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Private institutions welcome UGC order on new engineering colleges

COIMBATORE: Private engineering colleges have welcomed the direction of the University Grants Commission (UGC) which says that no new engineering colleges will be allowed to start in the coming academic year. With no more new seats and colleges to be permitted, existing institutions feel that they have a better chance to fill their seats. City colleges continue to struggle to fill seats forcing many such institutions to surrender their seats to the university.

College owners say that indiscriminate granting of permissions to start new institutions and increase seats in existing ones has caused this problem. When existing institutions were allowed to increase their intake, the leading institutions became the first choice for students, which left those with questionable reputation struggling to fill seats. The announcement of UGC has brought cheer among the institutions facing tough times.

T D Eswaramoorthy, the joint secretary of the Engineering Colleges affiliated to Anna University in Coimbatore says that for a while now, many colleges have been unable to fill seats. “Many institutions with 180 seats have surrendered 60 of them,” he said. This is because having more seats is a financial strain on the college, especially if they are unable to get students. For every 15 students, there is supposed to be one teacher. Therefore, the teachers required for the excess students can be cut-down. Other expenses including laboratory facilities can also be minimized.

One college owner says that the existing trend is not encouraging for all. “Though we expect better times than the previous year, not many students are seeking admissions in the management stream,” says the owner of a private college. The coming months will be crucial for them.


Twenty local universities to collaborate with UGC India

15 April 2014|

GEORGE TOWN: Twenty local universities have agreed to collaborate with the University Grants Commission (UGC) of India to boost student exchange between Malaysia and India.

Among the universities involved are Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin, Universiti Teknikal Melaka Malaysia, Universiti Utara Malaysia, Universiti Teknologi Mara and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.
USM vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Omar Osman said USM as the collaboration secretariat hoped that the programme would result in the long-term exchange of research experts and teaching staff.
“This is the first time such a big group of institutions of higher learning are involved in such a collaboration. We hope to come up with a strategic planning to enhance the flow of student exchange between the two nations,” he said after opening a strategic planning seminar here today.
He said the two-day seminar which ends tomorrow, among others would discuss the direction of higher education to strengthen national development between the two countries.
The outcome of the seminar discussions would be presented to the Education Ministry.
Omar said the seminar would also focus on vocational studies as an initiative to generate more skilled workforce in Malaysia, as India has vast experience in the field.
Last year, 1,000 USM students were involved in short and long term student exchange programmes with universities throughout Europe and Asia, including India.
Meanwhile, UGC vice chairman Prof H. Devraj said he hoped the effort will help to increase productivity in the related fields and encourage new ideas in the sphere of higher education.  – BERNAMA

US varsity with the likes of University of Chicago to connect Indian researchers to the world

| April 15, 2014

Chicago/New Delhi, April 15: In a move that will empower Indian researchers and help them connect with rest of the world, the University of Chicago (UC) and two other American universities will help Indian universities ramp up their computing ability to fulfill the scientists’ dream of sharing data with the international fraternity.

The connectivity will be via high-speed ‘cloud’ computing clusters and superfast internet. Rob Gardner, a UC researcher, has already been working with scientists at the Mumbai-based Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) and Delhi University to connect central processing units (CPUs) at their campuses so that underused processors at remote campuses can be used by researchers in several countries.

“The main idea is to provide a cloud-based service which connect together computing and research resources at various institutions – making it easy to share data and CPU cycles for the user while not requiring specialised knowledge from local system administrators,” Gardner told IANS. In India, the UC has proposed to build “nation-wide, internationally connected cyber ecosystems targeted for loosely coupled and scalable scientific computing applications – taking advantage of intra- and cross-institutional resource sharing possibilities, and domain and project-based collaborative environments,” he explained.

The idea comes form professor Young-Kee Kim’s team from department of physics and Enrico Fermi Institute at the UC and involves the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) project at CERN (the European organisation for nuclear research) in Geneva, Switzerland. The LHC is the world’s largest laboratory and is dedicated to the pursuit of fundamental science.

Gardner is the principal investigator of the computing centre involving the UC, Indiana University and University of Illinois for the ATLAS (a particle physics experiment to discover basic forces that shaped our Universe) programme. The UC has opened a centre in Delhi and the faculty steering committee has proposed starting a collaboration in computing – beginning with common experiences in the US and India in ‘building and operating the distributed computing infrastructure for the LHC project at CERN’.

The collaboration would begin by studying the required trans-atlantic network technical options as needed by the next run of the LHC in early 2015. The funding may come from the National Security Agency (NSA). According to professor Amitabha Mukherjee from Delhi University’s department of physics and astrophysics, “Our department is the biggest single group using high productivity computing systems (HPCS). Collaborating with others using such HPCSs enhances our user base of computing resources as CPU intensive jobs need such remote collaborations”.

Initially, the TIFR’s CMS group ‘Tier 2′ cluster led by Kajari Mazumdar and DU’s experimental high-energy physics research group (EHEP) – generally called the Indian Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) group would initiate the collaboration. The CMS project involving Indian physicists is a general purpose particle detector experiment going on at CERN.

All over the world, universities and research centres are graded by computing capability and measured as of Tier 0, Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 capacities.  TIFR is a ‘Tier 2′ cluster for CMS research while DU is a ‘Tier 3′ cluster.

“People researching in the fields of plasma physics and astro-physics as well as theoretical scientists require computing capability but do not know where to find and how to use such high-end computer clusters. The idea that computing resources can be merged has been proposed by Chicago University,” DU professor Kirti Ranjan told IANS.

According to Ranjan, this CPU-sharing resource pool need not be restricted to physics research. “It could be interdisciplinary. People delivering cancer treatment in India could search for data on a similar case elsewhere and the treatment rendered, or history departments could share data,” he noted.

For this to actually happen, a workshop involving all the stakeholders needs to be organised, scientists feel. Then the feasibility of expansion of the physical structure is needed. Professor Sanjay Jain, the convener of the group managing the DU physics department’s general-use cluster computing facility – which is separate from and in addition to the ‘Tier 3′ cluster – would also be part of the collaboration effort.

“This facility is used by researchers working in high-energy physics (HEP) as well as other areas of physics. With so many processors available, the idea is to better use these common resources,” Ranjan emphasised. Gardner feels that to make this project a success in India, “we have to look carefully at existing e-science infrastructure efforts and objectives of individual institutions and departments and national efforts”.


Huawei digitalizes Calicut University with campus wi-fi solution

Published On :Tue, Apr 15,2014

The Wi-Fi deployment will be followed by the setting up of 160 access points

BANGALORE, INDIA: Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider has collaborated with Calicut University, in an effort for the latter to go digital. Calicut University has deployed Huawei Campus Wi-Fi solution in order to provide free high speed Wi-Fi connectivity and to make the university accessible to the internet, anytime, anywhere.

The Huawei Campus Wi-Fi solution supports the integration of both wired and wireless networks. The Batch configuration consists of upto 200 access points and centralized Access Controller supporting about 10,000 users on a single Policy Center Server having capacity to support upto 1 Lakh users. The network consists of features like Real time location topology, Wireless Network Security Detection, Built-in reporting tools and also customized reports.

Key features of the Campus solution include:
· A New Generation of Antenna for Indoor AP
· New WLAN Chip Technology
· Indoor Distributed Access Point for uniform Radio Coverage
· Exclusive Local Forwarding to resolve the Bandwidth and Security Issues
· User-Friendly Engineering Design to Improve the Efficiency of Device Installation and Maintenance

With the deployment of this solution, which is set to be inaugurated at the University by Minister P.K. Kunjalikutty, the Calicut University will acquire the status of complete Wi-Fi enabled University, making it the first e-enabled University in Kerala.

The Wi-Fi deployment will be followed by the setting up of 160 access points. These access points are set to be deployed at the seminar complex for visitors to the University; in the library complex as well as in hostels and individual education departments, to provide 24×7 internet facilities to students. The University aims to get 16,000 online, in its efforts to provide each person affiliated with the University online.

Suresh S. Reddy, VP, Huawei Enterprise Business Group, India said, “A University campus network connects many departments and residential branches and plays an important a crucial role in any educational institution. But increasing network demands can quickly become unmanageable. For an institution aiming to deploy such an extensive network in one go, the Huawei Campus Wi-Fi solution is the ideal solution, in that it allows for reduced operational cost, whilst boosting efficiency in terms of control, access and manageability. The single solution allows access for over 10,000 users to a highly reliable and seamless wireless (or wired) experience.”

Dr. Abdul Salam, Vice Chancellor, Calicut University said, “We are delighted to be inaugurating the Huawei Campus Wi-Fi solution in the Calicut University, since it provides us with a centralized internet connection facility, thereby boosting access and connectivity to each person in the campus. Our aim is to get 16000 online, through the deployment of this solution and digitize our entire campus. The Huawei Campus Wi-Fi solution exhibits features that simplify the process of connecting so many users at once. The friendliness and ease in connectivity will bring new efficiencies to the lives of faculty, students and visitors alike.”


UGC mandate of no new engineering colleges comes as a breather for existing colleges

IndiaToday.in  New Delhi, April 15, 2014

UGC’s directive to put closure on opening of new engineering colleges was welcomed by private engineering colleges in Coimbatore who already find it hard to fill their seats.

With no more seats from any more colleges, existing institutions feel that they have a better chance to fill their seats. Students now will have only the existing options for admission to engineering colleges and with greater number of applicants.

City colleges continue to struggle to fill seats forcing many such institutions to surrender their seats to the university.
University Grants Commission (UGC ) has appealed a one year delay for starting of new technical colleges or starting new courses by the existing ones.

In a letter to the Vice Chancellors of all Universities, UGC has mentioned that this is in continuation of the earlier communication vide D.O. No. 14-9/2013 (CPP-II) dated August 7, 2013 of University Grants Commission. It is also in view of the pattern of enrolment in colleges providing technical education vis-a-vis the approved intake capacity thereof over the last couple of years (data collected from AICTE)

Universitie’s spree of affiliating more and more colleges and the accreditation boards  indiscriminate granting of permissions to start new institutions and increase seats in existing ones has caused this problem .

With reputed colleges reciecing the permission of increasing the seat count, it increasingly became the first choice of students  and the new colleges which left not so popular colleges struggling to fill their seats. Addition on new colleges will increase the seat count even more intensifying the problem.

The announcement of UGC hence came as a breather among the institutions facing tough times.


Self-attested documents be accepted: University Grants Commission UGC

INDORE: Filling of application forms for getting into colleges just got easier for students this summer with University Grants Commission (UGC) directing all universities and colleges to accept self-attested copies of documents like mark-sheets and birth certificates.

With this new directive in place, students can stop worrying about getting their documents attested by gazetted officers.

Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya (DAVV) registrar RD Musalgaonkar said, “We have implemented the directions and now students can submit self-attested documents. Obtaining an attested copy or affidavit not only requires money but also consumes a lot of time.” He added that from now, applicants will be the one responsible for providing false information. The UGC had requested universities and other institutions to adopt the provisions of self-attestation in prescribed manner.

“It is a good decision, as whenever I have filled application form for an entrance test or university form, I had to get it attested from gazetted officers. Not everyone in his family has gazetted officers. I had to pay for those signatures to the officers and waste precious time,” said Rishabh Acharya, a student.

Earlier, it was mandatory for candidates to get the documents and application attested from gazetted officers for appearing in major entrance examinations and taking admission in courses at university level. The candidates had to get their mark-sheets, birth certificates, domicile certificate attested from gazetted officer, which was full of hassles as students had to face refusal.


BSNL to start technical varsity, offer engineering and management courses

PTIApr 13, 2014

NEW DELHI: State-run telecom major BSNL has started work on establishing a technical university that will offer engineering and management courses.

The PSU expects to approach All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) as well as University Grants Commission (UGC) for formal approval within next eight months.

“BSNL has sufficient infrastructure to meet AICTE guidelines for engineering and management education. We also have sufficient supporting staff to meet norms as laid down by UGC. Our staff is working on it. We should be able to send it for formal approval in 6-8 months,” BSNL Director (Consumer Mobility) Anupam Shrivastava told a news agency

He said it should not be difficult for BSNL to get the necessary approvals as some steps were taken by the Human Resource Development Ministry in 2008 to boost educational system.

“Due to the initiatives of HRD Ministry, institutions running short-term courses such as Defence Institute of Advance Technology have been converted into formal and autonomous education institutions. We should also have no issues in getting approval,” Shrivastava said.

The Public Enterprise Selection Board has selected Shrivastava for the post of Chairman and Managing Director of the company, succeeding the present CMD R K Upadhyay.

BSNL has formed a committee under its Senior General Manager G C Manna to work on the detailed project report.

Shrivastava said at present he cannot share the exact number of seats that BSNL’s technical institute will have but said the company’s campus will have a capacity to train 1,500 to 3,000 students at one time.

“We have a centre in Ghaziabad which is aided by United Nations but is under-utilised. It has a capacity to train between 2,500-3,000 students. Similarly, we have a centre in Jabalpur. There are other 16 centres which have a minimum capacity of 1,000 students,” Shrivastava said.

He added that BSNL will add formal courses on cyber security at the centre to contribute in government’s target of creating 5 lakh professionals skilled in this domain by 2018.

“Cyber security is an emerging concern. We have the infrastructure to train people. Today, we have a crunch of cyber security experts. This initiative will not only help us but also other organisations with skilled workforce. It will be a dynamic course and its format will decided after due deliberations,” Shrivastava said.

BSNL’s plan to set-up a technical training institute is part of its asset utilisation plan and help it in reducing losses.

NAAC rider must for tech colleges accreditation cert to lose affiliation

BHOPAL: From next year, it is produce or perish situation for engineering colleges in state related to improving standards in terms of education and facilities.With University Grants Commission (UGC) making it mandatory to get certificate from National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), there is no other go. Failure on its part will invite cancellation of college’saffiliation. NAAC was mandatory for non-engineering colleges only so far.Till now, engineering colleges were required to take certificate only from National Board of Accreditation (NBA), a body that gives certification about courses only. As NBA does not cover infrastructure and other facilities provided on the campus, it was decided to make NAAC accreditation mandatory for engineering colleges. There are a couple of engineering colleges in the state who took the initiative to get the NAAC certificate.

Now, technical college will have to take certificate from both NBA and NAAC. UGC has recently posted the guidelines regarding NAAC certificate on its website. Regulations have been issued under the UGC (affiliation of colleges offering technical education by universities) regulations, 2014.

For the purpose, Rajiv Gandhi Technical University (RGTU) will have to ensure mandatory accreditation of technical colleges by NAAC and their programmes by NBA. All technical colleges, more than six years old, shall apply for accreditation to NAAC and NBA.

In case of new colleges, an expert committee constituted by the university will visit proposed premises of the technical college to verify details claimed by colleges. The expert committee will verify infrastructural facilities of college.

Expert committee will verify equipment, computers, printers, software, internet, book titles, book volumes, subscription of national and international e-journals, infrastructure and strength of teachers. Mere presentation of purchase orders or payment records for subscription without getting the facilities will not do.

When contacted, RGTU vice-chancellor Professor Piyush Trivedi said, “RGTU has already applied for NAAC accreditation. Besides, I have informed all technical colleges to take NAAC certificate at the earliest.” There are around 200 engineering colleges in the state.


Loyola College gets status of excellence


Certification is for period of five years

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has certified Loyola College, Chennai, and Ayya Nadar Janaki Ammal College, Sivakasi, as ‘College of Excellence.’

The certification, for a period of five years till 2019, comes with a grant of Rs. 2 crore for each college to upgrade its facilities.

In an effort to improve higher education a decade ago, the ministry of human resources and the UGC had selected around 200 colleges across the country, and provided them funds to upgrade facilities.

In March, 48 colleges were asked to present their performance, and, based on their achievement, eight colleges had been chosen for the College of Excellence status.

K.S. Antonysamy, associate professor of English at Loyola College, said, “The funds will be used to further research, make classrooms IT-enabled, and improve the outreach and extension programmes.”

Ayya Nadar Janaki Ammal College principal S. Baskaran said the funds would be used to upgrade laboratories, for library automation and establishing a trans-disciplinary research centre besides developing software for teaching soft skills.

The college has a number of IAS and IPS officers among its alumni, besides the present Chief Justice of India, P. Sathasivam.


HC sets aside varsity’s decision to penalise college for lapse

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai April 8, 2014

Terming it illegal, the Bombay High Court today set aside a decision of the University of Mumbai to impose a penalty of Rs 5.40 lakh on a city college.

The penalty was imposed by the university on R R Educational Trust’s College of Education and Research (BEd college) in suburban Mulund as a condition for issuing provisional eligibility certificates in favour of 54 students admitted for the academic year 2007-08.

The penalty was fixed as Rs 10,000 each for 54 students, totaling Rs 5.40 lakh.

The penal action was taken against the college on the ground that the application for issuance of provisional eligibility certificates in respect of these students was submitted by the college after the prescribed date. Aggrieved, the college moved the high court.

The university has no power and authority to impose penalty of Rs 10,000 per student in respect of 54 students admitted by the petitioner for the academic year 2007-08, a bench headed by Justice V M Kanade ruled.

The consequential action on the part of the university to withhold the degree certificates and marksheets of students who were permitted to appear for examinations is also illegal, said the court.

“It is a settled position in law that once the university has permitted the students to appear at the examination, and in this case, has even declared the results, then it cannot withhold issuance of degree certificates or marksheets,” the judges said quoting a Supreme Court judgement in the case of Shri Krishan V/s Kurukshetra University.

“We, therefore, direct the university to forthwith issue the marksheets and or degree certificates to such students, who were permitted to appear for examination for the past academic years and whose results were declared and their degree certificates/marksheets were not issued for the reason of non-payment of the said penalty,” said the judges.

The court further directed that the penalty amount of Rs 5.40 lakh, deposited by the college with the university, cannot be retained by the latter and hence, be refunded to the petitioner within a period of two weeks.


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