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SC dismisses plea seeking extra attempt for UPSC aspirants who exhausted their last attempt in 2020

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New Delhi [India], February 24 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed the petition seeking an extra attempt in civil service exams for UPSC aspirants who exhausted their last attempt in October 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Centre on February 9 told the Apex Court that it is against granting the last attempt to candidates who have exhausted their last attempt in 2020 as it would be discriminatory to other candidates.
The Centre had said that the candidates would get one more chance this year provided they are not age barred.
Earlier, the Bench of the top court looking into the matter had asked Centre and UPSC to explain why no extra attempt can be given to civil services aspirants when such relaxation has been extended earlier.
The Centre had earlier told the apex court that no extra attempt for UPSC will be given to students who had their last attempt in October and those who could not appear due to COVID-19.
Before that, the Court was informed that the proposal to give extra chance to civil service aspirants affected by the COVID-19 is under active consideration by the government and UPSC.
Petitioner had earlier submitted that the Court has directed the Centre to consider grant of an extra chance considering the difficulties of COVID-19.
On September 30, the Supreme Court had directed the Central government and the UPSC to consider granting an extra chance to candidates who otherwise have their last attempt in 2020, with the corresponding extension of the upper age-limit.
The Department of Personnel and Training on October 26 had informed the Supreme Court that the issue regarding grant of extra attempt to last chance candidates was under the consideration of the authorities. (ANI)

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Youth Congress passes resolution to appoint Rahul Gandhi as party chief

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By Siddharth Sharma
New Delhi [India] March 9 (ANI): The Indian Youth Congress (IYC) on Monday has passed a resolution to appoint Rahul Gandhi as the president of the Congress once again.
The resolution was passed by the National Executive of the IYC, which stated that the move would strengthen the party and energise the cadres across the country.
A few weeks ago, the Delhi Pradesh Congress and the Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress also passed similar proposals.
“Today in the National Executive, IYC Jointly passes a resolution that Rahul Gandhi should be appointed as All India Congress Committee (AICC) President as per the constitution of Indian National Congress. This is not just the resolution but the voice of every Congress worker,” Youth Congress tweeted.
Noting that the Youth Congress stands firmly with its leader Rahul Gandhi, the resolution said: “We strongly believe that the organization will be strengthened under the leadership and guidance of Rahul ji and the appointment will energise party workers across the nation,” it said.
In the presence of Rahul Gandhi, National President of Youth Congress, BV Srinivas had requested him to return as Congress President.
The meeting of the National Executive of the Youth Congress was inaugurated by Rahul Gandhi on Monday morning.
Gandhi advised the Youth Congress national office bearers and state presidents to work for the organisation with patience and fight the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) ideology without fear.
Congress has announced that the process of election of full-time president of the party will be completed by June, to in place of Sonia Gandhi, who is currently the executive president of Congress.
So far, it is not clear whether Rahul is ready to sit on the chair of the party president again.
He had resigned from the post of Congress president in May 2019, taking responsibility for the Lok Sabha election results. While resigning, Rahul had advocated making a leader outside the Gandhi family as president. However, after a few months in August, the CWC once again gave the command of the party to Sonia Gandhi as the Executive President.
Last year, senior Congress leaders (G23) wrote a letter to Sonia Gandhi demanding full and active leadership in the party.
Following this, in a meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) Sonia offered her resignation after which CWC passed a proposal to continue with her. However, in the same meeting, there was agreement on the election of the party president. (ANI)

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JEE Mains results announced, six candidates score 100 pc marks

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New Delhi [India], March 9 (ANI): Six students got 100 per cent marks in the JEE (Main) examination in the results declared on Monday.
Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said in a tweet that exams were done in three languages till last year but this time exams were conducted in 13 languages.
“Dear students, JEE (Main) February session 2021 results are out. Congratulations to the students. Till last year, exams were done in three languages only but this time exams were conducted in 13 languages and results have been declared in 10 days,” Pokhriyal said.
Prasar Bharati News Services said in a tweet that six students, including two from Delhi, got 100 per cent in the examination.
“JEE (Main) February session 2021 results are out. Six students get perfect 100 per cent in JEE-Mains, including two from Delhi. Union Cabinet Minister for Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank congratulates the students,” the Prasar Bharati News Services twitted.
A National Testing Agency (NTA) release said it has updated the JEE Main result for paper 1 at jeemain.nta.nic.in, ntaresults.nic.in. Candidates need to enter JEE Main 2021 login credentials to check the online JEE Main result 2021.
JEE (Main) examination for B.E./B.Tech. was conducted by NTA from February 24 to 26 this year.
A total number of 6.52 lack candidates were registered for Paper 1 (B.E. /B. Tech.) in JEE (Main) Examination.
The examination was conducted in 331 cities in 828 Centres.
The examination was conducted for the first time in 13 languages –English, Hindi, Gujarati along with Assamese, Bengali, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Odia, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu. (ANI)

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Former union minister manhandles woman in AP’s Vizianagaram, video goes viral

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Vizianagaram (Andhra Pradesh) [India], March 8 (ANI): A video of former union minister and senior Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader Ashok Gajapathi Raju allegedly manhandling a woman at an election campaign in Vizianagaram went viral on Monday.
“I have tried to douse the flames of “Aarti thali” which was in the hands of a woman and did not manhandle any women,” Raju told ANI over the phone.
Meanwhile, Hemalata, the TDP woman cadre who was allegedly beaten by the former union minister denied any such incident. She said that the ‘Arti thali’ had caught fire and he was dousing off the flame. She alleged that YSR Congress workers are twisting the matter and spreading wrong information.
However, the local police have not confirmed the incident. “No such incident has come to our notice. However, we are probing into the matter,” an inspector from Two Town Circle told ANI over the phone.
Monday is the last day for the campaign for municipal elections in Andhra Pradesh. Raju was taking part in the campaign in Vizianagaram. According to people present at the spot, a woman who is a cadre of TDP threw flowers on Raju. Following this Raju allegedly beaten the woman. (ANI)

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Women have made outstanding contribution towards social change: Speaker

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New Delhi [India], March 8 (ANI): Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Monday said that women have held the highest positions in the socio-political and economic fields and have made an outstanding contribution towards the development of society.
Birla, who met women parliamentarians and women journalists on the occasion of International Women’s Day in Parliament House Complex today in the first-of-its-kind initiative, said women have led from the forefront while holding important positions like President, Prime Minister and Lok Sabha Speaker.
The event was also attended by Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman and Union Minister of Women and Child Development and Textiles Smriti Zubin Irani.
According to a Lok Sabha Secretariat release, Birla said that apart from holding positions of power, women are also playing the role of catalysts in social welfare.
He said women have the ability, patience, self-confidence, will power and equity and they are serving the nation from panchayat to Parliament.
Recalling the role of women freedom fighters and their role in post-Independence India, Birla said that the development and progress was possible because of the participation of women in every stage of nation-building.
He noted that the present Lok Sabha has the highest number of women parliamentarians.
Birla also appreciated the performance of women parliamentarians in the House.
Speaking about women journalists, Birla said that “journalism is a challenging and tough task” and women are becoming successful “because of their competence and courage on the one hand, and empathy and compassion towards public cause on the other”.
He said women, through their reporting, highlight the problems of deprived sections of society and of the last man at the periphery.
When the Lok Sabha met for the day on the first day of the second half of the budget session, Birla greeted the Members of Parliament on International Women’s Day.
“Today is the day to celebrate the achievements and contributions of women towards nation and society,” he said.
The Speaker also interacted with women employees of the Lok Sabha Secretariat and lauded their contribution towards the smooth working of the House. (ANI)

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Indian Railways announces integrated Rail Madad Helpline number “139”

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New Delhi [India], March 8 (ANI): To overcome the inconvenience over multiple helpline numbers for grievances and enquiry during railway travel, Indian Railway has integrated all railway helplines into a single number1–39 (Rail Madad Helpline) for quick grievance during the journey.
According to an official statement: “Various Railway grievances helplines were discontinued last year. Now, Helpline number 182 would also be discontinued from March 1 and merged into 139 which is available in twelve languages.
Passengers can opt for IVRS (Interactive Voice Response System), or directly connect to the call-centre executive by pressing (asterisk). There is no need for a smartphone to call on 139, thus, providing easy access to all mobile users.
On an average basis, the merged helpline number received 3,44,513 inquiries per day, the statement read.
The customer has to press 1 for security and medical assistance, 2 for PNR status enquiry, 4 for general complaints, 5 for vigilance related complaints, 6 for Parcel and goods related queries, 7 for IRCTC operated trains queries, 8 for the status of complaints, 9 for talking to call centre executive and press *( asterisk) for talking to call centre executive.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Railways has also launched the Social Media campaign #OneRailOneHelpline139 to inform and educate the passengers. (ANI)

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Bengaluru civic body all set to beautify 12 major junctions

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Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], March 8 (ANI): The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is all set to revamp and beautify 12 major junctions in the city, said an official statement on Monday.
In the statement, the BBMP Administrator Gaurav Gupta said that the architects have studied the city’s 12 major junctions and thought of a number of themes for the junctions to make them appealing to the public while incorporating modifications for smooth traffic.
The designs must be implemented with emphasis on the beautification of the junctions.
“Once the junctions are revamped, the vehicular movement must not be affected. The sidewalks must be designed in a pedestrian-friendly way. The designs must be considered only after consultation with the traffic police department,” he instructed.
The construction work should be taken up in coordination with the department, he said.
Chalukya Circle junction is designed on the theme of the erstwhile Chalukya dynasty. Anil Kumble Junction, which is near Chinnaswamy Stadium, is designed on a sports theme. Likewise, the Mysore Bank Circle junction design is based on the theme of the Karaga festival.
Special Commissioner (Planning) Manoj Jain, Chief Engineer Prahlad of Road Infrastructure Division, architects and other concerned officials were present in the meeting at BBMP head office today. (ANI)

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