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Nation at a Glance

Modi springs gift on Women’s Day

Ahmedabad: Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi gave a gift to women of the state on International Women’s Day by announcing that the mother’s name will from now also matter while admitting a child to school, reports our correspondent.

“From the new academic session, the father’s name will not be mandatory,” Modi said at a women’s rally in Gandhinagar.

The decision was taken following representations by various women’s organisations, orphanages and divorced women who wanted to record the mother’s name, instead of the father’s, while admitting their children to school. The Supreme Court has already given a judgment in favour of such a step.

State education minister Anadiben Patel, who was behind this move, had recently sent a government resolution to this effect to all government and non-government primary schools, saying that the mother’s name might be followed by that of the father’s, but this was not mandatory. No school should henceforth insist on mentioning the father’s name, the resolution said.

In cases where children from orphanages are admitted, it was found that false names of the father were attested in applications, the education minister claimed.

Several NGOs and women’s organisations have welcomed the move.

Karzai leaves ‘second home’

Shimla: When Hamid Karzai left for Delhi late on Saturday afternoon, he left behind happy memories for friends and residents, reports our correspondent.

Woh to hamara hi admi hai. Afghanistan ko phir se banana hai. Woh hi hamare liye tohfa hai (Karzai is one of us. Rebuilding Afghanistan will be his gift to us),” said Keshav, a shopkeeper on the Mall here.

For Gopal Singh, Himachal Pradesh University’s head of the political science department, the Afghan President’s visit was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. “He was unhappy at the decision to hold the special convocation at the Raj Bhavan, instead of the university,” Singh said. So when Karzai visited the university, he couldn’t believe it. “I met him last year in Delhi. But having him here walking the streets of Shimla was unbelievable, especially after the recent threats to his life,” Singh said.

The professor is proud of his student’s progress. “He has not changed. He speaks the same way and behaves the same. But his voice is stronger. He talks with a lot of confidence,” Singh said.

Plea to probe media attack

New Delhi: The Indian Newspaper Society (INS) has appealed to the chief minister to order independent inquiries into attacks on mediapersons in Kerala. INS president Abhay Chhajlani said the executive committee meeting at Indore on Friday expressed serious concern about the incidents.

Journalists who had gone to report the violent standoff between 500 tribals at Muthanga, in Wynad district, and the administration were beaten up by police, their cameras were confiscated and they were forced out of the scene of action, an INS press release said.

A-I bombing trial

Vancouver (Reuters): A Canadian judge has deferred the trial of two Sikh militants for the 1985 bombing of Air-India Flight 182, civil aviation’s worst case of sabotage before the September 11 attacks, and reimposed a ban on reporting evidence in the case. The trial of Ripudaman Singh Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagri for the bombing, which killed 329 people, will now start on April 28 instead of March 31. Prosecutors had not opposed lifting a publication ban on evidence last month when Malik and Bagri agreed to a judge-only trial. But they took the rare step of asking that the ban be reimposed after saying they needed it to protect witnesses.

Child rescued

Jaipur (PTI): A businessman’s four-year-old son was rescued from his kidnappers in a village in Jhunjhunwala district after police raided a hideout and arrested two persons. He was in captivity for about 15 hours, police said.

Shipwreck found

New Delhi (PTI): Venturing for the first time into marine archaeology, the Indian Navy has found a possible late 17th century British shipwreck off Lakshadweep Islands. Deputy chief of naval staff Vice-Admiral R. Gopalachari said excavation of the ship, Royal Princess, was underway.

Terror law judge

Ahmedabad (PTI): District sessions judge Sonia Gokani has been appointed the first Prevention of Terrorism Act court judge for trial of all cases related to the anti-terror law invoked against the 131 accused in the Godhra train carnage.

Residential property in the name of women in Delhi will get house tax benefits, chief minister Sheila Dikshit said. “Any house in the name of women will attract a lower rate of house tax,” she said, while celebrating Women’s Day with girls from slum areas.


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