Thursday, April 24, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Protest season kicked off with ‘Save Education’ campaign
Smriti Kak

Incensed by the attempts made to privatise higher education in the country, the AIFUCTO (All India Federation of University and College Teacher’s Organisations) and FEDUCTA (Federation of Central Universities’ Teachers’ Associations) have launched a campaign, ‘Save Education’. The campaign was kicked off by holding a dharna outside the UGC office.

Over 1,000 teachers from across the country gathered to protest against what they allege is rampant privatisation, opening of the gates to foreign universities, subversion of secular character of education and assault on teachers’ service conditions and rights.

They also demanded an increase in the allocation of state investment for education and compulsory elementary education, apart from a ban on foreign universities.

The teachers alleged that the UGC and the HRD Ministry have started squandering public money by starting courses on palmistry, karamkand and astrology, leading to shrinking funds for laboratories and libraries.

Protest time at JNU, too

In between protests against the ‘imperialistic’ tendencies of the USA and seeking a ban on foreign colas on the campus, the students of Jawaharlal Nehru University are angry that the culprits responsible for violence on the campus last year have been let off by the university officials.

Violence had erupted following protests by a faction of students in August last year when the VHP leader, Mr Ashok Singhal, was invited for a talk.

“These students held a peaceful demonstration outside and later some VHP supporters chased these students and beat them up. These people did not even spare the girls and abused and kicked them,” recalled Parimal, the vice-president of the students union.

The agitated students have decided to take the matter up in the meeting of the Academic Council, scheduled for the first week of May.

“The Chief Rector had fined both the students who were protesting and the culprits who beat them up. This is unfair. How can you equate students with hooligans? With a fine of Rs 200 per head, these attackers were let off,” added Parimal.

It is pointed out that despite repeated requests, the university authorities have failed to press charges against the offenders. “This time we have decided to take the matter to the Academic Council and if they again fail to deliver, we have decided to stop the university from functioning when the new semester begins. There will be no classes and no administrative work until the culprits are punished,” the student union leaders pointed out.

Management course under scanner

On the eve of the launch of its Postgraduate Diploma in Management, the Institute for Integrated Learning in Management (IILM) hosted an interactive discussion to assess the importance of the course for the government and the industry.

The two-year full-time programme has an option for the students to specialise as major and minor in one or two of the emerging areas of importance in business and social sectors. The programme commences from July 1.

Speaking on the occasion, the president of IILM, Mr P Bhaumik, said in the past years development management has emerged as an important area of concern with various governments and multinational organisations.

The discussion was conducted to apprise and analyse the implications and usefulness of the course for young aspirants. The programme is designed and executed by eminent academicians keeping in mind the changing needs of the industry. Students of this programme will have a better understanding of the industry, thus opening diverse and interesting career options for them.

The programme offers specialisation in areas of Health Care Management, Urban and Infrastructure Management, Insurance and Risk Management, Media Management, Natural Resources and Environment Management.

The purpose of this programme is to enable participants develop understanding of core policies and strategies underlying principles of national health programmes.

The course would help the students to understand the role of the private sector in urban service provision and management, issues of transparency and accountability, risks involved and management through insurance.

It would also help the participants acquire conceptual and analytical abilities to the field realities required for managing natural resources effectively and to impart skills for managing various programmes that lead to social development and growth.

Talent waiting to be harnessed

Acknowledging the tremendous knowledge base resting with the academia, it was pointed out during a discussion organised jointly by the Delhi School of Economics and the Confederation of Indian Industry that there is a need to fully utilise it and effectively use it for furthering the growth of the industry.

During the round table on ‘Foreign Direct Investment’, presentations were made on the emerging WTO regime and the flow of FDI, transfer pricing in conglomerate and multinational corporations, tax sensitivity of FDI in India, exchange rate expectations and FDI inflows, currency crisis predictability and its implications for India. Participants asked CII to build the bridge between business and academia and provide an interface between the two that will enhance research work in these fields.

A model on exchange rate determination and its effect on investment forecasting was suggested that could be used as a tool by the global players in the country for forecasting their investment decisions.

Free coaching

Generation Next Education, a coaching institute run by IIT alumni, has offered admission in coaching classes to five students from economically weaker sections. The coaching classes will help them prepare for medical and engineering entrance exams; they will be admitted at the Ramprastha Centre in Ghaziabad. The institute also plans to offer free coaching to students who excel in sports and other extra curricular activities.


Convocation on Amity campus

The Union Minister of Law, Justice and Commerce, Mr Arun Jaitley conferred Postgraduate Diplomas in Cyber Laws, Intellectual Property Rights and Labour Laws on the students of Amity Law School during the third convocation on the Amity campus.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Jaitley said, “The entry of private initiatives have contributed immensely to the broadening of education base in India, though a lot needs to be done in the field of legal training. The curriculum needs to be updated to keep pace with the fast changing environment”.

The Minister advised the students to sharpen their negotiation and dispute resolution skills, adding that the ability to prevent litigation should be the cornerstone of a lawyer’s ability.

Students of Amity Law School, Chandigarh, were also present on the occasion to receive their diplomas.

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