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Weekly Campus Watch: UGC To Punish For Plagiarism, 55K Applicants Clear NET And More

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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.

Lok Sabha Passes Bill To Create National Sports Varsity in Manipur

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.

Japanese Medical School Lowers Scores As It Doesn’t Want Too Many Women Doctors

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.”

Students Happy With ‘Happiness Curriculum’

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.

Punishment For Plagiarism

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).

DU’s 7th List Shows Seats Available In Popular Colleges

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.

UGC Recommends Deemed University Status For IIMC

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.

No Autonomy For St. Stephen’s

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.

Facebook Partners With Asian College of Journalism For Credible News

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.

Students Checking Exam Papers In Madhya Pradesh College?

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 55000 Clear NET This Year

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.


Image source: Prasad Gori/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
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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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