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Confluence of technology and education here to stay: JIS University Chancellor Taranjit Singh

JIS University’s Chancellor Taranjit Singh spoke on whether online education is a temporary solution, how virtual labs can thrive, the brighter points of the new WBJEE e-counselling process and the NEP 2020.

Mr Taranjit Singh, Chancellor of JIS University and Managing Director, JIS Group Educational Initiatives. Photo: JIS Group

The year 2020 is not quite dispensable when it comes to academics. First, classes went the online way as the Novel Coronavirus contained people to their homes, board and entrance exams were either cancelled or postponed, admissions to the new academic session have been delayed and a new National Education Policy (NEP), approved by the Union Cabinet on July 29, altered the academic fabric of the Indian education system. In this weather of paradigm shifts, ABP Education spoke to Mr Taranjit Singh, Chancellor of JIS University and Managing Director, JIS Group Educational Initiatives, to get a slice of the Engineering course’s future.

Mr Singh spoke on whether online education is a temporary solution, how virtual labs can thrive, the benefits of the WBJEE e-counselling and the NEP 2020.

Q: Computer Science and Electronics have been top choices for students getting into Engineering colleges over the years. Do you think the COVID-19 pandemic will see a new branch of Engineering becoming a favourite among students this time around?

A: This is tough to predict and it would require a survey. Every subject and stream has its own importance. What's in the pipeline cannot be predicted as of now, and a proper research has to be done to understand this trend. But it is true that in the context of the given situation, streams like IT, CSE and specialisation in the field of CSE like AI, Cyber security, Data Analytics/Data Science etc will be more demanded by the students along with ECE.

Q: How are engineering colleges and courses adapting to the new normal of online teaching-learning. Do you see this as a temporary solution only?

A: The students are being forced now to opt for online teaching but this can never be a permanent solution. It has become obvious to train the students online finding no other way to pursue courses. According to me, 30% of dependency will remain on the digital sector. The confluence of technology and education is obviously here to stay together with the advancement of cyber technology. But the environment and attitude of any school or college is also a factor to success. If you see, everybody has chosen a digital platform now despite many people saying this might not work at all. I think we might soon see more digital platforms and new technology coming up in the future with respect to digital trends. All in all, digital is here to stay.

Q: Can virtual labs realistically replace physical laboratory experiments in engineering?

A: If 3D models can be made in virtual labs, then it is possible. In 2D it looks difficult. Keeping in view virtual labs, the results will obviously be better in 3D as a 360 degree view is more likely possible in this.

Q: The West Bengal Joint Entrance Examination Board has made sweeping changes to the counselling process this year. How do you see this e-counselling process impact admissions to Engineering colleges?

A: It is not a sweeping change. It's a change in the e-counselling process to make it easier and better than before. The objective is to make the process faster. Even the upgradation process has been revised and students are being allowed to choose a college freshly in each round before locking his or her choice. So it will act better. And with time, the process is also expected to get better.

Q: The Union Cabinet recently gave its approval to the new National Education Policy. How do you see the NEP impacting the outlook for Engineering education in the future?

A: Certainly this new National Education Policy has increased the options for students. For those in four-year courses, research will become a key element in the fourth year of their curriculum. So it certainly is a better approach. This will be good as students will gain expertise in their subjects.

Posted in: ABP Education

Covid 19 Lockdown increased nationwide domestic violence:

By: Dr Souvik Chatterji (Associate Professor and HOD, Department of Juridical Sciences, JIS University) According to many Criminologists across the world like Gabriel Tarde, Bonger and others; social crimes occur more during times of Pandemic or war or economic turbulences. During Industrial Revolution in UK in the 1880s, many manual labourers lost jobs. At that time domestic violence increased in the country. Due to lack of adequate salary during Lockdown period in India from April, 2020, food and clothing got constricted and families compromised with bare necessities. From the time Lockdown started in India, majorities of families are in mental depression. The Covid 19 Pandemic has categorically brought the economy to stand still position.

Employees of private companies are working online and balancing the domestic needs at odd hours of the day. The result is serious mental unrest and quarrels with wife and children. The childline India received more than 92000 calls in the last 20 days in Northern states in India. While the fathers who are capable of using physical force are in the houses for more hours and the victims, the wives and children are helpless and cannot go out. The National Commission for Women (NCW) received more number of complaints over the last 25 days than before.

Between March 23rd 2020, to April 1st 2020, 257 complaints were filed before the National Commission for Women (NCW). That shows with increase of lockdown, the frustration of bread earners are badly delegated to the wives and children. Both the vulnerable groups are helpless.

Neither are the women and children being able to make private calls to the police, neither can they go to alternative friends or relatives homes as lockdown resulted in lack of public transport. The helplessness is increasing and increasing. Other countries like Brazil, China, Italy are facing the same problems. In recent Workshop on Social Justice Day on 20th February, 2020, the stakeholders echoed the same sentiments although the Covid 19 Lockdown did not start at that time. Krish Das, Deputy Secretary, US Consulate General, introduced the workshop and said the problem of domestic violence is not only the problem of India or developing countries, but is a problem of capitalist countries like USA, Canada, Japan, also. At the end of Workshop there was a panel discussion where the panelists included Dr Souvik Chatterji (HOD, Law, JISU), Advocate of Minority affairs and Member of Social organization. It was said that laws are enacted for social change but the success of the laws are dependent on change of mindset of the society.

As far as solutions are concerned certain states in India like Kerala have created whatsupp number to lodge complaints against domestic violence during Lockdown period. The 24 hour helpline is started by Directorate of Women and Child Development. Even the Chairperson Leela Ganguly, Chairperson (West Bengal Commission for Women’s rights), has given her helpline number to victims of domestic violence on 11th April 2020.

The husbands and alleged offenders in every house require serious counseling. Lockdown due to Corona 19 is an emergency situation. Nothing is there in the hands of the wives and children. So there is no point to abuse them and scold them and create a situation where life looks miserable to them. Frequent seminar, workshops and online webinars should be conducted to reach the message to millions of Indians.

  1. https://www.apa.org/topics/covid-19/domestic-violence-child-abuse, last visited on 12th April 2020
  2. Dr Souvik Chatterji, Human Rights and Criminal Justice, Thomson Reuters, South Asia Publication, 1st Edition, 2015.
  3. Dr Souvik Chatterji, Law of Crimes with an Introduction to Criminology, Penology and Victimology, Thomson Reuters, South Asia Publication, 1st Edition, 2017.
  4. https://news.abplive.com/news/india/coronavirus-lockdown-causes-rise-in-domestic-violence-covid-19-1193795, last visited on 13th April 2020
  5. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/covid-19-lockdown-spike-in-domestic-violence-says-ncw/article31238659.ece, last visited on 14th April 2020.
  6. https://www.facebook.com/JISUniversityKolkata/posts/on-20th-february-2020-a-workshop-was-organized-in-american-centre-kolkata-on-soc/1531257323706008/, last visited on 15th April 2020
  7. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/kerala-government-launches-whatsapp-number-to-report-domestic-violence-during-lockdown/articleshow/75095648.cms?from=mdr , last visited on 15th April 2020.
  8. https://www.telegraphindia.com/calcutta/helpline-to-report-domestic-violence-in-bengal/cid/1764407, last visited on 15th April 2020.

3 from Bengal in top varsity list

JU, CU and JIS bag honours

Research is the focus at JIS University. PHOTO: JIS University

Three universities from Bengal have made it to a list of the best universities of India.

Jadavpur University (JU) has come fifth, followed by Calcutta University (CU) at No. 8, in The Week-Hansa Research Survey 2020. JIS University is the only private university from the state to have made the cut.

JU has consistently ranked as one of the country’s top universities for many years.

“Our biggest plus is the high quality of research done by students and teachers. In most rankings, the few universities placed above JU are all centrally funded. As a state-funded institution, our finances are limited. Naturally, our expenditure per student is also very little. If we were ranked according to input and output per student, we would easily top every list,” said Chiranjib Bhattacharjee, the pro-vice- chancellor of JU.

CU, one of the oldest universities in the country, has kept up with the times and improved its infrastructure.

“Our faculty is one of the best in the country. We have been attracting good students for over a century now. We have not only updated and upgraded our infrastructure but have some of the most sophisticated instruments in the country,” said Debasis Das, the CU registrar.

Research is the focus at JIS University. The institute admits around 30 students per class for all its 50-odd courses across 10 departments. It does not take in more than 2,500 students in a year. All courses come with value-added options at no extra cost that offer training beyond the curriculum.

JIS has ranked 36th in the Private and Deemed Multidisciplinary Category in The Week-Hansa survey. It is at No. 76 in the overall list.

“Our aim is to make the university one of the top destinations for quality education and research for students across the country. We are in no rush to admit students in huge numbers. Instead, we want to draw meritorious students and participate in quality research. We already have 70 scholars and state-of-the-art research infrastructure,” said Simarpreet Singh, director, JIS Group Educational Initiative. “Our university also has the highest research grant among private universities in the state.”

Posted in: ABP Education
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