The Indian Express | 1 week ago | 20-01-2023 | 02:40 pm
Two days after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal came down heavily on alleged interference in the affairs of the elected AAP government during his address in the Delhi Legislative Assembly, asking “Who is the LG, where did he come from?”, Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena wrote to him, asking him to refer to the Constitution for the answer.In his letter, L-G Saxena termed Kejriwal’s statements against him both in the Delhi Assembly and outside it as “substantively misleading, untrue and derogatory”.Questioning his alleged interference in matters of the Delhi government over a range of issues, Kejriwal had accused Saxena of constitutional overreach during his address to the House before leading a march to Raj Niwas and demanding that the L-G meet him and the 61 other AAP MLAs.Referring to media reports related to his allegations against him, Saxena said some of these did not deserve a reply since they “cater to a very low level of discourse.” He also termed as “posturing” Kejriwal’s allegation that the L-G did not meet him after his march to Raj Niwas.“I came to know through media reports that on Monday…you left the Assembly and were protesting with others outside Raj Niwas, demanding to meet me. Thereafter, I invited you and the Dy. Chief Minister to come and see me. I would have, indeed, loved to have you over and served you lunch as well” Saxena stated.“However, you chose not to come on the pretext of wanting to meet me with all of your MLAs. You would appreciate that, given the short notice and sudden demand on your part, it would not have been possible to at once have a meeting with 70-80 people, nor would have it served any concrete purpose,” he added.Terming it unfortunate, Saxena accused Kejriwal of political posturing by announcing that he had refused to meet him. “I must mention here that I was rather astounded at the fact that even as the city is grappling with several serious developmental issues, you found time to walk for long and stage a protest meant solely for posturing, rather than taking the issue to a logical conclusion by meeting me,” Saxena stated.The L-G said he was glad that the issue of education and teacher training was being raised by the CM and AAP MLAs, following which he took on the AAP government over it. The L-G flagged that average attendance in government schools, which was 70.73% in 2012-2013 “consistently fell year on year” reaching 60.65% in 2019-2020, despite concerted efforts after their closure due to the Covid pandemic between March 2020 and June 2022, the numbers “went up to only 73.74%.““Enrolment in government schools that stood at 16.1 lakh during 2013-2014, consistently came down to 15.1 lakh in 2019-2020. This, despite the fact that population of the city grew and enrolment should have increased proportionately,” L-G Saxena said.He also brought up the issue of no new schools having been built during the last eight years in Delhi despite the Delhi Development Authority allotting 13 plots to the education department since 2015.“In this regard, right after taking over, I personally ensured that six plots were allotted in August 2022 for building schools by GNCTD (Government of NCT of Delhi). Adding classrooms in existing schools and counting toilets as classrooms, do not, by any stretch of imagination, amount to opening new schools, as you would appreciate,” he added.Despite the AAP government’s “claims of unprecedented improvement in government education system in Delhi”, Saxena stated that the National Achievement Survey (NAS) 2021 pegged the performance of about 30% students in Delhi government schools till Class VIII below basic levels and for about 44% students “barely basic”.“Similarly, performance of about 33% students studying in Class X is below basic and for about 30%, it is barely basic. There is rampant math and science phobia among students of Delhi government schools and this results in the fact that only 21,340 out of 2,31,448 students studying in Class XII are in the Science stream,” he stated.The L-G also questioned the AAP government’s claims related to higher enrolment in government schools. “Contrary to claims, the number of students going to private schools has increased in Delhi. While the share of private schools in 2013-2014 was 35%, the same went up to 43% in 2019-2020, and despite migration from private schools to government schools due to the pandemic distress, this number yet hovers around 40%,” Saxena said.He also questioned the need to send teachers for training to Finland. “Irrespective of whether a 5-day trip to Finland will serve any purpose of substantive training to the visitors or would serve as an event to be played up in the media, I did not reject the proposal thereof,” he sought to clarify.“I raised a few queries with respect to the impact assessment and cost benefit analysis of such visits which have been going on for past few years, and asked the department, whether such training could be obtained in a more cost-effective manner in our own Institutions of Excellence, like the IIMs,” L-G Saxena added.Saxena pointed out that recently, he had cleared proposals of sending 55 principals and vice-principals of government schools to Cambridge in 2 batches for 10 days each, with specific training goals.“While being on the subject, I would also like to bring to your attention the plight of 12 colleges of Delhi University that are funded by GNCTD. Their representatives met me and submitted a memorandum detailing their grievances in terms of deliberate stopping of already sanctioned funds, non-payment of salaries and non-sanction of posts,” Saxena said.There was much more in terms of scholarships to minorities and marginalised sections that he wanted to discuss with CM Kejriwal, the L-G stated.“I reiterate, that I write to you, not only as the Lt. Governor of Delhi, but also as a concerned resident of the city. You are indeed a driven person, and I am sure that you will take cognizance of the facts stated above and take remedial measures to engage meaningfully and constructively to rectify the grave shortcomings, for better outcomes,” Saxena added.
Margao: Iker Guarrotxena scored a first-half hat-trick inside just 12 minutes to floor East Bengal and take FC Goa to the top three in the Indian Super League (ISL).Guarrotxena’s hat-trick was the third fastest after Ferran Corominas (7 minutes) and Bartholomew Ogbeche (11 minutes) and helped Goa register two wins in four days, results that will give the team much-needed breathing space in the battle for a playoff spot.No wonder coach Carlos Pena announced a three-day holiday for the team before they resume training on Monday.“This week is beautiful, the team effort huge in these two games,” Guarrotxena said after the 4-2 win against East Bengal at the Nehru Stadium in Fatorda. “The win against Kerala gave us good energy, we worked hard during the week. The atmosphere here is beautiful and I think we deserved a win.”Goa were dominant in the first half, scoring three goals.After the change of ends, it was Brandon Fernandes’ terrific free-kick that had the stadium up on its feet. East Bengal scored two in the second session, both from headers, but Goa were not to be denied points with Guarrotxena the cynosure of all eyes.“Iker has helped the team since the start of the season,” said Pena. “At the start, he didn't score too many goals, but he worked a lot for the team. Now, he is having more accuracy. He’s understanding better what we want from him. I’m very happy for him because he is a hard worker and a nice person.”Guarrotxena is now the leading goal-scorer in the league with 10 strikes, one more than Lallianzuala Chhangte, Jorge Pereyra Diaz (both Mumbai City) and Cleiton Silva (East Bengal).His influence, though, goes beyond the goals.Like Pena explained, Guarrotxena’s commitment to the team’s cause, even when everything seems lost, can never be questioned. When the team is struggling, he tries to lift the mood by setting an example himself, running into the ground. If there’s a bad result, the first encouraging message is almost always from the Spanish forward.“He’s a born leader,” says Ravi Puskur, the club’s director of football. “His influence both on and off the field is very good. He never stops trying.”Guarrotxena is not your classic attacking midfielder who will slice open rival defences and make opponents quiver when he has the ball at his feet. He’s played most of his career as a winger, except in Australia and last season at UD Logrones where he was used as a floating number 10 or second striker.His 14 goals at UD Logrones in Spain last season caught Goa’s attention. After all, Guarrotxena had finished ahead of the first-choice striker in his team, Aridane Santana, a player not alien to Indian football after spells with Odisha FC and Hyderabad.Guarrotxena didn’t set the league on fire in the initial stages but has now scored five goals in the last three games.“It takes time for a new player to adjust to the team and surroundings, but having Iker play higher up the pitch has helped. He is now becoming a poacher, scoring from chances which are not clear cut,” said Puskur.With four games left to be played and Goa still uncertain of qualification, Guarrotxena’s form, and goals, could turn out to be decisive.
Margao/Canacona: Forty years before Goa’s Liberation, a group of young people from Canacona aspired to have the intellectually liberating force of Liceum (higher secondary education) spread to the southern-most taluka.Their mission fructified on December 28, 1922, with the establishment of Centro Promotor de Instrucao de Canacona or Centre for Promotion of Education of Canacona (CPI). On September 3, 1923, the initiative got the stamp of approval from the then governor of Portuguese Goa, Dr Jaime Alberto De Castro Moraes. The CPI’s Institute Liceal Shree Mallikarjun, which later evolved into Shree Mallikarjun High School and Higher Secondary School, is celebrating its centennial year of inception.Governor P S Sreedharan Pillai will inaugurate the year-long celebration of the institution on Saturday.“That was a time when students of Canacona had to travel to Ponda using antiquated transport facilities,” said Vikas Desai, a former president of the institution. “They had to travel by bullock cart to Sanvordem via Quepem. From Sanvordem, they had to board a ‘vapor’ (ferry boat) that would take them across to Durbhat, from where they had to walk a few miles to the school.”In 1918-19, the influenza pandemic broke out which claimed the life of a young lad from Canacona. Struck by fear, the people of Canacona didn’t let their children travel to Ponda to school. “Fortuitously,” added Desai, “that led to the setting up of the institution.” Somnath Komarpant, a writer and former head of the department of Marathi, Goa University, is among the alumni of the school. Reminiscing about the days spent in the school soon after Liberation, Komarpant said that the school functioned from a structure sans walls and covered by tarpaulin sheets. The facilities were rudimentary. “But the dedication of our teachers was legendary,” said Komarpant, who made a special mention of his principal, H R Prabhu and Nayak Sir from Sadolxem, Kanta Bhaireli, Nanda Gaitonde and others. “Nayak Sir had to cross the river on a canoe to come to the school. And often when the only boatman was unavailable, Nayak Sir would himself row the canoe using a bamboo stick as an oar,” Komarpant said. “Such was his humility that he would bow to the students in his peculiar style soon after entering the classroom.” Expressing his gratitude to the school for sowing among the students the seeds of nationalism, Komarpant said he owes it to his teachers for “making a man” out of him.
War hero, Major General Ian Cardozo stressed the need for India to become the happiest country in the world. The war hero, who was under the spotlight for the second, consecutive day of the 11th Goa art and literature festival organised by the International centre of Goa in association with Goa Writers said, “India can easily become the most powerful country in the world. However, it may be a better idea for India to become the most happiest country in the world. This way, India would need to focus on eliminating poverty completely and ensuring that nobody remained poor and starving in our vast country.”The General who recounted multiple anecdotes from his soul-stirring autobiography, “Cartoos Saab” recounted the time when he saved a young soldier in the seas off Kerala, despite possessing only one leg himself. He also recounted the valour of the Gorkha soldiers, whom he considered the bravest in the world, when he cited the real life incident of how a brave Gorkha mother sent her youngest son to join her older son’s army regiment, even as she was told of her older son’s martyrdom. “I do not want our family tradition and line with the Indian army to be broken,” the Gorkha mother is quoted to have said.Earlier in the day, Nobel prize winning economist Abhijit Banerjee and his illustrator colleague Cheyenne Olivier regaled everybody about their cook book: “Cooking to save your life” Banerjee maintained that everyone on this planet could cook and even excel at it, if they applied their minds and learnt the basics properly.Translations to the foreTwo excellent sessions, the first with award winning author, Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar in conversation with the festival co-curator, Vivek Menezes and the second featuring Kannada author, Vivek Shanbag in conversation with journalist Vinutha Mallya stood out for their deep insights.Hansda had the audiences in raptures as he read from his forthcoming translation from Hindi to English, where a small boy is witness to the death of an elephant as it is attacked mercilessly by a large pack of wild dogs.While Shanbag, an engineer by training credited his non-literature academic training for teaching him systems and methodology.New era publishingIn another excellent session featuring two, independent publishers Arpita Das Ribeiro and Trisha Niyogi in conversation with Margao based book store owner, Leonard Fernandes, the two lady publishers stressed the need for publishers to combine the latest audio-visual techniques with conventional printing to compete with the likes of popular OTT platforms.
The Office of Superintendent of Police (Training) and Child Rights Commission launched a series of training for Police Sub Inspectors at GO’s Training Hall in presence of Sanjith Rodrigues, Secretary, GSCPCR, Sucheta B. Dessai, SP (Training), Peter F. Borges, Chairperson, GSCPCR and Child Welfare Committee, North Goa, and South Goa. The training will reach out to more than 260 PSIs from 19-24th January 2023. Sexual crimes against children have captured the stage fraor quite some time now with Goa too has witnessing a surge in the recent times. Very low conviction rate exists in the state with several POCSO cases ending in acquittals. There exists also a grim reality of a gross failure to support and rehabilitate the victims and their families in terms of victim compensation too. As a result of this, there are instances of victims and their families turning hostile, stop cooperating and loosing hope, said Sanjith Rodrigues, Secretary, GSCPCR and Special Secretary, Home The training revolved around need for convergence between police and child protection system to ensure adequate support services for children as provided in POCSO Rules 2020.While it is important to secure punishment for the perpetrator, focus should also be laid on restorative care and justice, said Peter F. Borges, Chairperson, Goa State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, who led the training and called for multi-disciplinary approach on linking POCSO victims to the child protection system. He further stressed the need for curbing re-victimization which happens in the justice system process. Several factors and practices existing in the system makes the victim re-live the horrific experience, leading to further trauma due to their vulnerability. Esther Torres, Chairperson, CWC, North Goa, also highlighted the need to introspect and keep aside the persona biases which exist while handling the cases of child abuse. Adv. Viren Bhende, Member, CWC South Goa also spoke on the need for coordinated approach.
St. Andrew’s Higher Secondary School, Vaddem, Vasco celebrated its grand Annual Day cum Prize Distribution Function at the BITS PILANI- Goa campus auditorium,Zuarinagar - Sancoale. Bhagirath Shetye, Chairman of Goa Board, Secondary and Higher Secondary education was the Chief Guest with D M Kulkarni, Dean General Administration of BITS Pilani being the Guest of Honour, Fr Benson Colaco, Manager of St. Andrew Institute, Vasco was the special Invitee to grace the function. The other special guests represented the wide spectrum of intelligensia from Heads of different Higher Secondaries of Goa, PTA members, parents, well-wishers and students. The auditorium reverberated with over 2000 enthusiastic audience witnessing the spectacular show. The celebration got underway with a ceremonial march of the dignified entourage led by the school’s General Secretary, Ashish Pal and Cultural Secretary, Shrushti Naik, all marching to the beat of the scintillating live music by JAZZMATAZZ. The dignitaries were then accorded a warm welcome by the school Manager, Fr. Constancio Carvalho followed by the presenting of theschool report and its achievements by the Principal, Dr. Elvis Gonsalves. The formal program entailed the prize distribution for students excelling in academics and co- curricular activities followed by felicitating the long serving staff who had completed 25 years of dedicated and meritorious service to the DSE. The highlight of the evening was the crowning of Mr and Miss Andrews for the year 2022-23, which were bagged by Wesley D’sa and Gracina Colaco. The inaugural issue of the annual school magazine ‘ANDLIT’ was also released, which contains a collection of creative and enlightening literary articles of students and staff, aligning to the maxim - Beyond books, Igniting minds. The cultural program, MYSTICAL INDIA took the audience into a journey of cultural extravaganzawhere all the 920 students were given the opportunity to participate. The travel through some of the states of India showcased the vibrant, rich and living culture through skits, choral singing, mimes, fashion show, folk and classical dances. The depth of the performance, digital effects and the extraordinary depiction of mystical India took the audience through a dazzling journey which set to re-enforce India’s unity amidst diversity where the varied culture, beliefs, festivals etc immaculatelyfit into a jigsaw of an amalgamated country, India.