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Thursday, August 09, 2001

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Union elections may be less noisy

With the date for the Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) elections drawing near, the coming month will, in all probability, be full of allegations and counter-allegations as far as student politics on the Campus goes. But what is often overlooked about these elections, is that despite the undercurrent and tensions, election time is an event worth looking forward to for many students.

The DUSU elections are no different from any other voting event. It has its share of ugly scenes and allegations, leading many students and outsiders to believe that the event does nothing more than disturb the study routine. But as any student will tell you, it has a brighter side too.

With all things in student life going the commercial way, election campaign can hardly be any different. So while there may not be too many candidates smiling down from posters on lamp posts, bus shelters and the city walls thanks to a ban, giving the personal touch will be some strategies that have been adopted down the years by contestants.

Handy and colourful time-tables, book marks and simple cards with catchy phrases are just some of these. You don't have to be really interested in elections to grab one of those time-tables. Anyone and everyone wants them, for the simple reason that these are helpful. And supporting the candidate is not important either.

With just a month to go for the elections, the contesting parties are already at work to form effective campaign strategies. The last couple of months had witnessed violent incidents involving members of the NSUI and the ABVP.

Well aware that such incidents would be used as issues during the campaign, the Delhi National Students Union of India (NSUI) President, Neeraj Basoya, an accused in an attempt to murder case, resigned on Tuesday. Anil Choudhary has now taken over his post. But whether or not the step will work will be known only when the results eventually come out.

* * *

Thanks to Internet, students wanting to get a Masters in Computer Application (MCA) can now get one right from home, without worrying about practical classes. A correspondence course in MCA may have seemed like a dream due to the inability of practical classes earlier, but it has finally becoming possible.

In its bid to promote IT education in India, Informatics India has tied up with Sri Krishnadevaraya University of Andhra Pradesh. The alliance will help students pursuing MCA from the Krishnadevaraya University to get 920 hours of online training.

Informatics will provide the course material and training through its centres across the country, while the University would award the degree to successful candidates. Another benefit of the MCA course offered by Sri Krishnadevaraya University is that third- year students will get to study two elective papers that will be chosen as per the current trends in the technology industry.

Informatics India at present has tie ups with over 44 international universities and has also tied up with the Mysore University to provide job-oriented courses and certification courses for students and Karnataka State Open University for its graduation and post graduation courses in IT.

* * *

As a protest against the recent introduction of astrology and Vedic rituals in university curriculum by the UGC, the Students Federation of India is planning to take out a protest march on Friday.

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Wednesday saw University teachers and members of the All India Federation of University and College Teachers' Organisations (AIFUCTO) from Haryana, Orissa and Gujarat stage a protest in front of the University Grants Commission office here.

The demands put forward by the teachers include Career Advancement Scheme and third promotion as super selection grade from January 1996 on par with Central Government employees, complete parity for DPE and Librarians, restoration of professorship under CAS in colleges and dual scale for readers.

While lamenting that despite being ready for refresher courses, the teachers alleged that they were being victimised due to inadequate facilities and improper planning by the United Grants Commission.

The increasing politicisation in the appointment of VC's in Universities and the violation of UGC notifications with respect to appointment of VC's in many States was another issue raised by the AIFUCTO. While demanding removal of non-academicians from the post of Vice-Chancellor, AIFUCTO members pointed out that democratisation of University was essential.

- By Lakshmi Balakrishnan

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