Protests by students at SPPU because of lack of facilities and infrastructure

Tensions have flared at the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) campus as students belonging to external education courses have started agitations. These protests are against the lack of facilities and infrastructure available at the college. In an attempt to resolve the issue, a students’ union has also been approached. The external education course was almost banished for students last year but the decision was revoked and the excess fee levied for the exams was also done away with.

The institution is working on implementing a choice-based credit system (CBCS) to attempt to tackle the multiple problems faced by the students, reports Pune Mirror. Kalpesh Yadav, the president of the student body has been helping the students in their protests. He says that studying was becoming a task for outstation students because of the rigid rules at the college. External students presently studying in the college also had no proper facilities to avail. A second year B.Com student from Mumbai University was denied education at SPPU because they did not have the CBCS option, which is why he pursued his graduation at Mumbai University, according to Pune Mirror.

Despite the fact that the external education courses have been present at SPPU for over 30 years, proper implementation has not been carried out. Facilities are being put into place only now. Dr. Arvind Shaligram, the registrar at SPPU shared that the university is already working on plans to make external education courses more student friendly. He says that there has been a lot of confusion in the past with distance and external courses but this will change as there are plans to streamline the process very soon.

Source: Pune Mirror

Muslim Cleric charged with raping 12-year-old girl

Image Courtesy: ANI
Maulavi Saber Farooqui, a Muslim cleric at a madrasa in Nanded, Maharashtra raped a 12-year-old girl, and is now absconding.

Nanded (Maharashtra), January 18: A Madrasa cleric in Nanded, Maharashtra has been charged for allegedly raping a 12 year old girl and molesting another minor according to official police reports. The minor was raped at a seminary in Deglur Naka, Nanded called Islamia Arabia, a few days ago say the police. The cleric has been identified as Maulavi Saber Farooqui, who is presently absconding. The madrasa has several girl students from the Marathwada region.

Farooqui allegedly raped the girl after showing her clips of pornography on his mobile phone. After this, he also molested another 8 year old girl, reports NDTV. The case will be further probed by a special investigation team (SIT). When the mother of the victim showed intent to file a case against the cleric, three local politicians from the village tried to dissuade her. These three local leaders have been arrested after the mother registered a case with the Itwara police station in Nanded, according to Hindustan Times.

The police have reported that Farooqui had allegedly approached the minor’s mother to negotiate the situation but was immediately thrashed by locals. SIT head Sunita Borgaonker has said that more complaints could be filed against the accused and that the police have seized all documents from the Madrasa. Officials have been dispatched to trace the cleric.

Dalits in UP threaten protest after 22 year old youth is attacked by Hindu group activists

Youth being thrashed on the streets by Hindu groups and forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’
Image Source: ANI

Several Dalit organisations have threatened to launch protests aftera  22 year old lower caste man Vipin Kumar was allegedly beaten up by 4 Hindu Vahini activists in Muzaffarnagar, UP. The youth was forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ said the officials on Wednesday. Shahid Udham Singh Sena, Bheem Army and other Dalit rights group, have announced that there will be agitations if the accused are not arrested at the earliest, reports Asian age.

Vipin Kumar was allegedly brutally thrashed on Monday in Kalanpur village in Muzaffarnagar, said Circle officer Yogender Singh. A complaint was filed by the victim under sections 307 of IPC and the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Singh also added that a case was registered against four individuals who are currently absconding. Hindustan Times reports that Vipin was allegedly assaulted for leading a Dalit group that had intentions of converting to Buddhism while also removing Hindu deities from their homes.

A video clip documenting the entire assault was released on Wednesday that created significant caste tension in the region that was already volatile because of the clashes between Dalits and Thakurs last year.

In the video, the attackers can be heard saying that they had no objection to Dalits keeping portraits of Dr.Ambedkar in their homes but they could not remove portraits of Hindu deities.  The Dalit rights groups staged a demonstration at the office of the senior superintendent of police in Muzaffarnagar. The accused are yet to be arrested.

Sources: Hindustan Times, Asian Age

6,500 temporary jobs created by Amazon India for Great Indian Sale

Amazon India, the e-commerce giant has reportedly created over 6,500 temporary jobs right before its mega sale in January. Amazon holds the Great Indian Sale every year with this years dates being  between January 20-24th, reports the Economic Times. According to Akhil Saxena, Amazon India’s Vice President (Customer fulfilment), 5,500 seasonal positions have been created across three departments at Amazon. These departments include fulfilment centres, sortation centres and delivery stations. These vacancies have been created in metros including Bengaluru and Hyderabad among others.

Saxena further added that 1,000 associates have been employed at the customer service centres to attend to the high influx of customer demands during the sale period. He also said that this enhancement they’ve incorporated will ensure an exceptional experience for customers during the sale. It will enable the company to consistently deliver high levels of customer experience, stated Saxena.

Amazon’s service partner stations have hired seasonal associates to allow faster deliveries during the course of the sale. Amazon has been extensively trying to expand its infrastructure and delivery services in an attempt to lead the e-commerce market by racing ahead of its competitors like Flipkart. The organisation has managed to establish a total of 41 warehouses, 150  delivery stations and over 25 sortation stations in the country. These additions have been made to facilitate the process of packing, shipping and delivery of orders. Around 13 customer service centres have been set up by Amazon India across 12 cities. The job opportunities created by such ventures will significantly make a difference to the working class in the country.


Sources: Economic Times, The Hindu Business Line

Caribbean hit by 7.6 magnitude earthquake, off the coast of Honduras

The Caribbean was struck by a powerful earthquake on Tuesday evening, measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale. The epicentre of the earthquake was around 202 kilometres northeast of Honduras and there have been no reports of any serious damage. The tremor originated in the sea, 10 kilometres below the surface. Tsunami warnings that were issued when the quake occurred have also been called off, reports Independent.

The impact of the earthquake was felt in the capital of Honduras, Tegucigalpa where there instances of windows rattling and some residents evacuated their homes because of the tremors. Honduran officials also reported that there were cracks in homes in the provinces of Colon and Atlantida and shaking was registered across most of the nation. The region closest to the quake’s epicentre which is in Northern Honduras is a sparsely populated area.

The quake was also lightly felt in Quintana Roo, Mexico according to Mexico’s civil protection director. A resident described the tremors equating it to the sound of a bulldozer driving past, which didn’t last too long but was extremely powerful. He also noticed cable cars and electricity poles swaying, according to ABC news.

Sources – USA Today, ABC News

75th Golden Globes arrive in style, celebrities show solidarity for women’s rights

One of the most prestigious award ceremonies in Hollywood, the 75th Golden Globe Awards was a star-studded night celebrating and honouring the best of the industry. Seth Meyers was the official host for the event. This year’s big winner was “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”, a riveting drama, that swept away all the major titles including Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Screenplay, Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama (Frances McDormand), and Best Supporting Actor (Sam Rockwell). Greta Gerwig’s ‘Lady Bird’ was also a show stealer winning two significant titles which included Best Motion Picture – Comedy and Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy (Saoirse Ronan), reports Reuters.

On the Television front, critically acclaimed mini-series ‘Big Little Lies’ won four major awards- best limited TV series or TV movie, best actress in a TV series, best TV supporting actor and best supporting actress.  The major theme of the ceremony was support for the #metoo movement with almost all female celebrities showing up in all black ensembles to display their solidarity, according to ABC News. Powerful speeches in support of women’s rights were given by renowned figures like Oprah Winfrey who declared emphatically “I am inspired by all the women that felt strong enough and empowered enough to speak up and share our stories. This year, we become the story.” Elisabeth Moss and Nicole Kidman who won big at the ceremony also voiced their opinion on injustices against women in their speech.

The night was filled with jokes and snide remarks on the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the sexual harassment accusations that took Hollywood by storm last year. Seth Meyer’s’ opening line “Good evening ladies and remaining gentlemen” set the tone for the rest of the event where the major focus remained on women fighting back and staying resilient in the face of years of harassment. Kicking off the major awards for the season, this year’s Golden Globes were a fairly politicised affair.


Sources: Reuters, ABC News 


Fire breaks out in Bengaluru bar, five killed

A deadly fire at a bar and restaurant in Bengaluru has led to the demise of five people. The fire broke out in the early hours of the morning at around 2.30 am. The accident took place at Kailash Bar and Restaurant, an establishment in Kumbaara Sangha building in Kalasipalya.

The deceased were employees at the restaurant and were asleep on the premises when the fire started.

The fire and emergency services were notified by passers-by when they saw smoke coming out of the restaurant. A fire rescue vehicle and two fire tenders were immediately sent to the location where they doused the fire and recovered the five dead bodies.

Officials have reported that the possible cause of the deaths was asphyxiation. The deceased have been identified as Prasad, 20, Swami, 23, Mahesh, 35, (all three natives of Tumakuru),  Keerthi, 24, a native of Mandya and Manjunath, 45 a native of Hassan. 

The cause of the fire is still undetermined. Police official MN Anucheth gave a statement saying that the fire department is still in the process of assessing the damage caused to the building. Only after the inspection is complete will an official cause be revealed.

He also stated that the department is speaking to witnesses to gather more information. The police have filed a case of criminal negligence against the owner of the bar who is currently absconding.