MOSPI orders revamp merges NSSO CSO into NSO

first_imgNew Delhi: The Statistics and Programme Implementation has decided to merge the Central Statistics Office (CSO) and the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) into National Statistical Office (NSO) in a major restructuring move. The ministry in an order issued on May 23 regarding the restructuring of the ministry (MOSPI), stated, “In order to streamline and strengthen the present nodal function of MOSPI with respect to Indian official statistics system and bring in more synergy by integrating its administrative functions within the ministry.” Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documentsAccording to the order, Statistical Wing, comprising the NSO with constituents as the CSO and the NSSO, to be an integral part of the main ministry. It stated that the NSO would be headed by Secretary Statistics and Programme Implementation, with various divisions reporting to the Secretary through Director Generals (DGs). The CSO headed by a DG brings out macro economic data like economic (GDP) growth data, industrial production and inflation. Also Read – World suffering ‘synchronized slowdown’, says new IMF chiefThe NSSO conducts large-scale surveys and brings out reports on health, education, household expenditure and other social and economic indicators. The NSSO and the CSO were functioning independently. The MOSPI order also stated that with the reorganisation of the CSO and the NSSO within NSO as part of the main ministry, the administrative functions will be streamlined with the involvement of DG level officers in administrative and overall coordination of the ministry. The Data Processing Division (DPD) of the present NSSO would be renamed Data Quality Assurance Division (DQAD) and have the responsibility to bring out quality improvements in survey data, as well in data of non-survey source like Economic Census and administrative statistics (provided by various department or bodies). The Field Operation Division (FOD) of the present NSSO will be subordinate office of the MOSPI, and all other divisions of present CSO, NSSO and the administrative wing to exist as division of the ministry. However, the order did not speak anything about the National Statistical Commission (NSC), which was overseeing statistical works in India. The government had set up the NSC through a resolution on June 1, 2005. The setting up of the NSC followed the decision of the Union Cabinet to accept the recommendations of the Rangarajan Commission, which reviewed the Indian Statistical System in 2001. The NSC was constituted on July 12, 2006 with a mandate to evolve policies, priorities and standards in statistical matters. The NSC has four Members besides a Chairperson, each having specialization and experience in specified statistical fields.last_img read more

After Easter attacks Sri Lanka mulls new fake news law

first_imgColombo: Sri Lanka’s government will introduce five-year jail terms for those caught spreading fake news and hate speech on social media, the government said Wednesday, following a surge in online vitriol and disinformation after the Easter suicide attacks. The cabinet of ministers approved a proposal by the acting justice minister, which will also see offenders fined one million rupees (USD 5,715), the government said in a statement. It did not immediately release a definition of the two offences, but said the penal code will be amended to introduce the new penalties. Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests’The move follows repeated government allegations that platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp have been used to spread online hate, in a country where ethnic divisions still linger after decades of war. Sri Lanka shut down internet access in March last year to prevent further violence when anti-Muslim mobs went on the rampage in the island nation’s central region, killing three people and destroying hundreds of homes, shops, vehicles and mosques. Also Read – Pak Army chief accompanies Imran at key meetings in ChinaDuring the violence, mobs used social media platforms to organise attacks against minority groups. Sri Lankan social networks also saw a surge in fake news after the Easter suicide bombings that left 258 people dead and nearly 500 wounded. A nine-day ban on platforms including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and WhatsApp was introduced following the Islamic State-claimed attacks on three churches and three hotels on April 21.last_img read more

Carey looks forward to World Cup clash against India and calm Dhoni

first_imgNottingham: Nervous to start with at his maiden World Cup, Australian wicketkeeper Alex Carey says he now cannot wait to challenge India, especially Mahendra Singh Dhoni, when the two sides clash on Sunday in London. Carey’s 55-ball 45 was good support to Nathan Coulter-Nile’s 60-ball 92 in Australia’s 15-run win over the West Indies here on Thursday. The early nerves of playing at a big tournament taken care of by that effort, Carey made some confident statements about the match against India. Also Read – We don’t ask for kind of tracks we get: Bowling coach Arun “Playing against him (Dhoni) in India and Australia, he’s very calm. He always gives himself a chance to finish off the game,” Carey was quoted as saying by the ICC’s official website. “He gives himself time out in the middle. They’re pretty calm heads, they give themselves a chance to finish off an innings. “It’s a World Cup, so I didn’t know too much what to expect. Rolling to the first game in the bus and seeing all the crowd gave me some goosebumps. I thought it was a pretty cool feeling.” Also Read – Bastian Schweinsteiger announces retirement, could join Germany set-up Reflecting on his performance against the West Indies, the 27-year-old said it helped that he was batting with Steve Smith at the other end. “I gave myself a fair bit of time to get my innings going. Speaking to Smudge (Steve Smith) there was plenty of time left on the board. “It was a matter of trying to absorb a bit of pressure, just bat and scrap through as many as we could.” Despite being the less experienced of the two, Carey said Smith didn’t give him any particular advice on how to turn things around after Australia had been reduced to 79/5 at one stage. The defending champions recovered to post 288. “I suppose when I was two off 23 balls he gave me no indication I was doing something wrong, backing up what I was trying to do out there. “There was no pressure from him, so we were fine just going together. I think we know at Trent Bridge, if we give ourselves a bit of time we can score freely,” he said. “I didn’t think it was a bad thing at the time, I guess if you get out we’re 80/6 I gave myself a bit of time to assess the conditions and give the tail a chance,” he added.last_img read more

Private hospital doctors shut OPDs in solidarity

first_imgKolkata: Outpatient departments of private hospitals were paralysed on Wednesday as doctors did not attend to patients as a mark of protest against the attack on two junior doctors of NRS hospital. At some of the private hospitals there were patients but no doctors. At some, the OPDs wore a deserted look and there were neither patients nor doctors. The empty seats at the OPD of Woodlands hospital in Alipore outnumbered the occupied ones around 11am. “Most of the doctors are not attending to outdoor patients. The footfall is lower than usual,” a hospital official said. Also Read – City bids adieu to Goddess Durga Dipak Ghosh, a Bandel resident, was among the few who had turned up at Woodlands. Ghosh was with his wife who suffers from high blood sugar and related ailments. She was at the hospital to consult an endocrinologist. The slot had been booked in the last week of May. But Ghosh who had read reports of the clash at NRS did not take any chance. “I had called up the hospital to check if the doctor would be available. I left home only after getting a confirmation,” he said. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellers A few blocks away, the CMRI hospital was no different. Most seats on the ground floor OPD were empty. “Usually, there are more than 30 doctors at the OPD on a weekday. Today, it is fewer than five. Not even 25 patients had registered till noon. On other days, a few hundred turn up by 11am,” an executive at the registration desk in the OPD said. Doctors said it was a spontaneous protest in solidarity with the injured doctors of NRS. “We saw only emergency patients and patients who came from far-off places,” Gautam Mukhopadhyay, surgical oncologist and secretary of Bengal Oncology Foundation, said. “We can’t tolerate violence inside hospitals. The state and central governments must think of ways to increase security at hospitals so that doctors are not attacked,” he said. At BM Birla Heart Research Centre, operated by the same group that runs CMRI, the OPD had more patients, but doctors were hard to find. “I had booked an appointment for a family member on Wednesday morning. But when we reached the hospital, the cardiologist was not there. His secretary said he would not attend the OPD and gave us another slot on Thursday,” a septuagenarian Alipore resident said. At private hospitals across the city, doctors attended to patients at various wards but kept off OPDs. Hundreds of patients with prior appointment hadn’t turned up, following reports of the shutdown call given by doctors’ bodies. The CPM-backed Service Doctors Forum had called for a shutdown of OPDs at all private and government hospitals on Wednesday to protest the attack on junior doctors at NRS on Monday. The BJP-backed doctors’ cell, along with some medical practitioner, too, had called for a shutdown of OPDs to protest the assault. The OPDs at private hospitals off the Bypass were more deserted. At Ruby General Hospital, around 1.30pm, most of the patients at the OPD were medical representatives. Mehnaz Hasan had arrived from Dhaka with her mother, a neurological patient. “A doctor saw her yesterday (Tuesday) and she underwent some tests. I have come to collect the reports and show them to the doctor,” Hasan, who works with a medical tourism company that has offices in Bangladesh and Calcutta, said. Hasan was told at the OPD reception to wait in front of the neurologist’s chamber when The Telegraph met her. She had no idea when the doctor would turn up. “There is no other option because I will leave for Dhaka on Thursday,” she said. At AMRI Mukundapur, there are 50-odd seats in the OPD on the first floor. Hardly five were occupied. “The OPD footfall on a weekday is between 350 and 400. But today, the number barely crossed 50. The number of doctors is above 20 at any given point of time. Only a couple of doctors were there today,” a hospital official said. The official responses of hospitals were similar. “We condemn any act of violence in a hospital. However, we would like to inform patients and public at large that all our departments are functioning normally. This includes surgeries, emergencies and daily consultancy. There is a possibility that some doctors may not be available,” a spokesperson for CK Birla Hospitals that runs CMRI and BM Birla Heart Research Centre said. “All our departments, including emergency services, are operational today (Wednesday). Hospital occupancy is very high. OPD footfall is less than other weekdays,” an official of Ruby General Hospital said. “All our doctors and the hospital authorities condemn the attack on doctors and hospital staff.”(With inputs from Telegraph India)last_img read more

Major fire at furniture market in Delhi metro services disrupted

first_imgNew Delhi: A major fire broke out at a furniture market near Kalindi Kunj metro station in south Delhi early Friday, prompting DMRC authorities to suspend metro services on a section of the Magenta Line for nearly four hours, officials said. However, no one has been injured in the incident, fire officials said. The blaze was reported at 5.55 am and 17 fire tenders were pressed into service to douse the flames, Chief Fire Officer Atul Garg said. Also Read – IAF receives its first Rafale fighter jet from France Metro services which began early on Friday to facilitate passengers in reaching venues for International Yoga Day events, suffered a major disruption on the Magneta Line due to the incident. Delhi Metro’s Magenta Line connects Janakpuri West in Delhi and Botanical Garden in Noida. The fire officials said flames from the blaze had spread to pillar numbers 205 and 206 as well, so the metro officials were also alerted to carry out a thorough check to ensure public safety. Also Read – Cosmology trio win Nobel Physics Prize “Soon after the incident was reported, movement of trains were stopped temporarily between Jasola Vihar Shaheen Bagh and Kalindi Kunj metro stations due to smoke and fire from underneath the aqueduct. “Short loops were run between Janakpuri West and Jasola Vihar Shaheen Bagh till normal services were resumed,” a senior Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DRMC) official said. “There was no service between Kalindi Kunj and Botanical Garden stations temporarily,” the DMRC had said soon after the fire. Botanical Garden station is an interchange facility between Blue Line and Magenta Line. The Blue Line connects Dwarka in Delhi to Electronic City in Noida. After about four hours, the DMRC tweeted, “Train services have resumed between Botanical Garden and Jasola Vihar Shaheen Bagh.” However, it advised passengers earlier to use Blue Line to continue their journey. “The furniture market is spread over 2,000 square yards and the fire had spread rapidly as a large amount of wood and plastic material was stored in the area. Several furniture shops were gutted. However, no one was injured as the fire broke out early morning and the shops were yet to open,” a senior official said. Police and DMRC officials were at the spot and nearly 70 firefighting officials carried out the operation. The fire was brought under control by 7.45 am. However, four fire tenders were still at the spot carrying out cooling process, officials said.last_img read more

RD Burmans 80th birthday celebrated with gusto

first_imgKolkata: The 80th birth anniversary of RD Burman, one of the finest composer India has ever produced, was observed with great enthusiasm in Kolkata.The statue of RD Burman on Southern Avenue was garlanded in the morning by musicians. The programme was organised by Amit Kumar Fan Club. The statue is situated on the boulevard opposite Nazrul Mancha which is located close to South End Park where RD popularly known as Pancham was born to a musical family. His father was music composer and singer SD Burman and mother lyricist and singer Meera Dev Barma. India Post released a special cover to mark the occasion. Also Read – City bids adieu to Goddess DurgaIn the evening, Centre Stage organised Aati Rahengi Baharen, a musical programme featuring Javed Ali, Akriti Kakkar, Sudesh Bhosle and Sailaja among others at Nazrul Mancha. Shyam Sarkar and Cozmik Harmony hosted another musical programme titled Pyar Dewani Hota Hai featuring Jolly Mukherjee, Kishore Sodha, Franco Vaz and Sujoy Bhowmick among others at Deshpriya Park. In both the programmes, the vocalists presented some of the popular songs of RD Burman. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersFrom 1960 to 1990 RD had composed musical songs for 331 films. RD, Rajesh Khanna and Kishore Kumar became an immortal trio in Indian cinema with Pancham composing songs for 32 films. He had composed songs for 40 films where the hero was Rajesh Khanna. RD took lessons in sarod from Ustad Ali Akbar Khan and tabla from Samta Prasad. He was a brilliant harmonica and mouth-organ player and often took part in the orchestra of Salil Chowdhury whom he considered to be his musical guru. In the famous song Hai Apna Dil Tu Aawara composed by SD Barman and sung by Hemant Kumar in the feature film Solva Saal, the mouth organ was played by RD. He was the musical assistant in many popular films such as Chalti Ka Naam Gaddi, Kaggaz Ke Phool, Bandini, Teen Devian among others. In some of the all-time great music composed by him for feature films, which included Teesri Manzil, Pyar ka mausam, Yaadon ki baarat, Parichay, Andhi, Kati Patang, Aap ki Kasam and Sholay. RD was very close to poet and lyricist Gulzar and their friendship lasted till the untimely demise of RD Burman.last_img read more

Are we ready for change

first_imgEven though India boasts of universalisation of primary education, with almost 100 per cent Gross Enrolment Rate (2014-15), quality of education in the last decade has gone down. While ASER 2008 revealed that 50.6 per cent grade 3 children in India could read a grade 1 text, this number reduced to 42.5 per cent by 2016. With India committed to the Sustainable Development Goal of achieving equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all by 2030, this backward trend is a cause of concern. Also Read – A special kind of bondPadhe Bharat Badhe Bharat scheme launched in 2014 under the aegis of SSA aims to improve the reading and writing skills of children in grades 1 and 2. The recently released draft New Education Policy 2019 also talks of foundational literacy and age-appropriate pedagogical practices. It not only talks of revamping the current educational structure, but also promotes massive teacher education and professional development reforms. The draft NEP also talks about remedial education, primarily for those who have been left behind and struggle with the daily challenges of curriculum in class. Also Read – Insider threat managementDespite the new era of reforms that might soon be pushed, one question that largely remains ignored in this discussion is: are we ready for change? The concept of literacy is expanding and is not confined to development of basic reading writing abilities alone. Literacy today talks of the ability to access information from multiple sources, deal with multiple perspectives and layered meaning in a text and form an informed opinion. The objective today is to ensure the development of independent learning skills in children and this can only be achieved on a strong foundation of early grade literacy. Unfortunately, stakeholders at various levels today seem to be ill-prepared or ill-equipped on multiple fronts. Firstly, there is a general lack of understanding about ‘science of reading’, among teachers, both public and private. This is not to pass on the blame to the teachers in any way. On the contrary, the attempt is to provide a sympathetic view. Most of the pre-service teacher education courses use obsolete content with minimal focus on reading pedagogy. The result is often an unprepared teacher having to deal with children speaking multiple home languages and coming with minimum or no quality preschool experience. Add to it the fact that they are pressured to teach multi-level, multi-grade classrooms with ill-designed curriculum, poorly designed textbooks and still show results. The in-service teacher training does little to help alleviate the problem. Secondly, the state government also provides a cadre of academic officials known as Block Resource Persons (BRPs) or Cluster Academic Coordinators (CACs) to monitor and support the teachers in delivery of effective classroom instruction. However, owing to less than adequate academic capabilities and conceptual knowledge, they seem to be unable to do justice to their defined role. Also, in most of the states, they are largely seen to be involved in administrative tasks that provides them with no challenge and zeal to focus on quality education. Lack of understanding of early grade literacy exists even at the highest level of government machinery, with senior officials ‘demanding’ results; rather than working to improve systemic inefficiencies and capabilities. Thirdly, parents from humble backgrounds, proud of being the first ones to send their kids to school, more often than not are satisfied with their children just ‘attending school’ and do not ‘demand’ quality. These first generation learners themselves come completely unprepared for the school and are lost amidst the textbooks and rote learning of the script. Lastly, most of the government schools have inadequate infrastructure and non-functional libraries stacked with low-quality inappropriate reading material for early graders, if any. The missing culture of reading both in our schools and our communities does not help either. There is an urgent need today to ensure quality education in primary grades, or else our demographic advantage may very soon turn to ‘demographic burden’. Language experts must be involved in the development of a broad literacy framework based on scientific pedagogical principles that provides scalable sustainable inputs with in-built flexibility for state-specific contexts. Based on the framework, early grade curriculum needs to be reworked on and textbooks revised. Teacher education courses and in-service training need to be made more relevant and closely linked to ground realities. There should be creation of government recognised MOOC courses focusing on pedagogy, in teachers’ own language. The structure and content of in-service teacher training need to be changed. These should be followed by regular long-term mentoring and support on the ground, which is not possible unless there is a cadre of trained academic coordinators. Hence, focused training for BRPs/CACs on pedagogy and mentoring skills remains a non-negotiable. Schools need to be filled with relevant and appropriate reading material for primary grades, either through school libraries or classroom libraries. Lastly, all of this can only be done if sufficient awareness and sensitivity about early grade literacy is brought about not only at the level of the community, but also at the highest bureaucratic and political level. The draft New Education Policy 2019 needs to ponder over these issues and provide appropriate solutions. One can only hope that the new era of reforms would help India provide quality learning opportunities to those we fail most often, our children. (Amit Kapoor is chair, Institute for Competitiveness, India. Nidhi Vinayak, educationist, is co-author for the piece. Views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

HC declares as illegal amendment by TN govt to Centres Land Acquisition

first_imgChennai: The Madras High Court has declared as “illegal” an amendment made by the Tamil Nadu government to the Centre’s Land Acquisition Act, exempting three state legislations from its purview.It also made it clear that all land acquisitions made by the state government under the three state legislations on or after September 27, 2013, were “illegal.” A division bench of Justices S Manikumar and Subramonium Prasad, which set aside the amendment on Wednesday, however, held that the lands, which had been acquired and already put to use for the purpose for which they had been acquired before September 2013, should not be disturbed.The three legislations providing for acquisition of land by the state government are Tamil Nadu Acquisition of Land for Harijan Welfare Scheme Act, 1978, Tamil Nadu Acquisition for Land for Industrial Purposes Act, 1997 and Tamil Nadu Highways Act, 2001. The matter relates to the amendment made to the Centre’s Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 by inserting a new section, 105 A. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity!The central act was brought out to ensure more transparency in the process of land acquisition and that the land-losers were suitably resettled. It was introduced to make sure only those acquisitions which were truly necessary took place and that land was not indiscriminately taken over by governments. During the hearing, the Advocate General of the state government brought to the notice of the bench that large extent of lands that have been acquired under the three state enactments after January 1, 2014, have been put to use and it would be impossible to return them. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killedTo this the bench said, “In such cases, we can only direct that the compensation and the rehabilitation must be strictly made in accordance with the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 the New Land Acquisition Act.” For the purpose of continuing the acquisition under three state Acts, it was decided to bring in an amendment by inserting Section 105-A in the Centre’s Land Acquisition Act, 2013 in the same manner as envisaged under Section 105 of the Act, whereby the new Act was not made applicable to 13 central enactments.last_img read more