The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Nation at a Glance

SC steps in to rid Agra of garbage

New Delhi (PTI): Concerned over the filth and garbage reappearing on the roads of Agra, the city which is known for the Taj Mahal, the Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Agra City Corporation to clean the city within a week.

When amicus curiae Vijay Panjawani brought to the court’s notice that the corporation had not filed its waste disposal report with the Central Pollution Control Board, a bench of Justices M.B. Shah and D.M. Dharmadhikari observed that the city had again become dirty. Earlier, the city used to be kept clean on the directions of the apex court.

“Agra Nagar Nigam is directed to clean the city within one week,” the bench said.

Panjawani also drew the court’s attention to its May 2, 2002, directive in which the Uttar Pradesh government was asked to take steps to relocate monkeys at Sikandra, provide clean drinking water at the Taj, construct a solar energy project at a cost of over Rs 4.5 crore and arrange for battery-operated buses for transport of tourists to the Taj Mahal.

Appearing for the state government, advocate Ajay Agrawal stated that the government has already taken steps to relocate the monkeys and is acquiring land for the solar project. He said the government has advanced money for the battery-operated buses to Bhel and will shortly commission a drinking water plant at the Taj.

Students grade teachers

Jaipur (PTI): In a reversal of roles, students of a public school gave performance appraisal reports to their teachers on Wednesday.

The teachers of Subodh Public School, a senior secondary institution and the only one having ISO 9002 certification, were assessed on 11 parameters by students from Class VI to XII, using a specially-created computer software that kept the identity of the students secret.

The teachers, getting grades on a four-point scale of average, good, very good and excellent, received their scrore cards in the assembly of students in the morning.

“The unique approach was adopted to give students a say in assessing the performance of their teachers,” principal of the school, Bela Joshi, said after the ceremony. The experiment would help teachers keep themselves updated and go beyond the outdated superficial pattern of education and reach classrooms better prepared to make learning lively and interactive, Joshi said. The three teachers graded highest would be honoured on Teachers’ Day, she said.

Indians die on Slovak border

Bratislava (AFP): Three Indian illegal immigrants were found dead at Vysna Rybnica, near the Slovak-Ukrainian border, a Slovak interior ministry spokeswoman said.

Slovak police found the three, aged between 25 and 30, dead from exhaustion after their long journey that wound up with a trek through the mountains in icy temperatures. Seven other Indians were found near the border and interned in a camp in eastern Slovakia.

Pornography case

Mumbai (PTI): A Swiss couple, held on charges of luring children into pornography, has withdrawn its bail petition after Bombay High Court indicated that it was not inclined to grant them liberty. Wilhelm Albon Marty and Mary Lily Marty withdrew their petition after Justice A.S. Aguiar said he would not grant bail as the charges had been framed by the trial court and the prosecution was to lead evidence soon.

Fire engulfs market

New Delhi (PTI): A Fire broke out at the central market in Lajpat Nagar on Tuesday night, gutting at least 12 electronic goods shops, fire brigade sources said. The fire, which started at about 11 pm, was brought under control after nearly two hours.

Baby abandoned

Kochi (PTI): A new-born was found abandoned at Edapally and rescued. The boy was found inside a closed cardboard box near the bypass, police said. A passerby, who happened to notice a few crows circling the box, examined it and found the boy badly bitten by ants. He was immediately rushed to a hospital.

Train derailed

Rajkot (PTI): Rail traffic between Rajkot and Mumbai was disrupted for about one-and-a-half hours after the derailment of four wagons of a goods train at Bileshwar railway yard.

Cold-wave closure

New Delhi (PTI): Most schools in Delhi will remain closed till January 13 in view of the severe cold and foggy conditions. The decision was taken by the Delhi government.

Researchers have found a rare species of frog, claimed to be the smallest in the world, near Ajmer. The frog is transparent and so small in its early life that it cannot be seen with naked eyes. Some adult frogs grow up to nine millimetres.

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