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Students' Column

Women in Indian Cinema



Written by Arundhati Menon

In the early 15th century, women were not allowed by law to act. Smooth faced men or young boys played the female roles. Evidently, that did change. Women started acting and in rather prominent roles and people began to think that the misogynistic industry was becoming pro-women. What they didn’t realize is that it just got worse.

Apart from a handful of movies, the rest are pretty much the same- the compelling, all-powerful male lead and the female who always needs protection. It gets much worse down south where most movies have the heroines in cameos, where their roles are about ten minutes long in three-hour movies. Even in romantic comedies- the heroines are finally blamed for all the issues in the relationships and are made to grovel and beg for forgiveness to the triumphant, proud heroes. After all- most directors down south -and for that matter all over India- are male. Why would they bother about gender equality? Instead they give their free advice about women through their films, calling women ‘domineering’, ‘unpredictable’ and ‘helpless’. This chauvinistic attitude shows very clearly in the usage of dialogues such as- ‘women should keep silence’, ‘women should be modest’, ‘women should keep their head held low’ and other such nonsensical expressions. In action flicks the heroes are immortalized and given super-human powers while the heroines will be standing quietly in the side lines or playing the role of the annoying saboteur.

It is a dismal fact that the Indian film industry- the most popular, powerful, not to mention one of the richest industries- suffers from a male superiority complex. The terms ‘arm-candy’ and ‘eye-candy’ are not only derogatory and insulting, but disappointingly the only way to describe the parts heroines play in majority of the Indian movies.

There are a handful of movies that are women-oriented and portray females in respectable roles, however, how many of those are really there?

The Indian film industry is a jingoistic film industry. It is an industry where young women who are barely 20 are paired with males who are much more than thrice their ages. It is an industry where actors can act till whatever age they please, but actresses have shelf lives. An expiry date. It is an industry where actors can continue acting long after marriage, but the minute an actress gets married, nobody wants to get her to sign even a single movie. It is an industry where even fifteen-year-old girls are made to perform osculating scenes without even the slightest bit of consideration that they are barely eighteen, and still minors.

The presence of such a mind-set is what is holding back the industry from progressing. Women-centric movies have proven to be explosively popular in the past: for example- Kahaani,English Vinglish, The Dirty Picture, Nagaina etc. in the north and the 100 crore film Arundhati from the south.

I really don’t see the use of celebrating 100 years of Indian cinema if this basic issue cannot be addressed.

It is very depressing to see such talented actresses having to perform such menial roles out of no fault of their own. It is horrible, completely unacceptable and hopefully temporary.

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Students' Column

The Benefits of Online Education



So many universities are offering to teach online and long distance, and there are many benefits to taking these kind of courses. Where you can learn depends on how much you have to spend, where you live, if you have transport, and can stop many people from getting onto the the course they want to, or even getting educated at all.

There are so many benefits to getting qualifications. You can get into sectors that need to to have specialized experience like working in a hospital, or getting into law. Learning is a great to get into a different line of work, or challenge yourself intellectually. Whatever your reasons, long distance learning can benefit a lot of people.

You Can Learn Anywhere

If you live in the middle of nowhere and physically can’t access a university campus then you have difficulty finding the course you want to study near you, or somewhere you can easily access. Unlike traditional education, there doesn’t need to be a number of students for a class to run, because students are all over the country. Therefore, you have a better chance of studying exactly what you want, and getting exactly the classes you want to study.

You can study from home, or anywhere else you want. Many people work best from, or don’t want all the distractions and inconveniences that come from attending classes, so get a better learning experience by working from home. You never know, an online msn degree could be for you. Sometimes a bit of comfort and relaxation in your own home can help to you to learn better, and retain that information.

Make Your Classes Work Round You

Attending classes on campus means you have to make time for travel and time for the actual classes too, which can take up a lot of your time. If you have families, jobs, or other commitments this can be very difficult. With online classes, however, they are much more flexible. This means you don’t have to sacrifice your other commitments, or use your time unnecessarily, because you can make your classes work round you. Are you a night owl? Then you can learn all you want when you work best.

Save Money

Online classes are notoriously cheaper than traditional ones. This is because you don’t have to be constantly present on campus, and you won’t be using as many resources either. Having cheaper tuition is a bonus, and make these courses accessible to many more people than traditional ones.

You also be saving on travel too. Travel is a huge expense for many people who take courses, and can really add up when you are already paying tuition. Save time and money by learning online.

There are so many great benefits to learning online, rather than in person on campus. These courses are becoming increasingly popular, because they are in demand. More people can study exactly the course they want, and can do so even if they live on remote parts of the country. There are so many benefits to taking online courses, so find about ones available to you today.

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Students' Column

How Online Education Could Change the World



online education

Online education, whether it be via Massive Open Online Courses from the likes of FutureLearn, edX and Coursera or via top colleges and universities around the globe, are not only very convenient for those students who want save money and learn in their own time – they might just change the world.

Sound like a big claim to make? Consider the following:

You Can Learn Anything for Free

This might not seem like a big deal to you if you were lucky enough to have a full college fund or obtain a scholarship when you turned 18, nor might it matter much to you if you were able to take out a reasonable loan for your degree, but there are lots of people all over the world who simply cannot afford to get an education. Because they cannot earn enough money to pay for an education, they, their families and their communities are stuck in poverty. If they could learn the skills they need to move up the ladder and make more of their lives, then all of us will benefit as a result.

All it would take would be for poor towns and villages to be set up with internet access and a handful of devices to access them, and the uneducated could become educated.


Of course, a lot of people living in a lot of places, particularly in the third world, don’t have access to a decent education simply because there is no infrastructure to support them – there are no schools and colleges nearby, and online courses could change this too.

We Can All Learn Anything We Want

When learning is as simply as logging on to a computer at your convenience, you no longer have to worry about moving half-way across the country to do the only ba policing degree that’s suitable for you or the only writing course that’s worth a dime, which means fewer of us will have to settle in the future and consequently more of the right people will enter the right occupations. That is something that will benefit us all.

Lifelong Learning Will Become the Norm

Being able to learn anything online, and often for free or a very small fee is sure to convince more of us to go on learning long past when we would usually have settled into a routine. This means we will have more people in the workforce who have a wide range of knowledge and ideas, and of course, the more educated we all are, the better our prospects for the future are as a collective.

It’s Better for the Environment

Think about it – when we have fewer people commuting to school, using physical textbooks and making regular trips to the library, instead choosing to learn from the comfort of their own home, it is going to have a positive effect on the environment and that is exactly the kind of thing that we need right now.

If online learning continues to get better and be more widely available, it is surely going to change the world, sometimes in a big way, sometimes small, but for sure, it will shake things up!

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Students' Column

Which Countries Rank For The Best Quality Of Education?



People who want to study abroad should take the time to research their country of choice. Some nations offer a much higher quality of education than others. With that in mind, this article should serve to point you in the right direction. Just ensure you continue your research after clicking away from this page.


Belgium is a quiet country with a vibrant population. It’s a peaceful place where the government invests heavily in education for its citizens. Foreigners can apply for university with ease, and some of the best minds in Europe lecture at the top colleges.


Most people overlook Finland because they know little about the country and its people. However, in recent rankings, Finland achieved second place when it came to determining the best quality of education in the world. So, maybe you should take a look at some of the universities?


Switzerland is considered the best place in the world to go for a first-class education according to most experts. Only 5% of children attend private schools in that nation because the public education system is fantastic.

If you’d like to know more about the potential costs involved when going to Europe for an education; just take a moment to check out the infographic published below. It offers some excellent information that should help to ensure you leave no stone unturned. Studying abroad isn’t for everyone, but it’s guaranteed to become a life-changing experience you will never forget. So, what’s holding you back? Now is the best time to set the wheels in motion.

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