Delhi govt school students interact with army colonel

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In a session as part of the motivational speaker series of the government, students of government schools interacted with Colonel Rajesh Gupta, an army officer, on Monday, who shared tips on joining the army with students.

An alumni of a Delhi government school, Gupta shared his experience of working with the army with students during the interaction that was presided over by deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia. While 75 students attended the interaction in person at SKV No. 1 Shakti Nagar, around 13,000 children joined the program through YouTube Live.

The motivational speaker series is an initiative of the government for children studying in government schools in Delhi as part of which military officers, IAS, and IPS officers share their experiences related to studies and preparation with the children directly.

During the interaction, Gupta gave tips for applying to UPSC and SSB entrance exams to students. He also apprised children about other opportunities such as technical entry scheme, short service scheme, CDS, and AFMC through which one could join the army.

Sisodia, who holds the education portfolio, said that the government wanted every student in Delhi government schools to inculcate the spirit of deshbhakti. “It’s a proud moment for Delhi government schools as one of their own is serving the nation and we want that every child of ours should have the spirit of deshbhakti, so that their every step is for the progress of the country,” he said.

Director of education Udit Prakash said that the interactive session was aimed at instilling confidence in children by dispelling the myths of NDA and UPSC preparation. He said that the Delhi government will also start an Armed Forces Preparatory School in Delhi which will prepare students for the NDA exam.

Justice Department to Combat Spike in Intimidation, Violent Threats Against School Leaders As Culture War Rages

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Attorney General Merrick Garland has directed the Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices to combat what officials called a spike in harassment, intimidation and violent threats against education leaders as communities clash over schools’ pandemic response and lessons about systemic racism.

“Threats against public servants are not only illegal, they run counter to our nation’s core values,” Garland wrote in a media release Monday. “Those who dedicate their time and energy to ensuring that our children receive a proper education in a safe environment deserve to be able to do their work without fear for their safety.”

The move comes less than a week after the 90,000-member National School Boards Association urged the Biden administration to act swiftly to protect public school leaders who face “an immediate threat” of violence as school board meetings nationwide grow increasingly volatile. The group cited more than 20 instances of threats, harassment and intimidation during board meetings in recent months amid tension over mask mandates and classroom instruction on critical race theory. The school board group referred to the violent threats as “domestic terrorism.”

In a memorandum, Garland called on the federal agencies to meet with local law enforcement in the next month to create a plan to combat the “disturbing spike.” The Justice Department also announced plans to create a new task force focused on prosecuting people who threaten school leaders. The task force will include the FBI and the Justice Department’s criminal, security and civil rights divisions.

Officials also said they would create training resources that help school boards and administrators understand behaviors that constitute threats, how to report dangerous conduct to police and how to preserve relevant evidence.

Chip Slavin, the school board group’s interim executive director, said in a media release that the Justice Department’s response sent “a strong message to individuals with violent intent who are focused on causing chaos, disrupting our public schools and driving wedges between school boards and the parents, students and communities they serve.”

In one recent incident, police arrested an Illinois man for allegedly hitting a school official as he was being escorted out of a board meeting and, in another, an Ohio school board member received a letter in the mail warning “we are coming after you,” threatening that she would “pay dearly” for requiring students to wear masks on campus. While some speakers have used board meetings to spread conspiracy theories and hate speech, other critics who frequently clash with their school boards offered sharp rebukes to the national association’s assertion that their actions constitute “domestic terrorism.” Among them is activist and former Wall Street Journal reporter Asra Nomani, who tweeted that the school board group should apologize to parents.

I taped a message to the Nat’l Association of School Boards. I am what a domestic terrorist looks like? You owe parents an apology! Politely message them @NSBAPublicEd, 703-838-6722 info@nsba.org. Copy me. We reject violence. I am an #UnapologeticParent ❤️ Like you! @defendinged pic.twitter.com/2cSqzDuj9C — Asra Q. Nomani “Domestic Terrorist” (@AsraNomani) October 1, 2021

Conservative lawmakers and activists, including Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, were quick to accuse officials of trampling on the free speech rights of parents who speak up at school board meetings. On Twitter, Gaetz accused the Biden administration of using “federal law enforcement to punish dissent from the ruling class.”

The Biden Regime is collapsing and they are using the power of federal law enforcement to punish dissent from the ruling class. https://t.co/gFhW6u8qVM — Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) October 5, 2021

Read the Justice Department memo here:

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UPSC topper Shubham Kumar says ambition and potential must match to get success

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Shubham Kumar, 24, a local boy of Kumhari village village under Kadwa block of Katihar district in Bihar became global overnight by topping in the most coveted UPSC examination, 2020. He has a resolve to address all those issues which are related to people. He believes every public servant should be ‘people connect’ as he/she is expected to serve the grassroots people.

Kumar who switched to UPSC after doing civil engineering from IIT Bombay frankly admits that his study at IIT has played a pivotal role in shaping his personality. Here are the excerpts of the interview with Shubham Kumar

When did you first think about UPSC?

When I was a child living in my village, I saw people facing a lot of problems and at that very time I decided to become an IAS officer so that I could lessen their sufferings at least to some extent. And I am really happy that my childhood dream has been translated into reality and I have got a chance to serve them.

What are the problems especially in rural areas that needs to be addressed

Every rural area has its own problems. For example Katihar is badly affected by floods and I will focus on mitigating the sufferings of the people by doing something to check recurrent floods. Wherever I am posted, I will try to take up ‘people connect’ issues, such as education, health services etc. In addressing every problem people’s participation is imperative and I will never miss taking their suggestions and also their feedback on the implementation of the schemes while discharging my duty as a public servant.

What do you think about education in Bihar?

Government is doing better but there is a need to do much better in both quality education and infrastructure development. Education plays an extremely important role in our society and hence you can’t take it lightly. It has the power to fight every odd that comes into our way. This is my first visit to my native village after my success in the UPSC and frankly speaking I love to interact with school children and hence go to schools.

Any question that children asked you during your interaction with school children?

Yes, I saw them very enthusiastic and they all want to do big things. One of the little children asked me if he wanted to be an IAS officer, and his question took me back to my school days as I too was to think in a similar way. But children must focus on their studies at school.

It is seen that the students get distracted while opting their career, what do you want to say to those students?

Life is full of distractions and everybody has to face them. By analyzing the situation, distractions can be kept at the bay. Power of self assessment and self analysis may bring a student out of such distractions.

Share your UPSC cracking strategy with those who want to make their career in it

Self analysis is at the root of every strategy you plan in your life. Your ambition and your potential must match to get through.

I started preparing for UPSC from IIT Bombay but it received momentum in 2018 and I cleared UPSC in 2019 and joined defence accounts service. IIT Bombay made me think objectively which helped me a lot. But I kept on preparing and finally success came to me. But very truly I was not expecting this; it finally came to me in 2020.

What were the questions in your interview?

Questions were from diverse fields from rural background to civil engineering and then from defence accounts service in which I was selected in 2019. I answered them without getting distracted. UPSC or any competitive examinations expect you to be direct, objective and simple.

You are fortunate having received support from your parents

Yes, I must give credit to my parents for what I am today. They never discouraged me and stood by me through thick and thin. I appeal to all the parents to keep faith in their children and children too must not do anything to discredit their parents. Mutual trust must lead to success.