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UC Audit reveals standards held lower for out-of-state applicants

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uc-berkeley(Diya TV) — A recent audit of the University of California at Berkeley revealed that thousands of students from out of state with lower grades and test scores than state residents have been receiving higher admission rates as an effort to raise more cash for the school.

In the last three years, nearly 16,000 nonresident undergraduates — about 29 percent of those admitted — have been admitted to the prestigious public university with grade-point averages and test scores below the median of admitted Californians, according to a state audit released Tuesday. The 116-page audit criticizes university practices that it says undermine state residents’ access in favor of nonresident students who pay almost triple in tuition to that of a state resident — $38,108 per year versus $13,400.

According to the state’s Master Plan for Higher Education, the UC should only admit nonresidents who are as qualified as the “upper half of residents who are eligible for admission.” In 2011, the language of the plan was amended so that nonresidents only had to “compare favorably” the audit notes.

“The Master Plan is the commitment that California made to high school students and families that if they work hard, they’ll have the opportunity to an education at UC,” State Auditor Elaine Howle said. “The problem is that UC campuses have an incentive to bring in nonresidents — and that’s hurting California high school graduates who want to go to UC.”

Beginning in 2008, regents of the UC system began encouraging nonresident enrollment by allowing campuses to retain the extra tuition money brought in instead of sharing it with other schools. As a direct result, enrollment of nonresidents more than quadrupled in the last decade, while the enrollment of Californians only increased by 10 percent, despite the fact resident applications rose 52 percent.

Now, Howle is recommending the State Legislature put a cap on the number of nonresidents who can enroll. The recommendation has already been met with positive review by two lawmakers, Assemblywomen Kristin Olsen, R-Modesto (Stanislaus County), and Catharine Baker, R-San Ramon. Both say they plan to introduce a bill that will do just that, and will require higher admission standards for nonresidents at the same time.

UC Berkeley President Janet Napolitano

UC Berkeley President Janet Napolitano

Whether or not the UC system will be required to comply is up for debate, unlike the California State University system, UC is autonomous.

In a rebuttal to the audit, UC President Janet Napolitano writes that the university has enrolled more California students than it receives funding for from the state, and calls the claim that UC is undermining resident applicants “unfounded.” She added: “If anything has constrained the enrollment of California students, it has been reductions in state funding. Nonresidents pay the full cost of their education — and more.”

UC also responded with its own report, “Straight Talk on Hot-Button Issues: UC Admissions, Finances, and Transparency 2016,” that says “UC policies overwhelmingly favor California residents” and points out that the admission rate for in-state applicants is higher than that of nonresidents.

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Trump impeachment inquiry hearings begin

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Trump Impeachment inquiry

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — On the first day of the public Trump impeachment inquiry hearings over the President’s dealings in Ukraine, Bill Taylor, the acting US ambassador to Ukraine, testified one of his aides heard from EU ambassador Gordon Sondland that the President was focused on triggering investigations into Joe Biden and his son. The aide, David Holmes, reportedly also overheard a conversation between Trump and Sondland, where they discussed ‘the investigations.’ Holmes will appear for a closed-door deposition with impeachment investigators Friday. Republican allies of Trump painted the testimony of Taylor and George Kent as hearsay.

More than 100 Indian CEOs, political leaders and even Bollywood stars like Deepika Padukone will head Davos in January for the 50th anniversary of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting to discuss making ‘cohesive and sustainable world.’ President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin are also expected to be there.

The Food and Drug Administration granted Shreis Scalene Sciences (Shreis), an American company, a ‘Breakthrough Device Designation’ for the CYTOTRON, a cancer treatment, developed in India, by scientist Dr. Rajah Vijay Kumar in Bengaluru.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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India, Pakistan trade quips at UNESCO

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UNESCO

PARIS (Diya TV)  — At UNESCO’s general conference in Paris, both Pakistan and India traded quips over Kashmir. Pakistan’s Minister of Education and newly elected President of UNESCO’s Education Commission Shafqat Mehmood efforted to convince UNESCO leadership to confront India over their recent constitutional change affecting Jammu and Kashmir, claiming 1.5 million Kashmiri students who have not been able to attend schools since August 5th. In response, India’s UNESCO delegate Ananya Agarwal countered that “Pakistan is the world’s largest producer and exporter” of terrorism, calling Pakistan’s charges “fabricated falsehoods.”

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Notable executives from the worlds of private investing, industry and nonprofits came together to talk about impact investing at Akshaya Patra’s TAP Forum in the Bay Area. The goal is to take the diasporas success to build a foundation for the next generation.

The Indian women’s hockey team will get the chance to go for the gold in Tokyo, qualifying for the 2020 Olympics after beating team USA in a qualifying match.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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House holds hearing on human right violations in Jammu & Kashmir

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Jammu

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — The Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, a bipartisan caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives, examined the human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir. Seattle Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal was among those on hand hearing testimony from experts offering widely different narratives. The commission plans to take these perspectives into account before offering recommendations for action by Congress.

In a line of questioning during the impeachment inquiry lauded by many political analysts, Democratic Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi focused on the timeline of the Ukraine affair, confirming through witness testimony that once Congress began investigating quid pro quo by the Trump administration, security funds were released to Ukraine two days later.

American tech firms are increasingly sponsoring green cards, or permanent US residency, for their employees from India and elsewhere in an effort to hold on to their skilled talent at a time when work visa extensions have become unpredictable.

India will fund at least 250 defense startups over the next five years as it seeks new technologies for their armed forces. The plan is obtain at least 50 ‘tangible innovations’ by the startups for military use.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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