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Coalition with Congress under strain in Karnataka, says JD(S) leader
In a fresh war of words between Janata Dal (Secular) and Congress, PWD Minister HD Revanna said that if Congress doesn't mend its ways he would take his own way, hinting that the parties might move apart.

Revanna was speaking to media about the issues over the appointment of board and state corporation chairmen's posts. When asked about why Congress MLAs' names have not been approved for chairmen's post by the chief minister, Revanna said, "In terms of Hassan district appointment, CM and HD Deve Gowda both should consult us. We have six MLAs from Hassan. If they don't consult us they can go their way and we shall go ours."

Recently Hassan Congress MLC Gopalswamy name was shortlisted for the chairman's post but his name was dropped at the last minute. If reports are to be believed, it was because of HD Revanna that the name was dropped.

However, Karnataka Congress president Dinesh Gundu Rao said there were issues between the working style of coalition partners. "There are small issues. I request JD(S) leaders not to make such statements in the media. We can always discuss between four walls," said Rao.

Earlier, former PM Deve Gowda also expressed his disappointment with the way the coalition government was working. "The government is not working up to to my expectation. There are issues and both parties have to resolve it. There should be better coordination," said Deve Gowda.
I stand by CM Kumaraswamy, says DyCM G Parameshwara
BENGALURU: Introduction of English medium schools has left the Congress top leaders divided in their opinion. At an event organised by the state department of primary and secondary education here on Sunday, Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara supported the stand taken by Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy over introduction of English medium at government schools from the next academic year. Siddaramaiah, head of the coalition co-ordination committee, is not in favour of this.

After inaugurating the South Indian States Science Fair-2019, G Parameshwara said, “I stand by the CM, and it is the decision of the coalition government and not a particular party.”Over Siddaramaiah raising objection, he said, "Each party member will have hundreds of opinions. But, it is the policy decision of the government, and it will be implemented from the coming academic year."
Karnataka government schoolkids can opt for Kannada or English
BENGALURU: The state government, which is firm on its decision to implement English medium in state government schools from the next academic year, will leave the option to children.An official from the department of primary and secondary education said, “There will be both Kannada and English medium at these schools, and the kids will be given a choice.” The department is studying several models across the country to introduce English medium in state-run schools, and a final decision will be taken soon, said officials.

Information available shows that department officials have already visited and studied the model implemented in Kerala, to introduce English medium in government schools.With the decision to introduce English, the department is expecting an increase in enrolment into Class 1 from the next academic year. One of the reasons is the recent amendments made to the RTE Act.

The amendments to RTE rules clearly say that the first priority is to fill seats in government schools and next to aided schools, and in case there are no government or aided schools in the neighbourhood, one can apply to private schools. “There is no provision to apply to private schools, and parents who are willing to send their kids to English-medium schools will now send them to a government school,” the official mentioned .
Karnataka universities postpone exams for bandh
BENGALURU: The all India bandh call given by several workers unions has resulted in the postponement of several exams scheduled to be held at varsities across the state. The bandh, likely to affect public transport on Tuesday and Wednesday, led to this precautionary measure taken at Bangalore University, Tumakuru University and the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS).

The semester examinations of Bangalore University and Tumkur university have been postponed and even the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS) has postponed the B.Pharma and D.Pharma courses examinations.

However Visvesvaraiah Technological University (VTU) Belagavi is yet to take a decision about the same. And exams postponed by RGUHS will be held on January 17th and 18th, where Tumkur and BU have not announced further dates.

Meanwhile, the state government has given powers to District Commissioners to take decision on declaring holiday for schools and colleges looking at the situation. And for private schools, they advised the managements to take decision accordingly.
Karnataka schools closed, Universities postpone exams due to trade union strikes
BENGALURU: Most private schools in Bengaluru have announced that they will remain shut on Tuesday and Wednesday, on account of the two-day trade union strike.

The state government said the decision to remain open or close is left to individual schools and colleges, even as universities postponed various exams scheduled for the two days.

D Shashi Kumar from Karnataka Association of Management for Unaided Schools (KAMS), said, "We have recommended our member-schools to take a decision to ensure students are not exposed to any risk. Since there will lack of public transport, there is no point in keeping the schools open and troubling parents and students."

KAMS have about 3000 member-schools across Karnataka.
Karnataka increases tax rates on petrol, diesel
The Congress-JDS government in Karnataka on Friday increased tax rates on petrol and diesel to 32 per cent and 21 per cent respectively, citing adverse impact on the state revenue collection due to continuous fall in the prices of crude oil in international market.

Prior to the revision, the tax rates on petrol and diesel were 28.75 per cent and 17.73 per cent, respectively.

The revised rates for petrol and diesel are Rs 70.84 per litre and Rs 64.66 per litre, respectively.
English medium government schools face criticism at Kannada literary meet
The decision of the H.D.Kumaraswamy-led coalition to implement English as a medium of instruction in Karnataka’s government schools came under sharp criticism on Friday at the beginning of a state-sponsored literary event held in Dharwad, about 430km from Bengaluru.

The criticism by eminent Kannada litterateurs at the beginning of the Akhila Bharata Kannada Sahitya Sammelana, came days after former Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah hauled up Kumaraswamy for his plans to introduce English as medium of instruction in government schools.

Kumaraswamy had announced his plans in the state budget presented in July 2017.

Noted writers like Chandrashekar Patil and Jnanapith awardee Chandrashekar Kambar pulled up the government over the decision.

Kambar likened the decision to that of Thomas Babington Macaulay, on whose suggestion English had become the administrative language in British-ruled India, that continues to this day.

Maintaining that it is the responsibility of the government to protect language, traditions and culture of Karnataka, Kambar said “Kannada is what is required for daily business and cultural development”.

Pro-Kannada activists and others have alleged that there has been a decline in growth of local language schools as they are being shut down to make way for private English-medium schools, many of which have politicians on their boards.

Kumaraswamy has said that introducing English will help increase the chances of employment of the state’s youth. The Karnataka government itself funds education of one lakh children in private schools under the Right to Education Act, 2009.

The previous Siddaramaiah-led Congress government had made Kannada pride a poll plank for the Karnataka elections in May 2017. It had proposed a Karnataka state flag and removal of Hindi signage at Bengaluru metro stations.
No political motive should be seen in IT raids on film stars, producers: Karnataka CM
Karnataka chief minister H D Kumaraswamy on Saturday said no political motive should be seen in the ongoing Income Tax raids on top Kannada film stars and producers and asserted that they were only doing their duty, based on the inputs they receive.

Kumaraswamy said the raids were going on everywhere and it happens only when the I-T officials come to know about tax evasion.

"Instead of saying they (raids) are politically motivated, we should say that the I-T officials are doing their duty. What choice do they have if the information is correct?" he told reporters in Hubballi.
Karnataka govt plans to resurrect infamous steel flyover project in Bengaluru
The infamous steel flyover project is once more in the news after Karnataka deputy chief minister G Parameshwara decided to resurrect it.

But citizens as well as the opposition BJP are now gearing up to fight this battle as they did in the past.

Citizens of Bengaluru got a New Year shock when G Parameshwara said the government will try to revive the controversial steel bridge project. This comes after it was scrapped over allegations of corruption as well as being opposed by environmentalists and citizens.
I-T dept grills Karnataka minister DK Shivakumar in tax evasion case
BENGALURU: Senior Karnataka minister DK Shivakumar was on Thursday grilled for about three hours by the Income Tax department for alleged tax evasion, officials said.

Shivakumar, a frontline Congress leader in the state, was summoned for questioning as part of a "routine process" following searches at various properties linked to him on August 2, department sources said.

The minister had already appeared before I-T officials twice in July and August last year.