POLITICAL EDUCATION: Rally raj for ‘democracy’ – Schoolkids bunk (*?!!) classes for morcha session – only to reaffirm that they have no future under Bengal in an outrageously neglected Darjeeling & Dooars – Rallies being with students and continue with all other GJM frontal organisations, is anyone out there listening to their conscience and are doing something quick or just biding their time like we are here ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH – no fairer headline ?!!
BY VIVEK CHHETRI
(Syntax remixed for clarity and purpose)
Darjeeling, June 8: Schoolchildren escorted by teachers marched through the streets of Darjeeling today after walking out of classes midway to attend a public meeting organised by the Gorkha Janmukti Vidyarthi Morcha for “peace and restoration of democracy” in the hills.
At the meeting
At the meeting, Morcha leaders urged the students and the general public at large to be “conscious”.
“We condemn the murder of Madan Tamang. Students and the hill people must be conscious and realise who is benefiting from the incident. A conspiracy to destabilise and scuttle the Gorkhaland movement is being hatched,” said Giri, the hint meant for the state government.
“The FIR is a conspiracy as Morcha leaders from the students wing, youth wing and the town committee has been implicated selectively.”
“A handful of leaders tried to politicise the funeral of Madan Tamang but we exhibited our strength during our public meeting on May 30. Such was the turnabout at the venue that lakhs of people were left stranded on various routes in Sonada and Teesta and could not reach the venue,” Giri told the students.
The Morcha claimed that it was least bothered about the state government’s statement that the hill party had lost popular support.
“We have shown our support base. Now it is up to Centre to hold the tripartite meeting,” said Giri. Sources said the tripartite talks on Darjeeling was initially scheduled for June 9 but the Morcha leaders said they have not received any official intimation till date.
The hill outfit also launched a vitriolic attack on the opposition parties. “Those
who have formed the Democratic Front had tried to scuttle the Gorkhaland demand in 1988. The hill people will never forget their role,” said Giri, his message meant for Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxists, which was formed in the mid-90s after splitting from the CPM.
Samuel Gurung, convener of the Morcha’s Dooars and Terai unit, spoke of his involvement in the 1986 Gorkha land agitation as a Class IX student.
“Today’s gathering reminded of my school days when we used to attend rallies for Gorkhaland. Nothing can stop us from creating a separate state as the Constitution does not say that Bengal cannot be divided,” said Samuel Gurung.
He also urged the schoolchildren to concentrate “on studies, which must be your priority.”
The Bengal Administration – impartially negative, a cultural naturalism ?!!
The administration had not given any permission for the two-hour rally that started at 11.30am at Chowrastha. Six-seven schools — among them Ramakrishna Siksha Parishad, Nepali Girls’ High School and Hindi Himachal School — had allowed their students to attend the meeting. The heads of the schools refused comment.
This is not the first time that schoolchildren had taken part in political meetings. In fact, even before the start of the statehood agitation by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha in 2007, students used to regularly bring out processions largely under the banner of the All Gorkha Students’ Union (Agsu). The student outfit was then headed by Roshan Giri, the current general secretary of the Morcha. But most of the prominent schools of the hills like St Paul’s, Mount Hermon, North Point, Loreto Convent, usually stay away from these meetings.
It was also not the first time that the students were taking part in a rally that had no official sanction. Almost all Morcha meetings in the hills are held without any administrative permission.
“The letter seeking permission for the meet (which started around 11.30am) was made at the last minute and therefore I could not give permission for the meeting,” said Amal Kanti Ray, the subdivisional officer of Darjeeling (sadar), (from Bengal ?!!) about today’s rally.
The SDO, however, said the permissions for rallies were for the use of loudspeakers. “The sound should be less than 65 decibels. If anybody complains about the sound, then police would have to investigate,” said Ray.
The police said it was difficult to make adequate security arrangements at the last moment. “The situation cannot be termed as normal at the moment and we could not immediately provide security at the meeting. We have told the student leaders to ask for permission at least a week before such gatherings,” said a senior police officer.
MEANWHILE IN THE PLAINS BELOW DARJEELING
Facility hurdles for doc college – Infrastructure inadequate for approaching MCI – and absolutely nothing for Darjeeling; forget Bengal, Centre ever wonder why ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT
Malda, June 8: The state health department cannot apply to the Medical Council of India for approval to set up a medical college in Malda because of “inadequate” infrastructure, a senior official today said.
Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, during his visit here about a month ago to inaugurate an industrial training institute, had said the government had plans to set up a medical college in Malda. He, however, had said Kalyani in Nadia district would get a medical college first.
Today, state health secretary M.N. Roy visited the Malda district hospital to gather first-hand knowledge of the condition of the various departments, the operation theatres, the outpatients’ ward and the staff quarters.
Talking to reporters after the tour, Roy said Malda had a 700-bed hospital that fulfilled the criterion for setting up a medical college. “However, since the infrastructure is inadequate, we are trying to build some more to set up the medical college. But at the moment we cannot apply to the Medical Council of India for approval to set up a medical college here.”
He, however, did not specify the infrastructure required at the district hospital.
Chief medical officer of health of Malda Srikanta Roy said the health department had asked him to send details of land available with the department around the hospital. According to the MCI specifications, a medical college has to come up on land not less than 25 acres.
“The area of the hospital campus is 22 acres and falls just short of the requirement. However, on May 23 we had sent a report with the details of the land available with the department in and around the town,” Srikanta Roy said.
The health secretary said permission had been granted to set up a hospital in Chanchol subdivision.
He admitted that there was a shortage of medical staff in the district. “This is true for the entire state. There is a shortage of 1,800 to 2,000 doctors all over the state and we are trying to recruit them directly from the medical colleges on contractual basis. We had asked for 400 specialists from the public service commission and we have been promised that the recruitment will be made this year,” Roy said.
Flexibility for PM’s innovation varsities – any chance of one in Darjeeling hills ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH
BY CHARU SUDAN KASTURI
New Delhi, June 8: A new breed of “innovation” universities promised by the Prime Minister to spearhead cutting-edge research will be exempt from regulations mandatory for all other varsities, under a draft legislation pencilled by the human resource development ministry.
The regulations on teacher appointments, pay, student fees, course structure or infrastructural requirements will not be binding on these universities according to the bill, government sources told The Telegraph.
These varsities will, however, have to pick vice-chancellors through a mechanism laid down in the bill.
The innovation universities were earlier christened “world class universities” and represent Manmohan Singh’s vision to transform India into a global knowledge hub. These varsities will focus on collaborative research involving academicians from different countries.
Unlike traditional universities in India, these varsities will each have a focus area. They will offer a bouquet of programmes across streams but related to their focus area.
Climate studies, city planning, design and even animation are subjects which the HRD ministry is already mulling over as possible focus areas for these varsities. An innovation university on climate studies would offer courses tackling the economic, scientific, political — domestic and international — sociological and other aspects of the subject.
The ministry had earlier outlined plans to exempt the innovation universities from many rules binding on other varsities. But the draft legislation for the first time details how these varsities will be different in their governance.
“The bill will not create innovation universities…. It will merely facilitate the creation of these varsities,” a source explained.
Once the bill is passed by Parliament, the government will not need to bring a new law each time a new innovation university — public, private or set up through a public-private partnership — is to be started.
The ministry will merely table a draft memorandum of agreement with the new innovation university before the Parliament, which must approve before the varsity can start.
The innovation varsity bill, however, does require all such universities, including those which are privately run, to select vice-chancellors through the same mechanism as other varsities.
Under a proposed new overarching higher education regulator, the National Commission for Higher Education and Research, all central university vice-chancellors will be picked by a collegium of experts from a registry of potential candidates.