Re-introduce state-level CET for medical seats, says Cong leader, demands high-level probe into NEET scam

News Network
June 11, 2024

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Mangaluru: Former minister and KPCC vice-president B Ramanath Rai stated that the NEET-UG should be conducted again and a high-level probe guided by the Supreme Court should be initiated.

“Being a Congress leader from Dakshina Kannada, which is an educational hub with a large number of medical colleges, I have to raise concern towards students and parents.

While a few students were becoming toppers in the exam earlier, this time 67 students scored 720. The grace marks were awarded, though it was not in the NEET guidelines. The govt has been playing with the future of lakhs of students. There should be a transparent and unbiased probe. The Congress will launch a nationwide protest,” he told reporters on Monday.

Stating that the NEET-UG result, which was scheduled to be released on June 14, was released 10 days earlier on June 4, Rai said, “The govt may have announced the results of NEET-UG and the Lok Sabha polls on the same day with the calculations of diverting the people’s attention. While many have made suicide attempts, the issue also has reached the court. Congress demands a high-level probe guided by the Supreme Court.”

Stating that the CET was introduced in Karnataka during the tenure of then-chief minister M Veerappa Moily in 1984, Rai said that a large number of students from the state were able to get admission to medical seats. 

“The previous system of holding medical entrance at the state level should be reintroduced. There is a need for a united fight along with other states for the re-introduction of the CET at the state level. Meanwhile, a fresh NEET-UG exam should be conducted for this year,” he said.

Congress candidate Padmaraj R Poojary, who contested the recent Lok Sabha poll, said a mass protest will be held if the central govt does not respond. He added that none of the students’ unions, except the NSUI, has raised their voice against the NEET-UG controversy.

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News Network
June 4,2024

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Mangaluru: The Bharatiya Janata Party has retained Dakshina Kannada Lok Sabha constituency for the ninth consecutive term with Capt Brijesh Chowta winning the segment by a margin of 1,49,208 votes.

Capt Brijesh Chowta secured 7,64,132 (53.97%) votes and Congress candidate Padmaraj R Poojary secured 6,14,924 (43.43%) votes. Captain Brijesh Chowta was leading with 8,514 votes in the first round of counting and maintained the lead in all the rounds of counting.

The vote share of other candidates are Kanthappa Alangar (Bahujan Samaj Party 4232 votes (0.3%), Durga Prasad (Karunada Sevakara Paksha 2592 (0.18%), independent candidates Supreeth Kumar Poojary Kateel (1901 votes( 0.13%), Maxim Pinto (1690 votes (0.12%), Deepak Rajesh Coelho (976 votes 0.07%), Prajakeeya Manohara (Uttama Prajaakeeya Party 971 (0.07%) and Ranjini M (Karnataka Rashtra Samithi 776 (0.05%).

Speaking after the victory, Capt Brijesh Chowta said "this is the victory of party workers and Hindutva."

Reiterating his commitment to Hindutva and development, he said “I will work for the comprehensive development of the district. Dakshina Kannada is the land of truth, faith,  and justice. “I consider this as a victory of faith, truth and justice. I will seek  the guidance of party leaders and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the development of the district.

The results has proved that DK is a strong forte of the BJP. “We were more cautious as the Congress and SDPI had come together in the election. It has also proved that the people of the district support development and do not support those engage in dividing the minds.

“I will work towards the nine focus areas that I had mentioned it in my manifesto —Nava yuga nava patha. I will work towards fulfilling the aspirations and dreams of the people in the district,” he added.

To a query on election on the basis of castes, he said “BJP did not seek vote on the basis of caste. We had discussed on Hindutva, social justice, poverty and uplifting the poor. We faced the election on the basis of nationalism,” he clarified.

On decline in the margin, he said," Congress and SDPI had worked together in the election. The party will introspect on the reason for decline in the margin.” Thanking the BJP workers, he said amid scorching sun the party workers have worked for the victory of the BJP.

DK district BJP president Sathish Kumpala said that the party workers and leaders had joined hands and worked continuously during the election campaign.

“The enlightened voters of Dakshina Kannada have given a major contribution to the party by electing our candidate again. As the district president of the party, I extend my sincere thank to all voters as well as party workers. We have a major challenge ahead as an organization. The newly elected MP will work for strengthening the party and also take up development works for the district.”

Inspite of SDPI, CPM, Congress coming together, the voters have given us clear mandate, he said.

The BJP has been winning the DK constituency since 1991. After 1991, the constituency was retained by the BJP with Dhananjay Kumar winning four consecutive terms in 1991, 1996, 1998 and 1999. Later, DV Sadananda Gowda won in 2004 and Nalin Kumar Kateel won hat trick from 2008 till 2019.

In the 2019 election, the vote share of Nalin Kumar Kateel stood at 57.57 per cent (7,74,285 votes) and Mithun Rai of Congress secured 4,99,664 votes (37.15 per cent). In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, the BJP’s vote share stood at 53.23 against 41.33 per cent of the Congress. In 2009 election, it was 49.16 per cent for BJP against 45.18 per cent of the Congress.

Capt Chowta managed bag a huge share of postal ballots . Out of 8,773 postal ballots in the constituency, Capt Chowta secured 4,002 votes while 2,821 votes were polled in favour of Poojary. Meanwhile, 1,741 postal ballots were rejected in the constituency.

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Agencies
June 16,2024

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Masses of pilgrims on Sunday, May 16, embarked on a symbolic stoning of the devil in Saudi Arabia. The ritual marks the final days of Hajj pilgrimage and the start of the Eid Al-Adha celebrations for Muslims around the world.

The stoning is among the final rites of the Hajj, which is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. It came a day after more than 1.8 million pilgrims congregated on a sacred hill in Mount Ararat outside the holy city of Makkah, which Muslim pilgrims visit to perform the annual five-day rituals of Hajj.

The pilgrims left Mount Arafat on Saturday evening to spend their night in a nearby site known as Muzdalifa, where they collected pebbles they have used in the symbolic stoning of pillars representing the devil.

The pillars are in another sacred place in Makkah, called Mina, where Muslims believe Ibrahim’s faith was tested when God commanded him to sacrifice his only son Ismail. Ibrahim was prepared to submit to the command, but then God stayed his hand, sparing his son. In the Christian and Jewish version of the story, Abraham is ordered to kill his other son, Isaac.

Pilgrims will spend the next three days in Mina, where they walk long distances on pedestrian-only streets toward a multi-story complex housing large pillars. There, they cast seven pebbles each at three pillars in a ritual meant to symbolize the casting away of evil and sin.

While in Mina, they will visit Makkah to perform “tawaf,” circumambulation, which is circling the Kaaba in the Grand Mosque counterclockwise seven times. They will make another circumambulation, known as Farewell Tawaf, at the end of Hajj and as they prepare to leave the holy city.

The rites coincide with the four-day Eid Al-Adha, which means “Feast of Sacrifice,” when Muslims with the financial means commentate Ibrahim’s test of faith through slaughtering livestock and animals and distributing the meat to the poor.

Once the Hajj is over, men are expected to shave their heads and remove the shroud-like white garments worn during the pilgrimage, and women to snip a lock of hair in a sign of renewal and rebirth.

Most of the pilgrims then leave Makkah for the city of Madinah, about 340 kilometers away, to pray in Prophet Muhammad’s tomb, the Sacred Chamber. The tomb is part of the prophet’s mosque, which is one of the three holiest sites in Islam, along with the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

All Muslims are required to make the Hajj once in their lives if they are physically and financially able to do so. Many wealthy Muslims make the pilgrimage more than once. The rituals largely commemorate the accounts of Prophet Ibrahim and his son Prophet Ismail, Ismail’s mother Hajjar and Prophet Muhammad, according to the Qur’an, Islam’s holy book.

More than 1.83 million Muslims performed Hajj in 2024, Saudi Hajj and Umrah Minister Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah said in a briefing, slightly less than last year’s figures when 1.84 million made the rituals.

Most of the Hajj rituals are held outdoors with little if any shade. It is set for the second week of Dhu Al-Hijjah, the last month in the Islamic lunar calendar, so its time of the year varies. And this year the pilgrimage fell in the burning summer of Saudi Arabia. The heat soared to 47 degrees Celsius (116.6 F) at Mount Arafat on Saturday.

This year’s Hajj came against the backdrop of the devastating Israel-Hamas war, which has pushed the Middle East to the brink of a regional conflict.

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News Network
June 9,2024

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Deir al-Balah, Jun 9: At least 274 Palestinians were killed and hundreds more were wounded in the Israeli raid that rescued four hostages held by Hamas, Gaza's Health Ministry said Sunday. 

Hamas fighters chose not to execute the hostages when the Israeli occupation army carried out the complex daytime operation deep inside the territory.

The killing of so many Palestinians, including babies, children and women, in a raid that Israelis celebrated as a stunning success because all four hostages were rescued alive, showed the heavy cost of such operations on top of the already soaring toll of the 8-month-long war ignited by Hamas' October 7 attack.

Scores of hostages are believed to be held in densely populated areas or inside Hamas' labyrinth of tunnels, making rescue attempts extremely complex and risky. A similar raid in February rescued two hostages while leaving 74 Palestinians dead.

The operation deep into Nuseirat, a built-up refugee camp in central Gaza dating back to the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, was the largest rescue since October 7.

So far, the Tel Aviv regime has killed at least 36,801 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injured 83,680 others in the Gaza Strip. 

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