Friday, July 1, 2011

[ZESTCaste] IIT-Delhi CREST workshop not restricted to SC, ST students anymore

IIT-Delhi CREST workshop not restricted to SC, ST students anymore

Express News Service Posted online: Fri Jul 01 2011, 02:06 hrs
New Delhi : IIT DELHI has reworded the notice for its 10-day
"self-enrichment course" for students from marginalised backgrounds,
on its Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) website. From inviting just
SC/ST students enrolled into B Tech programmes for the new academic
session, the course will now be open for all students.

However, institute Deputy Director M Balakrishnan said preference
would still be given to SC/ST students.

The 10-day workshop, which will be organised by the Centre for
Research and Education for Social Transformation (CREST), will
commence from July 10 for a maximum of 200 students. "This will be the
second year of the workshop. Last year, around 150 students attended
our programme. We will open a registration system this year, clearly
stating that it will be on a first-cum-first-serve basis for a cap of
200 candidates," said Professor Balakrishnan of CREST, which is an
autonomous institute under the Kerala government.

Mounav Das, a second-year B Tech student from IIT Delhi who had
attended the course last year, told Newsline: "The students knew it
was a confidence-building measure for reserved category students. It
was a very positive experience because we were told how to deal with
specific situations, and it helped build our confidence."

A former student of Delhi Public School-Dhaligaon in Assam, Das said
the course was designed to help students "develop their personality".

"Most of my batchmates from the general category also knew about the
course. There was nothing discriminatory about it. I thought it was a
brilliant experience," he said.

Explaining the philosophy behind such a workshop, Dr Balakrishnan
said, "In 2009, the Bangalore-based National Institute of Applied
Sciences conducted a meeting for all IITs, where CREST made a
presentation. Their course — which we adopted last year — provides for
confidence-building measures to help students shed their inhibitions
and come out of their shells."

Balakrishnan said that on an average, the SC/ST students who attended
last year's programme managed to clear one course more than those who
did not. Of the 240 SC/ST candidates admitted last year, 100 had
attended the course. Quoting the Supreme Court verdict in a 2009 case,
he said institutions have been directed to provide special facilities
for the betterment of students from socially and economically backward

Professor D D Nampoothiri, executive director of CREST, said the
course was modelled on the lines of a course developed by the
University of Michigan, and had three components.

"The first part deals with developing communication skills, so
students are able to articulate themselves freely. The second segment
of the course helps students develop their academic writing skills,
and the final part deals with theatre workshops. Last year, we had
trainers coming from the National School of Drama for this component."


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