Morning briefing: Judicial commission to probe Rohith's suicide

GN Bureau | January 29, 2016



Allahabad high court's retired judge Ashok Kumar Roopanwal has appointed by the Centre to investigate the circumstances that led to the suicide of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula. The judge will review the entire sequence of events and the circumstances, and establish facts and correctives in connection with the incident at the University of Hyderabad. The one-man judicial commission will submit its report within three months. Meanwhile, interim vice-chancellor Vipin Srivastava said he was hopeful that normalcy would be restored on the varsity campus in the coming days, claiming that the protesting students have agreed to allow research activity in the life sciences department to resume from today. The agreement was reportedly reached after the deans held talks with the leaders of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of agitating student groups. Srivastava said the university would hold classes on Saturdays and the semester would also be extended to make up for the days lost due to the strike.

Supreme Court to reconsider ruling to make homosexuality illegal
The Supreme Court will hold an unprecedented, open-court reconsideration of a controversial ruling by it that upheld the validity of a Victorian-era law that makes homosexuality illegal. The case will be heard by a bench led by Chief Justice of India TS Thakur starting February 2. NGO Naz Foundation, which works among the community, has filed a curative petition. This is the last legal option for any litigant in the country's top court. Any such petition has to be vetted by leading senior advocates of the top court and is examined threadbare by a bench comprising four other top judges of the court. The judgement by justices GS Singhvi and SJ Mukhopadhyaya had raised the hackles of the LGBT community and civil liberties activists.

India gets more voting rights at IMF
India will join the US, Japan, Germany and France at the International Monetary Fund's top table along with three other emerging markets after the multilateral institution approved much-delayed quota reforms on Wednesday. India is now among the top largest 10 members of the IMF, along with Italy and the UK besides fellow newcomers, Brazil, China and Russia. The changes had been pending since 2010. Finance minister Arun Jaitley had made a strong pitch for their early implementation at the last IMF-World Bank meeting at Lima in October last year. The IMF's quota reforms of December 2010 recommended that developing countries benefit to the tune of a 6 per cent shift in quotas in their favour, in order for them to be better represented. India's vote share will go up to 2.69 per cent from the current 2.34 per cent.

HRD ministry writes to CAG for audit of deemed universities
Going against the advice and stand taken by the University Grants Commission (UGC), the human resources development ministry has written to the Comptroller and Auditor General asking if it can audit 85 privately run institutions that are deemed to be universities, reports Economic Times. The ministry and the UGC are caught in a tussle over the legality of auditing private deemed varsities that receive no government funding. The HRD ministry is now learnt to have taken the matter up itself with the CAG, citing the provisions in the UGC regulations and seeking to know if it is possible to conduct the audit. Of the 120-odd deemed universities, the Centre fully funds three government-run varsities and partially funds about 20 private ones. About 85 are completely privately run. The CAG usually runs its scrutiny on the finances of those institutions that receive big government funding.

You can book only 6 rail tickets per month online
You can now buy only six online train tickets a month from one user ID. The decision was taken as it was suspected that 10% users who booked 10 tickets every month — the current limit — might be involved in touting. "The move (to limit number of online tickets) is aimed at deterring touts and facilitating genuine passengers," a railway official said. Among other measures already in force are debarring of all types of ticketing agents from booking tickets during the first 30 minutes of opening of booking, ie from 8am to 8.30am for general bookings, and from 10am to 10.30am and 11am to 11.30am for Tatkal booking in AC and non-AC classes, respectively. Booking is not allowed through e-wallet and cash cards from 8am to 12 noon and there is only one booking in one user login session except for return/onward journey between 8am to 12 noon.

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