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NEW DELHI: Facing Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy’s complaint To CJI against him, most senior SC judge N V Ramana on Saturday said a Judge needs to take decisions fearlessly and stand up bravely to all pressures and odds.

The Andhra police had registered FIR against the SC judge’s daughters for purchasing land in Amaravati in June 2015, immediately after a bench headed Justice Ramana, in line to become the next CJI, took up a PIL seeking to expedite snail-paced trials in criminal cases against sitting and former MPs and MLAs. The CM sent a complaint to the CJI soon after Justice Ramana led bench sought action plan from the High Courts for completion of trials against netas within a year. Reddy has been booked in over two dozen criminal and corruption cases.

Justice Ramana said, “There are innumerable qualities that a person needs to live what can be called a good life: humility, patience, kindness, a strong work ethic and the enthusiasm to constantly learn and improve oneself.” He was speaking at the condolence meeting in memory of former SC Judge A R Lakshmanan.

Without referring to the pressure intended to be caused to him through the lodging of the FIR and sending of the complaint to the CJI, Justice Ramana said, “Most importantly, particularly for a judge, one must be steadfast in holding on to their principles and fearless in their decisions. It is an important quality for a judge to withstand all pressures and odds and to stand up bravely against all obstacles.”

Advocates associations across the country have passed resolutions condemning the AP CM’s letter and termed it as a tactic to pressurise and malign the judiciary. Led by Bar Council of India, the regulatory body for advocates in the country, resolutions against the CM’s letter were passed by Supreme Court Bar Associations and several large bar associations in Delhi, Tamil Nadu Advocates’ Association, All India Judges Association, Madras HC Bar Association and NCLT Bar Association.

Virtually acknowledging the gesture of lawyer bodies for standing behind the judiciary and the judge, Justice Ramana said, “The greatest strength of the judiciary is the faith of people in it. Faith, confidence and acceptability cannot be commanded, they have to be earned…Our values are ultimately our greatest wealth, and we must never forget the same.”

Quoting Justice Lakshmanan, who passed away last month, Justice Ramana said “as judges must remember and cherish the former Judge’s words – ‘we, the members of the judicial hierarchy have inherited the legacy of dedicated collective endeavour by the bench and the bar in establishing an unbroken tradition of high efficiency, perfect integrity and fearless independence’. We should all take inspiration from his words and should strive to commit a vibrant and independent judiciary which is required in the current times.”

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

Won’t accept any attempt to unilaterally change LAC: Jaishankar

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NEW DELHI: India will not accept any attempt to unilaterally change the Line of Actual Control (LAC) said foreign minister S. Jaishankar on Saturday evening. The pandemic, he said, had put “severe stress” on the India-China relationship.

Delivering the Sardar Patel Memorial Lecture, he said, ties with China had been stable for three decades, “as the two nations addressed inherited challenges and new circumstances. ”

“Peace and tranquillity in the border areas provided the basis for expanded cooperation in other domains. But as the pandemic unfolded, the relationship has come under severe stress. To restore normalcy, agreements between the two countries must be respected scrupulously in their entirety. Where the Line of Actual Control is concerned, any attempt to unilaterally change the status quo is unacceptable.”

India, Jaishankar said, “will approach the world in a more proactive way in the aftermath of the pandemic.”

“Indian diplomacy will be more integrated with our defence and security needs, more supportive of our economic and commercial interests, more aware of our technology capabilities and offerings, and more sensitive to the diaspora.”

Acknowledging the difficulties of two civilisations, India and China, growing side by side, Jaishankar said, “the relationship cannot be immune to changes in the assumptions that underpinned it.”

“Large civilizational states re-emerging in close proximity will not have naturally easy ties. Their interests are best served by a sustained engagement based on mutual respect and mutual sensitivity.”

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INDIA

EC action against BJP’s Imarti Devi over poll code violations

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NEW DELHI: The Election Commission on Saturday imposed a 24-hour campaign ban on BJP leader Imarti Devi due to poll code violations.

“BJP leader Imarti Devi has been barred from holding, anywhere in MP, public meetings, public processions, public rallies, roadshows and interviews, public utterances in media in connection with ongoing elections for one day on November 1,” the poll panel said.

Earlier this week, the election commission had issued a notice to Imarti Devi, who is contesting a bypoll in Madhya Pradesh, for allegedly describing an unnamed political rival as “insane” and making remarks against women members of his family.

Devi, who is also a minister in the Madhya Pradesh government, did not name the political rival in a video on social media.

According to the transcript of the video, Imarti Devi said after the person left the chief minister’s post in Madhya Pradesh, he became “insane” (pagal).

Devi was involved in another incident earlier when senior Congress leader Kamal Nath called her an “item” during an election rally. Following his remarks, Nath was served a notice by the EC and later removed as Congress’ “star campaigner”.

Bypolls to 28 Madhya Pradesh assembly seats will be held on November 3.

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INDIA

Covid-19: Indian students speak of depression and isolation at UK universities under lockdown, some plan to return to India

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LONDON: Indian students in Manchester have spoken of their isolation and depression at being stuck in their rooms all day since all teaching went online and the city moved into a harsh lockdown owing to rising Covid-19 cases.

Five joined a protest outside the university offices holding placards saying “Are we paying £22k for this?” and “Was it worth me flying from India to attend an online class?”. The students want greater offline social activities, blended teaching, mental health support and a reduction in fees.

“I have not experienced 5% of university life this year. It was our last year to have fun and live university life. Now everything is ruined,” said Danish Hussain (21) of Ajmer, in the final year of his £15k-a-year undergraduate degree in tourism management at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU). He returned to India in the spring, when Covid cases were rising, and returned in September expecting teaching to be blended.

But on October 7, the University of Manchester (UoM) and MMU moved all teaching online after young people accounted for 55% of Covid-19 cases. On October 23 the city went into a Tier 3 lockdown.

“I don’t know why they can’t divide us into groups and do face-to-face learning with social distancing. The teachers come on video chat but I’m not getting to interact with classmates. We don’t have anywhere to go. You can’t meet new people. Everyone is stressed,” he said. “There used to be so many house parties in Manchester, now it is dead.”

He is staying alone in a house-share as less students have come because of Brexit and Covid-19, he said.

MMU told TOI it had increased investment in its counselling services and from November 2 it will offer up to three hours of on-campus activity each week.

“The isolation is the worst part. It makes you feel so demotivated. The main struggle is not money, it is mental health,” said Shubhi Verma, 25, from Bhopal, who is doing an intellectual property masters at the UoM costing £19,500 a year. “I could have done this in India and saved a lot of money. There are no contact hours with the professor. How can you create a relationship online? Online teaching is on Zoom but there is a lack of interaction. We have to stay in a bubble and can only interact with people we live with. We want more pastoral support. The societies have become WhatsApp groups. We are sat in our rooms and it is depressing,” Verma said.

“I think if you meet people in person you feel more pressured to do your work. Now no one feels bothered. People are not doing their work properly. I am just watching Netflix, eating and sleeping,” she said.

The UoM said online teaching would be reviewed on November 11, that the campus remained open, and insisted there were lots of activities.

“Many Indian students want to go back to India at Christmas and stay until the spring. They don’t see the point of being here as their courses are all online, student bars are closing and a lot of events are online. Already 50% didn’t come back in September,” Indian National Students Association UK president Amit Tiwari said.

Ahaan Gupta, 20, a third year undergraduate student of PPE at LSE, is doing just that. He went back in March and has not returned.

“I am at home with my parents and there is less chance of catching it here whereas in the UK there are so many possible interactions in a student halls of residence. The quality of teaching at LSE is really good online. It is the same as offline,” he said. Ahaan is paying £19,000 a year but doing the course from his parents’ home in Delhi.

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