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ALLAHABAD UNIVERSITY’S BIG NO TO ‘LIBERTY FEST’

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LIBERTY CONFINED

Celebrating liberty did not go down well with the varsity administration of Allahabad University for reasons best known to them. It withdrew the permission, granted to Joint Action Committee (JAC) of Allahabad University students and activists for hosting Liberty Festival to celebrate ideas mentioned in the Constitution in “times of increased violence and hatred. The festival was to be celebrated in the name of “Jashn-e-Samvidhan”, under which the fundamentals of Indian Constitution would be discussed by students, professors and civil society. Vice Chancellor R L Hangloo was to be chief guest for this special occasion.

 

STUDENT’S TAKE

Manish Kumar, a student who was the planner of the event, said he was verbally informed about the non availability of the Senate Hall for the festival, and the Vice Chancellor will not be a part of it.

HANGLOO’S TAKE

While speaking to The Indian Express, Hangloo said that the university authorities were kept in the dark about the presence of eminent persons, of which Indian jurists would be present at the event.

Speaking further, he said while seeking permission from the authorities for the Liberty Festival through a letter the students had written that among others, the Chief Justice would also grace the special occasion, and they included my name as Chief Guest without informing me. After looking at these highly acclaimed names to be present, we readily gave permission. But this was just on papers, not a reality at all.

 

THE OPEN LETTER

In an open letter to the V-C which was later made public, Kumar asked: “When I wanted (during the telephone conversation) the permission, you granted it, why? You said that the permission was for holding the event anywhere in Allahabad…when I pointed out that the letter had the name of a specific hall in the University, you gave another reason, mentioning that you were being pressurized by the HRD Ministry and nothing could be done about it.

 

HANGLOO’S VERSION OF THE LETTER

But Hangloo had something different to say. He denied being pressurized for withdrawing the permission. He said there were other reasons, which led to the cancellation of the permission. Bearing of the electricity cost came in between and secondly a part of the hall was undergoing repairs. Also, there was a Government of India programme on water conservation and another event to be held in the Senate Hal, so there was no chance that the Liberty Festival could be held on that day.

 

The JAC had intimidated the authorities well in advance, about the non-availability of former justice A P Shah, due to his delayed flight.

Despite all odds, the event was held on Moday, without chief invitees on the front lawns of the university. Among other guests were sociologist Prof Satish Deshpande, actor Maya Rao, singer Sonam Kalra, women’s rights activist Abha Bhaiyya.

The JAC alleged that right-wing student groups were behind this malicious act who had launched a campaign to malign the image of the organisers, guests and event by terming it as “anti-national” and relating it to the event at JNU, which received national attention after azaadi slogans were allegedly raised there.

 

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IIM A wraps up summer placements – Accenture, RPG Group, Amazon top recruiters

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For a second year in a row, Accenture Strategy has been the top recruiter at IIM Ahmedabad’s summer placements. The recently-concluded summer placement saw students placed across more than 15 sectors and functions of their choice.

Firms were grouped into cohorts based on the profile offered and invited to the campus in 3 clusters. As in the previous years, students were allowed to submit “dream” applications to firms of their choice in a cluster even with an offer in hand. More than 120 students applied this year.

Who All Made It To The Top

–Among the global banks, Citibank made five offers. 

–FinIQ was the top recruiter in the banking, financial services and insurance recruiters (BFSI) cohort, having made 10 offers.

— AB InBev recruited nine students and took the lead in the Consumer Goods cohort while the RPG Group was the top recruiter in the General Management cohort with 14 offers.

— Amazon, with 12 offers, was the highest recruiter in the Retail B2B space, followed by Flipkart

— Microsoft was the leading recruiter in the Consumer Tech cohort with five offers, followed by Uber.

— The Telangana government, which hired for the Industry & Commerce and ITE&C departments, also made five offers.

IIM A

The placements also saw an active participation in the PE and VC domain this year with the likes of Kedaara Capital, Multiples Equity, Temasek and True North visiting the campus.

Significantly, this year, 7 students opted out of the placement process to work on their own ventures under the mentorship of Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE), which is two more than last year’s batch.

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Bharti Airtel vows INR 7000cr towards a free university for the poor

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Bharti Airtel is writing a fresh philanthropic code. The Bharti family has vowed to hand over Rs. 7000 crores ($1.1 billion) to the Bharti Foundation. The whopping amount will be used to kick-start a free university for the children from poor communities. The Bhartis’ contribution includes a 3 percent stake in their telecom operator Bharti Airtel.

What Students Will Learn

To be named “The Satya Bharti University for Science and Technology”–the university will have a strong focus on artificial intelligence, robotics, virtual reality and the internet of things.

What’s The Motive

Education is a common cause for many millionaires and billionaires. But the Bhartis are going beyond the generous, well-trod routes of scholarships or even funding whole departments and building libraries. Instead, they’re dedicated to establishing an entire non-profit institution of higher learning targeting India’s large underprivileged class. The plan helps bring attention to the woeful state of the country’s education system, a top complaint of the local financial elite. Their endeavour also very publicly embraces innovations some worry will subsume jobs for India’s low-cost labour force. A study published last year by the World Bank estimates almost 70 per cent of India’s jobs are threatened by automation.

Bharti Airtel

What More?

World-changing developments like virtual reality are to be taught at the envisioned university, and degrees offered in electrical engineering. Partnerships with Apple, SoftBank and other companies may be in the cards, too. That sends a clear message of hope that technology can transform lives, and create new fortunes for the future. 

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Three IITs and IISc Bangalore among top 20 BRICS varsities 

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Three IITs and the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore have made the cut among top 20 varsities in BRICS countries, according to the latest QS Rankings.

Who Ranked Where

The Indian Institute of Technology Bombay has secured ninth rank followed by IISc, Bangalore at 10, IIT Delhi at 15 and IIT Madras at 18.

Over 300 universities from India, China, Russia, South Africa and Brazil have been observed and graded for the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) ranking, one of the global prestigious rankings. Chinese universities, including Tsinghua University, Peking University and Fudan University have secured the top three ranks with the country occupying eight of the top 10 positions.

India has the second highest representation in the 2017 list after China. Last year, IISc Bangalore was the only Indian institution to figure in the top 10 with rank 6.

How Is Ranking Done

Based on eight performance indicators, namely academic reputation, employer reputation, proportion of staff with a PhD, faculty/student ratio, research publications and citation rates and proportion of international faculty and students, the ranking provides insights into the relative strengths and weaknesses of leading instituions in the five countries.

According to the rankings, among the top 10 public varsities in India are IIT Bombay, IISc Bangalore, IIT Delhi, IIT Madras, IIT Roorkee, IIT Kanpur, Delhi University and Kolkata University.

What UGC Says

UGC chairman VS Chauhan unveiled the rankings, asserting, “Role of ranking in terms of students getting to know about the institutions cant be negated, but also sometimes overplayed. Rankings are relevant for institutions and most importantly because of the rankings what happened in India is that institutions have started to look at themselves. We will celebrate that day when of 350 universities 150 of them will be Indian institutions in the BRICS rankings”

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