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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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Not Having Enough High Quality Researchers A Concern: Vice President

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The Vice President of India, M Venkaiah Naidu said that not having enough high quality researchers and the declining number of students doing PhDs and entering research posts is a concern. While launching Krea University he said that a country as populous as India and facing innumerable challenges from poverty to environmental degradation simply cannot do without innovation.

While adding that universities should become hubs for innovation, the Vice President said that they must not become breeding grounds for resentment, frustration or discrimination.

A university should be a place of enlightenment, a sanctuary of positive thoughts and safe haven of wisdom and knowledge, he added.

The Vice President said that institutions like the Krea University with sights set firmly on the achievement of brilliance and distinction at the global platform must serve us in good stead in our quest for fast track progress and all round development.

He called for an impactful coordination of Public-Private Sector in providing such education system.

Government should play the role of a strong facilitator and others supplement government’s efforts, he added.

Expressing concern that the higher education system in India still lags behind the standards of the world’s best universities, Mr Naidu said that in 2018 too, no Indian university was able to secure a place in the top 100 best universities in the QS World University Ranking. American and European universities still rule the list, he said.

The Vice President said that Indian Universities face a number of problems starting from shortage of funds to inadequate number of teachers to falling enrollment numbers.

The profusion of more rewarding career choices, lack of adequate facilities for post graduate education and the retirement of the current generation of professors and teachers has created a staff crunch in our centers of higher education, he added.

Mr Naidu said that the demand for skilled manpower in India predicted to be 700 million by 2022 and India must equip the young and students with employable skills. Such steps would not only allow us to realize the demographic dividend but also help India become the ‘skill capital’ of the world, he added.

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5 New Medical Colleges To Be Functional By 2019: JK Governor

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The five new medical colleges are coming up at Rajouri, Doda, Kathua, Anantnag and Baramulla for which the Centre has sanctioned Rs 189 crore each.

In order to ensure that the five new medical colleges in the state start functioning from the next academic session, the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Satya Pal Malik has called for expeditious completion of all necessary infrastructural and other facilities.

Selected places:

The five new medical colleges are coming up at Rajouri, Doda, Kathua, Anantnag and Baramulla for which the Centre has sanctioned Rs 189 crore each.

Orders from the governor:

Malik has directed for fast-tracking recruitment of faculty and para-medical staff and completing all necessary requirements to fulfil MCI norms for formally starting the academic activities in these colleges next year.Reviewing the functioning of the Health and Medical Education Department, the governor directed Principal Secretary, Atal Dulloo to personally monitor the progress of these colleges and maintain close coordination with the Public Service Commission (PSC) and services selection recruitment board for early selection of all referred posts and putting up the requisite infrastructure in place within the set timeframe.

Principal Secretary, Atal Dulloo informed the PTI that necessary steps are being taken to arrange make-shift accommodation for these colleges before the visit of Medical Council of India (MCI) team in December.To overcome the paucity of doctors, he said 1,000 posts of medical officers have been referred to the PSC which are likely to be selected soon. Besides, 535 doctors have been engaged under the National Health Mission (NHM) in the far-flung areas to supplement the services, he said.
State Administrative Council’s action:

The State Administrative Council (SAC) approved the proposal of the Health and Medical Education Department to grant extension in the joining time of 254 medical officers as a one-time exception.

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MHRD Gives Approval For New Board Of Governors In IIMs

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This has been approved under the IIM Act, 2017. According to MHRD, the entire process needs to be closed down by December 15, 2018.

The Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) has recently announced that all the 20 Indian Institute of Management (IIM) of the country will soon get a new set of Board of Governors (BoG) under the IIM Act, 2017.

The approval has been announced in yesterday’s meeting after consulting with the Ministry of Law and Justice. The government has set a deadline, for the IIMs to constitute new boards, which is December 15, 2018.

Members in Board of Governors

The new Board of Governors will have three ex-officio members which are as follows:

  • Institute’s current director
  • Existing representatives of the state government
  • Existing representatives of the union government

These members will then select a chairperson, following which, the BoG will co-opt five alumni members.

What after constituting boards?

On the completion of the constitution of the boards, the rules will be issued under the IIM Act, which would bring out the operational details more clearly.

Responsibility for the board

The newly constituted board will decide the fees for the courses and will also be in charge of creating the academic and administrative posts in the departments.

What is Indian Institutes of Management Act, 2017?

  • Indian Institutes of Management Act, 2017 was passed last year
  • According to the act, the Indian Institutes of Management are the institutes of national importance and can offer degrees and can further make substantial changes in their administration
  • The IIM Act is a historical step of the government which for the first time, provided comprehensive autonomy to higher educational institutions

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