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4 Jul 2017

Hill Net ban clouds students' future - Worry over board exam registration

TT, Calcutta, July 3: The ongoing shutdown and the resultant ban on Internet in Darjeeling have cast a shadow on the registration of Class IX and XI students of the ICSE board.
"The registration has to be completed online by July 31. The online process is long and from this year, every student has to submit his or her Aadhaar card for registration. We are worried because of the Internet ban and the strike," said the director of a school.
Failure to complete the registration can force the council for ISC exams to bar the students from appearing for the Class X and XII tests.
The Darjeeling district administration has imposed the Net ban - till July 5 with the possibility of an extension - to prevent the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha from using social media to coordinate its protest programmes.
The Darjeeling Bar Association had approached the sessions judge and sought a revocation of the district magistrate's order. But the court today said it did not have the authority to deal with such matters that fell in the domain jurisdiction of a constitutional bench.
The Darjeeling hills have 53 ICSE schools, of which 15 have Plus Two courses.
A school principal said several institutions were worried that they might lose students to competitors in other states like Bihar.
Told about the plight of students, Morcha leader Binay Tamang said: "The students could not fill up admission and other forms online. People cannot make medical appointments or access Net-banking facilities. We fail to understand why Internet services have been halted in the hills," he said.
Tamang denied the allegations that the Morcha had been using WhatsApp to circulate its strategy among cadres.
"We are not extremists but a political party. It is absolutely incorrect that we have been using Internet services to perpetrate violence in the hills. As a political party, we can always send directions to our workers using our phones and services like WhatsApp," the Morcha leader said.
Some lawyers said the immediate option was to file a public interest litigation petition in the high court.

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