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Former civil servants move SC against Sudershan TV show

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NEW DELHI: Seven former civil servants have moved the

Supreme Court

to become parties to a pending plea seeking stay of telecast of Sudarshan TV’s ‘

Bindas Bol

‘ programme on alleged “infiltration” of Muslim into bureaucracy.

The

Delhi high court

, on September 11, had declined to stay the telecast of the series of programmes, whose promo had claimed that the channel would show the ‘big expose on conspiracy to infiltrate Muslims in government service’.

Prior to this, the top court on August 28, had refused to restrain pre-broadcast ban on the channel from telecasting the programme while hearing a plea of lawyer Firoz Iqbal Khan.

The former civil servants including Amitabha Pande and Navrekha Sharma have made an informal collective “Constitutional Conduct Group” and have filed the plea seeking to intervene in the pending petition of Khan.

They said that the apex court should lay down an authoritative pronouncement on “

hate speech

” in view of the fact that it had expressed an intention to consider the balance between free speech and other constitutional values in the instant case.

The scope and meaning of hate speech should be decided so that the citizens, law enforcement authorities, and the courts have clarity on speech which is protected and the speech which falls outside such protection.

“There is no bright line between hate speech and offensive speech. Each case requires the application of judicial mind,” it said.

Earlier, the bench comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and K M Joseph had said it has to first “circumspect in imposing a prior restraint on publication or the airing of views”.

“At this stage, we have desisted from imposing a pre-broadcast interlocutory injunction on the basis of an unverified transcript of a forty-nine seconds clip. The Court has to be circumspect in imposing a prior restraint on publication or the airing of views. We note that under statutory provisions, competent authorities are vested with powers to ensure compliance with law, including provisions of the criminal law intended to ensure social harmony and the peaceful coexistence of all communities,” the bench had said.

The apex court had issued notices to the Centre, Press Council of India, News Broadcasters Association and

Sudarshan News

on a plea filed by advocate Firoz Iqbal Khan against the programme.

The top court, which has posted hearing on September 15, had said that it will consider appointing amicus curiae to assist it towards a resolution which advances the protection of constitutional rights.

The Delhi high court is hearing a separate plea filed by former and present students of Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) University challenging the nod given by ministry of information and broadcasting to Sudarshan News and its Editor-in-Chief Suresh Chavhanke to air the show.

The high court has also issued notices to the Centre and others on the petition.

The high court on August 28 had stayed the telecast of the programme which was scheduled the same evening.

On August 29, it had disposed of the plea with a direction to the ministry to take a decision on the prohibition of the proposed Show pursuant to its August 28 show-cause notice.

Later, the government and the high court allowed the telecast.

The Times of India is an Indian English-language daily newspaper owned by The Times Group. It is the third-largest newspaper in India by circulation and largest selling English-language daily in the world. according to Audit Bureau of Circulations.

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INDIA

Ready to undertake operations on both China, Pakistan fronts: IAF

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FORWARD AIR BASE NEAR POK-CHINA BORDER: With India facing a possible threat from both China and Pakistan, the Indian Air Force on Friday said it was ready to undertake operations simultaneously on both the fronts.

The forward airbase which from where Pakistan is around 50 kilometres and the strategic Daulat Beg Oldi is around 80 kilometres, the activity of fighter, transport aircraft and helicopters is going on during both day and night.

Team ANI reached the strategically located airbase moving through the Khardungla pass along the Shyok river to witness the operations of fighter aircraft including the Su-30MKI and the transport planes including the C-130J Super Hercules, Ilyushin-76 and the Anton-32.

In view of the ongoing conflict with China, the fighter aircraft are operating during both day and night, the transport aircraft are continuously flying in and out of the airbase with troops, rations and ammunition to the troops located in bases on the Line of Actual Control in DBO and other areas in Eastern Ladakh.

Asked about the threat from Pakistan’s Skardu airbase and the possibility of China-Pakistan coming together there, an Indian Air Force pilot of Flight Lieutenant -rank said, “Owing to the modern platform, the IAF is fully trained and is ready to undertake any operations on both the fronts.”

“We are fully trained and highly motivated. We live by the IAF’s motto-Touch the Sky with Glory.”

Speaking about the IAF’s capability to undertake night operations in these tough terrains, a fighter pilot said, “Today, our warfare capabilities have grown, so much so that we are able to undertake all types of missions even at nights from the forward base.”

Earlier, the Pakistani airbases in the occupied Kashmir came under a watch after a Chinese refueller aircraft landed in Skardu, Gilgit-Baltistan region, in June.

The strategic airbase located on the banks of the Shyok river has been upgraded for day and night operations.

The Galwan river which saw a violent face-off between India and China and death of several soldiers from both sides, also merges into the Shyok River which flows from Eastern Ladakh to Western Ladakh before crossing over into Pakistan.

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Farmers have no faith in Modi govt: Rahul Gandhi

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NEW DELHI: Claiming that the entire country is opposing the newly passed agriculture bills, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday said farmers do not have any faith in Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Central government.

“After speaking to the farmers, this much is clear that they don’t have any faith in the Modi government. Our voices are with that of our farmer brothers. Today, the whole country opposes these agriculture bills,” Rahul Gandhi tweeted in Hindi.

The Congress leader also posted a video of his interactions with farmers, who were heard claiming that these laws are against the farmers across the country.

किसानों से बातचीत करके एक बात साफ़ हो गयी- उन्हें मोदी सरकार पर रत्ती भर भी भरोसा नहीं है। किसान भाइयों की बुलंद… https://t.co/0dcDXEO0lM

— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) 1601034539000

“This Bill will neither benefit the public nor the farmers. It will only benefit the corporations,” one of the farmers was heard saying. Other farmers sought to mandate the minimum support price (MSP) for their crops.

This comes amid protests by opposition parties, farmers and other organisations against the agriculture Bills, which were recently passed by both Houses of the Parliament.

The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 were passed by Parliament recently by voice vote despite objection from the opposition parties.

According to the Centre, these Bills will help small and marginal farms by allowing them to sell produce outside mandis and sign agreements with large agri-business firms and will do away with stock-holding limits on key commodities.

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INDIA

Around 10 nations contacted education ministry showing willingness to implement NEP: Ramesh Pokhriyal

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NEW DELHI: Around 10 countries have contacted the education ministry showing their willingness to implement India’s new National Education Policy (NEP), Union education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ said on Friday.

He was speaking during a webinar on “NEP 2020 – The Brighter Future of Education” organised by ASSOCHAM.

“Around 10 countries have contacted us, with their education ministers showcasing the willingness to implement India’s new education policy in their countries,” Pokhriyal said.

“The government is seeking paragraph-wise suggestions on how to go about implementing the NEP. So far 15 lakh comments have been received and we are open to receiving more suggestions,” he added.

The minister lamented some people are arguing that to make progress on international level one needs to learn English.

“I must say we are not against English but mother tongue as a medium of education would help strengthen Indian languages. The government does not intend to impose any language on any state. We are in the favour of strengthening 22 Indian languages and we want to promote all of these languages,” he said.

“People need to understand that English is not an Indian language. I would like to tell those people who argue that if we do not learn English we cannot progress on a global level, we need to look at countries like Japan, Russia, Israel, France, USA that all provide education in their language,” the minister added.

The NEP approved by the Union Cabinet in July replaces the 34-year-old National Policy on Education framed in 1986 and is aimed at paving the way for transformational reforms in school and higher education systems to make India a global knowledge superpower.

Choice between 3 or 4 year undergraduate courses, multiple entry and exit options in degree courses, adding 3.5 crore seats in higher education institutions, which will now have a single regulator, discontinuation of MPhil programmes and fixation of fees are among the higher education reforms outlined in the new NEP.

“The main objective of NEP 2020 is to develop good human beings and not machines. It is a nation-centric policy, full of human values and with regards to innovation, knowledge, research, science and technology, it will be on the top on international level,” Pokhriyal said.

“Perhaps it is the first such policy in the world which has seen such huge consultations with over 1,000 universities, 45,000 degree colleges, 15 lakh schools, 1 crore teachers and professors along with 33 crore students and their parents, politicians, state governments and their education ministers, chief ministers, parliamentarians and industry bodies,” he added.

The minister said that they have incorporated most of the 2.25 lakh suggestions received from across the country.

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