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No UGC Approval To BU, Distance-Learning Students’ Future In Jeopardy

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University Grants Commission (UGC) has come out with its list of recognition to Distance Learning Program Institutes for the year 2016-17. Bharathiar University (BU), headquartered at Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu has missed it making to these five.

Students Future in Doldrums

With the UGC denying an approval to BU, the future of those enrolled in distance education through the varsity, now lies in jeopardy.  Sources in the University inform that there are 22,000 students of which it had admitted nearly 50 % in the last academic year and 1,636 for the 2017 calendar year programmes.

BU runs courses starting January and then June/July.

No heed to UGC warning 

Sources inform that BU did not pay heed to UGC’s warning:

First being, a notice to stop operating centres outside its jurisdiction. It was allowed to operate distance education centres only in the Nilgiris, Coimbatore, Tirupur and Erode districts. But BU was operating centres in other states as well.

Second reason was that BU was operating through franchisee in rented buildings. As per UGC regulation, a University has to run its centres either on own buildings or only from rented buildings that meet certain regulations.

Loss of revenue & prestige 

The sources add that this loss of prestige for BU also means loss in significant revenue. In 2016-17 alone, it had netted ₹55 crore by operating 390 centres.

University Vice-Chancellor A. Ganapathi says “ The institution had moved the court that had stayed the UGC decision in 2015. As the stay continued, the University went ahead offering programmes that enjoyed UGC recognition.” He added that the University would now operate only within the State as dictated by the state govt.

However sources say that the V-C is hiding the fact that the 2015 court stay had nothing to do with distance education programme. If it were so, UGC would have included BU in the list of approved institutions for distance education programmes.

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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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Artificial Intelligence, Yoga

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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