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Students unite to improve JNU health centre

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Political parties may famously not even agree to disagree on the charged Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus. But in rare display of a commonality Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (AVBP), All-India Students' Association, Students' Federation of India (SFI) are united on one demand -- to improve the health centre. The National Students' Union of India (NSUI) activists are also touting the same line.

While making the health centre better might not be a new demand, but the death of a Ph.D student at Brahmaputra Hostel has brought the issue to the fore once again. And with the elections not far away, the need for a 24-hour health centre is something that all parties want to be able to cash into.

"The administration is really not serious about this issue. The boy who died was my friend. He had symptoms of malaria and it is shocking what happened. The moment you have something complicated, they want to send you to Safdarjung Hospital and All-India Institute of Medical Sciences,'' rued a Ph.D student.

From there being only one ambulance to cater to the 10,000 strong population on the campus to the ambulance not even having a first-aid kit according to a JNU Students' Union office-bearer, there is an urgent need to have some sort of plan of action in an emergency.

"I had a sprained ankle some time ago and the ambulance just dropped me at AIIMS and never waited for me. I then had to ask my friend to get an auto-rickshaw to come back in. The centre is not open on Sundays and if you fall ill, it is very difficult to get an attention on a holiday,'' said another student.

"The centre needs to be 24 hours seven days a week. There are also very few specialists that come here. If there is an emergency in the middle of the night, what will happen,'' asked JNUSU vice-president Dhananjay.

Not the first time that lack of facilities have gathered momentum with students, the centre's lack of preparedness came into focus when a critically ill professor was left in the lurch due to the absence of an ambulance on the campus. The JNU Teachers' Association (JNUTA) had lodged a complaint with the administration following that incident.

However, for their part, authorities claim that improvements have been made. There is a cardiologist, a dentist and a skin specialist who come to the centre.

"There are questions of funds if we need to open the centre 24 hours everyday. Where will the doctors come from? The ambulance is well equipped and it usually waits for students. But it is not a taxi-service,'' said a teacher.

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The Indian Retail School found a new way to break the ice with its freshers. A three-day programme was held and there were interactions on retail myths and reality, quizzes and competitions, by retail fraternity and eminent industry experts. The purpose of the programme was to orient students towards their respective fields in retail career.

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Adding another name to the long list of institutes affiliated to a foreign university is the AUT University, New Zealand's contemporary University, together with the Institute of Finance and International Management (IFIM). AUT and IFIMB School together will offer an 18-month MBA programme for working professionals, starting soon in Bangalore.

The MBA degree will be awarded by AUT. This degree offered by AUT is a globally recognised degree that doesn't come cheap. The course fees is Rs. 609, 000, inclusive of the enrolment fee.

The MBA programme is offered over eight terms of eight weeks each, each term comprising three courses. The three courses will be taught over three consecutive weeks and require attendance at 18 hours of classes each week. Interested applicants are expected to have an undergraduate degree or a graduate diploma or a professional qualification in a relevant discipline. And the applicant should also have a minimum of three years relevant work experience. Applicants to whom English is a second language must have an IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 overall and a minimum of 6.0 in each.

Mandira Nayar

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