Not keen on offering another chance to UPSC aspirants who missed exam due to covid-19: Govt to SC

News Network
January 22, 2021

New Delhi, Jan 22: The government of India on Friday told the Supreme Court that it was not in favour of granting one more opportunity to those civil services aspirants who could not appear in their last attempt in the exams conducted by the UPSC last year due to the pandemic situation.   

A bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar took note of the submissions of Additional Solicitor General S V Raju, appearing on behalf of the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), that the government was not ready to give one more chance to the civil services aspirants who could not appear in 2020 due to the Covid-19 situation.   

“We are not ready to give one more chance. Give me the time to file an affidavit... yesterday night I received instruction that we are not agreeable,” the law officer told the bench which also comprised justices B R Gavai and Krishna Murai.

The bench has now posted the plea of a civil services aspirant Rachna for hearing on January 25 and asked the Centre to file an affidavit during the period and serve it to the parties.

Earlier, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had told the bench that the government was considering the issue of granting one more opportunity to such civil services aspirants. 

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News Network
February 20,2021

New Delhi, Feb 20: Petrol and diesel prices continued to soar to new highs as fuel rates were hiked for the 12th consecutive day on Saturday. 

While the petrol price was hiked by 39 paise in Delhi, the diesel price was increased by 37 paise. In the national capital, petrol now costs Rs 90.58 per litre, while diesel Rs 80.97 per litre. 

In Mumbai, the petrol price touched the Rs 97 per litre mark with a hike of 38 paise. The diesel is priced at Rs 87.06 per litre after an increase of 39 paise. 

Meanwhile, in Bengaluru, the petrol price was hiked by Rs 1.30 on Saturday. The petrol now costs Rs 93.67 per litre in Bengaluru, while diesel costs Rs Rs 85.84 after an increase of 10 paise. 

The relentless hike in prices has been criticised by the opposition parties, including Congress that has demanded an immediate cut in taxes to ease the burden on the common man.

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News Network
February 16,2021

Bengaluru, Feb 16: Following the detection of four cases of new Covid virus strains, the state government has made it mandatory for passengers arriving to Karnataka from the United Kingdom, Brazil and South Africa to produce RT-PCR negative certificate to board the flight and additionally undergo an RT-PCR test at Bengaluru Airport.

Even if they test negative, they shall undergo home quarantine for 14 days and follow-up RT-PCR test shall be conducted on the seventh day.  An order to this effect was issued by Additional Chief Secretary, Health, Jawaid Akhtar here on Tuesday. 

The measure was taken after the Union health ministry on Tuesday said four cases of South Africa variants and one case of the Brazilian variant have been found in India. The four SA strains were found in individuals who returned from Angola, Tanzania and South Africa.

Those who test positive shall undergo institutional quarantine for 14 days and positive samples shall be sent to Nimhans for genomic sequencing. They shall be discharged after consecutive two samples are negative through RTPCR, done 24 hours apart. 

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Agencies
February 14,2021

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Guwahati, Feb 14: Labelling AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal as the "enemy of Assam", state minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday asserted that he is an extremist in protecting Indian and Assamese culture.

Accusing Ajmal of trying to do something alien to Assamese culture, Sarma, the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) convenor, said he will talk about politics of identity till the Lok Sabha MP and opposition leader is in the political scene.

"I am an extremist in protecting Indian and Assamese culture in this land. If anybody has given me this title, kindly convey my regards and thanks to them," Sarma told reporters when asked about the opposition branding him as the extreme of polarisation politics.

Asked if he and Ajmal are equal in their politics of polarisation, the Assam finance minister claimed that while the AIUDF chief is doing something "alien to Assam's culture", he is trying to protect Assamese culture.

"I am trying to protect Indian nationalism. There have to be two extremes. So, if there is a north pole, there will be a south pole. If Badruddin Ajmal disappears, then we will also disappear. Then we will talk about development and something else.

"But as long as Badruddin Ajmal is there, we will talk about development and politics of identity. And if that made me an extremist, I am happy about that," he said.

"Probably this is the most dangerous phase of Assam politics. He (Ajmal) is bringing money from fundamentalist organisations. In the name of social service, he is creating a network which is not conducive for Assamese culture," Sarma added.

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