720/720: Studied in Urdu medium, bakery worker’s daughter Amina Arif bags All India Rank 1 in NEET UG 2024

News Network
June 5, 2024

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Amina Arif Kadiwala of Mumbai earned the prestigious All India Rank 1 in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) UG 2024, with a perfect score of 720/720, outshining over 25 lakh other students. 

Determined to study MBBS, Kadiwala outshone over 25 lakh students in India to secure an inspiring score. After completing her education in Urdu till Class 10, Kadiwala learned English after she got admitted to SVKM's Mithibai College for her further studies. While grasping a new language was initially a challenge, she worked hard and even aced the highly competitive NEET exam. 

Resident of Jogeswari and daughter of a bakery worker, Amina Arif had scored 93.20% in class 10 from Madni high school, Jogeshwari, and 95% in class 12 from Mithibai College, Vile Parle.

Expressing joy at her achievement, Amina Arif Kadiwala said, "I am overwhelmed and so happy. My hard work has been rewarded." The Mumbai girl also opened up about the challenges that she faced while preparing for the exam. "I was very slow and couldn't complete my earlier exams on time," she told the outlet.

However, her months of dedication, hard work, and self-confidence helped her ace the exam. Kadiwala was formerly a student of the Urdu-medium institution Madni High School and took up coaching at a private academy, the Excellent Master's Academy. The school and institute principals expressed excitement and pride for Kadiwala.

"It's heartening to see how Amina received support from her teachers at the academy and her school, Madni High School, including the encouragement from her principal, Aamir Ansari. Their testimonials highlight Amina's sincerity, diligence, and passion for learning, which undoubtedly contributed to her success," one of her mentors said.

Kadiwala said that she wishes to study at the prestigious All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi. As the top NEET candidate, she has been receiving laurels and praise from across the country, with many looking upon her as a role model. She is being hailed as an inspiration and the future of women in India's educational landscape.

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News Network
June 4,2024

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Yusuf Pathan, the swashbuckling all-rounder from Baroda, will soon be rubbing shoulders with the bigwigs in the Lok Sabha. 

The 41-year-old former cricketer, who made his electoral debut on a Trinamool Congress ticket from West Bengal's Baharampur, has upset Congress heavyweight Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury. 

Rejecting Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, its five-time MP from this so-called ‘Congress fortress’, voters elected Trinamool Congress candidate and former India all-rounder Yusuf Pathan by a comprehensive win margin of over 85,000 votes.

Owing to Chowdhury’s defeat in Baharampur, which remained among the last-standing perceived Congress fortresses of the state, the Trinamool Congress had its flag grafted and flying from the region for the first time ever.

Pathan was a member of the Indian cricket team that lifted the inaugural ICC World T20 trophy in 2007. Less than a year later, he excelled with both bat and ball to guide Rajasthan Royals to the Indian Premier League title in the marquee tournament's first edition. 

But Pathan's laurels did not end there. He was a member of the victorious Kolkata Knight Riders team that won IPL twice in 2012 and 2014. 

Despite being the elder of the two brothers, Yusuf made his international debut three years after Irfan.

His ability to turn matches around with his power-hitting and crucial wickets made him a vital player for India in shorter formats as he became a member of the MS Dhoni-led batch of 2011 that lifted the ODI World Cup.

Cut to 2024. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee picked Pathan as a surprise pick to take on Chowdhury, who belongs to the INDIA bloc ally Congress. 

Pathan said he has immense respect for the Congress leader. “I respect Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury a lot. He is a senior leader. I give my best wishes to him... I will open a sports academy to encourage children to represent the state and country... The people have given their support to me,” he was quoted by ANI as saying. 

Besides Chowdhury, Yusuf had to take on BJP's Nirmal Chandra Saha, a known doctor from the region and also deal with the "outsider" barbs from the opposition.

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News Network
June 5,2024

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Riding on the Hindutva wave and replacing sitting MPs with new candidates, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has succeeded in retaining its strongholds in coastal Karnataka — Uttara Kannada, Dakshina Kannada, and Udupi-Chikmagalur Lok Sabha constituencies.

Although the victory margins have decreased in all constituencies, a strong organizational network and the Hindutva factor seem to have helped the BJP overcome anti-incumbency sentiment. All three elected MPs will enter the Lok Sabha for the first time.

The Congress appears to have failed in mobilizing its grassroots volunteers and strengthening its organizational networks in these regions. Even the party's guarantee schemes did not seem to significantly influence the election outcomes.

Dakshina Kannada

In Dakshina Kannada, which faced a notable anti-incumbency sentiment, BJP’s Brijesh Chowta defeated Congress’ Padmaraj R. Poojary. Brijesh’s efforts to placate discontented BJP and RSS workers, his focus on the Hindutva factor, development, and local leaders’ efforts to unite various factions within the BJP contributed to his victory with a margin of 1,49,208 votes. In 2019, the BJP had won by a margin of 2,74,621.

Prime Minister Modi held a roadshow in Mangaluru to bolster support for the Dakshina Kannada and Udupi-Chikmagalur candidates, particularly after dissatisfaction with three-time MP Nalin Kumar Kateel’s unfulfilled promises became apparent.

Udupi-Chikmagalur

In Udupi-Chikmagalur, the BJP responded to the 'Go Back, Shobha' campaign by fielding former minister Kota Srinivas Poojary, who won with a margin of 2,59,175 votes against Congress candidate Jayaprakash Hegde. In 2019, the BJP’s margin was 3,49,599 votes. Poojary’s clean image, emphasis on Hindutva politics, the Modi wave, and support from majority communities were likely key factors in his victory.

The BJP appeared to be more effective than the Congress in strategizing to win over the Billavas and Bunts, two major communities in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi-Chikmagalur constituencies. Modi’s gesture of garlanding the statue of social reformer Narayana Guru, revered by the Billava community in Mangaluru, also resonated with voters.

Uttara Kannada

In Uttara Kannada, BJP’s Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri defeated Congress’ Anjali Nimbalkar by 3,37,428 votes. In 2019, the BJP’s victory margin was 4,79,649 votes. Despite local leaders’ demands to field a younger candidate, the party chose the six-time MLA and former state minister. The Modi appeal and Hindutva politics were significant factors, along with the outsider tag of the Congress candidate.

The Congress had won five out of eight Assembly segments in Uttara Kannada in last year’s elections, indicating potential for a competitive race. However, a rally by Modi in Sirsi shifted the momentum in favor of Kageri, who campaigned heavily on Modi's popularity rather than his own track record.

Public discontent

Udupi-based political analyst Rajaram Tallur noted that the reduced victory margins signal public discontent with the BJP. However, the Congress failed to capitalize on this sentiment due to a lack of charismatic leaders, insufficient organizational efforts, and a defeatist attitude regarding their chances in these seats.

Yellapur-based political analyst Sriranga Katti highlighted that Kageri’s reliance on Modi's appeal rather than his own achievements was a decisive factor in Uttara Kannada.

Overall, the BJP's combination of new candidates, a strong organizational framework, and leveraging the Hindutva narrative helped it retain its coastal Karnataka strongholds, while the Congress struggled to make significant inroads.

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News Network
June 11,2024

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Bengaluru: Women in Karnataka have availed themselves of 227 crore free rides in government non-luxury buses under the "Shakti" guarantee in the last one year, costing the state exchequer Rs 5,526.64 crore, Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy said on Tuesday.

The Congress government, led by Siddaramaiah, launched the "Shakti" scheme one of the five guarantees which the party had promised before the Assembly elections on June 11 last year.

These promises are said to have yielded rich electoral dividends to the Congress, helping it dethrone the Basavaraj Bommai-led BJP government.

As the government celebrates one year of "Shakti" guarantee implementation, Reddy said in a statement that 226.95 women travelled free of cost in the government buses.

Most such rides were accounted for by the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation buses (BMTC-71.45 crore), followed by Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC-69.5 crore).

North West Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NWKRTC) and Kalyana Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (KKRTC) posted 52.12 crore and 33.47 crore free rides, respectively.

KSRTC incurred an expenditure of Rs 2,111.14 crore, NWKRTC Rs 1,352.68 crore, KKRTC Rs 1,125.81 crore and BMTC Rs 937.01 crore, the statement said.

Reddy said several measures have been taken to improve the public transport system such as approval for the induction of 5,800 new buses. In addition, 2,438 new buses have been inducted across the four transport corporations in recent times.

According to the minister, the state inducted new buses with brand name Pallakki, Ashwamedha Classic, Kalyana Ratha and Amogha Varsha.

Approval has been accorded for recruitment of 9,000 posts in the department. In this regard, appointment orders have been issued to recruit 1,844 driver-cum-conductors and technical assistants, Reddy said.

"Recruitment for 6,500 posts (KSRTC- 2,500 driver-cum-conductors, BMTC-2,000 conductors, NWKRTC -1,000 drivers and 1,000 conductors) is under process and will be completed soon," the minister said.

The government has also enhanced accident relief compensation from Rs three lakh to Rs 10 lakh to dependents in case of death of any passenger in an accident while travelling in bus operated by state-run corporations, he added.

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