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Heritage Higher Education Institutions to Get UGC’s Special Funding

By Express News Service | Published: 25th July 2014.

COIMBATORE: The University Grants Commission has decided to provide special funding to heritage higher education institutions that are more than 100 years old.

“The UGC at its recent meeting has decided to give special funding to heritage higher education institutions which have been in existence for more than a century. While century-old universities will get `10 crore, 100-year-old colleges will get `5 crore special funding,” Vice Chairman H Devaraj told Express.

In Tamil Nadu, institutions like Madras Christian College, Women’s Christian College are likely to get this special funding, he added.

Among universities in Tamil Nadu only the University of Madras (UNOM) is likely to get this special funding. The UNOM, which is one of the first three universities established in 1857, has completed 157 years.

In another important decision the UGC has decided to outsource the conduct of the National Eligibility Test (NET) to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).

“Around 7.5 lakh students write the National Eligibility Test (NET), which is conducted twice a year. There are so many litigations. So we have decided to outsource the conducting of the NET to the CBSE, which is already conducting many examinations,” Devaraj said.

He added, “We have held a meeting with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) chairman Vineet Joshi and he has agreed to conduct the NET. Most probably, the CBSE will conduct the NET from the Dec. UGC officials will assist them in the setting of question papers and other aspects.”

It has decided to seek more time from MHRD to decide on 41 deemed universities which were blacklisted by the Prof P N Tandon committee. “We have sought two months’ time to go through the document and arrive at a conclusion,” Devaraj said.

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Anna Varsity right in denying affiliation to Alagiri’s Dhaya engineering college-: HC

| Mohamed Imranullah S| The Hindu.

Says Anna University was justified in denying affiliation.

The Madras High Court Bench here on Monday allowed a writ appeal filed by Anna University, holding that it was right in denying provisional affiliation to Dhaya College of Engineering, run by the M.K. Alagiri Educational Trust, at Sivarakottai near here.

A Division Bench of Justices M. Jaichandren and R. Mahadevan reversed a decision taken on July 1 by a single judge, who had allowed a writ petition filed by the college and held that the university had been denying affiliation to it since 2011 with a mala fide intention.

The Bench said that “no evidence has been furnished before this court to establish the claim of the petitioner-college that the rejection of its application for affiliation is due to bias or mala fide motive.”

Defects

It said the college could not claim affiliation as a matter of right without rectifying defects, including its failure to obtain the structural stability certificate from a Superintending Engineer of the Public Works Department, as pointed out by the university. The other defects pointed out by Advocate-General A.L. Somayaji and Government Advocate M. Rajarajan included the failure to renew the licence issued by a health inspector, the absence of a valid certificate for electrical installations and the dispute over the ownership of the land.

Writing the judgment, Mr. Justice Jaichandren said: “It cannot be said the grant of affiliation by the university… should happen automatically following the grant of approval by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). The norms prescribed for the approval by the AICTE are different from those for grant of affiliation to the petitioner-college by the university. As such, the contentions of the petitioner-college cannot be countenanced.”

Petition pending

The Bench said the single judge was not right in directing the university to grant affiliation to the college for the academic year 2014-15 just because the writ petition filed by it for 2013-14 had been pending for long. “Such a course adopted by the single judge cannot be held to be correct in the eye of law as the petitioner-college is required to submit a fresh application for every academic year for affiliation.”

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Visvesvaraya Technological University, VTU to retire fancy course names

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With student employability at risk, varsity kicks off rebranding with first change of name

Ramya (name changed) had secured 80 per cent marks in ‘Instrumentation and Technology’. Despite passing out from a top college in the city, she was ignored in placements. When she sought to know the reason, she was told that her course name was unheard of and the company didn’t want to risk employing someone who was unfit! This is not fiction, but a random instance taken from true case studies of students graduating from top colleges in the state. The bottom line: companies are not confident in employing students from so-called ‘fancy’ nomenclature courses.

Realising the seriousness of the matter, Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) has taken a first step in renaming the course. It has now officially said that Instrumentation and Technology will henceforth be known as BE in Electronics and Instrumentation Technology. The renaming was recently approved by the executive council (EC) of the varsity.

VTU registrar K E Prakash said, “We hope the word Electronics will catch the attention of employers at least now. We hope even students of Instrumentation Technology will reap the benefits.”

Meanwhile, officials said the varsity is now seriously considering renaming or folding back a lot of fancy courses into mainstream courses for re-branding purposes.

EC member Karan Kumar told Bangalore Mirror, “There is a general tendency among students to opt for Electronics related subjects during admissions. It is a fact that the course BE (Instrumentation Technology) has more subjects that are Electronics-centric and also true that colleges offering BE (Instrumentation Technology) weren’t able to attract the required number of students. There are 19 colleges offering the course in the state. Hence, I suggested that the varsity consider the option of renaming the course as BE in Electronics and Instrumentation Technology.”

Kumar said the five major streams identified worldwide were Civil, Mechanical, Electrical, Electronics and Computer Science. “In courses like Medical Electronics , a majority of the portions taught concerned Electronics. Out of 60 subjects in Electronics, 50 are commonly studied by these students. So why not allow students to study Electronics with specialisation in so and so course?”
PRINCIPAL POST ONLY FOR ENGINEERING GRADUATES
VTU has issued a diktat saying that only those with BE background can become principals of engineering colleges. “As engineering colleges will have departments catering to basic sciences like Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics, principals are also drawn from these departments. Currently there are 18 such colleges. However, as per the latest diktat from AICTE, it has been ordered that colleges need to appoint principals only with a BE background. To begin with, this rule will be applicable only for those who have joined the post since April 1, 2010,” an official added.

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Bombay HC stays AICTE’s order refusing approval to 14 institutions; Mumbai engineering

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai |July 18, 2014 | Business Standard.

In a relief to 14 technical institutions in Maharashtra, the Bombay High Court has stayed orders of the All India Council of Technical Education refusing them “extension of approval” and placing them in “no admission” category for the current academic year (2014-15).
Division bench of Justices A V Mohta and Amjad Sayed, on July 14, granted a stay, observing that “prima facie we find that the manner and haste in which AICTE has passed the orders is unjustifiable….There are infirmities in decision-making process in passing the impugned orders.”
The court was hearing petitions filed by 13 of these institutions challenging the orders of AICTE.
The judges, however, made it clear that these institutions can grant only provisional admissions as of now, and they must inform the students that admissions would be subject to the final decision of the court on the petitions.
“The petitioners and the students shall not claim any equity (rights) on the basis of this order,” the HC said.
AICTE is empowered to ensure that all the institutions recognised by it possess complete infrastructure, staff and other facilities.
There are about 1,800 private aided and non-aided institutions in Maharashtra which impart technical education. The court noted that since 2009 AICTE has not inspected the institutions in the state within the timeframe.

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NBA accreditation must for institutions running technical courses

IANS  |  New Delhi |July 16, 2014 | Business Standard.

Every higher educational institution running technical courses must get NBA accreditation either after six years or after its two batches of students pass out, HRD minister said Wednesday.

Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani said the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) only gives institutional accreditation while the National Board of Accreditation (NBA) gives accreditation to technical programmes.

“AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education) has notified regulations in January 2014 on the lines of the University Grants Commission (UGC) regulations 2012, every higher educational institution, which has completed six years of existence or two batches having passed out, whichever is earlier, is to apply within six months from the date of coming into force the accreditation from the agency,” Irani said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.

The NBA is already conducting accreditation of technical programmes being run by institutions.

“The UGC and AICTE Regulation recognise NBA as an “assessment and accreditation agency” for the purpose of undertaking accreditation,” added Irani.

According to the minister, the process of accreditation has been laid down for achieving advancing academic quality, enabling students and other stakeholders to make informed choices with regard to institutions.

“The accreditation would also facilitate institutions to augment quality, by bench-marking uniform reference points pertaining to academic standards, to acquire international recognition, cross-border and trans-national collaborations,” she said.

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NAAC Must in Academic World: UGC joint secretary

By Express News Service | Published: 12th July 2014.

GUNTUR: University Grants Commission (UGC) joint secretary G Srinivas has urged the colleges to go in for the accreditation of the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) and added that securing NAAC accreditation will be mandatory for the colleges from the next academic year.

Speaking at the two-day workshop on ‘Preparation of SSR for NAAC Accreditation’ at Acharya Nagarjuna University (ANU) here Friday, Srinivas said NAAC accreditation would be of  great use for the institutions that want to survive and shine in this competitive environment. He also said there was no exemption for government colleges and added that the UGC was focussing more on quality education.

“The managements of colleges should take the issue seriously and see that they should provide quality education to the students by appointing sufficient teaching staff and adequate facilities,” he said and added that the united Andhra Pradesh was lagging behind its neighbouring states including Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra in getting NAAC accreditation. He said only 337 colleges under 18 universities in the state had obtained NAAC accreditation till date, while 529 in Tamil Nadu, 561 in Karnataka and 1,062 colleges in Maharashtra were accredited by the NAAC. Vice-chancellor of Krishna University V Venkaiah, who was the chief guest, said that every institute must set up an internal quality assurance cell and see that the college should provide quality education and warned that those who failed to offer quality studies would not survive.

The UGC made it clear that all colleges, which have completed six years of their existence, should apply for accreditation. ANU vice-chancellor Prof K Viyyanna Rao, dean, College Development Council and Prof G V Chalam also spoke at the workshop.

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UGC stipulates format for degree programmes

NEW DELHI, Prakash Kumar, July 11, 2014, DHNS |

Days after forcing Delhi University to roll back a four-year undergraduate programme, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has notified nomenclatures and duration of degree programmes, making it clear to varsities and other institutions that any deviation from the prescribed format would lead to action against them.

In a Gazette notification, the commission on Friday noted that many universities and other higher educational institutions were offering programmes which were “neither conventional nor reflective of a real innovation in knowledge”, asking them to immediately “restructure or change” them into the format prescribed by it.

The higher education regulator notified that general undergraduate honours or general degree programmes, such as BA, BSc and BCom should be of three years’ duration, MPhil of one to one-and-a-half years and doctoral two years.

 “No universities shall introduce any new nomenclature of degrees unless there is a very strong and genuine reason. Should a university intend to introduce a new nomenclature, it shall approach the UGC for its specifications at least six months prior to starting the degree programme,” the commission said.

Programmes like Bachelor of Technology (B Tech), Bachelor of Engineering (BE), Bachelor of Planning (B Plan), Bachelor of Design (BDes), Bachelor of Hotel Management (BHM), Bachelor of Fine Arts, and Bachelor of Science (Agriculture) should be of four years’ duration.
“Many universities and higher educational institutions are offering programmes with nomenclature like BJMC, B Litt, BL, BBS/BBM/BBE, MFM/MFC. They will have to be restructured or changed into BA (Journalism and Mass Communication), BA (literature), LLB (Bachelor of Law), BBA/B Com/ BCom Honours, MBA (financial management). These are some examples,” a UGC official said.
The guiding principle is that degrees should be specified in generic terms and the nomenclature should be such that they are generally recognised, globally acknowledged, widely accepted and indicative of their level and the broad subject, discipline, knowledge, the commission said in its notification.
On dual degree programmes, the higher education regulator made it clear that varsities should introduce them “judiciously and with caution”.
“A dual degree programme combines more than one subject, mostly in a horizontal spread, whereas an integrated programme is progressive and cumulative. The academic philosophy or rationale behind offering such integrated programmes should not be for economising on course requirements or award of double degrees in a fast track,” it said.

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UGC Link  UGC Notification pertaining to Specification of Degrees – published in the Gazette of India dated 5th July,2014

UGC Letter reg.: Award of Degrees within the framework of Section 22 of the UGC Act,1956

Lateral entry option for MCA course stumps colleges

Ramzauva Chhakchhuak, July11, 2014, Bangalore: DHNS | Deccan Herald.

The process of admission to MCA program­me in the State is set to begin shortly, but ambiguity about enrolling BCA and BSc (Information Science or Computer Science) graduates through lateral entry to the course has confused the colleges.

The confusion started last year when the AICTE (All Indian Council for Technical Education) issued a directive giving BCA and BSc (Information Science or Computer Science) graduates an option to enrol in second-year MCA instead of going for all the three years.

On top of that, the government increased the intake through lateral entry in second year to 20 per cent of the total intake in the first year.

Dr R Krishna, director, PG studies, Cambridge Institute of Technology, said that while the directive was issued last year, it was not clear whether it should be followed this year as well.

Pointing out other ambiguities, he said: “By the time students come through lateral entry around August or September, they would have missed two-and-a-half months of classes and two internal exams.

Since the intake in the second year has been increased by 20 per cent through lateral entry, should the faculty be increased too? The AICTE directive says a class of 60 students should have a faculty strength of 12. Such issues have to be clarified.”

While the majority of colleges have continued with the three-year course, very few have taken advantage of this new option and admitted students under the two-year MCA last year. Dr K A Sumithra Devi, director, MCA department, RV College of Engineering, said: “I oppose this provision of lateral entry and my institute has been following the three-year course.
Most institutions have taken the same stand. Only a few others are admitting students through lateral entry and causing confusion,” she said.
At a meeting of private colleges called by the Karnataka Private Post Graduate Colleges’ Association (KPPGCA) on Tuesday, the matter was discussed in some detail. Dr M Prakash, secretary, KPPGCA, said the government was expected to provide more clarity on the matter in the three next few days.

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Engineering colleges offering unapproved courses; HC seeks Centre

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi |July 9, 2014 | Business Standard.

The Delhi High Court today sought the Centre’s response on a plea alleging several engineering colleges are admitting students to BSc and MSc courses without receiving approval from AICTE to offer these subjects.

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice R S Endlaw issued a notice and sought replies by August 13 from the Ministry of Human Resource Development and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) on the plea of NGO Shabad Welfare Society.

The NGO, which claims to work in the field of formal and non-formal education, has contended in its plea that as per AICTE’s approval hand-book of 2012-13, “engineering colleges cannot run any other course in the same premises in which the engineering college is being run”.

It has contended in its petition filed through advocate Anil Hooda, that “running of courses of BSc and MSc from the same premises in which the engineering college is being run is totally contrary to the terms of approval” and has sought cancellation or withdrawal of the approval granted to such institutions.

The NGO has submitted a list of 22 colleges which were found to be allegedly violating the approval conditions of the Council.

“The Council should also initiate appropriate penal, civil and/or criminal action against such engineering colleges,” the petition has said.

It has alleged such institutions “are misleading the students taking admissions in their colleges for BSc and MSc courses because the students are compelled to think that once the institute is approved by AICTE there is no question of it being fake because the students do not know that AICTE cannot give approval to BSc and MSc courses…”.

The NGO has also sought that these institutions be not allowed to admit students in the unapproved courses.

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ACET gets autonomous status, NBA and NAAC accreditation

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  Amritsar, July 08, 2014.

Amritsar College of Engineering and Technology has become the first college in the country, having NBA and NAAC accreditation, to achieve the autonomous status. Disclosing this, Dr Rajneesh Arora, vice-chancellor, Punjab Technical University (PTU) said that there are about 3,588 engineering colleges and only 54, including ACET, have been given an autonomous status by UGC.

 On the significance of this status, he said, “Students will be greatly benefitted by the industry oriented syllabus and it will help the college to have a practical learning approach. It will not just save time in updating syllabus but will also ensure a transparent and timely result. Owing to all these liberties, students will be all the more prepared and geared up for better placements”.

Dr. Arora also stressed the importance of quality education as that is the only criterion for an engineering college to make its mark among all the colleges.

“Now after becoming autonomous, ACET will be empowered to create its best possible syllabus based on industry needs. And all these privileges will directly benefit the students,” he said.

Amit Sharma, chairman and CEO, ACET, said that since the college is also NBA and NAAC accredited, it will give added benefit to the students who aspire to study or work abroad since these accreditations are deemed valid by more than 17 top countries in the world.

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