Maharashtra clarfies bar on college transfer not for law students already in colleges

File photo for representation.

MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government has clarified that a new rule to bar private college students from seeking a transfer to government or aided colleges will not apply to those who had taken admission prior to academic year 2016-17.

The state issued a circular last week after three students of Rizvi Law College had approached the Bombay high court to challenge Rule 17 of the Maharashtra Unaided Private Professional Educational Institutions (Regulation of Admission to Full Time Professional Undergraduate Law Courses) Rules, 2016. The rule prohibits transfers from unaided colleges to state run or aided colleges from this academic year.

Their advocate Yasmin Tavaria argued in court that the rule was discriminatory and arbitrary and the HC bench of Justices S C Dharmadhikari and B P Colabawalla had asked the government pleader Purnima Kantharia to inform what its stand would be. But before the next hearing on August 22, the education department issued a clarificatory circular that the rule does not apply to students who were already in college prior to 2016-17.

The students who challenged had completed the first year of a three year LLB course and wanted to shift to the Government Law College, an aided institution.

Tavaria informed the HC on Monday that the petition has served its purpose, with the issuance of the circular. At this the judges smiled and said that he knew this would happen. The clarification would benefit all those who were already admitted last year, or prior to that, to a law course, said Tavaria.

To fill IIT faculty gaps, PhD entry for BTechs

NEW DELHI: In the IIT council meeting next week, HRD ministry will propose a new research scholar scheme that proposes to identify 1,000 bright BTech students from premier engineering colleges who can be admitted straight into PhD programmes.

Sources said that “IITs will be asked if it is possible to get exceptional students into PhD immediately after BTech”. It would also be proposed that “BTech passouts from IITs who have job experience and are interested in research should be enrolled in PhD,” they added.

A ministry official said the larger idea is to solve the problem of faculty crunch in IITs. He said it is ironical that despite around 2,000 PhDs coming out of IITs each year, the same number of vacancies exist. “When it comes to hiring teachers, IITs are very selective. The need is to improve the quality of PhD and attract bright IIT students to undertake research,” a source said.

To make PhD after BTech attractive, government proposes to offer hefty scholarships to students. “It will not be big enough to compensate the salary a IIT student gets after BTech but it will probably be among the highest,” one official said.

The Anil Kakodkar Committee report on IITs had recommended that each IIT should progressively grow to have around 1,200 faculty (from around 500 today) and closer to 12,000 students with maximum growth coming from an enhanced number of PhD students. It had suggested a minimum of 0.6 PhDs per faculty annually, eventually reaching 1 PhD per faculty. On this basis, the committee had suggested that the IIT system should be scaled to 16,000 faculty and 1,60,000 total student strength (with 40,000 at the PhD level, 40,000 at the Masters level and 80,000 UG students) by around the year 2020.

2000 students drop out of IITs, IIMs in 2 years

IIM-Ahmedabad (File photo)MUMBAI: Getting into IIT and IIMs is tough as it involves clearing national-level entrance tests. But not all who join these institutions complete their courses.About 2,000 students dropped out of IITs and IIMs in the last two years, data from the institutes show. Academic attrition is the highest at IIT-Delhi with 699 students dropping out between 2014 and 2016. It is followed by IIT-Kharagpur (544) and IIT-Bombay (143).

“Most of those who leave the course are those pursuing PhDs,” said IIT-Bombay director Devang Khakhar. PhD dropout numbers are not so much about performance as the punishing tenure of the course.

The number of dropouts at IIMs seems to have risen over the years. While 37 students dropped out between 2003 and 2005, the number rose to 69 between 2006 and 2008. It touched 104 between 2014 and 2016. “Poor academic performance is one of the reasons,” said an IIM-Calcutta faculty member. He said that once a candidate is in, she or he is on the same platform as everyone else.

The six-year-old IIM-Raipur saw the highest dropouts (20) in the last two years. To help students, IIM-A came up with a buddy programme, under which every new entrant is mentored by a second year student. It also conducted three-week orientation and coaching for weak students. Several IIMs have replicated the programme.

IIM Indore also has faculty mentors for academically weaker students. A faculty member said each IIT has a guidance and counselling unit, headed by a faculty member to “identify students facing emotional difficulties and guide them”.

A faculty member said it wasn’t just students from the reserved categories who found it difficult to cope. Former IIM-A director Bakul Dholakia had told earlier: “When students attend the tea party that the director hosts on Day One, it’s easy to identify the reserved category students. When they attend the graduation farewell dinner, we proudly say all the differences are erased.”

Now, students from 9 countries can appear directly for JEE

NEW DELHI: The Joint Admission Board (JAB) of IITs decided on Sunday that students from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, Singapore, the UAE and Ethiopia will be allowed to directly appear for the JEE (advanced) test, skipping the JEE (main) that Indian students have to take.

“The idea has been approved in-principle. Each IIT will also ratify it and the IIT council will approve it next week,” an official said. This was being done to showcase India’s soft power. In any case, he said, foreign students would not eat into the seats meant for Indians.

The principal reason, however, is to make it to the list of top international educational institutions. “In all international rankings one of the key parameters is international students and IITs lose out in a big way despite scoring well on other parameters,” another official said. “Foreign nationals will be given seats under supernumerary category,” he said, adding IIT-Bombay was entrusted with the job of implementing the programme.

Exam centres will be set up in these countries. While Pakistan has been left out due to home ministry’s objection, the choice of Ethiopia as the only country from Africa has evinced a lot of curiosity. Justifying the choice, Gautam Biswas, director of IIT-Guwahati, said, “For the last many years, we have got a large number of Ethiopian students in post-graduate courses. IITs are popular there.”

IIT-Guwahati had eight MTech students from Ethiopia. The UAE, an official said, was selected as people of various nationalities reside in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The cost of admission will be recovered from the foreign student and the government will not bear any expense on account of foreign students. They will be given the same facilities as Indian students.

A university that won’t just teach but help you start up

Being part of something new is full of excitement and anticipation, especially when you are surrounded by some wonderful talent and reputable mentors, and belong to an institution fully invested in your future.

At Bennett University, the first batch of 200 students can’t wait to discover academic modules designed carefully for them, industry interactions lined up, the benefits of tie-ups with foreign universities the institution promises, and a ‘hatchery’ to help bring to fruition entrepreneurial ideas.

Inaugurated by Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday, the university is offering programmes in engineering and management at its state-of-the-art campus in Greater Noida this year, with students enrolled in undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programmes. From next year, the university will also offer programmes in media, law, public policy and design. The enrolment target for the current year is 300 students.

In tune with the need of the present times, the university has decided to lay special emphasis on entrepreneurship and research-oriented study. The hatchery, a part of the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, is dedicated to this.

“We will have around 180 credits, of which two will be on entrepreneurship,” says Prof Suneet Tuli, dean of engineering and applied sciences. “Next year, 20 deserving candidates will get a chance to train at the renowned Babson College of Massachusetts. Then, towards the end of the course, the students will be get an opportunity for training or internship with other international schools,” he adds.

Located on the university’s top floor, the hatchery, says Prof Tuli, “aims to expose students to the practicalities encountered while setting up a startup”.

“This is something that aims to provide a formal platform for any kind of innovative idea. The students will have the faculty’s guidance, a suitable environment and up to Rs 10 lakh of funding if the project is viable,” the dean says.

Arnab Bose, a B.Tech first-year student who is from Jamshedpur, says, “Many students have an idea but don’t know how to develop it because there is no guidance. Money is another issue. The hatchery facility will be of help to those who want to start something of their own.”

The university has a 25 faculty members, among them former IIT professors.

Nearly 10L teachers’ posts lying vacant across country

Representative image.

BAREILLY: Union minister of state for human resource development (HRD) Mahendra Nath Pandey said on Saturday that there are nearly 8-10 lakh posts of teachers lying vacant in schools and higher educational institutions across the country. He said that the government is taking initiative to clear the backlog and is also inviting suggestions to update the education policy which has not been revised since 1976.

Pandey, who was in Bareilly to participate in an event organized by Akhil Bharatiya Brahmin Mahasabha, told TOI, “Though it is true that there is an acute shortage of teachers in the country, it has been created due to a long backlog of posts lying vacant over years and we are working to appoint more faculty members soon. We have identified that there is requirement of nearly 10 lakh teachers across the country in both schools and higher educational institutions.”

 Hinting at a revamp of the education policy, Pandey said, “In our country, the education policy is not properly implemented as it was first made in 1962 and then it was revised in 1976. However, no successive government took the initiative to revise it in all these years. We are now inviting suggestions to introduce changes according to the current challenges and prepare a new education policy.”

Asked about universities not being able to maintain quality due to rising number of affiliated colleges which at times run into hundreds, Pandey said, “Fixing total number of affiliated colleges per university is in the agenda of both central and state governments. We are thinking about it.”

The minister said that maintaining quality of higher education was his priority. “Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) scheme has been introduced to improve the standard of higher education in the country. Besides, we are working to connect out students with facilities offered at international levels through satellite. Our students will be able to learn latest techniques and they will be granted an additional 20% marks for this.”

DU’s longest admission season still continuing

A file photo of Delhi University

NEW DELHI: It has been 110 days and the Delhi University undergraduate admissions are still not over. Not just that, with almost 7,000 unfilled seats, the varsity’s admission committee has now decided to issue three more cutoff lists.

Admission committee sources said on Wednesday that the cutoffs would be announced on August 20, 24 and 29 for close to 6,990 seats that remain vacant. The university had issued its fifth cutoff on July 20, 2016, and thereafter tried to fill up the seats by drawing up five merit lists.

“We struggled with the candidates’ data as the process was changed to online mode this year. Also, the data sent by the university was confusing, which is another reason that even today we have unfilled seats,” said a principal of a north campus college. The undergraduate admission process started on May 1, 2016 with the online registration process. But a large number of seats have remained unfilled, including many in popular courses such as commerce, economics, English, history , political science, mathematics, physics and chemistry across colleges.

Post the fifth cutoff list, the university had taken a new route of inviting fresh applications for candidates who had already applied through the online route. This second phase took nearly two weeks to complete, during which the colleges issued five merit lists.

But with August 31 being the new deadline for admissions to end, “more candidates are likely to take admission through cutoff lists. We can issue three cutoffs during this time,” said J M Khurana, dean of students’ welfare.

According to DU sources, the filling up the remaining 7,000-odd seats won’t be easy. “With the announcement of the results of NEET, the national medical dental entrance test, it’s likely that some students are going to drop out even now,” said a physics teacher from Hansraj College.”Three first-year students I know have cleared the entrance,” he added.

Close to 50 colleges will issue their sixth cutoff across 12 courses on Saturday . Admissions will be done on Saturday and Monday .