Delhi underground: Glass half full
The all India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), country's premier medical institute, seems to be concentrating on an image makeover. Health activists and the media have been quick to pounce every time there has been a slip up at the institute. The AIIMS has now hired a private public relations agency to highlight its achievements after a "tumultuous phase since 2005, when the relationship with the government was at its lowest ebb". A concept note prepared for journalists gives the lowdown on the problems faced by the institute (such as the delay in clearances for new buildings), and goes on to say: "From mid-2010, the process of revitalising the institute took off. A hands-on approach was adopted to resolve problems that had been holding back the institute from its mandate of excellence." The note highlights achievements like recruitment of faculty that was on hold for years; creation of new faculty posts; starting the new outreach OPD at Jhajjar in Haryana; new specialty blocks; and that the AIIMS has the best nurse to patient ratio among public hospitals.
Some students of Masters in Mathematics Education (the first meta-university degree offered by Jamia Millia Islamia and Delhi University) seemed unaware of the various aspects of the course. On the first day of classes, a student was heard asking classmates the meaning of meta-university. A few others said that they were not sure if the course will enable them to take the National Eligibility Test (NET) for teaching at the university-level.
Pay or leave
As the executive lounge at the New Delhi Railway Station gains popularity, the administration is facing an unexpected problem. Many people go to the lounge and brag about their "highly placed" contacts to use the lounge without paying. "A visitor came to the lounge claiming that he is a close aide of a bureaucrat and should not be asked to pay the entry fee of Rs 300. When his request was denied by the receptionist, he said the bureaucrat would call up and direct them to let him use the lounge for free," an official said. He was politely asked to pay up or leave.