This week’s educational scenario in campuses across the country was a blend of positive and negative developments, leaning more towards the positive side. From induction of new regulations for college principals and plagiarism to partnerships and collaborations which would provide for better journalism, to probes and inquiries into mishappenings at universities – this week a lot happened in the educational spaces in the country.
Here’s the weekly round-up of everything that happened and you haven’t already read on Campus Watch.
On August 3, Lok Sabha passed a bill (The National Sports University Bill 2018) to establish a National Sports University in an attempt to encourage sports education in India. The university would be set up at a cost of ₹ 524 crores and would promote sports technology, coaching and research. While a sportsperson would be holding the office of the Vice-Chancellor of the university, its academic council would also comprise of sports personalities.
The Tokyo Medical University has admitted to altering the entrance test scores of women applicants to keep them from entering the university, and also to want to keep the percentage of women to 30% of the student strength. These actions were based on the reprehensible assumption that women would drop out of the workforce after marriage and childbirth. An official called this development “a necessary evil and a silent consent.”
After the introduction of the ‘Happiness Curriculum’ in Delhi’s government schools by the AAP, the private schools have shown interest in incorporating this as a part of their syllabi too. The curriculum lays emphasis on moral values, meditation and mental exercises for the children. These compulsory “happiness periods” last for 45 minutes and begins with a five-minute meditation session. The sessions are being widely appreciated by students who find them really helpful.
The new set of regulations released by the UGC has made stricter rules for students and teachers who plagiarise, the students stand to lose their registrations and teachers their jobs. The regulations have introduced gradations of punishment: plagiarism between 10%-40% calls for a revised research paper within six months; between 40%-60% calls for being debarred from submission for a year; beyond 60% calls for the cancellation of registration of the student.
While for teachers, the rules have been made harsher: between 10%- 40%, the teacher would be asked to withdraw the manuscript; between 40%-60% would mean no supervising new MPhil and PhD students for two years, and beyond 60% could also lead to dismissal or suspension. Cases of plagiarism will need to be reported to the Departmental Academic Integrity Panel (DAIP).
In Delhi University’s 7th cut-off list, there are still vacant seats in popular colleges. With Miranda college’s cut-off remaining as high as 96.25% for English (Hons), Ramjas College is asking for 94.25% for the same.
According to the list, Gargi College still has to fill seats for English (93.50%) and B.Com (95%). However, Hansraj and Hindu only have seats open for reserved category students. Delhi University might release the eighth cut-off list on August 13.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) has advised the government to issue a Letter of Intent (LoI) to the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) under the “De Novo” category. After I & B Ministry’s approval to apply for deemed university status last year, the proposal had been sent, post which the UGC had set up a committee to inspect the campuses. As per sources, the inspection teams and committee report has approved the status on a few conditions of the like of upgrading the infrastructure and appointment of faculty.
The HRD Ministry had advised the UGC to take legal opinion before processing St. Stephen’s College application for autonomy, and it has received advice against doing so. Clause 9A of the DU Act doesn’t permit autonomy to colleges except that of Medicine, Technology, Music and Fine Arts. St. Stephen’s College had filed an application to UGC for gaining autonomy. Thereafter, inspection visits by the UGC had a positive response, and the Commission was to approve the application. But, the students and teachers protested against it calling it a move towards privatisation of education, which led to their meeting with Prakash Javdekar.
As a part of its Facebook Journalism Project around the world, Facebook has announced its first partnership with the Asian College of Journalism to ensure ‘high-quality journalism’ in India. This partnership also established a scholarship programme at ACJ. It also plans to extend its collaboration with BOOMlive, which is an independent digital journalism project. Through these initiatives and collaborations with fact-checking organisations, Facebook plans to better the standards of journalism in the country.
An inquiry has been ordered by the Madhya Pradesh government after there were reports of answer sheets of BA Hindi Literature of the 4th semester being checked by the first year students on behalf of their professor in Barkatullah University. A report has been sought in two weeks. According to the reports, journalists have videos of students checking the answer sheets.
A record 55,872 out of 11,38, 225 candidates who had appeared for the exam cleared the National Eligibility Test becoming eligible for the post of Assistant Professor in Indian universities. In yet another record, CBSE declared the results within three weeks’ time, as opposed to the three months period it would take. The exam was conducted on July 8, and results were announced on July 31. This exam also saw a deviation from the earlier norm of allowing only 6% of candidates to clear the exam, this time, 6.5% cleared the exam.