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Supreme Court (SC) pulls up AICTE, univesity for delay

The Hindu | J. Venkatesan |

Authorities like the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), who are in-charge of granting approval, preparing syllabus and imparting education are required to behave with responsibility and not cause any inconvenience to students, the Supreme Court has held. Giving this ruling a Bench of Justices Dipak Misra and U.U. Lalit said, “when an attitude of apathy or lackadaisical propensity or proclivity of procrastination of the statutory authorities creeps in as a consequence of which the time schedule meant for approval of the educational institutions and commencement of the courses is not adhered to, a feeling of devouring darkness seems to reign supreme as if “things fall apart.”


UGC favours issuing mark sheet with photo of student by universities

Deccan Herlad | Prakash Kumar, Oct 19, 2014, NEW DELHI: DHNS |

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked all universities to consider issuing mark sheet with the photograph of the student to check duplication of final year marks statements.

Mumbai University is set to issue mark sheets with photographs of students on them. The document will also have a number of security features like hologram and water mark. The higher education regulator has suggested to vice chancellors of other universities to adopt the Mumbai University model, while appreciating the initiative taken by the latter. “The commission appreciates this initiative of the university which shall help in eliminating duplicity of mark sheets. The other universities may also consider adopting this feature along with other security features to bring about uniformity and transparency within the system,” UGC secretary Jaspal S Sandhu said in his letter to varsity heads recently.  The UGC move follows a recommendation by Shiv Sena’s Rajya Sabha MP Anil Desai. In his letter to UGC Chairman Ved Prakash in July, Desai said: “The purpose of incorporating photograph is to bring in a transparent and foolproof system and enable easy verification by various authorities and prospective employers,” he said, suggesting that other higher educational institutions in the country could also adopt it to check duplication of mark sheets.  Two years ago, the Mumbai university did away with plain mark sheets and opted for a rainbow colour scheme citing security measures after cases were lodged against more than 600 students for producing fake certificates between 2006 and 2009.“The plain mark sheets did not have a distinguishing feature and lacked security codes. The new seven-colour scheme is unique. It has seven security features incorporated in the mark sheets to avoid duplication.  —> Courtesy

Consider adopting Mumbai University’s rainbow marksheet system: UGC to varsities – Indian Express – Read  More

UGC Link

Deemed universities: UGC sets up five-member committee to conduct physical verification

Zee News | Friday, October 17, 2014 | PTI

New Delhi: The University Grants Commission (UGC) today set up a five-member committee to conduct physical verification of seven universities whose deemed category status has come under question. The development followed a direction by the Supreme Court which had sought physical verification of infrastructure and faculty strength of deemed universities, which were black-listed by P N Tandon Committee. At the full commission meeting today, UGC decided to give the committee, which would be headed by its secretary, a month’s time to submit its report. “The committee would point out the deficiencies and ask the varsities to act on them within a stipulated period before a second verification is carried out to ascertain their progress,” an official said. The Tandon Committee had originally blacklisted 41 deemed universities. Subsequently, in its report submitted to the Supreme Court last month, UGC had zeroed in on these seven institutes who still do not fulfill such criteria.Officials said the fate of the rest 34 universities which were given a clean chit by the UGC will be decided by the HRD Ministry. The Supreme Court had on October 26 had directed physical verification of all the universities as it ruled out the suggestion of verification through photographs and videography, saying it was not an acceptable mode of determining the credentials. The Court had asked the UGC to complete within three months the physical verification of 41 deemed universities. It said after completing the procedure of verification and rectification of deficiencies, the UGC will file its report both to the Centre and the apex court. The Supreme Court had earlier this year directed the UGC to examine all the reports of the 41 deemed to be universities and advise the central government. These universities had gone to the Supreme Court after they were put in the ‘C’ category in 2009 by the Tandon Committee. Earlier, it was 44 deemed universities which were found to be unfit for the status by Tandon committee. However, the number came down to 41 after two of them surrendered the deemed varsity tax, while the third one was converted into centre of national importance.


Washington Accord Accreditation for Odisha’s KIIT varsity; NBA Tier 1

Odisha Sun Times Bureau | Bhubaneswar, 17 Oct 2014.

Engineering programme of KIIT University in Odisha has got accreditation from National Board of Accreditation (NBA) in Tier 1 Format, recognized by Washington Accord, a KIIT ( formerly Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology ) release said today.

kiit-university-notifies-kiitee-2013KIIT is among only six institutions in India, shortlisted by NBA in the first phase for accreditation to the Washington Accord which would enable global recognition to its degrees and increase the mobility of its engineering graduates to the UK , the USA and other countries for higher study and jobs. ‘NBA Tier 1′ accreditation was awarded on the basis of the high quality of academics in KIIT University, transparency in governance system, performance of alumni in industries and entrepreneurship. Programmes accredited include Electronics & Telecommunications, Computer Science, Electrical, Mechanical and Civil Engineering of Schools of Engineering of KIIT University.

NBA, New Delhi got its permanent membership to Washington Accord in June this year. The Washington Accord is an international accreditation agreement for professional engineering academic degrees, among the bodies responsible for accreditation in its signatory countries. The Accord was signed in 1989 as an international agreement among bodies responsible for accrediting engineering degree programmes. Besides the UK and USA, some 17 countries, such as Australia, Canada, Taiwan, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Turkey are signatories to it. Henceforth students of KIIT will not face any entrance examination to take admission in Universities of these seventeen countries after getting this accreditation. After getting the message, students of KIIT and their parents expressed happiness that students of KIIT would now get greater flexibility and have degrees recognized globally. Expressing his satisfaction, Dr. A. Samanta, Founder, KIIT & KISS thanked the NBA, New Delhi for awarding this coveted accreditation to KIIT. As a result of the recognition from Washington Accord, global employment opportunities of KIIT engineering students would go up substantially, he added.


Inspect Engineering Colleges, Telangana HC Tells JNTUH

The Indian Express | Express News Service |  17th October 2014

HYDERABAD : The High Court directed the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad (JNTUH) on Thursday to physically inspect all the engineering and pharmacy colleges, which offer post-graduate courses, to know the facilities being provided by them to the students. Justice CV Nagarjuna Reddy passed this order on a batch of petitions filed on the admissions to private engineering and pharmacy colleges conducting PG courses. Telangana advocate-general K Ramakrishna Reddy, appearing for JNTUH, said that as per the directions issued by a division bench the university had issued deficiency notices to 127 engineering and 40 pharmacy colleges seeking particulars about the facilities, including teaching and non-teaching staff, library, lab, etc., being provided by them to PG students. The AG said that a minimum one month’s period would be required to evaluate the information and to submit a report to the court on the deficiencies pointed out by the varsity, after physical inspection of these colleges. He assured the court that the university would examine whether 145 PG colleges, which were allowed to participate in  counselling, complied with the norms prescribed by the university and AICTE and submit a report. He sought four weeks’ time for placing report of the university to the court. The judge granted four weeks’ time to the university to make physical inspection of the colleges and to submit its report to the court, and posted the matter to Nov 17. On September 4 a single judge had directed the state government and JNTUH to include the petitioner engineering colleges in the PG counselling process for 2014-15 provided  they complied with all the norms and regulations prescribed by it as well as  AICTE. The university moved the division bench challenging the single judge’s order. On Sept 9, the division bench directed the JNTUH to issue notices to private engineering colleges notifying their deficiencies found during inspection. It also directed inclusion of these colleges in counselling and that the university shall inform the students that the PG engineering admissions were subject to the final outcome of the petitions.


Research should be practised like religion; ( Research Innovation and Work-plan)

The Times of India |

CHANDIGARH: The national discussion meet on ‘Research Innovation and Work-plan’ began at Panjab University (PU) on Thursday with All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) chairman S S Mantha delivering the inaugural address. Vice chancellors and deans from various leading universities and research institutes of the country and heads of a few regulatory bodies are participating in the two-day meet. PU vice chancellor Arun Kumar Grover, DUI AK Bhandari, dean research Lalit K Bansal and a number of PU fellows, teachers, researchers and students also took part in the day long discussions. Describing research and innovation as a growth vehicle, Mantha said research was the heart while innovation was the soul. “Together the growth vehicle will speed up and in the absence of either, it would sputter and backfire,” he added. He said that research was a philosophy and needed to be practised like religion. “Many students in IT and technical colleges undertake copy-paste jobs while developing their projects as part of their curriculum but it doesn’t help,” Mantha said. The AICTE chairperson said that with the advent of cloud, the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise should share its data with AICTE. “AICTE, in turn, could encourage colleges to occupy and script their enterprise applications on a piece of cloud that they could acquire to be used as their lab. Let each college buy a piece of the cloud that propagates millions of nurseries with a potential to raise the MSMEs and spur innovation to deliver quicker, better and more competitive products from the MSMEs,” he added. Mantha added that the shackles of regulatory systems needed to be broken and free enterprise allowed to promote research and innovation. “We need to create ecosystems that enable environments to flourish in research and innovation in our institutions. We need to define dynamic structures that bring out the best in our youth,” he added.


UGC to finalize inspection modalities for deemed universities today

The Times of India |

NEW DELHI: In its full meeting on Friday, University Grants Commission will decide the modalities for the implementation of the orders of the Supreme Court regarding physical inspection of seven deemed universities. UGC is going ahead even as HRD ministry is yet to firm up its stand on 34 other deemed universities that were also reviewed. Though ministry wants to have some say in physical verification, chances are that once UGC sets up committees to undertake the task it will be difficult for HRD to intervene and claim a role. Even if 34 deemed universities go through physical verification, UGC will get to decide the composition of committees. The full commission will also consider draft guidelines on adoption of choice-based credit system. The new regulation aims to have a uniform grading system to deal with existing multiple approaches prevalent throughout the country. UGC has been maintaining that Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of evaluation be introduced in all universities. A committee set up by UGC had given wide-ranging recommendations on how to implement uniform CGPA. Sources said, “It is likely that the draft guidelines will be approved by the commission but the final decision will rest with HRD ministry.” UGC will also consider setting up a university chair in the name of Lakshminath Bezabaruah, doyen of Assamese literature. The Commission has proposed that a chair in his name be included in the 12th Plan guidelines for UGC chairs in universities under the category of ‘persons of eminence’. UGC has already approved Goa University’s proposal to establish a chair for diaspora studies.


Clarification on UGC by Ministry of Human Resource Development

Business Standard | Delhi |October 16, 2014.

A news item has appeared in a section of Media stating that UGC is redundant. However, the Government wishes to clarify its position as under:  The information is absolutely incorrect, misrepresented and misleading and intended to create a negative perception of Government. The Ministry of HRD has at no point of time held that UGC is redundant either in their affidavit or in the Counsels argument.  In connection with two matters, viz. the SRM Deemed to be University and the Manakula Vinayagar Academy of Higher Education being heard by the Honble Supreme Court on the 14th of October, 2014, the Additional Solicitor General of India Mr Paramjit Singh Patwalia submitted before the Honble Court that there have been two distinct views held by the two esteemed High Courts of Madras and Karnataka respectively on the Institutions (Deemed to be Universities) Regulations, 2010 which have given two different judgments, one upholding the Regulations and the other quashing them. Therefore the allegation by the newspaper that the Centre has argued that the order of the High Court of Karnataka is applicable to the rest of the country is misleading.  The Government has already filed its appeal in the Karnataka High Court challenging its order quashing the Regulations, and the ASG sought the permission of the Honble Supreme Court to transfer the appeals which are pending in the Honble High Court of Karnataka to the Honble Supreme Court to adjudicate on the matter in the interest of maintenance of quality of Higher Education imparted by Institutions Deemed to be Universities.


Universities cautioned by UGC on violation of jurisdiction, study centres norms

Free Press Journal | |

Indore : The University Grants Commission ( UGC) has cautioned universities/ institutions not to violate its policy on territorial jurisdiction, study centres and non- franchising of study centres for offering programmes through distance mode. Besides, the universities/ institutions have been directed to offer only those courses which are approved by the UGC. In a letter to the Vice Chancellors of all types of varsities, the UGC said that it has learnt that some universities are offering programmes through distance mode without the approval of UGC/ erstwhile DEC and several universities/ institutions have opened their study centres in violation of the policy of UGC and erstwhile DEC on territorial jurisdiction. It added that some institutions are also giving misleading advertisements in newspapers and other public media that the programmes offered by these institutions are approved by the UGC. “ The same is not permissible by the UGC and should be immediately stopped,” the UGC letter went on to added. The Commission directed the universities/ institutions to offer only those programmes which are approved by the UGC/ erstwhile DEC and follow the policy of UGC on territorial jurisdiction, study centres, and non- franchising of study centres. “ The activities at the study centre such as admission, examination, etc should be operated by the concerned university. Study centres cannot conduct examination on their own nor can they award degree/ diploma etc. No subletting of study centres should be allowed and any such centre opened by any university/ institution would be in violation of the UGC policy.” It is to be noted that RKDF ( Private) University was caught some months back conducting exam from its institute in Indore.  —-> Courtesy

UGC Link

Deemed university saga puts HRD Ministry in a bind

India Today | Anubhuti Vishnoi  New Delhi, October 15, 2014 |

Days after a UGC committee came up with a surprising report on deemed universities – recommending that no more than seven of the 41 be blacklisted and deprived of the deemed to be university status – the union Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry is caught in a bind. Pouring over file after file related to the deemed university saga, the Smriti Irani led HRD Ministry is now deliberating on the course to take and submit before the Supreme Court on the issue. Sources in the HRD Ministry said that it is considering very limited options. One of these is to simply reject the UGC committee report wholly – thereby rejecting the very premise that 34 of the originally blacklisted deemed varsities can be let off. Such a position would be consistent with the HRD Ministry’s stand so far on the matter. The other option is to accept the UGC committee’s and also agree to inspection of the seven deemed varsities in the dock. However, there is a view that inspection may be carried out by the HRD Ministry instead of getting it done through UGC. In such a situation, the HRD Ministry will have to effect a major climbdown and agree to an arrangement whereby the deemed varsities that have so far been in the dock- will get a fresh lease of life. It will also mean that the ministry will disassociate itself from two key reports it has backed strongly.

Two of the ministry’s reports in 2009(Tandon committee) and 2011 (Committee of Officers) emphatically called for blacklisting of a full 44 deemed varsities arguing they were thoroughly unfit for the once highly sought after tag that endows an institution not just with degree granting powers but also a stamp of quality approval that in turn draws students by hordes. The three member committee set up by then HRD minister Kapil Sibal in 2009 had on board Prof PN Tandon, Prof Goverdhan Mehta, Prof M Anandkrishnan, Prof Mrinal Miri and then Joint Secretary Sunil Kumar. This committee had graded deemed universities as ‘A, B and C- with the last listing out the 44 varsities unfit for the tag. A 2011 committee of officers headed by Secretary Ashok Thakur further endorsed the Tandon committee report saying that “none of the institutions deemed to be universities placed in Category ‘C’ by the Review Committee really seem to conform to the norms laid down in the UGC guidelines (2000) in respect of such institutions”. The latest UGC panel, however, has argued that the Tandon committee did not give adequate time to the 44 blacklisted deemed varsities to respond on the issue and that the parameters for grading them into A, B,C category were not shared with them in advance leaving them ill-prepared. It has also suggested that the Tandon committee may have measured up all deemed institutes with uniform yardsticks which may not have been appropriate for all. It has let off as many as 34 of the varsities off the hook and recommended blacklisting of just 7 of them. With two of deemed varsities filing an interlocutory appeal before court challenging the UGC committee’s assessment process, stage is now set for yet another round of inspection of the 7 varsities- which will thereby get yet another breather.  Courtesy

HRD in a fix over deemed universities – The Times of India, | by Read More …

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