New vice-chancellors can stay, rules SC

Hyderabad: In a relief to the Telangana government, the Supreme Court on Monday allowed all the eight newly-appointed vice chancellors in the state to continue in their posts.

The bench of Chief Justice T S Thakur, Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, hearing an appeal filed by Telangana, stayed that part of the judgement of the Hyderabad High Court that rendered some of the VCs ineligible for the post.

The apex court bench, however, ruled against the state’s decision to remove the governor as chancellor of state universities. “Let the governor continue for now and we will decide the issue during the final hearing,” the bench said, while issuing notices to UGC and other authorities to file their counters.

Following a public interest petition filed by retired professor D Manohar Rao, the Hyderabad High Court had struck down the decision of the Telangana government to tweak the eligibility norms laid down by the UGC that only professors with 10 years of experience are eligible for the vice-chancellor post. It also allowed people with ‘relevant administrative capabilities’ to occupy these posts. The state also removed the governor from the chancellor’s post and empowered itself to appoint anyone as chancellor of these varsities.

Special education programme for disabled in Delhi govt schools

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NEW DELHI: Every disabled child studying in Delhi government run and aided schools will now get personal attention with the AAP government asking special educators to prepare an individualized education programme (IEP).

“Special educators placed in government run and aided schools have been asked to prepare an individualized education programme for every disabled child in their care. The IEP will include instructions on the teaching procedure as well,” a senior official of the Directorate of Education (DoE) said.

There are around disabled 20,000 children enrolled in Delhi government schools at present.

“We have asked the special education teachers to prepare the IEP of each child with special needs (CWSN) within 15 days, the format of which should cover everything from basic requirements to extra-curricular activities.

“Teachers will have the liberty to modify any particular child’s module as per requirements. The educators will not only record the type of special need but also associated conditions, languages spoken and referral to other services -in case the child needs services such as physiotherapy,” the official said.

After identifying the problems, the educators will set both short-term and long-term goals for each child.

DoE officials had recently formed seven working groups in association with various NGOs working for children with special needs.

The working groups will work on training modules for special educators, tools to measure learning disabilities, changing administrative structure and recruitment rules to allow lateral entry of experts, teaching aids and regional centres for the severely disabled children to access specialized help.

HRD minister Prakash Javadekar to meet IIM directors next month

HRD minister Prakash Javadekar (TOI File Photo)HRD minister Prakash Javadekar (TOI File Photo)

NEW DELHI: Issues related to quality of management education, exploring avenues for financing and improving global perception of Indian institutions are likely to come up for discussion when HRD minister Prakash Javadekar meets directors of IIMs next month.

The meeting comes at a time when the HRD ministry is working on formulating a New Education Policy (NEP), officials said.

“The HRD minister will be meeting Directors of various IIMs soon and it is expected that a range of issues from quality of education to building best infrastructure will be discussed,” a senior official said.

Officials said Javadekar will also meet heads of other higher educational institutions, which are financed by the Union government in the coming days.

“It has been planned that in the coming days the minister would be interacting with various Vice-Chancellors of Central Universities, NITs, Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISERs) etc,” the official added.

Javadekar had recently presided over the IIT council meeting where directors of these premier educational institutions were present.

“There are a range of issues from quality, affordability, global standings to making education affordable and accessible. It is expected that these sessions will be brainstorming sessions and new ideas will emanate,” officials said.

Kerala government may move SC over medical admission

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KOCHI: Kerala government on Saturday indicated it may approach the Supreme Court seeking clarity over the Kerala High Court order permitting all self-financing medical and dental colleges in the state to go ahead with admission process for the management quota seats.

Both the Central government and the Supreme Court have said that admission for the medical and dental courses shall be conducted from the NEET list on the basis of merit. “It cannot be said the high court was yesterday reiterating the same stand,” Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told reporters here.

The state government might have to approach the Supreme Court to get a “legal clarity” on the matter, he said.

The high court yesterday granted a conditional stay on a state government order directing the Commissioner for Entrance Examination to conduct admission to all seats, including NRI and management, in self-financing medical and dental colleges in the state.

The court permitted the colleges to go ahead with admission process for the management quota seats.

A final decision on approaching the apex court on the issue is likely to be taken on Monday after the government’s meeting with representatives of the self-financing medical and dental college managements.

Vijayan made it clear that the government did not want any confrontation with the self-financing colleges’ managements on the issue.

The high court had rejected the contention of Advocate General C P Sudhakara Prasad that the government’s aim behind the impugned order was to allot seats directly from National Eligibility-cum Entrance Test (NEET) list to management quota to avoid corruption, capitation as well as to ensure transparency.

The private college managements have assailed the impugned order as “unconstitutional” and claimed it was an infringement on certain rights guaranteed under the Constitution to private educational institutions in the country.

The government order had said admission to 50 per cent merit seats in these institutions would be made through the Kerala Entrance Examination 2016 and admission to 35 per cent management quota and 15 per cent NRI seats from NEET list.

IISER expels 15 UG students for scoring below 5 CPI

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BHOPAL: Fifteen second year undergraduate students at Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), the premier national institute for research, have been expelled from the college on Friday. The students were earlier barred from admission to the next year on pretext that they scored below 5 cumulative performance index (CPI).

Students claimed that they have been served termination letter stating they failed to register themselves for next session. However, students alleged they were never informed about any such rule. On the other hand, IISER authorities told TOI they have done everything according to the rule.

Students have now filed a complaint to the MHRD against the institute.

Terminated students alleged institute is playing with their career. “We were served a year-drop notice by the authorities for scoring below 5 CPI in the first week of August. We came to know about this rule when we went for registration for the next class. August 10 was the last date for registration and we were not allowed. Today, they have served termination notice,” said a student wishing anonymity. Students claimed they were never informed about termination in case they secure CPI below five.

He said, “In the mail, they have given the reason that we have been terminated for not registering for the next class. When we were not allowed to register for next class, how is it that we are being blamed for not registering.

In the mail, IISER’s dean academic, Saptarishi Mukherjee stated: “In view of you not registering for 2016-17-I Semester by last date stipulated for late registration i.e. August 10, 2016, we regret to inform you that you have been marked for TERMINATION* from your academic programme.” Students have been asked to appeal to “Chairperson, senate, IISER Bhopal”, against the termination with the explanation of failure to register by the deadline. Last date for appeal is August 30 for this.

Another student pleading anonymity said: “Deadline for registration was August 10 and they took 16 days to tell us about termination. They have cited our non-registration as reason for termination. The fact remains, institute never allowed us to register in the first place. So how could have we go ourselves registered,” he said.

He added: “On August 1, we were given notice for year-drop and today they are talking about our termination. Suddenly, year-drop turned into termination without prior information.”

In frustration, ‘harassed’ students have started leaving the campus. “This is a research institute. No one can keep on fighting with the authorities who are not ready to understand the impacts of wasting one year. In this situation, students who could afford are leaving. A girl recently left the institute after authorities refused to help,” said another student.

Students who have scored above 5 CGPA have also come in support of the victim students. “Let them give an opportunity. Termination is little harsh for them,” said a senior student without quoting his name.

When contacted, dean academics, Sapatrishi Mukherjee said the decision was taken by a committee. “We have done everything according the rule. I do not understand the logic of students who are opposing the rule.”

IB school says it does not come under Right to Education Act

MBIB was set up in Pune in 1998 and has 280 students aged 6 to 18 years.MBIB was set up in Pune in 1998 and has 280 students aged 6 to 18 years.

MUMBAI: Pune’s first International Baccalaureate (IB) school told Bombay high court on Thursday that it was not a “school”, it had no links to the Indian educational system and thus it did not come under the ambit of the Right to Education (RTE) Act.

The assertion led to a bench headed by Chief Justice Manjula Chellur to ask who the school was then answerable to and “how does it help the Indian economy”.

Mercedes-Benz International School, through senior counsel Milind Sathe, said RTE applied only to elementary education in “recognised schools”. Under RTE, every school has to admit 25% students from local areas at low fees. “But this is a standalone academy recognised by the IB Organisation in Switzerland. The school gives a disclaimer that it is not recognised or affiliated to any board or university in India and hence cannot be subject to RTE,” Sathe argued. Granting of recognition by the state authorities makes all students in such schools eligible for transfers and cross-admissions to other schools and for admission to higher education.

Sathe said the school in Pune had its own curriculum and syllabus, and over 60% of its students were children of expats and the other 40% were locals who wished to go abroad for further studies. “This is globalisation,” said Sathe, when Chief Justice Chellur asked how a Swiss academy was setting up school “on our land, using our resources.”

The school run by Mercedes-Benz Education Academy was established in 1998 and has 280 students studying across primary, medium and diploma sections from ages 6 to 18. In conventional schools, it would be the equivalent to standards one to 12.

The high court bench, including Justice M S Sonak, asked the state government and the Centre to file their replies within two weeks on why an IB school should not be under RTE. The petition was filed through advocate Kiran Bapat in 2015 but was heard for the first time on Thursday .

Lawyer Manisha Jagtap, representing the Centre, said there were eight to 10 IB schools in the state and they might seek similar relief. Sathe said there are “only three pure IB schools in the country . The rest are hybrid schools which opt for IB later and they are recognised also as a school with the state or central board. This is the basic difference”.

The Chief Justice asked the state to inform them how the RTE Act is applicable while remarking that “otherwise, everyone in order to get out of the purview of RTE may set up a school…”

Feedback from states, citizens to shape new education policy

  • HRD ministry: Committee headed by an educationist to be set up to finalise new education policy
  • The policy will incorporate feedback from stakeholders, ranging from states to the citizens
  • Aim to make education both an emancipator and an enabler

NEW DELHI: The HRD ministry has said it would set up a committee headed by an educationist to finalise the new education policy. The Subramanian panel’s recommendations were just a “starting point”, it said. The policy will incorporate feedback from stakeholders, ranging from states to the citizens.

In an exclusive interview with TOI on Thursday, HRD minister Prakash Javadekarsaid, “After receiving suggestions till September 30, the committee, essentially comprising educationists, will come out with a draft which will then be sent to the Cabinet.”

The larger philosophy behind the new policy will be to make education both an emancipator and an enabler while looking for ways to en courage innovation rather than relying on rote learning.

“There was some misunderstanding on the New Education Policy as the (work of) Subramanian committee was perceived as a bureaucratic exercise. It was a starting point. The title of the report was `evolution of new education policy’,” Javadekar said.

Explaining the “large deliberation” that took place, Javadekar said 1.10 lakh villages were consulted, more than 4,000 block-level and nearly 500 district-level consultations took place. The `mygov’ platform received 29,000 suggestions. “The suggestions ran into millions of pages. TSR Subramanian committee also did its own consultation,” Javadekar said.

The minister added that even though the report was available on the National University of Educational Planning and Administration’s website and the HRD ministry’s 43-page input was in public domain, a hard copy was sent to each MP. “They should not have misconception that we have finalised something. It is evolution of new educational policy. All suggestions are welcome,” he said.

Javadekar said it was more than 25 years since the policy was last overhauled in 1992. “I believe every generation presents new opportunities and faces new challenges. You should review your education policy. Every country does that and that’s what we want to do.”

FISAT signs MoU with Japanese and Malayasian varsities

KOCHI: Federal Institute of Science And Technology {FISAT} Engineering College, Angamaly signed an MOU with Japan — Malaysian Universities.

Hyogo University Japan and Open University Malaysia are the two universities that have signed their MOUs with Fisat.

Hyogo University international business head Dr Naotoshi Umeno and Malaysian Open University country head Joseph Thomas were the signatories with FISAT management chairman Paul Mundadan. This agreement will help students and faculty of Fisat to study and do research in both universities.

 Also students and faculties from these universities will also get opportunities at FISAT to furnish and horn their research skills. Both institutions will have exchange programs as well.
 According to the agreement, the institutions can work which will benefit research, international conferences and international certification programs.
 “Students and faculties from these universities as well as FISAT will highly benefit with this MOUs. Participants who are selected their education institution as FISAT will get an international Educational Standard,” Paul Mundadan said.

IIT council gives nod to off-campus students

NEW DELHI: The IIT council on Tuesday gave in-principle nod for the HRD ministry’s proposal to increase the IIT student strength to 1 lakh from the current 72,000 by introducing a new concept of ‘non-resident students’.

The ultimate figure of 1 lakh is likely to be achieved by 2020. In a series of big decisions, the council also approved the Prime Minister Research Fellowship programme that will select 1,000 bright BTech IIT students and give them direct admission into PhD programmes with a higher scholarship. IITs will become part of the Global Research Interactive Network which entails foreign faculty, joint supervision of PhDs and students spending a semester in foreign universities.

However, the plan to help IITs improve global ranking will be discussed again later. The council also decided that the National Aptitude Test, which will test students’ aptitude for engineering, will be first carried out on a pilot basis. It will be conducted twice a year for students of Class XI and XII.

HRD minister Prakash Javadekar said, “IITs are modern temples. We have taken far-reaching decisions”. Asked how student strength will be increased, a senior official said, “Each IIT has to look into their infrastructure and not bother about hostel facilities since these students will be living outside the campus.”

In BTech, 4,000 additional seats will be added to the current 10,500. In MTech, seat strength will go up to 12,000 from 8,000. In PhD programmes, it will be enhanced from 3,000 to 4,500. Through the PM Research Fellowship, the government wants to solve the problem of faculty crunch in IITs. Even BTech passouts from IITs who have job experience and are interested in research would be enrolled in PhD.

IITs to have non-resident students soon

  • IITs have decided to admit “non-resident students” with an aim to take their total intake to one lakh by 2020
  • The authorities of different IITs will now undertake an exercise to fix the number of additional students they can accommodate

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NEW DELHI: IITs have decided to increase the number of seats in various courses for admitting “non-resident students” with an aim to take their total intake to one lakh by 2020.

According to senior officials, in a meeting of the IIT Council headed by HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar today, “in-principle” approval was given to the proposal for admitting non-resident students.

The authorities of different IITs will now undertake an exercise to fix the number of additional students they can accommodate.

“At present, the IITs have around 72,000 students in their undergraduate, postgraduate or doctorate courses which are residential. However, it is now planned that students, who will not stay in hostels, should be admitted to these institutes,” an official said.

The plan is to increase the number by 10,000 per year so that the number of IITians touches 1 lakh by 2020, the official said, suggesting that ideally there would be an increase of 4,000 seats in undergraduate courses and 6,000 seats in postgraduate and Ph.D seats, an official said.

Speaking after the meeting, Javadekar announced that the IIT Council has also approved a proposal to introduce the Prime Minister’s Research Fellowships.

The move aims at encouraging IITians passing out of B.Tech to enroll in Ph.D courses straightaway.