#India – Website to help SC/ST students #mustshare


 

RANCHI: To create awareness among SC/ST and OBC students about ongoing scholarship schemes in all the states, as well the Centre, a website (www.scstscholarships.com) was launched by the Aryan group of colleges in the state.

According to the website’s developers, around Rs 6,500 crore is disbursed annually by the Union government to all the states that gets diverted due to lack of awareness the students.

Dr Anshu Kataria, chairman of the Aryan group, said, “The objective behind launching the website is to make the students know about their rights. Due to lack of understanding about the schemes many students fail to avail the benefits of these scholarships.”

He added that there are more than 6 lakh SC/ST students in Bihar and Jharkhand who are ignorant about these government schemes and are not getting their benefits owing to which the funds lapse.

Scholarships are to fund higher studies after Class X. Several of the scholarships come in also for students who want to study abroad.

Kataria said former IPS officer and Team Anna member Kiran Bedi was associated with the Aryan Group of Colleges and she came up with the idea to start this kind of a website that will help students about the schemes.

 

In India – ‘Good girls don’t drink, flirt or party’ #Film #Vaw #moralpolicing


New Documentary Shows That Urban India Blames Women For Crimes Against Them

Mithila Phadke TNN

When filmmaker Padmalatha Ravi decided to make a documentary on society’s perceptions of women, she kept it straightforward. A motley crowd of people—from college students to domestic help—were asked what they thought a “good girl” and a “bad girl” were. “A good girl is supposed to be docile,” says a silverhaired lady. “She wears a dress which covers her wholly.” Two college-going boys giggle and say it’s the front-benchers who are tagged as good. On the other hand, “slut”, “goes to discos” and “flirts with boys” are the primary identifiers for a bad girl.
The 14-minute crowd-sourced venture, titled ‘Good Girls Don’t Dance’, is Bangalore-based Padmalatha’s response to the theme of most drawing-room discussions that follow reports of sexual abuse. Invariably, the argument returns to the same question: what was the girl doing outside at a late hour anyway? “After the Delhi incident, the issue of rape was being spoken about like never before,” she says. “I wanted to look at why women are blamed.” The film was completed earlier this year and has been uploaded online for free viewing.
Through the opinions of students, couples, seniors, and families, a troubling picture emerges. The ideal woman keeps herself covered up lest she “provokes” men, abstains from smoking, drinking and flirting. Not having an opinion of her own is also an asset, says a respondent.
The answers were a revelation, says Padmalatha, especially when people were asked who they would hold responsible in case of a rape. Only a handful said “rapist”. A majority blamed society and women. Aside from illustrating how deep stereotypes run, the documentary also disproves that progressive mindset is synonymous with education and financial wellbeing. “We asked a domestic worker if clothes play a role (in instigating rape), she was clear that a person is free to wear what he or she wants,” says Padmalatha. This was in stark contrast to numerous middle-class respondents who held a woman’s attire culpable, at least in part.
Mumbai-based filmmaker Paromita Vohra came across a similar mindset among the middleclass while filming the 2002-documentary ‘Unlimited Girls’. “Sometimes, women who had the chance to experience freedom were the ones least able to recognise that it came from a long legacy of people working for them,” says Vohra. The idea of freedom, as something to be protected, nurtured and recreated for the next generation was shrugged off, or made respondents uncomfortable. Both ‘Unlimited Girls’ and Padmalatha’s film look at how women navigate the urban jungle.
Another film that explores the same idea is ‘Mera Apna Sheher’, by Sameera Jain. Set in New Delhi, the documentary looks at how women are expected to negotiate public spaces. It had college lecturer Komita Dhanda being filmed by a hidden camera as she spends time at a park, a street corner and a paan shop. The camera records the reactions of men to her presence, ranging from confusion to lechery. “It’s something that happens around us every day,” says Jain. Only by choosing to record it does the indignity women face become a subject of debate.
However, the filmmakers have no illusion about their works offering quick solutions. “We are trying to start a conversation on a subject that people are hesitant to talk about,” says Padmalatha. After her film’s first screening in Bangalore, an elderly viewer argued for stringent punishment to keep men in line. A 16-year-old girl stepped in and asked him why there shouldn’t be a balanced approach to solve the problem. That a documentary can spark such debates is what the makers hope for, says Padmalatha.

SEX AND THE CITY: While a domestic worker (left) said people have the right to wear what they want to, students and couples who were interviewed felt that women needed to be covered up; Contemporary dancer Shabari (right) in a shot from the film

 

Professor’s casteist remark invites SC panel wrath


, TNN | Apr 20, 2013,

AMRITSAR: An assistant professor of Patiala‘s government medical college (GMC) is in the soup for allegedly passing casteist remarks against an MBBS student in a classroom.Turning the heat on the professor, the SC/ST commission on Friday asked the Patiala police to register a case against him.

Commission vice-chairman Raj Kumar, who belongs to Amritsar, said that he ordered an FIR after an inquiry report held the professor guilty of the charges.

The probe was conducted by a three-member committee comprising Dr H S Sandhu, Dr Manjit Singh Bal and Dr Anita Gupta.

According to the inquiry report, the incident happened on April 9 during a class of Harsimran Singh, an assistant professor in the ophthalmology department of GMC, Patiala.

Harsimran passed the casteist remarks against Amolpreet Singh after the student fumbled while answering the roll call.

The report states that Harsimran was taking attendance when he called for roll number 18

and Amolpreet whose roll number was 80 answered it which enraged the professor who remarked, “You bespectacled chap, stand up and get out. I am sure that only you are capable of this nonsense.”

The report says that the professor had

denied making any casteist remarks against

the student.

Raj Kumar said as many as 26 students, belonging to different castes, of the class had filed a complaint against the professor alleging that he had also asked Amolpreet about his category, PMT rank etc.

The students’ complaint quotes professor telling Amolpreet that “I have recognized you. Only an SC can do something like this.”

The commission VC said that he has also directed the Patiala police to hold an independent inquiry into the incident.

When contacted, Patiala SSP Gurmeet Singh Gill said that he has marked the inquiry to a committee headed by a police officer of the rank of DSP.

“We will take action after receiving the report,” said the SSP.

 

#India- Caste discrimination, apathy leading to suicides on campus


, TNN | Mar 29, 2013,

HYDERABAD: P Raju, the dalit student who killed himself on March 19 at the University of Hyderabad (UoH) feared he would not be allowed to attend classes in the coming semester due to three backlogs and sank into depression.But Raju didn’t know that he had secured a ‘B’ grade in the Linguistics paper, making him eligible to continue his fifth semester, as authorities did not bother to announce his results until he hanged himself from the ceiling fan, after making a futile trip to the office of the controller of examination to know his fate.

Raju’s story is not an isolated case, it is in fact indicative of a bigger failure of universities in communicating certain matters of relevance to the students who are already reeling under caste discrimination, either real or perceived.

Among the nine suicides from university campuses in the past one year, seven belonged to SC/ST/OBC communities, and one to a minority community.

In another case, Senthil Kumar, a dalit PhD scholar of the School of Physics, UoH, had committed suicide in 2008 as he was not told that he was eligible for scholarship in the coming semester, despite clearing his course work examinations, a senior faculty member of the university said.

Academics said the trend indicates incapability of institutions to understand the pressing problems of students with poor socio-economic background.

Ignored by school, college and university managements, students coming from less privileged backgrounds are at a higher risk of committing suicide in hostile or unreceptive academic set-ups, assert counsellors and human rights groups.

A fact-finding report submitted as part of an internal investigation after the suicide of Senthil Kumar found that “most students affected by the inconsistencies and ambiguities in procedures (academic and administrative) were SC/ST students, leading to the building up of a perception of discrimination among students belonging to these communities.”

The report goes on to recommend confidence-building measures and transparent procedures to integrate such students into the academic system, which is not in place now.

In a more recent study conducted by Insight Foundation, New Delhi, it was found that four from Hyderabad were in a list of 19 suicides committed by SC/ST students of various institutions in the country, owing to caste discrimination during the past five years.

Activists say that most campuses which earlier had majority of students from effluent backgrounds have an increasing number of students from poor socio-economic backgrounds.

“On one hand, the government has recognized the importance of supporting and nurturing groups that were hitherto excluded from educational opportunities through scholarship schemes for SC/ST students and for minorities. On the other hand, this is not matched by a corresponding overhauling of existing institutional cultures,” an article by faculty members of English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU), Asma Rasheed, K. Satyanarayana and Uma Bhrugubanda said.

 

#Pakistan -Sindh Assembly passes domestic violence bill #goodnews


| 8th March, 2013
0

— File Photo

Sindh PA adopts bill to end domestic violence

From the Newspaper, Dawn  | | 9th March, 2013

KARACHI, March 8: Women lawmakers in the Sindh Assembly on Friday gave a standing ovation to the house when the long-awaited bill against domestic violence was tabled and after brief speeches by legislators was unanimously passed on the 103rd anniversary of International Women’s Day.

Pakistan People’s Party lawmakers described the bill as an achievement of the house according to the vision of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto while Muttahida Qaumi Movement legislators termed it an important step to check violence against women that has always been highlighted by Altaf Hussain.

Under the bill, titled “The Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Bill, 2013”, anyone indulging in violence against vulnerable sections of society, women in particular, would be liable to be sentenced to one year in prison and a Rs20,000 fine.

Sardar Nadir Magsi appeared most vocal about women rights when he said he was in favour of having more severe laws in this regard. He added that violence against women in any form, including Karo-kari, was not restricted to villages but was common in cities as well.

Senior minister Pir Mazharul Haq said credit for piloting the long-awaited bill went to the PPP that had also initiated programmes such as the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Income Support Programme for empowerment of women.

However, he said, the bill was not restricted to women but also related to every individual of this society.

Nuzhat Pathan said if all people became like Nadir Magsi, there would be no need for such laws.

Naheed Begum in her brief speech raised the issue of the law’s implementation, citing that women lacked awareness about how to invoke the law to benefit from it.

Syed Sardar Ahmad said everyone ought to stand in support of the oppressed and it was rightly mentioned in the law that domestic violence includes all acts of gender-based physical or psychological abuse committed by people against women, children or other vulnerable persons.

Law Minister Ayaz Soomro, who piloted the bill, highlighting the need for a separate bill said laws in this regard did exist in the penal code but there was question of their implementation that warranted enactment of this special law to control domestic violence.

After the bill was passed, two resolutions with reference to commemoration of women’s day were read out by Farheen Moghul and Heer Soho, respectively. When put to the house, both were adopted unanimously.

The resolutions pay tribute to the dynamic women of Pakistan and resolve to further the struggle to establish a just and equitable environment for sustainable development of Pakistan.

After the adoption of the resolution, Speaker Nisar Ahmad Khuhro adjourned the session till Monday at 10am.

Earlier when the house was called to order at 11.40am, reports on biannual monitoring on the implementation of the National Finance Commission award for the period from January-June 2011 and July-December 2011 were presented.

Another bill passed on Friday was related to changes in the names of certain positions in local government institutions.

The law minister, who piloted the Sindh Laws (Second Amendment) Bill (bill No 6 of 2012), speaking on its general principles said the title of positions in local government institutions was changed by the amendment bill. He explained that the title of district officer was replaced with collector, executive district officer with commissioner and district coordination officer with district officer.

The Sindh Tenancy (Amendment) Bill — bill 18 of 2013 — was introduced, but its consideration was deferred till Monday.

The introduction and consideration of the bill 20 of 2013 was also deferred to Monday along with consideration of the government bill 17 of 2013 pertaining to the Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Human Research and Development Board.

 

#Mumbai- Shot in the arm for autistic pupils #goodnews #disability


Shreya Bhandari, TNN

Mumbai: Two years ago, the state board allowed autistic students to appear for Class X and XII board exams.
After granting various concessions to students with learning disabilities (LD), the state board has decided to permit students to opt for an exam centre closer to their residence. “Our aim has always been to ensure that students’ stress is reduced. We started this option last year where students with autism or learning disabilities could apply to us and ask for an exam centre close to their homes,” said Krishnarao Patil, state board secretary.
“Last year, few parents knew about this measure, but now more students have approached the state board,” he said. He also added that the state board has recently released a circular making it clear that students with autism and LD will be allowed to use calculators in their maths and science board papers (Class X and XII).
The option of changing centres has come in handy for students who need a writer for their exams. “There was some confusion if all students had to take this option but the board has made it clear that only those students who are interested can apply to the board and avail of the facility,” said Fr Francis Swamy, principal of Holy Family High School.
Students appear for SSC English paper
Mumbai:Nearly 3.82 lakh SSC students in Mumbai division appeared for their English paper on Thursday. “Students are slowly settling down well so the number of calls to the helpline has reduced. Very few students call with queries these days,” said Balasaheb Hyalij, a state board helpline counsellor. TNN

 

#India- Pre-exam helpline for students-011-65978181.


STAFF REPORTER, The Hindu, Feb 15, 2013

The Board exams come around every year and so do a host of issues like lack of concentration, loss of appetite, permanent headache, restlessness, lack of confidence and, in many cases, extreme depression.

A pre-exam helpline to help students deal with all these exam-related issues, “Disha”, operated by trained counsellors and mental health professionals, opened earlier this month. It is accessible to students daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. up to March 2 on 011-65978181. Students in distress will be helped through telephonic and face-to-face counselling.

The helpline has been reaching out to students in times of distress since 1999.

The organisation receives distress calls from Delhi, the National Capital Region and many other parts of the country from students of Class X, XI and XII — and sometimes even Class IV students and scholars preparing for competitive exams.

While many of the calls from students, parents and teachers relate to mental imbalances, many calls are also from students who want specific information about the exams.

Disha also says that the stress from the Board exams is mostly because it is so important for the academic future of every child.

Moreover, the system hardly provides any leverage to the student for exploring his likes or dislikes which only increases stress levels . Parents and teachers are also affected. Many students find pre-exam holidays more stressful since the pressure starts to build during this time.

Disha is an effort by Snehi, a non-government organisation, which works for the mental health needs of the community. It has been helping people in mental distress through counselling and other specific programmes for prevention of mental illness, with focus on children and young people. Disha’s counselling services are confidential and free of cost.

 

 

#India – teacher rapes a minor girl, Class VIII student at Punjab village #Vaw #WTFnews


 Adrienne Rich`s #Rape- but the hysteria in your voice pleases him best #poem #Vaw

SANGRUR: Scarring the sacred relationship between a teacher and a student, a government school teacher has been booked for raping a dalit minor girl.

A teacher of mathematics of village Namol, Gurjant Singh has been booked for raping a class VIII student. The agitated villagers have demanded stern action against the teacher, who is presently absconding. The education department has placed the teacher Gurjant Singh under suspension and a charge sheet is being prepared against him.
As the incident came to light on Wednesday, the angry villagers protested at the school and headed towards Sangrur civil hospital to get the girl medically examined. Subsequently a medical board of three doctors conducted the medical examination on Wednesday afternoon.

“The teacher on the pretext of teaching had called the minor girl at his place on December 31 when the school was closed during winter vacations. Alone at his place at that time, the teacher had raped the girl and threatened of her dire consequences if she told anyone about it”, told villager Sarabjit Singh. He said the incident came to light when the teacher a couple of days ago again molested the girl in the school and some other students saw the teacher indulging in indecent behavior.

Police on the complaint of the father, a brick kiln labourer has registered a case of rape against the teacher .

District education officer(Secondary), Nirmal Singh Sohi said “as per the directions of director general school education, teacher Gurjant Singh has been suspended and a charge sheet is being prepared against him”.

Sangrur SSP Harcharan Singh Bhullar said that the police has registered a case against Gurjant Singh and efforts are being made to arrest him.
-TOI

 

Nine students booked for anti-Modi protests at DU #wtfnews #UAPA #draconianlaws


Published: Thursday, Feb 7, 2013, 23:35 IST
Agency: IANS

Nine students have been booked for breaking law and order during a protest against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi at Delhi University‘s Shri Ram College of Commerce, police said Thursday.

The police resorted to lathi-charge and water cannons to disperse members of Left-wing students unions Wednesday as they tried to pull down the barricades and gain entry into the college where Modi was addressing a students meeting.

They have been booked for unlawful activities during their protest outside SRCC, said a police officer.

The students have been identified as Saurabh, Vijayan, Deepak Kumar Mishra, Safi Khan, Surender Mishra, Piyush Raj, Vishmery Basu, Raghu Keshwan and Miss Chintu.

“Around 150 students of Left-wing had tried to pull down the barricades and gain entry into the college where Modi was addressing students Wednesday,” said the officer.

The police had to resort to lathi-charge and water cannons to disperse the protesting students.

 

Aadhaar Card, Now Mandatory for School Students? #WTFnews #UID #illegal


Posted by Arun Prabhudesai on Jan 22, 2013, trak.in

While discussing with a friend in regards to the Aadhar poll that we posted yesterday on trak.in, I came across something quite interesting. It seems that some of the primary and secondary schools are making it mandatory for students to apply for a Aadhar card.

Here is one of the circulars that was released by the school on their website for parents informing them about applying for Aadhar cards for students.

http://www.vpmspune.org/Documents/AadharCardForStudents.pdf

uidpune

It includes schemes that involve payments to service providers providing supplies and services to consumers like Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) program which promotes universal primary education for children; program covers funding for school infrastructure, teacher salaries,books, and uniforms.

So, essentially it is important to schools as they will henceforth receive SSA funding based on number of students that may be authenticated using Aadhar Cards.

Have you come across any other schools who are making Aadhar card mandatory?

PLEASE COMMENT WITH DETAILS

 

 

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