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College bats for rights

Every girl should be aware of her rights and what better way to bring about that awareness than making the study of those very rights a part of the syllabus.

On Wednesday, Jamshedpur Women’s College became the first college in the state to introduce a facet of women’s studies in its syllabus for the 2013-14 session beginning in July.

In the wake of the Delhi gang rape and a number of incidents of sexual exploitation of minors and eve teasing that followed, the college decided to take the step to make its students aware about their rights.

The autonomous college under Kolhan University at its academic council meeting on Wednesday proposed the inclusion of Laws on Women’s Rights as part of the syllabus and evoked a positive response from all 25 members present. The meeting took place on the college premises.

“This is the best thing that an institute can do for its girls. More than protesting against heinous crimes against women, we can at least educate them how to protect themselves legally and what are their rights are as women. In case anything happens to them, students will at least know who and where to complain,” said Shukla Mahanty, principal of Jamshedpur Women’s College.

The college will include a 20-marks paper in its Bachelor of Education (BEd) syllabus from next year. The laws will be a part of Emerging Trends in Education, a compulsory 100-marks paper out of which 20 marks will be dedicated to the laws.

As far as undergraduate studies are concerned, the final year compulsory paper of general knowledge and environmental science of 100 marks will also include the laws. Here too the division will be of 80 and 20 marks.

The new initiatives do not end here. The college has also decided to introduce grading system from the new session to replace marks.

“It would be wonderful because most of the time people are unaware of laws and thus fail to get justice or even approach the police station. If we know our rights and the laws, it would be easier to deal with a difficult situation,” said Indrani Banerjee, a second year student of the college.

Notably, after the Delhi gang rape and the rape of a minor in the city, Jamshedpur Women’s College faculty and students had taken out a rally and requested women to come out of their houses and join the protest.