New Delhi, July 3. The Delhi-based National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has directed the Arunachal Pradesh government to pay Rs.5,000 “relief” to 88 girl school students forced to undress by their teachers as punishment on November 23 last year. The girl students allegedly wrote about their head teacher in “vulgar terms”.
The class VI-VII students of the Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV) in Papum Pare district were subjected to this humiliating punishment despite having denied the charge. KGBVs are residential secondary schools for scheduled castes and tribes girls established by the Central government in educationally backward areas.
Taking suo motu cognisance of the incident, NHRC issued notices to the Arunachal Pradesh government and Union HRD ministry, directing the former to send the commission a compliance report and proof of relief payments within four weeks.
ALC inaugurated in Pune
Pune, July 16. The Army Law College (ALC), a residential institute offering a five-year BA, LLB course, was inaugurated by Lt. Gen. D.R. Soni, general officer commanding-in-chief, Southern Command, at Kanhe, 45 km from here. Children of retired and serving army personnel are eligible for admission in the current academic year on the basis of their performance in the Maharashtra Common Entrance Test for Law, said Gen. Soni adding that the army is considering an admission quota for civilian children.
ALC has been constructed on a parcel of land gifted by the Radha Kaliandas Daryanani Charitable Trust, which prepares students for careers at the bar, judicial services, armed forces, corporates and other organisations.
Affiliated with the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU), and managed by the Army Welfare Education Society, this fully residential co-ed college will provide state-of-the-art infrastructure for students, including smart classrooms, wi-fi zone and sports facilities.
NEHU’s new incubation centre
Shillong, July 22. Currently ranked #77 in the Union HRD ministry’s NIRF (National Institutional Rankings Framework) 2018, North Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Shillong, has established an incubation centre for business start-ups in the state, partly to improve its NIRF ranking.
Under the programme the university will mentor and fund sustainable social business models over the next two years. According to B. Mohapatra who heads its new incubation centre, NEHU is set to sign a collaboration agreement with the Meghalaya Institute of Entrepreneurship.
This initiative is funded by the Union HRD ministry, North Eastern Council, University Grants Commission, state government and several private donors.
Out-of-school girls dispute
Bhubaneswar, July 31. A survey by the Women & Child Development and Mission Shakti (WCD-MS) department of the state government indicates that 55,868 girls in the 11-14 age group are out of school in Odisha. According to this survey, the maximum number of 10,599 adolescent girls are out of school in Koraput district followed by 8,899 in Nabarangpur, 7,132 in Kalahandi, 5,585 in Malkangiri and 5,320 in Raygada districts.
However, school and mass education minister Badri Narayan Patra contests the conclusions of the WCD-MS department and says that according to a study conducted by his ministry the number of out-of-school girls is a mere 1,060. “The OPEPA (Odisha primary education programme authority) conducted a survey in 2017. It shows that only 1,060 adolescent girls in the age group of 11-14 years were out of school in the state,” Patra informed the media in Bhubaneswar.
Meanwhile, Anu Garg, secretary of the WCD-MS department has written to the principal-secretary urging him to take immediate steps to enroll all girls in schools statewide.
Higher education initiatives
Patna, July 30. Bihar’s budget allocation for education has jumped from Rs.4,000 crore in 2005-06 to Rs.33,000 crore in 2018-19, said chief minister Nitish Kumar while inaugurating the newly established Pataliputra University in Patna. Carved out of Magadh University, the new varsity has 100 affiliated colleges.
According to Kumar, over 20 percent of the state government’s budget is allocated for education. The objective of the Janata Dal (United) government is to raise the gross enrolment ratio in higher education to 30 percent against the national average of 24 percent.
“Pataliputra University is yet another step taken by the JD(U) government in higher education, drawing inspiration from our history. Earlier, this government established the Chanakya Law University, Chandragupt Institute of Management and Aryabhatta Knowledge University in the same spirit,” said Kumar.
Paromita Sengupta with bureau inputs