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Author: Ankita Bhatkhande

Kamala Mills Fire: Activist’s efforts go in vain

As the issue of poor fire prevention systems was highlighted after the Kamala Mills incident in central Mumbai, activist Vihar Durve said that the corporation and the fire department did nothing to prevent such incidents despite several requests.Since 2005, Durve has written over 100 letters pointing out the inability of the BMC and the fire department in implementation of the Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act 2006.He also filed over 200 RTI applications to the various departments of the BMC and fire asking about the status of its implementation. “Fire safety is compromised at all levels in the city as those who run big eateries easily bribe the corporation and get away with the violation of norms. Eleven years after the act for fire safety came into effect, there has been no action on those who do not follow the requisite norms putting the lives of ordinary people at stake” Durve told DNA.In a response to one of the RTIs filed by Durve, the Mumbai Fire Brigade stated that between 2012 and 2015, a total of 1,090 people were injured while 634 people lost their lives in fire-related incidents.The response also stated that the fire department had issued notices to a total of 1,502 owners/occupiers of premises that were not complying with the fire safety norms.Durve said that when asked about the details of compliance for each of the surveyed eateries between 2012 and 2015, the reply stated that the corporation did not have the consolidated details of the same.Another RTI put before the Indian Audits and Accounts department revealed that there was no audit of the fire and disaster management department between 2013 and 2015. “Even after writing to all the authorities and the Chief Minister consistently, there was no seriousness in implementing the 2006 guidelines” he said.

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Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
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Making Std XI exams tougher will not help

Educationists have slammed state education department’s efforts to make Class XI exams tougher for students to prepare them for national-level competitive entrance exams like JEE and NEET. The opposition comes in the wake of the state board’s recent decision to change the paper pattern for Class XI to make the exams tougher. DNA had earlier reported about the state’s decision to conduct the Maharashtra State Common Entrance Test (MHT-CET) for engineering and medical courses on a par with the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) starting 2018. Following this, the state board started a preparation portal for competitive exams. And finally, the board changed the paper pattern for Class XI. Some changes included making it compulsory for students to solve all questions without being given options, not following syllabus weightage, and so on. Anil Deshmukh, general secretary of the Maharashtra Junior College Teachers Federation, said the move is causing more harm than good. “The new paper pattern has no logic. It does not follow basic things like sticking to chapter weightage. So a large number of students are failing in Class XI. If this continues, students would appear privately and stop coming to colleges,” he said. Subhash Joshi of Science Parivar, a coaching institute, said, “The government has to understand not all students sit for entrance exams. Also, any such revision requires a revision in syllabus too.”

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IIT B leads the way, bags most offers in first phase of placements

Keeping its earlier clout in campus placements intact, the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B), recorded the highest number of offers amongst all IITs in the first phase of placements held between December 1 and December 16, 2017.As per the figures released by the institute, a total of 1011 job offers (including a 100 pre placement offers) were rolled out to the students at the institute during the first phase. Of this, 911 offers were accepted. With this, IIT-B leaps ahead of other IITs with more offers in its kitty. “IIT Bombay has been consistently preferred as the top destination amongst the recruiters. The rise in the number of International offers and the PPOs were some of the highlights of the phase-1 of placements.Phase-2 is expected to add in some more numbers” said the spokesperson at the institute.IIT-Kanpur also saw a very successful phase I with 890 offers including pre-placement offers (PPOs) in the first phase. At IIT Madras, a total of 877 students were placed in the first phase that ended on December 10. IIT Roorkee saw 843 offers made by 205 companies that visited the campus until December 15.The average cost-to-company (CTC) for the domestic offers at IIT Bombay is 13.60 lakhs per annum while the gross salary is 11.50 lakhs per annum. For International offers, the CTC offered was 43.5 lakhs per annum while the gross salary was 40 lakhs per annum.This year, over 65 international offers came in the first few days at IIT B with some of the prominent companies being- Uber, Microsoft-Redmond, Samsung and Goldman Sachs.More PSU offersMost IITs saw a great number of Public sector undertaking companies like ONGC, ISRO, UIDAI coming to hire in the first phase. At IIT B, a total of 21 offers were made by three PSUs in the first phase. IIT Roorkee also saw the participation of 5 PSUs in the first phase. “This time, the number of PSUs hiring at the institute have gone up considerably as compared to the last time. The profiles and packages offered are also better than last year” said Prof Tom Matthew, Professor in charge of placements at IITB.Start-ups on a rollA good number of start-ups came to IIT campuses this year, after the ban was lifted this year. A total of 32 start-ups made 85 offers to IIT Madras students. Most of the start-ups were looking to recruit for the Analytics / IT job profiles. At IIT Roorkee, 37 startups came to the campus in the first phase. Several prominent start-ups like Zomato and Pay U visited IIT Kanpur this placement season.

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IIT-Kanpur student from Maharashtra goes missing

Nearly twenty days after a 20-year-old student of Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur (IIT-K)who hails from Badlapur went missing, his family and friends have now launched a campaign to gather support to speed up the investigation.Akshay Kamble, a third year student of Computer Science at IIT Kanpur has been missing since November 29 from the campus.On November 29, Akshay last called his family in Badlapur and said that he would take the Pushpak Express the very next day to return home for the vacation. When he did not turn up on November 30, the family tried reaching both his cell numbers but got no response. His father Bhimrao reached Kanpur the same day and found out that while he was not in campus, nobody knew about his whereabouts. He then registered a missing person’s report at the Kalyanpur police station and has been living at the campus since then.Twenty days after the complaint was registered, Akshay’s family and friends are now gathering all possible support to find him as the police are yet to find any major lead in the case. “The only contact that we had was on November 29. After that, a sweeper from his hostel answered one of his cell numbers and said that Akshay had given the phone to him. Although he never spoke directly, we feel that he was being discriminated and called names due to his diction and simple lifestyle in the institute as revealed by some of his friends,” said Aditya Kamble, Akshay’s younger brother.Mahendra Pandagale,an activist from Ulhasnagar who has been running a campaign to find Akshay said, “It is high time that the case of such a bright student missing all of a sudden becomes a priority issue for all politicians and the police. We will knock all doors until he is found.”Officials at the Kalyanpur police station refused to comment on the issue.

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Coaching class owners oppose proposed regulation bill

Coaching class owners from across the state have opposed the recent draft provisions of the Maharashtra Private Coaching Class Regulation Bill, 2018 which the government plans to table in the assembly soon.On Sunday, DNA had reported about the draft bill as per which the state government committee shall fix and regulate fees of coaching classes. Some other provisions in the bill state that the classes would have to part with 5 per cent of their total income to the government and keep seats reserved for underprivileged children.The Maharashtra Class Owners Association (MCOA), the biggest body of class owners in the state, will submit a representation to the government on Tuesday opposing the draft bill. “Classes are already paying 18 per cent GST and income tax to the state. Asking for more money in the absence of any support is unjust,” said Sachin Karnavat, President, MCOA.Narendra Bambwani, former president, MCOA said, “Coaching classes run on competitive markets and students’ needs. At the most, the government should monitor their quality.”Jagdish Walavalkar, a coaching class owner and member of the committee that prepared the draft bill, said that the government has not incorporated some of the key suggestions made by the committee. “We had proposed setting up a council which would have class owners, parents and government representatives instead of a complete state body. This was not included. We shall add a rejoinder to the draft with all such suggestions,” he added.OTHER PROVISIONS OF THE DRAFT BILLState government will govern the coaching classes, fix and regulate their fees. Classes will accept fees only via cheque. Classes will have to appoint ‘capable teachers’ instead of merely relying on educational qualifications. Only classes that have five or less than five students can be considered as home tuition. Class owners to reserve 5 per cent seats for poor students.

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Stationery manufacturer gives left-handed kid a sweet surprise

In a cute gesture, a stationery manufacturing company responded to the request of a parent of a left-handed student by providing custom-made sharpener for her daughter. Thane-based Shweta Singh, the mother of 4-and-a-half-year-old Isha saw her daughter struggling while using a sharpener as she is left-handed and most sharpeners are designed as suitable for right-handed people.Shweta, 31, decided to do something about this, and immediately wrote to one of the leading stationaries manufacturers — Hindustan Pencils Pvt Ltd (manufacturers of Natraj and apsara pencils) — last week. “Most sharpeners available in the market today are made for right-handers, and those designed for left-handed cost between Rs 700-1,200. My daughter would often complain about her discomfort while sharpening her pencil, and I was really hoping to get some solution. Thus, I decided to write to the manufacturers,” she said while talking to DNA.To her surprise, Shweta got a response from the company within a few days. “I got a call from a person at a respectable position in the company. He tried to understand my concern and promised to help,” she said. Within a week’s time, Shweta got a letter from the company’s group marketing head, Sanjay Tiwari, along with five sharpeners specially designed for her daughter. The letter also stated that the company was ‘working on regular production’ of such sharpeners.”I am extremely happy that the company responded so promptly. If all manufacturers try and provide such designs for left-handed students, it would be a great sing,” she added.Shweta posted about the response on her Facebook profile on December 14 and got a phenomenal response with over 17,000 users sharing her post. “I wanted to spread awareness about problems that such students face. I will continue to take up issues of left-handed students like my daughter in future as well.”MAde to orderMother of a left-handed kid wrote to a stationery manufacturer asking for specially designed sharpeners. Company replied with a customised set.

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Maharashtra to crack down on tuition classes

The State could soon regulate the fees of private coaching classes, as per the draft of the Maharashtra Private Coaching Regulation Bill 2018 which is likely to be tabled in the Winter Session of the Assembly next week.As per the draft, the State will form a designated body to periodically set and regulate the fee structure for private coaching classes from region to region. Coaching institutes would have to abide by this structure; and they will also have to accept fees only by cheque.The draft bill also states that only a class with five or less students can be considered a home tuition class; if the number of students exceeds this, it would fall under the ambit of a private class. Each such class would have to abide by the norms set by the state government.”Each private class needs to have adequate seating capacity and can have a maximum of 80 students per class,” the draft states, “It should have a separate toilet for girls and boys, and enough parking space. The guidelines stated in the bill will be applicable to classes which cater to students up to class XII.”If the bill is passed, every private class would have to reserve 5% seats for students from lower economic backgrounds and give 50% discount in fees for students coming from government schools or institutes run by local self-government bodies.The draft bill continues the recent policy of not allowing integrated coaching — coaching classes run within the premises of educational institutes and during school/college hours.Private classes would have to take the requisite permissions while setting up classes and would have to keep accounts and audit reports ready for government scrutiny at any time. They would also have to donate 5% of their income for educational funds of the state government.Trustee of Science Parivar, prof Subhash Joshi, said that the bill, if passed in its existing form, would completely end the autonomy of coaching institutes. “The government should realise that coaching classes run on a competitive basis and are not compulsory in nature,” says Joshi, “How can the government decide everything from fees to teacher appointments when it is not giving us any financial or any other kind of support?” He added that the government should ensure good quality teaching in schools and colleges so that students don’t have to turn to coaching institutes.Alka sinha said that home tutors like her, who charge much less than commercial classes, would be at a loss with the new rules. “We cannot provide parking and separate washrooms as the income from fees is very small,” she said.Draft rulesState govt will fix and regulate fees of pvt coaching classes Classes can take fees only by cheque Only classes with 5 or less students to be considered home tuition Students cannot be charged separately for books, notes or study material 5% seats to be reserved for poor; Classes to provide separate loos for boys and girls and adequate parking

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Cost of being a doctor too steep for students

Private hospitals are not only making profits by treating patients but the colleges, too, are making a killing as students pay through their nose in tuition fees.While the fees at a government medical college are between Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh, the same, in a private or a deemed medical college, could be between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 50 lakh per annum.Apart from tuition fees, a student is expected to pay exam fees, dining and hostel charges as well. For instance, in Terna Medical college in Nerul, a general category student has to pay Rs 5.4 lakh in tuition fee, Rs 75,000 as hostel fee and several other expenses. At Kashibai Navale college in Pune, a student has to shell out Rs 9.7 lakh for tuition fees and over a lakh as development funds. A seat from NRI quota costs even more, anything from Rs 35 lakh to Rs one crore.”Getting a seat into a government medical college is almost impossible. And an average student spends anything between Rs 20-50 lakh for an MBBS degree,” said a student.Sudha Shenoy, the parent of a medical student said, “Profiteering by private hospitals is because of private investment into healthcare. It has nothing to do with doctors as they are merely working as per the set norms of the hospital.”

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Despite Centre’s skill dvpt push, ITI has few takers

At a time when the government is trying to boost skill development, the state government has continued admissions to courses that have seen a poor response at most government Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) this year. In 2017-18 the state government continued to take admissions for several less popular courses like Cutting and Sewing, Craftsman(Food Production) and Fashion Technology in various ITIs which have seen between 0-10 admissions in most ITIs over the last 3 to 5 years.The admission statistics for 2017-18 across 400 government ITIs over the country have revealed that despite low takers for certain courses over a period of time in certain ITIs the state government has not scrapped these courses thus leading to a severe loss of resources for the sake of running these courses. For instance, at the Amravati ITI, the trade Craftsmen(Food Production) has got only one admission this year continuing the poor trend from 2015 and 16 wherein only 1 and zero students were admitted respectively. Similarly, Cutting and sewing have got between 0 to 5 students in Sangli, Solapur and Gadchiroli districts this year.”Some courses have almost no takers in certain ITIs year on year. Keeping such courses going means spending on machinery, teachers and other infrastructure for merely a handful of students. ” said a senior Directorate of Vocational Education and Training official on the condition of anonymity.

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Visually-impaired girl tops Masters in Arts History course

In a commendable feat, 23-year-old Payal Bhattad, a visually impaired student at the University of Mumbai topped Masters in Arts (MA) in history this year.Bhattad, who hails from Deoli, a small village in Vidarbha has scored an overall 78% in her final MA exams, topping the batch of over 90 students at the university. Sources said she might be the first student from any university department to achieve this feat.”I was confident of getting a very good score in the exams and always hoped to top. This is like a dream come true” said an elated Payal. She is now pursuing a BEd at the Xaviers Institute of Education in Churchgate and wants to take up teaching.Payal, who has been visually impaired from birth did her early schooling from Amravati and later landed in Mumbai after passing her class X. She completed her BA in History from Wilson College and topped the college at the final exams with 84%. She later went on to do her MA in History at the University of Mumbai. A national swimmer, a good writer and a poet, she has been an all-rounder with several accolades in her credit.Despite being a bright student throughout topping the exams did not come easy. “I am not someone who can study with the help of audio notes. For me, the whole learning process would involve several stages- downloading PDF copies of reference books, reading them with a screen reader, type it in my computer and then putting it in braille for reference. After all this, I would prepare my own answers,”added Payal.Manjiri Kamat, head, Department of History said that it was indeed a proud moment for to see Payal excelling at the subject with her sheer dedication. “Payal has been an extremely sincere and confident student from the first day.She has never let her impairment come in the way of her learning and has never expected any concessions from anyone. For a student who is visually impaired, excelling in this manner is a very commendable feat” added Kamat.

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TISS collective fights for rights of transgender community

Students from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) Mumbai have launched a postcard campaign to oppose the Transgender Persons (protection of rights) Bill, 2016 that is scheduled to be presented before the parliament in the winter session.The campaign is part of a national call for action against the upcoming bill which, as per activists and community members, has several problematic and ill-conceived provisions. Students from the TISS Queer Collective have collected over 4,000 postcards in support for the movement which will be addressed to the Office of the Prime Minister.”The bill is, in all respects, a violation of the rights of transgenders and has not considered the recommendations made by the stakeholders. If such a regressive bill is passed, it would lead to further marginalisation and discrimination against the community,” said Sai Bourothu, a TISS student who is part of the collective. Several other student groups from the city have also submitted their objections.

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Want professor back, tweet University of Mumbai students

A few days after Dr Sanjay Ranade, an associate professor and head of Department of Communication and Journalism at the University of Mumbai, quit his post, following allegations that he used casteist slurs against a colleague, his students have launched an online campaign requesting officials to take him back.The department’s former head, Dr Sunder Rajdeep, registered a case against him and his colleague, Daivata Patil, in September under the Prevention of Atrocities Act at the Bandra Kurla Complex police station.The students have written to Governor C Vidyasagar Rao, who is also the university’s chancellor, requesting him to reject Dr Ranade’s resignation. The professor’s former and current students have also taken to Twitter to garner support using #WeWantRanade.”Dr Ranade’s contribution has been immense. It is disappointing if he has to quit. We are appealing the varsity to take him back,” said Aditya Biwalkar, an MA student.Meanwhile, Dr Ranade would be relieved of all his official duties on Monday which is his last working day at the university.

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Ambedkarite youth urges followers to donate ‘one pen,one book’

With an intention of spreading Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’s message of educating and organisation, a bunch of young Ambedkarite’s are appealing people to donate ‘One pen, one notebook’ which can be donated to the underprivileged students. This initiative is to commemorate Dr Ambedkar’s death anniversary. The initiative, which was started by the Facebook Ambedkarite Movement (FAM)- an online forum in 2015 has now entered its third year with several youth and student organisations being associated with it. As part of the initiative, a bunch of youngsters appealed people who come to Chaityabhoomi on December 6 to bring a pen and a notebook instead of flowers and other offerings to pay real tribute to Dr Ambedkar. This year, despite the heavy rains that lashed the city on Tuesday, the group was firm on continuing the drive. “We could not set up the stall a day prior and had to shift all our collected notebooks to people’s homes. Today, we have set up a collection counter in a couple of stalls to get more donations” said Datta Jawale, a member of the core team. So far, the group has distributed notebooks and pens to the remotest villages in Amravati, Sangli, Thane, Palghar, Nashik and areas in and around Mumbai. “We have been appealing people on social media and messaging platforms and have got a great response” added Jawale.
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Maharashtra: Key appointments at various universities not made, norms ignored

Nearly eight months after the Maharashtra Public Universities Act, 2016 came into force, appointments to some of the key posts at various universities in the state are still in a limbo. This could have serious implication on the career of the students as there is no one, in most of the cases, to address their concerns and issues. As per the act, every university needs to have four Deans to ensure that each stream like Arts, Commerce, Science, and management is adequately represented. However, the state government has failed to make way for the appointments long after the implementation of the act as a result of which several universities including the University of Mumbai is running with ad hoc Deans. Apart from this, the government is also yet to streamline the appointments of various directors of centres and subcentres at the University level. With the ad hoc appointments, some of the key decisions at these centres are being hauled leading to delays in the various processes like examinations, results etc. Sanjay Vairal, an ex-Senate member at the University said that the delay in making some of the key appointments would be dangerous for students. “in the absence of permanent Deans, those with merely few years of experience who have been appointed on an ad hoc basis would take all the key decisions with respect to academics, which isn’t a good sign” added Vairal. Currently, the university is functioning with temporary governing bodies including the Academic and the management council as permanent appointments to these bodies are yet to be made as per the new act. Sachin Pawar, President, Student Law Council said that the government should ensure that all the key appointments are made with immediate effect. ” Currently the VC, Pro VC, Registrar, Director Examinations are all in charge officials. With students facing so many issues, there is no redressal mechanism with this” he added.
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Commerce courses take the cake in IDOL admissions

This year, 66.39% (43,804) of the total number of students admitted under IDOL have taken up courses in the Commerce faculty including BCom and MCom. While 18,310 students enrolled for BCom this year, a total of 25,495 students registered for MCom part I and II. “A large number of working students also prefer to take these courses to boost their careers,” said Dhaneshwar Harichandan, Director, IDOL.”

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JNU VC urges Centre to install Army tank on campus as ‘symbol of patriotism’
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–><!–end of breadcrumbx–>Commerce courses take the cake in IDOL admissions University of Mumbai
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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written ByAnkita Bhatkhande <!–end of artlbotbor–>Tuesday 5 December 2017 6:30 ISTMust readCome to Byculla and attack hawkers: AIMIM MLA Waris Pathan dares Raj ThackerayNCPCR invites tips to arrest CSA crimes<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>Even after a delayed admission season, 65,978 students enrolled under the various courses at the University of Mumbai’s Institute of Distance and Open Learning (IDOL). While the total number has gone down by over 10,000 as compared to 2016-17, demand for Commerce courses remained high even this year.This year, 66.39% (43,804) of the total number of students admitted under IDOL have taken up courses in the Commerce faculty including BCom and MCom. While 18,310 students enrolled for BCom this year, a total of 25,495 students registered for MCom part I and II. “A large number of working students also prefer to take these courses to boost their careers,” said Dhaneshwar Harichandan, Director, IDOL.
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Bandra students turn gardeners, lead the green wave

In a bid to encourage people to make their homes greener, students of MET Rishikul Vidyalaya (MRV) in Bandra have started their own gardening services. The students take gardening orders and help households grow medicinal plants, vegetables and flowers in their premises.The initiative, which started around six months back, is already gaining attention with several households calling the students for their services. Over the past three years, students have been taking training in composting, planting medicinal herbs and flowering plants. In the initiative’s next leg, students will volunteer to work in the homes of people across the city to provide gardening services as per the needs of the households.”The Green Thumbs initiative is an extension of our three-year-old programme, MRV Greenworld, as part of which students have been trained in composting and gardening over the last few years. In a city like Mumbai, if we can get more people to have home gardens, it would be of immense help in reducing pollution. This will also give children the awareness about planting useful trees and maintaining them from a young age,” said Kavita Sanghvi, principal, MRV.”The entire process of home gardening is fairly detailed. Students first inspect the homes and after understanding the needs, they decide what plants can be included. Over the past two years, they have made a large amount of compost from the kitchen waste in school and have also grown several saplings which can be used in households,” said Monisha Narke, a parent who runs a waste management organisation and has been training the students. The students charge between Rs 500 to 1,000 for a two-hour service.
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More than 150 job offers on day one for IIT-B students

More than 150 students from the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) were hired on the first day of recruitment at the institute on the first day, as per a report compared the institute.Day one witnessed the participation of 34 companies. For the domestic roles, highest numbers of offers were made by Goldman Sachs, Qualcomm, IBM, Microsoft, BCG, Cairn, McKinsey Knowledge Centre & Tata Steel while the maximum international offers were made by NEC Japan, Microsoft, Optiver, Rubrik & Uber.Two major Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs)- ISRO and BPCL had selected 13 students on the first day. Some of the new entrants for Day-1 were Rubrik, Palantir Technologies, and a few others. Among the sectors, prominent hiring was done by Core engineering, IT/Software, Finance and Consulting. “We are expecting more PSUs to participate during the rest of the placement season,” said an institute spokesperson.International player NEC Japan offered 45.70 lakhs JPY/annum translating to close to Rs 26.37 lakh.Among the domestic offers, Blackstone — an American private equity firm made the highest offer with Rs 45 lakhs per annum followed by Worldquant at Rs 39.60 lakhs, and Microsoft offered Rs 39.02 lakhs for its domestic positions. “We are expecting more companies to participate in the next few days,” said the institute’s spokesperson. The report for day one of placements which was held on Friday was sent on Saturday — Day 2. This year placements will take place into two phases.TOP OFFERSThe topmost offer on Day 1 came from Microsoft at $2.14 lakh/annum, roughly translating to Rs 1.39 crore. NEC Japan offered 45.70 lakhs JPY/annum translating to close to Rs 26.37 lakh
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IIT-B students get Rs 1 cr offer

On its first day of placements on Friday, the high-profile Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B) attracted a large numbers of companies — two of the biggest being Microsoft and Uber. Both the companies reportedly offered nearly Rs 1 crore annual packages, although the institute did not confirm the reports.However, even as the numbers on the package were lucrative, there were concerns over the issues surrounding international visas. Last year, several students who had managed to bag top international offers were later offered positions in the national branches of the companies due to visa issues.Some of the other prominent recruiters in the first slot, which ended on Friday evening, also included P&G, Goldman Sachs, BCG, Texas Instruments, GE and Schlumberger, amongst others. Renowned American private equity firm — Blackstone — reportedly made one of the best offers with an annual package of Rs 44 lakh.Day 1 was dominated by software, consultancy, and engineering firms; start-ups did not make an appearance on Friday. This year, around 1,700 students have registered for the campus placements and the institute expects more than 225 companies to participate. The institute has seen a rise in the number of PPOs as compared to the last few years, with 137 companies having made their offers before the placements kickstarted.For the first time, Public Service Undertakings (PSUs) also conducted interviews at the IIT-B campus before the beginning of the first phase of placements. Some of the prominent PSUs that conducted interviews in the campus include Indian Space Research organisation (ISRO) and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL).”The overall selections on the first day have been great and we are hoping that the numbers will be better in the next few days” said a member of the placement committee.
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Mumbai-based ICT beats 150 institutes to top NAAC Rankings

In a commendable feat, Mumbai-based Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT) has got the highest rating in the recent accreditation by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC).With a CGPA of 3.77 out of 4 and an A++ grade, the institute has topped the list of 151 institutes in the three round of accreditation by the Council.The NAAC inspection took place between November 17 -19 and the rankings were recently uploaded on the council’s official website.Speaking to DNA, GD Yadav, Vice Chancellor, ICT said that the institute has achieved the feat on the basis of its research and innovation. “Our institute has shown sheer excellence in the field of research and academics. We also have a state of art infrastructure and the senior-most faculty members. All this put together has helped us get a good grade” added Yadav.Recently, the institute featured in the BRICS QS universities ranking 2018, where it was ranked at the 118th position. Yadav said that the institute is now working on two other campuses – one in Bhubaneshwar, Odisha and another in Marathwada, Maharashtra.“The two new campuses would help further research and innovation at the institute. Our students and researchers have been working closely with government agencies on various issues from water purification to solid waste management” he added.Over the last two years, several colleges in Mumbai and the state have sought their NAAC accreditation over the last two years. As per the report released on the NAAC website, more than 42% of the total colleges who had applied for the accreditation were from Maharashtra.
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Congress’ student wing to demand reduction in GST for educational institutes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nationalist Student Congress (NSC), student wing of the NCP, will soon submit a memorandum to the Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley to reduce the GST on higher educations and its auxiliary services.Many higher educational institutions boast sprawling campuses, some of which host residential students as well. These institutions are likely to incur additional heavy expenditures on some of the services, like security, housekeeping, or catering, as these services will be charged 18% GST. In such a scenario, in all probability, these institutions will pass this tax burden on to the students, thus making higher education more expensive.The NSC students’ wing will be launching an agitation to demand a reduction in the steep GST on students’ hostel facilities including services, like security, housekeeping, or catering, which has made higher education more expensive.“The students are required to pay more for laundry, food in the hostel mess, medicines, stationery, and other services and products that they buy on the campus. ”All such services attract a levy of 18 per cent,” said Amol Matele, President of the Nationalist Student Congress (NSC), student wing of the NCP. “The NSC will soon submit a memorandum to the Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley and if the centre fails to reduce the GST, we will be left with no alternative but to launch a state wide agitation” he further added.

IIT-B students bag pre-placement jobs, software leads the numbers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Students at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B), are looking forward to having a great placement season this year with 137 pre-placement offers (PPOs) already in the institute’s kitty. The number has seen a good increase as compared to 2016 wherein the institute had got 119 offers.The IT or Software sector has attracted the most number of offers like the last few year with 37 offers followed by core engineering and technology companies with 32 offers. This is followed by the Finance Sector from which the institute has got 29 offers so far. Tom Mathews, professor in Charge of Placements, at the institute, said overall pre-placement scene at the institute is better as compared to that of last year. “We are getting more offers this year and are hoping to get a good number of companies during the placement season” added Mathews.So far, seven Fast Moving Consumers Goods (FMCG) firms have come up with PPOs at the institute. When asked about startups and Public Sector Undertakings, Mathews said many companies from both these sectors have shown interest but refused to share any further details. Mathews also confirmed that some offshore companies have shown interest this year. A member of the institute placement committee said that after the ban on startups was lifted, a good number of startups have shown interest in participating this year.

TISS cuts scholarship for SC students

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a decision that might affect thousands of students, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) would not wave off hostel expenses of SC students from outside Maharashtra from the academic year 2018-19. As per the institute’s recent admission notification, SC students who would be admitted to the institute would have to bear their hostel and dining expenses as the institute would no longer continue to bear the same. While the initial announcement regarding this was made in May this year, the institute would start implementing the policy from the upcoming academic year.Students said that the institute’s stand of cutting down on fellowships and fee waivers is a discriminatory move. “the institute has asked students to pay money first even as they might be awaiting their scholarships from the government. Several students who come from the SC/ST/OBC backgrounds cannot afford to pay the fee amount. This decision would make TISS an elite institution yet again” said a research scholar from the institute.Dr S Parasuraman, Director, TISS said that the institute is facing a severe fund deficit as a result of which it cannot continue with the assistance. “The institute has a deficit of over 20 crores as the government is yet to reimburse the scholarship amount of students. The institute can thus no longer support hostel and dining expenses. Students would however be supported in all ways to avail loans or partial waiver if need be” said Parasuraman. In 2016-17, the institute had stopped giving non NET fellowships to researchers in the absence of funds. In May 2017, the institute declared that it will not be able to provide financial aid to students from SC/ST/OBC category(with family income below GoI norms). “There seems to be a systematic attempt to stop students from the marginalised backgrounds to take higher institutions in premiere institutes like TISS. Even if the institute lacks funds, it cannot put the financial burden on students” said another student.

Alumni to revive Wilson High school’s lost glory

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>One of the oldest schools in the city is set to get back its past glory, thanks to the efforts of its ex-students who have now come together to help the school. The alumni of Girgaum’s iconic Wilson High School have formed a non-profit body to assist the school in all possible ways.The ‘Wilson High School Past Student association’ which has evolved from the ‘Wilson High School Old Boys Union’ is set to celebrate Centennial year. As part of celebrations which is scheduled to be held on December 9, 2017, ex-students who are a part of the association are now working towards assisting the school in many ways — from providing technological support to teaching assistance.Over the last few years, the 185-year-old institution which was set up by John Wilson, Scottish Christian missionary, and educator in 1832 has been struggling to keep pace with the changing times with a lower demand for state board schools. “Set up in 1917, the Wilson Boys union was an active group of students who met annually in the school and took up a lot of good initiatives. Over time, maintaining a database of all the ex-students became a task as many of them moved homes,” said advocate Rajan Jaykar, a student of the 1963 batch.Benaula Paul Pimenta, Headmistress of the school said, “We are happy to see the alumni taking efforts to assist the school in all ways possible. Thanks to their initiative and the help and support of our staff and the management, we are confident of doing well” she added.Ajit Mandlik, student of the 1978 batch said “We are trying to pool in funds to be able to help the school. Most alumni members of the school are very well placed today and with the donations that we get.”ABOUT THE SCHOOLWilson High school, set up in 1832 is currently running as a co-ed school in English and Marathi mediums Some of its alumni include prominent writer PK Atre, Mr M.C. Setalvad, First Attorney General of India, former cricketer Madhav Apte

More chaos likely as Mumbai University gets extension to form bodies

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the state government giving extension for state universities to form their governing and statutory bodies by February, the University of Mumbai would now have to function with ad hoc bodies until then.Since 2015, after the previous bodies dissolved, MU has been running with an ad hoc management council, academic council and other bodies awaiting fresh elections as per the Maharashtra Public Universities Act, 2016. While state varsities including MU were supposed to form fresh bodies by November 30, the extension given by the cabinet would now allow them to do so till February 28. With some of the key posts at the varsity being occupied by incharge officials , delay in formation of bodies would lead to further chaos, said experts. “The university has been running on an ad hoc basis. The VC, Pro VC, registrar , Director , Examinations are all temporary appointments. At such a point the delay in forming bodies would impact the decision making process at the University ” said Sanjay Vairal, ex Senate member of the university.

MU law students still await results

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Continuing its tradition of delays the University of Mumbai has failed to issue the marksheets of diploma course students over two years after they wrote their exams. Several students who had taken up the Diploma in Intellectual Property Rights under the department of Law at the University of Mumbai in the academic year 2014-15 are yet to get their marksheets over two years later.Students enrolled under the course wrote their exams in May 2015 but got to know that they had failed in a few papers. They later approached the varsity’s Law department in the Fort campus and applied for revaluation of those papers. As the revaluation results were declared shortly, students were elated to see that most of them had passed in the papers that they had earlier failed. The varsity also uploaded a statement of marks on its official website soon after the result declaration. However students have not been issued any marksheet yet.”Around 7-8 students who had taken up the course including me were shocked to see that we had failed in some or the other paper. We applied for revaluation and paid the fees for the same. While the results that were declared shortly showed that most of us had passed post revaluation, the varsity has not issued any marksheet to us till date” said Dhanpal Solanki Jain one of the students.

Five months on, 1,200 BMC students still wait for their tabs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Over five months after the new academic year has started, students of 1,200 Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) schools are still awaiting tabs as the corporation is yet to complete the seeing process with a new seller. Despite a budgetary allocation of over Rs 7 crore, the civic body’s biggest e-learning initiative is in a shambles.As per an Right to Information (RTI) application response furnished to activist Prithviraj Mhaske, in 2015, the BMC bought 22,799 tablets for students of Class 8 and spent an amount of Rs 1.42 crore for the same. In 2016-17, the corporation spent Rs 12.99 crore to purchase a fresh bunch of tablets. In 2017, with a budgetary provision of 7.83 crore, the corporation decided to bring in a new service provider scrapping the earlier agency — Techno Electronics. However, till date the corporation is not able to find a new agency as a result of which fresh purchase has been hauled.”The corporation is not serious about its e-learning initiative. What is the point of giving away the tablets after half the year has gone by?” asked Mhaske. With the change in the Class 9 syllabus, earlier tablets became redundant as they did not have the revised syllabusMahesh Palkar, Education Officer, BMC said that the tendering process for the new set of tablets is still on. “Some of the applicants have quoted a very high price and negotiations with respect to prices are on. We want to ensure that students get tabs that are of good quality and at the same time worth their cost. The process will be completed soon and students will get their tablets after that,” added Palkar.Shubhada Gudekar, Chairperson of the BMC Education Committee, said that the process of acquiring and distributing tabs will happen in phases. “There are 1,200 schools of the corporation. We are working our best to procure new tabs as early as possible and as soon as the process is over, students will get them phasewise,” said Gudekar.Principals, meanwhile, said that with most students not havimg tabs, the initiative seems to have fizzled out. “Most students in our school do not have tablets. Some were sent for repairs and never came back and others are waiting as the corporation is yet to give a fresh batch with the new portion of the syllabus,” said the principal of a civic school.BackgroundIn August 2015, students of BMC schools had to wait until January to get their tabs as the civic body took time to get all the approvals.After tabs were distributed for the first time in 2015, schools started complaining about not having enough plug points to charge them in classrooms. The civic body then floated tenders for additional plug points in 2016.In 2016, with the government’s mandate of getting a battery certification from the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), the company Techno Electronics have the tabs after a delay of over two months.THE LONG WAITIn the 2015 academic year, BMC school students had to wait until Jan to get their tabs as the civic body took time to get approvals. Also, schools didn’t have enough power outlets

Mumbai University students left in a lurch due to no grievance mechanism

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Several students of the University of Mumbai are running from pillar to post to register complaints about their issues as the varsity does not have a fully functional grievance cell in place. Students who wish to register complaints about result delays, issues with respect to fees and other problems have no where to go to as the university has failed to reconstitute a students Grievance Cell after the previous one dissolved in August last year. “Officials at the University ask us to write a complaint and submit but nothing seems to happen as there is no committee to look into it. At a point when lakhs of students are suffering due to the varsity’s delays, not having a mechanism to solve students’s complaints is unfortunate ” said an MA student on the condition of anonymity. Varsity officials said that the grievance cell will be reconstituted soon and in the time being an ad hoc body would look into the complaints.

One more senior MU prof resigns

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A few days after a senior professor of Economics Dr Neeraj Hatekar said that he would resign from his post over the poor condition of the University of Mumbai’s (MU) functioning, another senior professor tendered his resignation on Thursday citing similar concerns.Dr Sanjay Ranade, Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Communication and Journalism at MU tendered his resignation from his post on Thursday citing the overall mess at the university for his decision.Ranade had recently come under the scanner after the former head of the department Dr Sunder Rajdeep registered a case against him and his colleague Daivata Patil in September for using casteist slurs against him. Ranade’s resignation has left students shocked.Speaking to DNA, Ranade said he was ‘disappointed with the overall attitude’ of the varsity officials. “Beyond allegations and the case, I was tired with the attitude of the people in the university , and the way it has been functioning. I don’t think anybody in the university cares about the institution and its reputation anymore” he added.

Typewriters to continue clacking

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bringing relief to over 3,000 typewriting institutes and several typing enthusiasts in the state, the state government has decided to continue manual typewriting until November 2019.As per the Government Resolution (GR) issued by the school education and sports department on Thursday, the government has allowed typewriting institutes in the state to continue conducting courses in manual typing until November 30, 2019.The process of phasing out the typewriters was set in motion through a GR in 2013.The government later extended the deadline several times, the recent one being up to May 31, 2017.”The government had decided to discontinue manual typewriting in the various commerce institutes to pave way for computer typing. However, some writ petitions were admitted in the High Court opposing the decision. Keeping this in mind, it has been decided to grant an extension to the manual typewriting curriculum up to November 30, 2019. Meanwhile, typewriting institutes would be expected to introduce computer typing to move towards the newer technology. A further decision regarding manual typewriting would be taken after November 2019,” states the GR.Ashok Abhyankar, who runs the Abhyankar Shorthand and Computer Institute at Girgaon’s Prarthana Samaj said that the GR has brought in a good news. “We are not against computerisation. But the state government wants to merely bring in computers without any concrete curriculum in the subject. With this, institutes are compelled to teach the same things on the computer that they do on a typewriter. Unless there are advancements in the infrastructure, proper training and curriculum there is no point in discontinuing manual typing,” added Abhyankar.

University of Mumbai launches online certification programme

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a first, the University of Mumbai has launched a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on SWAYAM — the government platform for Open Learning. The varsity launched its certificate programme in Communication Technologies in Education on the portal on November 13.Despite being the first such initiative of the University, the course has had over 3,200 students across the country enrolled on the portal. “Open Online learning has become the need of the hour with several avenues available for people to pick courses of their interest and get a certificate without having to go anywhere. With the government of India emphasising open learning through the SWAYAM portal, the need was felt to introduce a course from the university which learners across the country can benefit from. It became the first course from the varsity to become available for all learners across the country,” said Dr Dhaneshwar Harichandan, Director, Institute of Distance and Open Learning (IDOL) and the course coordinator.The course is spread across 15 weeks and students would be provided with e-text and videos on the portal.”In the eighth week, students would be given an assignment which they need to submit online. In the 15th week, a pen and paper test would be conducted at centres across the country,” he added.HOW IT WORKSThe course is open to all graduates and those pursuing another course at any recognised university can transfer four credits from the course to their existing degrees.
Students will get a certificate from the University of Mumbai, University Grants Commission and the MHRD after completion of the course.

Winter assessment to start soon at University of Mumbai

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After a series of glitches and delays that marred the summer examinations at the University of Mumbai, the varsity seems to have learnt from its mistakes.The university has started scanning the answer sheets for winter semester examinations barely a week after exams have started.”We have started the scanning work for winter semester exams and it would go on simultaneously with the exams. The idea is to make all the papers available for assessment early so that delays can be avoided” said a senior university official.This time around, the varsity has prepared a master list of around 14,000 teachers who are eligible for assessing the papers.These teachers would be notified via email and a letter and assessment work is likely to begin from the next week “if assessment starts early, teachers would get more time. There won’t be a panic situation like last time ” said the official.The university will conduct 481 exams in the winter semester that 4,10,449 students will appear for.

MU Students face more tough times with revaluation results

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Several students under the University of Mumbai are getting to know their exam scores post revaluation minutes a few hours after writing their ATKT exams.The university is declaring the results of students who have applied for revaluation in phases on its official website even as the exams for ATKT were kick-started before all the results were out.An MSc student who had earlier scored 16 marks in a paper wrote her ATKT exam for the subject on Tuesday morning but got to know that she has passed in the subject the same evening. “The university is really playing with our lives. First there were delays in results, then revaluation results as a result of which I had to prepare for the paper all over again. Had my result come earlier the time and effort could have been saved” said the student.Another student from the economics department who has been running from pillar to post for his results said “I have been failed in one paper in which I was confident of scoring well. Now with the exams approaching, I want to get my revaluation result soon”.University officials said that while most revaluation results have been declared, the remaining would also be declared in this week.

Maharashtra sees surge in PhD enrollments

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Over the last five years, enrollments to PhD courses at the various institutes and universities in Maharashtra have seen an increase of 70 percent, according to the recent findings of the sixth All India Survey on Higher Education for the year 2015-16.In 2015-16, a total of 9,229 students across the state chose a PhD programme as opposed to 5,385 students in 2010-11. The number of female students enrolled for the PhD programme in went up from 1,595 to 3472 during that period. Similarly, students enrolling for M Phil rose from 1,734 in 2010-11 to 2,900 in 2015-16, found an AISHE study.The survey took place between December 2015 and June 2016 across the country.At the postgraduate level, the number of students enrolled under various post graduate courses in state run and private institutions across the state was 3,24,861 in 2015-16 – an increase of about 500 students as compared to that of 2010-11.A total of 1,28,728 students from Maharashtra passed their undergraduate degrees in 2015-16 while 1605 students being awarded their PhD degrees.GG Wankhede, former professor and chairperson of Center for Higher Education at Tata Institute of Social Sciences said that the increasing trend in the number of enrollments does not come as a surprise.Wankhede said, “Today, we can expect the number of enrollments in higher education going up with the increasing awareness about education despite the socio-economic and rural-urban divide in the country. While the numbers in some sense show a positive picture one needs to ask if as a state, as are getting more number of MPhil and PhD enrollments have we addressed the issue of quality education, what are the factors causing these students to take up research degrees etc.”The number of students from the Scheduled Castes enrolling into the various post-graduate courses also went up from 3,98,803 in 2010-11 to 4,88,288 in 2015-16.

RTI: MU tweaked conditions for on-screen marking tenders

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as the government is yet to take action against MeritTrac — the service provider that was given the task of On-Screen Marking (OSM) at the University of Mumbai, a recent Right to Information (RTI) application reply has revealed that the varsity tweaked and undermined the tender conditions before awarding the contract to the company.A response to an RTI query by activist Anil Galgali revealed that the university passed the purchase order for awarding the contract to the company on April 27, 2017, a day before the varsity’s Management Council gave a final nod to appoint the agency on April 28. On August 13, DNA had earlier written about how the university, under its then Vice-Chancellor Dr Sanjay Deshmukh did not sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) before beginning the OSM work.The lapses that were caused by the whole assessment process led to an unprecedented delay in declaring the results of over 4 lakh students.The RTI response also revealed that the university relaxed the minimum standards for the company which could apply.This was done as it failed to get three bidders in the first round. In the original tender documents, the minimum requirements for qualification in the tender process were pegged at Rs 100 crores was reduced to Rs 30 crores and the requirements of Minimum Technical Score for consideration in qualifying for the tender was scoring 70 points, which was modified to 60 points.”The university brought down the minimum conditions to award the contract to a company which suits its own interests. By doing this, it has played with the future of lakhs of students who suffered due to the result mess” said Galgali.Documents shared by the university also reveal that of the two qualified bidders – Tata Consultancy services (TCS) had scored 95 points, whereas Merit Trac had scored 45 points despite which the varsity went ahead to award the contract to the latter. The third company Shree Computers was disqualified on technical grounds. “MeriTrac was charging rupees 23.90 per answerbook whereas TCS was charging rupees 49.90. The university just wanted to get a cheap job done at the cost of students,” said Galgali.Nagendran Sundarajan, executive vice-president, MeritTrac said that the company has got the contract after proving its merit. “We have done our presentations in front of the technical committee. Ours is a company that has got over 100 crore turnover for the last three years and we have not made any request to relax the conditions. We don’t want to talk about what the competitors did,” added Sundarajan.Despite repeated calls and messages, Vijay Joshi who headed the tender committee at the university could not be reached for comment.Varsity to take action against teachers who did not assess papersThe university will soon take action against the 3,700 odd teachers who did not log into the assessment portal during the summer assessment even once. At a meeting of the Board of Examinations, the varsity decided to issue showcause notices to such teachers after which disciplinary action is likely to be initiated against them.Changes madeIn the original tender documents, the minimum requirements for qualification in the tender process were pegged at Rs 100 crore, but was reduced to Rs 30 crore.

Guv’s office seeks report on MeritTrac

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Taking cognizance of a complaint made by an NGO, the office of the Governor has now asked the University of Mumbai to submit a report about the working of MeritTrac — the agency that takes care of the on-screen evaluation.With an unprecedented delay in declaring the results which left over 4 lakh students of the varsity in the lurch, Citizens Forum for Change, a students’ group, wrote to the office of the Governor requesting action against the company for the glitches and delays in the process.”We wrote to the Honourable Governor after we came to know that the service contract with the company was for 3 years. With the amount of goof-ups and glitches that happened by the company, continuing with the agency for the next 2 years would be a disaster. We also pleaded the Governor to take strict action against the agency for the loss that students suffered” said Saurabh Mashelkar, president of Citizen Forum for change (Youth Wing).A response from the office of the Governor dated November 1, stated that the matter was referred to the Vice-Chancellor, University of Mumbai, for a report.DNA had earlier written about the government deciding to float fresh tenders for the academic year 2018, thus discontinuing the contract with MeritTrac after the winter semester examinations this year.

MU staff fear repeat of results chaos

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as officials at the University are trying to ensure that the On-Screen Marking (OSM) system for the upcoming winter semester examinations goes smoothly, teachers and principals are anxious that the mess might repeat.In recent meetings and training sessions conducted by the varsity, several teachers raised concerns over the glitches in the OSM system as they fear the varsity is still not prepared for the overhaul. “Even as the university claims to have fixed all the issues with respect to OSM, one cannot anticipate how the assessment will be for the winter semester. The first time around, even after fixing the system and training sessions, several issues with respect to teacher tagging and mixing of papers did arise,” said a teacher from a college in south Mumbai on the condition of anonymity.This year, the varsity has decided to send letters and emails to all the teachers eligible to assess papers. Even as the varsity has created a master list of 14,000 eligible teachers, principals are doubtful that this would translate into more number of evaluators.”A large number of teachers in colleges for courses in commerce, management, law, etc are appointed on a temporary basis. Such teachers cannot be compelled to evaluate papers thus leading to fewer papers being evaluated each day,” said a college principal.INEXPERIENCEDDNA had reported that 3,700 teachers of various colleges and university departments have not evaluated a single paper of the summer examinations.

UGC rules not followed, says Arun Sawant

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a letter addressed to the office of the governor, Arun Sawant, Former Pro-VC at the University of Mumbai has alleged that the state government and the office of the governor are not following the norms laid down by the University Grants Commission (UGC) with respect to the formation of the Search Committee for the appointment of the University’s Vice-Chancellor post.In his four-page letter, Sawant has objected to the appointment of Dr K Kasturirangan, former Chief of ISRO as the chairperson of the search committee.”I am surprised your office has not bothered to check the constitutional validity of process of appointing VC. Wrong rules are set out again in Maharashtra Public University Act to appoint University VC.Now, as many times before, appointing an eminent scientist as chairman of the Search Committee for selecting VC of Mumbai University is absolutely wrong. No doubt he is an expert in Space Science but is not a distinguished “academician” as set out in UGC Regulations,” states the letter citing the 2009 UGC guidelines.Criticising the provisions of the Maharashtra Public University Act of 2016, as per which the retired Judge of the Supreme Court or retired Chief Justice of a High Court or an eminent scholar can be a member of the committee, Sawant said that “a judge or an eminent scholar is not suitable for making appointments to the post of VC.The state government cannot form its own rules for VC appointment when a set of rules made by the apex body — UGC — already exists.On October 25, the Governor of Maharashtra Ch Vidyasagar Rao constituted a Search Committee, under the chairmanship of Dr K Kasturirangan, for the appointment of the VC at University of Mumbai, days after Dr Sanjay Deshmukh was removed from his post for the unprecedented result mess.THE APPOINTMENTOn October 25, the Governor of Maharashtra Ch Vidyasagar Rao constituted a Search Committee, under the chairmanship of Dr K Kasturirangan, for the appointment of the VC, days after Dr Sanjay Deshmukh was removed from his post for the result mess.

Sanjay Deshmukh back on MU campus as professor

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Over two weeks after he was removed as the Vice-Chancellor, Dr Sanjay Deshmukh resumed work as a professor at the Department of Life Sciences, University of Mumbai, on Thursday.Deshmukh moved back to his earlier post after he was sacked by the Governor for the unprecedented delay in declaring the results with the new On-Screen Marking system that the university introduced during his tenure as the VC.On Thursday, as almost all the major departments at the University of Mumbai re-opened after the Diwali break, Deshmukh reached the department early in the morning and resumed his earlier duties as a professor. He left for the day in the afternoon.”He had done the formalities for joining back the department a few days back. On the first day post vacations, he was at the department since morning. He also attended the staff meeting for the new academic year,” said a senior professor from the Department of Life Sciences on condition of anonymity. The professor said that Deshmukh would also start taking classes in a few days. “We have just reopened and classes would start soon. Like all other professors, Deshmukh would also be assigned his workload,” added the professor.VN Magare is Pro-VCThe government on Thursday handed over the additional charge of the post of Pro Vice Chancellor (PVC) to Dr VN Magare. Magare is currently holding the post of the Pro VC at SNDT University.

Pick up your plate, say XIC students

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the intention of keeping the canteen clean and to inculcate a sense of responsibility among students, a bunch of students at Xavier Institute of Communications (XIC) are currently running an initiative called ‘Pick your plate’.Started by students in Post-graduate Diploma in Communications for Development at the institute as part of an assignment, the initiative appeals to students in the college canteen to pick up their own plates after they are done.”We had to take up a social awareness campaign as part of our curriculum. We decided to stay hyperlocal. The canteen of St Xaviers college is quite popular, but we noticed that students often left their plates on the tables after they were done eating. The canteen staff then had to pick those plates up after them. We realised that if students pick their own plates, the staff would save a lot of their time and effort,” said Sunny Chheda.The group started spreading awareness on the issue through social media and mouth publicity. With a hashtag #trashyourtrash several posters were also put out on social media and near the canteen premise.”We did a small survey and realised that between 75-90 per cent plates sold at the canteen are left on the tables after eating. Showing this data, we appealed to students to do their small bit in order to make their canteen a better place” added Chheda.Agnelo Menezes, Principal, St Xaviers college said that it was a welcome initiative. “Our college has always tried to inculcate a sense of responsibility in the minds of students and this is one such initiative” added Menezes.ON SOCIAL MEDIAThe group also spread awareness on the issue through social media with a hashtag #trashyourtrash. Several posters were also put up near the canteen.

Fate of Mumbai University engineering student in limbo

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nearly six months after the University of Mumbai accepted that it had ‘issued a wrong result’ to an engineering student two years after it was issued, it is yet to take a call on what can be done to correct its own mistake.DNA had earlier highlighted the plight of an engineering student, studying at Yadavrao Tasgaonkar college in Karjat, who was also a victim of the varsity’s mistake. In 2015, the student had failed to clear a paper in Mechanics in the second semester and had reappeared for the exam in May. However, after she checked her result online, she was told ‘passed in previous exam’. Days after the results were out, she did not get any mark sheet from the university.The student later appeared in the next exam, thinking that the university would issue her marksheet.In May 2017, the varsity wrote to the college stating that it had amended its earlier result. “This is to inform you that the candidate of your college had been allotted the same seat number. While the result came out, the candidate’s name did not appear in the Gazetted copy. Now, the name has been incorporated in the file against the said seat number and she has secured 24 marks in the subject of engineering mechanics”. The same marks entered in the file and the necessary corrections have been made to that effect and the candidate’s result is hereby amended and declared to have failed in the May 2015 exam” stated the letter.Now, six months later, the student is running from pillar to post and requesting the university to accept her revaluation application. “My daughter is confident about clearing the paper. If the university allows the revaluation and the result changes, she won’t have to write the 2-year exam again. However, officials are not giving us any clarity about what can be done in such a case” said her mother.Arjun Ghatule, director of Board of Examinations and Evaluation, said, “The parent has approached us recently with the request. The board will take a call regarding what can be done for the student”added Ghatule.”

Mumbai University to request for extension to form governing bodies

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At a point when almost all the key posts at the Mumbai University are occupied by in-charge officials, the varsity is has decided to request the state government to an grant extension for the formation of governing and statutory bodies such as academic council, management council and the senate until February.The state government had earlier asked the university to complete the process of forming these bodies by August 31, six months after the Maharashtra Public Universities Act,2016, came into effect. The act mandates universities to complete the process of formation of these bodies by November 30. DNA had earlier reported about the uncertainty over formation of the bodies with delay in initiating the election and nomination process.A university official said the elections for the Senate and the other bodies are likely to take place only in the month of February. “Currently, there are no permanent officials at the post of the V-C , Pro V-C, Registrar, etc. The university is also focusing on the upcoming winter exams for which the evaluation would be done on-screen. We would request the state government to grant us time till February for the elections. Until then, nominated members will be appointed on these bodies until a new VC is appointed” said a senior university official on the condition of anonymity.Sanjay Vairal, ex-senate member of the university, said the delay in getting the statutory and governing bodies would affect the entire functioning of the varsity. “For two years, the university is running with ad-hoc bodies. A further delay would mean ad hoc appointments yet again with students suffering from the resulting decisions” added Vairal.Polls in FebA university official said the elections for the Senate and the other bodies are likely to take place only in February.

Not just Pass/Fail, University of Mumbai will tell all marks with results

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Over 4.10 lakh students under the University of Mumbai will now get a statement of marks at the time of result declaration, starting from the upcoming winter semester examinations. The decision was announced at a press conference held at the University’s Kalina campus on Thursday.”Currently, students only get to know if they have passed or failed their entire semester without the breakup of marks, which they get to know only after they are issued a marksheet,”said Dr Arjun Ghatule, acting director, Board of Examinations and Evaluation. “Giving them their marks statement would help in many ways. Students would get to know how they have fared in each of the subjects and apply for photocopy or revaluation if needed, which would help speed up the whole process.”Against the backdrop of the recent delay and the resulting mess surrounding the results, varsity officials said that a complete overhaul of the system is near completion. This will prevent glitches and delays for the winter semester exams that begin from the first week of November. “We have plugged in almost all the loopholes in the system,” said Dr Devanand Shinde, acting vice chancellor of the University. “From upgrading the assessment software to training teachers and students well in advance, all due care is being taken to ensure that the process is smooth this time around.”The university will conduct 481 exams in the winter semester that 4,10,449 students will appear for. The varsity has created the master data for all students as well as assessors who will evaluate the papers. “We have compiled a verified list of 1,400 teachers who will get orders to assess papers through e-mail and through a hard copy of a letter,” added Ghatule.The varsity has installed 20 ‘gunning machines’ for scanning barcodes from the answer sheet which will address the issue of ‘reconciliation’ (matching answer sheets with student details) at an earlier stage.Meanwhile, varsity officials say that the results of around 95 students are still pending. “We have the data of a few students but are not able to match it with their details due to technical issues such faulty scanning or wrong seat number. As and when such students approach us, we will give them the results” said Ghatule.

Uncertainty looms over formation of MU governing bodies

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At a time when some of the key posts at University of Mumbai are occupied by in-charge officials, uncertainty looms over formation of the varsity’s key governing bodies including the Academic Council, Management Council and the Senate.A few days after the governor removed university Vice-Chancellor Dr Sanjay Deshmukh from his post over the unprecedented delay in declaring examination results, the varsity is yet to begin the process of forming some of the key bodies. The state government had earlier asked the university to complete the process by August 31, six months after Maharashtra Public Universities Act, 2016 came into effect. The Act mandates universities to complete the process of formation of these bodies by November 30.However, with the process of elections and appointments to some of these bodies yet to kick-start, uncertainty looms over what would happen to them. “The process of formation of these bodies has been delayed due to the results mess and the absence of permanent officials in some key posts, including the Vice-Chancellor, Registrar, Director, Board of Examinations and Evaluation etc. Even if the process starts now, it cannot meet the November 30 deadline,” said a university official on the condition of anonymity.With the delay, concerns are now being raised over the continuation of ad hoc bodies for another few months. “The university has appointed several underqualified individuals to bodies like the Academic Council and Management Council, who are currently taking all the key decisions. If bodies are not formed soon, students would be affected on a large scale as there would be no accountability to decisions being taken, which would set a dangerous precedent,” said Sanjay Vairal, ex-Senate member of the university.The university’s governing and statutory bodies, including Academic Council, Management Council and Senate are responsible for taking policy decisions and decisions on administrative and academic matters. Currently, these bodies, for which appointments were done on an ad hoc basis under Dr Sanjay Deshmukh, are responsible for all key decisions at the varsity.

MU students to stage protest on Kalina campus today

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Affected by a series of glitches and delays, several students of the University of Mumbai have decided to stage a protest at the varsity’s Kalina campus on Tuesday. Now, the students have decided to come together under a collective banner #savemumbaiuniversity plan, seeking an immediate declaration of the pending revaluation results.Even though the university recently announced that it has declared the results, many students across various courses said their results are awaited. DNA had earlier reported about the plight of the students who are now running pillar to post to get their results over six months. Frustrated with the apathy of the authority, some of the students have now made their mind to come together under a common banner.”The university is currently running on an ad hoc basis. Several students are awaiting their results, even as the varsity claims that it has declared all. The university has sacked the V-C but retained the service provider. If things go wrong, who will take the responsibility?” asked Sachin Pawar, president of the Student Law Council, who will be a part of the protest march.Abhishek Bhatt, who studies Law and also one of the organisers of Tuesday’s march, said the idea behind it was to raise issues of students without any political banner.”Even today, several students who were allotted zero marks due to technical mistakes or whose marks were held for some reason or the other, are awaiting results. Our aim is to bring them together and hold the university accountable for its glitches and delays in order to solve the issues of students” added Bhatt.

Staff shortage hits admission process

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as the University of Mumbai is yet to come out of the unprecedented result mess, admission processing work at the various departments of the university is now facing hurdles due to acute staff crunch.As the academic year begins after a long delay due to the result mess, students are having a tough time in completing their admission formalities after most departments are struggling to process the applications of students as the university is severely short staffed. In July, under the Vice Chancellor Dr Sanjay Deshmukh, the university terminated the contracts of 470 non -eaching employees who were appointed on a temporary basis citing ‘fund crunch’. Barring a select few positions, the university has failed to bring back most temporary staffers thus leading to delays in the functioning of departments which they were a part of.“A large number of positions in some of the prominent departments are lying vacant after people working there were terminated in July. This is causing a lot of hassle for admissions and result work” said a university official on the condition of anonymity.

University of Mumbai says all results out but diploma students still wait

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as the University of Mumbai announced that it has declared the results of all the courses under it a few days ago, hundreds of students enrolled under the various diploma courses in law are still awaiting their results.The university is yet to declare results of several postgraduate diploma courses in Law including Diploma in Labour law, Diploma in Taxation Law, Diploma in Cyber Law and several such short term diploma programmes over six months after it conducted the exams for these courses.Over the last few days, students who have taken up these courses are running from pillar to post only to be told that their results would be declared ‘soon’. Gurunath Satale, a student of Diploma in Labor law said that the delay in declaring the results has left thousands of students like him in lurch. “Most of these diploma courses are of advanced level and students who take them up are often working in government jobs looking to benefit in their careers and promotions with these diplomas. We have written our final exams in the month of April and have been waiting for our results for over 6 months now. Even as the university claims to have declared all results all the students pursuing various diplomas under law are still awaiting results,” said Satale.Another student who has taken up taxation law said: “The university is just playing with our lives by being indifferent to the delay. Even colleges are not willing to take responsibility for the mess and are asking students to approach the university.”Dr Arjun Ghatule, Director, Examinations and Evaluation did not respond to queries despite calls and messages. Students under various courses who were allotted zero marks due to a technical error are still awaiting their results. Several such students are now planning to protest at the varsity’s Kalina campus on Tuesday. “A lot of students who have got zero marks due to a technical error in the system are still awaiting their results months after the error was brought to the notice of the university. We are going to stage a huge protest with these and several other students whose results are still held in reserve,” said Abhishek Bhatt, a law student.

V-C gone, but on-screen marking remains

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The state government on Thursday gave the green signal to the University of Mumbai to continue with the on-screen marking (OSM) system for all the subjects in the upcoming winter exams. The government has, however, decided to appoint a fresh agency for the job from the next academic year (2018-19).The decisions were made at a high-level meeting attended by, among others, state education minister Vinod Tawde, senior officials at the Department of Higher Education and officials at the University of Mumbai including the acting V-C Dr Devanand Shinde and acting Director, Examinations and Evaluation Dr Arjun GhatuleSpeaking to DNA, Tawde said the government decided to retain the on-screen evaluation system, as it helped eliminate the scope of any malpractices. “We have decided to go ahead with OSM; the system has now been streamlined. All the technical issues with respect to the evaluation system have been resolved, he said.”We are sure the process will be smooth for the upcoming evaluations,” Tawde added.When asked if MeritTrac (the current service provider that came under the scanner for delays and glitches) would be retained, Tawde said, “We have decided to retain the company only for the upcoming winter semester exams. A fresh tendering process will be conducted next year and a new company will be appointed.”DNA had reported about the lack of action against the company even after the governor removed Sanjay Deshmukh from the Vice Chancellor’s post.On Wednesday, the governor announced the constitution of a search committee for the new V-C under renowned space scientist Dr Kasturirangan.Meanwhile, sources in the government said Deshmukh would go back to working as a professor at the Department of Life Sciences, University of Mumbai.At a press conference on Thursday, former V-C Dr Bhalchandra Mungekar said the university should not be allowed to continue with OSM as it still lacked the necessary preparedness.”The issues would recur and students suffer for no fault of theirs. The system should be implemented in phases and only after proper planning,” he noted. LEAVING A MARKThe state government on Thursday allowed MU to retain the on-screen marking systemDespite many glitches, the goverment noted it reduces scope of malpractices

Despite glitches in evaluation, no action against MeriTrac

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even after a series of glitches and errors in the on-screen evaluation delaying the results of over 4 lakh students the state government has not taken any action against MeritTrac, the service provider, which was assigned the contract for the job. After the removal of Dr Sanjay Deshmukh from the post of Vice Chancellor, concerns are now being raised over the government’s lax approach in taking action against the company which was responsible for numerous glitches that finally led to the delay in the assessment process. Aniket Ovhal, Joint Secretary, ABVP Kokan region said that the state government must take strict action against all those who were responsible for the result mess including MeritTrac. “One cannot ignore the loss that was caused to students partly due to the failure of the company along with the VC in the whole process. Strict action should be taken against the it” added Ovhal. The university has decided to continue with the same service provider for the upcoming winter semester exams.V-C’S FAILED DECISIONSFeb 2016: University purchases aircraft to offer hands-on training in Aviation course, plan still stuck in the absence of permissionsJan 2017: Deshmukh announced assessment of over 19 lakh answer sheets through onscreen method June 2017: IDOL admissions fail to kickstart as Deshmukh decided to appoint a new service provider at the last minute. July 2017: MU sacked 470 contractual employees from its departments at the beginning of the academic year which put burden on its permanent staff at the time of assessment.

Mumbai University teachers face more tough times

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the University of Mumbai planning to continue the system of On-Screen Marking (OSM) in the upcoming semester, teachers under various departments of the university and affiliated colleges are having a tough time. The mess around OSM was just about getting over and now the teachers say they have to deal with more challenges. Ahead of the exams that begin in the first week of November, teachers will now be required to attend training sessions which the university plans to begin from October 25.”Teachers had to lose their vacations in May because there was no clarity on OSM. The glitches led to a collapse of the academic calendar leaving little time for teachers to complete the syllabus. Now they will have to attend training in the middle of their Diwali vacations, followed by examination duties until December. And then there will be evaluation work,” said the vice principal of a college in the eastern suburbs.Vaibhav Narawade, secretary, Mumbai University and College Teachers Association (MUCTA) said that due to the delay in declaration of the revaluation results, a large number of students may appear for the ATKT exams which would again strain the system. “This means the colleges will have the burden of an additional exam,” said Narawade.MORE WORKAhead of exams in the first week of November, teachers will be required to attend training sessions. The university plans to begin these from October 25.

5 months on, no results for many

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as the University of Mumbai claimed that it has declared the results of all the students which were earlier held in reserve due to various reasons, it has now come to light that many such students are still awaiting their results nearly five months after the examination.On October 17, the university announced that it has declared the results of all the students including those 2,300 students whose results were pending after their answer sheets were either physically or logistically missing.However even after that, several students have said that they have still not received their pending results from the university.Chaya Zagade, a MSc Mathematics student said that she is yet to get the result of one subject in the second semester. “My result was first held in reserve. Later I was told that the system had marked me absent by mistake. Even after submitting the proof of my attendance, I am yet to get my result,” said Zagade.Amey Malshe, an LLB student who recently went on a hunger strike demanding the declaration of results for him and several other students, said that there are at least 30 students across several courses who are yet to get their results. Malshe recently submitted a letter to the university with a list of such students.”Many students approached me and said that even as the university claims to have declared all the results, their results are still not uploaded on the website. I have submitted a list of all such students who got in touch with me to the university officials. If they fail to declare these results the students will be forced to protest again,” added Malshe.Despite repeated calls, Dr Arjun Ghatule, Director, Board of Examinations could not be reached. Meanwhile the university is yet to declare the revaluation results of close to 30,000 students.Fast for resultsAmey Malshe wrote to the university Vice-Chancellor stating that he would begin an indefinite fast if all the pending results are not announced by October 11.

Mira Road school ousts two kids over fee issue

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The long-standing battle between Mira Road’s Cosmopolitan High School and Nishad Sheikh, a parent who had spoken out against hike in school fees, has culminated in her two children being issued leaving certificates, in the middle of the academic year.DNA had earlier written about Sheikh, mother of Ayesha and Asif in class 4 and 2 respectively, alleging that her children were being ‘targetted’ by school authorities after she spoke out against the hike. At the time, the school had barred the kids from appearing for exams, and later made a special provision for them after the education officer of the Mira Bhayander Municipal Corporation stepped in.On October 13, the school issued Leaving Certificates (LCs) to both the siblings, citing ‘parent’s wish’ as the reason. Sheikh, however, has refuted the claim and further alleged that the officials forced her to take the LCs. “I had gone to school to meet the officials after my children were allowed to write the exams. They told me to take the leaving certificates and look for another school. They even threatened that their teachers would leave the school if I did not remove my children from there. They did not ask us before taking such a drastic step,” said Sheikh. She now plans to challenge the school’s decision in the State Child Rights Commission.Meanwhile, Reshma Sayyed, a representative of the school management insists that the school issued the LCs only after the parent made a verbal request for it. “The school has faced a lot of harassment due to false allegations made by the parent. Despite this, we allowed them to appear for exams. When the parent agreed to shift the children to another school, we issued the LCs” she said.

Revaluation wait for MU students to get longer

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Students under the University of Mumbai who have applied for revaluation might have to wait longer as the varsity is yet to announce the results of close to 30,000 students. As of Sunday, of the 48,365 revaluation applications received, the university had declared the results of only 18,833 students. This includes 513 results from the Arts faculty, 553 from Commerce, 1,217 from Law, 718 from Science, 192 from management and 15,641 from Technology.With Diwali vacations beginning October 14 onwards, colleges are now worried about getting teachers for revaluation work. “Most teachers have had a very busy semester with the newly introduced on-screen evaluation. With the ongoing vacations getting teachers for revaluation work will be a tough task. Also, most practicals for students would begin towards the end of the vacations so making computer labs available for assessment would be a task,” said a suburban college principal.This year the university has received more revaluation applications owing to the switch to on-screen evaluation system. “I have scored in single digits in two subjects despite good scores in other subjects. It has been more than a month since I applied for revaluation. The university is yet to declare the results,” said an MSc student on the condition of anonymity.Arjun Ghatule, in-charge Director, Board of Examinations and Evaluation said that remaining results would be declared in the next few days. “The university is taking all the efforts to speed up the process of revaluation and will try to declare all the results soon,” added Ghatule.ILL-PLANNEDAs of Sunday, of the 48,365 revaluation applications received, the university had declared the results of only 18,833 students.
Ahead of Diwali vacations, colleges are now worried about getting teachers for revaluation work.

1,195 BMC schools are yet to install CCTVs cameras on site

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At a time when schools across the country are beefing up their security after the murder of a seven-year-old boy in a Gurgaon school, as many as 1,195 schools under the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) have still not installed CCTV cameras on their premises.Even as the corporation has allocated a budget of Rs 2,311.66 crore for its education department in the academic year 2017-18, installation of CCTV cameras does not seem to be a priority.Sainath Durge, member of BMC’s education committee, recently took up the issue at a committee meeting. “Having CCTV cameras in schools is the need of the hour. Cameras would not only ensure the safety of the children, they would also help keep a check on the functioning of the school. There would be a check on the authorities, which would have a positive effect on their work,” he said.BMC has 417 self-owned school buildings, 227 rented school buildings, and 33 buildings that belong to the estate department.It also has 24 rent-free school buildings — which brings it to a total of 701 buildings, some of which house multiple schools. Durge said that the failure of the education department to install CCTV cameras, despite several requests in the last few years, shows their apathy towards the issue.Shubhada Gudekar, chairperson of BMC’s Education Committee said that the corporation has initiated a survey to decide on the issue. “We have initiated a survey across all our schools to understand where and how many cameras are needed,” she said. “And whether they are needed in the first place. The report is expected to be out in the next two months, after which a decision would be taken. Meanwhile, we have Home Guards and lady attendants in schools to ensure the safety of the students.”A principal of a corporation school in the eastern suburbs pointed out that most BMC schools are located near slum pockets where there is always a threat of unscrupulous elements entering the school premises. “Boundary walls of most schools are not too tall and cannot be manned at all times,” she said, adding “CCTV cameras are a must to ensure that the security of the school premises.”

Mumbai University Academic Council hails V-C Deshmukh’s OSM efforts

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At a time when close to 4,000 students at the University of Mumbai are still awaiting their results, five months after the exams, the varsity’s Academic Council has hailed Dr Sanjay Deshmukh ‘s decision of introducing on-screen evaluation at a meeting convened on Wednesday.The university’s academic council in its meeting on Wednesday passed a resolution congratulating Dr Sanjay Deshmukh (who is currently being sent on ‘forced leave’ owing to the result mess) for his ‘efforts that led to the introduction of the on-screen marking (OSM) system’ hailing it as a successful practice.Sources in the academic council said that a senior professor who happens to be close to Deshmukh proposed that the council should acknowledge Dr Deshmukh’s efforts for bringing in a new system of evaluation. This was backed by a group of academicians who are a part of the council and a resolution congratulating Dr Deshmukh was passed.University officials denied that such a resolution was passed. “No such decision was taken” responded Dr Devanand Shinde, acting Vice Chancellor, University of Mumbai.VESTED INTERESTMany see the resolution as an attempt of a few members in bringing Dr Deshmukh back to the university even as the state government is yet to take a final decision in this regard.

Saki Naka school forcing us to pay development fund

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Parents of Lokmanya Tilak High School in Saki Naka have alleged that the school is constantly pressurising them to collect funds for its new building in the offing. Several parents from the school said that the school has asked them to pay Rs 1,000 as development fund for the new building, and have also been additionally asked to collect the same amount as donation from their acquaintances.Several parents have recently written to the state education department alleging that the school is threatening to fail students if they fail to collect money for the development funds. “We have been given a booklet with 10 receipts of Rs 100 each, and have been asked to collect Rs 1,000 from people we know.This is after collecting the same amount from each parent for the same purpose. Many of us are from the poor economic strata and cannot pay this money. Over the last few days, school officials are threatening us that they would fail the children and won’t allow them to come to school if we fail to pay the amount,” said the parent of a Class 1 student from the school on the condition of anonymity.Ved Tiwari, working President of the International Human Rights Association from Maharashtra who has written to the state education department on behalf of the parents said that the school is trying to pressurise parents for its own benefits, “Several parents dread to send their children to school every day because they are taunted for not paying money to the development funds. Why is the school putting its burden on poor parents?” asked Tiwari.Ashwini Chavan, Principal of the English medium school said that the allegations made by parents were baseless. “We have asked parents to willingly contribute to the school development fund. In good faith some of them have taken the booklets to pool in more help. None of this is mandatory and we have not pressurised parents or students in any way” added Chavan.

University of Mumbai student to go on hunger strike

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The results mess at the University of Mumbai is far from over as at least 1,600 students, whose papers are ‘missing’, are still awaiting results nearly five months after exams. In several cases, the university itself has no clarity about when the results would be announced. While the university decided to allot average marks to students whose papers were logically or physically missing, it has still not released a list of all such students.One such student, Ameya Malshe — who is awaiting results for his second semester LLB exams – has written to the Vice Chancellor expressing the agony of thousands of students whose results are yet to be declared.”Five months after my exams, I am yet to get my result. The university has declared that it has misplaced some papers. But students are not being given any clarity about when they would get their results. Many of us are becoming suicidal after losing opportunities of higher education, jobs etc,” Malshe has written, adding, “If anything happens to any of these students, the university would be solely responsible.” Malshe has decided to fast at the University’s Kalina campus if results are not declared until Wednesday.Kunal Parmar, a final year student of Bachelor in Mass Media (BMM), said that he had to lose an entire year due to the university’s delay in declaring results. “I was planning to enrol into a masters programme. Despite several queries, the university is still not clarifying whether the paper is missing or there is some other issue,” says Parmar.Meanwhile, the University declared the revaluation results of some students on October 7; several students were shocked to see that they had scored a zero. “Several students, who had scored low in their exams, have now scored zero in the revaluation. This is shocking” said Sachin Pawar, president of the Student Law Council.

Mira Rd school lets siblings take exams

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after the DNA reported that two students of Cosmopolitan High School were not being allowed to appear for their exams after a row with their parent, the authorities have now written to the education officer stating that the two siblings – Ayesha and Asif Shaikh – will be allowed to write their exams.”On the special request of the parents and the education officer, we have allowed Ayesha Shaikh of Class IV and Asif Shaikh of Class II to give the exam,” states the letter dated October 7, in which the school has given a timetable for the exam. School officials have, however, asked for a ‘letter of apology’ from the parent “as instructed by the school management”.Reshma Sayyed, a representative of the school, said it has made provisions to ensure that the two students can appear for their exams.”We have given them a timetable and shall also allow them to write all the papers they have missed. We would, however, like if the parent gives an apology about bringing such bad reputation to the school,” added Sayyed.Nishad Sheikh, the mother of Ayesha and Asif, had alleged that the school was not allowing her two kids to attend classes from September and had also barred them from the exams.Shaikh, in her complaint to the state education department, had alleged that the school had been using pressure tactics after she led a protest against a decision to hike fees in this academic year.”The school has sent a timetable after all the complaints. Even now, they want me to apologise. We will move the child rights commission over the issue,” she added.ROW WITH PARENTNishad Sheikh, mother of Ayesha and Asif, alleged that Cosmopolitan school had been using pressure tactics after she led a protest against a decision to hike fees this year

Fee hike: Parent alleges being targeted

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A parent of two siblings studying at the Cosmopolitan High School in Mira Road has alleged that the school is ‘targeting’ her children after parents protested against the school’s decision to hike fees. In a complaint submitted to the state education department, Nishad Sheikh, the mother of Ayesha and Asif who study in class 4 and 2 respectively, has alleged that the school has not been allowing the two to take classes from the month of September and has also barred them from the exams.Shaikh alleged that the school has been using pressure tactics after she led a protest against the school’s decision to hike fees in this academic year. “The school has hiked its fees by 42 per cent from last year without taking parents into confidence. When parents like me tried to speak against this, our children are being targeted. The school is not allowing both my kids to enter its premise since September. Despite several requests, they are not being allowed to even write their exams,” she added.On October 4, the education department of the Mira-Bhayander Municipal Corporation asked the school to allow the children to attend classes and exams under the Right to Free and Compulsory Act. A couple of parents from the school are now planning to stage a protest over the issue. “Several parents have come forward with similar complaints and we will organise a big protest soon,” said Sadique Basha, a local activist.School officials, however, denied all the allegations. Reshma Sayyed, a representative of the school management said, “The school has never denied entry to any student. The parent in question has created a lot of nuisance to the school by making false allegations. She also has pending dues to be cleared. We will allow her children to attend school but only if the parent does not enter the school premise in any case,” added Sayyed.While asked about the fee hike, Sayyed said that the school is providing services for the money it charges and other parents have not objected to it.IN TUSSLENishad Shaikh, mother of two, alleged that the school has been using pressure tactics after she led a protest against the school’s decision to hike fees. She also claimed that the school is not allowing her kids to enter the premises.

DTE announces engineering CET 2018 pattern

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a relief to over 3.5 lakh students, the Directorate of Technical Education (DTE) announced the syllabus and paper pattern for the Maharashtra State Common Entrance Test(MHT-CET) for admissions to Engineering and Pharmacy courses in the state.As per a notification issued on Thursday, the CET which will be conducted in the month of May 2018 will be based on the Maharashtra state board syllabus with 20 per cent syllabus from class 11 and 80 per cent from class 12.While there would be no negative marking, the difficulty level would be at par with the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) as per the notification.It also lists the topics that students have to prepare for these two years.In March 2017, the department of higher and technical education had issued a GR announcing the change in the pattern of the MHT CET from 2018 to make it at a part of the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE). As per the resolution, the state had also asked the Maharashtra Board of School and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) to make efforts to upgrade their curriculum in class 12. DNA had earlier highlighted about the confusion persisting among aspirants and parents in the absence of a detailed notification about the syllabus and paper pattern.With the new notification parents are now relieved. It is good that the notification finally out. With very little time to go for the exam, students were confused” said Gauri Chaudhary, a parent.CET SYLLABUSAs per a notification issued on Thursday, the CET which will be conducted in May 2018 will be based on the Maharashtra state board syllabus with 20 per cent syllabus from class 11 and 80 per cent from class 12.

South Mumbai school chips in for Bihar flood victims

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As massive floods lashed several districts of Bihar in August, Mazgaon’s St Mary’s (ICSE) High School collected funds, food and clothing for the victims of the natural disaster. The school has raised over Rs 1.34 lakh for those affected by the flood and have sent 36 cartons of foodgrains and clothes, which were recently distributed among the people in Bihar by representatives of the school.“One of our teachers approached us and said that something needs to be done to help the flood victims. The people there have incurred massive losses, as their homes and belongings have been washed away. We appealed to all the parents to donate voluntarily for the cause and were successful in raising a good amount of money and essential items for them,” said Father Francis Swamy, the school’s principal.The clothing is enough for a thousand people, and the food grains collected can feed over 200 people, school officials said.“After a single appeal, a large number of students and parents brought relief material. We wanted to ensure that the collected material reaches the people in time and hence decided to go to various flood-affected villages to distribute it,” said Austine Vas, a teacher who volunteered with the relief effort in the district of Sitamarhi in the last week of September.The school now plans to keep the spirit of social responsibility alive by helping the villagers of drought-affected regions in Maharashtra as well.Considering that it has generated a fair sum of money for the victims, the school hopes its efforts would help the state too.HELP AT HANDSt Mary’s (ICSE) High School has raised over Rs 1.34 lakh for those affected by the floods in ​Bihar
​It has sent 36 cartons of foodgrains and clothes, which helped about a thousand victims
The relief material was personally distributed by some representatives of the school

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