Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Jamia Millia conferred with minority status


New Delhi: The National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI) on Tuesday observed that the Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) is a minority education institution founded by the Muslims for the benefit of community.
"We hold that the Jamia Millia Islamia is a minority education institution," said the three-member bench of the NCMEI in its judgment in the case relating to the status of the university.
The bench was headed by Justice MSA Siddiqi. Its other two members were Mohinder Singh and Cyriac Thomas.
"We have no hesitation in holding that the Jamia was founded by the Muslims for the benefit of Muslims and it never lost its character as a Muslim education institution," it said.
jamila milia islamia

Mobile number portability? What's that?

New Delhi: It was viewed as a tool to empower the consumer. But now chinks are showing up in the armour of the much-hyped Mobile Number Portability (MNP) scheme. Customers who have applied to shift to a different network complain they are facing huge problems. Most of them have alleged that their existing service provider is not allowing them to make the switch. Saket Dokania who is using an Airtel connection had applied to shift to Reliance. But 20 days later he is still trying. "I applied for MNP on January 30 and also bought a new SIM of Reliance. I also submitted my documents. After that I got a call from Airtel customer care about the reasons for changing the operator. I made it clear that my connection is proving to be costly. mobile number portability

They offered to reduce the call rates as well as SMS charges for me. I rejected the offer and said that I will switch to Reliance. After that it's been 20 days but there has been no communication from their side. I have made around 50 calls to customer care but all in vain. In retaliation they have added a poor quality hello tune on my number and have also deducted my balance," said Saket. Some complain that operators are not allowing them to make the switch, while others are unhappy with the delays. A customer said he was facing problems during the change-over period which stretched to more than a week. To switch over to another operator, a user has to send an SMS to 1900. On doing this the present operator will reply with a unique porting code which is valid for 15 days. The consumer has to use this code and the application form for the company to which he/she wants to shift. Within a week the recipient operator will take over the service. Similar is the experience of Sharad Natani, contractor and resident of Sarita Vihar area. "I wanted to shift to Idea as I find their GPRS service good. So on January 28 I bought an Idea SIM and submitted all the documents. I even got my unique porting number which is valid only for 15 days. That has expired now. I have been calling customer care for shifting to the new network but they are not letting me go. MNP war has shown the true colours of telecom giants. Finally I have applied again and have got a new unique porting number. I hope my number gets shifted now," he said. Amidst this open war, none of the companies is taking responsibility for the distress to consumers but they expressed the view that the new MNP advertisements are playing an important role in attracting fresh customers. According to GSM lobby COAI Director-General Rajan Mathews, technical glitches were bound to crop up in the first few weeks, especially considering the scale of the project. The Department of Telecom (DoT) has claimed that the entire process of switching operators will take a maximum of seven days and subscribers may face disruption of services for about two hours during that period. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is monitoring the whole MNP process and attending to complaints. It has warned service providers against deliberate delays and complaints regarding regulations. Who's calling? The advent of MNP has also added to the problem of unwanted telemarketing calls for clients. If you are getting calls from a customer care executive asking about your mobile network then the possibility is quite high that the call is not from your existing service provider but from a rival company which is trying to get your feedback and convince you to shift to its network. Vasundhara enclave resident Harsh Vardhan Singh who is using an Idea connection for last five years was taken aback when he got a call from a rival network. "I received a call from a mobile number and it seemed like a call from my home service provider. The caller asked me about my experiences and if I was facing any problems. Later the caller revealed that he was calling from a rival company and was offering a better tariff plan with promise of better service," he said.


Stepping up efforts for the release of a district collector and an engineer kidnapped by Maoists on Feb 16, the Orissa government on Monday resumed talks with the three mediators chosen by the guerrillas. State Home Secretary UN Behera and Panchayati Raj Secretary SN Tripathy began the second round of talks with the negotiators Dandapani Mohanty and academicians G Haragopal and R Someswar Rao in the state guest house. The talks which began on Sunday and went on for several hours remained inconclusive. The district collector of Malkangiri, R Vineel Krishna, and junior engineer Pabitra Mohan Majhi, were abducted by Maoists Feb 16 evening. The release may take some more time as a key rebel ideologue is still behind bars, a mediator said on Monday hours before the start of the second round discussion. G Haragopal said the talks with Maoists may linger because Ganti Prasadam, a Maoist ideologue, has not been released yet. According to sources, state police secured a prison transfer warrant from a court and have already brought Prasadam from a jail in Andhra Pradesh Saturday night. The issues being discussed include human rights violations, displacements by various development projects and tribals languishing in different jails on minor charges or sometimes even without any charge. The Maoists, in a letter to the government, listed their demands for the safe release of the hostages. These included halting of anti-Maoist operations by security forces, release of all political prisoners, the scrapping of accords with MNCs and compensation for the families of Maoist sympathisers killed in police custody.


Anti-regime protests spread closer to the Libyan capital today and new fighting erupted in the flashpoint city of Benghazi, as Human Rights Watch said it feared a catastrophe with more than 170 people dead in an iron-fisted crackdown. Libyan security forces clashed with anti-regime protesters in the Mediterranean city of Misrata. Demonstrators took to the streets there to support residents of second city Benghazi, 1,000 kilometres east of Tripoli, who have endured the brunt of a crackdown in eastern Libya. The security forces, backed by "African mercenaries," had shot into the crowds "without discrimination. In London, Human Rights Watch said at least 173 people had died since Tuesday. In eastern Libya, Islamist gunmen stormed a military depot and the nearby port of Derna on Wednesday and Friday and seized weapons and vehicles after killing four soldiers. Britain has deplored what it branded a "horrifying" crackdown, and US President Barack Obama has condemned the use of violence against peaceful protesters in Libya, Bahrain and Yemen. France called the government response "unacceptable" and "totally disproportionate," and people in London and Cairo protested against Muammar Gaddafi who has ruled the oil-rich North African country for four decades. In the face of outside criticism, Libya warned Europe it would stop cooperating in the fight against illegal immigration if the European Union does not stop encouraging pro-democracy protests. Meanwhile, the son of Libya's strongman Muammar Gaddafi warned on Monday the country would be destroyed by civil war if protests end his father's rule, in a speech broadcast as bursts of gunfire broke out in Tripoli. The turbulence gripping the Arab world following the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia also spread to Morocco, where thousands rallied for change across the country. Gaddafi, 68, who renounced terrorism and declared in 2003 that he was giving up the pursuit of weapons of mass destruction to try to improve ties with the West, has made no public comment since the deadly protests erupted. The growing turmoil in Libya came as protesters set up more tents in the main square in Bahrain's capital, increasing the pressure on the Bahraini royal family to offer some real reforms.