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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.



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.


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.



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.



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.



JNU’s second convocation for PhD students to be held after 46 years




Forty-six years after its first and only convocation the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) is set to hold its second convocation this year. The date is yet to be finalised.


The first convocation was held in 1972 when renowned actor Balraj Sahni delivered the convocation address. However, the then JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) president V C Koshy from the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) changed his speech, which had been approved by the then Vice-Chancellor G Parthasarathy, the night before the convocation.

Professor Kamal Mitra Chenoy, who had joined JNU in 1972, recalled the first convocation. “The basic debate was with Parthasarathy. He wanted to have a convocation but the students felt that their viewpoint should also be addressed in the convocation. He had called Balraj Sahni as the guest, and at that point, he didn’t want to cancel the convocation so he agreed. But Koshy gave a speech on ‘bourgeoisie-landlord regime’, poverty of the peasant and oppression of the working class — a very Marxist interpretation of the situation in India,” he said.


Chenoy said the media widely reported the convocation, drawing attention to it and the speech. In the 1972 convocation, Balraj Sahni had said, “No country can progress unless it becomes conscious of its being, mind and body. It has to learn to find out and solve its own problems in its own way. But whichever way I turn, I find that even after 25 years of Independence, we are like a bird which has been let out of its cage after a prolonged imprisonment, unable to know what to do with its freedom. It has wings, but is afraid to fly into open air. It longs to remain within defined limits, as in the cage.”

News Source: indianexpress

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FTII To Conduct Film Appreciation Course In Bhubaneswar



The Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune, will conduct a week-long film appreciation course in Bhbaneswar.


This will be a part of the institute’s nationwide programme to popularise film learning. This was informed by the Director of FTII, Pune, Bhupendra Kainthola. The course will provide a unique opportunity to the cine lovers of Odisha, to understand cinema from one of the world’s leading film schools..

The film appreciation course, to begin from February 14 will be conducted for the first time in Odisha, an official release said.

“Odisha has a film industry that goes back over 75 years and is still a robust one. As part of the FTII’s ongoing nation-wide programme to popularise film learning, a week-long film appreciation course has been designed for Bhubaneswar,” Kainthola said.

For over five decades, film appreciation was just a once a year course, conducted only in Pune and this made little sense for a country with a rich cinematic history and millions of cinema lovers, he said.

In the last nine months, the FTII has conducted film appreciation courses in Pune, Mumbai, Nagpur, Delhi, Jaipur, Guwahati, Srinagar (J&K), Haridwar and Srinagar (Uttarakhand), he added.


The programme will be conducted with inputs from National Film Archive of India (NFAI), Pune, in association with the Directorate of Technical Education and Training (DTET), Odisha government, the official release said.

Though the programme will be open to all, only 100 participants will be admitted on a first-come-first-served basis, and it will be held at the Museum of Tribal Arts & Crafts.

The Course will be conducted by renowned film academic Pankaj Saxena, an FTII alumnus, who is a filmmaker and TV programmer based in New Delhi, it said.

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Prince Charles Launches Education Impact Bond for India




Britain’s Prince Charles has launched a new 10-million-dollar Development Impact Bond (DIB) to help improve education for over 200,000 children in India.


The DIB, the largest bond of its type in South Asia, is the latest fundraising initiative by the British Asian Trust (BAT), set up by the royal 10 years ago to fight poverty in South Asia. The new bond has been launched by the trust with the support of the UK government’s Department for International Development (DfID), Comic Relief, the Mittal Foundation and the UBS Optimus Foundation.

“We are launching a 10-million-dollar Development Impact Bond that will improve education for more than 200,000 children in India,” Prince Charles said at a Buckingham Palace event yesterday evening to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the British Asian Trust.

“This will be the largest bond of its type in the region and will, I hope, offer a compelling model for a mere effective approach to philanthropy at scale,” he said.

“These bonds are an innovative and, I think, a tremendously effective way of raising the funds needed to address some of the greatest challenges in the region at the kind of scale necessary to make a significant difference,” he said.


–The concept of DIB is intended as a result-oriented way to attract new capital into development projects, with a strong emphasis on data and evidence.

–Under the initiative, the DIB will provide funding to local not-for-profit delivery partners in India over four years, delivering a range of operational models including principal and teacher training, direct school management, and supplementary programmes.

–It is intended to improve literacy and numeracy learning levels for primary school students from marginalised communities in the country.


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