JEE-Advanced authorities released an extended merit list for 2018 recently, following intervention by the government amid concerns whether the number of candidates in the original list was enough to ensure that all available seats would be filled up. From roughly 18,000 candidates for admission to the IITs, the list has now been extended to almost 32,000. Boys continue to outnumber girls — now at nearly 28,000 to 4,000, or 7 to 1.
The proportion has improved slightly from the original 8 to 1 (16,000-odd boys to 2,000-odd girls). This implies that of the nearly 14,000 candidates newly added to the list, roughly 12,000 are boys and 2,000 are girls, a ratio of 6:1. While the number of boys has increased by 70%, the number of girls has doubled, which helped improve the overall gender ratio.
Tip for Reading List: Racist streak in Einstein dairies
Albert Einstein, the famed scientist, was a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany and credited with strong anti-racism views — he described racism as “a disease of white people” during a speech at Lincoln University in 1946, according to the Harvard Gazette. Now, a collection of his diary entries suggests that he held racist and xenophobic views of his own.
The Travel Diaries of Albert Einstein: The Far East, Palestine, and Spain, 1922-1923, published by Princeton University Press and edited by Ze’ev Rosenkranz, compiles Einstein’s musings on his five-and-a-half-month journey, along with then wife Elsa, to Hong Kong, Singapore, China, Japan, Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) and Palestine, besides Spain.
Some passages reveal “Einstein’s stereotyping of members of various nations and raise questions about his attitudes on race”, the Princeton University website says. For example, a review by The Guardian notes, Einstein describes the Chinese as “industrious, filthy, obtuse people”, observes how the “Chinese don’t sit on benches while eating but squat like Europeans do when they relieve themselves out in the leafy woods”, and writes about the “abundance of offspring” and the “fecundity” of the Chinese.
In other entries, described in a BBC review, Einstein writes about how, on arrival in Port Said in Egypt, he faced “Levantines of every shade… as if spewed from hell”, and how the people of Colombo “live in great filth and considerable stench down on the ground, do little, and need little”.
This Word Means: Manual scavenging
A new count shows India has more manual scavengers than thought. What does the law say on this practice?
A recent count has shown the country has 53,000 manual scavengers, a four-fold increase from the previous official total of 13,000 in 2017, according to an inter-ministerial task force whose findings were reported in The Indian Express last week. Manual scavenging is the practice of manual removal of excreta from toilets, septic tanks etc.
The practice is outlawed under the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, last amended in 2013. The original 1993 Act had acknowledged manual scavenging as only the handling of excreta in dry latrines or drains; the 2013 amendment also acknowledges sewer and septic tank cleaning, which is more hazardous.
However, the 2013 Act still allows urban local bodies and Indian Railways to engage labour in these jobs if they are provided with certain “protective gear”, although such gear is rarely provided on the ground.