About 28 Delhi University colleges to be audited over graft complaints: Deputy CM Manish Sisodia

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Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Tuesday wrote to CAG demanding an audit of 28 Delhi University colleges, wholly or partially funded by the state government, after receiving complaints of corruption against them. The move comes a day after the Delhi government ordered a freeze on the funding of the 28 colleges following the varsity’s failure to constitute Governing Bodies (GBs) for over 10 months.

The Delhi University (DU) teachers, on the other hand, have written to Vice Chancellor Yogesh Tyagi, urging him to
complete the GB formation process so that students do not suffer due to funds freeze.

“Have written to CAG asking for comprehensive audit of 28 Delhi govt funded colleges, as I’ve received many complaints of corruption. 28 colleges need CAG audit as there are complaints of corruption; with no Governing Bodies for 10 months, there’s been no oversight,” Sisodia said in a series of tweets.

Sisodia, who is also the education minister, said, “It seems governing bodies have not been formed so that corruption and irregularities can go on. Public money cannot be wasted like this”. He also posted a letter from BJP MP Udit Raj on his Twitter handle, complaining of alleged irregularities in appointments to government funded colleges.

A college’s governing body comprises 15 members, out of which five are nominated by the state government. The body is responsible for taking several administrative decisions. Out of the 28 colleges, Maharaja Agrasen College,
BR Ambedkar College, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College, Keshav Mahavidyalaya and Bhagini Nivedita College etc are wholly funded by the Delhi government.

The College of Vocational Studies, Rajdhani College, Shivaji College, Motilal Nehru College, Aurobindo College, Kalindi College and Shyama Prasad Mukherji College are among those partially funded by the state.

“The university is in the process of completing the formalities and soon the bodies will be formed,” a senior DU official said.

Ancient wisdom: Learn more about Chanakya, Vidur and Indian culture at Banaras Hindu University

BHU’s  Bharat Adhyayan Kendra  will invite students of various departments in batches to spread awareness of ancient art and knowledge by holding a series of lectures and seminars.

Do you know what Chanakya Neeti is, or for that matter Vidur Neeti or sage Kamandak’s treatise on military techniques and warfare management?

If not, enrol at Bharat Adhyayan Kendra (BAK) of the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in Varanasi to learn more about ancient Indian streams of knowledge.

BAK aims to promote Sanskrit as well as ‘sanskriti’ (culture) and will initiate professors and students into Chanakya Neeti, Vidur Neeti and Vedic sciences and other skills and techniques.

The centre will invite students of various departments in batches to spread awareness about ancient art and knowledge by holding a series of lectures and seminars.

The initiative has been taken to preserve ancient Indian knowledge by giving an idea to students, professors and research scholars of polity and state management as mentioned in Vidur Neeti and Chanakya Neeti. The ancient texts are mainly in Sanskrit.

“Vidur Neeti and Chanakya Neeti can be utilised in the management of state administration. In the present scenario, a large number of students haven’t even heard about these texts, let alone studying them. Therefore, scholars at the centre started working on these texts to find out its relevance in present times,” he added.

The subjects to be covered in the programmes include 64 ‘kalas’ (art forms), 18 ‘vidyas’ (techniques or skills), Vedic studies, Vedanga (including Jyotish, Dharmashastra and Puranas), and schools of Indian philosophy.

It will also focus on research on rajshastra (polity), ayurveda (ancient medical science) and arthshashtra (economics).

Foreign students at various faculties of the BHU will also be invited to the seminars and lectures by scholars and professors who have indepth knowledge on these topics.

Only one topic will be covered in a lecture.

Five centenary research fellows and three centenary chair professors –including Prof Kamlesh Dutt Tripathi, Prof Yugal Kishore Mishra and Prof Rakesh Upadhyaya – have been roped in to carry out research in ancient disciplines. Foreign scholars will also be involved in research work in future.

“Research on 64 ‘kalas’ (art forms) and 18 ‘vidyas’ (techniques or streams) has already been completed. We will inform the students and professors about its importance in present times by holding a conference in the near future,” said coordinator, BAK, Prof Sadashiv Dwivedi.

The scholars will prepare papers on these subjects and discuss these in detail.

“Our students should be aware of ancient Indian knowledge widely discussed in classical texts,” he added.

“Professors and students of political science, management, Vedic sciences, military science and management will be invited to the programmes to discuss ancient topics. We will inform them why Sanskrit and ‘Bharatiya sanskriti’ are equally important and complementary to each other. One who knows Sanskrit will understand the essence of ancient texts,” Prof Dwivedi said.

In ancient times, sage Kamandak gave ‘Kamandak Neeti’ on warfare management and techniques. “Not many know about sage Kamandak today,” Prof Dwivedi he said, adding regular programmes and efforts would help in generating interest among students and teachers.

“Students may start learning Sanskrit. Scholars at BAK are trying to study and preserve ancient Indian texts and promote Sanskrit. If the language flourishes, Indian culture will be further consolidated,” he said.

BAK was founded about one and a half years ago on the initiative of BHU vice-chancellor Prof Girish Chandra Tripathi to study, preserve and promote ancient knowledge.

From a flying insect to robotics: Here’s what you should know about biofluid mechanics

Biofluid mechanics describes the motions and forces of fluids in a range of biological systems: from cells in complex fluids, through respiratory flows and insect flight, to swimmers and paddlers.

What do the flapping wings of a bird and a swimmer’s flexible movement in the water have in common? The answer is biofluid mechanics. Though it’s generally not a topic of conversation amongst most people biofluid mechanics is everywhere in our daily lives, from the air we breathe or the flow of blood in our body, to the swimming of fish or plant circulation.

A special subject of fluid mechanics – biofluid mechanics describes the motions and forces of fluids in a range of biological systems: from cells in complex fluids, through respiratory flows and insect flight, to swimmers and paddlers.

It offers students the chance to apply engineering, mathematical, and physical principles of fluids to solve complex and multi-faceted problems (see eg Fig I for a non-exhaustive list of examples), primarily in biology and medicine, but also in aerospace and robotics.

Study of biofluid mechanics offers students the chance to apply engineering, mathematical, and physical principles of fluids to solve complex and multi-faceted problems (Sourced)

Lying at the interface of several disciplines, involving various scales and a wide range of physical systems, biofluid mechanics is inherently a multi-disciplinary field, addressing multi-scale and multi-physics phenomena, with an immeasurable impact to humans, the nature, and science and technology.

The study of blood flow through the heart and body, the flow of air in the lungs, the movement of swimming and flying animals through water or air, and the properties of complex biofluids are just some of the research topics currently being investigated, with many more advanced topics still under research.

The problems addressed in biofluid mechanics are often very complex, and therefore challenging.

Research approaches can encompass combined methodologies, including theoretical, experimental, and computational studies. Incorporation of innovative technologies, state-of-the-art imaging modalities, and high-fidelity computational fluid dynamics (CFD) methods are often utilised in combination, in an effort to achieve a comprehensive understanding of the biological flows under investigation.

Strong collaborations with clinicians, biologists, and other scientists from multiple disciplines are also an integral part of the biofluid mechanics field that ensure discussions across different disciplines, and intellectual advancement towards our understanding of the physical world.

Everything you need to know about the deadly Blue Whale suicide game

The blue whale suicide game is prompting young people to end their lives.

Something macabre has been brewing on the internet, and it sounds like the perfect plot for a third rate horror film. A depressed youngster comes across a social media group called Blue Whales. The group encourages him to take his life. It also promises to make his exit from this world fun by turning the suicide into a thrilling game. After signing up, the youngster is assigned daily tasks for the next 50 days. It includes inflicting self-injury, watching horror movies, waking up at odd hours to wrap the task and even carving a whale shape on the arms. The task keeps getting tougher with each passing day. On the last (50th day), the game admin ask the youngster to commit suicide. Those who want to back out on the last day are threatened that their family members will be hurt if they don’t abide by the game rules. There is no exit.

Carving out a whale shape on the arm is one of the task assigned.

It seems that the deadly game that originated in Russia has taken the life of a 14-year-old boy in Andheri East, Mumbai. Manpreet Singh, who jumped off the terrace of a seven-storey building on Saturday, could be the first victim of the network.

This psychopathic game started in Russia four years ago on a social networking site called VKontakte. It has already claimed over 130 lives in Russia. It allegedly led to its first suicide in 2015. Philipp Budeikin, a psychology student claimed that he invented the game. Budeikin, who was thrown out of his university, said he was attempting to weed out the society by encouraging those who have no value to take their lives. Other reports claim that the mastermind behind the game, a postman called Ilya Sidorov, 26, was arrested in Moscow, Russia. He used to encourage teenagers to hurt themselves and eventually commit suicide.

What is worrying is that despite the common knowledge that the deadly game started and spread on VKontakte, which is a hugely popular site in Russia, no checks were brought in place to contain the network. One can easily create a VKontakte account . And once you log in, and search for #bluewhale, you come across psychotic, extremely depressing messages of young people desperately wanting to play the game and end their lives. Their profiles are as macabre as it can get. There are pictures of self-injury, ghosts and horrifying sketches of people bleeding and trying to kill themselves.

When this journalist created an account on VKontakte, and asked a few users about Blue Whale, she was sent a link to a page that claimed to add people to the Blue Whale network. The page was full of eerie sketches, including one that showed a bloodied male figure hurting himself with a knife. The curator of the page called Aisha Andrew chatted with her, and told her that there can be no looking back once a person begins the game. The first task that she was assigned was to carve ‘F57’ on her arm with a blade at 4:20 am and send a picture. Here are the screenshots of the chat:

Dr Pulkit Sharma, psychologist, says that we need to immediately ban access to such social networking sites. “It’s important to restrict such content. When a person is depressed, he or she is in a very fragile state of mind. Anyone who seems powerful to them and comes across as an anchor point, can have the potential to influence their mind. When you tell a depressed person that he can live, and there is hope, they don’t find such words to be realistic. But if someone tells him that he is fit to die, and there is nothing wrong is seeking liberation and suicide is an easier, logical way out, he immediately relates to it. Exposure to such content is extremely dangerous for depressed young people.”

Sharma says that the network seems to be a creation of a psychopath. “Such people believe that they are larger than life. They are on a special mission and they have a weird agenda that makes sense to them. They are fanatical and psychopathic. They see things in extreme, in black and white, the way the alleged creator of the Blue Whale network believes that if he eradicates depressed people, this world will be a happy place,” he says. Such a psychopathic mind could be an outcome of extreme childhood abuse, neglect and trauma.

Watch out for signs of depression and suicidal tendencies:

Feeling low most of the time

Withdrawal from favourite activities

Fear, anxiety, despair

Addiction to social media

Sleep disturbances

Irritability

Aggression

Lethargy

Sluggishness

Tiredness

Love coffee but worried about too much caffeine? Switch to green coffee instead

Some researches show green coffee may help with weight loss.

Can’t start your day without a cup of coffee? But worried about the caffeine and calories intake? Well, let your worries take a back seat, as you enjoy a wonderful cup of green coffee. Long-standing health debate on drinking coffee is not unknown to anyone.

But, amidst all these, comes in a new study on green coffee, raw and unroasted coffee beans. Some researches show, green coffee may help with weight loss. In this regard, Greenbrrew, a brand with a new concept to bring a new revolution in coffee industry, has listed the health benefits of green coffee.

1) Rich antioxidant: Green coffee beans are rich in antioxidant, and takes care of our overall health.

2) Boost metabolism: This coffee is a metabolism booster. It increases the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) of our body to a great extent, which minimises excessive release of glucose from the liver into blood.

3) Burn extra fat: Its beans are loaded with vitamins and minerals; helps in maintaining the levels of nutrients in our body.

4) Diabetes treatment: These green beans are also capable of treating Type 2 Diabetes successfully. Their extract is known to lower high levels of sugar in our bloodstream, while accelerating weight loss.

Green coffee beans are loaded with minerals, vitamines, antioxidants and metabolism boosters. (Shutterstock )

5) Minimizes level of bad cholesterol: The beans have the capacity to check your Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) levels, otherwise known as ‘bad cholesterol’ – the main culprit behind cardiovascular disorders.

6) Improve blood circulation: This coffee keep controls your blood pressure, diminishing the risk of strokes, heart failure and chronic renal failure.

7) Boost energy: It is better than the regular coffee, which contains 7-9% caffeine.

Worried about food-related hygiene this monsoon? Follow these 8 dos and don’ts

Cut fruits and vegetables shouldn’t be kept out in the open during the rainy season.

Monsoon brings with it an end to the scorching summer heat and a sigh of relief for everyone. It is also a time to be extra careful about infections, in particular, gastrointestinal infections. During this season, immunity tends to be weakened, making people more susceptible to infections.

Coupled with this, the digestive enzymes have lower activity, and the digestive system as a whole becomes more sensitive and vulnerable to infections. Therefore, we should be extra careful about what we eat. During the rainy season, the moisture in the air increases to very high levels, and along with it, various microbes tend to multiply. In particular, fungi tend to grow and multiply profusely in this increased moisture conditions.

Hence Dr Saurabh Arora, founder of Food Safety Helpline.com have put forward some tips to store food hygienically.

1) Bread and other bakery products are susceptible to spoilage by molds. Therefore, we must take care not to keep these food items exposed to the moist air for long periods. We should consume these items as soon as they are taken out of their air-tight packets.

Consume bakery items as soon as they are taken out of their air-tight packets. (HT file photo )

2) Care should also be exercised with milk and milk products, as these are susceptible to contamination and spoilage by microorganisms, particularly in the humid weather, which is common in the monsoon season. Care should be taken not only for food items, but also for the various ingredients and additives that go into preparation of the dishes. These should be kept in hermetically sealed containers, so that they are not exposed to moisture.

Care should also be exercised with milk and milk products, as these are susceptible to contamination. (Shuterstock )

3) Cut fruits also shouldn’t be kept out in the open during the rainy season. These should ideally be consumed as soon as they are cut, to avoid any contamination with microbes. Likewise, fruit juices should also be consumed fresh and not stored for later consumption.

Cut fruits also shouldn’t be kept out in the open during the rainy season. (Shutterstock )

4) The storage of cooked food is very important. Prepared food should ideally be consumed hot, soon after cooking. In case of consumption at a later time, it should be quickly cooled, carefully covered and stored refrigerated in order to avoid microbial contamination. It is to be noted that while storing food in the refrigerator, the cooked food should be stored in the upper shelves, while the raw food in the lower shelves.

Prepared food should ideally be consumed hot, soon after cooking. (Shutterstock )

5) Store the raw resources away from moisture It would be a good idea to avoid buying in bulk during the monsoon season, in order to avoid problems with storage.

6) Be careful while consuming certain types of food during the monsoon time. One of the most common snacks in this category are samosas. Other oily snacks include paneer pakoras, which might cause gastric problems if the ingredients are not fresh. Fermented food items like chole bhature can be spoiled by fungi that flourish in the humid conditions prevailing during the rainy season. As a general rule of thumb, all types of spicy and oily food should be consumed in moderation.

Oily snacks might cause gastric problems if the ingredients are not fresh. (Shutterstock )

7) Avoid street food. Most types of street foods are generally prepared in the open. There is a chance of contamination of the food with rain water. The stalls are sometimes located near open drains, where there is chance of contamination with coliform bacteria, which can cause serious diarrheal disease. Moreover, the water used for preparing street food favorites like golgappas is likely to be contaminated, and there is a chance of contracting water-borne diseases like cholera and typhoid in this way.

Most types of street foods are generally prepared in the open. (HT file photo )

8) Special precautions for drinking water. It is very important to keep the body well hydrated during the monsoon months. Therefore, it is essential to drink plenty of water. Drinking water must be very safe for consumption, since during the rainy season, chances of contamination increases manifold. It should be noted that besides microbes, ground water can be heavily contaminated with chemicals, as these leach easily into the underground water deposits. The best way to ensure safe drinking water is to filter the water, followed by boiling, before drinking.

It is very important to keep the body well hydrated during the monsoon months. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

If these simple precautions and hygienic practices are followed, this will enable you and your family to enjoy and appreciate the true beauty of the monsoon season.

Here are some yummy ‘healthy’ recipes you can try without worrying about calories

Here’s a healthy version of Apple Cinnamon cake.

Every day, we are exposed to a host of celebrities and brand marketing initiatives — endorsing health-food brands, conducting workout and yoga workshops, organising marathons and cyclathons, and so on.

However, in their day-to-day lives, people also come up with ways, worthy of emulating to stay healthy and fit. HT Café speaks to a few such Mumbaiites who, in their own way, are doing their bit to build a better, fitter Mumbai.

Sarojini Jose

Sarojini Jose (HT PHOTO)

Sarojini Jose, a retired teacher, gives a quirky twist to health drinks. Talking about Chukku Kaapi, a ginger and jaggery-based drink, she says, “It is a cherished recipe that was passed on to me by my mother. Our ancestors were wise in teaching us kitchen cures for minor ailments. Instead of opting to pop the pill for cold and cough, this remedy is better,” adding, “Those who have had this drink tell me that they feel better immediately, that their throat is soothed and the congestion is relieved.” Being a diabetic herself, she is always coming up with new recipes that are safe for diabetics such as the Coconut Water with a Twist.

“I came up with this drink because having plain coconut water or serving it to guests was a little boring. Saffron was incorporated as a means to add natural food colour. And, for kids, juice means something sweet, so I added the honey,” she explains.

Coconut water with a twist

Ingredients:

1 glass coconut water

3-4 strands of saffron

1/2tsp basil seeds

Honey (optional)

Method:

Put the strands of saffron in coconut water and keep aside for an hour.Around the same time put the basil seeds in half a cup of water and let it soak. In an hour both the ingredients would be well-soaked. The coconut water would have an orange tinge and the basil seeds would now have a wispy white layer. If there’s excess water in the soaked basil seeds, drain them. Then add the soaked seeds to the coconut water and serve. If the coconut water isn’t sweet naturally, or if the drink is served for kids, add honey as needed.

Chukku Kaapi

Ingredients:

1inch piece dried ginger, well-pounded

1tsp palm jaggery

1/2tsp pepper

A handful of fresh basil leaves

Method:

Add all the ingredients to one large mug of water and bring the water to boil After the water boils, it will deepen in colour within a minute. Turn off the fire. Place a heavy lid on the pot and wait for two minutes. Serve piping hot.

Sangita Garg

The mother of six-year-old twins, practised medicine before she took the plunge to become Atta Girl. She churns healthy batters for idlis, dosas, appams, etc. Atta Girl is the brainchild of almost two years of self-discovery, patience and hard work. When asked why she opted for it, she says, “There came a point when I said, ‘I cannot see any sick patients anymore’, and I realised the root cause is the food that is being consumed. Also, I wanted to take up something that let me devote enough time to work as well as my kids. This seemed to be the most ideal job that served both purposes,” she adds.

Her batters comprise of 70% concentration of the cereal ragi (millets). She describes herself as a foodie and makes batters specifically for south-Indian dishes. She explains, “I love south Indian food. I make dosas and idlis every other day at home. So, it was the perfect choice”.

Ragi Idli Poha

Ingredients:

1tbsp ghee or oil , 1tsp mustard seed, 2-3 green chillies, finely chopped, 2 onions chopped

1/4tsp, turmeric powder, Few sprigs of fresh coriander leaves, Few curry leaves

2 potatoes, boiled and chopped, 100gm peas, boiled, 4-5 wholegrain idlis

Salt and lemon juice to taste

Method:

Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and let them splutter. Add green chillies and onions, and sauté Add the boiled peas and potatoes, and stir well for a few seconds. Add turmeric powder, and salt to taste.Break the idlis and crumble them in coarse pieces or cut them into small squares and mix it in the pan. Sprinkle some water and mix well again. Add some lemon juice and chopped coriander and serve hot.

Bonnie D’silva

Bonnie D’silva (Praful Gangurde)

Bonnie, a home-baker, started by taking orders for cakes and sweets from relatives and friends. She gained instant popularity. However, it was an order that she received from the mother of a one-year-old that changed the way she baked. This mum insisted that the cake for her kid should not include any sugar or artificial sweetener. She says, “I tried explaining to the lady that sugar not only sweetens but also adds a certain texture to the cake that cannot be substituted. But she insisted. After a lot of attempts I baked a wholewheat banana muffin where I used honey, apple stock and bananas to sweeten the cake.” Since then there has been no looking back. By experimenting frequently, she has come up with more dishes such as Apple and Cinnamon Yogurt Cake, Oatmeal and Raisin Cookies and Low-fat Cheesecake using hung curd and 70% Dark Chocolate Nut Clusters.

Oatmeal and Raisin Cookie

Oatmeal and Raisin Cookie (Praful Gangurde)

Ingredients:

115gm butter, 100gm brown sugar, 30gm honey, 140gm oats,

125gm wholewheat flour,1/2tsp cinnamon

1/2tsp baking soda, 100gm raisins

Method:

In a bowl, whisk together oats, flour, cinnamon, baking soda and raisins. Beat butter and brown sugar till light and creamy, and then add honey. Add the dry mix and stir till the mixture has combined well. Let the cookie dough chill in the refrigerator for around four hours. Preheat the oven at 160 degrees celsius, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop the dough onto the parchment and bake for 20 minutes.

Wholewheat sugar-free banana muffins

Ingredients:

4 bananas, ripe n 1/3 cup coconut oil (any other oil will also do)

1 egg ,1tsp vanilla extract ,1 1/2 cup wholewheat flour, 1tsp cinnamon powder,

1tsp baking soda, 1tsp baking powder, 1 cup walnut (optional)

Method:

Sift the wholewheat flour, cinnamon powder, baking soda and baking powder in a bowl. Walnuts, if used, should be mixed with the flour. Beat the egg with bananas and oil. Add the vanilla extract. Gently fold the dry mix together, do not over mix it. Fill the muffin tins and bake at 170 degrees Celsius for two minutes. Let it cool and serve.

Can olive oil be used for frying? We debunk four myths about this wonder oil

Whether making the heart healthy or regulating sugar levels or bringing with itself vitamins and antioxidants, olive oil is an ideal companion for all who wish to lead a healthy life. Recent studies say it can also help in preventing brain cancer and reduce cholesterol levels. But due to a lack of precise knowledge about this oil, some are reluctant to make it part of their daily lives. This is, to some extent, a result of all the crazy marketing out there: Peruse the olive oils in a typical grocery store and you’ll be greeted by all kinds of terminology.

Some of it is confusing — like “pure” and “extra-virgin” — which is better? Other terms are just pointless — “cold-pressed”, for example, doesn’t really mean much. Basically, all extra-virgin olive oil is cold-pressed. So it’s time we debunk some of the myths about this beneficial Mediterranean favourite.

Factors like olive variety, growing conditions and country of origin create variability in oil colour. (Shutterstock)

Myth #1: If olive oil gets cloudy or solidifies in the refrigerator, it is 100% authentic and of high quality.

Fact: There is no home test to check for olive oil authenticity. Some oils get cloudy in the refrigerator and some don’t. Quality is best checked through taste and smell — authenticity is best-tested in a properly-equipped lab.

Myth #2: A very green colour indicates high quality olive oil.

Fact: Colour is not an indicator of the oil’s quality. Quality olive oil isn’t a generic product. Factors like olive variety, growing conditions and country of origin create variability in oil colour — from pale yellow to dark green — and how fast the oil will cloud or solidify in the refrigerator.

Myth #3: Heat diminishes olive oil’s health benefits; so it is best to use extra virgin olive oil “raw” or straight from the bottle.

Fact: Flavour may change when heated, but the health benefits remain. You can cook with all types of olive oil without losing health benefits because their smoking point is higher than most other cooking oils.

Myth #4: Olive oil cannot be used for cooking, frying and sautéing.

Fact: You can cook on high heat with olive oil. Here, the answer lies in understanding the various grades of olive oil. In India, one can most certainly find three grades of olive oil — extra virgin, classic/pure and extra light and, lastly, pomace, which is a chemically extracted variant of olive oil.

The difference lies in the taste, aroma and smoking point. Extra virgin olive oil has a strong flavour of olives and low smoking point as it is obtained from cold pressing. Pure olive oil is obtained from refining olive oil, so its smoking point is high but has the flavour of olives, so it can be heated and used for cooking pizzas, pastas, sautéing vegetables et al. Extra light has neutral/no flavour of olives and be used for everyday cooking/frying in Indian kitchens.

Scared to go to US: Indian students worry about physical safety, says survey

Washington Indian students have a “high level of concern” about potential study in the US and a large number of them worry about their physical safety and about the feeling of being welcomed, says a new survey.

The Institute of International Education (IIE) suggested that the final outcome of the US Supreme Court order in June that temporarily upheld President Donald Trump’s executive order to restrict entry of nationals from six Muslim majority countries to America weighs on their mind.

With over a million international students pursuing higher education in the US and contributing more than $36 billion to the American economy, the stakes are high, it said.

Image result for Scared to go to US: Indian students worry about physical safety, says survey

Founded in 1919, the IIE is a US-based not-for-profit working to build peaceful and equitable societies by advancing scholarship, building economies and promoting access to opportunity. It focuses on International student exchange and aid, foreign affairs, and international peace and security.

The IIE said that the survey results indicate the highest level of institutional concern regarding enrolment of students from the Middle East, followed by India.

Thirty-one per cent of institutions are very concerned that Middle Eastern students who have accepted offers of admissions may not arrive on campus in the fall, and 20% are very concerned that Indian students may not arrive on campus, it said.

“This uncertainty raises valid concerns as to whether students from the Middle East may be deterred from US study,” it said.

“Securing and maintaining a visa is reported as the top concern among these students and was reported by 46 % of institutions, while feeling welcome in the United States was an almost equal concern, with 41% of institutions noting so from their conversations with students,” it added.

According to the IIE, survey findings suggest that Indian students “have a high level of concern about potential study in the United States, 80% of institutions responded that physical safety was the most pronounced concern for Indian students, while 31% of institutions indicated that feeling welcome was also a concern.”

“Although application totals appear to largely remain stable, yield rates and a concern about personal safety suggest the possibility that Indian students may not continue to grow as the second largest international group in US higher education,” IIE said.

“Their concerns may lead some Indian students to accept admissions offers from other leading host countries, especially from those that issue student visas more quickly.”

The IIE, however, said despite widespread concerns that international student interest in the US might be flagging, the evidence from this survey suggests that “this is not the case.”

It said that interest among international students in the US remains steady overall despite the current environment.

According to the study, modest drops in yield – the percentage of students that attend a college or university after having been offered admission – at some institutions may be offset by steady or increased yield at other schools.

Among the 112 colleges that provided data there was a 2% decline in the expected yield rate this year compared to last year.

Overall, international undergraduate yield has dipped slightly from 26 to 24% from fall 2016 to fall 2017.

The two percentage point decline is comparable to shifts in the domestic (US) student yield reported by institutional respondents, which fell from 30 to 28% over the same time period, it said.

According to the study, there is however little concern about students from Europe and Canada arriving on campus in the fall and only modest concern about students’ arrival from China and Latin America.

IIT-JEE counselling: About 421 seats vacant in engineering institutes after round 5

After five rounds of seat allocation at Indian Institutes of Technology, one seat – at IIT Bhubaneswar – remained unclaimed. Close to 421 seats were vacant across all engineering institutes.

In the latest round, which ended on Sunday, about 69 seats from various IITs allotted in previous rounds and not accepted by students were reassigned. Most of the seats were from IIT-Kharagpur, IIT (BHU) Varanasi, Indian School of Mines (ISM) Dhanbad and IIT-Tirupati, among others.

All seats were taken up in IIT-Bombay after the second round of allotment.

“Since students are allowed to withdraw admissions till the sixth round, many seats remain vacant still. We have two more rounds after this and hopefully there will be no vacancy this year,” said an official from the Joint Entrance Examination-Advanced (JEE-Adv) office.

About 69 seats from various IITs  allotted in previous rounds and not accepted by students have been reassigned in the fifth round of counselling.

This is the third year when Joint Seat Allocation Authority (JoSAA) is conducting admissions for IITs, National Institutes of Technology (NITs), Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) and other Government Funded Technical Institutes (GFTIs).

About seven rounds of seat allotment will take place this year. Last year, 76 seats remained vacant across IITs after six rounds.

“No withdrawal of admission will be allowed in the seventh and final round, and we hope no seats will remain vacant till then,” an official from JoSAA said. The sixth and seventh round of seat allotment will be announced on July 18 and July 21, respectively.

After the fifth round of allocation, close to 421 seats still remain vacant across all institutes, including one in IIT-Bhubaneswar. About the latter, a JoSAA official said,“This particular seat is in the Scheduled Tribe (ST) category and there seems to be no candidate eligible for the seat anymore, therefore it is not being allotted.”

There are 36,208 seats available across 97 institutes including all IITs, NITs, IIITs as well as GFTI (Government Funded Technical Institutes) . Of these 10,988 seats are in IITs.