The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday took the custody of five accused arrested by the Jammu and Kashmir Police in connection with the escape of Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist Mohammed Naveed Jhatt from the SMHS hospital, an official spokesman said here. The NIA spokesman said the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate here granted a two-day transit remand of the five accused who had been nabbed by the police on February 8, two days after the escape of 22-year-old Jhatt alias Abu Hanzalla from the busy hospital in the city. The five accused — Shakeel Ahmed Bhat, Tika Khan, Syed Tajamul Islam, Mohammed Shafi Wani and Jan Mohammed Ganai — were arrested by the police for allegedly conspiring in the escape of Jhatt. All the five accused are residents of Pulwama. The NIA re-registered the case pertaining to the escape from custody of Jhatt from the SMHS hospital where he was brought in for treatment on February 6. The accused will be produced before the NIA special court at Jammu tomorrow for seeking police custody, the spokesman said. The designated court for the NIA is in Jammu, the winter capital of the state. Two policemen — head constable Mushtaq Ahmed and constable Babar Ahmed — of the Jammu and Kashmir Police were killed by Jhatt and his accomplice on the fateful day. Bhat is believed to be one of the masterminds of the escape of Jhatt and his motorcycle had been used in the escape of the terrorist, police said. Khan, a resident of Pulwama, is alleged to have provided his car for further transportation of Jhatt out of the city, police said. Jhatt is at present believed to be in the Pulwama area of South Kashmir, they said. Shafi, who is from Narbal on the outskirts of Srinagar city, had posed as a patient to provide cover for the terrorists escape. Jhatt had managed to escape on February 6 after at least two other militants attacked the police escort team at the SMHS Hospital here, killing two cops.
The cut- off marks for admission to Delhi University’s prestigious colleges have always been high. But this year, they have touched the height of absurdity.Consider this. Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) has pegged its first cut-off for its hugely popular B.Com (Honours) course at a staggering 100%, for students who haven’t studied any of the commerce subjects – Mathematics, Accounts, Economics and Business Studies – in Class XII! Incredibly, SRCC Principal P. C. Jain does not see anything absurd in insisting that students from the non- commerce stream in Class XII score perfect marks in all their subjects.”We get the best students from across the country and getting 100% in the aggregate of your best performance in four subjects is no longer impossible in Board examinations,” said Jain on Tuesday.Jain clearly hasn’t been tracking the results in various states. In neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, the topper Akash Yadav secured 92.3%. In Karnataka, of the over five lakh students who appeared for the 12th standard exam, fewer than one hundred scored in excess of 95%. In West Bengal, the topper in this year’s West Bengal Secondary Certificate examination scored 95%.The tale is similar across the country, with even various state-level toppers failing to score the minimum entry marks for admission to a top Delhi University college. This has virtually slammed the door in the face of applicants from other states.But SRCC is not the only one with stratospheric cut-offs. Colleges such as Ramjas, Hindu and, surprisingly, even Keshav Mahavidyalya are not too far behind. For B.Com (H), Hindu College expects applicants to have scored between 95.5% and 99%. At Keshav Mahavidyalya, the cut-off ranges from 94 to 99%.advertisementMost colleges have substantially increased the cut-offs to try and stem the rising tide of applicants. Among science subjects, the increase in the first cut-off marks, as against last year, is as much as 10% in North Campus colleges.Lokesh Bhandari, a student of Ahlcon Public School in Mayur Vihar, was happy with his aggregate of 91.25% – till the cut- offs were announced. “I am interested in economics and mathematics, but I think I’ll have to wait till the third or the fourth list to see if I can get through any of the North Campus colleges,” he said.The absurdity of the increase registered in the qualifying marks of the first list has also been acknowledged by the university at the time of announcement, albeit tacitly.The university press release sent to all newspapers states: “Colleges have exercised abundant caution in declaring the first cut- off list. Aspirants for admission are advised not to get discouraged. Most colleges are expected to announce four more lists with lower cut- offs.” The “abundant caution” exercised is due to the new admission process adopted by the university. DU, from this year, has discontinued the use of pre-admission or application forms.As per university rule, once the cut-off is declared, colleges have to compulsorily admit all students who come to them with marks equal to or above the cut-off within three days of announcing the cut-offs. So, if the qualifying mark is kept too low, the institution could end up admitting more students than the sanctioned capacity.In absence of any application data, colleges have played safe by pitching higher cut-off marks for the general category.The degree of precaution taken is so extreme that colleges do not mind if they don’t admit even a single student in the first list. How else could one explain Kirori Mal College pitching its first cut-off for B. Com (H) at 97%,higher than even SRCC, which is the most sought after college for commerce?”We are in no hurry to admit students. Instead of being the first ones to close admission in the first list, we have decided to proceed very carefully this time,” said VK Srivastav, principal, Hindu College.Even that may not help students from other states. Malini Bhagat, principal of Kolkata’s Mahadevi Birla school, said the total number of students scoring above 90% in subjects in the state higher secondary exam has gone down significantly this time. “It naturally becomes difficult for students coming from the state boards to qualify,” Bhagat said.Apart from blaming the new admission procedure, college principals have also pleaded helplessness in the light of the unprecedented number of students who have scored above 90% in the CBSE exam this year.The category of students scoring above 95% across the country in the CBSE exam witnessed an unprecedented spike as its number jumped from 1,202 in 2010 to 2,097 this year. In the Delhi region alone, this number trebled from 288 last year to 818 students this time.advertisementAccording to Krishna Kumar, former head of NCERT, the marks inflation has been going on for quite some time. “The National Curriculum Framework made by the NCERT in 2005 had suggested various reforms to contain this trend of inflating results. Board results are no longer indicators of a student’s real potential,” said Kumar.”The real problem is the gap between demand and supply. There is a need to create more quality institutions of higher learning,” said Ashok Ganguly, former head of CBSE.Admission guideIf you are eligible in the first cut-off list for a college of your choice, then take admission and do not wait for the second list.If you don’t, you lose your right to admission the next time.If you want to change your college after the second list, then go to the previous college to cancel your admission only after you have an admission slip from the second college or a verbal assurance of admission from them.For more news on India, click here.For more news on Business, click here.For more news on Movies, click here.For more news on Sports, click here.