CBSE has no role in deciding eligibility criteria for NEET

The CBSE clarification came following several complaints about barring open school candidates and those with biology as an additional subject in Class 12 from appearing for NEET. Photo: Mint

The CBSE clarification came following several complaints about barring open school candidates and those with biology as an additional subject in Class 12 from appearing for NEET. Photo: Mint

New Delhi: The CBSE has clarified that it has no role in deciding eligibility criteria for medical entrance exam, NEET, and grievances, if any, should be submitted to the Medical Council of India (MCI).

The clarification came following several complaints received by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) about barring open school candidates and those with biology as an additional subject in Class 12 from appearing for the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET).

“The responsibility of CBSE is limited to holding the NEET (UG) examination, based on the eligibility criteria provided by MCI. CBSE has no role to play in deciding the eligibility conditions,” the board said in an advisory.

Students who have pursued schooling through National Institute of Open Learning (NIOS)/ State Open School or those who studied biology or biotechnology as an additional subject in Class 12 are ineligible to appear in NEET.

“Therefore, all the grievances received by CBSE on these issues are disposed of. Candidates are requested to kindly read the information bulletin and FAQs hosted on NEET website before sending grievance to the board in any form,” it added.

This year, NEET will be held on 6 May. Online application process began on 8 February and 9 March is the last date to register. The last date for successful payment of fee online is 10 March till 11.50pm.


Ryan School murder case: CBI questions Class 11 student, no evidence against bus conductor

Demonstrators protest outside Ryan International School in Gurgaon as they demand action against the school. File photo: PTI

Demonstrators protest outside Ryan International School in Gurgaon as they demand action against the school. File photo: PTI

New Delhi: A Class 11 student who allegedly wanted the parent-teacher meeting and exams to be postponed has been apprehended in connection with the killing of a seven-year-old boy in Gurgaon’s Ryan International School, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said on Wednesday.

In a sensational twist to the case, the high school student, who is about 16 years old, was apprehended late last night for allegedly killing his junior inside the school, said a CBI spokesperson.

Pradyuman, a Class 2 student of the school, was found dead with his throat slit by a sharp-edged weapon on the morning of 8 September.

Officials in the agency said the crime was committed in just three to four minutes. The CBI has not found any evidence so far against bus conductor Ashok Kumar, who was the Gurgaon Police’s sole accused in the gruesome killing, CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal said.

The murder weapon, a knife, was found in the commode of the toilet where the killing allegedly took place, he said. It was the same knife seized by the Gurgaon Police.

According to the agency, the Class 11 student, believed to be weak in his studies, allegedly slit Pradyuman’s throat to get the school to declare a holiday in order to defer a scheduled parent-teacher meeting (PTM) and an examination.

The CBI spokesperson said the minor student was apprehended last night at 11.30 pm in accordance with the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act. “His parents were kept in the loop and all measures in accordance with the JJ Act were complied with. He remains our prime suspect.”

He said the agency analysed CCTV footage, showing the movement of people in and out of the toilet, on the basis of which it narrowed the list of suspects. The agency has not found any evidence of sexual assault, he said.

The CBI was able to piece together elements of the crime by analysing CCTV footage, scientific and forensic examination, analysis of the crime scene and by questioning students, teachers and staff of the school.

Based on CCTV footage and crime scene analysis, the agency examined all potential suspects and witnesses. The list included 125 teachers and students, officials said.

Ryan Pinto, owner of the Ryan International School chain, is yet to be questioned in the case. “The probe is still on. The first task was to identify the killer. It was a tough case. By the time the case was given to us, many persons were allowed to use the bathroom. We are questioning the teenager only between 10am to 5pm as per JJ Act provisions,” said an official.

The mobile records of all the suspects were scrutinised and examined by the CBI’s special crime team. Although the Class 11 student had planned a killing on 8 September, the “child in conflict with law” had not identified his target, Dayal said. It was a coincidence that Pradyuman reached the toilet and became a victim of senior student’s ghastly plan, officials added.

The father of the high school student told a television channel that his son was innocent and they had been cooperating with the police from day one. “My son didn’t do anything. He informed the gardener and teachers after finding Pradyuman’s body. He stayed in the school the entire day, and appeared for the exam. There was not even a single spot of blood on my son’s clothes,” the father said, his face pixellated to avoid identification.

Giving details, he said Tuesday was the fourth time they were called. “I reached there around 11am… I left from there at 2am and CCTV footage can be seen for that,” he said.

The CBI’s findings will be a major embarrassment for the Gurgaon Police, which had blamed Ashok Kumar and alleged that he was waiting in the toilet with a knife. The police had formed 14 SIT teams.

Kumar, a resident of Ghamdoj village in Sohna, was hired by a school bus contractor around seven months before the killing. Villagers in Ghamdoj had said Kumar had been framed and he had no previous history of being involved in any crime. “Now that they have arrested this student, it is proof that the doubt we had about the police investigation was right,” Pradyuman’s father Varun Thakur told the media.


Johnson strengthens grip on world No. 1 ranking

Image result for Johnson strengthens grip on world No. 1 ranking

For much of the final round of The Northern Trust, it appeared that Jordan Spieth would finally get within arm’s reach of Dustin Johnson atop the Official World Golf Ranking. Instead, Johnson only strengthened his grip on the top spot thanks to his playoff victory at Glen Oaks Club.

Johnson has held the top spot every week since his win at the Genesis Open in February, and that streak now won’t end anytime soon. While Spieth passed Hideki Matsuyama at No. 2 thanks to his runner-up performance, he’s still nearly three points behind Johnson’s new average of 12.4156.

Updated Official World Golf Ranking

Other notable moves from this past week included Jon Rahm, who jumped from No. 8 to a career-best fifth with a T-13 finish in New York. Kevin Chappell moved up four spots to No. 26 with a tie for sixth, while Jhonattan Vegas rose 13 spots to No. 35 with a share of third.

Bubba Watson had briefly dipped outside the OWGR top 50, but he’s back up to No. 49 after a T-10 finish while former U.S. Open champ Webb Simpson jumped nine spots to No. 40 with a tie for sixth, his second top-10 finish in as many weeks.

The only other change near the top came at No. 6, where Justin Thomas passed Sergio Garcia with a T-6 finish. Johnson and Spieth are now followed by Matsuyama, Rory McIlroy and Rahm, while Thomas, Garcia, Henrik Stenson, Jason Day and Rickie Fowler round out the new top 10.

Idle since February because of a back injury, Tiger Woods fell 17 more spots to No. 1121 in the latest rankings.

Uber Says No Change in Growth, Investment Plans for India Amid Global Turmoil

Uber Says No Change in Growth, Investment Plans for India Amid Global Turmoil


  • Uber is going ahead with its India operations without hurdles
  • Recent times have been tumultous for Uber as its CEO stepped down
  • A number of lawsuits against Uber including Waymo are also going on

Cab aggregator Uber on Thursday said there is no change in its growth and investment plans in India, even as it continues to battle against allegations of mismanagement and harassment at its headquarters in the US.

The ride-hailing firm further said it is “thinking hard” about how the company can foster a culture of inclusion and diversity in India and is bolstering existing practices.

India is the largest market for Uber, outside of its home-ground. There were concerns that the global developments could have a damaging effect on the company’s operations in India.

“There is no change in our plan for growth and investment. Our business is stronger than ever – we have continued to grow exponentially every week since we started in journey in India almost 4 years back,” Uber President India and South Asia Amit Jain told PTI.

He added that the management, both global and in the country, is committed to the operations in India.

The comments assume significance as Uber, the world’s most valued startup, has come under fire after a former employee wrote a blog post alleging sexual harassment and sexism at the firm.

Troubles mounted further after reports emerged that a top Uber executive had allegedly obtained medical records of a 26-year-old woman raped by an Uber driver in India in 2014.

Responding to an email, Jain said Uber’s commitment to India is “absolute”.

The company has also seen a slew of top-level exits, including the forced resignation of its co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick.

“At times like this, communication is important, and I have made myself available to all members of staff. The team understands that the mission remains the same and that in that respect, nothing has changed,” Jain said.

Besides, the company has also connected to its driver partner ecosystem to reiterate its commitment to the Indian market.

Jain said Uber is “a few days away from touching a milestone of 500 millionth trip in India”.

Uber, which competes with SoftBank-backed Ola, has operations in 29 cities in India. India accounted for about 12 percent of all Uber trips globally, as of last year.

The company has two engineering centres in India – Bengaluru and Hyderabad with nearly 100 people. The teams work on areas like safety, payments, driver growth, maps, vehicle telematics and rider experience, among others.

Jain said the company is further strengthening existing practices and bringing in newer ones as well.

“We are thinking hard about the things that need to change for Uber to not just be a successful company but also a company that is loved and respected. Change starts with action,” he said.

Globally, Uber’s board has adopted recommendations following an investigation led by the law firm of former US attorney general Eric Holder, who was retained to look into Uber’s culture and practices.

The recommendations exhorted Uber to exercise more control over HR and the overall culture at the workplace. Uber has now rolled out a plan for 180 days, under which it plans to make “meaningful changes” for enhancing the experience of its driver partners.