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Hard time for hostel provosts

It will be a week-end that Delhi University Pro Vice-Chancellor, Prof. C.R.Babu, and a majority of the University's hostel Provosts would rather forget. Forced to stay shut in the PVC's room for over 14 hours, it turned out to be a rather long evening for the professors, who had to spend the night listening to the ``pleasantries'' being showered on them by students agitating against the new centralised admission system introduced for hostels.

And considering that the students eventually managed to get what they wanted and that too in writing from the PVC, perhaps, puts a question mark on the seriousness with which the University had plans of implementing the centralised admission procedure for hostels.

From that `perfect' system which would stop ongoing illegal activities in hostels to one with a million loopholes, the centralised admission system is now being reconsidered and its fate quite clearly sealed. With University officials now saying that the system is perhaps not really the best thing to happen to hostels, it is not difficult to see how well the threats of students has gone down with professors.

The system, if implemented, will not just bring all the hostels under a single system but ensure that the method of selection is the same in all. At present, University rules do not make it mandatory for various hostels to follow a single admission procedure.

Which probably explains the reason for some hostels managing to do better. As of now, student pressure may well make professors do away with a system that they themselves formulated even if only in a hurry. The evacuation notice sent by the University to students may have had the names of even those who had genuine reasons for extending their stay in their hostels but the fact that even people from outside the University are managing to stay in hostels is openly accepted by Provosts.

* * *

If you thought Information Technology was the only field where an Indian stampede is almost forgiven, think again. Indian teachers seem to be having a big demand abroad, especially in Japan.

The Japanese Embassy had started the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) programme to enhance the understanding of Japan in other countries in 1987. Promising youths are invited to Japan through this programme to serve the municipal Governments as well as junior and senior high school. Till last year, over 6078 people from 39 countries had been sent to Japan as part of the programme.

The first Indian participant to go as a Coordinator for International Relations (CIR) was in 1998. The good work done has resulted in the Japan Embassy now deciding to increase the number by two. The new positions to be included are for the post of Assistant Language Teacher who will help Japanese students in learn English.

The CIR, on the other hand, will work with local governments engaged in international activities. Although three candidates have been selected, there is much for those with a passion for teaching and a liking for Japan.

* * *

The Guru Gobind Singh University has redesigned the curriculum of its Bachelor of Computer Application course to ensure that students from different streams find it homogeneous in the first two semesters.

Further, to meet market needs and expose students to the latest in the field, the curriculum development process has introduced electives in the last two semesters. Summer training, and projects have been made compulsory to ensure connection with the industry. The University is also planning to introduce a post- graduate diploma in computer applications as another course.

* * *

The coming two years will see the country hold the Deputy Chair of the University Mobility in the Indian Ocean Region (UMIOR) Programme.

This was agreed upon at the first General Conference of the University Mobility in the Indian Ocean Region (UMIOR) programme held in Mauritius this month. Participants from 14 countries of the Indian Ocean rim agreed to launch this programme for the region. While Mauritius has been elected as the chair of UMIOR for the coming two years, India will be the deputy chair.

Representing India at the meeting was the Vice-Chancellor of the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), Professor H.P. Dikshit, and the President of Association of Indian Universities (AIU). It was also agreed to constitute an interim constitution for the UMIOR programme and approve a work plan for the UMIOR Secretariat.

- Lakshmi Balakrishnan

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