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Gaps In Quality Education Despite Vast Network Of Colleges: President Kovind

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The President noted that India has a massive network of 903 universities and 39,050 colleges.

President Ram Nath Kovind said India has a vast network of universities and colleges but gaps still exist in attaining world-class excellence in education. To achieve global standards, the government has taken a decision to promote 20 institutions of higher education as “institutes of eminence”, Kovind said at the 15th convocation ceremony of the Symbiosis International University here.

The President noted that India has a massive network of 903 universities and 39,050 colleges.

“But the fact is there are still gaps in quality and in attaining world-class excellence across the spectrum,” he said.

“In this context, the government has taken a decision to promote and support 20 institutions of higher education as ‘institutes of eminence’, to grant them recruitment and curricula flexibility in order to reach best-in-class global standards,” he added.

After a competitive process, the first few of these institutes of eminence were announced recently. There will be future rounds as well, he said.

Underlining the performance of girls in higher education, he said as president, he made a conscious effort to visit universities and educational institutions across the country to meet and interact with students and future thought leaders of the country.

“One of my findings has been that the academic performance of girl students tends to exceed that of boys. Today too, of the nine gold medals awarded at this convocation, six have gone to graduating girls. This is commendable and a happy sign for our society,” he said.

He also asked students to use their education to help fellow citizens.

“Your education gives you responsibility to help those less-privileged and less-fortunate. How you choose to do this is entirely up to you, but remember that your empathy for fellow citizens is as much a test of your scholarship as your mark-sheet or your degree,” the president said.

He said knowledge has no gender or geographical boundaries and that India has been a centre of learning for centuries.

From Taxila to Nalanda, the subcontinent’s age-old universities attracted students from different parts of Asia and beyond, he noted.

“In modern times as well, our campuses have been open to and welcoming talented young people from many countries, specially those in our neighbourhood and in Africa, a continent with which we have a special relationship, shaped in classrooms,” Kovind said.

He said it was worth noting that 46,144 international students from 166 countries study in various colleges, universities and institutions of higher learning in India.

“Of those who are graduating today, 329 students are from 33 countries other than India. This adds to the multicultural and cosmopolitan atmosphere of your (Symbiosis) campus, and promotes goodwill among nations,” he said.

He congratulated the graduates hailing from other countries, specially one from Uganda who won the ‘Outstanding Foreign Student’ Award.

“You arrived here as students. I am confident you are departing as lifelong friends and unofficial ambassadors of India,” he said.

He said the story of modern India owes much to the progressive ideas that have flowed from Pune, and for which “our nation is truly appreciative”.

He hailed social reformers like Jyotiba Phule and Savitribai Phule, M G Ranade, Vasudev Balwant Phadke, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Gopal Krishna Gokhale for taking the “lamp of learning” far and wide.

For each of them, the “spread of education was non-negotiable”, he said, adding that “breadth of Indian higher education is appreciable”.

(SOURCE NDTV)

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DU Professor Writes To PM On “Violation” Of Quota Norms In Teachers’ Appointment In Central Varsities

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He said the Dalit teachers have not been happy due to lack of implementation of the reservation policies in various central universities.

A Delhi University professor has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi accusing various central universities of violating various reservation norms in appointing Dalit teachers and requested him to look into the matter.

In an open letter to the Prime Minister, Academic Council member Professor Hansraj Suman requested him to ensure that the vacant posts for professors in central varieties are filled up as per the regulations for reservation in appointments of SC/ ST teachers.

He said the Dalit teachers have not been happy due to lack of implementation of the reservation policies in various central universities. He said there are many posts for which there was no reservation policy in place in many varsities, giving the varieties a free hand in the matter, he wrote in the letter.

(SOURCES PTI )

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100 Percent Fee Refund On Cancellation Of Admission 15 Days Before Last Date: UGC

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The University Grants Commission (UGC) prohibited the charging of fees in advance for a year or a semester. It also warned institutes against forcing students to buy the institutions’ prospectus.

UGC has issued the guidelines to be followed for fee refund in case of withdrawal of admission. The rule shall be applicable to undergraduate, postgraduate, and research programs run by universities included under Section 2 (f) of UGC Act, together with all colleges under their affiliating domain and institutions declared as Deemed to be Universities under Section 3 of the UGC Act. The guidelines also cover retention of original certificates by Higher Education Institutes at the time of admission.

The decision about fee-refund was announced by Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar during an interaction with media on October 10, 2018.

“Now no student will be required to submit any original academic and personal certificates at the time of submission of admission form and Students’ will get refund of fee from the Institution if they withdraw their admission from the programme,” the minister had said.

The guidelines state that Higher Education Institutes can not make it mandatory for students to purchase institutional prospectus. As per the Right to Information Act 2005, and also reiterated by UGC, all HEIs have to disclose institute related information, i.e. course details, affiliation details, intake capacity etc. on its official website.

HEIs can not charge fees for any semester/year other than the one in which a student is to engage in academic activities.

In case of withdrawal of admission, the following rules will be applicable for refund of fee:

100% fee refund: in case a student decides to withdraw 15 days or more before the formally notified last date of admission. Not more than 5% of the fees paid by the student, subject to a maximum of Rs. 5000, will be deducted as processing charges.

90% fee refund: in case a student decides to withdraw less than 15 days before the formally notified last date of admission.

80% fee refund: in case a student decides to withdraw within 15 days or less after the formally notified last date of admission.

50% fee refund: in case a student decides to withdraw between 16 days and 30 days after the formally notified last date of admission.

NIL: in case a student decides to withdraw after 30 days of the formally notified last date of admission.

HEIs can not ask students to submit original certificates at the time of admission. HEIs shall physically verify the original certificates at the time of admission and return the same immediately. The self-attested certificates of students will be held valid and authentic. In  case, a HEI doubts the authenticity of the certificates they can approach the concerned University or Board which issued the certificate but original certificate can not be retained under any circumstance.

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DU’s Political Science Department To Continue With Kancha Ilaiah’s Books

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The committee had suggested removal of three of books of Ilaiah— Why I am not a Hindu, God as Political Philosopher: Buddha’s Challenge to Brahminism, and Post-Hindu India: A Discourse in Dalit-Bahujan Socio-Spiritual and Scientific Revolution.

Setting aside the recommendations of the standing committee on academic matters, which had suggested removing three books of OBC academician and activist Kancha Ilaiah for being insulting to Hinduism from the postgraduate syllabus, Delhi University’s (DU) Political Science Department have decided to continue with the readings.

The decision was “unanimously” taken in a department meeting held on Thursday. The final decision in the matter, however, will be taken by the Academic Council (AC).

The committee had suggested removal of three of books — Why I am not a Hindu, God as Political Philosopher: Buddha’s Challenge to Brahminism, and Post-Hindu India: A Discourse in Dalit-Bahujan Socio-Spiritual and Scientific Revolution.

“We stand by the past courses we have taught, as we had sent them earlier. The books will also continue to be used. These were very carefully considered readings which were given for these courses, and these are readings which are used all over the country and world. They are part of standing academic discourse, so there’s no question of selectively picking on them,” said associate professor Madhulika Banerjee.

Assistant professor Saroj Giri, who was also a part of the meeting, said no change was accepted which was suggested by the committee. “They had a problem with three courses — Black Radical Traditions, where they objected to the word ‘radical’, Islam; International Relations where they said that the word ‘religion’ should replace the word ‘Islam’; and Political Theology in India, wherein they wanted more Hindu literature. None of these recommendations were accepted,” he said.

“All these decisions were taken purely on academic grounds. The committee, in its formal communication, has not mentioned the reasons for implementing these changes,” said Giri.

Professor N Sukumar, too, said no “academic reasons” were given for the suggestions: “The final decision rests with the AC, but if they do decide to drop these books, I… will approach court.”

Ilaiah said he was thankful to the department for “taking a stand”. “I’m glad the department has taken a democratic stand to protect the pluralist ideas continuing in the university. This will set a trend in universities in the rest of the country, where Hindutva people wanted to make universities one dimensional,” he said.

Hansraj Suman, member of the standing committee and among those who raised objections to Ilaiah’s readings and the use of the word Dalit, said, “I don’t want to comment. The final decision will be taken by the AC.”

Source: (indianexpress)

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