QKolkata: HC to Hear Mamata DLitt Case; Radio Tags for School Kids

Your daily lowdown of all things Kolkata.

5 min read
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

1. CM Can Get DLitt from CU, for Now

Calcutta University can give the chief minister a DLitt on Thursday but if the high court upholds a petition claiming she is undeserving of the degree, the university will have to cancel it.

The court on Wednesday heard a PIL challenging the university's decision. The hearing will continue on Thursday.

Since the court did not issue any order, the university can give the degree to the chief minister during its convocation on Thursday.

Former North Bengal University VC Ranju Gopal Mukhopadhyay had moved a public interest litigation on Monday challenging the university ' s decision to give a DLitt to Mamata Banerjee.

Mukhopadhyay had sought an order restraining CU from giving her the degree.

(Source: The Telegraph)

2. Schools Eye Radio Tags for Kids, Staff

At least three city schools are exploring a technology that will enable parents to monitor the whereabouts of their children on the campus – down to their exact location, be it classroom, washroom, playground or corridor – and alert authorities if they suspect anything amiss.

Several schools have already adopted a part of the technology that tracks children while they are travelling by school bus or pool car; some have also incorporated it in school attendance.

The technology — which requires tagging of students, and staff members, including teachers, with RFID (radio frequency identification)-enabled badges or cards — acts as a beacon to send out signals that can then be tagged and mapped for reference and surveillance.

Some view the technology as a device that enhances child safety and a proactive measure to insure a school against charges of child abuse — like the ones that had surfaced in two schools last year — but there are others who feel it amounts to snooping and is a step too far.

(Source: The Times Of India)

3. ICSE, ISC Pass Marks to Be Lowered from '18

Pass marks in the class-X ICSE and class-XII ISC examinations will be reduced from this year itself, instead of from 2019. Also, the evaluation of practical exams will have to be done on the day of the exam and at the school instead of centralised evaluation centres.

These two decisions, to be effective this year, form a part of a slew of changes that the Council for Indian School Certificate Examination. More than 1.7 lakh students write the class-X exams and more than 70,000 students appear for the class-XII across the country.

“Pass marks have been reduced from 35 to 33 for ICSE students and from 40 to 35 for ISC students and this is going to be effected from this year itself, instead of from 2019 as initially planned,” CISCE secretary and chief executive Gerry Arathoon told TOI on Wednesday.

“The council wanted students to benefit from the decision this year itself and must have brought its implementation forward by a year after confirming that it would be able to change all systems,” Rammohan Mission School principal Sujoy Biswas said.

(Source: The Times Of India)

4. ‘Olympiad’ Turns Rogue Drivers Into Role Models

Till recently, Shankar Shaw, Idrish Ali or Ravinder Singh were rogue drivers. Violating traffic rules was a kind of habit for them. But on Wednesday, they became the faces of safety practices on roads after emerging as the winners of the Road Safety Game Olympiad, a first-of-its-kind initiative taken by Kolkata Police.

“They are now the safest road users in the city,” said a proud senior traffic police officer.

On Wednesday, police chief Rajeev Kumar conferred awards to the champions of the Road Safety Game Olympiad that was held across the city since March last year. Top three families in each of the eight categories had their proud moments while receiving awards from the commissioner, in the presence of actors Dev and Shaheb Chatterjee.

“The games were designed to test one’s traffic knowledge and skills of drivers — be it traffic signage, lane driving or automobile manoeuvring,” said Pritam Banerjee of Karmyogi, an NGO partner of police’s ‘Safe Drive Save Life’ campaign.

(Source: The Times Of India)

5. Another Year Of Re-uniting Dumped Seniors With Kin

Even as pilgrims have started making their way towards the mela grounds of Gangasagar, the state administration and a group of amateur radio operators have started preparing to ensure that people do not get left behind as they were in the previous years.

TOI had reported how the annual Gangasagar Mela turned for an ideal location for many to dump elderly relatives, including parents. Efforts to send them back to their homes started after the 2017 mela when the South 24-Paraganas district administration sought help from amateur radio operators.

During the 2017 pilgrimage, nine elders were left behind at Sagar Island by their families. It was due to the efforts of a team headed by IG Ajey Ranade and the West Bengal Radio Club (WBRC) that the families of all nine were tracked. “We sought help from cops in other states and ensured these people went back to their families,” Ranade said.

Over the last year, WBRC has succeeded in reuniting seven such persons with their families.

(Source: The Times Of India)

6. Ballygunge Tenant Knifes Landlady

A tenant apparently knifed his landlord and his wife while protesting her behaviour towards their domestic help on Wednesday.

Bhola Shaw, 55, and his wife Shila Devi, 40, have been admitted to a hospital off the Bypass with multiple wounds, police said.

Cops picked up the tenant, Satish Shaw, 25, who had fled the home on Deodar Street, Ballygunge, after the attack in the morning, from the Park Circus area later in the day.

He has been booked under various sections of the IPC, including attempt to murder.

Shaw claimed before the police that Shila Devi had attacked him with a knife when he protested against her behaviour towards the domestic help. In retaliation, he snatched the knife and attacked her with it, he claimed.

There doesn ' t seem to be any history of dispute between the two, the police said.

(Source: The Telegraph)

7. Winter Notches Sub-12 Record

The city is experiencing the longest spell of sub-12 temperature in 15 years, Met office records reveal.

The last time the city witnessed a longer spell of sub-12 chill was 2003, when it continued for 11 days — from 6 to 16 January. The Alipore Met office recorded a minimum temperature of 10.9 degrees Celsius on Wednesday — down from Tuesday’s 11. The minimum temperature in the city dropped below 12 degrees on 5 January.

"The north-westerly wind is still strong. We don’t expect the minimum to go above 12 degrees till Friday, " said Sanjib Bandyopadhyay, deputy director general, India Meteorological Department, Calcutta.

The north- westerly wind blew at an average speed of 12kmph — peaking at 30kmph — in the city on Tuesday.

(Source: The Telegraph)

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