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Private Universities To Get Their Scrutiny Stiffened : UGC

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The government is in favor of granting more funds to the institutions providing quality education, on the condition that the standards are not diluted.

The sudden rapid growth of private universities is a big question to the quality and the standard of education in India. Although the University Grants Commission has been working on revising the parameters for the setting up of such universities; a colossal exercise has been proposed by the HRD Ministry (Union Human Resources Development) in which hundreds of acts and legislation according to which these universities are established will be examined in comparison with the latest upcoming parameters of UGC. The idea of this exercise is to identify any lacunae or gaps that lead to indecisions in the maintenance of educational standard and ways to address them. This exercise is being led by UGC which is the manager of the higher education sector as it has already collected over 300 state acts. However, this exercise is likely to be commenced in the mid of November and a comprehensive picture of this exercise will only be given after being worked upon by a team of legal consultants in collaboration with the Niti Aayog. Steps are being taken to bring the legal consultants and UGC (University Grants Commission), together to focus and consider this prospect element; following directions from the HRD Minister- Prakash Javadekar.

The work of revising the parameters has already been started by UGC. According to one of the Ministry Official, “There have been concerns about the standard of education in the hundreds of private universities spread across the country, and also about in maintaining the quality. There have been reports of varsities with insufficient infrastructure, including some functioning from just a few rooms.”

One of the officials said, “The government is in favor of granting more funds and more autonomy to institutions that provide quality education, but ensuring that standards are not diluted is a key premise. Therefore, it is believed this exercise would go a long way in addressing quality concerns.”

Keeping all this aside; nearly 8,000 cases are being analyzed by UGC and is completely involved in them as according to the officials the ambiguities in the existing legislation is the probable reason behind most of these legal matters. Officials also say that this analysis and study might help in suggesting ways, methods, techniques in which UGC’s burden can be lightened in the near future.

Former UGC member, Inder Mohan Kapahy said, “Some (Private Universities in India) are very good and some not as good. At times, even political pressure may lead to the formation of such a body. A key aspect is: the day an act or ordinance is passed, the body can give degrees. There should be some mechanism to ensure quality checks at the time of inception. In India, operations of a varsity have hardly ever been stopped. So it is important to have quality checks at the time of inception, particularly with regard to new private varsities.”

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IIT Roorkee Signs MoU With ISRO For Space Technology Cell

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IIT Roorkee Director A K Chaturvedi said a memorandum of understanding was signed with the ISRO to launch a space technology cell at the institute.

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee in Uttarakhand on Friday said it tied up with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to set up a Space Technology Cell at its campus.

“The ISRO-IIT Roorkee Space Technology Cell shall pursue advanced research in the areas of relevance to the future technological and programmatic needs of the Indian space programme,” a statement from IIT Roorkee said.

The cell shall ensure to maximize the use of research potential, infrastructure, expertise and experience that exist in ISRO and IIT Roorkee, the statement said.

The institute will be providing the infrastructure and administrative support in setting up the cell.

The research facility will consist of faculty members, visiting scientists, experts, research personnel, technical, administrative and support staff.

Bengaluru-based ISRO has been undertaking several student outreach programmes over the past few months in order to develop scientific temper among the country’s youth.

(Source NDTV)

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IIT Kharagpur To Adopt Amazon Web Services Educate Programme

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As part of AWS Educate, the students will gain access to 12 Cloud Career Pathways covering topics that are in demand by employers, such as machine learning, cybersecurity, and software development, each with over 30 hours of content.

The Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur will adopt Amazon Web Services (AWS) Educate programme to help students gain cloud computing skills including hands-on experience in Artificial Intelligence (AI), a top official of the institute has said. “We are happy to introduce AWS Educate programme to provide AWS Cloud Computing experience and AI-enablement for all our students, irrespective of their branch of study. We look forward to some really innovative solution ideas coming out of this,” Director IIT Kharagpur Professor P P Chakrabarti said on Friday.

The AWS Educate programme is Amazon’s global initiative to provide students and educators with resources needed to accelerate cloud-related learning and to help power the workforce of tomorrow. The programme offers a robust set of no-cost tools, resources and AWS Promotional Credits for students and educators to boost their cloud skills and experience, an official statement said.

“AWS Educate is designed to impart skill to students with the latest advancements in cloud computing technology and provide them with an environment to experiment on AWS Cloud, without making them worried about cost or access challenges,” the statement quoted Amazon Internet Services Private Limited, president, Rahul Sharma as saying.

“We are pleased to work with IIT Kharagpur in their journey of higher learning, and to help them nurture new talent for a cloud-ready workforce,” he was quoted in the statement.

As part of AWS Educate, the students will gain access to 12 Cloud Career Pathways covering topics that are in demand by employers, such as machine learning, cybersecurity, and software development, each with over 30 hours of content.

Upon completion, learners are eligible to receive an AWS Educate Certificate of Completion or an AWS Educate Badge.

(Source NDTV)

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Artificial Intelligence, Yoga Among New Subjects For CBSE Students

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CBSE has approved inclusion of Artificial Intelligence (AI) as an optional sixth subject for class 9 students.

CBSE students will now be introduced to the rapidly rising world of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The central education board has approved inclusion of Artificial Intelligence as an optional sixth subject for class 9 students from the upcoming academic session which starts in April 2019. Apart from Artificial Intelligence (AI), CBSE has also introduced Early Childhood Care Education, and Yoga as new subjects.

Recognizing the ‘geo-strategic’ importance of AI, CBSE has decided to offer AI as a sixth optional subject to students of class 9 onwards. Schools can also start a module on AI learning for class 8 students.

The CBSE circular says, “To enhance the multidisciplinary approach in teaching learning and also to sensitize the new generation, it was decided that School may start AI “Inspire module” of 12 hours at Class VIII itself.”

Yoga and Early Childhood Care Education will be introduced at Senior Secondary Level from this academic session.

CBSE is also offering class 10 students the choice to opt for a sixth Skill paper along with the existing five compulsory papers. If a student fails in any one of the three elective subjects (i.e. Science, Mathematics and Social Science), then it can be replaced by the Skill subject (offered as a 6th subject) and the result of Class X will be computed based on best five subjects. However, if a candidate wishes to reappear in the failed subject, they may appear along with the compartment examination.

CBSE has also asked schools affiliated with the Board to offer at least one Skill subject at Senior Secondary level.

Schools need to send the application for starting Skill subjects from 2019-20 session to CBSE latest by March 31, 2019.

(Source – NDTV)

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