The Union Grants Commission urged all universities to set up a student counselling system to look after struggle and challenges faced by the students at the universities. The urgent step was taken after the massive outrage related to the suicide of the dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula at the Hyderabad University. UGC Secretary Jaspal Singh Sandhu has written to the VCs (Vice chancellors) of the universities in the nation for the setting up of the system which will be an interactive and target-oriented set up. It will involve students, teachers and parents to address general student concerns which include anxiety, stress, fear of change and failure to homesickness and other academic worries.
The teacher counsellors will be trained to work as the guardians of students and remain in close contact with the batch of students allotted to them for the year. They will provide emotional and intellectual guidance to the students at regular interval of time to boost the career building of the students. These counsellors also need to coordinate with the wardens of hostels and exchange personal details of students, academic record and behaviour patterns for prompt pre-emptive or corrective action. HRD ministry has decided to set up the system as a prompt response to the outrage which was triggered by the suicide of the Rohith Vermula, a dalit scholar at the Hyderabad University as an alleged issue of casteism. UGC has also asked the universities to observe 30th January as Martyrs day and also celebrate ‘Matribhasha Diwas’ on 21st February every year.
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HRD ministry plans to arrange for a national-level screening test for the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) candidates. The test has been proposed to be a measure to minimize coaching needs.
This will make it necessary for the candidates hoping to take admission in the colleges like Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), National Institutes of Technology (NITs), and other centrally-funded technical institutions, to take an aptitude test before they appear for JEE.
People from the education industry have different views on the proposal. Former JEE Chairperson Professor P. V. Balaji have different opinion. He opines that an aptitude test would result in students having to take aptitude coaching. This would be an additional requirement for students.
According to him the coaching industry will rather flourish further and parents & children will be under more stress. If an aptitude test is conducted more than once, most students would want to take the test a number of times.
On the other hand, the Director of Aakash Educational Services Pvt Ltd has a different opinion on this. According to him, the new test would be able to help the students determine if they are fit for JEE or not, even before their Board exams. If need be, this would give them time to change their track and focus on a different college and career. He opines that the fears of additional pressure remains, but the government should think about the ways of helping students, rather than curbing coaching classes.
The admission procedure in NIT’s and IIT’s from next year onwards could undergo a major change and will totally based on JEE Mains. A panel appointed by the government is likely to recommend to discard the weightage given to the marks that are obtained by the students in board examinations. It was said by the director of IIT Bombay and a member of panel, Devang Khakhar that they would be recommending to discard the weightage given to board marks. A final decision would be coming early in the next month when Smriti Irani will take a meeting of the NIT council. As per the previous policy, 40% weightage is of board exams, and 60% weightage is of JEE- Mains. The main cause for discarding the board exams marks is the delay in the results of board examinations and this delay led to the postponement of admissions to the IITs & NIT’s, which causes anxiety among students and parents. The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government was blamed for this failure. A sub-committee is formed by the joint entrance examination apex board to reconsider the whole process of JEE-Mains rank allotment. The process of conducting exams should be reviewed to give candidates a break before they appear for the tests, so that their minds will be fresh at the time of the tests. The report says that the JEE Mains exam may be held earlier next year (2016) as the admission process requires more time. The eligibility criteria for JEE Mains in 2016 would be:
- Candidates should have subjects Physics & Math in class 12.
- They have studied at least one subject: Chemistry, Biology, Computer Science and Bio-technology.
- Minimum of 50% marks is needed in all subjects.
- Date of Birth should be on or after October 1, 1990 for general, and for SC/ST/PwD it should be on or after October 1, 1985.
- If above criteria are fulfilled, then a candidate is allowed to give maximum 3 attempts.
Finally the academic session of Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Bodh Gaya has been inaugurated on Monday i.e. August 31, 2015 by the HRD (Human resource management) Minister, Smriti Irani. She also inaugurated the IIM-Bodh Gaya’s transit campus at Magadh University’s (MU) directorate of distance education (DDE) building.
For the first batch, the Magadh University (MU) has aloted around 20,000 sq ft of space spread over two floors of the DDE building for the IIM’s temporary campus. The second and the third floors would be used as administrative and academic blocks, respectively. Moreover, 90 rooms have been allotted in hostel block to accommodate students of IIM Bodh gaya. This is the temporary campus of IIM Bodh gaya.
IIM Calcutta has been serving as a mentor institution for IIM Bodh Gaya. IIM Calcutta as a mentor institute for a year for IIM Bodh Gaya is now in efforts to make IIM Bodh Gaya as an International B school.
Irani also came up to an agreement with the Centre regarding the opening the new IIM on the campus of the Magadh University in Bodh Gaya. She started the project work of constructing seven buildings of the Central University of South Bihar (CUSB), which is at Panchanpur, 100 km away from Gaya. CUSB campus is placed in 300 acres of land.
In her speech, Irani Addressed the gathering that the Central University Of South Bihar (CUSB) would now open up more good opportunities for the students for higher education.
On the birth anniversary of Jayaprakash Narayan, PM Modi launched the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana keeping his commitment, he made to the nation in his Independence Day speech. The scheme is properly and religiously implemented will revolutionize the village economies and culture.
This scheme cover a wide spectrum of indicators like health, nutrition and education through organising and monitoring immunization drives, improving standard and quality of mid-day meal schemes, improving Aadhaar enrollment, setting up “smart schools” with IT-enabled classrooms and e-libraries, Panchayat infrastructure improvement under schemes such as MGNREGA and Backward Regions Grants Fund etc.
SAGY has asked the states to adopt best practices that can be emulated by other schools. SAGY is aiming to make mid-day scheme as its model scheme. For effective implementation of MDMS (Mid day meal scheme) in eligible schools which comes under SAGY gram Panchayats, HRD Ministry asked the states to issue instructions at all level to make it model for other panchyats and village areas.
Under Mid may meal scheme, hot cooked food is to be provided to 10.33 crore children who are studying elementary schools in approx 11.67 lakh government aided schools on daily basis.
Also an effective action would be taken on the visible improvement and attendance and availability of food grains, cooking cost, model kitchen cum store, clean and drinking water facilities and healthy hygiene facility such hand washing etc, utensils cleaning, timing payment to cooks and other helpers and on menu also.
The University Grants Commission had made an amendment four years ago allowing all open universities to conduct MPhil/PhD programmes. The HRD ministry has asked the regulator to notify it. In the absence of any notification, the amendment had not seen any execution.
After Indira Gandhi National Open University amended its ordinance, the ministry’s actions have taken a start. Although IGNOU has sought the Visitor’s approval for its amendment but the HRD ministry will not be able to forward it till UGC notifies the changes in the regulations.
A senior IGNOU official informed the media that the ordinance fulfils all the stipulations made in the UGC regulations. He added that due to the delay no admissions could be made for MPhil/PhD in January and July sessions. Other universities can benefit if UGC notifies its regulations according to the ministry sources. The IGNOU official also pressed upon the need for bostering research in the country.
The UGC in its 478th meeting that took place in July 2011, had amended its UGC (minimum standards for award of MPhil/PhD) Regulations of 2009. According to the amendment it was decided that an Open University may be allowed to conduct M.Phil/Ph.D programmes through distance education which is subject to the condition that it does so strictly as per the provisions of the regulations. It is stipulated that a teacher should not have more than two candidates who will be working under their supervision as a joint guide.
Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Smriti Irani informs Rajyasabha that the University Grants Commission (UGC) has begun many actions against the fake universities operating in the country.
“According to the University grants Commission (UGC), there are 21 fake universities which are listed in the UGC list of fake universities and operating in a breach or violation of the UGC Act, 1956 in different parts of the country,” she said in a written response to Rajya Sabha question.
“According to the UGC, some institutions offer bachelor/ master in various subjects that were not created by or under a Central or state or UGC act and, therefore, these fake institutions have no right to convey/to grant any degrees,” she said.
The HRD Minister also informed about some actions taken by the UGC against fake universities-
- To teach the General public/students/parents, the UGC does not affect the list of fake institutions on its website. All the self-proclaimed unrecognized and unapproved institutions have been warned they may attract serious action in accordance with the provisions of relevant laws, including the UGC act and Indian Penal Code, etc.
- Cases have also been filed in different courts against UGC fake universities/institutions.
- SGC is defending cases in court in the interests of the General public/students. Actions associated with the closure of the fake institution should be approved by the relevant state authorities and local self-government.
- The UGC has also sent a letter to Vice-Chancellor/ Director/ principal in 21 fake universities to shut down fake agencies without delay.
- Reminder letters to the state/UT of principal secretaries/secretaries of education were issued to take appropriate action against fake universities located in their influence.
The Government could roll out an ambitious program to create a “kindergarten to post-graduate institutions” in teaching in educationally backward regions of the country. The proposal is under consideration before the Ministry.
Although the concept is not new to the education sector and such institutions exist in some States, the Department aims to make the most out of it, offering education for many poor people who are forced to migrate to distant places and big cities to pursue higher education, they said.
A student enrolling in kindergarten in such institutions has admission preferences, as they move from school to higher education under one roof. Jamia Milia Islamia, Viswa Bharati and Banasthali Universities are some of such institutions. In Chhattisgarh, the government has also announced plans for the creation of such institutions for the promotion of tribal education in the state.
Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani said rotary club India collaborates with her in the Ministry to help one lakh children who ceased to attend school due to various reasons, to continue their education.
The HRD Ministry will take the lead to ensure that one lakh children who drop out of school for a variety of reasons, can resume their education,” Irani told reporters.
She also said that Mansi Mahumkar, blind mallakhamb players from Maharashtra, as a brand Ambassador HRD Ministry ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan‘.
Irani participated in the program organized by Yes Bank in partnership with Rotary to run, “YES! i am the CHANGE- Responsible Youth Citizen” national movement with the aim of involving young people in India’s social transformation.
One crore young people across the country are authorized to work in the direction of women’s security, clean India campaign and using media to accelerate inclusive development. The Force of one lakh youth ambassadors will be urbanized to vigorously promote the movement of pan-India.
HRD Minister Smriti Irani said today that the government pays remarkable notice to the transformation and increase of madrassas in the country. In the HRD Ministry has taken all necessary steps towards the modernization and strengthening of the madrasah, Irani said at a function in the Jamia Milia Islamia University.
Irani was speaking in the national conference on “education and the inclusion of Indian Muslims”. The newly appointed Chancellor of Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) Zafar Sareshwala also attended the Symposium, which was chaired by Jamia Vice-Chancellor Talat Ahmad.
Irani also drew attention to the significance of career development in education. No education is complete without building character and strong sense of service to the underprivileged and the homeland, “she said.
The central government has rejected the move to change NCERT textbooks especially history segment. The human resource development ministry has informed the LOK sabha that there is no any intention of the government to take “corrective measures” to change the NCERT books syllabus. The ministry said that Aryan culture and Vedic age are sufficiently reflected in the curriculum in books educated in CBSE-affiliated schools.
Minister of state for HRD, Upendra Kushwaha, Said in a written reply that the textbooks of class VI which is published by NCERT Aryan culture and Vedic is well explained in chapter 5 and chapter 6. Kushwaha also stated that the course if fully based on the academic accomplishments of great Indians and are taught in several range of books such as technical, artistic, scientific, philosophical and scriptural.