Citizens' Issues
Delhi HC notice on school management quota issue
The Delhi High Court on Monday issued notice to the city government on a petition questioning its decision to scrap management quota in nursery admissions in private schools.
 
Justice Manmohan sought response from the Delhi government and its education department by January 25 and posted the matter for hearing on January 28.
 
Saying the government can't take away the "autonomy of private schools", the court said parents shall fill the nursery admission forms as per the criteria prescribed by the schools, but it will be subject to the final outcome of the case.
 
Meanwhile, the court questioned the government on the condition of public schools in the national capital. 
 
"There is a rush in private schools because the standard is not good in public schools. When can't you improve public schools? You are taking over private schools. Set your house in order," the court said.
 
The court was hearing a bunch of pleas, including one filed by the Action Committee of Unaided Recognised Private Schools that the government circular was "absolutely without jurisdiction" and should be quashed as it completely took away the autonomy of schools.
 
"The order is liable to be quashed in as much as it completely takes away the autonomy of schools, which is part of fundamental right of private unaided educational institutions, as guaranteed to them under the constitution," the plea said.
 
"About 99 percent of private unaided recognised schools functioning in Delhi are following and have specified absolutely fair, reasonable, just and transparent criteria for admissions in their respective schools," it said.
 
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on January 6 said the decision to scrap the management quota was taken to bring in more transparency in the admission process of private schools.
 
He said the existing provision of 25 percent seats earmarked for students from poor families will remain in place.
 
However, he said, schools were free to grant admission to children of their employees and could allocate points in their criteria.
 
Currently, the schools keep 20 percent or even more seats under the management quota, while 25 percent seats are reserved for economically weaker sections (EWS) students while the remaining are open for the general category children.
 
Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung issued a notification in December 2013, abolishing the management quota in nursery admissions but it was challenged by the affected schools.
 
In November 2014, the high court quashed the admission guidelines issued by the Lt. Governor and gave autonomy to the schools to decide on the criteria as per the Ashok Ganguly Committee guidelines.
 
The city government appealed to refer the matter to a larger bench.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
 

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Many smartphone users unaware of what Android apps are accessing
Many smartphone users are unaware of what their Android apps are accessing and that if they were, they'd like to stop it, according to a study.
 
Using a group of 36 participants, researchers at the University of British Columbia and the University of California-Berkeley, gave each person a handset with a tweaked form of Android that highlighted when information was being accessed or permission was needed.
 
After a week and 27 million data points, 80 percent of participants said they would have liked to block one permission, and on the whole one third of all requests would have been stopped if it had been possible.
 
Only six people in the group were happy to share all data and information all of the time, ctvnews.ca reported on Sunday.
 
The study showed that there needs to be a clearer way of detailing how and why apps need permission and giving users the chance to opt out. But it also highlights a bigger point about the creep of technology into every part of modern life.
 
Consumers are feeling so overwhelmed by requests from their smartphones, PCs and the online services that they habitually use, that they're increasingly blindly clicking 'accept' or 'OK'.
 
The majority of smartphone owners are in the dark or are at least very confused about what they're sharing when they install an app. Permissions are given in list form during the installation process and the only way to refuse a condition is to not install an app.
 
The users of Google's Android operating system, Marshmallow, get new levels of control when it comes to permission -- i.e., being able to say 'yes' or 'no' to an app's need to share or access location or address book. However, its adoption by majority of users will take a long time given that Lollipop, Marshmallow's predecessor, is only running on one third of devices.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

Anand Vaidya

10 months ago

Cyanogen OS, based on Android source code, has "privacy guard" feature which can deny applications excessive access to private data such as location, file access etc. Users can choose which app gets what kind of access.

After odd/even, time to think of EVs
The odd/even scheme was proposed by the state government after the court sought an action plan to control pollution
 
The time for electric vehicles, or EVs, may not yet be ripe for India, but the idea of non-polluting passenger cars is surely and certainly maturing - and must be welcomed.
 
World Health Organisation figures show that India has 13 of the planet's 20 most polluted cities, with New Delhi ranked as the most polluted of all. And with pollution levels scaling new heights in December, the local government was forced to announce a slew of measures to combat the menace.
 
Attention, however, was most focussed on the measure that restricted vehicle movement, with odd and even numbered cars allowed on the city's roads on alternate days. The pilot scheme, which ended on January 15, saw nearly 2.7 million vehicles going off the roads every day, according to Mint business daily citing vehicle registration data available with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
 
Last year, the National Green Tribunal, which has the powers of a civil court, ordered the Delhi government to ban the entry of diesel vehicles older than 10 years into New Delhi. The odd/even scheme was proposed by the state government after the court sought an action plan to control pollution. The state government also has plans to scrap commercial vehicles that are over 15 years old.
 
In addition, the Supreme Court banned registrations of new diesel cars in the capital till April 1, 2016, effectively preventing the sale of a car and sports utility vehicle (SUV) inventory worth Rs. 10 billion. The ban has been a major blow to companies such as Mahindra & Mahindra, Toyota, Tata Motors, Ford, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi.
 
With diesel's popularity on the wane, automakers such as Toyota are mulling re-introducing petrol variants of the popular Innova. Petrol, however, is now being seen as the lesser evil among fuels, and that may well push popular imagination towards electric vehicles.
 
As the idea of alternative propulsion takes shape, the government is fast working on developing a sustainable eco-system for EVs as well as hybrids (together known as HEVs).
 
On the one hand, it is clamping down on traditional-fuel propelled vehicles, while on the other, it is promoting adoption of such vehicles with tools such as the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles (FAME) India programme.
 
Launched on April 1, last year, FAME hopes to have six million electric vehicles on the road by 2020 and offers a subsidy of Rs. 29,000 for two-wheelers and Rs. 138,000 for cars.
 
The incentives drove sales of EVs, including two-wheelers, up by three times to 21,000 units in the April-December 2015 period compared to between 7,000 and 8,000 units during the same period in 2014.
 
Incentives have always played a crucial role in enhancing the Indian EV market. In 2010-2012, when the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) had implemented an Alternate Fuels for Surface Transportation Programme, EV sales in India had reached a range of 85,000-100,000 units.
 
The percentage of electric cars in these figures is however very small. Mahindra & Mahindra produces the only electric car available in the country, the e2o. IHS Automotive expects e2o sales at only 243 units in 2016 and 1,056 in 2020 in India.
 
Apart from incentivising the demand side of electric vehicles, the government is also pushing for the development of indigenous batteries to make the EV programme viable. For this purpose, the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) has tied up with the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) to develop battery technology for use in HEVs, leveraging technology used in batteries for space vehicles.
 
On laboratory testing of the batteries used in space, the research team discovered that the same batteries are suitable for automotive use as well.
 
The ARAI now plans to test the batteries in an automotive environment and release a prototype in a year's time. Not only the battery, ARAI will also develop the battery management system (BMS) and thermal management for the battery to make it safe for use in HEVs.
 
With these moves, ARAI expects to kick-start a 'Made in India' battery programme that could lower costs when the batteries are mass-produced. Batteries used in powering hybrids and EVs are still expensive, thus prohibiting larger adoption of such vehicles. India, being a price sensitive market, has been slow in adopting such vehicles mainly due to range issues and lack of infrastructure.
 
It's not only the central government and related agencies that are making definite moves towards EVs. Following pollution concerns hitting headlines every day, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra are considering waiving taxes on electric vehicles.
 
Multiple pockets of promotional moves favouring EVs around the country may just add up to achieve what was believed to be unachievable even a few months ago in India - dramatically enhancing adoption of EVs on Indian roads in the mid-to long-term, if not the short-term. Especially so after Delhi's citizens gave the odd/even scheme the thumbs up and showed that concern over vehicular pollution is real and widespread.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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