Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Sambada reports that T. A. Sheshan will be meeting the CM in regards to the Ravishankar University

Sambada reports that T. A. Sheshan will be meeting the CM in regards to the proposed Ravishankar University. The meeting could be about the land issue. The proposed Ravishankar University is supposed to cater 15,000 students and be of international standard. The land identified for this university is in Naraj and there is a speculation that the same land is also the top choice of DAE for NISER. Lets hope that a way out is found so that both DAE/NISER and Shri Shri Ravishankar are happy.

Saturday, January 06, 2007


200 crores each for 10 selected universities

DU eyes Rs 200-cr makeover plan

Sonia Sarkar

[ 21 Dec, 2006 2359hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]

NEW DELHI: Soon, you may soon see a few universities on the lines of Oxfords or Harvards in India in the coming years.

Ten universities across the country will get a world-class makeover in terms of laboratories, libraries and other facilities if the proposal made by the Indian Academy of Sciences (IAS) and Indian National Science Academy (INSA) gets approved by the Planning Commission in the 11th Five Year plan. A sum of Rs 200 crores will be released to each one of them for the makeover.

The plan proposed that the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) or University Grants Commission (UGC) will invite applications from universities for the scheme.

Later, they will be inspected by experts before the final selection of 10 universities are made for the makeover. And Delhi University (DU) will not be far behind in the race.

"If the plan gets a nod, then we will also bid for it," said DU vice-chancellor Deepak Pental, who was also the member of the committee who prepared the plan. The committee was headed by INSA president R A Mashelkar and IAS president T V Ramakrishnan.

Research will be buzzword in these universities. The report stated that there will be a substantial increase in the recurring expenditure of these universities to maintain the laboratories, instrumentation and computational facilities and databases.

It also said that recurring expenditure on bandwidth, journals and laboratories will have to be increased three to four times over current values and each science department within these universities will require an annual grant of Rs 10 lakh for proper laboratory training of students.

However, to be selected among the top 10, universities should conduct programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate level and conduct research programmes of the highest standard.

The report also stated that these universities should have an uninterrupted waste and electric supply, waste disposal system and proper computational, internet and library facilities.

In a separate head, the committee has also proposed that special financial assistance should also be provided to at least one university in each state to make it on par with the best central universities in terms of academic standards.

It stated that "each grant of Rs 50 crore may be provided to each university with the stipulation that most of the expenditure should be on teaching, learning and research related activities rather on construction of buildings. And these universities must also strengthen the undergraduate education and be brought on par with central universities."


Knowledge Commission: more universities; convert clusters of affiliated colleges to universities

"Number of varsities not enough"

Special Correspondent

1,500 needed: Knowledge Commission

# Only 7 per cent in 18-24 age group has access to higher education

# Recommends a more rational fee structure

NEW DELHI: India will need 1,500 universities to attain a gross enrolment ratio of at least 15 per cent by 2015. This is a key observation made by the National Knowledge Commission (NKC) in its note to the Prime Minister on higher education.

Stating that opportunities for higher education "are simply not enough in relation to our needs," the NKC has called for a massive expansion of opportunities.

As of today, there are about 350 universities. "This number is simply not enough with reference to our needs in higher education or in comparison with China, which authorised the creation of 1,250 new universities in the last three years," the commission has noted. It pointed out that only seven per cent of the population in the 18-24 age group has access to higher education.

While the focus should be on setting up new universities, some clusters of affiliated colleges could be turned into universities, a move that will require changes in the regulatory mechanism. For this, the NKC has suggested creation of an Independent Regulatory Authority for Higher Education.

At the same time, it says, some universities are much too large for ensuring academic standards and good governance. "We need to create more appropriately scaled and more nimble universities. The moral of the story is that we need not only a much larger number of universities ... but also smaller universities which are responsive to change and easier to manage."

Stating that public and private sources should be tapped for funding, the NKC contends that government support for higher education should increase to at least 1.5 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product.

As this will not suffice for the massive expansion in higher education, the NKC has suggested that norms and parameters be drawn up to allow universities to use their land as a source of finance.

The NKC has recommended a more rational fee structure. "As a norm, fees should meet at least 20 per cent of the total expenditure in universities."

Needy students should be given fee waiver plus scholarships, but the UGC should not penalise universities for the resources they raised from higher fees with matching deductions from their grants-in-aid.


National Knowledge Commission proposes 50 national universities

NKC suggests a 5-fold expansion of higher education


NEW DELHI: Even as the National Knowledge Commission suggests a five-fold expansion of the higher education system, it has argued for creating ‘completely new institutions that operate unconstrained by the current institutional and regulatory framework’. The Commission has recommended setting up of 50 national universities that can provide education of the highest standard.

As examplars for the rest of the nation, these universities shall train students in a variety of disciplines. The Commission has suggested setting up 10 national universities over the next three years.

Not all 50 of the proposed national universities need be new universities. Some of the exisiting universities could be converted into national universities after a rigorous process of selection “to act as examplars”.

Faculty for these universities should not present a problem. The Commission is of the view that these universities or ‘centres of academic excellence’ will have no trouble attracting talent from among those who choose other professions in India or the academic profession outside India.

The Commission has suggested that these universities will need significant initial financial support from the government. Taking a cue from the land grant universities in the US, the NKC has suggested that that “each university may be endowed with substantial allocation of public land, in excess of its spatial requirements.

The excess land can be subsequent source of income generation.” The Commission has recommended making exceptions to tax laws to encourage large endowments. These universities would have the autonomy to set fee levels and tap other sources for funds.

On admissions, NKC has recommended a needs blind policy. The university would be structured through the system of credits for both undergraduate and graduate education. The National Universities will not have any affiliated colleges. Strong linkages between teaching and research, universities and industry, and universities and research laboratories would have to be forged at the national universities.

Thursday, January 04, 2007


Educational opportunities in Hyderabad

New knowledge hub


[ 4 Jan, 2007 2319hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]

Outstation students are making a beeline for further education in the city. And the reasons are low cost of living, safety and the presence of niche institutions.

The recent announcement of an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) to be set up in the state, promises much more than just one more engineering college.

It means a step ahead for the state, which is emerging as an educational hub, not only for the quality of education, but also for other related factors like low cost of living, multilingual culture and safety. Dr MD Christopher, secretary, AP State Council for Higher Education says, “The boom in the service industry in the city has overshadowed it’s image of an educational destination. But many educational institutions like ISB, NIFT, NALSAR, IIIT, National Academy of Construction (NAC) and universities like HCU, OU and CIEFEL have been attracting students from different states.”

Vice Chancellor of NALSAR, Ranvir Singh feels that the presence of specialised centres of higher education like ISB, IIIT, NIFT and NAC are obvious attractors of students from other states, because there are very few such centres in the country. Besides, many educational institutions offer an all-round package that is both affordable and of high quality. “Other factors like safety, low cost of living and a multilingual population also make students opt to study in Hyderabad,” says Singh.

When Pragyan Parimita Barik from Orissa couldn’t get through a masters programme in Sociology at JNU, Delhi, her second preference was the Hyderabad Central University. “That’s because it’s safer for women, compared to cities like Delhi and Bangalore. I can go out on my own even in the night,” adds Pragyan. “Be it late night partying in pubs, window-shopping in malls or chilling out in multiplexes, the recreation options in the city are also many. Thanks to the moderate cost of living, we can save money for recreation,” feels Meenaxi Narang from Delhi, who is currently studying at NIFT.

And it’s not just the tag of ‘safe and fun city’ that is luring the students from various parts of the country. Even in terms of jobs, it’s a win-win situation for students and employers. Professor D Venkat Rao, head of the centre for cultural studies at CIEFEL, says, “Many students from different states come to study and take up jobs here. This adds to the quality to the state’s manpower,” says Rao. And it’s also convenient for companies to organise campus interviews here. It helps students who get greater visibility than their counterparts from colleges in other states. “Companies visit outstation campuses if there is a lack of talent pool in their own state.

They also seek outstation students to create a cosmopolitan workforce with perspectives from different regions. As many universities and colleges in the city offer a cosmopolitan crowd, companies prefer visiting them before going to outstation colleges,” informs Sreedhar T, chairman, executive recruiters’ association. According to him, majority of the outstation workforce in the city come from Tamil Nadu, Orissa, West Bengal, Maharashtra. Though Tamil Nadu is an educational hub, but it doesn’t have as many employment opportunities as Hyderabad, he points out.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?