The month of July is perhaps the most crucial one for higher education in India. New admissions, old results, moving to different cities and colleges, looking for accommodation: it is a month of anxieties and excitements.
From Delhi University cut-off lists to Mumbai University’s issues with admissions; from challenging NEET results in courts to personal accounts of cracking the exam; from nationwide protests of BITS Pilani students to meet the Chancellor to being refused PhD submission in an Indian university, the month of July has seen students, administrations and the judiciary in a fiery dialogue with one another.
Here’s a selective round-up of everything else that happened and you haven’t already read on Campus Watch.
Since July 24, students of Jamia Millia Islamia’s B.E. (Evening) course are on hunger strike demanding a ‘Full Time’ status to their course. Students allege that at the time of the admission, they were made to believe that it is a full-time course. However, recently they got to know that the said course is a designated ‘Part Time’ course, leaving around 1400 students unsure of their future. The prospectus of the University only mentions that it is an evening course.
At the time of the filing of this report, the university administration has not paid any heed to the demands of the students.
The Food ATM – Kolkata Chapter recently claimed to have installed the first ever food ATM inside a school campus in India at Mahadevi Birla World Academy. The Food ATM, according to their Facebook page, works towards ending hunger by collecting extra food from donors and sharing it with someone else who “can enjoy at least one decent meal”. The food collected at the ATM will later be distributed among the needy.
Tata Institute of Social Sciences has elected new members for seven posts, including a President, Vice-President, General Secretary, Treasurer, Cultural Secretary, Literary Secretary, and Sports Secretary, the Mumbai Mirror reported. In the new council, five of the seven members elected had participated in the widely reported February protests against the administration’s decision to withdraw aid given to students belonging to the marginalised sections of the society.
In the new scenario, the elected members will have a difficult task ahead to initiate dialogue with the administration while not letting go of the principles that guided the earlier protests.
In May this year, a large number of students welcomed UGC’s decision to scrap 100% weight given to interview in MPhil and PhD admissions, backtracking on its own controversial 2016 decision, in which entrance test was only a qualifying examination. In addition to this, students belonging to SC, ST, and OBC quotas were permitted 5% relaxation points.
However, now that the results of Delhi University Entrance Test for MPhil/PhD are out, it is likely that a lot of seats in these courses will remain vacant. “Since the eligibility criteria applies both to general as well as reserved category students, no SC, ST or OBC candidate has qualified for the interview in some courses,” it further adds.
The worst hit, it seems, is the History department of the University. With an intake capacity of 30, only three candidates have emerged eligible according to the new norms.
According to data released recently by the Ministry of Human Resource Development in the Parliament, 97 IITs, IIMs, and NITs have received more than 50% of funding allocated to higher educational institutions. In these institutions, only 3% of higher education students study. The remaining 97% of students have received less than 50% of government funding. Among these, the most curious case is that of IITs, which received 26.96% of the total funding with only 1.18% of the students.
It looks like all is not over for NEET 2018 yet. In what came as a shock for most people, especially the candidates who had applied for NEET 2018, The Wire revealed that the data of hundreds of thousands of applicants, like phone numbers, emails IDs, and addresses are available to anyone willing to pay up to ₹2 lakh.
It looks like many websites have made this data available online, and various consultations and coaching centres buy and use this information to contact thousands of students who couldn’t make the cut and lure them to their coaching centres.
Even though JNU administration continues to refuse to accept Umar Khalid’s PhD submission, the Delhi High Court earlier this month set aside the JNU appellate authority order penalising Kanhaiya Kumar, according to which he was supposed to pay ₹10,000 in fine. Commenting on the this, Justice Siddharth Mridul said the university’s order was “unsustainable on innumerable counts.”
Reiterating the current government’s “commitment” to the principles of reservation, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said that the government has put on hold recruitment for teaching positions in universities and colleges pending a decision on the special leave petition it has filed against a court order curtailing reservation for SC/ST and OBCs.
With this move, it is likely that the individual departments and centres will be taken into consideration while calculating quota instead of treating the whole university or institution as one unit.
The Vedic courses run by Maharshi Sandipani Rashtriya Vedavidya Pratishthan (MSRVP) might soon be recognised courses, as per a reply given by the Minister of State for HRD Satya Pal Singh in the Parliament. The minister also informed the Parliament that currently the students who study Veda Bhushana and Veda Vibhushana run by the institute are getting admission in Sanskrit universities in the country.