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Burdwan University: All You Need To Know

The Burdwan University was accredited with ‘Grade A’ by National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) in 2016

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Burdwan University
The Burdwan University was established on 15th June 1950. Wikimedia Commons
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  • The Burdwan University has a 316-acre campus in three locations
  • It has nearly 50 major buildings
  • The University has 2000 externally sponsored projects

The Burdwan University, established by the then Chief Minister of West Bengal Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy on 15th June 1960, was a master plan to expand the scope of higher education beyond the metropolis.The Burdwan University results speak about its volume.

The University initiated its journey with 6 postgraduate departments and 30 undergraduate colleges. Now, with 93 postgraduate courses, 179 esteemed faculties, and 222 affiliated colleges; the Burdwan University has emerged as one of the premier institutions of higher education in India. The University was accredited with ‘Grade A’ by National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) in 2016.

University of Burdwan
The Burdwan University has a 316-acre campus in three locations. Wikimedia Commons

ALSO READ: ‘Save Indian Academia from the scholarship of hate and anger’

The Maharaja of Burdwan

The Burdwan University is built on the estate left by the last Maharaja of Burdwan, Udaychand Mahtab. The most important part is the ‘Mahatab Manjil’, once the royal palace of the Maharaja of Burdwan, it has now been turned into the administrative centre of the university. A marble plaque at the east gate gives information about the construction of the Mahatab Manjil by British firm Macintosh and Co., it is a unique representation of early 19th century Indo-European construction and was declared a heritage building by the Government of West Bengal on the 29th April 2013.

The work of a British botanist, Golapbag is where the academic cluster of the Burdwan University is located. The garden has nearly 1200 trees, 154 rare centuries’ old mahogany trees included, the historic Golapbag has been recently declared by the Botanical Survey of India as the Bio-diversity Heritage site. Other royal sites like Tarabag, Udaykanan, and Abhoykanan have been turned into residential hubs. The University also has a lake at the centre of a 56.3-acre eco garden, that is called Krishnashavar or the Black Lake.

Vision and Objectives

The University focuses on the empowerment of youth. It is a place that offers an opportunity to invent and reinvent minds. A place that helps students to disseminate the wisdom, ancient and modern, as also the art of critiquing them, among generations of student and teacher for the betterment of the human social existence, both local and global.

Objectives of the University of Burdwan:

  • Creating the most vibrant knowledge pool
  • Providing comparable and competitive facilities
  • Trying to achieve excellence in all fields of the university activity
  • Empowering the backward social clusters of its hinterland through teaching-learning process beyond classroom
  • Promoting the ethnic, social, religious and cultural diversity in unity
  • Reinvigorating our composite heritage in consonance with global India
University of Burdwan
The Burdwan University has nearly 50 major buildings. Wikimedia Commons

Governance of the University

The Burdwan University, an autonomous state university, has the governor of West Bengal as its Chancellor. Day-to-day administration is the leader of the Vice Chancellor, who is appointed by the Governor (on the recommendation of the state government).

However, the highest body in the administrative structure is the ‘University Court’. It deals with a diverse range of issues including human resources, financial activities, research administration and student affairs. The University court consists of ex-officio members, representatives, five nominated members, and invitees.

ALSO READ: Osmania University turns 100: India’s First University to adopt Urdu as medium of Instruction

Members of the University Court:

  • The Chancellor
  • The Vice-Chancellor
  • The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Administration and Academic)
  • The Deans of the Faculty councils for Post-Graduate Studies
  • The Secretary, Higher Education Department, Government of West Bengal or his nominee not below the rank of Joint Secretary to the Govt. of West Bengal
  • The Secretary, Finance Department, Government of West Bengal or his nominee not below the rank of Joint Secretary to the Government of West Bengal
  • The Chairman, West Bengal State Council of Higher Education or his nominee
  • The President, West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education
  • The President, West Bengal Madrasah Education Board
  • The President, West Bengal Board of Secondary Education
  • The Director of Public Instruction, West Bengal or his nominee not below the rank of Additional Director
  • The Chairman of the College Service Commission or a member of the Commission as his nominee
  • A nominee of the Chairman of University Grants Commission
  • Heads of Departments of the University

Executive Council is the next in hierarchy, it is responsible for decision-making in the matters of day-to-day affairs. The Executive Council consists of staff and student members. Further, the three faculties have their own Academic Councils consisting of Head of Departments.

The Burdwan University has 2000 externally sponsored projects. Wikimedia Commons

Admissions

To get into the line of Burdwan University’s admission is a task in itself as it consistently ranks among the best in India. Admissions in undergraduate courses of Engineering requires students to appear for WBJEE, an entrance examination that is open to students all over the country. While Postgraduate students have to appear for GATE.

For admissions in the courses of Faculty of Arts and Science, students are required to appear for an examination that is conducted by the respective department.

Facilities

  • Campus-wide Fiber Optic LAN
  • Internet facilities provided by National Knowledge Network (NKN) has a speed of 20 MBPS
  • E-Journal facilities
  • On-campus NSS programs
  • Health facilities like ECG, X-Ray, USG, Pathological Test, Lung Function Test, Foetal Doppler, Immunization, and Physiotherapy

The University also has a Museum and Art Gallery.

The Burdwan University has a 398-acre campus spread in three locations, in which 95% of postgraduate and undergraduate students live on-campus. With a faculty-student ratio of 25:1, 22 eminent scientists are currently working as members of the University. The University has a research budget of 123.45 million and has 2000 externally sponsored projects. All in all, the university is a full-package for hands-on and quality learning.

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E-cigarette And Vaporizer Sellers Started Offering College Scholarships

Alcohol makers have same program

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In this Feb. 20, 2014 file photo, a customer exhales vapor from an e-cigarette at a store in New York. A growing number of e-cigarette and vaporizer sellers have started offering college scholarships as a way to get their brands listed on university websites.
In this Feb. 20, 2014 file photo, a customer exhales vapor from an e-cigarette at a store in New York. A growing number of e-cigarette and vaporizer sellers have started offering college scholarships as a way to get their brands listed on university websites. VOA

A growing number of e-cigarette and vaporizer sellers have started offering college scholarships as a way to get their brands listed on university websites and to get students to write essays about the potential benefits of vaping.

The tactic is taken from a method that was once believed to improve a site’s ranking in search results, and it has successfully landed vaping brands on the sites of some of the nation’s best-known universities, including Harvard. It also has drawn criticism that the scholarships are a thinly disguised ploy to attract young customers.

The scholarships, ranging from $250 to $5,000, mostly involve essay contests that ask students to write about the dangers of tobacco or whether vaping could be a safer alternative. At least one company asks applicants to write about different types of e-cigarettes and which one they recommend. Some seek papers in support of medical marijuana.

Over the last two years, the grants have been posted online by e-cigarette retailers and review websites such as Slick Vapes, SmokeTastic and DaVinci Vaporizer.

Scholarship offers removed

Robert Pagano, owner of the Las Vegas-based review site Vapor Vanity, said he was offering new scholarships of up to $1,500 this year. He acknowledged it’s partly a marketing tool, but he also says many in the industry are former smokers and want to help teens avoid tobacco.

“It’s a little bit of being genuine, a little bit of self-interest,” said Pagano, whose company does not sell vaping products. “This is probably the best way to get people to actually focus on the issues that we’re trying to write about.”

Days after Pagano was interviewed by The Associated Press, the scholarships were removed from his site without explanation. He did not return calls or emails seeking further comment.

The grants have emerged as high schools struggle to rein in booming teen use of the devices, sometimes threatening students with suspensions or installing alarms that can detect the devices’ discreet vapor. Federal agencies have attempted to crack down on underage sales and are investigating marketing efforts by the brand Juul, which has become especially popular among teens.

Although some of the scholarships are limited to students 18 and older — the nation’s legal age to buy vaping products — many are open to younger teens or have no age limit.

Most companies behind the essay contests did not return calls or declined interview requests. But the American Vaping Association trade group defended the practice, saying it allows companies to boost their brand while offering college students a helping hand.

e-Cigarette
e-Cigarette, Pixabay

Alcohol makers have same program

The head of the association, Gregory Conley, compared it with scholarship programs that have long been offered by alcohol makers like Anheuser-Busch, which distributes tens of thousands of dollars each year for minority students.

Some anti-tobacco groups were unaware of the scholarships until asked about them by the AP, but they sharply criticized efforts to get teens writing in favor of vaping.

“They’re trying to use youth as their marketing surrogates,” said Gregg Haifley, director of federal relations for the American Cancer Society’s lobbying arm in Washington. “They can gussy it up any way they want, try to put lipstick on that pig, but this is about marketing.”

Opponents said the scholarships could test federal rules forbidding tobacco and e-cigarette companies from marketing to minors. The Food and Drug Administration, which oversees regulation of e-cigarettes, declined to comment on the question and referred a reporter to the Federal Trade Commission. An FTC spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

Long-term effects an unknown

Most medical experts agree that vaping is safer than smoking traditional cigarettes, but little is known about its long-term health effects.

Manufacturers often say vaping products are meant only for adults trying to quit smoking, and some of the essay contests note that they aren’t meant to promote vaping. But some anti-tobacco groups say there’s no other reason the companies would reach out to young people.

“Most of these kids are not smokers,” said Robin Koval, president of the Truth Initiative, a Washington-based nonprofit that opposes the tobacco and vaping industries. “What they’re saying and what they’re doing don’t seem to agree here. But that’s not surprising.”

It’s unclear how many — if any — of the scholarships have been awarded. Several websites promise to publicize winners and their essays, but it doesn’t appear any have done so. None of the 15 companies contacted by the AP would disclose winners, and only one agreed to an interview.

Marketing experts say the vaping industry isn’t the first to use college scholarships as a form of cheap advertising. The internet is teeming with similar offers from websites that sell weight-loss pills and protein powders, as well as payday lenders and companies that pay cash for gold.

 

‘Backdoor’ approach

The tactic was created years ago, at a time when websites thought getting their link on a college or government site would boost their rankings in Google search results. Some created scholarships purely to get their links on university financial-aid pages.

“This is almost a backdoor way to get your name on a university website, and from the point of view of the student, it would look like the university is supporting this effort,” said Ron Berman, who teaches marketing at the University of Pennsylvania’s business school.

The tactic worked. Vaping scholarships have ended up on financial-aid directories compiled by Harvard, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Pittsburgh and others, including institutions that have taken a stance against e-cigarettes.

Harvard and California State University at Long Beach immediately removed the listings after being asked about them by the AP, saying they had been posted inadvertently.

“We’re not interested in being a platform for tobacco or vaping,” said Jeff Bliss, a spokesman for CSU Long Beach.

Vape
Vape, pixabay

Outdated strategy?

Some marketing firms advise against the strategy, calling it outdated. Google has updated its algorithm to defeat similar tactics, and it penalizes sites that try to manipulate search rankings.

Wil Reynolds, founder of the Philadelphia-based marketing agency Seer Interactive, said his company employed the strategy years ago for clients connected to the education world, but he abandoned it after other industries started exploiting it.

Also read: Is vaping safer than smoking

It is a shady practice when you really can’t back it up with a legitimate reason,” he said. (VOA)