World
Paris attackers moved with impunity, despite heightened security atmosphere
Friday’s attacks in Paris have once again put the spotlight on security in Europe, especially in France, as terror groups seem to be increasingly able to strike anywhere, any time, at will.
 
This, despite a heightened security environment in preparation for the climate change summit - COP21 - later this month when several heads of state and government are expected to descend on Paris.
 
There had been a lot of chatter heard by intelligence agencies here that the terrorists, suspected to be mainly from the Islamic State (IS), were planning something big, either just before or during the summit when over 40,000 persons, including around 50 heads of state and government would arrive from around the world.
 
The French government had visibly ramped up the security in Paris and the major cities of the country, with all important railway stations and airports being patrolled by army units. 
 
The surveillance of suspects within France as well as outside had been upped and borders were being monitored very closely. As many as 30,000 security personnel are believed to have been deployed in order to secure the French capital.
 
Yet, the attackers managed to carry out a dramatic attack, duplicating the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, with similar elements of hostage-taking and random attacks on restaurants.
 
The 13/11 attacks were the bloodiest that the French capital has seen since the second World War and were different from the January attacks on the French weekly newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, for many reasons.
 
The first big change in the terrorists’ strategy is the target itself. The January attacks targeted a group of journalists, who the terrorists blamed for insulting Prophet Mohammed, through their caricatures. The second main target was a Jewish grocery store. 
 
But Friday’s attacks did not target any particular group. Instead, they were aimed at creating panic, fear and a sense of deep insecurity amongst the French. The attackers picked up venues where the young would be present in large numbers.
 
And it looks that they have achieved their objective of a massive massacre. France has declared a state of emergency, tightened border controls and put greater pressure on its security apparatus.
 
It is evident that the attacks were the handiwork of the IS, the terror group which wants to establish an Islamic Caliphate in Middle East and parts of Europe. 
 
Nearly 2,000 French nationals, mainly Muslims, are believed to have gone to Syria and Iraq to join in the battle led by IS. Some of them may have gone there because of the hype built around the European and US intervention in Libya, Iraq and Syria. 
 
The propaganda clearly swayed many Muslim youths in France who went to join the battle at a time when the French authorities did not really monitor the people going to these countries. Many of them have since returned to France as hardcore sympathisers and see themselves as continuing their jihad in Europe.
 
The French security forces have been requesting additional means - manpower, equipment and legal backing - to be able to monitor and control high-risk elements, but so far little has come of it. 
 
Last night’s attacks may changed the equation and the French President Francois Hollande will be under severe pressure to bring in significant changes in the way the country’s security apparatus is run and the means that it has at its disposal.
 
The carnage will also have deep political implications. France is headed for regional elections in less than three weeks and for the first time ever, the extreme right wing party, Front National (FN), led by Marine Le Pen is leading in polls both the traditional parties, the Republicans led by former president Nicolas Sarkozy and the Socialists led by President Hollande. 
 
The attacks are bound to push more French voters towards Le Pen as some have come to believe that they cannot live in peace with the immigrants, especially the Muslim populace. The FN has been calling for stringent curbs on certain sections and certain practices, targeting mainly the Muslims in France who number about 10 pc of its 62 million people.
 
More worryingly for the French political mainstream would be the impact of 13/11 attacks on the presidential elections, slated within 18 months and where again Le Pen is currently leading. The divide in the French society is set to become deeper and perhaps more violent in the run up to the elections.
 
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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Mumbai University VC Deshmukh fails to clear LLB exam
Before being appointed as vice chancellor of Mumbai University, Dr Deshmukh had appeared for LLB examination, which he could not clear, reveals a reply received under RTI
 
Mumbai University's vice-chancellor (VC) Dr Sanjay Vasant Deshmukh has failed to clear his LLB examination, he appeared before being appointed as the VC, reveals a reply received under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
 
RTI activist Anil Galgali had filed the application seeking information about Dr Deshmukh's LLB examination results. The reply he received from Mumbai University, says, "(Dr) Deshmukh filed his admission form for the LLB- 1st Seminar examination held in October-November 2014, but he did not appear for the exams. He appeared for the second semester examination held in April-May 2015, but failed."
 
"A VC of Mumbai University, which has more than 740 affiliated colleges under it, in which lakhs of students are enrolled, has to have an impeccable record and it is generally inappropriate to question his capability. Therefore, the information received under the RTI is certainly shocking," says Galgali.
 
Earlier in June this year, Dr Deshmukh, a professor of life sciences at that time, was appointed as VC of Mumbai University. He holds an MSc from the Institute of Science, Mumbai University and a PhD in botany.
 
The reply also reveals that the University does not have any records of Mr Deshmukh's permanent registration number (PRN), an academic identity code that student is attested with at the admission counter. Dr Deshmukh has sought admission from Adv Datta Patil College of Law at Alibaug and his eligibility (for the course) was pending, the RTI reply says.
 
However, Galgali alleges that a student who does not have a PRN number is not allowed to appear for examinations, and even if it is allowed, his results are withheld. But since Dr Deshmukh, himself is the VC of the University, his examination results may have been declared, he said.
 
According to the RTI reply, Dr Deshmukh, after failing to clear his second semester exam has not applied to revaluation as well.
 
Galgali, questioning the recommendation made by the Search Committee to appoint Dr Deshmukh as VC of Mumbai University, has sent a letter to Maharashtra Governor, who is also the Chancellor of Mumbai University requesting to take steps to preserve reputation of the University. "Appointment of Dr Deshmukh, who failed in the exams for a course under Mumbai University, is a setback to the glorious tradition and prestige of the famed University," Galgali said.

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COMMENTS

Amit Gupta

1 year ago

I see he has a PhD in Botany. That he appeared for a totally different profession(law) and that too, when he is pretty senior already, is something that should be commendable.

Whether he failed or passed should not be anybody else's concern. Why should it dent his credentials. He has already proved himself. As a human, one has every right to pursue ones dream, failure should not be a deterrent

Using RTI to find smth is fine, but adding a judgement should be done with care.

ch prakash

1 year ago

At least he didn't copy and passed. Ist semester, he did not appear and II semester he did not pass (means he didn't undertake any fraudulent means to qualify). He is a Botanist and want to try his luck in Law. Wish him all the best. May be out of other professional commitments he could not made it. If the degrees already possessed are out of hard work and legitimate, then it is fine.What we have to see is whether he is qualified, professional enough to handle the job given and not about his failures and success in other endeavours.

Modi spreads desi flavour with sartorial choices in Britain
 Kurtas with Nehru jackets, contrasting shawls, bandhgalas and overcoats -- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been making style statements one after the other on his Britain visit. And he has got his fashion quotient spot on, say designers.
 
Whether it was his black overcoat that he flaunted when he landed in London, or the black ensemble with an eye-catching black and white polka-dotted pocket square -- Modi's sartorial choices have been subtle but interesting.
 
Designer Gautam Gupta, who found his looks to be "classic", told IANS: "I guess he downplayed a little bit after seeing too much focus on his clothes and the overhype. I liked what he is wearing (during his visit) and he is looking like a statesman."
 
At Chequers, he went beige with a warm stole in a slightly deeper neutral hue.
 
When Modi stepped out to address the British Parliament, he looked suave in a black bandhgala suit, and you couldn't miss the polka-dotted accessory on him. It suggested he's with the times when it comes to fashion.
 
According to designer Varija Bajaj, it's impressive that Modi "managed to create a perfect balance of traditional bandhgala with a (contemporary) polka dot handkerchief."
 
"Mr. Modi is a brilliant speaker and popular with communities abroad owing to his extensive visits to address our foreign nationals. He has been looked upon as a symbol of progressive growth... therefore it becomes hard for him to be under a scanner everytime where he is judged to be progressive, yet rooted," Bajaj told IANS.
 
For his meeting with the Queen at the Buckingham Palace, Modi chose to go desi in a clean-cut cream kurta and churidar teamed with a maroon-coloured evergreen Nehru jacket -- which, well, if one goes by the present times, has been 'Modified'.
 
Even for his grand, almost rockstar appearance at the Wembley Stadium, where he faced an audience of almost 60,000, Modi kept his look subtle. He wore a kurta churidar again, and teamed it with a bluish black bandhgala and teamed it with a contrasting textured shawl.
 
Fashion designer Samant Chauhan said that Modi has "played it safe" with his fashion on this visit.
 
All in all, he has been promoting the traditional Indian way of dressing. So enthused was British Prime Minister David Cameron's wife Samantha that even she flaunted a sequinned sari for Modi's Wembley Stadium address.
 
Modi has also spread the magic of Indian weaves by gifting pashmina shawls and tanchoi stoles among other things to the high-profile names that he has been meeting.
 
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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