With the Delhi University Students’ Union elections due this Friday, all the students’ organisations in the race have made many promises to address the problems of the student community in their manifestoes.

The Indian National Students’ Organisation has promised to act against a fee increase, ensure either abolition or bringing more “transparency” into the internal assessment system and working for students’ participation in sexual harassment committees. It has also promised to work for providing hostels to all eligible students and establishing an East Campus and a West Campus in addition to the present North Campus and South Campus.

The party has highlighted the need for concessional passes for students on the Delhi Metro railway; a student bus pass for the National Capital Region; scholarships for poor students; increase in the number of U-special buses; more evening colleges; self-defence training for students; transparency in the DUSU budget and promotion of sports.

At a press conference this week, the INSO panel for DUSU launched a severe attack on “incompetence and inefficiency of the outgoing office-bearers” and accused Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad and the National Students’ Union of India of exploiting the students’ community for their “petty selfish political interests”.

“The two main parties have been making the same election promises for the past so many years and doing nothing for the students’ community after being elected. INSO has always played the role of active opposition in DUSU and raised the students’ concerns at the appropriate forums,” said the INSO State president Amit Kaushik.

There are a few seats still vacant for B.Sc. (Honours) Anthropology at Delhi University. Students who have a minimum of 55 per cent marks in Physics, Chemistry and Biology can seek admission to the course. Interested candidates can contact Assistant Registrar (Science) at the Faculty of Science on the North Campus. The last date for applying is September 10.

University Grants Commission Chairman Sukhadeo Thorat last week launched the M.A. programme in Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy at the Dr. K. R. Narayanan Centre for Dalit and Minorities Studies at Jamia Millia Islamia.

The Director of the centre, M. Mujtaba Khan, said there was a tremendous demand for admission to the course and over 150 applications were received for 30 seats.

Appreciating the vision of the centre, Prof. Thorat said the present M.A. programme was the first of its kind in the country and hoped that this would contribute towards an enhanced understanding of the nature, forms and magnitude of social exclusion. The centre was established in 2005 and along with the new course, offers a post-graduate diploma in Dalit and minorities studies and a Ph.D. programme.

Indira Gandhi National Open University in association with the World Bank has introduced a post-graduate diploma in “Participatory management of displacement, resettlement and rehabilitation” that will start from January 2008.

The one-year programme can be completed in a maximum period of four years. Students with a degree in Bachelor of Arts or equivalent are eligible for the course.

“The objective of the programme is to orient learners to strategise participatory planning of resettlement and rehabilitation; understand theoretical perspectives in the study of resettlement and rehabilitation; and learn lessons from the already executed development projects,” said a University release.

The course is an initiative of the World Bank for building up the skills of development practitioners and resettlement and rehabilitation officers, field staff, desk staff and technical experts for managing the concerns and issues of displacement.

Parul Sharma