Delayed results: B Pharm students miss transfer deadline, may not get into colleges of preference

The delay in declaration of results at Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) has affected scores of second-year pharmacy students, who may lose out on the chance to get admission into colleges of their choice. According to students, the results of the first-year Bachelor of Pharmacy (B Pharm) courses were released on July 26. The Directorate of Technical Education (DTE) allows first-year students to switch colleges in the second year, as transfer cases.

However, B Pharm students who had received their first-year results on July 26, said when they approached other colleges for transfers, they were turned away and told that they have “missed the deadline”. “There has been a delay in declaration of results at the university’s end, but we have to suffer. The result was apparently sent to our college late in the evening on July 25. Since the office had closed, we got it the next day. But when my friends and I approached a college to get admission, we were told that the deadline for taking transfer admissions was only till July 27, and now we are not eligible. We don’t understand how can they expect us to finish all the procedure in just one day?” asked a college student at Pimpri-Chinchwad.

Another student, who was aspiring to get admission at Indira College of Pharmacy, said he had even visited the DTE offices in Pune and Mumbai with his queries, but to no avail. “We were told that the admission calendar is set by the DTE several months in advance. Now, it is the turn of students under the Centralised Admission Process (CAP) to get admissions,” he added.

Many principals, meanwhile, said they have been inundated with students’ queries over the last few days.

“We have received many queries from students. Actually, the students got only one day for transfer, which has led to this confusion. It’s unfortunate. But second year admissions also take place through CAP. Students under CAP get direct admission in the second year after having passed a diploma in pharmacy. Their registrations are done, so it would be unfair to them as well,” said Dr Ashwini Madgudkar, principal, AISSMS College of Pharmacy.

Principals of pharmacy colleges said this year the delay in declaration of results has been rather long. “The exams got over in the last week of May. Generally, the results come by the end of June or first week of July. However, this year, the results are over three weeks late. But this problem is not restricted to Pune, many universities across the state are facing the same issues,” said P D Chaudhari, principal, Modern College of Pharmacy.

DTE officials also expressed inability to help the transfer students at this point of time. “The schedule was decided much in advance, accordingly the list of vacancies was declared. Student registrations were taken for direct admissions through CAP under second year. The deadline for transfer admissions is over. Now, after the CAP process is over, if seats are left over, those will be allotted to transfer cases,” said Dayanand Meshram, joint director of technical education, Maharashtra.


NEET 2017: Tamil Nadu makes ‘last effort’ to exempt its students from entrance

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TN Health Minister C Vijayabaskar and Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan on Monday made the “final effort” to approach the centre to ask for the state’s exemption from the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET) 2017. The ministers met Union Health Minister JP Nadda and Minister of State at the PMO Jitendra Singh to discuss the issue.

“As a final effort, Vijayabaskar met Nadda and Singh to pressure them for an exemption for Tamil Nadu from the National Entrance Cum Eligibility Test (NEET),” an official release said, adding that this comes after several efforts by Tamil Nadu ministers to convince the centre, including meetings with CM K Palaniswami, PM Narendra Modi and other officials.

The medical entrance exam had been made compulsory last year for those seeking admission to medical colleges in the country. Since then, the exam has been subject to a number of changes and has seen numerous protests. Tamil Nadu has sought exemption from NEET on the argument that students from the state will be at a disadvantage compared to students studying at schools affiliated with central boards upon which the NEET syllabus is based.

The assembly had passed two bills in February so that undergraduate medical admissions can continue on the basis of class 12 marks instead of NEET.

Mumbai University result delay: Students fear losing year, jobs, overseas seats

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A FINAL-YEAR engineering student, who has been selected for a Masters in Business Administration course in the UK, has spent the past two weeks making rounds of the University of Mumbai, writing applications for an early declaration of results lest she lose the seat. “I had to submit my marksheets to the UK university by August 1. I have been requesting the University of Mumbai to see if the results could be declared confidentially to the UK university directly,” said the student, who spent all of Monday inside a newly set up confidential reports cell in the university. She was among a dozen students who had turned up at the cell with similar requests.

The university’s inability to deliver the results of final-year students in time has left thousands of such students in the lurch. From uncertainty over future admissions, job rejections and the inability to meet deadlines, students have had a tumultuous couple of months. Although the deadline for releasing results was July 31, there are around 2.9 lakh answer papers yet to be corrected.

Suraj Vishwakarma, an MSc student of Birla College, Kalyan, said, “I applied to an IT giant for a job, but they could not give me a definite decision because my results have not been declared. They said that if there are no vacancies left by the time results are declared, I will not get the job. I am very stressed at this moment as I don’t want to lose this opportunity.”

Another student, who did a BA in French from MU, has been selected at the University of Edinburgh for a Masters in Film Studies but she has not been able to go ahead with her admission process. She now fears she might have to drop a year.

Some have even resigned to taking a year drop instead of applying and losing out on admissions. “I have decided to postpone my plans to study abroad only because I have not got my results. It is very annoying and stressful,” said Yesha Mehta, a BMS student.

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This year, the university decided to assess final-year papers through an onscreen system. However, the system was hastily implemented following a delay, leading to a delay in declaration of results. Of the 477 exams held in March and April this year, the results of 160 have been declared so far. The university has now not only missed the 45-day deadline set by the Maharashtra Public Universities Act but also the July 31 deadline set by Governor and Chancellor Ch Vidyasagar Rao.

While several students are worried of a year drop, a debate over the quality of assessment has left students concerned over discrepancies in results. “The entire assessment process has been so badly organised and has taken so long, my main worry is that in the rush, my papers will not be corrected properly,” said Bhakti Sonawala, a BCom student from Lala Lajpatrai College. The results will now be declared by August 5.


Change in hostel curfew irks students in Delhi

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Women students of a postgraduate hostel of Delhi University have expressed anger at new rules, which have reportedly brought forward the ‘curfew’ timing by an hour to 9 pm. The rules also state that hostel residents cannot interfere in the “management of the hostel”. But boarders said they cannot protest publicly since the hostel readmission process is on and they risk losing their place.

The matter pertains to the Ambedkar Ganguly Students’ House for Women in Mukherjee Nagar. The hostel has 100 seats, of which 50 per cent are reserved for students from the Delhi School of Economics. The rest are for students from reserved categories. “Residents are hereby informed that from August 1 onwards, attendance will be taken 8 pm to 9 pm… No resident shall leave the House premises after giving attendance. If anyone does not give her attendance on account of her physical absence, she will be deemed to be on night out,” reads a notice dated July 29, signed by hostel warden K Ratnabali.

Additionally, a rule in the alleged handbook reads: “Residents cannot interfere in the administration and management of the hostel by the hostel authorities”. According to boarders, the post of provost has been vacant since October last year, ever since last provost retired. “Since then, the warden has been acting on her own whim. We’ve been demanding a meeting with the management but she has been avoiding it,” alleged a boarder.

Warden K Ratnabali did not respond to calls and texts by The Indian Express. In a statement, women students’ group Pinjra Tod said the “denial of university housing is being used as threat to snub dissenting voices”.

UP Board makes 75 per cent attendance mandatory for students appearing in board exams 2018

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Uttar Pradesh Madhyamik Shiksha Parishad has made 75 per cent attendance mandatory for students appearing in class 10 and 12 examinations. All those students whose attendance is below 75 per cent will be debarred from sitting in the exams.

As per a Dainik Jagran’s report, the government has taken this decision to improve education condition in the state. The UP Board has directed all the officials to inspect these schools regularly to check whether teachers and students are attending the class or not. The official has to submit a report to the UP Board.

Moreover, to tighten the schools head who delay online registration for board exams at the last day, the UP Board plans to stop their salary payments. According to a Times of India report, Secretary of UP Board, Neena Srivastava, said the idea is to avoid any last-minute technical snag in the central server.

The procedure for filling online application forms next year’s exams have started for both private and regular students on July 20. The last date to submit the duly filled form is October 10.

The decision is taken keeping in mind last year’s scenario when several principals did not utilise the one-month period and uploaded the details on UP Board’s official website on the last date. Due to this, the central server faced technical issues.

There are 20,945 schools affiliated to UP Board in the state.

CBSE UGC NET 2017: Students oppose suspension of entrance test for college teachers

Students have opposed the Central Board of Scondary Education’s (CBSE’s) decision to skip University Grants Commission National Eligibility Test (UGC-NET) for the first half of the year.

Students have opposed the Central Board of Scondary Education’s (CBSE’s) decision to skip University Grants Commission National Eligibility Test (UGC-NET) for the first half of the year.

The Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO) has filed a petition in the Supreme Court (SC) asking CBSE to take back its decision to suspend the tests. It also wants the government to conduct one more session in 2017 for students who are crossing the age limit.

Those who aspire to be assistant professor or work as junior research fellow (JRF) in colleges and universities across the country are required to clear UGC-NET. The test is usually held twice every year – around months of June and December.

In a July 11 notification, CBSE announced that the next UGC-NET exam will be held on November 5. The announcement came as a shock to teaching and research aspirants across the country who were anxiously waiting for the summer session of the test.

SIO said that suspension will further accentuate shortage of qualified teachers in degree colleges. “Shortage of faculty has been a big hurdle in ensuring quality education. Thousands of teaching positions are vacant in the universities across the country. In such a circumstance, suspending UGC NET may lead to annoyance among student community, and a loss to the intellectual community of India,” said Syed Azharuddin, national secretary, SIO.

The CBSE had approached the ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD),expressing its inability to conduct the UGC NET exam due to capacity crunch as it was overburdened with other tests such as the JEE (for admission to undergraduate engineering courses) and the NEET (for admission to under-graduate medical courses).

The student body also argued that suspension of UGC-NET stands in contrast to UGC’s intention to make NET or State Eligibility Test (SET) mandatory for pursuing PhD. It also said that the decision undermines union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar, who in a recently concluded parliamentary session, had announced that majority of vacancies in Universities would be filled up this year.

Hi-tech university: Health science institute in Punjab to issue digital degrees, certificates to students

The varsity, avoiding the use of paper, will now issue digital certificates to students.

Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of digital India, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS) has created a special cell for issuing digital certificates/degrees to its students.

The varsity, avoiding the use of paper, will now issue digital certificates to students. These certificates will be preserved digitally under the National Academic Depository (NAD).

“NAD is a commendable initiative of the central government. It is kind of a bank where students will have digital accounts for procuring and preserving their digital documents issued by the university to them,” said a senior official of the varsity.

“If a student requires a transcription of his/her certificate anywhere around the globe, he/she can simply access the documents from his digital account with NAD. Unlike the present scenario, students will not have to visit the university in emergency situations to get their certificates. They will also not have to pay any fee to the university for getting certificates.”

“NAD will provide free services to users for first two years and after that it will charge a nominal fee for preserving documents. There will be full transparency and no risk of fake degrees or certificates involved as students will be identified by their respective Aadhaar number,” said the officer.

Pertinently, NAD was recently launched in New Delhi by former President of India Pranab Mukherjee. Vice-chancellors of around 700 universities across country were part of the event, where the human resource development minister Prakash Javadekar directed them to adopt the practice at the earliest.

BFUHS vice-chancellor Dr Raj Bahadur, confirming the report said, “Following the conference of the VCs regarding digital initiatives in higher education, one thing which is very useful for students is the preservation of their degrees and detailed marks with NAD. BFUHS has created a cell for the same purpose.”

“We have appointed a nodal officer too adhering with the instructions of the concerned ministry. This initiative of the government is a great step in bringing absolute transparency in the education system,” said the VC.

JNU committed academic murder by denying registration to students: JNUSU prez

JNU students have been protesting in the varsity premises, seeking permission for their registrations.

With the deadline for semester registrations over, JNUSU president Mohit Kumar Pandey said on Wednesday JNU had committed an “academic murder” by denying him and four other students permission for registrations.

“I have completed three-and-a-half years of my academic life in JNU. It is difficult for me to discontinue my work at this stage.

“I tried to meet the VC today, but he refused. It is a kind of academic murder for raising pro-student issues,” said Pandey who refused to pay Rs 20,000 fine.

He said this means I am being expelled from the varsity.

A large number of students for the past two days have been protesting in the varsity premises, seeking permission for their registrations.

The students also held a fund collection drive inside the campus, wearing masks with pictures of JNU V-C M Jagadesh Kumar on it, to pay fines for some students.

JNUSU had in a council meeting decided to not pay fines imposed on the union president, but pay fines of other students to retain studentship.

However, the students’ union president Pandey said he will be planning a bigger protest in the coming days to counter the actions of the administration.

“Since last year, the JNU administration is trying to crush dissent in the campus. Imposing fine on students, setting enquiries against them and stopping their academic work is the only method through which they can do this,” he claimed.

Multiple Intelligences help students meet intellectual needs

Undoubtedly, in the coming decades, education and learning will become more constructive and immersive than it is today.

The evolution of mankind holds testament to how far intelligence has come from its humble beginnings of scriptures to leveraging technology in gaining traction. Presently, new extensions of intelligence have gained recognition, drastically enhancing the evaluation and implementation of human competencies.

Undoubtedly, in the coming decades, education and learning will become more constructive and immersive than it is today. Modern thought leaders have come up with various new theories, amongst which Multiple Intelligences is said to be in promising phases of altering academia.

Developed by Howard Gardner, Multiple Intelligences considers intellectual ability on a further broader scale; it brings to light eight human intelligences, instead of the standard two intelligences – verbal-linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligences, which have largely dominated traditional pedagogies.

They are:

* Visual-Spatial Intelligence: Capacity to think in images, to visualize accurately and abstractly

* Musical Intelligence: Ability to produce and appreciate rhythm, timber and pitch

* Naturalist Intelligence: Ability to recognize and categorize animals, plants, and other objects in nature

* Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence: Ability to control one’s body movements and to handle objects skillfully

* Mathematical-Logical Intelligence: Ability to think conceptually and abstractly, and capacity to discern logical or numerical patterns

* Interpersonal Intelligence: Capacity to detect and respond appropriately to the moods, motivations and desires of others

* Intrapersonal Intelligence: Capacity to be self-aware and in tune with inner feelings, beliefs, values, and thinking processes

* Verbal-Linguistic Intelligence: Well-developed verbal skills and sensitivity to the sounds, meanings and rhythms of words.

This particular program comes with great benefits as teachers of various curriculum wax eloquent praises on the method. The reasons for the academic and behavioural progress of the program appear to be twofold. First, every student is being provided with an opportunity to specialize and excel in at least one area. Secondly, students learn the subject matter in a variety of methods, significantly extending chances of successfully understanding, in turn retaining that information.

In fact, a majority of the student needs are met through this program – their intellectual needs are whetted by constantly being challenged, leading to constant acclimatisation of their creativity. At the same time, their emotional needs are quenched through working closely with peers, developing diverse strengths, and understand themselves better as individuals.

Here are a few salient ways where students fulfil their intellectual needs through multiple intelligence:

1. Development of increased sense of responsibility, self-direction and independence

The self-direction and motivation of these students help them tackle various tactical situations in a level-headed manner. The students become accomplished at incubating their own projects, gathering the necessary resources and materials, and making well-planned presentations of all kinds.

2. Discipline problems are significantly reduced

Students who were previously identified as having serious behavioural problems show rapid improvement during the beginning and by mid-course, they are making important contributions to their groups. Post this, students are found to have assumed positive leadership roles which, earlier have not been evident.

3. All students develop and apply new skills

Students get to inculcate newer skills, to enhance their repertoire and further their chances inculcating valuable life lessons. Children learn to design multimodal presentations of independent projects including songs, skits, visuals, poems, games, surveys, puzzles, and group participation activities, empowering themselves with valuable outlets to express themselves clearly.

4. Cooperative learning skills improves significantly

Since much of the centre work is culled in a collaborative manner, students become highly skilled at listening, helping each other grow, sharing the weight of leadership in different activities, easily adapting to group requirements and introducing new classmates to the program. They learn not only to respect each other, but also to appreciate and call upon their unique gifts, for mutual benefits.

5. Academic achievement improves

With inculcation of multiple means to teach lessons, a student learns a plethora of varied solutions to any singular problem. This leads to an increase in retention, with academic results being on an unprecedented high. Methods used for recalling information are predominantly musical, visual and kinaesthetic, indicating the influence of working through the different intelligences. Students, who have previously been unsuccessful in school, find new mediums to learn and hence significantly improve their grades.

When the focus of education shifts to learning rather than teaching, students enjoy their lessons and view the world with a unique pair of eyes. Such innovative methods are set to usher in a new phase of education, where the kernel of learning would lie on awakening one’s inner abilities.

BITS Pilani students in contest to build 1,200 km/hour travel pod

Concept art of Hyperloop inner works.

A proposed Bullet train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad will take approximately two hours, running at a maximum speed of 320-350 km per hour.

But what if you were told this time could be reduced to a mere 40 minutes, travelling at a unprecedented speed of 1,200 km/hour? Most people would call it a hare-brained idea.

A group of enterprising students from BITS Pilani, though, are working on the concept. Taking a leaf from the ground-breaking “Hyperloop” travel idea of billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, the students are planning to build a “pod” that will be able to reach 1,200 km/hour within a vacuum tube.

“Hyperloop India” is in the final stage of building its single-compartment capsule or pod that will be presented and tested in late August at the Musk-owned SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California, in the final round of a global contest that was initiated in 2015.

“Hyperloop is tube travel wherein you have a vehicle that is magnetically levitated and propelled inside a vacuum tube. The technology that is used for the propulsion and braking systems can vary,” Prithvi Shankar, a BE final year student at BITS Pilani and a member of what is being called Team Hyperloop, told IANS.

He said that they are using a “scalability first” approach, making the design more flexible for the transportation of cargo as well as passengers.

The concept works in theory and, according to their “feasibility assessment”, if adopted, will cost only 60% of the total cost of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet train.

“If hyperloop were to replace the high-speed rail that is currently being proposed… the entire infrastructure cost will be 40% less, plus the maintenance costs will be much less. It will also require very little land acquisition,” Shankar said.

Hyperloop will not only be faster than a Bullet train but also the Maglev (Magnetic Levitation) trains that touch 650 km/hour and are currently operational in Japan and China.

Although both are magnetically levitated, Hyperloop will be superior to the Maglev in that it will run inside a vacuum tube, thus avoiding any air resistance, and will employ a different propulsion method. Instead of electromagnets that require a constant electricity supply, the Hyperloop will use passive permanent magnets.