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July’18 For Students: A Month Full Of Admission Adventures, Govt. Disappointments And More

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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.

Jamia B.E. (Evening) Students’ Protest And Hunger Strike

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

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.

TISS Elects A New Student Council

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.

MPhil PhD Seats Likely To Go Vacant In DU

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.

Government Funding To IITs, IIMs, And NITs

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.

NEET Data Breach

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.

Kanhaiya Kumar To Not Be Penalised

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.”

“Government Committed To Reservation Policy”

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.

Vedic Courses Run By MSRVP To Be Recognised

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.


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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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