For an ‘external’ or private student in 1983, Narendra Kumar Damodardas Modi had done quite well in his MA (Political Science) with 62.3 per cent. When Gujarat University VC M.N. Patel opened up the records, the suspense caused by the earlier refusal to reveal the details and the CIC order to do so was finally over. Or was it? Nitpickers soon pointed out that the date of birth in the college register (29/8/49) did not tally with the date on his electoral affidavits (17/9/50). And why had the pages with handwritten entries not yellowed even after 33 years, some asked. The plot thickened after a duplicate certificate surfaced of the MA degree in “Entire Political Science”.
Sri Sri Ravishankar has accepted 15 honorary doctoral degrees and his name is invoked for ‘off days’ by 20 American cities, but he claims he rejected the Nobel Peace Prize. Taking people by surprise in Latur, he asked what’s an award worth if a 16-year-old girl with no contribution can get it—a veiled reference to Pakistan’s Malala Yousafzai. Now, that’s a new low.
Chief minister Siddaramaiah, who is drawing flak for his drought-study trips, loses no opportunity to flaunt his rationalist credentials. Contrary to advice given to him, he presented the budget during the inauspicious ‘Rahu Kalam’, he pointed out. And although there is a belief that chief ministers visiting Chamarajanagar do not last, he has visited the place six times so far, he revealed.
They were never really rare, but forest fires in hill states are now fast becoming quite alarmingly commonplace. Yet, officials and the national media woke up to the devastating fire in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh a little too late—after 70 days in the case of Uttarakhand. Teams sent by the National Disaster Management Authority admitted to their inexperience and lack of training in fighting forest fires, forcing the air force to come out to sprinkle water on the burning forests. Eight lives were lost and the now-familiar finger-pointing followed, with the needle of suspicion directed at the timber mafia, the builder lobby and colluding officials in the forest department.
An anonymous letter ostensibly written by a group of “honest” investigating officers in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has driven another nail into the coffin of the central agency’s credibility. The “less honest” ones, allege the “honest” officers in the letter, had been blackmailing people charged in the coal block scam, submitting closure reports if they paid up and incriminating those who didn’t.
The gruesome rape and murder of a 30-year-old law student has triggered protests across the state. A Dalit now described as ‘Kerala’s Nirbhaya’, the student’s mutilated body, intestines pulled out, was found in her house while her daily-wager mother, with whom she lived, was away at work. Police say they have “little evidence to find the accused”, but have put out a suspect’s sketch—a man seen leaving the victim’s house—and detained five supects.
Forced by parents to prepare for engineering entrance tests at Kota, 17-year-old Kirti Tripathi jumped to her death. In her suicide note, she requested her parents to allow her sister to pursue what she liked. Kirti herself wanted to study pure science.