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Ramdev likely to skip JNU visit amidst students protest, university stands by invitation

The three-day convention– organised by the university’s Special Center for Sanskrit Studies in collaboration with the Institute of Advanced Sciences, Dartmouth, USA and the Center for Indic Studies, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth — began here on December 27. Ramdev has been invited to deliver the key-note address on December 30.

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Educational conference calls for Urdu to be integrated with mainstream

Organised by First Dignity-All India Confederation for Women Empowerment through Education and Centre for Women Studies, under the aegis of the Ministry of Minority Affairs, the conference was called to discuss the issue of empowering women through education.

High drop out rates from Urdu medium schools in Maharashtra and absence of trained teachers to teach sciences and mathematics in Urdu medium was highlighted as a matter of concern at a two-day conference on ‘Understanding of Educational Aspirations and Attainment of Minority Girls in India’. Organised by First Dignity-All India Confederation for Women Empowerment through Education and Centre for Women Studies, under the aegis of the Ministry of Minority Affairs, the conference was called to discuss the issue of empowering women through education. The conference will evolve participation from representatives of minority institutions from several parts of the country.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Interestingly, while on the one hand Sanskrit scholars have been lobbying to promote Sanskrit as a medium of teaching, Urdu scholars feel that Urdu should not remain a medium of teaching at schools, but should only be taught as a language. “The government is taking about a three language formula. In Urdu medium schools, while Urdu can be the first language, our schools should teach English, Hindi or the regional language of the area,” said Professor Anita Nuna of Department of Women’s Studies, NCERT. Highlighting the problem faced by 4,900 Urdu medium schools of the state, where girls to boys ratio is one and a half is to one, Professor A Shaban, of School of Development Studies at Tata Institute of Social Sciences observed that lack of aspirations and absence of skill and employment opportunities for Urdu passouts are leading to a huge drop out rate amongst Muslim boys. “We need to realise the fact that employment opportunities for Urdu medium passouts are very limited. As boys start realising this, they move out. Most of these boys end up doing odd jobs and fail to make a career for themselves,” he said. Professor Shaban also opposed the quota system applied while recruiting teachers for Urdu medium schools. “Fifty percent teaching posts marked in these schools for reserved category remain vacant, as it is becomes difficult to find Muslim candidates from scheduled caste and scheduled tribe categories. This hampers the teaching process, results in students dropping out and subsequently shutting down of the school,” he added. The conference held the view that these schools should either give opportunities to NGOs or should allow teachers from unreserved categories to fill these posts.The conference that is scheduled to end on Sunday evening, will then send its recommendation to the minority affairs ministry. “The ministry has asked the view point of stakeholders in on the issue of empowering women through education. The conclusion of the two-day workshop will be sent to the ministry. We want these suggestions to be incorporated in the New Education Policy being formulated by the Human Resource Development Ministry,” said Dr Shabistan Gaffar of First Dignity.

Tackle alienation with strong redressal mechanism: Pillai

This is giving rise to charge up atmosphere of insecurity and alienation that breeds radicalisation which is the first step extremism.

As security establishment grapples with the possible scenario of ISIS posing a potent threat to India, former union home secretary G K Pillai has suggested bringing focus on key factors of radicalisation – alienation of youth, unemployment, fear and grievances and tackle them with a strong ‘redressal mechanism’ at the ground level.Delivering a key note address at 3rd Annual Internal Security National Seminar on ‘Radicalisation: A Growing Security Challenge for India’ organised by the Institute for Defence Studies & Analyses (IDSA), Pillai called to reach out to the communities and exhort them to work within themselves to work out anti-radical strategies.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The seminar viewed the recent attempts of mass mobilisation on ideological lines to create social polarisation as a dangerous trend that is being abetted by growing instances of religious intolerance and provocations and aided by diatribes aired on electronic and social websites.This is giving rise to charge up atmosphere of insecurity and alienation that breeds radicalisation which is the first step extremism.”Traditional family structures and communities can play a crucial role in countering radicalisation in India… Our family and community structures prevent people from switching to extreme ideologies,” asserted Pillai.Defining radicalisation, Pillai said that it is a process of changing people’s perception to the extreme extent, where it may manifest itself in violence and curbing the freedom of expression of others and advocated a ‘strong state and rule of law’ as the two key elements of the Indian counter-radicalisation strategy.Cautioning about the sudden increase in instances of religious bigotry, irrationality and a concerted effort to homogenise the society, especially by the majority community, noted sociologist Professor T K Oommen, said, they are a sure way to instill radicalisation.How people at responsible positions can proudly state that Ganesha was an example of plastic surgery and we had Pushpak Viman? Such statements devoid of scientific temper are dangerous and a sure way to instil radicalisation, Prof Oommen said.”If there is consensus on the idea of India then there can be consensus of defeating radicalisation,” he said.Describing Islamic radicalisation as an import of Pakistan’s doctrine to bleed India with the help of ISI, Lt. Gen Hasnain called for the need to constitute a national perception management board headed by academicians to understand radicalisation and suggest ways to counter it.

No extra chance for 2012-14 civil services candidates: Govt

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts the prestigious examination annually to select IAS, IFS and IPS officers.

Jitendra Singh

The UPSC aspirants who took the civil services examination in the last three years (2012-14) need not be given an additional chance this year, the Centre has decided. The move comes following a directive by Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) to examine whether candidates who were eligible to take civil services examination 2011, or had taken 2012, 2013 or 2014 examination should be given another chance to take this year’s test with changed pattern. “After analysing all facts, it has been decided that these candidates do not deserve to be given additional chance to appear in civil services examination”, an order issued by DoPT said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts the prestigious examination annually to select IAS, IFS and IPS officers, among others, in three stages–preliminary (having two papers), main and interview. It had in 2011 modified the structure of preliminary examination and substituted the paper on optional subject (Paper II) by introducing a new paper viz General Studies Paper II on aptitude test. Since there was a change in the format, many candidates appearing for civil services exam 2011 alleged that they did not have adequate time to prepare and opposed the new pattern. The government had in August last year given an assurance in Parliament regarding an additional attempt to the 2011 candidates, this year. Following which an order was issued by the DoPT.Aggrieved over the decision, an application was filed in the CAT seeking its direction for the government to allow an additional attempt this year to those candidates who did not appear in 2011 exam but appeared in tests of subsequent years or for those who had applied for the test in 2011. The CAT had disposed off the petition with the direction to the DoPT to take a decision on it within four weeks of receiving copy of the order. After considering the matter, it has been decided that the candidates who had taken attempts in civil services examinations in 2012, 2013 and 2014 had got sufficient time to prepare and acclimatise themselves with the new pattern of General Studies Paper II (aptitude test) introduced in 2011.Moreover, such candidates got the benefit of relaxation in terms of age and attempts in 2014, the DoPT said and decided against giving additional chance this year for those candidates. The government had last year made amendments in the eligibility conditions which resulted in relaxed age criteria and increased number of attempts.

Countries should invest in security while safeguarding basic human rights: Benedetta Berti

Dr. Benedetta Berti believes each country should invest in security while keeping in line with safeguarding basic human rights and freedoms.

Benedetta Berti

Acts of terrorism are scarring the soil of almost every nation. Men, women and children are falling prey to religious warfare. Art, culture and freedom of expression are being threatened by zealots. There are only a few who can make sense of this chaos, and fewer still are as qualified and recognised as Dr. Benedetta Berti, who is slated to speak at TedxGateway in Mumbai on December 5, 2015. With a focus on human security and internal conflicts, she is a foreign policy and security researcher, analyst, consultant, author and lecturer. A recipient of Order of the Star of Italy (order of Knighthood), Benedetta Berti is currently a fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), a TED Fellow and a lecturer at Tel Aviv University. She also works as a human security and foreign policy consultant for political risk consulting firms, NGOs, international organisations as well as governments.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Here, in an interview with iamin, Benedetta Berti talks about terror, and the world struggling with security and post-conflict peace.Following the Paris attack, do you think global terror now has a pattern?The Paris attack is worrisome to many because it shows the group is investing in fighting the ‘far enemy’; in other words it has stepped up its efforts to attack its enemies abroad. The pattern of the attack is also worrisome because it shows a higher level of organisation and sophistication than the Charlie Hebdo one. The focus on targeting soft targets and on mass civilian casualties is also concerning and, seemingly, part of an emerging pattern.The foreign policy of one nation may lead to internal conflict in another.As we can see today in the case of the Syrian civil war, the conflict is internal but it is also a regional proxy confrontation, one where foreign parties are directly involved, thus fuelling the conflict.There is paranoia gripping the world regarding terrorism. Will there ever be a full-proof security to collective, organised vendetta?Worldwide, the number of civilians killed in acts of terrorism has increased in the past two years, with most casualties being in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria. In turn, the rise in the number of terrorist attacks has generated more worry at the global level. This is understandable and the international community should come together to tackle this rise in global terrorism. At the same time, it is true that total security (i.e. absent of any threat) is likely unattainable, and even if it was the cost, in terms of rights and liberties, would be unbearable. So the focus should be on creating a reasonable balance between security and human rights concerns.When it comes to security and national policy, there are chances of over-zealousness. Where do we draw the line?This is an important question: each country should invest in security while keeping in line with safeguarding basic human rights and freedoms. Also, investing in security and solving global security challenges requires adopting a long-term and comprehensive approach, one that goes beyond military security and tackles the complex relationship between conflict, instability, lack of development and radicalisation.Social media goes into an overdrive after any incident. Is it good or bad for the situation?Both. The international community has shown strong solidarity with the victims of terror in the past week, from Beirut to Paris. But ISIS has also been using social media to market its operations and to brand itself, seeking to attract more supporters.(Ms. Benedetta Berti will be speaking at the TEDxGateway, Mumbai, on December 5, 2015 at NCPA)This article was first published on iamin.in. For more such stories, visit their website.

Varanasi jail inmate bags IGNOU gold medal

Ajeet Kumar Saroj, a culpable homicide convict was on Sunday escorted to the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) where he was awarded his diploma at the 28th convocation of IGNOU.

In a first, a 23-year-old prisoner lodged in Varanasi central jail has been awarded a gold medal by the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) for topping in Diploma in Tourism Studies (DTS).Ajeet Kumar Saroj, a culpable homicide convict was on Sunday escorted to the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) where he was awarded his diploma at the 28th convocation of IGNOU. Vice-chancellor of Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Avadh University, Faizabad, G C Jaiswal awarded him the medal and also read out his curriculum vitae prepared by IGNOU. Ajeet, who is serving a 10-year imprisonment, was lodged in jail in February 2012 and has pursued four certificate courses from IGNOU before pursuing the Diploma in Tourism Studies, a one-year course offered by the varsity.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”He pursued certificate courses in human rights, disaster management, NGO management and food and nutrition and had secured over 65 per cent marks in each of them. He is also pursuing B. Com from the university,” said A N Tripathi, director, IGNOU Varanasi region. The inmate is the only gold medalist from Varanasi region of IGNOU, which covers 20 districts with over 6,000 students. Lauding Ajeet’s achievement IGNOU Vice Chancellor said, “IGNOU is perhaps the only university in the world with extensive programmes for education and training of jail inmates.””We have 94 study centres at jails across the country with 25,000 inmates benefiting from this initiative. 39 Special Study Centres have been established in different jails to cater to the educational needs of jail inmates during the last year,” he said. Fee waiver has been a significant factor in providing impetus to the rehabilitation of prisoners encouraging them to be productive members of society. Along with academic programmes, vocational skill upgradation is being considered in areas such as carpentry, bakery, welding, tailoring, motorcycle mechanic training among others.”The University has also facilitated placement drives for jail inmates with encouraging results. Inmates have gained confidence and sustainable means of livelihood,” he added. At the 28th convocation, IGNOU on Sunday awarded degrees, diplomas and certificates to 1,92,000 students. The credentials awarded at the convocation included 98 PhD degrees, 25 MPhil degrees, 47,198 Master’s Degree, 75,305 Bachelors Degree, 51,253 Diplomas and 17,939 certificates.The figures, however, have gone down as against last year’s when 2.3 lakh students were awarded the degrees and diplomas. The convocation ceremony was telecast live for the very first time on DD Bharti from the varsity’s Convention Centre.

De-saffronise Sanskrit before pitching it to world: Panel

The commission was set up in 2013 under the UPA 2 regime by the then HRD Minister Pallam Raju.

Sanskrit

File Photo
To take Sanskrit to the world and make it a popular academic paper, Second Sanskrit Commission in its report has recommended, that the language should shed its communal and religious colour. The report goes on to say that Sanskrit needs to be read as a language with academic interest and should castaway the ‘ism’ factor attached to it. The commission has submitted its report to the Human Resource Development Ministry about ten days ago. The commission was set up in 2013 under the UPA 2 regime by the then HRD Minister Pallam Raju. It is headed by Professor Satya Vrat Shastri whose link with the Congress party dates back to the Indian Emergency Era. The commission that got on to business only last year had sought for one year extension from the current government. The request was turned down by the ministry.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> “The BJP would have wanted its own person to chair the commission. But replacing the chairman would have caused embarrassment to the government. The government wanted Shastri to finish his task at the earliest. The report is now with the ministry and the government is in a better position to draw its own plan,” explained a senior professor. The report emphasizes on a makeover of the language by bringing Sanskrit at par with other mainstream courses. The committee recommends that Sanskrit should not be taught in isolation. “Sanskrit does not promote obscurantism and is not devoid of scientific temper. The language is deeply connected with other disciplines and should be studied in totality,” said a member of the committee. The committee is of the view to apply Jawaharlal Nehru University’s model of weaving Sanskrit with other disciplines. “Substantial portions of the ancient Indian History cannot be read without reading Sanskrit texts. At JNU a Sanskrit faculty member with History background teaches with History department. Relevant portions from Sanskrit should be taught in mathematics, political science, law, music and sociology,” added a member. The approach they say will not only help students of other discipline develop interest and understanding of Sanskrit, but will also help in creating more research base and job opportunities. Currently with no lucrative career options available for a student of Sanskrit, at college and university level, it is being read only by students who fail to get admission in other disciplines. “A student of Sanskrit ends up becoming a teacher of Sanskrit. Currently the discipline has nothing more to offer to the new generation. We have recommended the need to have job oriented courses for Sanskrit students,” added the member. The commission has also proposed that the students and scholars should possess a working knowledge of English. The commission in its report has recommended framing inter disciplinary post graduate diploma course like Indian Theatre, Yoga and Meditation, Vedic Mathematics, Temple Management, Public Policy and Administration, Astrology and Vastu Vigyan. The commission is of the view that identifying the relevance and importance of Sanskrit in these courses will open new job avenues for Sanskrit students. Creating infrastructure for research projects, convergence of Shastric and modern Sanskrit, revival of the gurukuls and other traditional learning centers which currently lack the basic infrastructure and forming an expert committee of scholars to work on academic programs have also been recommended by the committee. Picking up strings from the first Sanskrit Commission report of 1956-57 that insisted on setting up one Sanskrit university in each state, the second commission highlights the need for developing a Sanskrit Studies Department in each university and Advanced Centres of Sanskrit Studies. The report also discusses the need to have better interaction of Sanskrit with academic world. The report has been prepared after several rounds of consultations with stake holders. “We had sent a questionnaire to about 2500 individuals and academic institutions. The report has been prepared basis the feedback received. We have made our submission to the ministry,” said Professor Shastri.

90 percent of IIT Roorkee dropouts are backward caste: A case against against affirmative action?

The revelation that 90 percent of the students that IIT Roorkee gave a second chance to after expelling them for poor performance last month belong to backwards castes (SCs, STs and OBCs) is hardly surprising because the writing has always been on the wall.

Affirmative action (reservation in Indian terms) does give backward caste students opportunities for engineering education in the country’s premier institutions, but once admitted, many of them struggle to cope with the twin-pressure of academics and neglect by a merit-driven ecosystem. Many of them drop to the bottom and, as the Roorkee experience shows, gets ejected from their dream of a high-paying profession and class transition.

Representational image. IbnliveRepresentational image. Ibnlive

Representational image. Ibnlive

The decision of the Roorkee IIT to expel 73 students with poor performance (measured in terms of CGPA — cumulative grade point average) was an eye-opener to the condition of many kids who make the near impossible entry into the hallowed IIT campuses. On Wednesday, The Indian Express reported that 90 percent of them were from SCs, STs and OBCs. The proponents of meritocracy will like this statistic because they have long been arguing that technical education is not for everyone and merit should be its bedrock.

The alleged suicide of a Dalit student at IIT Mumbai last year provided a glimpse of the suffering of backward caste students in institutions such as IITs: his performance in exams had been poor, he had uncleared papers for three years, and was a victim of taunts by general category students and even a faculty member. Reporting the case, DNA said that about 56 percent of students at the institution under reserved categories felt discrimination. More over, about 60 percent of them also felt more pressured by academics than the general category students. Their difficulty showed up in their CGPA as well — while the average CGPA for the general category students was 8.09, for the OBC-students it was 6.6, and for the SC/ST, 5.9.

This is a serious problem — governments upholding the country’s constitutional guarantee to a level playing field for students from backward castes, but failing to ensure that they benefit from it. About 50 percent of the seats are set aside for them, but if substantial number of them fall through the cracks — as the Roorkee figures show — it serves no purpose. Even if they sail through, what’s the use of an average CGPA of 5? Will any company hire students with such a low CGPA? A wasted guarantee and opportunity indeed.

This social chasm is not without underlying reasons. An earlier study by the prestigious Centre for Development Studies in Thiruvananthapuram that analysed the academic performance of all the engineering colleges in Kerala during 2004-08 showed that only 17.7 percent SC/ST students passed their final exams. The corresponding figure for the OBCs was better at 40 percent. According to CP John, a member of Kerala’s state planning board, this was because of poor fundamentals. Reservation helps the backward caste students to gain admission, but their poor schooling pulls them back. “The SC/ST students who come from these schools (poorly run government schools) and get into engineering colleges cannot comprehend what is being taught there.”

This is exactly what’s happening in the IITs too. The Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) for admission to IITs is the toughest admission test in the world. Although about 9000 students get shortlisted from about 13.5 lakh aspirants, only those within the first 2000-2500 rank can get a good course and a decent location. The rest end up doing undesirable courses in also-ran IITs. This means that only 0.2 percent of the candidates make the final cut. Although this top layer students are extremely competitive, many of them also succumb to pressure and lose out. An anonymous post on Quora categories them as hope, dope and rope. Yes, it’s tragic that a few of them end up in drugs, while some even commit suicide.

In such a competitive environment, reserved category students with limited preparation (mostly because of poor schooling and poor exposure to a fierce exam-based academics) are at a far greater disadvantage, which is not going to disappear until the reservation policy is deepened with a greater sense of purpose. It calls for a system-revamp to ensure that the backward caste students get good school education right from elementary levels (means strengthening government schools and a lot more scholarships) and an additional layer of affirmative action — in the form of extra tuition classes, one-on-one consultations etc — even after they gain admission into places such as the IITs.

What we see now is the problem of an impersonal, quota-based system. Governments and political parties don’t mean any purpose, than wooing their vote-banks, while setting aside quotas and filling them. Every single case needs to be audited and taken to its logical end. And it has to start all the way from the bottom when children are enrolled in schools.

90 percent of IIT-R dropouts are backward caste: Is this a case against against affirmative action?

The revelation that 90 percent of the students that IIT Roorkee gave a second chance to after expelling them for poor performance last month belong to backwards castes (SCs, STs and OBCs) is hardly surprising because the writing has always been on the wall.

Affirmative action (reservation in Indian terms) does give backward caste students opportunities for engineering education in the country’s premier institutions, but once admitted, many of them struggle to cope with the twin-pressure of academics and neglect by a merit-driven ecosystem. Many of them drop to the bottom and, as the Roorkee experience shows, gets ejected from their dream of a high-paying profession and class transition.

Representational image. IbnliveRepresentational image. Ibnlive

Representational image. Ibnlive

The decision of the Roorkee IIT to expel 73 students with poor performance (measured in terms of CGPA — cumulative grade point average) was an eye-opener to the condition of many kids who make the near impossible entry into the hallowed IIT campuses. On Wednesday, The Indian Express reported that 90 percent of them were from SCs, STs and OBCs. The proponents of meritocracy will like this statistic because they have long been arguing that technical education is not for everyone and merit should be its bedrock.

The alleged suicide of a Dalit student at IIT Mumbai last year provided a glimpse of the suffering of backward caste students in institutions such as IITs: his performance in exams had been poor, he had uncleared papers for three years, and was a victim of taunts by general category students and even a faculty member. Reporting the case, DNA said that about 56 percent of students at the institution under reserved categories felt discrimination. More over, about 60 percent of them also felt more pressured by academics than the general category students. Their difficulty showed up in their CGPA as well — while the average CGPA for the general category students was 8.09, for the OBC-students it was 6.6, and for the SC/ST, 5.9.

This is a serious problem — governments upholding the country’s constitutional guarantee to a level playing field for students from backward castes, but failing to ensure that they benefit from it. About 50 percent of the seats are set aside for them, but if substantial number of them fall through the cracks — as the Roorkee figures show — it serves no purpose. Even if they sail through, what’s the use of an average CGPA of 5? Will any company hire students with such a low CGPA? A wasted guarantee and opportunity indeed.

This social chasm is not without underlying reasons. An earlier study by the prestigious Centre for Development Studies in Thiruvananthapuram that analysed the academic performance of all the engineering colleges in Kerala during 2004-08 showed that only 17.7 percent SC/ST students passed their final exams. The corresponding figure for the OBCs was better at 40 percent. According to CP John, a member of Kerala’s state planning board, this was because of poor fundamentals. Reservation helps the backward caste students to gain admission, but their poor schooling pulls them back. “The SC/ST students who come from these schools (poorly run government schools) and get into engineering colleges cannot comprehend what is being taught there.”

This is exactly what’s happening in the IITs too. The Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) for admission to IITs is the toughest admission test in the world. Although about 9000 students get shortlisted from about 13.5 lakh aspirants, only those within the first 2000-2500 rank can get a good course and a decent location. The rest end up doing undesirable courses in also-ran IITs. This means that only 0.2 percent of the candidates make the final cut. Although this top layer students are extremely competitive, many of them also succumb to pressure and lose out. An anonymous post on Quora categories them as hope, dope and rope. Yes, it’s tragic that a few of them end up in drugs, while some even commit suicide.

In such a competitive environment, reserved category students with limited preparation (mostly because of poor schooling and poor exposure to a fierce exam-based academics) are at a far greater disadvantage, which is not going to disappear until the reservation policy is deepened with a greater sense of purpose. It calls for a system-revamp to ensure that the backward caste students get good school education right from elementary levels (means strengthening government schools and a lot more scholarships) and an additional layer of affirmative action — in the form of extra tuition classes, one-on-one consultations etc — even after they gain admission into places such as the IITs.

What we see now is the problem of an impersonal, quota-based system. Governments and political parties don’t mean any purpose, than wooing their vote-banks, while setting aside quotas and filling them. Every single case needs to be audited and taken to its logical end. And it has to start all the way from the bottom when children are enrolled in schools.

Are there appropriate anti-sexual harassment laws in Delhi University?

“A student can only file a sexual harassment complaint against an employee but not a fellow student. How weird is that? Who says that molestation cannot be done by students. Where is a victim supposed to go in such a situation?” says Apporv Jain, a student and member of the group.

File Photo

Even as the St Stephen’s college has been rocked by an alleged incident of molestation of a research scholar by a professor, DU’s Gender Studies group has claimed the university does not have proper rules in place to deal with complaints of such nature. The Gender Studies Group (GSG) is an independent, non-funded, university-wide students group which was established in the 1990s. Teachers from various departments act as mentors to the group which takes up various surveys, campaigns and sensitisation programmes on gender issues.In the wake of the molestation row, GSG has launched a campaign demanding revision of the existing anti-sexual harassment rules and regulations at Delhi University.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Last year, DU had scrapped its earlier sexual harassment policy (Ordinance XV-D) and brought in a new one in accordance with the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, 2013. “The Internal Complaints Committees (ICC) constituted in colleges have several anomalies. Firstly, there is no representation of students in the body. It is handled by the principal and the college employees, mostly teachers.”Secondly, the DU ordinance on sexual harassment states that if the charges are not proved against the accused, action can be taken against the victim and hence it restrains majority people from coming out in the open about the harassment faced by them,” says a DU Executive Council member.Ashley Tellis, who has taught at DU’s St Stephen’s, Kirori Mal and Ramjas colleges and has been raising the issue from various platforms, says, “The Ordinance XV-D had been in operation for nearly 10 years and was one of the best policies in the country. There was representation from all levels – from the karamcharis to faculty. It was gender-neutral and also came with a broad definition of harassment.”The group members also claim the new ordinance has no provision for student Vs student complaints.”A student can only file a sexual harassment complaint against an employee but not a fellow student. How weird is that? Who says that molestation cannot be done by students. Where is a victim supposed to go in such a situation?” says Apporv Jain, a student and member of the group.A professor at DU’s Faculty of Law says, “The ordinance only recognises women as sexual harassment victims. At a central university like DU, believing that men cannot be sexually harassed is a regressive ideology”.According to the new policy, LGBT students can also not file a complaint of sexual harassment. “The educational institutions are moving towards making campuses transgender friendly and we are refusing to accept that they can be harassed. The law has left out more stakeholders at the varsity than it has accepted”.The controversy at St Stephen’s has escalated with the HRD ministry taking cognizance and directing the college to expedite the probe.A PhD student had approached police on June 19 alleging that she was molested by an assistant professor in Chemistry department, who is supervising her research. She has also accused college principal Valson Thampu of shielding the accused when the matter was reported to him.The girl has claimed that prior to reaching Thampu she had reported the matter to university’s Chemistry department, which directed her to college’s ICC.After lodging complaint with the police she has withdrawn the one before the ICC, saying she has lost faith in the committee’s proceedings.

China dismisses reports linking its military with militant group involved in Manipur attack

“Relevant report is completely groundless,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in response.

Representational image.

China on Wednesday dismissed as “completely groundless” the media reports accusing its army officials of having links with a militant group involved in an attack on Indian troops in Manipur that left 18 soldiers dead.”Relevant report is completely groundless,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in response to an e-mail query from PTI.”The Chinese government consistently upholds non- interference in other country’s internal affairs, and will not support any anti-government forces in any country,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In one of the worst attacks in two decades, insurgents last week had ambushed a military convoy in Manipur, killing at least 18 army personnel and injuring 11 others.Hitting back at rebels, special forces of the Indian army yesterday carried out a surgical strike inside Myanmar, killing nearly 20 insurgents.Elite commandos of the Indian army also went a few kilometers inside the Myanmar territory to destroy two camps of insurgents hiding there after their attacks in Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh last week by NSCN(K) and KYKL outfits.Earlier, officials from state-run think-tanks refuted allegations of China’s army assisting militants in northeast India, saying such charges are “absurd”.Any claim that People’s Liberation Army (PLA) officers may be in touch with the leaders of (NSCN-K) is “absurd”, state-run Global Times reported quoting officials of the government-run think-tanks.Experts believe that the existence of ties between the PLA and Indian militants is impossible, the report said.Earlier, reports in Indian media quoted a senior Indian official as saying that NSCN-K abrogated its ceasefire pact with the Centre following instructions from PLA.”The Indian media has long been a rumour monger when it comes to China’s support for the insurgent groups in north eastern India,” said Zhao Gancheng, director of the Centre for Asian-Pacific Studies at the state-run Shanghai Institutes for International Studies.”A connection between China and the Indian rebels is impossible, especially after India and China resumed diplomatic relationships in 1988,” he said.Li Li, deputy director of the Institute of South and Southeast Asian and Oceania Studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, termed such reports as “absurd”.”It is impossible for China to intervene in the domestic affairs of India, especially when the two countries’ relationship is developing very well after (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi’s visit (last month),” Li added.

BSEAP.org AP SSC Results 2015: Andhra Pradesh Board AP 10th X class Matric exam results 2015 to be announced today soon on manabadi.co.in

Students are advised to take the original copies issued by the board from their respective schools.

AP Class 10th SSC Results 2015

Today is the result day for students who appeared for the SSC exam conducted by The Board of Secondary Education of Andhra Pradesh (BSEAP).At 4 pm, results for the Class 10 examination conducted in the month of March will be out. Students are advised to keep their hall tickets handy. Because they will need their roll numbers in order to log into results websites.Students can check their results on board’s website http://bseap.org/. Or they can see the results on http://manabadi.co.in/. Also, if students enrol on manabadi.com, they can get a free mobile alert in order to save themselves from the issues like site collapse.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>PDF copies of results can be downloaded from these websites. These copies are for reference purposes only. Students are advised to take the original copies issued by the board from their respective schools.Over 13 lakh students appeared for the examination conducted in March.The Board of Studies Andhra Pradesh, is a part of the Directorate of Government Examinations. It falls under the ministry of secondary education, Government of Andhra Pradesh. It conducts exams twice in a year – once in March (the Annual Examinations) and the other in May/June ( Advanced Supplementary Examinations)

Many people in Gilgit-Baltistan area of PoK would opt for India if plebiscite was held: Activist

Senge Hasna Serin, the president of ‘Institute of Gilgit Baltistan Studies’, said in Mumbai on Thursday that there was a complete “lawlessness” in the Gilgit-Baltistan, a part of the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, and if a plebiscite were to be held, many people would opt for India.

Senge Hasna Serin, the president of ‘Institute of Gilgit Baltistan Studies’, said in Mumbai on Thursday that there was a complete “lawlessness” in the Gilgit-Baltistan, a part of the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, and if a plebiscite were to be held, many people would opt for India.Addressing a press conference organised by the Jammu Kashmir Centre, Mumbai, Sering said, “There are certainly ample number of Indian sympathiser in Gilgit-Baltistan who, if plebiscite is carried out, would like to go with India, but before that India needs to pay much attention that even UN has failed to pay.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”First and foremost…India needs to open the Kargil road, which has been closed since 1947,” said Sering, who is based in Washington.Sering also claimed that the local people were hurt by reports of India’s “intent” to convert the Line of Control into the International border with Pakistan.Saying that the region has become “a land without law”, Sering, a cultural activist, added, “The human rights violation is rampant in the region and the Pakistani government flouts all the Constitutional provisions to extract the resources of the region.”China has invested over 100 billion US dollars without our consent in our land and is extracting our all the resources,” he added.”This (exploitation) could be understood very easily (from the fact) that per capita income of Gilgit-Baltistan is one third of (that of) Pakistan and budget allocation on education is very dismal,” he added.When asked whether anti-India terrorists were getting training in Gilgit Baltistan, he said, “Of course, there are at least three terrorist organisations that are giving training to terrorists.”

Scholars mark 100 years of Mahatma Gandhi’s return to India from South Africa

Johannesburg: Academicians from around the world who converged in Johannesburg to mark the centenary of Mahatma Gandhi’s return to India from South Africa have called for adhering to Gandhian principles for promoting interreligious dialogue.

Scholars marked 100 years of Gandhi's return to India. GettyImages

Scholars marked 100 years of Gandhi’s return to India. GettyImages

A two-day international conference in commemoration of Mahatma Gandhi’s return to India after initiating his passive resistance plans in South Africa, where seeds of his ‘Satyagraha’ were sown, was held over the weekend where various speakers from India, the US and Africa were in attendance.

They delivered papers under the theme ‘Gandhi and his legacy: from lawyer to Mahatma’ and how South Africa shaped his thought and action besides his impact on Africa.

The conference – organised jointly by the Centre for Indian Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), and the Indian missions in Pretoria and Johannesburg – laid focus on various aspects of Gandhi’s personality, including his attitude to racial discrimination.

Indian High Commissioner Ruchi Ghanashyam said it was appropriate that the conference was taking place in Johannesburg where the foundations of his ‘Satyagraha’ movement were laid.

“This historic event forms part of the year-long activities planned to mark the anniversary,” Ghanashyam said.

Tridip Suhrud, director of the Sabarmati Ashram Preservation and Memorial Trust at the Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad, spoke on how Gandhi’s writings in his newspaper ‘Indian Opinion’ in South Africa helped in creating a Satyagrahi consciousness.

Suhrud said the entire collection of the newspaper in which Gandhi wrote in Gujarati and English would soon be available online as a research tool.

N Radhakrishanan, chairman of Indian Council for Gandhian Studies in New Delhi, recalled how Gandhi was moved by human rights violations in the then colonial South Africa and how he influenced the global human rights narrative.

Ajay Skaria from the University of Minnesota, USA, spoke on the Gandhian understanding of ‘Satya’ (Truth) and ‘Daya’ (Kindness) while Vijaya Teelock of the University of Mauritius noted Gandhi’s deep and veritable influence on Mauritius, which celebrates its Independence Day on 12 March, the day Gandhi launched the famous Salt March in India in 1930.

After over 21 years stay in South Africa, Gandhi returned to India on 9 January, 1915 with his wife Kasturba.

He had been in London the previous year to treat a severe bout of pleurisy, a lung inflammation. His doctors advised him to return to India to escape the English winter. And this time, India became his permanent home.

PTI

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