LATE CITY, 18 PAGES, AHMEDABAD, `4.00 ● WEDNESDAY, APRIL 4, 2018 ● WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM TheIndian EXPRESS DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE FAKE NEWS AND CANCELLING ACCREDITATION Damage control by Prime Minister, he orders Irani’s punish-journalist directive withdrawn PM annoyed at ‘tone, timing’ of directive, says official; after outrage, Irani tones down her pitch KRISHN KAUSHIK & LIZ MATHEW NEW DELHI, APRIL 3 PRIME MINISTER Narendra Modi today ordered the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to withdraw its order laying down new guidelines punishing journalists for fake news after widespread criticism that these norms were an attempt to intimidate and muzzle the free press in an election year. Soon after, the I&B Ministry issued a statement, saying its press release regarding fake news put out by it last night “stands withdrawn.” In the press release last night, the I&B ministry had cited rising fake news to announce that it had amended guidelines for journalists’ accreditation stating that if a journalist is found to have “created and/or propagated” fake news, the journalist’s accreditation will be suspended for six months or a year for a second violation or permanently cancelled. BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY It had said that the Press Council of India and the News Broadcasters Association, the two regulatory bodies for print and TV media respectively, will determine whether the news is fake or not. And that the journalist’s accreditation would be suspended once a complaint is registered until either body decides — within 15 days — if it is fake or not. Media bodies and Opposition parties slammed this order calling it an attempt to curb press freedom ahead of the general elections in 2019. Clearly, the order from the PM was a snub to I&B Minister Smriti Irani who, until past midnight Tuesday, was stridently engaged on social media defending and explaining her ministry’s directive that was issued at 8.55 pm. Sources said that the PMO was “not consulted” and was unaware of Irani’s directive until it CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 WEBSITE & EXAM WARRIORS PARTNER SHARE STAFF, PAGE 7 11 EXPLAINED No Class X Maths retest, no effect of leak found E Similar scripts in repeated govt attempts to gag media In Rajasthan, houses of Dalit MLA, ex-minister set ablaze RITIKA CHOPRA NEW DELHI, APRIL 3 THE CENTRAL Board of Secondary Education’s (CBSE) decision on Tuesday to not hold a retest of the Class X Mathematics paper was based on the evaluation of 1,000 randomly selected answer scripts from examination centres in Delhi, Panchkula and Patna regions, School Education Secretary Anil Swarup told The Indian Express. “The Board compared the pass percentage of these (1,000) students to the corresponding figure for last year and found that there was no unusual spike or change in performance. In fact, the pass percentage of this sample size is less than that of last year,” he said. The pass percentage of the sample evaluation in the Delhi region was 89.36 per cent, as against 93.62 per cent last year. Similarly, 84.77 per cent of the students evaluated in the Panchkula region passed the paper this time, as opposed to 99.18 per cent last year. In the Patna region, the sample evaluation threw up a pass percentage of 73.55 per cent, compared to 98.93 per cent in 2017 (see box on page 2). Last year, the Class X board exam was optional. In other words, although the question paper was set by CBSE, students could opt to have their paper evaluated either by the Board or their school. So last year’s pass percentage is an average of the Board results and internal evaluation by the school. CBSE-affiliated schools across the country are divided into 10 regions. While the Delhi region includes schools from the Capital and National Capital CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 NEW DELHI, APRIL 3 MAKING CLEAR “we are not going by any agitation”, the Supreme Court Tuesday declined an interim stay on its March 20 order which forbids arrest without prior permission for an offence under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The judges said the Centre’s review petition, filed Monday when Dalits staged protests across the country against what they called dilution of the Act, will again be heard after written submissions are filed. The hearing Tuesday was in open court, as desired by the Centre. “We are not diluting any provisions of the Act, we are only protecting the innocent... only reiterating the law of arrest,” a bench of Justices A K Goel and U U Lalit said, turning down Attorney General K K Venugopal’s plea to keep in abeyance the March 20 directions — on a preliminary enquiry before registration of a case and sanction for the arrest of the accused — till the matter is finally decided. Venugopal told the bench that he was not bringing up its DEEP MUKHERJEE NEARLY 40 months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered a $1-billion credit line for digital connectivity for 10 ASEAN countries from India, there are few takers. The credit line was announced at the India-ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur in November 2015, as part of India’s “Act East” policy. Surprised by this lack of interest from ASEAN countries, in January, Delhi decided to give a my son’s body,” he says. A resident of Gallar Kotha, one of the many Dalit settlements across Gwalior, Deepak was one of the seven killed in Madhya Pradesh Monday after Dalit protests erupted across the country against the alleged dilution of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. On Tuesday, curfews and heavy security prevented further violence, but in cities and towns where the impact of the protests was felt most, tension runs high A DAY after Dalit protests triggered violence in different parts of the country, fresh violence broke out in Rajasthan as a mob set ablaze the houses of a sitting MLA and a former MLA — both Dalits — in Hindaun, in Karauli district, about 160 km from Jaipur, during counter-protests on Tuesday morning. Police said the mob also tried to attack a Dalit settlement. “Yesterday, a crowd of about 15,000-20,000 protesters, who were in favour of the Bharat Bandh, created a ruckus in several areas like Gangapur in Sawai Madhopur and Hindaun in Karauli. Today, traders, businessmen and non-Scheduled Caste people took out a rally against yesterday’s violence,” said Inspector General of Police, Bharatpur range, Alok Kumar Vashishtha. “Defying prohibitory orders imposed in the area, they tried to enter a Jatav settlement. Police had to intervene,” he said. “The mob of 3,000-4,000 people also attacked the houses of MLA CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Ramvati (left), wife of Rakesh Tomatiya, who was killed in Gwalior on Monday. Gajendra Yadav 8 THE EDITORIAL PAGE Deaths have deepened the caste divide in MP SOURAV ROY BARMAN GWALIOR, MORENA, APRIL 3 Fair justice BY SUDHEENDRA KULKARNI INSIDE ● GOVT WANTED ANTICIPATORY BAIL CLAUSE: AMICUS P 6 THE CYCLE cart in which Deepak Mittal’s bullet-ridden body was taken to the nearby nursing home is parked in a narrow lane that leads to his house. The blood stains have not been washed yet and houseflies buzz all around. Inside the single-room tin house, Deepak’s father Mohan Singh sits on his haunches, frequently smoking bidis. “The bullet came from the direction of the Tomar building and pierced 3 yrs, no takers for India’s $1-bn credit line for Asean digital links NEW DELHI, APRIL 3 NEW DELHI, APRIL 3 WITH LOK Sabha elections due next year, more than two-thirds of the 4.85 crore population in the 18-19 age group are still not enrolled as voters. Election Commission data also shows that enrolment of first-time voters in Karnataka, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, which go to polls this year, is almost as low. According to data on voter enrolment obtained from the Election Commission by The Indian Express under the Right to Information Act, of the estimated 4.85 crore population in the 18-19 age group (or millennium voters), 3.42 crore or 70.51 per cent will not be able to exercise their franchise if elections are held on the basis of the present voter list. Only 29.49 per cent of the projected population of this age group in the country is in the voter list as of January 1, 2018. In contrast, the percentage of all el- Only 1.43 cr first-time voters enrolled so far igible voters who are enrolled is 63.75 per cent. According to EC data, the total projected population in the country for 2018 is 137.63 crore and 87.75 crore of them are eligible to vote. Data for first-time voters in Karnataka (33.67 per cent), Madhya Pradesh (21.19 per cent) and Rajasthan (46.58 per cent) shows a similar trend of low enrolment. Before the Lok Sabha elections in 2014, EC data showed of the 1.79 lakh new voters on average in each constituency, the 1819 age group accounted for about 24 per cent or around 43,000. The winning margin was less than this in 226 Lok Sabha constituencies in the 2009 elections. Even in states where polls concluded — Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland - the enrolment of the 18-19 age group CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 JAIPUR, APRIL 3 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 SUSHANT SINGH SHYAMLAL YADAV grant of $40 million for pilot projects in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV) countries to help “kick-start” the credit line. Government sources said that the pilot projects “had been planned to ensure better takeoff of credit line projects and to reduce the dependence of the ASEAN countries solely on China. These, we hope, will be like trailers of the movies, yet to be released.” The overall responsibility for the $1-billion credit line, which includes both physical and digital connectivity in ASEAN coun- tries, is with the Ministry of External Affairs, with funds released by the Export-Import Bank of India (EXIM Bank). The Department of Telecom (DoT) and Telecom Equipment and Services Export Promotion Council (TEPC) are the lead agencies from the Indian side for connectivity projects. Of the 10 ASEAN countries, only Laos has so far sent formal requests for digital connectivity projects under the credit line. But, this request for three projects, made through diplomatic channels last May, has not CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 3 GUJARAT NEW DELHI, APRIL 3 ● Water level in Narmada dam gets steady, Page 5 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE It’s the discretion of the Speaker: Trivedi GANDHINAGAR, APRIL 3 IN A move triggering outrage from the Opposition Congress, Gujarat Assembly Speaker Rajendra Trivedi has barred legislators from asking more than three “unstarred” questions in a week. The order, which was issued on March 28, also states that an MLA cannot ask an “unstarred” question when the Assembly is in session and the three “unstarred” questions have to be submitted when the Assembly is not in session. As per the Assembly rules, “starred” questions come up for discussion during Question Hour, while the “unstarred” questions get tabled in the House. Unlike “starred” questions, no discussion takes place on “unstarred” questions. The Congress termed the Speaker’s decision as “an attempt to stifle the voice of the Opposition”. “This move is an attack on the rights of the MLAs to raise people’s issues. Till now, there was a limit of three ‘starred’ questions in a week. But, there was no such limit in asking number of unstarred questions. The rule has been announced without consulting us and we are going to protest it,” said Congress MLA and Deputy Leader of the Opposition in Assembly, Shailesh Parmar. “In a ‘starred’ question, there is a limitation that we cannot ask about issues related to more than two districts. Also, we cannot ask CONTINUED ON PAGE 5 ‘Indian engg students gain in first 2 yrs, high-order thinking is poor’ RITIKA CHOPRA HOURS AFTER HIS ARREST, EX-MLA GETS BAIL IN ASSAULT CASE In Gujarat Assembly, cap on questions: 3/MLA/wk A LEARNING outcome assessment of undergraduate engineering students in the country, conducted by Stanford University and the World Bank, suggests that Indian students make substantial gains in Mathematics and critical thinking skills in the first two years of their education compared to their counterparts in China and Russia. But their overall higher order thinking skills are “substantially lower” than the Chinese and Russians. The World Bank and Stanford University surveyed roughly 5,000 first-year and third-year B.Tech students from 200 randomly-selected public and private engineering institutes last year. These 200 institutes do not include the Indian Institutes of Technology or the IITs. Similar learning assessments were also conducted for engineering students in China and Russia. According to preliminary results seen by The Indian Express, students from disadvantaged sections in India make either INDIA’S BEST OVERALL Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore ENGINEERING IIT, Madras MANAGEMENT IIM, Ahmedabad UNIVERSITY IISc, Bangalore COLLEGE Miranda House, Delhi REPORT, PAGE 7 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ● PAGE ONE ANCHOR 12 WORLD ANANTHAKRISHNAN G YOUR RIGHT TO KNOW AN XPRESS RTI APPLICATION Dilution of SC/ST Act: Apex court doesn’t stay its order, says ‘we’re not going by any agitation’ Protesters may have been misled by vested interests: court In election year, only 30 per cent of 18-19 age group are enrolled as voters GAMES BEGIN TODAY... AUSTRALIA CAN FORGET STEVE SMITH ISRAEL HAS RIGHT TO ITS LAND: SAUDI CROWN PRINCE EXPRESSAT CWG 2018 MIHIR VASAVDA APRIL 3 US DESIGNATES HAFIZ SAEED'S MILLI MUSLIM LEAGUE AS TERROR OUTFIT “YOUR BOYS have been up to a lot of mischief, eh?” The Australian Border Force officer at the boarding gate of Singapore’s Changi Airport tries to sound courteous. But his smile and wink barely disguise his taunt, and a sporting nation’s relief. Indian athletes have come to the rescue of a country scarred by the recent images of their bawling cricketers. Syringe-gate seems to have taken the heat away from sandpaper-gate, and eased the trauma of this proud sporting nation. Until Monday, every Indian athlete entering the Games Village was first being escorted to the dope control room. At the airport, the border force officers have been asking every travelling journalist to “step aside” for biometric scans and background checks. After the initial hysteria, the debate seems to be gradually shifting to whether the country overreacted to the actions of Smith & Co., and syringe-gate is dominating the local news cycle. On Monday, one ofthe sports networks ran an hour-long programme rich with anecdotes about how ball-tampering has been common since Don Bradman’s days. Even the ‘letters to the editor’ section of The Australian, a leading daily, focused on how the “cricketers have been dealt manifest injustice”. Not that the Commonwealth Games have been reduced to controversy. In fact, Australia wants Indian athletes with Australian artists at the flag-hoisting ceremony of the Commonwealth Games on Monday. PTI to portray the CWG as a kind of travelogue — Gold Coast’s stupendous beaches, the stunning highrises on its front, the vivid blue water, prolific greenery, and savage humour. And to show that their game is still fair play, the organisers have turned to one ofthe nicest men in Olympic sport, particularly hockey. Mark Knowles, a modern hockey great, was expected to be just another face in Australia’s 474-member contingent at Wednesday’s opening ceremony. However, he was named the flag-bearer, picked over the public’s favourite — track star Sally Pearson. It was a surprising decision since hockey isn’t quite mainstream here. But Knowles, as the locals say, is an embodiment of everything that Australians cherish in their sportsmen. “His is a story of love not money, of sincerity rather than sledging, of hard yakka not hubris,” the Gold Coast Bulletin noted, taking an obvious dig at the cricketers. The choice has proved to be a masterstroke as Australia tries to repair its sporting reputation. India, meanwhile, once again finds itself in the dock on the eve of yet another Commonwealth Games. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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