Search Results for ‘hrd’

Establishment of 20 new centrally funded IIITs may have to wait till the 12th plan

Following is an excerpt from a report in Economic Times.

Plans for setting up 20 new Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) is likely to be shelved with the finance ministry suggesting that the proposal could be considered for the Twelfth Five-Year Plan period.

The HRD ministry had suggested that the institutes be set up in the private-public partnership mode during the current five year plan.

The Eleventh Five Year Plan comes to a close in 2012. The ministry had outlined its proposal for consideration by the Expenditure Finance Committee. The Planning Commission had already given an in-principle approval to the proposal.

“The finance ministry did not agree to the proposal of setting up of 20 IIITs in the Eleventh Plan. It has said the scheme can be considered during the Twelfth Plan,” an official said.

 

3 comments June 28th, 2010

IIMC to become a university and offer degree courses and have 4 more branches; Odisha should pursue upgrading of the branch in Dhenkanal

Following is an excerpt from a report in India Today.

… The Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) is all set to become a full-fledged university and will offer degree courses from next year.

Diploma students seeking admission in the current session are likely to have the option to continue the two-year post-graduate courses from next year. Interviews for the one-year courses will begin on Monday.

… The IIMC will offer two new two-year post-graduate diploma courses in development journalism, and corporate communication and media management.

The course material for turning the existing one-year diploma courses such as English journalism, advertising and electronic journalism into a two- year course has also been prepared.

To make the two-year advanced post-graduate diploma courses equivalent to an MA degree, the information and broadcasting ministry wrote to the HRD ministry.

… This will enable students to go into research while filling the gap of getting trained manpower in academics, teaching and the media industry.

Four new regional centres are also coming up in J&K, Mizoram, Maharashtra and Kerala. IIMC also has a centre at Dhenkanal in Orissa.

This would mean that the current combined student strength of 372 at Delhi and Dhenkanal would go up to 935 in the next few years with the addition of 200 students at the four new centres.

Soni asked the officials to not repeat the same courses in all IIMC branches. "For example, proposed IIMC Mizoram can have a course on animation, instead of repeating courses offered in Delhi," she said.

Adding graduate courses would cost the IIMC over Rs 45 crore. The minister asked officials to go liberal with funding to bring the institutions on a par with world class universities.

The Odisha government should pursue upgradation of IIMC Dehenkanal and make sure that it is not inferior to the new ones that are being made. In particular it should offer additional land and together with IIMC Dhenkanal officials make a plan of expansion and pursue it with the central minister of I & B Ms. Ambika Soni.

Add comment June 21st, 2010

Vedanta University tries to nudge the Odisha government to action by threatening to move out of state

Following is a report by Kalpana Pathak from sify.com.

The estimated $3-bn Vedanta University was to start Phase-I by mid-2011 but is facing stiff opposition from locals.

The Anil Agarwal Foundation’s plan to set up a Rs 15,000- crore varsity in Puri (Orissa), called Vedanta University, has come a cropper. The management is now in talks with two southern states for alternative land to set up the varsity.

The Anil Agarwal Foundation’s Vedanta University is modeled on Stanford University and aims to be a worldclass, multi-disciplinary university with students from across India and around the world. However, the varsity, which was to begin operations by mid-2011, has not even started the basic infrastructure work on the land due to stiff opposition from locals and lack of political support.

… "We sought support from the state government but it is silent. We agreed to set up the university on government’s invitation but now we are very disappointed. We even revised our initial plans of having the campus on 8,000 to 6,000 acres," admits an official from the university who did not wish to be named. The university board has managed to acquire around 4,000 acres of land so far.

A director of a local institute told Business Standard: "The university concept as such is a good one and considering the varsity is facing stiff opposition from locals, the foundation should look for a smaller piece of land and begin operations."

The Foundation says if it’s not able to set up the university in Orissa, the land acquired could be made into an extended arm of the university which, could be housed outside Orissa.

The Foundation and the state government in 2006, had signed a memorandum of understanding to create the University. In July 2009, the government of Orissa passed a bill to allow the massive university to be set up and function with autonomy. The university being built with an investment of Rs 15,000 crore has plans to come up in three phases. Phase one was to be operational by mid-2011 with an investment of Rs 5,000 crore. The first academic session at the university was to begin in 2009 but the project has been delayed for over two years due to land acquisition tussle with the local residents of Puri. With further delays, the university could take longer to get operational.

To begin with, the university expects to start operations with around 1,000 students in the arts and science streams. The student intake, however, will grow steadily to reach an ultimate goal of 100,000 students. The university board however, is still working on the modalities involving admission and fee structure.

The university has awarded construction contracts of the academic buildings as well as the hospital at the project site to companies like Larsen & Toubro, Shapoorji Pallonji, Ahluwalia, B E Billimoria and Simplex. Architects Ayers Saint Gross of Baltimore, USA, have prepared the master plan of the University. Few international scholars like Will Chase, Pratap Bhanu Mehta and Sam Pitroda are said to have evinced interest in the project.

The campus will have a super specialty hospital, which will answer a long standing need for providing comprehensive and specialized patient care for the people of Orissa and eastern India. Both the University and the hospital are ‘not-for-profit’ institutions. World-renowned hospital architects are developing the design for the hospital, Perkins and Will from USA. The university will also establish research parks to promote science and technology-based entrepreneurship and support an innovation-driven incubator. E-learning programmes will also be launched in future.

At this point, I am not sure the state government is at fault. The state government has passed the Vedanta University Bill. The construction and further land acqusition is stopped by the environmental ministry of the central government (see here and here), and the high court case. I think for the latter Vedanta University Project and its official bear some responsibility as it seems that in their haste to speed up the process of land acquisition, they might not have dotted the i’s at the right time.

Nevertheless, as per the reported recommendations of the Lokpal, the issue is mostly technical. I hope both get resolved soon and the progress is resumed.

One thing the state government can do now is to initiate a dialog with the PM, HRD M and Ministry of Environment to sort out the environmental issues at the earliest. On its part Vedanta University Project should start taking actions as laid out in its act. It should also seriously consider starting some graduate programs at the earliest.

10 comments June 15th, 2010

IIT Kharagpur’s relentless pursuit of a medical school may pay off; AIIMS-like institute for West Bengal may be established in IIT Kharagpur campus

Following is an excerpt from a report in yahoonews.

The super-specialty AIIMS-like hospital, which was initially decided to be set up at Raiganj in North Dinajpur district, could be shifted to IIT-Kharagpur campus for "lack of land" in the north Bengal town.

"The state government had agreed to provide 100 acres land and facilities for electricity, water, sewerage and road connectivity in Raiganj. But the land acquisition by the state government has not yet started," Sube Singh, Deputy Secretary and CPIO of Union Health Ministry wrote in a reply to an RTI application. Union Human Resources Development Ministry suggested that the proposed AIIMS-like institution may be built in the premises of IIT, Kharagpur which could provide the land, he said. "The state government has conveyed its no objection for setting up of the institution in the IIT-Kharagpur premises," Singh stated. The institution would be built at a cost of Rs 823 crore which has been sanctioned by the Centre.

For long IIT Kharagpur has been trying for a medical school. It had faced many hurdles. Being aware of those efforts, MHRD seems to have played a major facilitator’s role above.

If this happens, this will be a major major achievement of Prof. Damodar Acharya, the current director of IIT Kharagpur.

Another point to note is that, one of the main reason this is being considered is because of the availability of land in IIT Kharagpur. All the new IITs and IISERs (except IIT Bhubaneswar) are constraining themselves by currently only allocating the minimal required land. Down the road they will not be in a position to avail of a similar opportunity. Fortunately, Prof. Damodar Acharya as a mentor of IIT Bhubaneswar ensured that the Odisha government allocated a large enough piece of land.

2 comments May 7th, 2010

The IIIT Bill, 2010 is expected to be introduced in the Monsoon Session of the Parliament

Following is an excerpt from a report by Kalpana Pathak in sify.com.

The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) may soon introduce a Bill in Parliament to facilitate the establishment of 20 Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) under the public-private-partnership (PPP) model.

The IIITs will offer under-graduate, masters and PhD programmes. Each institute will have an intake capacity of about 1,000 students within a period of six to seven years of their functioning.

"The IIITs will be governed by an Act to be modelled on the lines of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) Act. These institutes will enjoy autonomy and also have the power to frame their own ordinances and statutes," said the director of an existing IIIT in the north. The IIITs, till date, have been functioning as bodies registered under the Society Registration Act and therefore governed by its regulations and by-laws, he explained.

The PPP model, as envisaged by the HRD Ministry, entails that each Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) would be set up at an investment of Rs 200 crore. Of this amount, 85 per cent will be borne by the Centre (50 per cent or Rs 100 crore) and state governments (35 per cent or Rs 70 crore). The remaining 15 per cent (Rs 30 crore) would be invested by the IT industry.

Land for the institutes will be provided by the states, for a completely integrated campus with science and technology parks. Each institute will specialise on specific area of Information Technology. Each IIIT will be a centre of excellence in that domain.

"The Planning Commission has given an in-principle approval for this. We are, however, waiting for a nod from the Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) after which it would be moved to the aCabinet for final nod,” the director added.

Add comment May 3rd, 2010

Center mulling possible changes in world-class/innovation/national university sites?

Following is an excerpt from a report in Times of India.

The Prime Minister’s Office is having second thoughts on letting 14 world class innovation universities come up in places selected during Arjun Singh’s tenure.

Sources said the system of first selecting the sites and then building the universities will not work in case of these institutions since the concept is different than a usual university. Besides, there has been a major change in the concept of innovation universities from the time of Singh. The HRD ministry in its latest concept note has suggested that apart from the government even private educational be allowed to set up these universities.

On the places selected during Arjun Singh’s tenure, an official said, “Innovation universities should come up in places that can attract students and world class faculty. Some of the sites selected earlier will not be able to live up to the expectations from a world class university.”

But the twist in the tale is that many of the states have already finalized the sites for these institutions and will definitely protest in case the Centre changes its stand now.  In many cases, states have shortlisted sites away from what HRD had finalised. This could become a problem.

… Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh have selected sites in Sabarkantha and Sehore, respectively. But since these two places were not shortlisted by the HRD ministry, Gujarat has been asked to finalise a site near Ahmedabad or Gandhinagar and MP in an area near Bhopal.

I think, one may get a wrong interpretation of the above report until they read the last paragraph.  Also, Sehore is near Bhopal; it is only 38 kms from Bhopal. So something is missing; perhaps the reporter or his source did not do a proper fact-checking.

However, if the center indeed plans to change some of the sites that it had announced earlier, then the sites that may be in most danger may be the sites that are not near state capitals. But that itself will be very difficult after the series of announcements in the parliament and other venues.

See http://www.orissa2020.org/appendix/location-of-proposed-national-universities for the comparison of the sites that were initially picked. Finally, the center would not dare to take away one of these universities from one state and give it to another state.

2 comments April 29th, 2010

IIT Bhubaneswar faculty list

Update on August 26 2010:

  • N. Barik, School of Basic Sciences (Physics)
  • Y. V. Rao, School of Basic Sciences (Mathematics)
  • Animesh Mandal, School of Mechanical Sciences
  • Anamitra Basu, School of Humanities and Social Sciences (In IIT Bhubaneswar 2010-11 brochure)
    • Bio: Ph: +91 9674498481 Email: [email protected]
      Dr. Anamitra Basu is presently working as an Assistant Professor in the School of Humanities, Social Sciences and Management of the institute. She joined the institute as a faculty member in 2010, after serving tenure as an assistant professor for almost four years at the Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati. Earlier she has also served the academia for two years as lecturer in a reputed institute. Her experience in hospital industry for more than four years inspired her to undertake field of Cognitive Neuroscience and Cognitive Psychology as the field of research. She was a Gold Medallist in Bachelors degree from the University of Calcutta. She obtained her Masters degree from the University of Calcutta in the year 1996. She obtained her doctorate from IIT Kharagpur and her post doctorate study from University Balise Pascal, France. She has two peer reviewed international journals in the field of Cognitive Psychology and three other
      international journals are awaiting. Her present research includes Emotion and facial expressions using electromyography (EMG) and producing a new database along with her earlier research fields. She has always been an active member in conferences, workshops. She is a life member of National Academy of Sciences (NAOP), Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA) and Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI).
  • Sisir Kumar Nayak, School of Electrical Sciences (In IIT Bhubaneswar 2010-11 brochure)
    • Ph.D IISc Bangalore 2009. Postdoc at Royal Inst of Technology-KTH, Stockholm, Sweden.

With this the total faculty count is at 46: Basic Sciences (17), Electrical Sciences (6), Infrastructure (8), Mechanical Sciences (9), Humanities and Social Sciences (6)


Update on August 20 2010:


Update on June 11 2010: Since the list below was made, some new faculty have joined. They are:


Merging the lists at http://www.iitbbs.ac.in/ver3/facultymember.html and http://www.iitbbs.ac.in/ver3/pdf/pic.pdf we get the following list of 37 faculty at IIT Bhubaneswar. (Our earlier list was at http://www.orissalinks.com/archives/3364.) The schoolwise break up is as follows:

Abhijit Datta Banik, Math
1 2306 224 [email protected], [email protected]
Akhilesh Barve, Mechanical Sciences
2 2306 277 [email protected], [email protected]
Akhilesh Kumar Singh, Chemistry 3 2306 236 [email protected]
Akshay Kumar Ojha, Math
4 2306 223 [email protected],
Amrita Satpathy, HSSM
5 2306-239 [email protected]
Arun Kumar Pradhan, Mechanical Sciences
6 2306 276 [email protected], [email protected]
Ashis Biswas, Biophysical Chemistry
7 2306 238 [email protected], [email protected]
Asmita Shukla, HSSM
8 2306 242 [email protected], [email protected]
Chandrashekhar N. Bhende, Electrical Sciences
9 2306 248 [email protected], [email protected]
Debalina Ghosh, Electrical Sciences
10 2306 246 [email protected], [email protected]
Ganapati Panda, Electrical Sciences
11 2306 247 [email protected], [email protected]
Madhusudan Chakraborty, Mechanical Sciences
12 2306 200 [email protected], , [email protected]
Mihir Kumar Das, Mechanical Sciences
13 2306 275 [email protected]
Mihir Kumar Pandit, Mechanical Sciences
14 2306 274 [email protected], [email protected]
Naresh Chandra Sahu, HSSM
15 2306 243 [email protected], [email protected]
Niharika Mohapatra, Physics
16 2306-231 [email protected], [email protected]
Partha Pratim Dey, Infrastructure      [old page] 17   [email protected]
Pasla Dinakar, Infrastructure
18 2306 297 [email protected], [email protected]
Prasant Kumar Sahu, Electrical Sciences
19 2306 245 [email protected], [email protected]
Prasenjit Rath, Mechanical Sciences
20 2306 273 [email protected],
Punyashree Panda, HSSM
21 2306-319 [email protected]
Puspendu Bhunia, Infrastructure
22 2306 298 [email protected], [email protected]
Rajan Jha, Physics
23 2306 230 [email protected], [email protected]
Rajesh Roshan Dash, Infrastructure
24 2306 301 [email protected], [email protected]
Sabyasachi Pani, Math
25 2306 221 [email protected],
Sanjib C De Sarkar; Electrical Sciences (Computer Science) [old page] 26 2306 249  [email protected]
Satchidananda Rath, Physics 27 2306 230 [email protected]
Satyanarayan Panigrahi, Mechanical Sciences
28 2306 271 [email protected],
Sekhar Chandra Dutta, Infrastructure
29 2306 296 [email protected], [email protected]
Shantanu Pal, Chemistry
30 2306 237 [email protected],
Shyamal Chatterjee, Physics
31 2306 244 [email protected], [email protected]
Snehasis Chowdhuri, Chemistry
32 2306 234 [email protected],
Srikanta Patra, Chemistry
33 2306 233 [email protected], [email protected]
Sujit Roy, Chemistry
34 2306 232 [email protected], [email protected]
Sumanta Haldar, Infrastructure
35 2306 299 [email protected], [email protected]
Swarup Kumar Mahapatra, Mechanical Sciences
36 2306 272 [email protected], [email protected]
V. R. Pedireddi, Chemistry
37 2306 235 [email protected], [email protected]

1 comment April 26th, 2010

National Institute of Open Schooling

Its webs site is http://www.nios.ac.in/. Following is information from that page.

The National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) formerly known as National Open School (NOS) was established in November,1989 as an autonomous organisation in pursuance of National Policy on Education 1986 by the Ministry of Human Resource Development(MHRD), Government of India. NIOS is providing a number of Vocational, Life Enrichment and community oriented courses besides General and Academic Courses at Secondary and Senior Secondary level. It also offers Elementary level Courses for 14+ age group through its Open Basic Education Programmes (OBE).Government of India through a gazette notification vested NIOS with the authority to examine and certify learners registered with it upto pre degree level courses.

Academic programs it offers are given in the page http://www.nios.ac.in/AcadPC.htm. They are:

Open Basic Education: Open Basic Education (OBE) Programme providing a elementary education at three levels, for school drop-outs and neo-literates, out of              school learners through Accredited Agencies.

- Secondary Course equivalent to Class X
 

- Senior Secondary Course equivalent to class XII



- Vocational Education

NIOS has established an International Centre for Training in Open Schooling (ICTOS)

Training Packages for ODL functionaries

 NIOS HQ is in NOIDA. It has regional centers in Delhi, Hyderabad, Guwahati, Pune, Chandigarh, Kolkata (with a subcenter in Bhubaneswar), Patna, Kochi, Jaipur, Bhopal, Allahabad (with a sub-center in Dehradun).

It has study centers across the country and across Orissa. The list is available at http://www.nos.org/nosresults/nos/searchai.html.


Odisha should push for having a regional center.

Add comment April 25th, 2010

IIT act to be ammended to include medicine; Despite objections by the Health Ministry IIT Kharagpur to start medical school in collaboration with Indian Railways

Following is an excerpt from a report in Times of India.

In a written reply in Lok Sabha on Wednesday, minister of state for HRD D Purandeshwari said the ministry has decided to amend the IIT Act, the law that governs IITs, to include medical science. The health ministry had said that IITs should not be allowed to start conventional courses in medicine.

The amendment, Purandeshwari said, would help IITs to offer programmes bringing together the diverse disciplines of medicine and engineering. Referring to the health ministry’s objection, she said, "However, appreciating the fact that the modern trends in medical education and research in technology and medicine in all the developed and most of the developing countries are seen hand-in-hand, the government proposes to incorporate `medicine’ in the IIT Act."

Purandeswari said the programme would bring the two important disciplines of medicine and engineering together.

… IIT Kharagpur has come up with a concrete proposal in this regard and plans to start a medical college in collaboration with Indian Railways. At a meeting of experts in the health ministry in February this year, it was observed that IITs should start courses on health information technology, biomedical engineering and e-health rather than running a hospital or starting MBBS courses.

There are several lessons that Odisha can draw from this.

  • As Purna Mishra suggested in a comment, VSSUT and the VSS Medical College in Burla should combine to form a single university.
  • NIT Rourkela and IIT Bhubaneswar should consider adding a medical college as part of the institute; NIT could include the proposed ESI medical college and IIT could include the proposed Railways medical college.

Add comment April 22nd, 2010

Prof. Damodar Acharya Committee reportedly proposes to scrap IIT JEE and other entrance exams

Update: Following are excerpts from a follow-up Telegraph report which mentions about the committee’s recommendation to have wide-spread consultations before making the changes.

But it has advised caution in implementing the reforms. The panel has suggested detailed consultations and workshops with the state governments, other top engineering institutions like the National Institutes of Technology, and private universities.

The recommendations of the panel can be fine-tuned based on the outcome of the consultations, the team led by IIT Kharagpur director Damodar Acharya has suggested. The panel is likely to meet soon and may draw up a schedule for the consultations at that meeting.

… At a meeting of the panel in Chennai on March 16 with representatives of state and central school boards, some participants suggested that rural students be given more opportunities than urban students. The participants proposed two attempts for urban students and three for rural students.

The panel and the HRD ministry will also need to convince state governments that the move to end state-specific engineering tests is not against their interests.


Following is an excerpt from a report in Telegraph.

… The panel, appointed by human resource development minister Kapil Sibal, has recommended replacing the four-decade-old IIT-Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) and myriad other engineering entrance examinations with a common test modelled on the US-based scholastic aptitude test (SAT).

The panel has suggested that the IITs accord a 70 per cent weightage to board examination scores in picking students, ..

Scores in the common aptitude test that will replace the IIT-JEE will contribute the remaining 30 per cent weightage in determining which candidates are selected, the panel has recommended.

Unlike the current engineering entrance examinations including the IIT-JEE, the common aptitude test will not have questions on physics, chemistry and math, but will test students’ powers of logical reasoning and communication skills.

If the recommendations are accepted, the IITs will for the first time admit students based more on their board examination marks than on their performance in a special entrance test.

…The minister had announced in February that he was setting up a panel under IIT Kharagpur director Damodar Acharya to study proposed reforms to the IIT-JEE. The panel was appointed in March, with the directors of the IITs in Mumbai, Roorkee and Chennai as the other members.

…  The panel has recommended that the government develop a Comprehensive Weighted Performance Index (CWPI) to calculate a student’s overall score based cumulatively on his performance in the board examinations and in the common aptitude test. The report appears principally based on discussions at a meeting held with other government representatives, including Central Board of Secondary Education chairman Vineet Joshi and select state representatives in Chennai on March 16.

The HRD ministry is already working towards a plan to introduce a common high school curriculum in the sciences and math, cutting across the 35 boards — central and state — that govern Indian school education.

The common curriculum would make easier a comparison between the board examination scores of students from schools affiliated to different central and state government boards, Joshi had told the meeting.

The CWPI proposed by the panel is aimed at normalising any differences that remain between difficulty levels of school-leaving examinations under different boards.

There is a big danger that the above approach will make the XIIth exams a high stakes affair and bring it under the microscope with every aspect of it being scrutinized and judged by everyone. Most coaching classes may reinvent themselves and start coaching how to score more marks in the XIIth exam and the proposed SAT type exam. This approach may bring in bias favoring students from families with educated parents. English being a compulsory subject in XIIth, this may put students in rural areas and other areas where English is less used at a disadvantage.

So one has to wait and see how this will pan out.

My guess is if the above idea is adopted, it will go through some changes such as specific types of colleges may be allowed to give different weight to Class XII marks in different subjects. Some may introduce interviews or other tests.

One change that should be made is that when possible specialty branches should not be assigned to most  students (say 70-80% in any college/institute) immediately after they join a college/institute after the XIIth. That should be determined after a year in that college/institute based on the performance in that year. This will make the class XII exam less cutthroat and ensure that students after they get into a college/institute continue to give importance to academics.

One alternative idea may to test the proposed idea (of using class XIIth marks) on 50% of the seats for a few years before deciding whether to completely abandon the current approach or not.

7 comments April 14th, 2010

Compiling the list of private state universities in India: work in progress

(Request to readers: If you know of private state universities not listed below and not in the UGC list mentioned below, please add a link in the comment. We will update this page.)

In this page we will collect information regarding private state universities in India. By private state universities we mean privately managed universities that are establish by an act in the assembly of various states of India. These are different from the deemed universities.

The list at UGC date June 2009 is at http://www.ugc.ac.in/notices/updatedpriuniver.pdf. We also listed them at http://www.orissalinks.com/archives/2782. My guess is that these private universities which have been created by state acts have UGC approval. We have come across many other private universities which have been created by state acts which are not in this list; some of them were created by state acts after June 2009.

We start with Odisha: Odisha has passed state acts for two private universities:

  • Vedanta University
  • Sri Sri University

Odisha has introduced an act for ICFAI university. It has been discussed and tabled in the assembly. As of writing this, It is yet to be passed by the Odisha assembly.

Chhatisgarh: The UGC list of June 2009 lists two private universities. (i) CV Raman in Bilaspur and (ii) MATS in Raipur

Gujarat: .The UGC list of June 2009 lists five private universities. (i) DAIICT Gandhinagar (ii) Ganpat, Mehsana (iii) Kadi Sarva, Gandhinagar (iv) Nirma, Ahmedabad (v) Pandit Deendayal Petroleum U, Gandhinagar

Himachal Pradesh: It passed an umbrella private university act in 2006. The UGC list of June 2009 lists two private universities. (i) Chitkara University, Solan (ii) Jaypee, Solan. Besides them following are some new ones.

Jharkhand:

  • ICFAI University

Karnataka: The UGC list of June 2009 does not have any university from Karnataka. However, since then the following has been passed.

Madhya Pradesh: It passed an umbrella private university act in 2007.

Maharashtra: From a TOI report.

Maharashtra has also revived the plan to bring private universities into the state. Tope said that plans were afoot to help the corporate sector play a key role in the field of education. The Private University Act is being finalised in this connection, he pointed out.

Meghalaya: The UGC list of June 2009 lists two private universities. (i) Martin Luther Christian (ii) Techno Global.

Mizoram: The UGC list of June 2009 lists one private university. (i) ICFAI

Nagaland: The UGC list of June 2009 lists one private university. (i) Global Open

Punjab: The UGC list of June 2009 lists one private university. (i) Lovely Professional U.

Rajasthan: It has an umbrella private university act (enacted in 2005) to facilitate creation of private universities. There are 11 private state universities in Rajasthan in the UGC list of June 2009. (i) Bhagwant University,  Ajmer (ii)  Jagannath University, Jaipur (iii) Jaipur National University, Jaipur. (iv) Jyoti Vidyapeeth Women’s University, Jaipur. (v)  Mewar University, Chittorgarh. (vi)
NIMS University, Jaipur. (vii) Sir Padmapat Singhania University, Jhunjhunu. (viii) Singhania University, Jhunjunu. (ix) Suresh Gyan Vihar University, Jaipur.  (x) Jodhpur National University, Jodhpur  (xi) Amity University, Jaipur

Beyond those 11, some of the new ones not in that list are:

Sikkim: The UGC list of June 2009 lists two private universities.(i) Eastern Institute for Integrated Learning in Management University, Jorethang. (ii) Sikkim- Manipal University of Health, Medical & Technological Sciences, Gangtok.

Tripura: The UGC list of June 2009 lists one private university. (i) ICFAI

UP: The UGC list of June 2009 lists eight private universities.(i) Amity University, NOIDA (ii) Integral University, Lucknow. (iii) Jagadguru Rambhadracharya Handicapped University, Chitrakoot Dham. (iv) Mangalayatan University, Aligarh (v) Mohammad Ali Jauhar University, Rampur. (vi) Sharda University, Gautam Budh Nagar. (vii) Swami Vivekanand Subharti University, Meerut. (viii)
Teerthanker Mahaveer Univesity, Moradabad.

Uttarakhand: The UGC list of June 2009 lists six private universities.(i) Dev Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya, Haridwar. (ii) Doon University, Dehradoon. (iii) Himgiri Nabh Vishwavidyalaya, Dehradun. (iv) ICFAI Dehradun (v) University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehradun. (vi)  University of Patanjali, Haridwar.

West Bengal: The UGC list of June 2009does not have any from West Bengal. However, the following has been passed by West Bengal assembly since then.

  • Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology, Kalyani

In regards to umbrella private university bills, as per http://www.academics-india.com/SC%20judgement.htm the Supreme court in

Prof. Yashpal & Anr. Vs. State of Chhattisgarh & Ors.
Coram: CJI ,G. P. Mathur , P.K. Balasubramanyan 11/ 02/ 2005
CASE NO.: Writ Petition (civil) 19 of 2004
PETITIONER: Prof. Yashpal & Anr.
RESPONDENT:State of Chhattisgarh & Ors.
DATE OF JUDGMENT: 11/02/2005
BENCH:CJI,G. P. Mathur & P.K. Balasubramanyan

has reiterated (see point 36) UGC rules that say:

3.1 Each private University shall be established by a separate State Act and shall conform to the relevant provisions of the UGC Act, 1956, as amended from time to time.

3.2 A private university shall be a unitary university having adequate facilities for teaching, research, examination and extension services.

 


The following table summarizes the private and deemed universities in various states of India. The data regarding deemed universities is from http://pib.nic.in/release/release.asp?relid=50713. Since the HRD minister Mr. Sibal has said that the deemed university system will vanish, most of the private deemed universities will become private state universities.

 

State #  private universities in June 2009 # deemed universities # private universities in pipeline that we know of (work in progress) Total
Andhra Pradesh 0 7   7
Arunachal Pradesh 0 1   1
Bihar 0 2   2
Chhatisgarh 2 0   2
Gujarat 2 5   7
Haryana 0 5   5
Himachal Pradesh 2 0 5 7
Jharkhand   2  1 3
Karnataka   15 1 16
Kerala   2   2
Madhya Pradesh  1 3   4
Maharashtra   21   21
Meghalaya 2     2
Mizoram 1     1
Nagaland 1     1
Orissa   2 3 5
Pondicherry   2   2
Punjab 1 3   4
Rajasthan 11 8 4 23
Sikkim 2     2
Tamil Nadu   29   29
Tripura 2     2
Uttarkhand 6 4   10
Uttar Pradesh 8 10   18
West Bengal   1 1 2
Delhi   11   11

 

12 comments April 10th, 2010

Eleven new Central Schools to come up in Odisha

Following is an excerpt from a report in Telegraph

The association’s board of governors has recommended the feasibility of 78 more Kendriya Vidyalayas (KV) as part of the process initiated by the HRD ministry for expanding the network of such central schools during the 11th plan period. The feasibility report included two KVs in Cuttack along with nine others across Orissa to address the educational needs of children of central government employees who are frequently transferred.

At present, there are 36 KVs in Orissa. While nine schools are in the project and defence sectors, the rest are in the civil sector.

The existing 36 Kendriya Vidyalayas are listed in http://kvsrobbs.org/DirectorKVs.html. As per that list the latest ones established in 2007 are in Rayagada, Parlakhemundi, Boudh, Malkangiri, Nawrangpur, Kandhamal, and Bhadrak. So the districts in Odisha that do not yet have Central Schools are: 

  • Deogarh
  • Jajpur
  • Kendrapada
  • Nayagarh
  • Nuapada
  • Sonepur

I hope the new ones will cover these districts.

See our earlier articles on this topic at http://www.orissalinks.com/archives/556, http://www.orissalinks.com/archives/550 and http://www.orissalinks.com/archives/227.

1 comment April 9th, 2010

Vocational programs to go mainstream

Following is an excerpt from a report in Business Standard.

… The HRD Ministry is set to revise its vocational education scheme under which the students will have the option to pursue vocational studies as an exclusive stream on par with arts, science and commerce.

The revised scheme, modelled on the pattern of vocational education in Australia and Germany, is expected to be announced next month.

"Students can study exclusively vocational education at Class-XI and XII. This will be an additional stream to the existing streams of science, arts and commerce," a senior Ministry official told PTI.

The focus of the revised vocational education stream will be industry collaboration at all stages, starting with designing of the courses, teaching and work experience in industry.

It will ensure employability of the students. Students can join any job or pursue further studies in professional courses like B.Tech after completing vocational courses.

… The vocational stream will offer a number of courses in areas like hospitality, automobile sector, paramedics, cooking, truck driving, manufacturing, graphics designing and animation, the official said.

Under vocational stream, the programmes will comprise 70 per cent of subject specific studies and 30 per cent general studies like English and communicative skills.

The revised scheme will be implemented across the country with 100 per cent Central assistance. The government has earmarked Rs 2,000 crore in the 11th Plan for this scheme. The Ministry is preparing a note for approval of Expenditure Finance Committee. Then it will go for Cabinet’s approval.

This is a great direction. When mainstream colleges start offering vocational courses and these programs have tie-up with industries that hire the graduates in apprentice positions with good prospects, the stigma associated with vocational programs in the mind of a typical middle class family in India would significantly reduce.

2 comments April 6th, 2010

Why mention of IIT coaching classes in Orissalinks?

In http://www.orissalinks.com/archives/4059 we mentioned about some of the national tutorials that have now set shop in Bhubaneswar. A close friend and elder of mine (Sandip Dasverma) whom I respect a lot was surprised (and even dismayed) that I gave space to them here, and was wondering how come I am promoting institutes that to him are so harmful to our society.

I have mixed thoughts and feelings about the whole thing, so I decided I will write my thoughts and feelings, which at this point may not be fully coherent.

1. In Orissalinks we are writing about *all* kinds of educational and HRD infrastructure and opportunities in Odisha. When we write about ITI or Diploma or vocational schools we are not necessarily promoting them; nor it is our intention that every body should do ITI or a diploma. (On the other hand we do not think there is anything wrong in going to an ITI or doing a Diploma.) We cover them so that these pages serve as a dynamic directory of opportunities and infrastructure of various kinds. In that sense IIT tutorials are educational and HRD infrastructure elements and we cover them. Our coverage does not necessarily mean we promote them. In case of ITI and Diploma institutions, having them listed here helps industries who may be considering to move to Odisha.

2. To us IIT tutorials are HRD infrastructure elements that for whatever reason are an important component of a city/town/metro/population-hub. Students are looking for them, the parents are looking for them, the top ones at other locations have been successful in sending large numbers to the IITs, and parents in Odisha due to the lack of such institutes have sent their kids out of state. Moreover, Odisha has been sending comparatively very few students to IITs, thus not taking advantage of the opportunity provided by the well-funded and reputed IITs. So in that sense having top national coaching classes in Odisha is good. The kids who want to go there need not now go to or be sent to (by their parents) locations out of state and hopefully there will be more number of people getting to IITs from Odisha because of the presence of these nationally reputed tutorials in Odisha.

Hopefully we have clarified why we covered IIT tutorials here; We covered them because as the situation in India is now, they are an important educational infrastructure of a place/town/city/metro.

Thats that, but what do we think about these tutorials and their alleged harmful impact on the education system and society. To us the issue is not so simple nor black and white. To initiate a debate we will put some pointers and arguments.

  • Coaching classes in various countries and their purpose is given here. In India, coaching classes are a reality and they thrive because (i) admission to top schools is extremely competitive and (ii) the admission process is fairly well defined. In this regard one may read the article at http://hosted.law.wisc.edu/wilj/issues/24/1/steiner.pdf which explains why cram schools for getting law license is common in many other countries but not in the USA.
  • Coaching classes are not so common for college admission in the USA because of two main reasons: Decent students can fairly easily get into decent universities in most states; and admission is not based on a single exam and the process is not very clear and on purpose not well explained to the public.
  • At this point the fuzzy processes adopted for admissions in US institutions will not work in India as there will be a lot of chance for corruption. One of the aura behind the IIT entrance exams and its admission process is the lack of corruption in the process of IIT admission. Many a professors and IIT directors’ kids have not been able to get into IITs. That is not the case in most US universities (even the most elite and most competitive ones) where kids of alumni, faculty and big donors may have an inside track to admission.
  • Recently a committee chaired by Prof Damodar Acharya has been formed to revamp the IIT admission process. Among other things they are considering to take into account the marks obtained in the 12th grade. I am not sure if that will eliminate the coaching classes. The coaching classes will just adopt and start teaching how to also ace the 12th exam.
  • However it is the case that mastering (how to answer) the kind of questions asked in the IIT entrance exam requires coaching beyond what is taught in the regular school curriculum. If the question pattern was changed to closely follow the regular school curriculum then coaching classes will possibly be less effective and thus their attraction could possibly decrease. But the questions may then be too simple making it difficult to pick 10,000 out of 5 lakhs. Also, there is a reason behind the kind of hard questions that are asked in the IIT entrance exams. Students with aptitude to answer such questions are good at problem solving and thus the kind of students the IITs are looking for. But IITs have not been able to figure out how to separate these students from students  who have trained (and been coached) to be successful in the IIT entrance exams.
    • It is common in India to believe in the notion of  "inherent ability" which is behind the elusive goal of finding students who have the inherent ability versus students who apparently do not have that ability but train hard (in the coaching classes) and get through the entrance exams.
    • But this view is being challenged. See the book review at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/21/books/review/Paul-t.html?ref=books. Following is a quote: "David Shenk with “The Genius in All of Us,” which argues that we have before us not a “talent scarcity” but a “latent talent abundance.” Our problem “isn’t our inadequate genetic assets,” but “our inability, so far, to tap into what we already have.” The truth is “that few of us know our true limits, that the vast majority of us have not even come close to tapping what scientists call our ‘un­actualized potential.’ ” At first it would seem that Shenk, the author of thoughtful books on information overload, memory loss and chess, has veered into guru territory. But he has assembled a large body of research to back up his claims. … Shenk doesn’t neglect the take-home point we’re all waiting for, even titling a chapter “How to Be a Genius (or Merely Great).” The answer has less in common with the bromides of motivational speakers than with the old saw about how to get to Carnegie Hall: practice, practice, practice. Whatever you wish to do well, Shenk writes, you must do over and over again, in a manner involving, as Ericsson put it, “repeated attempts to reach beyond one’s current level,” which results in “frequent failures.” This is known as “deliberate practice,” and over time it can actually produce changes in the brain, making new heights of achievement possible.
    • In light of the above, is it really right to look down on students who worked hard for whatever number of years in a coaching class and trained themselves so as to succeed in the IIT entrance exam? Can we really fault the coaching classes who provide the students the opportunity to train, train and train? Who are we to tell that train, train, train following a goal or someone’s life’s ambition is bad? Do we do that with respect to an athlete or an aspiring musician? No, we are impressed by their dedication.
  • Few years back IITs changed their requirement for admission and now one can enter an IIT only the year he/she passes the 12th or the next year. This was aimed at stopping people from spending multiple years in coaching schools in preparation for IIT. I guess it addresses that problem but raises other questions such as: Why is it wrong to work hard and long and prepare? Why can not some one decide to pursue an engineering degree at whatever age they become interested in? The later is a problem in most programs in India and is understandable because of the resource crunch. Coming back to the former: Why is it wrong to work hard and long and prepare? Does the society penalise an athlete or a music student who decides to fully focus on their goal of being a world class athlete or a musician? In case of the IITs, the problem is that most students who work hard and long to get in, do not often work hard once they get into the IITs. But then the IITs should design their course work accordingly? Also, they should assign majors for most students (say 80%) after the first year. That way students after they get in will have to work hard to get the major of their choice.
  • Who are bad? The students going to coaching classes? Their parents? The owner of the coaching class? The faculty at the coaching classes? The System? If it is the system then as we mentioned we can not fault the nature of the admission process as a non-transperent one (used in the US universities) will not work in today’s India where corruption is endemic and because of that even national tests are conducted for clerical jobs in the Railways and Banks. So the only approach is to have enough good institutions/colleges/universities so that the situation is not as competitive as it is now. But even then there will be coveted institutions and admissions to them will be extremely competitive and their will be coaching classes for them. Just look at France, where 5% of its high school graduates spend 2-3 years in cram schools so that they can get into the Grandes Ecoles.
  • The increase in the number of IITs, NITs, central universities, the creation of new IIITs, IISERs/NISER and the plan for 14 innovation universities will increase the number of  good institutions in India and that would be helpful. They will also help in the more serious issue that plagued India where most good students out of high school went for engineering and medicine.
  • However, India needs to figure out how to improve the standards at its state universities and colleges which have degraded badly over the years. Just creating new creamy layers on the top and letting the bottom rot will worsen the situation. 

I hope the above thoughts explain why I don’t agree with the crowd and follow the fashion these days among many who put all the blame in the world at the door of coaching classes. I can see some adverse results (such as the story about an IIT JEE number 1 who was coached three years before he got JEE 1 but flunked in many of his classes in the first year) but it is not easy for me to just point blank think coaching classes as evils. In fact there may be evidence to the contrary. The coaching classes seems to have helped students from far flung areas without access to good schools to get trained  and get into the IITs. The success of the super 30 in Bihar has now prompted the Punjab government to start similar coaching for rural students in Punjab. Similar plans are also afoot in Tamil Nadu and Chhatisgarh. The Orissa government had also announced similar plans in collaboration with the Institute of Mathematics & Applications. I am not sure if that has been implemented.

Now some other related thoughts.

  • In my school days, middle class parents would find a tuition master or send their kids for tution if the kids were not doing well in school. So being "tutored" had a negative connotation similar to the connotation of "remedial classes" in US schools. Of course in US now parents and kids are being sensitized to not look down on students with reading and learning disabilities. But things started changing in India and students doing well also started getting tutored to do even better, and at times this was encouraged by the teachers themselves, some with motivation to augment their income (their pay was always pathetic). Some of these teachers neglected in their teaching in their regular classes giving bad names to the "tutors".  These two underlined aspects have contributed to the negative connotation behind coaching in the mind of many.
  • Personally, I have never had a tuition master in my life. I did take postal coaching (Agrawal Classes) in my 12th class (ISc 2nd year) to prepare for  IIT and got in that year. The postal coaching worked as follows: I would get booklets with some theory and solved examples and some questions. I would solve the questions myself and send it for evaluation. Some one (a faculty) at the coaching center would evaluate my solutions and give me a grade. Thats all. This was better than the alternative of reading the IIT entrance guide books and doing the exercises there as in case of the later, one was not sure if the solution was correct or not. Also, in case of the postal coaching, the solutions had to be sent in within certain time, thus creating a discipline on the preparation. I have not met a single person in my life who got through the IIT entrance exam without preparing specifically for IIT outside of the class syllabus and that meant at least going through the IIT entrance guide books.
  • So I have no direct idea about how the current classroom coaching classes operate. I only know from second and third hand descriptions.

Having said all this, what would be my advice to students in their 11th and 12th grade?

  • First, one need not focus on IITs, engineering or medicine. India now provides successful careers in many many fields. One can go for science and math in the top institutes such as IIISERs, NISER, ISI, etc. One can go for law in one of the National Law Schools. One can go for Economics and other social science subjects in various good colleges. One can go for accountancy and other commerce subjects. One can be successful in any of those. Also, down the road the IISERs, NISER, National Law schools and the Innovation Universities will have similar name recognition as the IITs.
  • However, if one aims to get into the IITs, until further changes happen one still need to prepare beyond their Class 12 syllabus. Here I would recommend the aspiring students to get into the best coaching class (in terms of their past performance) that is available. In that regard it is good that Bhubaneswar now has some of the nationally known top ones in FITJEE, Vidya Mandir and Resonance. However, in case the teachers in those coaching classes do not emphasize the following, I would have one advice to the students: There is no substitute to the ability and understanding one develops when one is pondering on a question (on his/her own) for hours or sometimes days and is eventually able to figure out how to solve it. Memorizing a trick told by the teacher to solve that question is an extremely poor substitute and does not develop the critical thinking ability that the IITs expect their students to have. On the positive side, the periodic exams conducted by the coaching classes have some advantages. Doing well in them and getting encouragement from the teachers who are able to compare a current coaching class student with successful students from yesteryears gives the students the much needed confidence. (In general I have noticed that less students from Odisha get into IITs because of the confidence problem during their 11-12th. But where ever the good ones go, they do well and become very successful in their careers.) Also, the coaching classes provide a routine and a discipline in the preparation. This is hard  for a 16-17yr old to do on his/her own.
    • In this regard one may note that bad coaching classes or not using the coaching classes in the right way could be very harmful. As an anecdotal example, a nephew of mine was telling me that he was not confident about his IIT exam as he did not have a tuition master in subject X, though he had tuition in Y and Z. After the IIT entrance exam he said he did well in X but not in Y, Z. I explained him and he agreed that in X, he studied himself and developed the understanding while in Y and Z, he was told various problem solving tricks; but that did not develop a deeper understanding in his mind and he could not apply them to the questions he encountered in the IIT entrance exam.

8 comments April 3rd, 2010

Planning Commission approves Science Magnet Schools; to be implemented soon and then followed by Arts and Culture Magnet Schools

Update: Apparently the MHRD people driving this project have told the HRD minister regarding the origin of the idea behind this proposal and Odisha is in their initial list of locations for one of the 10 schools.


See http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Science-Magnet-Navodayas-soon/597429 and http://www.telegraphindia.com/1100330/jsp/nation/story_12280434.jsp for details. Following are excerpts from the Indian Express article.

… a new set of Navodayas will come up as ‘Science Magnet’ schools in collaboration with top-notch R&D institutes like the Indian Institute of Science, Bhaba Atomic Research Centre, National Physical Laboratory, Council for Science & Industrial Research, Indian Space Research Organisation and the IITs among others, highly placed sources told The Indian Express. Following them will be special schools focused on culture, music, sports and vocational education.

These specialised schools will, however, only cater to students from classes IX to XII. All other Navodaya schools admit students from Class VI onwards.

Starting this year, the schools will be set up over the next three years and add to the chain of over 560 Navodayas spread across the country. Cleared last week by the Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti’s Executive Committee headed by HRD Minister Kapil Sibal, the proposal is set to go to the Union Cabinet and will take off with 10 Science Magnet Navodayas to start with.

“The whole concept has been developed in view of the huge shortage of Science graduates and post-graduates worldwide. No one wants to do core Science any longer. So planned as a Phase II of the Navodaya expansion, 10 Science Magnet Navodaya schools will be set up at a cost of some Rs 15-20 crore each,” a senior official in the HRD Ministry said. “These will be located in the vicinity of institutes like NPL, BARC, ISRO, IISc etc with whom we will be collaborating. We have already written to these institutes.”

“These institutes will basically do the handholding for the specialised schools, conduct special sessions, help set up state-of-the-art labs, assist in making Science teaching easy, evolve new pedagogical methods and also help to project the basic sciences as attractive options,” added the official. “It is hoped that students will ultimately also plug the vacuum in the scientific community and join their league at these institutes.”

While the course will be based on CBSE curriculum, the admission to these schools will take into account aptitude in Sciences, participation in events like Science Olympiads among other criteria. Admissions to the Navodayas are on the basis of a national-level examination.

We had written about this in http://www.orissalinks.com/archives/303 and had contacted the SAC-PM, DST, IISER/NISER directors, and MHRD officers about it. We are happy that it is now going to be implemented. Hopefully, one of the 10 schools will be in Odisha.

Add comment March 30th, 2010

Yale may develop leadership programmes for the deans and vice chancellors of the 14 innovation universities

Following is an excerpt from a report in Business Standard.

… An official confirmed the ministry met these institutes almost two weeks ago to discuss these plans.

Yale’s talks with the HRD ministry involve mentoring all 14 universities through its leadership programme. Since none of these universities have been built, the Ivy League university’s role is to act as consultant and conceptualiser,

“Minister Sibal has agreed to work with us on the new innovation universities for references and conceptualising. We will be developing leadership programmes for the deans and vice chancellors of these universities,” George Joseph, assistant secretary, Yale University, told Business Standard.

“We don’t plan to set up an India campus anytime soon … but we would like to mentor the new innovation universities just like the Indian Institutes of Technology were mentored when they were established,” he added.

Each “innovation university” is expected to focus on one area or problem of significance to India, such as urbanisation, environmental sustainability and public health.

MIT has expressed interest in mentoring one university that is focused on the energy sector. …

Meanwhile, Yale also plans to use part of the funds from its Yale India initiative for the leadership programme for these new universities. The initiative began in November 2008 and now has almost $75 million (Rs 338 crore).

Add comment March 22nd, 2010

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