Indian government directs JNU, IIM, Harvard to evaluate its skill development programmes

According to reports, this notice from the government came in after these institutes faced questions over their effectiveness.

Here’s the list of universities that have been asked to carry out review scheme:

  • IIM- Bangalore.
  • Jawaharlal Nehru University.
  • Harvard Business School.
  • University of Pennsylvania.
  • Deakin University of Australia.
  • Delhi School of Economics.

As per reports, the National Skill Certification and Monetary Reward Scheme (NSDC) is the execution agency of the ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship and the ministry has taken this decision in consultation with the Prime Minister’s Office.

Moreover, while explaining the need for the government to engage academic institutes for “analytical study,” Manish Kumar, the corporation’s CEO and managing director said, “We would like to know the number of youths trained so far and whether these schemes have been able to bring any change in their lives and upgrade their living standards.”

“We have asked these institutions to do an in-depth research and provide information about the results and effects of skill development plans. With this we will get to know the gaps that can be bridged,” Kumar added.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the scheme in July 2015 with a target to train 2.4 million youth in India.

Source: PTI

25,000 Indian students to be trained in cyber security by Cisco

The company will impart skill to students in the area of networking, security and Internet of Things (IoT) over a period of time.

As per reports, the information was given by Dinesh Malkani, President, Cisco India and SAARC, who said that the company has contributed to education in the country in a major way and there are many campuses which use their technology.

Training to be imparted in digital skills

Earlier this month, Cisco and RV College of Engineering (RVCE) had announced the launch of a Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Internet of Things (IoT) to impart training in digital skills in Bengaluru. Dinesh Malkani told “We are extremely focused on India. We have been here for 20 years, we have R&D facilities, global delivery centers and have also invested heavily in the country in regards to Digital India perspective.”

The company has been involved in most of the work which has been going on with smart cities and continues to be engaged in projects like safe city project in Navi Mumbai or projects done in Lucknow for safe city or Nagpur.

“Thus, across the board we have been very focused on the smart cities vertical. We keep refining our solutions and portfolios,” Malkani said. He added that at present the company is currently running 50 projects which aim to help in the area of cyber security and which is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Source: IANS

CBSE to do away with grace marks for class 12 board exams: HRD to take decision soon

If implemented, the moderation of marks would lead to lower cut-offs in college admission.

According to reports, the move comes after CBSE requested MHRD to develop a consensus on completely removing the marks moderation policy so that the process of getting admissions gets easier.

Moreover, the HRD Ministry has called a meeting of all state school boards on April 24 in order to build consensus on a proposal to scrap the policy of ‘marks moderation’ or ‘grace marks’.

More on modernization of marks:

Odisha government: Mobile science lab launched for students

Chief Secretary A P Padhi flagging off the mobile school and community science laboratories said, ”This initiative has been started by the state government in collaboration with TCS foundation and Tata Trusts.”

Areas to be covered

Jitendra Nayak, Regional Manager of Tata Trust said these vehicles would cover Muniguda, Bissamcuttack, Thuamul Rampur, Lanjigarh and Kothgarh blocks. The vehicles are designed as multi-purpose mobile labs and they would cover all primary and secondary schools in these blocks.

About the mobile libraries

UGC releases list of over 35,000 approved journals

The teaching community and other stakeholders have been demanding a list of notified journals for a long time to set a benchmark for research and allied activities in the field of higher education.

The UGC has released the list of the approved journals, and the research work published only in them would be considered for the purpose of Career Advancement Scheme (CAS) and recruitment of teachers and other academic staff, an official said.

“The list of journals is available as a web-based database with search and browse interface on the UGC website. ( ) Universities can recommend inclusion of additional peer-reviewed journals that are not listed in the existing list through a university-level academic journal expert committee,” UGC secretary Jaspal Sandhu, said in a letter addressed to vice-chancellors of all universities.

The Commission has asked the varsities to send their recommendations before May 15. Listed journals are indexed in Web of Science, Scopus and Indian Citation Index. Journals covered in a selected indexing and abstracting services have been also added to the approved list.

The list is broadly categorized into three streams — Science, Social Sciences and Arts and Humanities.

The direct recruitment of teachers and other academic staff is carried out under the UGC (Minimum Qualifications for Appointment of Teachers and other Academic Staff in Universities and Colleges and Measures for the Maintenance of Standards in Higher Education) (4th Amendment), Regulations, 2016.

Source: PTI

Mumbai University Vice-Chancellor pushes for digital assessment of papers

The exams started mid-March and as the university is yet to select an agency to install the facility, teachers had started marking the papers manually.

“The examination house has received orders that clearly say that all papers are to be marked digitally this year. We have no choice but to follow orders. Assessment can resume only after on-screen facilities are implemented,” said an official from the university.

In January, MU Vice-Chancellor Sanjay Deshmukh had announced that the university would introduce on-screen assessment for all its courses. Each of the 19.5 lakh answer sheets is to be scanned and assessed on computers.

“The final bid should be selected by April 22, and until then, all manual assessment will be stalled,” added the official.

While MU waits for the best bid to kick-off its digital assessment project, colleges are worried that this move will further delay the process of announcing results. MU has already received much flak from institutes and students for delaying results of more than 150 courses by three months and more. The TYBMS result was announced almost four months later, leaving students with no time to apply for re-evaluation.

“Any delay in assessment will directly lead to a delay in announcing results. April 22 is when they’ll decide on the online agency, but assessment will not begin till all teachers are trained in the process, which could take weeks. What is the university planning to do with the increasing pile of answer booklets till then?” asked the principal of a south Mumbai college.

“The assessment has been stopped according to orders from higher authorities and we hope to resume the process at the earliest. Digital assessment should hasten the evaluation,” said Deepak Wasave, in-charge CoE.

Source: PTI

IITs to admit more women from 2018 to combat gender imbalance

A meeting of the joint admission board of IITs recommended an increase of 600 seats – a hike of 14% — in the number of seats allotted to women, taking the total quota to 1,440 seats.

Officials, however, said the exact number could vary and will be decided on a year to year basis.

The committee also recommended awarding merit scholarships regardless of parental income to all female students based on merit. However, this has to be approved by the IIT council.

The quota increase will be from the “supernumerary” or excess seats, in the IITs, a senior HRD official said. The quota will be increased every academic year from 2018 till the number of female students touched 20%.

Currently, women make up just 8% of the student strength at 23 IITs across the country.

The increase won’t affect the existing number of seats for male candidates and the changes will be implemented over a maximum of eight years.

“The 20% supernumerary seats will be filled by female candidates who have cleared JEE-Advanced…so merit is followed,” said another official.

A sub-committee under the chairmanship of professor Timothy Gonsalves was formed to find ways to rectify the situation in the institutes.

It was learnt that there was a 2% dip in the number of girls who cleared JEE-Advanced in 2016 compared to 2015.

While more than 1,000 women cracked the examination — roughly 10% of the total 10,000 seats — in 2015, approximately 840 made it to the institutes in 2016-17.

“The number of seats for male candidates will not be affected and this will help IITs achieve the target by 2020. Also, only candidates who have already qualified in JEE-Advanced will be considered,” an official added.

The IITs are among India’s best institutes and regularly ranked high in global surveys but are plagued by a paltry number of women students, seen as the Indian’s society’s belief that men are more suited for technical jobs.

“Due to societal preferences and biases in India, by and large, it is the sons who are sent for coaching rather than equally talented daughters. Holding traditional, paternalistic views, parents may believe that they are acting in the best interests of the girls, that they are protecting them from a hostile society that they are preparing them for a suitable feminine role in life,” a recent report said.

Besides, the admissions panel also decided that all candidates will get seven rounds of counselling, two more than the present number.

Source: PTI

HRD minister Javadekar all praise for SRCC’s national ranking, NAAC rating

SRCC’s Annual Day was celebrated on April 13, 2017. Journalist and SRCC alumnus Rajat Sharma was also a guest of honor. On the occasion, besides release of research journals, students were awarded medals, prizes and certificates of appreciation for their academic achievements and work done in extra-curricular activities and sports. Distinguished alumni from various walks of life were also felicitated for excellence.

Speaking on the occasion, Ajay Shriram, chairman of the college governing body, said the NAAC and NIRF inputs had given an opportunity to SRCC for introspection. The challenge was how the teaching and learning process and student-oriented facilities could be improved further. Recalling activities of the college during 2016-17, principal

R P Rustagi noted that besides an international conference at Kigali (Rwanda), college students had organised an international conference at Dubai in March 2017 which was attended by 200 student delegates from 17 countries.

In his speech, guest of honor Sharma said that in view of increasing competition, extracurricular activities had an important role to play in career making.

Source: PTI

11-year-old Hyderabad boy Agastya Jaiswal clears Class 12, aims to be a doctor

A student of St Mary’s Junior College at Yousufguda, the 11-year-old scored 63% marks, with commerce, economics and civics as his main subjects.

“I want to do my graduation in commerce in the next three years but my ultimate goal is to be a doctor,” Agastya told..

A commerce graduate and a doctor? Well, Agastya has a plan.

After he completes B. Com, he will repeat intermediate.

“…but with biology, physics and chemistry. I will then write medical entrance exam and get a seat in an MBBS course,” he said.

Agastya needs to be back in junior college also because he has to be at least 17, the average age at which a student passes Class 12, to sit the test to get into a medical college.

And, he doesn’t want to waste time.

“I don’t want to sit idle and want to go ahead with B. Com,” said Agastya, who was all of eight when he passed Class 10. He took a “gap year” before enrolling for intermediate.

Aren’t economics and commerce difficult to understand? “I don’t mug up topics, but understand them and write answers,” he said in a matter-of-fact tone, adding his parents trained him well to understand the subjects. He also thanked his lecturers for helping him.

Starting young seems to be a family trait.

At 17, his sister, Naina, has enrolled for PhD.

Naina, who played international table tennis at sub-junior level, was the first girl from Asia to pass Class 10 at eight and intermediate at 10. “I achieved the feat a year earlier than my brother,” she said.

Two years after she became the youngest journalism graduate in the country at 13, Naina got her master’s degree in political science from Osmania University.

She has chosen Adi Kavi Nannayya University in Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh for her PhD. Vice chancellor M Muthyala Naidu will guide her in her thesis on sports management, with emphasis on table tennis. “I will be joining the course next month,” Naina said.

Their father, Ashwani Kumar, is a practicing advocate and is happy with the way his children have raced through school and college. “They are born talented. I only identified their talent and encouraged them,” he said.

Source: PTI

Madras High Court: MCI Amendment on PG medical seats Challenged

Students not to be disturbed

In an interim order on the petition by the deemed medical university, the bench also asked authorities not to disturb 59 students, admitted to the university before issuance of the notification.

The court, however, made their admissions subject to the outcome of the petition and posted the matter for further hearing on April 26. In its petition, the university said that the MCI on March 10 this year amended the Post Graduate Medical Education Regulations, 2000, adding Regulation 9A relating to the common counselling and issued the notification.

The Union Ministry of Health subsequently instructed all the deemed universities to be the part of the common counselling for admission in Post Graduate courses and to surrender 50 per cent of their seats to the government quota.

According to the petitioner there have been no seat sharing arrangement between the state government and the deemed universities, either for the under graduate or the post graduate courses till now.

Citing the Supreme Court orders, including that in the T M Pai case, the petitioner said it has been held that the seat sharing arrangement should be voluntary and cannot be enforced on the deemed universities.

It pleaded to the court to declare Regulation 9A as unconstitutional and violating the Article 19(1) (g) of the constitution.

Source: PTI