Muhhamad Iqbal

The Academic Council of Delhi University on May 26 passed a motion to remove a chapter on Pakistan’s national poet Muhammad Iqbal from the political science syllabus, members of the statutory body confirmed.

Born in 1877 in Sialkot in undivided India, Iqbal wrote the famous song ‘Saare jahan se achha’, sung by school kids in India from after Independence. He is often credited with giving birth to the idea of Pakistan, but his songs are the best that any proud Indian can sing.

The chapter titled ‘Modern Indian Political Thought’ is part of BA’s sixth-semester paper, officials said, adding that the matter will now be presented before the Executive Council of the university that will take the final call.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) welcomed the development.

DU registrar Vikas Gupta said the syllabi, and proposals on setting up various centres were passed in the council meeting on Friday. “Proposals on setting up of centres for Partition, Hindu, and Tribal studies have been passed. Mohd Iqbal has been dropped from the syllabus,” said Gupta. Iqbal was included in BA political science’s paper, “Modern Indian political thought”.

In a statement, Delhi unit of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad welcomed the decision to scrap Iqbal from the syllabus. “Delhi University academic council decided to scrap fanatic theological scholar Mohd Iqbal from DU’s political science syllabus. Mohd Iqbal is called ‘philosophical father of Pakistan’. He was the key player in establishing Jinnah as leader in Muslim League. Mohd Iqbal is as responsible for India’s Partition as Mohammad Ali Jinnah is,” the student outfit said in the statement.

Kerala becomes India’s first fully e-governed state

Kerala is set to make history by declaring itself as the country’s first “total e-governed state.” Building upon its reputation as the first fully-literate state in India, Kerala has achieved this milestone through a series of policy initiatives aimed at transforming the state into a digitally-empowered society. With a focus on a knowledge-based economy and 100% digital literacy, the government has digitized the delivery of vital services across various domains, ensuring transparency, inclusivity, and accessibility for all citizens.

Under the comprehensive e-governance framework, Kerala has successfully digitized the delivery of all vital services. Key domains such as health, education, land revenue, documentation of properties, public distribution system, and social security payouts have been integrated into the digital ecosystem. By eliminating physical paperwork and leveraging technology, the government has streamlined processes, making services more efficient and accessible.

Kerala’s total e-governance initiative emphasizes the inclusion of all sections of society, including the less privileged and marginalized. By digitizing service delivery, the government has made it easier for citizens, regardless of their socio-economic background, to access essential services. This commitment to inclusivity aligns with the state’s long-standing tradition of social welfare and equitable development.

SpaceX sends Saudi Arabian woman astronaut to International Space Station

A private rocket carrying the first Arab woman astronaut has blasted off on a mission to the International Space Station (ISS). Rayyanah Barnawi, a breast cancer researcher from Saudi Arabia, was joined on the mission by fellow Saudi Ali al-Qarni, a fighter pilot.

The pair makes the first Saudi astronauts to voyage into space.

They took off on board a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral in the southern United States at 5:37pm local time (21:37 GMT).

The team also includes Peggy Whitson, a former NASA astronaut who will be making her fourth flight to the ISS, and John Shoffner, a businessman from Tennessee who is serving as pilot.

Indian Navy begins sea trials of Kalvari class submarine Vaghsheer

The Indian Navy’s sixth and final Kalvari class submarine, Vaghsheer, has begun its sea trials and is expected to be commissioned into the force by early next year. The commissioning of the submarine, built under Project-75, is set to enhance the Navy’s combat capability at a time when China has been increasing its presence in the Indian Ocean region.

“The sixth submarine of Project-75 commenced her sea trials on May 18,” the Navy said.

Vaghsheer is scheduled for delivery to the Indian Navy in early 2024 after completion of the sea trials.

The submarine was launched in April last year from the Kanhoji Angre Wet Basin of the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL).

India has been focusing on bolstering its maritime capability with a focus on the Indian Ocean in the backdrop of concerns over China’s growing forays into the region, considered the backyard of the Indian Navy.

The Project-75 includes indigenous construction of six submarines.