Bengaluru Buzz: Students call for scrapping NEP | Smart City works nearly over… and more

News recap this week: Release of the BBMP voter list, protests over NEP at Freedom Park, the fate of the Bengaluru Smart City SPV and more.

Students in city protest against NEP

At a convention in Freedom Park on Wednesday, AIDSO (All India Democratic Students Organisation) said that about 40,000 students have collected and will send almost 35 lakh signatures to the Prime Minister and the state Chief Minister, demanding the scrapping of the NEP (National Education Policy), 2020 .

AIDSO opposed many NEP features, including four-year degree courses and students simultaneously studying two degree courses, saying it would commercialise education. Experts slammed the government for rolling out the NEP without consulting stakeholders. They added that instead of focusing on developing infrastructure and addressing dropout rates in government schools, the government is merging and will eventually shut down government schools.

Moreover, the NEP’s focus on online over classroom teaching was called discriminatory. AIDSO also demanded allocation of 10% of the central budget and 30% of the state budget for education.

Source: The Indian Express

Read more: Online education no cakewalk for private schools either

BBMP’s voter list

On Wednesday, the BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike) released the final list of voters for its elections, which might be held soon. After the last council’s term ended on September 10, 2020, there have been no polls. The list shows 79,19,563 voters (41,14,383 men, 38,03,747 women, and 1,433 others) for 243 wards. The people can log on to  to check details of themselves and their family members in the revised voter’s list.

The Karnataka High Court has directed the government to submit an affidavit on the number of days it would need to redo the OBC, ST/ST reservation for BBMP, if the August 3 notification is set aside. The reservation list keeps aside 81 seats for backward classes, 28 for SCs and four for STs out of 243 (enhanced from 198) after an amendment to the BBMP Act.

On Tuesday, hearing a batch of petitions alleging that BBMP ward reservation is biased, the state government had defended its decision in the High Court, saying that it has reserved 28 wards for SCs and four for STs, based on the 2011 census. The State Election Commission gave a week to the BBMP to redo the reservations, in case there were discrepancies in giving reservations for women, explaining that the polls cannot be postponed indefinitely.

Source: The New Indian Express, The Indian Express

Water samples taken from 524 borewells

Due to excessive nitrates, ammonia and sulphate found in borewells by NGT (National Green Tribunal) in Bengaluru Urban district, water samples were collected for testing from 524 borewells in four urban local bodies, between August 15 and September 20. Sources said that if the test results show polluted borewell water, the municipal councils would take steps to purify the water. Many lakes too are being restored in the four urban local bodies.

Source: The Indian Express

Smart city works nearly over, but what next?

With the exception of four or five projects, all the work taken on by BenSCL, or Bengaluru Smart City Limited, is almost done, but the five-year-old SPV (special purpose vehicle) created to take it forward, with almost 40 employees, awaits clarity from MoHUA (Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs).

About 30 roads in the CBD (Central Business District) area, improving KR Market and Cubbon Park and electric buses for the state-run BMTC are almost through. The company hopes to complete the integrated command and control centre, expand the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium, and smart virtual clinic by the end of the year. Roadworks at Avenue Road and HKP Road might be over by October end.

TenderSURE work on Lavelle Road
Smart City work at Lavelle Road. Representative image. Pic Courtesy: Facebook/Bengaluru Smart City – BBMP

At Cubbon Park, works taken up at a cost of Rs 34 crore, spanning about 100 acres, are nearing completion.

BenSCL got Rs 1,000 crore from the state as well as the Centre, of which Rs 930 crore was invested in projects and Rs 70 crore was set aside for administrative purposes.

Source: Deccan Herald, The Indian Express

Read more: Smart City plan and Malleshwaram Market redevelopment: What’s going on?

Revised rankings of KCET

The KES (Karnataka Examination Authority) will announce the revised rankings of the KCET (Karnataka Common Entrance Test) 2022, drawn as per the high court order, on October 1. The counselling sessions will begin from October 3rd.

A two-judge bench accepted an expert committee’s recommendations of evaluating repeaters after deducting six marks from their overall qualifying examination marks in physics, chemistry and mathematics. The High Court also disposed of the government’s appeal in accordance with the expert committee’s proposal. It also suggested an increase of IT-related seats to 10% to safeguard the interests of the candidates.

Source: The Indian Express

IISc’s algorithm to check type of epilepsy

An algorithm to decode brain scans for identifying the occurrence and type of epilepsy was developed by researchers at the IISc (Indian Institute of Science), Bengaluru, and AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Science), Rishikesh.

The neurological disease, in which the brain emits sudden bursts of electrical signals, leading to seizures, fits and sometimes even death, can be either focal or generalised epilepsy, based on the point of origin of the brain’s erratic signals. The algorithm tries to identify the types of seizures, so that the neurologists can make an efficient and quick automated screening and diagnosis. It can sift through EEG data and identify signatures of epilepsy from the electrical signal patterns.

Source: The Indian Express

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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