TUESDAY NIRF RANKINGS 2023 OUT, IIT-M BEST INSTITUTION FOR 5TH YEAR RUNNING 06 Seven IITs — Madras, Bombay, Delhi, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Roorkee and Guwahati — figured among the top 10 in the overall rankings JUNE, 2023 facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard IMRAN’S PARTY DEFECTORS FLOAT NEW POLITICAL OUTFIT A group of former provincial lawmakers floated a new outfit called the “Democrat” A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS PAGE 9 NEW DELHI J8.00 PAGES 12 GRP books unnamed Rly officials, CRS starts probe HEMANT KUMAR ROUT @ Bhubaneswar Rajnath Singh with his US counterpart Lloyd Austin, in Delhi on Monday | EXPRESS India, US firm up roadmap on def industrial ties New framework ahead of Modi’s visit to US M AYA N K S I N G H @ New Delhi INDIA and the US on Monday concluded a roadmap for defence industrial cooperation that is expected to create access to cutting-edge technologies besides co-producing military platforms, at a meeting defence minister Rajnath Singh had with visiting US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin here. The US Department of Defence (DoD) said the roadmap “will fast-track technology cooperation and co-production in areas such as air combat and land mobility systems; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; munitions; and the undersea domain.” The initiative aims to change the paradigm for bilateral cooperation, including specific proposals that could provide India access to cutting-edge tech and support defence modernisation plans, the DoD said. Sources said the discussions included General Electric’s proposal to manufacture GE414 AIIMS nursing exam hacked & manipulated, say candidates A S H I S H S R I V A S TA V A @ New Delhi ALLEGATIONS of manipulation and hacking have emerged in the Nursing Officers Recruitment Common Eligibility Test (NORCET). The exam is conducted by AIIMS Delhi. Screenshots and photos of the computer-based test, which took place on June 3, showing the test being in process, are doing rounds on social media. They also showed the roll number of the candidates and the clock time of the 3-hour test. Besides, a photo of the answer key to the test is also being circulated. Candidates who sat for the test have alleged the exam was running on the screens on seats next to them and claimed that people were taking the exam by using ‘any desk’ and other remote controlling software. One photo shows the test being conducted in a “bedroom.” “The questions and their answer key are exactly the same that we attempted in the exam,” said Vikas Dukiya, who took the NORCET on June 3 at Noida centre. Another candidate Vaishali Bhan claimed that the exam was being taken on the screen behind her seat, but no one was physically there. Many candidates said they have complained to the AIIMS director. Despite calls and texts, no response was received from the AIIMS director or the institute’s spokesperson. 8th edition IISc, AIIMS, JNU among top 10 institutions epaper.morningstandard.in jet engines in India, which is “in a mature state”. The Indian side asked the US to increase local sourcing for manufacture. The US was requested to establish MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) facilities in India for equipment in use with the Indian armed forces. Sources added that capacity building, including maritime domain awareness and strategic infrastructure, were also discussed. The Ministry of Defence said, “Both sides will identify opportunities for co-development of new technologies and co-production of existing and new systems.” The regional security environment was also discussed, including the IndoPacific. Austin also held talks with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. His trip was meant to do the spadework before bigticket deals are announced later this month when Prime Minister Narendra Modi will make his of ficial state visit to Washington. THE Government Railway Police (GRP) has registered a case against unnamed railway officials for the horrific pileup of trains on Friday that killed over 250 passengers. The FIR was booked under various sections, including 304-A (causing death by ne gligence), 337 ODISHA (causing hurt by act enTRAIN dangering life and perTRAGEDY sonal safety of others) Railway officials at the station manager’s room at the Bahanaga Bazar and 338 (causing grievrailway station in Odisha’s Balasore district on Monday | PTI ous hurt) of IPC. Culpability of railway employees will press, who are learn to have The probe team also inspectbe determined during investi- said that the signal was green ed the panel and signal room gation, said the FIR registered as the train entered the loop at the Bahanaga Bazar station at Cuttack. GRP sources said line and that the speed of the before interacting with the stathe probe will be done by two train was within permissible tion manager, two station suDSP-rank officers. limits. Their statements indi- perintendents and other railThe Railways began its own cated a fault in the interlock- way staff, who were present at probe on Monday with a team ing system. the time of the accident. led by Commissioner of RailBoth the loco pilots suffered “We have started the inquiry . way Safety (CRS) of the south serious injuries and are un- We visited the spot and ineastern circle, Shailesh Kumar dergoing treatment at AIIMS, spected many things. The Pathak, visiting the accident Bhubaneswar. Though their probe will take time. It will be site. They also met the loco pi- condition is stable, the assist- premature to say anything lot and assistant loco pilot of ant loco pilot is scheduled to now,” Pathak told reporters at the ill-fated Coromandel Ex- undergo a surgery . the accident site. A R S H A D K H A N @ New Delhi AIRFARES have surged sharply over the weekend, especially on routes that were earlier serviced by Go First. In some cases, the fare is now 10 times higher than what it what just days ago. On Monday, the cost of an economy class ticket on a non-stop Delhi-Mumbai flight for Tuesday ranged between `16,000 and `30,000. On the DelhiChennai route, the prices ranged between `17,000 and `32,000. To address the situation, Union aviation minis- ter Jyotiraditya Scindia held a meeting with the Airlines Advisory Group and urged all airlines them to self-regulate their ticket prices. “The airlines must self-monitor airfares on certain select routes that have seen considerable surge pricing of late, particularly those that were earlier being serviced by Go First. A mechanism for ensuring reasonable pricing within the high RBDs (Reservation Booking SIX years after announcing its intention to make access to the internet a basic right, the Kerala’s Left government on Monday launched its most ambitious project to this end — the Kerala Fibre Optic Network (KFON). A first-of-itskind in the country, the project aims to provide free internet connectivity to 20 lakh economically-backward families. In its first phase, K-FON will aim to provide free internet to 14,000 households and 30,000 government offices in the state. So far, 17,412 government institutions and 2,015 homes have been serv- iced. Additionally, 9,000 households have been linked by cable. General customers can access services, with the basic rate starting at `299 per month for a 20 Mbps connection. The state government has obtained a category 1 licence to provide basic internet services as part of the project, in addition to the internet service provider (ISP) category B unified licence to officially provide internet services. BSNL will be the internet service provider. Inaugurating the project, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said all houses and government offices in the state will be provided with broadband connectivity and inter- Designator) may be devised by airlines. This shall be monitored by the DGCA,” Scindia said after the meeting with the Airlines Advisory Group. Go First stopped flying on May 3, which led to a reduction of capacity at a time when the peak domestic air travel period is around the corner. IndiGo and the Air India group have been accused of using the demand-supply mismatch to raise ticket fares. Mark Martin, founder and CEO of Martin Consulting, The airlines must self-monitor airfares on certain select routes that have seen considerable surge pricing of late Jyotiraditya Scindia, Union aviation minister FREE INTERNET FOR POOR @ T’Puram of the rankings was released by Union MoS for Education Rajkumar Ranjan Singh Miranda House ranks as best college ■ While IIT-Madras retained the top spot in the overall rankings and in the engineering category, the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) was adjudged the best university and Miranda House the best college in the country ■ For management studies, the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A) is the best as per the rankings while for medical, it is AIIMS, Delhi Wrestlers resume govt duty, but say stir to go on U J W A L J A L A L I @ New Delhi INDIA’S top wrestlers protesting against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh resumed their work at the railway department on Monday. They, however, denied reports of having backtracked from the protest. Olympic medalist Sakshi Malik, who works as an OSD with the railways, joined her Baroda House office on May 31. “The news is completely wrong. None of us has backed down. We will continue our fight for justice and meanwhile I am fulfilling my responsibility in Railways,” Sakshi said. Bajrang Punia also dismissed the reports that claimed grapplers had withdrawn the protest. “The news of withdrawing the movement is just a rumour. The news is being spread to harm us. We have neither retreated, nor have we withdrawn the protest. The news claiming that women wrestlers have withdrawn the FIR is also false. The fight will continue till justice is served,” he tweeted. Bajrang, Sakshi and Vinesh on Saturday met Home Minis- Airfares surge 10X, govt for self-regulation K E R A L A 1 st S T A T E EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru (2nd), All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi (6th), and Jawaharlal Nehru University (10th) are among the top 10 non-IIT institutions in the overall ranking. The National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) evaluates institutions on various parameters like teaching, resources, research, graduation outcomes, outreach and inclusivity etc | P7 net services as soon as possible. “Internet services have already been made available in offices and homes under KFON,” he said. “India has the most number of internet shutdowns in the world. It is in such a country that a state government is uniquely involved in making internet available to all. As such, the K-FON project is becoming another example of the government’s and our nation’s popular alternative policies,” the Pinarayi said. The Congress-led UDF opposition boycotted the K-FON launch alleging corruption and lashed out at the government over the `4 crore project when various welfare schemes and pension payments were stalled due to lack of funds. said that it is very important for the government to set checks and balances to protect consumers’ interests, especially from price cartelisation by airlines. “A fresh body should be enacted to monitor ticket prices on an ongoing basis. India is one of the world’s largest aviation markets and therefore it is mandatory that common travelers should not suffer on account of duopolies (referring to IndiGo and Tata Group airlines),” Martin told this newspaper. Meanwhile, Scindia urged airlines to provide free cargo services to the families of those who died in the Odisha rail accident. Mukhtar Ansari gets life term in 1991 murder case N A M I TA B A J PA I @ Lucknnow THE MP/MLA court of Varanasi on Monday convicted jailed gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari of murdering Awadhesh Rai, the elder brother of Congress leader Ajai Rai, in August 1991. Special Judge Avnish Gautum convicted Ansari, who is currently incarcerated in the Banda jail, and sentenced him for life imprisonment while imposing a penalty of Rs 1 lakh on him. The court had wrapped up the final arguments of the prosecution and defence lawyers in over three decades old case on May 19 this year, reserving the order. Awdhesh Rai, a Congress supporter, was shot dead outside his house in Varanasi on August 3, 1991. As per the lawyers of Ajai Rai, who is the complainant in the case, both Awdhesh and Ajai were standing at the gate of their house when some assailants, including Ansari himself, came in a white car and opened fire at Awdhesh. In retaliation, Ajay fired from his licensed pistol but the assailants fled leaving the car behind. Awadhesh was rushed to a hospital where doctors declared him dead upon arrival. It is widely believed that the rivalry over government contracts in eastern UP was the reason for Awadhesh’s killing. ASSAM SOLUTION Pay power bill or go and sit under tree: Assembly Speaker P R A S A N TA M A Z U M D A R @ Guwahati ‘Will they now have to go back to stone age?’ A few days back, the Assam government hiked electricity rates — a consumer will have to pay 30 paise to 70 paise per unit more, except those who get a government subsidy Reason: . The Assam Power Distribution Company Ltd adjusted its fuel and power purchase price adjustment (FPPPA) charge to clear its outstanding dues to various agencies. But that’s not news. The remarks made by Assembly Speaker Biswajit Daimary have evoked sharp reaction from Opposition Congress, with PCC chief Bhupen Kumar Borah saying, “Our forefathers sat under a tree and then with time, came fans. Will they now have to go back to the stone age?” Assembly Speaker Biswajit Daimary made the news. “If you cannot afford fans, sit under a tree,” he said, responding to the criticism of the ruling BJP government against the frequent power tariff hikes. “The electricity tariff has increased. Don’t switch on the fans if you cannot afford it. Sit under a tree. The electricity bills won’t be much then,” Daimary advised people. “The government buys elec- tricity from companies and if they inflate the price, what can it do?,” the BJP leader said. Another piece of advice from him is not to make it an issue, and use electricity judiciously. “Things that you have are under your control, but things that you do not have are not under your control,” he said. Opposition Congress was quick to shoot back. Condemning Daimary’s remarks, PCC chief Bhupen Kumar Borah said, “Our forefathers sat under a tree and then with time, came fans. Will they now have to go back to the stone age?” Borah said that when people were struggling because of rising power tariffs, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma kept moving around in the country in a helicopter. State Congress working president Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha linked the Speaker’s remarks to the state’s “precarious financial health.” Bajrang, Sakshi, Vinesh met Shah Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik and Vinesh Phogat on Saturday met Home Minister Amit Shah at his residence to discuss the matter related to their ongoing protest. The wrestlers began their protest at Jantar Mantar on April 23. ter Amit Shah at his residence to discuss the matter related to their ongoing protest. The wrestlers began their protest at Jantar Mantar on April 23 demanding the arrest of the WFI chief over the allegations of sexual harassment. However, since May 28, they were not allowed to sit at Jantar Mantar and their tents were forcibly removed from the protest site after they tried to march towards Parliament. Two days later on May 30, they reached Haridwar to immerse their medals in the river Ganga but were stopped by farmer leaders, who then gave 5-day ultimate to the government to sort out their demands. ACTIVIST’S VIDEO Nudity not obscene by default: Kerala High Court E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Kochi THE Kerala High Court on Monday said nudity should not be tied to sex and the mere sight of the naked upper body of a woman should not be considered as sexual or obscene by default. The HC made the observation while discharging activist Rehana Fathima in a case lodged for posting a video on social media in which her two minor children were seen painting on her semi-nude body . The prosecution sought tio argue that the naked upper body of the petitioner is exposed in the video, and hence, it is obscene and should be considered pornographic material that involves children. The court watched the video in the open court. The twominute video shows the petitioner’s son carefully, with utmost professional concentration, painting the image of a phoenix in the upper part of her body A little girl is also seen in . the video painting on paper, the court said. “There is no reason to believe that an ordinary man viewing the video would become depraved, debased and encouraged to lasciviousness. In the strict sense, the petitioner did not show her bare chest, as the body paint covered her breast. It can never arouse any sexually explicit feeling in the mind of a prudent man,” Justice Kauser Edappagath said. The court observed that the depiction of the naked body of a woman cannot per se be termed obscene, indecent, or sexually explicit. The body is the most fundamental space over which an individual shall have autonomy, the court stated. “Every individual is entitled to the autonomy of his/her body — this is not selective on gender,” said the court. Painting on the upper body of a mother by her children as an art project cannot be characterised as a real or simulated sexual act, nor can it be said that the same was done for sexual gratification or with sexual intent, the court observed.
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