The Hindu Business Line | 18 June 2018 |
National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) has collaborated with IBM to launch a course on Blockchain. The 12-week online course will prepare students to meet the demand for Blockchain architecture, design and use cases. Available on the NPTEL website from July, this course will prepare students to meet the demand for blockchain skills by covering both conceptual and application aspects of Blockchain technology, says a press release from IIT Madas.
The course, co-certified by IBM, includes fundamental design and architectural primitives of Blockchain, system and security aspects, along with various use cases from different application domains. NPTEL has recently introduced an initiative called NPTEL Industry Associate to bridge the industry-academia gap. By co-offering courses with industry leaders, NPTEL is leveraging industry expertise by conducting workshops for NPTEL certified students in niche domains and offering internships, the release said.
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The Economic Times | Prachi Verma | ET Bureau| Jun 16, 2018 |
This is the first time that IITs are lowering an already-announced cut-off
New Delhi: Meeting a gender diversity target that the government had set for Indian Institutes of Technology was one of the key reasons that led the colleges to lower the cut-off marks for admission, top IIT officials said. The Ministry of Human Resource Development had earlier asked the premier engineering institutes to ensure that at least 14% of the students in the 2018 batch were women, and even created new seats exclusively for women so that IITs could meet the target. But of the 18,000 candidates who qualified to join as per the original cut-off, only around 2,000, or 11%, were women. The initial list also wouldn’t have allowed IITs to fill other reserved categories of seats. Lowering the bar now has allowed 2,000 more women to qualify. The total list now has around 31,000 candidates for the over 11,200 seats across 23 colleges, and will ensure that there are at least two contenders for every seat in each category — a norm that IITs have been following. IITs had earlier decided against lowering the original cutoff and dilute the list. They changed the stand after an emergency meeting on Thursday, attended by MHRD officials and IIT directors through video conferencing. One of the key issues discussed was the low number of women who qualified.
MEETING REQUISITE RATIO
This is the first time that IITs are lowering an already-announced cut-off. Timothy Gonsalves, director of IITMandi in Himachal Pradesh, called the Joint Admission Board’s decision “very progressive” and said it would help IITs achieve the target of admitting 14% women in BTech this year. “This is a significant step forward in the IITs’ march towards gender equity,” Gonsalves told ET. The MHRD had formally announced this month that a total of 800 supernumerary seats would be created for female candidates this year to help improve the gender balance at IITs, without upsetting the number of seats allocated for other categories. Usually, not even 10% of the candidates who qualify for IITs are women. The government wanted to increase that to at least 14% for the 2018 batch and 20% by 2020. ET had reported the ministry’s plan earlier this year. The increase in the number of women candidates and the expansion of the rank list will ensure that the requisite ratio of 14% is met by all IITs, said Sarit K Das, director of IIT-Roorkee. “There was a concern about reserved categories including women and hence the merit list was extended,” said a senior faculty member at IIT-Kanpur who did not wish to disclose his identity. The reserved categories include SC, ST, PwD (persons with disabilities) and OBC, all of which would also now see an increase in the number of qualifying candidates. Recruiters are glad on this decision that would give them access to a larger diverse pool of tech talent, as companies globally are trying to strike a better gender balance. “Currently, women are clearly underrepresented at IITs. An increase in the number of women with higher technical education would enable organisations to hire diverse and future-ready talent for critical roles,” said Sandeep Kohli, partner and India talent leader at consultancy firm EY. The reduction in cut-off will ensure that twice the number of candidates are available for each of the seats at the IITs across all categories, said an IIT director, who did not wish to be named. – Courtesy
The Week | PTI | New Delhi June 17, 2018 |
The HRD Ministry has written to all universities mandating them to hold convocation every year after few universities were found skipping the event. “Convocation ceremonies must be held regularly and degrees awarded annually as the event carries a huge significance for graduating students and is a moment of pride for their families,” a senior HRD Ministry official said. “It was found that some universities were not doing the exercise regularly due to either financial or time constraints. However, they are supposed to do it every year,” the official added. The Ministry has also asked all universities to send details of the last convocation held by them. For instance, West Bengal’s Visva Bharati University held its convocation in May after five years. The Central University of Tripura held its convocation after four years this year where they awarded degrees to all scholars from the last four years. Forty-six years after its first and only convocation, the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) held its second convocation this year. – Courtesy
Education | NDTV Education Team | June 13, 2018 |
Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry has notified that Ph.D will be mandatory for the direct recruitment of assistant professors in Indian universities.
New Delhi: Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry has notified that Ph.D will be mandatory for the direct recruitment of assistant professors in Indian universities. The new UGC regulation in this regard will be in place from July 2021 and the same rule will also be applied for promotion to Assistant Professor (Selection Grade) in colleges, said a statement from the ministry. Currently, those who hold Ph.D degree or are UGC National Eligibility Test (NET) qualified with masters degree are eligible to apply for assistant professor, the entry level position, in universities. “Ph.D Degree shall be mandatory requirement for Direct Recruitment to the post of Assistant Professors in University with the effect from 1st July, 2021. However, Masters degree with NET or Ph.D. will continue to be the minimum eligibility requirement for Direct Recruitment to the post of Assistant Professors in colleges,” said the statement. The Regulations mandate introduction of one month induction programme for newly recruited Assistant Professors in Universities/Colleges/Higher Education Institutions.
According to new rules, incentives to teachers as provided in the earlier Regulations of 2010 and subsequent amendments have been retained and these include incentives for MPhil/Ph.D. The new regulations have done away with the Academic Performance Indicator (API) based appraisal and according to HRD, a new simplified teacher evaluation grading system has been introduced and research score added for Universities to improve research output. Announcing the new regulations of the University Grants Commission (UGC), HRD minister Prakash Javadekar said API, which was resisted by many as research was made compulsory for college teachers, has been scrapped so that they could focus on teaching students. “Now college teachers would not have to mandatorily do research but will have to essentially concentrate and give better education to undergraduate students,” he told reporters here.
The new regulation has a special provision for recruitment of Assistant Professors in Universities and Colleges for Ph.D Degree holders from a University/institution in the top 500 Global rankings. Hindustan Times reported that international rankings by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), the Times Higher Education (THE) or the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) of the Shanghai Jiao Tong University (Shanghai) will be considered for this. Promotion criteria under UGC’s Career Advancement Scheme (CAS) for teachers has been made more research oriented while in case of College teachers, CAS criteria is more focused on teaching, the regulation maintains. For the first time, the new regulation directs that the provision for promotion in Colleges will be up to Professor level. It also mandates that research dusters will be created in the Universities within the State for Sharing research facilities, skills and infrastructure to ensure optimal utilization of resources and creating synergies among higher education institutions. UGC had earlier released a draft regulation of Minimum Qualifications for Appointment of Teachers and Other Academic Staff in Universities & Colleges and measures for the Maintenance of Standards in Higher Education) 2018 on February 9, which invited criticism from several quarters. UGC had sought feedback from stakeholders and general public on the Draft Regulation till February 28, 2018.
Other highlights of the regulation
Weightages are assigned for CAS in respect of MOOCs and E-content in Universities and Colleges.
Upto 10% of the existing sanctioned strength of Professors in Universities shalt be appointed as Senior Professors in the Universities.
Senior Professors in Universities will be appointed through direct recruitment and through promotion under CAS.
Universities will accord permission and provide need based facilities to college teachers to supervise Ph.D/M.Phil scholars.
Special category of medal winners in Olympics, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games in eligibility criteria for Assistant Director/College Director, Physical Education and Sports, and Deputy Director, Physical Education and Sports in Universities has been made to promote sports in Universities and Colleges. – Courtesy
Times of India | Mohammad Ibrar | TNN | Jun 12, 2018 |
New Delhi: Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi, will soon launch a BTech course in computer science and bio-science, with an “attempt to bridge the gap between the two”. The course will help improve technological aspects of the pharmacy sector. Admissions to the Delhi-based engineering college will start from June 15. “The programme will usher in technical advancement in the field of modern biology and medicine. The interdisciplinary education will impart knowledge of biology and computer science, as well as train students in modeling and analysis of biomedical data, which will provide solutions to problems on the interface of computation and biology,” the college explained. The course, according to the director of IIIT-Delhi, Pankaj Jalote, is to bridge the gap between computer science and bio-science. “We find that medical science today has gigabytes of data that needs to be collated and studied by computer experts. To be a good bio-scientist, you need to understand technology. Limited knowledge of biology can only make you a technician,” Jalote explained.
The course is an attempt “to prepare a new generation of biologists who know how to use data, and computer scientists who can create software for bio-sciences,” he added. Currently, IIIT-D offers a BTech degree in five mainstream engineering branches — computer science and engineering, electronics and communications engineering, applied mathematics, computer science and design and computer science and social sciences. Admissions to the BTech programme at IIIT-Delhi can be done through the IIIT-D admission process or through the Joint Admission Counseling (JAC). There are a total of 400 seats for admission in all courses through the JAC. Science students with mathematic in Class XII are eligible to apply for admission through the JAC, which conducts admission process for four state universities located in Delhi. Admission to some seats of BTech (computer science and design) and BTech (computer science and social sciences) are also done through IIIT-Delhi’s admission process, which is already under way and will go on till June 15. – Courtesy
The New Indian Express | 11th June 2018 ||
35 engineering colleges, including RV College of Engineering and BMS College of Engineering in city, receive AICTE nod for closure
BENGALURU: Considering lesser demand for seats in several engineering colleges, at least 35 engineering colleges in Karnataka have shut down 75 courses. As per data available from All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), as on date, 75 engineering courses have received AICTE approval for closure in 35 engineering colleges, which include a few top colleges like RV College of Engineering (RVCE) and BMS College of Engineering (BMSCE) in Bengaluru. According to the principals of the colleges and management representatives, they are unable to fill several courses and it has become a burden for them to run such courses.While some have closed undergraduate courses, some have shut down post-graduate courses. RVCE has closed down its post-graduate courses in digital electronics and communication engineering; BMSCE has downed shutters on architecture; Acharya Institute of Technology (AIT) has closed down two undergraduate courses of construction technology and management and manufacturing science and engineering; Dayanand Sagar College of Engineering (DSCE) has closed down four of its post graduate courses like chemical engineering, Masters in engineering and management, biomedical signal processing and instrumentation and bio-informatics; and Sri Venkateshwara College of Engineering (SVCE) has closed down an undergraduate course of electrical and electronics engineering.
A principal of one of the top engineering colleges in the city said, “This is because of the fall in the demand for these courses. Even popular branches like computer science and electronics and electrical engineering have few takers these days. The main reason is that the number of colleges in neighbouring states has increased and naturally demand goes down here.” Even top colleges are struggling to fill 180 seats at both UG and PG courses in some streams. “Mushrooming of engineering colleges across India is one of the major reasons for this,” said another principal of a top engineering college. A few experts also said when particular courses do not have the required student strength, it is economically not feasible for the colleges to run those courses.They felt that this phenomenon may increase in the coming days as well. Many colleges have to shut shop because of these reasons. – Courtesy
Vacancies force colleges to let go of engineering courses –
Though the courses are popular, colleges are unable to keep up with competition
Many engineering colleges are letting go of courses that they are failing to get admissions for and that have become economically unviable for the colleges to run. The umpteen numbers of private universities mushrooming in the state have a big role to play in this, colleges say. As on date, 75 engineering courses have been surrendered by 35 engineering colleges in the state, according to All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) information. Even top colleges are being forced to take these tough decisions. BMS College of Engineering has stopped its Architecture course, RV College of Engineering (RVCE) has closed down its postgraduate courses like Digital Electronics and Communication Engineering, Acharya Institute of Technology has closed down two undergraduate courses, Construction Technology and Management and Manufacturing Science and Engineering, Dayanand Sagar College of Engineering (DSCE) has closed down four of its post graduate courses, Chemical Engineering, Masters in Engineering and Management, Biomedical Signal Processing and instrumentation and Bio-informatics and Sri Venkateshwara College of Engineering (SVCE) has closed down an undergraduate course- Electrical and Electronics Engineering.
Dr KN Subramanya, principal of RVCE, told BM colleges have to do so when there is a sharp dip in the demand for the courses. “Even popular branches like Computer Science and Electronics and Electrical Engineering go out of demand. It could happen when other colleges or universities increase intake for these popular courses,” he said. He gave an example for RVCE which has 180 seats for Computer Sciences. He said some other universities might take 400 students for the same course. “So, the student opts for that college as it is a popular course,” he explained. Talking about the mushrooming of colleges, Shashidhar Muniyappa, Chief Executive Director of SVCE, said, “This increase in number of colleges has hit admission demand of other existing colleges.” Management also says that sometimes students do not have clarity over which course they must choose. “Before we surrendered our Electrical and Electronics courses, we have tried to spread awareness about them to the students, but many don’t want to go for them as Mathematics is a scary subject for them. In their PU classes, they use learning by rote as a method to pass. They may have been doing that at the coaching centres too, so when they come to Engineering they are not confident even to take a simple test that we give. Students sometimes blindly go with what their friends are opting for too,” said Muniyappa. Subramanya said colleges have to stop some courses when they end up getting financially unviable. “Though this phenomenon is likely to increase, there are various reasons why colleges have to take this route,” he said.- Courtesy
DECCAN CHRONICLE | Jun 11, 2018 |
Suggestions have been sought from academics, students, controllers of examinations and the general public. The suggestions have to be sent in not more than 150 words for each theme in the prescribed format by June 22 to email@example.com
Hyderabad: The UGC has sought suggestions on exam reforms in higher educational institutions. Suggestions have been sought from academics, students, controllers of examinations and the general public. A statement released by the UGC says: “Examination reform is one of the major tasks and a committee has been constituted to recommend and suggest reforms in the examination system.” Suggestions are invited on themes like objectives and models of examination system which can be followed in India, structural and procedural changes needed, grade and credit transfer, moderation procedure, on-demand, internal and external examinations. The suggestions have to be sent in not more than 150 words for each theme in the prescribed format by June 22 to firstname.lastname@example.org. / UGC Circular – Published on 07-06-2018 – 2 pages, pdf – UGC Letter reg.: Examination reforms in the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)
The Economic Times | Varuni Khosla | ET Bureau | Jun 09, 2018, |
From struggling to get education to making it to Stanford Graduate School of Business on a full scholarship, Sangeet Ranjan’s career journey has come full circle. Ranjan, a 26-year-old ITC employee, is one of the three recipients of the Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship this year. The scholarship, more than $1,80,000 each (Rs 1.21 crore), covers the tuition and living costs at GSB and is offered to up to five students every year since 2009. The fellowship, created by Reliance Industries supports Indian nationals who need financial assistance in obtaining an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business (GSB), Kristin Harlan, director of strategic communications at GSB, said while refusing to speak about individual achievements. “The Reliance fellowship specifically seeks students who, in addition to needing financial assistance, plan to return to India and aspire to have a positive impact on India after business school,” she added. Consultants say education at top US B-schools is expensive — on an average, a top B-school can charge anywhere between $1,50,000 and $2,00,000 per year in tuition alone. In the MBA class of 2019, GSB has 418 students including 15 Indians, selected from 8,173 applicants. Ranjan’s admission at Stanford comes on the back of his GMAT score of 760, or 99 percentile. But getting education has itself been a story of many tribulations for Ranjan, who grew up in semi-urban Bihar in a family of seven. He rose through significant social and monetary challenges to make it to IIT-Kharagpur. “I have seen poverty very closely and this scholarship is a dream come true for me. I am the first in my extended family to go to IIT and work in a reputed company like ITC,” said Ranjan.
Ranjan, the only one of his siblings to be educated, grew up with his father earning less than Rs 1 lakh per annum working with an NGO. Ranjan then went on to get selected for ‘Super 30’, the free Patna-based coaching programme founded by Anand Kumar, from more than 10,000 applicants to be coached for the premier engineering entrance test in 2008. However, a minor health problem forced him to drop out of the Super 30 programme. This set him on the path to work even harder towards a place at IIT-Kharagpur, something he achieved with selfstudy. Four years later, he secured a bachelor of technology in mechanical engineering with a CGPA of 8.58 on 10 — a CGPA above 8.0 is considered robust. In 2013, Ranjan refused a posting with US engineering company Schlumberger and chose to work with ITC that hired him during a campus placement. Since then, at ITC, he has been working at the company’s Munger unit in rural Bihar.
ET found out that this year, the scholarship has been granted to only two more candidates. Saswasti Roy, one of those two, said: “This scholarship reduced my financial strain a lot and I am coming back to India after I finish my studies. Going abroad for an MBA would have been very difficult for me without this.” Puneet Kumar, a former recipient who now works as a vice president at Nexus Venture Partners, said: “Such a scholarship is life-changing for people who come from humble beginnings. Not having to pay off a loan after an MBA helped me make the right kind of employment decision.” “The fellowship is merit-cumneed-based and provides everyone an equal opportunity to attend Stanford,” said Rajdeep Chimni, founder of MBA consultancy Admissions Gateway. Meanwhile, after finishing the Stanford programme, Rajan wants to build a pan-India agritech company by bringing tech innovations to strengthen the agrarian economy of the country’s hinterland. He is aiming to create sustainable livelihoods in a country where 400 million rural people are unemployed for half the year owing to the seasonal nature of agriculture and lack of industrialisation. – Courtesy
DECCAN CHRONICLE. | A RAGU RAMAN | Jun 6, 2018 |
Varsity has reduced 5,940 seats in 55 engineering colleges for current academic year.
Chennai: Nearly 50 per cent of the private engineering colleges are lacking basic infrastructure such as laboratories, classrooms and faculty members to teach engineering subjects, Anna University found during its annual inspection of engineering colleges. Around 500 engineering colleges are affiliated to Anna University and a majority of colleges need to get provisional affiliation to admit students into engineering courses. To the surprise of inspection teams from the varsity, 255 engineering colleges lack basic facilities including the faculty members to teach. Anna University gave two weeks’ time to comply with AICTE norms in regard to the infrastructure and number of faculty members to run the courses. “Around 200 colleges filed compliance report while 55 colleges could not fix their lapses within the due time. Hence, the university has trimmed 5,940 seats in 55 engineering colleges this year,” a source said. AICTE has reduced the students-teachers ratio from 1:15 to 1:20 this year. Despite that many engineering colleges did not have required faculty members.
Around 200 engineering colleges are not able to attract students. The colleges with poor enrollment are not able to sustain good faculty members or hire quality faculty members, professors said. All India Private Colleges Employees Union (AIPCEU) alleged that many engineering colleges are showing fake faculty members during the inspection. “There is a huge difference between the faculty members shown to Anna University and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) by the colleges. Anna University should release the branch wise faculty details in the affiliated colleges for the benefit of the students,” said K.M. Karthik, founder, AlPCEU. Meanwhile, top academicians said the infrastructure and faculty of more than 1/3rd colleges are absolutely poor. “There was around 10 per cent intake in more than 100 engineering colleges for last four years. These colleges were not able to sustain and they were not even able to pay the salary to their faculty members,” said E. Balagurusamy, former Vice-Chancellor, Anna University. While welcoming the move to reduce the intake in these colleges he said, “Reducing the intake is not enough. The colleges with poor infrastructure, faculty and student strength need to be closed.” Also, the students who join in these colleges are poor and hailing from a rural background. “Overall commitment of the management for students’ welfare and quality is absolutely nil in these colleges. If we allow these colleges to continue, the future of these students will be ruined,” he warned.
Online engg counselling to begin from July 6
Online engineering counselling for B.E., B.Tech. courses is likely to begin from July 6, Higher education minister K.P. Anbalagan said here on Tuesday. The online counselling is scheduled to be held in five rounds. Tamil Nadu Engineering Admissions (TNEA) has allocated random numbers to 1.59 lakh applicants on Tuesday. The 10-digit random numbers will be used for breaking the tie where more than one candidate have got same marks. The merit among such candidates will be determined in the order of percentage of mark in Maths, Physics, fourth optional subject, date of birth (elder will be given preference) and the random number (higher value will be given preference). After assigning the random numbers minister K.P. Anbalagan said, “This year 509 engineering colleges will participate in the online engineering counselling and totally 1,78,129 seats are available.” Compared to last year, 26 private engineering colleges did not seek affiliation thereby keeping themselves out of the counselling process. “TNEA will conduct the counselling for 1,020 seats at Annamalai University and 720 seats at the three regional centres including Coimbatore and Tirunelveli,” he further said. The certificate verification for the candidates will be conducted from June 8 to 14 at TNEA Facilitation Centres (TFCs). In Chennai, the certificate verification will be conducted until June 17. – Courtesy