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Mayawati's Agra rally today; should BJP watch out?

Bahujan Samajwadi Party chief Mayawati will hit the campaign trail today with a massive rally in Agra. The rally is meant to be a show of strength for the party that has seen exodus of key leaders in the past few months.

According to reports, a gathering of 5 lakh is expected to attend the Dalit leader's maiden rally in the run up to the 2017 Assembly Elections. Interestingly, her choice of venue to begin her campaign is the same as chosen by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the 2014 General Elections.

Mayawati hitting the campaign trail months in advance, a departure from her earlier strategy, shows the nervousness within the party. Key leaders like Swami Prasad Maurya and BSP's national secretary Paramdev were among several other who left the party alleging "auctioning of tickets" and corruption.

In fact, she has also demanded that the Election Commission hold the polls early. Speculations about what could have triggered such a demand has been doing the rounds, ever since she made this demand.

Javadekar proposes giving IITs, IIMs accreditation body status

Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar today said the government will float an idea to enable IITs and IIMs become accreditation bodies so that burden of the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) will be eased.

"Currently we have only NAAC as an accreditation agency and there are over 38,000 colleges and 700 universities in the country and on yearly basis 800 to 100 educational institutes are being assessed by NAAC," Javadekar said while interacting with students at the Indira Group of Institutes here.

"Thus, we are going to float an idea in which Indian Institute of Technologies (IITs) and Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs) will be asked to become accreditation bodies so that there will be multiple choices in front of the institutes and accreditation will be completed in limited time and we can go for more quality education," said the Minister.

Asked despite having quality institutes, Indian institutes lag behind in global ranking, he said at the global level while ranking the institute, 40 per cent weightage is given to perception.

Congress stalling probe into Amnesty International Sedition row, alleges BJP

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday alleged that the Congress Party was trying to intervene and influence the police probe against the Amnesty International in Bengaluru, which has been booked under the sedition charge for allegedly raising pro-Kashmir freedom slogans at an event.

Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting M. Venkaiah Naidu said that the Congress Party has, as usual, taken a political and opportunistic stand on the issue.

The Union Minister also cornered the Amnesty International, saying it was running away from its responsibility for what has happened during their program.