In Case You Missed It: 6 Important Developments Across Campuses In The Past Two Weeks

While the usual tales of moral policing and casteism in campuses had more incidents added to the list, these two weeks also saw some achievements on the part of the students and campuses in breaking gender normativity.

Here’s the fortnightly round up of everything that happened and you haven’t already read on Campus Watch.

1. Kashmir University Students Not Allowed To Enter Hostels; Say They Are Under Constant Pressure

When students of Kashmir University returned from their winter-break this time, they weren’t allowed to stay in hostels unless the ‘Chief Proctor gives go-ahead,’ as per new hostel rules. They were told that their ‘duly verified’ verification forms were being retained for ‘further verification.’

When they reported in the office for verification, they were asked questions like “have you done anything wrong in the hostel or at home?” The students are under constant pressure due to a series of repressive measures of the administration. While the Chief Proctor said that ”[winter] is the only time we get to renovate hostels,” no renovation or work was seen being carried out in hostels during the break.

2. IIT Madras Becomes The Only Asian Team To Enter Finals Of SpaceX’s Hyperloop Pod Competition

Adding to the list of achievements by Indian students, a team from IIT Madras recently became the only Asian team to have entered the finals of the Hyperloop Pod Competition, which is held every year. Developed by Elon Musk in 2013 through his space exploration firm ‘Space X,’ it is an advanced technique that could revolutionise travel in the future. Being one of the 21 finalists, the team would be visiting the ‘SpaceX’ facility in California in July 2019 to test their prototype in a better environment, i.e. the hyperloop tunnel.

3. IIT-Kanpur Decides Against Revoking PhD Thesis Of Dalit Teacher

The Board of Governors (BoG) at IIT-Kanpur denied the Senate’s recommendation to revoke the PhD thesis of a Dalit teacher, who had complained of harassment by four colleagues last year, on charges of plagiarism.

The IIT-Kanpur Senate had decided to cancel the PhD dissertation of Subrahmanyam Sadrela, a teacher in IIT-Kanpur’s Department of Aerospace Engineering, on allegations of plagiarism, although the institute’s Academic Ethics Cell found “no reason to revoke the thesis.” The HRD Ministry had opposed this recommendation. The Board, therefore, denied the recommendation and instead authorised the institute director Abhay Karandikar, to have the dissertation examined by a committee external technical experts. 400 scholars, academics and activists from 16 countries had also signed a statement of solidarity against Saderla’s “caste discrimination and institutional harassment.”

4. Medical Students Protest Against 76% Reservation In PG Courses

Medical students in PG courses are holding peaceful protests in Mumbai and Pune againsts 76% reservation in these courses. Of a total 972 post-graduate (MD/MS) seats in government medical colleges across the state, 50% of the seats, or 486 of them, are reserved for SC/ST/VJ/NT/OBC categories.

The 16% reserved seats for socially and educationally backward classes (SEBC) quotas works out to 156 seats while 10% total reserved seats for economically weaker section (EWS) quota is 97. This leaves only 233 seats in the open category, while 2,024 students have qualified from the category. Parents of NEET-PG aspirants have moved the Bombay High Court. The matter is being heard in the court but no stay has been granted yet.

NEET-PG was held in January this year and the admission rounds are taking place in the state.

5. Jamia Millia Islamia Gets Its First Female Vice-Chancellor

History was made at Jamia Millia Islamia when President Ram Nath Kovind approved a woman, Najma Akhtar, to be appointed as the first female Vice Chancellor of the university. After Talat Ahmad quit last year, three names were sent to the President for consideration by the HRD Ministry. Two more appointments for the post of VC were made – that of Professor Sanjiv Kumar for Mahatma Gandhi Central University and Rajneesh Kumar Shukla for Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya.

Earlier, Delhi Education Minister Manish Sisodia had last week urged the EC to not permit appointments to Delhi University colleges, funded by the state government, while the model code of conduct is in effect, but the EC gave a go ahead to the government.

6. Magadh University Hasn’t Been Conducting Exams Since 2018; Students Protest

The students of Magadh University have been protesting against the management’s inability to conduct annual examinations. The 2016-19 batch wrote its first year exams in January 2018 (which were also delayed). No exams have been conducted by the university since January 2018.

In a YouTube video posted by a Magadh University student, the sorry state of the university has been brought to light. A public notice posted on the university’s website, stating that the university won’t be able to conduct the examinations this year around as well owing to the upcoming general elections, has intensified the protests further.

Funded by the University Grants Commission (UGC), and controlled by the government of Bihar, the university has as many as 44 constituent colleges under its control, and is Bihar’s largest university.

Featured image for representative purpose only.
Featured image source: Anshuman Poyrekar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images.
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