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Class XII pupils hit as school fails board test

Written By kom nampultig on Kamis, 18 September 2014 | 22.23

MUMBAI: About 60 class XI and XII students are in a fix in the middle of the year as Don Bosco Junior College, Borivli, offered the computer science subject without necessary permission.

The students, who had opted for computer science, said they have been told to change the college, opt for other subjects or continue with the subject at its branch in Naigaon, about 25km away. Computer science, which carries a weightage of 200 marks in the HSC exam, is a vocational subject that students can opt for instead of biology and a language or information technology. But colleges need permission from the Directorate of Vocational Education and Training (DVET), which Don Bosco does not have.

About 30 class XII students were on Monday informed about it by school principal, Donald Fernandez. "We have studied the subject for over a year-and-a-half and at this time of the year we cannot study two new subjects, so we will have to appear from Naigaon. We will have to go there for two days a week and will also be assigned a board exam centre near that college as we will be registered from there," said a student. The junior college was started in 2013 and its first batch will appear for the board exams in 2015.

The class XI students are running from pillar to post to find other colleges offering the course. "We were called last week and the principal told us that the children must switch to biology and IT as they are not doing well in computer science. But we found out that the college did not have permission to offer the course. We want to move to another college," said the parent of a class XI student. The parents have paid over Rs35,000 as fees for the year.

While the college said approvals are underway, DVET officials said they may not come through very soon. "Permission for a vocational subject is given by the state government and applications have to be submitted in the prescribed period. Don Bosco officials came to us only recently," a senior official said. He said the college may have to pay a fine and face action for offering the course without permission.

The college authorities said the students will not suffer. "We have checked with the department concerned and are expecting permission soon. So, students will not have to go to the Naigaon branch and we will be able to continue to offer the subject," said Fr William Falcao, rector of the junior college.

The college has also not conducted class XI admissions online. "All colleges have to register online. If it had done so, we would have known that it did not have permission to offer the course. If the college or parents approach us, we will give permission for the students to appear from a college nearby and take action against the college," said an official from the office of the deputy director of education, Mumbai division. Fr Falcao said they were not informed by the department that they had to register for the online process.

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Pomegranate ‘festival’ ends as prices soar, touch Rs 150 per kg

NAVI MUMBAI: Pomegranate prices have shot up to Rs 40 to Rs 50 per kg for small and medium sizes and Rs 100 per kg for fruits weighing over 400 grams at the APMC wholesale market in Vashi. The retail prices ranged from Rs 50 to Rs 80 for small and medium sizes, and Rs 130 to Rs 150 for the bigger ones on Wednesday.

Till Monday, the prices at the APMC market had been a mere Rs 20 to Rs 30 per kg for small and medium sizes, for which the retail prices were Rs 30 to Rs 40. Big pomegranates had ranged between Rs 60 and Rs 80 per kg in the wholesale market and retailed between Rs 90 and 110 per kg.

The reason given for the price increase was that the harvest season was nearing its end and that exports had resumed after a fortnight-long layoff that was caused by poor quality.

"Exports were affected for a fortnight as crops were damaged due to heavy rain and peak-season harvesting led to large supplies in the domestic market, which brought down the prices earlier," a trader, Sanjay Pansare, said.

Traders said that for the prices to go down, pomegranate lovers would have to wait for the arrival of the new crop, which was expected to take some time.

As of now, supplies are scanty from the pomegranate producing parts of Nashik district.

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HC: Can widow seek partition of husband's property?

MUMBAI: Can a widow ask for partition of her deceased husband's ancestral property for her share? The Bombay high court raised the question and observed that in the age of equality between the sexes and women having the same rights as a man, it was necessary to look into the law on the issue.

The court of Justice A B Chaudhari made the observation while hearing a suit filed by a widow Kalawati Karne, who had asked for partition and her share in her deceased husband's ancestral property.

"In the wake of the revolution for emancipation of women and for recognizing their rights as human beings equal to the males in respect of the properties in a Hindu family, I think depriving a widow simply because no other co-parcerners (inheritors) demand partition would clearly be destructive of the movement," said Justice A B Chaudhari.

"This court would like to consider the said larger question." The HC appointed advocate P N Joshi as an amicus curiae (friend of the court) to assist the court on the issue.

The court was hearing a suit filed by a widow Kalawati Karne, who had asked for partition and her share in her deceased husband's ancestral property.

Initially under the Hindu Women's Right to Property Act enacted in 1937, a woman could seek partition. However, subsequently Parliament passed the Hindu Succession Act in 1956, which sought to confer women's right to be the absolute owner of her property. This law, though, did not have any provision that gave a woman the right to seek partition. In fact, Section 23 of the Hindu Succession Act, disentitled a woman from asking for partition in respect of a dwelling house occupied by a joint family until the male heirs chose to seek partition of the property so as to divide their respective shares.

In an earlier judgment the HC had pointed out that the 1956 law had no provisions similar to the one in the 1937 Act. "The legislature in its wisdom has not thought it fit to continue this right in a woman," the high court had then said, while confirming the law that said that the widow had to wait till the male heirs of an Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) decided to partition the property to get her share.

With another bench of the HC deciding to have a relook into the issue, the matter is likely to be an important one for women's rights. Section 23 of the Hindu Succession Act, was passed in 2005 in order to bring in gender equality and address the various discriminatory provisions of the law that did not treat women as equals when it came to family property. The new law gave daughters the same rights as sons to reside in and to claim for partition of the parental ancestral property. But it made no mention of widow seeking her share in the ancestral property of her husband's family after his death.

The HC has scheduled the matter for further hearing on September 29.

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HC: Can widow seek partition of hubby property?

MUMBAI: Can a widow ask for partition of her deceased husband's ancestral property for her share? The Bombay high court raised the question and observed that in the age of equality between the sexes and women having the same rights as a man, it was necessary to look into the law on the issue.

The court of Justice A B Chaudhari made the observation while hearing a suit filed by a widow Kalawati Karne, who had asked for partition and her share in her deceased husband's ancestral property.

"In the wake of the revolution for emancipation of women and for recognizing their rights as human beings equal to the males in respect of the properties in a Hindu family, I think depriving a widow simply because no other co-parcerners (inheritors) demand partition would clearly be destructive of the movement," said Justice A B Chaudhari.

"This court would like to consider the said larger question." The HC appointed advocate P N Joshi as an amicus curiae (friend of the court) to assist the court on the issue.

The court was hearing a suit filed by a widow Kalawati Karne, who had asked for partition and her share in her deceased husband's ancestral property.

Initially under the Hindu Women's Right to Property Act enacted in 1937, a woman could seek partition. However, subsequently Parliament passed the Hindu Succession Act in 1956, which sought to confer women's right to be the absolute owner of her property. This law, though, did not have any provision that gave a woman the right to seek partition. In fact, Section 23 of the Hindu Succession Act, disentitled a woman from asking for partition in respect of a dwelling house occupied by a joint family until the male heirs chose to seek partition of the property so as to divide their respective shares.

In an earlier judgment the HC had pointed out that the 1956 law had no provisions similar to the one in the 1937 Act. "The legislature in its wisdom has not thought it fit to continue this right in a woman," the high court had then said, while confirming the law that said that the widow had to wait till the male heirs of an Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) decided to partition the property to get her share.

With another bench of the HC deciding to have a relook into the issue, the matter is likely to be an important one for women's rights. Section 23 of the Hindu Succession Act, was passed in 2005 in order to bring in gender equality and address the various discriminatory provisions of the law that did not treat women as equals when it came to family property. The new law gave daughters the same rights as sons to reside in and to claim for partition of the parental ancestral property. But it made no mention of widow seeking her share in the ancestral property of her husband's family after his death.

The HC has scheduled the matter for further hearing on September 29.

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When mango pickle could defuse any Sena-BJP crisis

MUMBAI: The growing coldness in Shiv Sena-BJP ties, as evidenced during seat-sharing talks spread over the last three weeks, is in sharp contrast with the 1990s when camaraderie, chilled beer and cartoons marked the saffron equations under the leadership of Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray and BJP leader Pramod Mahajan, say observers.

Old-timers fondly recall the Sena-BJP's halcyon days when ambition was curbed with affection and 'aam kaa achaar' resolved acrimony in the 'bhagwa' (saffron) brigade.

"It is not that everything was hunky-dory in the Sena-BJP alliance in that era. However, Balasaheb and Pramodji handled tension with tact. Also, the comfort level between them was exceptionally high," said a Sena veteran who held a key post in the 'yuti' (alliance) government between 1995 and 1999.

The present-day saffron satraps lack political skills and plain ground wisdom. "Plus, there is lack of friendliness," he stated regretfully. "There is a picture of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L K Advani greeting Balasaheb. The photograph oozes warmth. Those helming the BJP today—Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, for instance—may not understand the fine sensibilities of the 1990s," he added.

For instance, Mahajan had unhindered access to Matoshree, almost 24x7. "If there was a skirmish in the Sena-BJP government and Balasaheb was in a foul mood, Pramodji would make a beeline to the kitchen and start a conversation with Meenatai (Balasaheb's wife and a sobering influence on saffron leaders) who would be busy cooking. Pramodji would take a plate for himself and dig into piping hot 'chapatis' and mango pickle. And that was the end of the crisis," said the Sena leader.

Again, Thackeray would ease the situation with his wry humour. For instance, his term of endearment for Gopinath Munde (the senior BJP leader who died in June this year) was 'BJP ke gunde', while Mahajan had earned the soubriquet of 'promote' , the Sena chief's grudging compliment to the BJP strategist's exceptional PR and managerial skills.

The Thackeray-Mahajan ties deepened at the former's evening 'gappa' sessions at Matoshree. "The two leaders would discuss Pu. La. Deshpande's humour, Lata's ditties and David Lowe's—Balasaheb's icon—cartoons over warm beer (for Balasaheb) and a glass of fruit juice (for Mahajan)," said a close associate of Mahajan.

Today, the Sena-BJP ties are, sadly, governed by formality that often borders on indifference, say observers. Last week, Uddhav Thackeray appeared in the visitors' block of Matoshree and met senior BJP leader Om Prakash Mathur, who led a contingent of party leaders to the Thackerays' Bandra residence for talks.

After a formal 'namaste', the Sena president, it is said, asked one of his subordinates to conduct parleys with Mathur & Co and retired to his second-floor apartment. "We had to put our foot down and tell the Sena functionary that in keeping with the protocol, Thackeray should be present at the meeting as Mathur is our party's poll observer," said a BJP functionary. "The escalating trust deficit has aggravated our problem," he added.

"Both Balasaheb and Pramodji had great respect for each other. That helped us sail through crisis of every shape and size," said Atul Bhatkhalkar, general secretary of the Maharashtra BJP and a close witness to the Thackeray-Mahajan era. "Balasaheb considered Pramodji as his fourth son," Bhatkhalkar added.

The Sena-BJP chroniclers recall how Mahajan earned a handsome compliment, that too publicly, from Balasaheb at a Sena-BJP jamboree at Girgaum Chowpatty in 1997. "Pramod has spoken so well... he has mesmerised all of us with his words... I don't know if there is any need for me to speak," Balasaheb said.

"This was indeed rare as Balasaheb would never praise someone who was younger than him," said a Sena MP who was present at the Chowpatty conclave.

Thackeray's final tribute to Mahajan is poignant. On knowing that the BJP leader had passed away following a family tragedy in May 2006, the Sena chief visited the Mahim hospital. On seeing Mahajan's dead body, he moaned, "Uth, Pramod, mee aaloy, uth, majhyakade bol" (Get up, Pramod, I have come to meet you. Get up and talk to me).

Such deep friendship nurtures fickle political alliances.

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Helicopter makes ‘hard’ landing in Mumbai, Navy to order probe

MUMBAI: A Chetak helicopter of the Indian Navy, whilst on a routine training sortie off Mumbai, made a hard landing at Uran, across the Mumbai harbour on Thursday morning.

Two pilots and two aircrew who were on board have suffered minor injuries but are safe, a defence spokesperson said here.

"Prima facie, the helicopter appears to have developed a technical snag," he said. "There has been no damage to civil property," he added.

An inquiry will be ordered into the incident, the spokesperson said.

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No relief for sick companies in cheque-bouncing cases

Written By kom nampultig on Rabu, 17 September 2014 | 22.23

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court has refused to quash criminal proceedings against plywood company Kitply and its directors in a cheque-bouncing case. Justice Revati Dere ruled that no exemption has been granted to sick companies from being prosecuted under the Negotiable Instruments Act for dishonouring cheques.

The plywood firm was dragged to court by an Ulhasnagar firm after two cheques issued to it for Rs 5.40 crore and Rs 2.40 lakh in 2012 were dishonoured. The company had claimed that it had approached the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR) under the Sick Industrial Companies Act in 2011. BIFR had ordered it not to make payment to unsecured creditors without its nod, the company claimed.

The HC pointed out that the company had made the agreement with the firm after it had approached the BIFR. Also, it had not made any application to BIFR seeking its nod to release payments to the Ulhasnagar firm.

"Criminal prosecution is neither for recovery of money nor for enforcement of any security. Section 138 of the NIA is a penal provision and entails a conviction and sentence, at the end of the criminal proceedings," said the judge.

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Alliance with Sena or not, BJP set to win in Maharashtra, says opinion poll

By Partha Sen

With assembly elections a month away, the sabre-rattling between the BJP and the Shiv Sena has intensified despite the spectacular performance of the saffron alliance in May. Obviously, the chief ministership of an important state like Maharashtra is at stake and both parties have their eyes set on the coveted chair. Nonetheless, the sudden hardening of stance by the BJP has come as a surprise to some political pundits. The question that many are asking is: Without an alliance, both the parties would stand to lose. So why the brinkmanship?

We conducted an opinion poll in Maharashtra last week in about 50 constituencies spread over the state and polled close to 3,000 voters. Our objective was to understand the support for the individual parties — BJP, Congress, Sena and the NCP — at the ground level.

As seen from the poll numbers, there is clearly an increase in support for the BJP as compared to the LS polls. Interestingly, this increase is being witnessed uniformly in all regions of the state, although in the urban areas it is slightly more pronounced. It appears that since the LS elections, the BJP on its own has gained quite significantly (about 10% more votes) at the expense of the others including the Sena.

I will not be surprised at all if the BJP poll managers have conducted their own polls and come to a similar conclusion and hence, the hardening of position. If these poll numbers were to hold true, the BJP with 37% votes would easily gain simple majority in the assembly without an alliance with the Shiv Sena. I have to assume the Congress-NCP alliance will be in place despite their differences.

If BJP-Sena keep the alliance intact, they are heading for a massive win. In the LS polls, the alliance or Mahayuti of BJP-Sena and Swabhimana Paksha received almost 50% votes and managed to win 42 of the 48 seats. If the Mahayuti stays, and they bag 55% vote share, as our survey shows, they are headed for 230+ seats in the assembly.

In our survey, we also asked the respondents for their preferred CM candidate. The sudden demise of Gopinath Munde has created a void in leadership in the BJP in Maharashtra. Given this void, we wanted to be a little creative and included Nitin Gadkari on our list.

My projection is that regardless of whether there is an alliance between the BJP and the Sena or not, the BJP will win in Maharashtra.

(The author, an IIT alumni, is chief executive of US-based Fuzzy Logix, which provides software and services for high performance computing on Big Data. He is a keen follower of social, political and economic events in India and has a deep interest in application of analytics)

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Share autos to cost Rs 1-3 more from today

MUMBAI: Fares for share autos in the city will go up from today by a minimum of Re 1.

The revised rates for autos will first be implemented in the western suburbs from Wednesday as the tariff list has been distributed to 150 stands there. The list will be distributed in the eastern suburbs in the next few days and the revised fares will be implemented there accordingly.

The minimum share auto fare has been raised from Rs 7 to Rs 8 and it will go up by Rs 2-3 for a distance up to 5 km.

The minimum share taxi fare will also be raised to Rs 7 from Rs 6. But taxi unions are awaiting the final directives from the transport department before going ahead with the hike. "We have not received any instruction so far to raise share taxi fares," said union leader A L Quadros.

Several lower middle-class families from slums travel by share autos as they are "easily available and affordable". But the hike—even a rise by Re 1—will pinch these commuters in the pocket. Many share autos ply in hilly areas, where buses cannot go due to narrow roads. For drivers, it is a win-win situation as they can earn 33% more than the normal fare per trip on share routes. The quantum of hike will be higher for long distance routes; at many places like Goregaon, Malad and Andheri, there is a demand for share autos for long distances as it saves commuters over Rs 100 per trip.

RTO officials warned that at a few stands, auto drivers had been charging inflated share fares without the new chart. A stand in the Mumbai metropolitan region has increased the rates from Rs 20 to Rs 25, which is a 25% rise. But the hike, according to RTO calculations, should not be more than Rs 3. "These are illegal fares and commuters should lodge a complaint at the local RTO. One must insist on RTO-approved fares at the stand. Ideally, a board of revised rates, as drafted by the RTO, should be put up at stands," an official said.

Admitting there have been complaints of fleecing on some routes, auto union leader Thampy Kurien said work was on to instal boards with the new rates in the western suburbs.

The RTO is also keen on introducing six-seater taxis in the island city and near commercial hubs so that the share fare drops. The proposed minimum revised share fare will be Rs 7 for a four-seater taxi, but for a six-seater, it will be Rs 6.

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Gaitonde's paintings to be auctioned in New York today

MUMBAI: An auction house in New York will put two paintings by modern Indian artist V S Gaitonde up for bid Wednesday, September 17. A group of Indian miniatures is also on sale.

Bonhams is offering these artworks on behalf of the George Gund III Trust. Signed and dated 1961 and 1963, they belong to Gaitonde's 'non-objective' series. The artist was in his late 30s when he created these paintings.

Vasudeo Gaitonde was born in 1924. He was a private person who wrote little about his art. In a rare interview with M Lahiri of 'The Patriot' in 1985 he had said, "Early on, I did both figurative and non-figurative paintings. I was initially influenced by Indian miniatures. You see, my sense of colour was weak, so I started copying the miniatures. Their vivid, vital, vibrant colours attracted me. Soon, to study the colours more closely, I started eliminating the figures and just saw the proportions of colours. I experimented with this because sometimes figures can bind you, restrict your movements. I just took patterns instead. I think that step really marked the beginning of my interest and pre-occupation in this area of painting."

The two paintings up for auction had passed from Morris Graves to George Gund through Humboldt Galleries of San Francisco in 1968. A collector of Japanese Zen painting and related art, Gund later donated various pieces to the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. He was drawn to Gaitonde's fondness for Zen philosophy. The two works of variant blue hung on the walls of his San Francisco offices for 45 years.

A press release issued by Bonhams New York relies heavily on jargon to describe the works. It says, "The 1963 canvas, estimated to fetch $600,000-800,000, has a serene field of pale turquoise punctuated by a broken line of abstract hieroglyphic forms, pulsing in deep black and indigo hues. The 1961 canvas, estimated at $300,000-500,000, has a more dramatic tonal variation with an abyssal vertical band of blue interrupting the median horizontal line."

The auctioneer expects buyer interest because a retrospective of Gaitonde opens at the Guggenheim Museum in New York in October. This likely makes him one of the first Modern Indian artists to be honoured with a retrospective in the US.

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