Citizens' Issues
Bihar's Muslims donate land for world's largest Hindu temple

Kunal, a former Indian Police Service officer, said that Muslims have come forward to ensure that the temple comes up soon

 

Muslims in Bihar, in a stellar demonstration of communal harmony, have donated land to help build the world's largest Hindu temple which will have the capacity to seat a staggering 20,000 people.
 
"Muslims have not only donated land, they have also provided land at a nominal rate for construction of the world's largest Hindu temple. Without help of Muslims, it would have been difficult realise this dream project," Acharya Kishore Kunal, secretary of the Patna-based cash-rich Mahavir Mandir Trust that is undertaking the ambitious project, told IANS. 
 
Kunal, a former Indian Police Service officer, said that Muslims have come forward to ensure that the temple comes up soon. The construction of the temple will commence in June at Janki Nagar near Kesaria in East Champaran district, about 150 km from here. It will cost over Rs.500 crore.
 
"It is usual for Hindus to donate land for temple, but it is unusual for Muslims to donate land for the construction of temple," he said and added that Muslims should be lauded for joining hands with Hindus to donate land for a pious cause.
 
Kunal said that more than three dozen Muslim families have their land in the middle of the proposed location of the temple and some Muslims families have land along the main road that connects to the project site. 
 
"Some Muslims donated lands and others helped and supported us to purchase their land for the temple. If Muslims had not come forward, the temple project was sure to have got delayed..."
 
He said that Mahavir Mandir Trust has obtained 200 acres of land. "Hindus and Muslims have donated about 50 acres of land and the remaining has been purchased."
 
Earlier, some Muslims had helped build a Hindu temple dedicated to Goddess Durga in Gaya district, another temple was dedicated to God Shiva in Begusarai district and in Sitamarhi district.
 
Mumbai-based Valecha Construction Company will construct the temple, which will be 2,500 feet long, 1,296 feet wide and 379 feet high.
 
"The temple will be earthquake proof (since it) is near the Nepal border," Kunal said.
 
Gurgaon based Radheyshyam Sharma, director of Indgenious Studio Pvt Ltd, will look after the architectural aspects. 
 
He said the Virat Ramayan Mandir will be taller than the world famous 12th century Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia, which is 215 feet high. The complex will comprise 18 temples with high spires and its Shiv temple would have the largest Shivling in the world, another distinction.
 
He said the temple would have a seating capacity of 20,000 people in the hall facing the main temple having the idols of Ram, Sita, Luv and Kush. According to him, no temple in the world has such a huge seating capacity.
 
He said the temple was to be named "Virat Angkor Wat Ram Mandir", but later its name was changed following objections by people in Cambodia.
 
Angkor Wat was built during king Suryavarman's rule and is today a Unesco World Heritage site.

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80 percent of education expenditure spent on teachers

India is short of teachers compared to other BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) nations, which have done far better at imparting literacy

 

Up to 80 percent of India’s public expenditure on education is spent on teachers–salaries, training and learning material, according to a new six-state report.
 
Yet, the quality of learning at Indian schools is falling, as IndiaSpend has reported, and India is short of teachers compared to other BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) nations, which have done far better at imparting literacy.
 
This is how India’s education money is being spent, according to the PAISA 2015 Seminar (PAISA- Planning, Allocations and Expenditures, Institutions: Studies in Accountability), organised by the Accountability Initiative, a think tank: teachers - 80 percent, children/management/school - five percent each.
 
Despite 80 percent of Rs.5,86,085 crore ($94 billion) over 10 years going towards teachers and their training in the six states, learning outcomes are still worsening, making it clear that India is experiencing a major policy failure.
 
Although physical infrastructure has grown, teachers play an important role, but as the case of Maharashtra indicates, if more than 90 percent of primary teachers fail evaluation tests, recruitment and training policies are flawed.
 
An Indian state’s wealth is not linked to better education. Indeed, higher the per capita income, lower the public expenditure on elementary education (as a proportion of the state’s GDP), according to the PAISA study.
 
Another finding was that in both private and public schools, high spending did not guarantee better learning, although it did appear to be a factor.
 
The data does show that learning outcomes are better in private education, even if government expenditure per child is higher.
 
One crude fact about India’s education sector is that 282 million Indians are illiterate. Government policies ensured universal primary enrolment, but by the higher secondary level, enrolment drops to 52.2 percent.
 
This means a little more than half the population of that age will get a higher secondary education.
 
One indicator that can be used to look at enrolment at each level of education is the gross enrolment ratio (GER). According to UNESCO, GER is the total enrolment in a specific level of education, regardless of age, expressed as a percentage of the eligible official school-age population, corresponding to the same level of education in a given school-year. (If there is late or early enrolment, or repetition of a grade, total enrolment can exceed the population of the age group that officially corresponds to the level of education, leading to ratios greater than 100 percent.) 
 
In our pre-budget analysis of the education sector and government spending, we found a relation between higher spending and better literacy rates among various countries.
 
With a literacy rate of 77 percent, India lagged all the other BRICS nations, which have literacy rates above 90 percent. All these countries have better student-teacher ratios.
 
So, on the one hand, India grapples with poor quality of teachers, and on the other, has fewer teachers in comparison with countries that do a better job at education.
 
As Indiaspend has previously noted, policy towards better learning outcomes needs to ensure better retention rates and more teachers.

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COMMENTS

SuchindranathAiyerS

2 years ago

"Cost disease". This is true of every arm and aspect of Indian Governance. What is missing is quality and essential resources

Agra woman takes on SP leader

The woman was on her way to see a doctor on Sunday when local Samajwadi Party leader Abhinav Sharma's car grazed past her vehicle, knocking her down

 

A young woman took on a Samajwadi Party leader here when his motorcade brushed past her two-wheeler and one of the guards, she claimed, winked at her.
 
The woman was on her way to see a doctor on Sunday when local Samajwadi Party leader Abhinav Sharma's car grazed past her vehicle, knocking her down. 
 
Sharma had lost the 2012 assembly polls and runs a public school in Agra.
 
According to the woman, one of the guards in the car passed lewd comments and winked at her. Another snatched her mobile phone and threw it on the ground as she took pictures of them.
 
Infuriated, the woman climbed on to Sharma's car, plucked out the party flag from the bonnet and smashed the car's windshield, videos which went viral on Monday showed. Hundreds of people cheered her. 
 
The fracas stunned the politician -- and his guards.
 
The high-pitched drama continued for nearly an hour as the crowd shouted slogans and blocked the traffic. Police had to intervene.
 
After the woman refused to go to the police station to file a complaint, a deal was brokered. Sharma reportedly paid for her damaged mobile phone and offered an apology, informed sources said.
 
Police officer Swatantra Kumar said it was not a case of harassment but a dispute over not giving side.
 

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