Centre’s skilling initiative. Over four years till 2016, the audits found, accreditation was granted to several privately run ITIs while their buildings were under construction; institutes that were operating under tin sheds and out of basements; and, multiple ITIs that applied under the same address. There were also instances of institutes not existing at the address provided on record, and several lacking requisite equipment. These institutes were granted accreditation at a time when ● PAGE ONE ANCHOR there was a spike in the government’s skilling efforts that was matched by a surge in the number of private ITIs. Of the 13,353 operational ITIs today — from just 6,906 in 2009 — about 11,000 are privately run, with this segment growing annually at the rate of 15 per cent. Accreditation qualifies ITI operators to access funds under the government’s skilling programme. The DGE&T report has been shared with the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour, which has passed strictures against Quality Council of India (QCI), which was engaged as a third party agency to accredit ITIs between 2012 and 2016. Records show the inspections were part of just a 5 per cent sampling of institutes accredited by the QCI. De-affiliation notices were subsequently issued to 14 ITIs out of 33 ITIs for non-compliance with norms laid down by the National Council of Vocational Training (NCVT). Currently, the QCI has no role to play in the accreditation process, and some 183 cases are pending in high courts. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 GUJARAT GIANT ANTS, RED BALLOONS & A ‘BANDHU’ KEEP TRIBAL KIDS IN SCHOOL SHAJU PHILIP KALPETTA (WAYANAD), MARCH 11 THERE ARE giant ants in pink and green, there’s a boy holding red balloons, there’s a bright green parrot perched on a fading brown branch. And then, there’s M M Rajan. All of them, together, are making a gaggle of noisy children at a remote school in Wayanad want to come back to the classroom, every day. Over 150 km from Attappadi in Palakkad, where a tribal was lynched last month by a mob TRACKING CHANGE» THE CONTEXT 91.93% EVERY MONDAY Literacy rate in Kerala For all Change stories, log on to www.indianexpress.com/change Witness Change? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org who accused him of stealing food, Rajan is a vital cog in a new government scheme that’s fighting dismal school dropout rates and unemployment among Scheduled Tribes. Launched nine months ago, it has placed at least one “gothra bandhu”, or a tribal mentor, in 73.64% ST literacy rate 0.22% School dropout rate in Kerala 2.27% ST school dropout rate M M Rajan, a tribal mentor in Kalpetta, Wayanad. Shaju Philip Source: Census 2011, Kerala Economic Review 2017 each of the 241 government and aided schools in Wayanad district, where Scheduled Tribes form 18.5 per cent of the population of 8,17,420, the highest in Kerala. These mentors, chosen from within the district, help bridge the language barrier between students and teachers in Class I, and make sure children reach school using free transportation provided by the government. “Our people speak the gothra language ‘nanku math’ (our language), which outsiders can’t understand. A tribal student who joins Class I struggles to understand what a teacher from another community is saying. Also, a teacher from another district finds it difficult to understand what a tribal student is saying. As a mentor, that’s where I help,” says Rajan, a member of the Kattunaikka tribe and mentor for the 20 ST children out of 27 students in Class I at the Vadakkanadu school in Kalpetta. “A tribal youth as a mentor in the classroom also helps in removing the feeling of alienation among the students. When they feel that a senior from their colony is with them, it makes a lot of difference,’’ says the 29-yearold who obtained a teachers CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ● HARDLOOK: HOW OVER RS 12,000 CRORE BANK FRAUD AFFECTS SURAT, PAGE 4
Indian Express Limited is an Indian news media publishing company. It publishes several widely circulated dailies, including The Indian Express and The Financial Express in English, the Loksatta in Marathi and the Jansatta in Hindi.