Karnataka govt warns schools against flouting online class rules

News Network
October 29, 2020

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Bengaluru, Oct 29: The department of public instruction has issued a circular which formally fixes the duration for live sessions of online classes. The timetable is based on the report of an expert committee. The circular also warns of disciplinary action against schools that flout the norms.

As reported, S Suresh Kumar, primary and secondary education minister, had announced last week that the government “will soon” implement the expert committee’s report that was submitted in July. The minister had also directed the commissioner of public instruction to issue a circular in this regard.

The circular, dated October 22, has instructed schools to follow a “judicious mix” of live and recorded sessions. Each live online session cannot extend beyond 30 minutes for students till grade 5 and 30-45 minutes for those till grade 10.

Pre-primary classes (3-6 years) can have one session daily thrice a week; grades 1-2 two sessions per day thrice a week; grades 3-5 two sessions daily five days a week; grades 6-8 three sessions daily for five days a week and grades 9-10 four classes daily five days a week. Classes have to be interactive. Presence of parents in the online session is mandatory till class 2.

For pre-primary to grade 2, the content mix has to be play, stories, rhymes and other innovative activities. In grades 3-5, the content has to be 25% curricular and rest co-curricular. In grades 6-8, both curricular and extracurricular should have equal weightage and in 9-10, there should be 75% curricular and 25% co-curricular.

The minister said action will be taken against schools violating these norms as per section 124 (5) of the Karnataka Education Act 1983. The circular states the government issued the circular following media reports that online classes are affecting children’s eyes.

Private schools had launched online classes after schools shut down in March following the nationwide lockdown. On June 15, the Karnataka government banned live online classes for classes LKG to Grade 5, but permitted recorded classes. It announced that an expert committee would be set up to fix modalities for grades 6 and above. On June 27, it issued another order with time restrictions for classes 6-10. A group of parents challenged the order in the high court, which stayed the June 15 and June 27 orders.

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News Network
November 23,2020

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Bengaluru, Nov 23: As experts have suggested not to open schools in the state in view of the COVID-19 outbreak, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Monday said that there will be no Senior School Leaving Certificate (Class 10) and Pre University Exam as the government will take an appropriate decision with regard to the situation.

"Experts have opined that we should not take any decision till December end. We will meet again and take an appropriate decision at the time, with regard to the situation. We should not start SSLC (Class 10) and Pre University Exam until then," Yediyurappa told media persons here.

Meanwhile, the Technical Advisory Committee for COVID-19 has recommended to the Karnataka government not to reopen schools in December.

"After extensive deliberations, it was unanimously resolved not to reopen schools in December," said Technical Advisory Committee, Karnataka in a statement.

However, the scenario of COVID-19 in the state shall be reviewed in the last week of December to consider the reopening of schools at an appropriate time subsequently, the committee stressed.

During the meeting held on Sunday, Dr M K Sudarshan, TAC, Chairperson informed the members that the state is considering reopening of the schools very soon. "The TAC in its 40th (October 8) and 49th (November 9) meetings had deliberated extensively on this subject. It was then decided to postpone the re-opening of the schools after reviewing the COVID-19 scenario in the state subsequently. In the meanwhile, from November 17 colleges have been reopened, but the attendance of students is very poor."

From December 1, it is planned to reopen medical and paramedical colleges in the state. However, the impact of reopening of the colleges will be known in the coming days, Sudarshan said.

Karnataka has reported 24,887 active COVID-19 cases, 8,36,505 recoveries and 11,654 fatalities, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) on Monday.

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News Network
November 23,2020

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Bengaluru, Nov 23: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officials conducted a raid at the residence of ex-minister and former MLA of Shivaji Nagar constituency, R Roshan Baig near Coles Park in Pulakeshinagar in the early hours today.

Baig, a disqualified member of Congress was arrested on Sunday in connection with the multi-crore Ponzi scam of I-Monetary Advisory (IMA).

CBI officials took a search warrant from the court and a team of more than 10 officials conducted the raid and are verifying the electronic gadgets and documents. The search is going on, and family members are also being questioned, the officials may produce him before the court today seeking his police custody. 

Baig was remanded to judicial custody, before producing him before the magistrate the officials had inquired him for a few hours. He is lodged in the quarantine cell of Parappana Agrahara Central Jail.

Baig's name surfaced in the scam soon after it came to limelight in June last year. The Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed by the state government had questioned him before the case was handed over to CBI.

Recently a special officer verifying the claims of the victims of the scam wrote to the Revenue Department stating that Baig appeared to be a promoter of IMA and it's business.

The officials also have found that Baig had connections with IMA chief Mohammed Mansoor Khan. CBI had already filed a charge sheet against few accused including government officials.

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Agencies
November 22,2020

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Washington, Nov 22: A federal judge in the US state of Pennsylvania has dismissed a lawsuit filed by the re-election campaign of President Donald Trump seeking to block millions of mail-in ballots.

Trump's campaign has so far declined to announce the President's defeat to his rival, former vice President Democrat Joe Biden in te November 3 presidential election, saying a large number of mail-in ballots were cast illegally, reports Xinhua news agency.

The lawsuit claimed that some counties in Pennsylvania allowed mail-in voters to fix problems with the ballots by casting provisional votes.

Saturdays ruling by US District Court Judge Matthew Brann was made on the grounds that the lawsuit provided "strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations, unpled in the operative complaint and unsupported by evidence".

He said the Trump campaign went too far.

"In the United States of America, this cannot justify the disenfranchisement of a single voter, let alone all the voters of its sixth most populated state," wrote the judge, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama.

In his scathing and lengthy opinion, Brann said the Trump campaign asked him to "disenfranchise almost 7 million voters", and that he could not find any case in which a plaintiff "has sought such a drastic remedy in the contest of an election".

US media have projected that Biden has won 306 Electoral College votes, surpassing the 270 votes needed to clinch the presidency.

The watershed moment came on November 7, when Pennsylvania was called for Biden, who now leads Trump in the state by over 81,000 votes, a margin believed to be insurmountable even if those erroneously cast ballots were excluded.

While Biden has claimed victory, Trump launched a slew of litigations challenging the results in states that, in addition to Pennsylvania, also include Michigan, Georgia, Nevada and Arizona.

Most of those efforts have either been withdrawn by the campaign itself or rejected by the courts, which cited the lack of proof as the reason.

On Friday, Georgia certified the results of the election following the full hand recount, making it official that Biden won the state's 16 electoral votes.

The recount of roughly five million votes found that the former Vice President received 12,284 more votes than the President in the traditional Republican stronghold.

Most counties saw only minor changes in their tallies, with the recount vote totals differing by single digits.

A federal law sets what is called the "Safe Harbor" deadline, falling on December 8 this year, the day by which states must submit the winner of the presidential election if they are to be insulated from legal disputes.

Electoral College representatives will meet six days later, on December 14, to formally select the next US President.

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