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‘So lucky, you know… I will be first engineering graduate from my tribe’

The Indian Express | Sreenivas Janyala | August 22, 2017 |

In Telangana’s engineering colleges, students from vanishing tribes thrilled to be making history

C Kalyani (left) and roommate R Soumika on the JNTU campus. Sreenivas Janyala

There is a spring in C Kalyani’s step as she walks out of the girls’ hostel on the sprawling, leafy campus of Jawaharlal Nehru Technology University (JNTU) at Sulthanpur in Telangana. It is her first day in college. The diminutive girl is the first from her vanishing community, the Primitive Tribal Group (PTG) Thoti, to go to an engineering college. “I cannot believe that I am here on this huge and beautiful campus and such a great college. I am so lucky, you know? It is a dream come true,” she says. She arrived at the campus earlier this month to complete the formalities for joining. “This is the first time I am staying so far away from home. It is a six-hour drive to my home from here,” says Kalyani, who belongs to Dubarpet in Adilabad district. “I am happier because my roommate happens to be a friend from the tribal coaching centre,” she says. Her roommate, R Soumika, is from the Lambada community and has joined electronics and communications engineering. Kalyani, who aims to become a scientist, has opted for material science and nanotechnology engineering. She is eagerly waiting for classes to start.

“Especially maths, I love it,” she says. “I like the regimen here. Breakfast is at 8 am at the dining hall, then it’s back to room to get ready to go to classes at 10. At 1:30 we will break for lunch and go back at 2 and study again till 4:30. Then, back to the room. I am loving it already.” Fighting against various odds including poverty in their communities,Kalyani and Soumika made it up to Intermediate, then were selected for coaching for JEE and Engineering Agricultural Medical Common Entrance Test (Eamcet) along with 28 other tribal students at Telangana’s tribal students’ welfare residential schools in Adilabad district under a special coaching programme called Star-30. The tribal students cracked JEE Main, JEE Advanced (for IITs) or Eamcet to secure admission to top engineering colleges. Kalyani says her father C Krishna, a labourer, struggled to send her to school. “He wept for joy when I told him I had made it to engineering college. No girl in my tribe has studied beyond class V. Boys drop out after X. But I insisted I want to study and my father struggled hard to pay school fees and buy books,” she says. “I will be the first engineering graduate from my community. My brother is in second year Intermediate and sister is in VII. I did not get much time to prepare for JEE but I passed Eamcet. I am lucky to get admission to a top college like JNTU.’’ At a time when populations of forest-dwelling tribal communities are dwindling across the country, seven boys and girls from three primitive and vanishing tribes of Telangana created history this year by becoming the first from their communities to join engineering colleges – Pujari Adharsh, Pudari Srinivas, P Pavan Kalyan, M Pushpalatha from the PTG Manne community, and K Ramatha and A Parmeshwar from PTG Kolam, besides Kalyani from PTG Thoti. Counselling ended last fortnight. In another first, two boys from the Lambada community got admissions in IIT Varanasi and VNIT Nagpur.

Mancherial district collector R V Karnan, Adilabad DC Dr Jyothi Buddha Prakash, and in-charge Anura Jayanthi were given Telangana Excellence Awards on Independence Day for the project Star-30. Less than 2,000 people each of the three PTG groups live in Telangana. Most of them live in tribal hamlets on the periphery of forests in Adilabad and Karimnagar districts. Literacy levels are very low and most of them work as farm labour. Last Tuesday, Adharsh joined JNTU at Karimnagar, opting for information technology. He ranked 2594th in JEE in the ST category. Hailing from Ippalaguda, a tribal settlement in Kouthala mandal of the newly created Komaram Bheem Asifabad district, Adharsh made it through extreme poverty. His father P Buchaiah, who used to work as a farm labourer, was paralysed three years ago and remains bedridden now while his mother Sharada now works for daily wages. “After I passed JEE, someone gave me a cheque for Rs 10,000. I added another Rs 500 and paid the fees of Rs 10,500 at JNTU. I borrowed another Rs 5,000 and paid hostel fees,” Adharsh says. “When I started from my village to go to college, my mother had just Rs 100 which she gave me for bus fare. I am hoping the government will reimburse the fees and I will be able to pay fees next year.”

In his community, few study beyond class X. “Girls drop out after V. Until I joined special coaching camp, I did not know about IIT or Eamcet,” he says. “There were many reasons including severe financial hardships for me, too, to drop out. It was constant encouragement from my teachers and Mancherial district collector and ITDA project officer R V Karnan that I made it this far,’’ he said. Pavan Kalyan’s parents work as labourers in Kompalle village in Mancherial district. “My maths teacher in junior college told me about the coaching camp for tribal students started by Karnan. Until then I did not know about IIT,” he says. “I could not clear it but cracked Eamcet because of the coaching. I got admission at CMR College of Engineering and Technology, Hyderabad,” he says. Srinivas, also of the Manne tribal group like Adharsh and Pavan, cleared JEE Advanced. He wants to start an IT start-up company after his engineering. “As soon as I make some money, I want to adopt my village Nambal in Komaram Bheem Asifabad district and set up schools and a college. I want to arrange free coaching to my village students to compete in all-India entrance tests,” he says. Srinivas has joined electronics and communication engineering in Arjun College of Science and Technology. His father P Ganesh works as a farm labourer.

Ramatha is the first woman from her Kolam community to get admission in an engineering college. Her brother Jyotiram became the first man to go to college when he got a seat in B Ed recently. Ramatha got a seat at Kakatiya Institute of Technology and Science for Women at Nizamabad on Monday. Hailing from Arkapur village in Nizamabad district, her father Atram Abhiman, a poor farmer, was in a quandary initially. “I can pay fees for only one of them. I don’t have enough money to send both my son and daughter to college. I am very happy that my daughter has been offered a seat in a top engineering college, and she is the first in our small community, but I may not be able to afford the fees,” Abhiman says. A week later, he borrowed and paid for Ramatha’s fees. “There are only 2,000 people of my tribal community left in,” Ramatha says. “Most of them still live in hamlets in forests or on the periphery, mostly working as farm labour. They do not know anything about engineering or medical colleges or IIT or EAMCET. Their life just revolves around ensuring one proper meal a day. The coaching given to students in tribal schools will change the lives of tribal students for ever. I want to complete my computer science engineering course.” S Bujangarao of the Gond community got admission at VNIT at Nagpur in metallurgical and materials science engineering after becoming the first Gond to clear JEE. Although three students from the Lambada community cracked JEE last year, this year Badavath Rajender secured a better rank and went to VNIT. – Courtesy

AICTE Start-up Contest 2017

Start-up Contest 2017: Inviting Entries from Students, Faculty & Institutions latest by 31st of August 2017. Please visit www.startup.aicte-india.org for entries in Start-up Contest 2017.

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Student/ Early Stage Startup

Student Start-up which is in pre-incubation stage or similar having been started by one or more co-founders in his/her college days or having been started by an alumni of any institute in India within 2 years of passing out from any academic program. This also includes any other start-up which is incubated or otherwise but it is between 0-3 years of its operation since its incorporation.

Faculty Lead Startup

Entrepreneurial faculties who are currently continuing their academic research profession in any Institute in India may submit their start-ups established by them (as Founder or co-founder)

Institution Supporting Startups

Under this category, academic & research institutions those are actively promoting and supporting innovation and startups in their campus and region are requested to submit. Interested institute has to send the filled application as per the below format to startup@aicte-india.org by 31st August 2017. – Click here for Eligibility and Applicationhttp://www.startup.aicte-india.org/

AICTE Clean Campus Award 2017

AICTE Clean Campus Award 2017


  • To recognize institutions that are doing a good job and to spur others into actions that lead to measurable outcomes regarding Waste management of various kinds
  • To build a culture of planning and achieving efficient waste management practices among the leadership, faculty and students
  • To build a momentum to make the maximum number of AICTE affiliated institutions into model zero waste entities
  • To encourage institutions to reach out to the community around them towards making India into a Swatchh Bharat


  1. Only AICTE Approved Institutes Can Apply
  2. You can register by clicking on Register. Enter Details and click on register.
  3. Login credentials will be sent to Principal/Director email registered on AICTE web-portal.
  4. In case Principal/Director email is changed, please send a institute representation to “clean-campus@aicte-india.org” to get user id and password on new email.
  5. Login with the credentials received on Principal/Director email. Fill the data in Basic Details and Questionnaire.
  6. Make sure Save button is clicked before moving on next tab.
  7. Click on Submit button to Submit Data. Submit will be enabled shortly.
  8. Pdf document will generated after Submission. Please save it for reference. It will be enabled shortly.

Contact Us :  ALL INDIA COUNCIL FOR TECHNICAL EDUCATION,  Nelson Mandela Marg, Vasant Kunj,
New Delhi -110070 –  011-29581031    / E-Mail:    clean-campus@aicte-india.org        /       More Details Click here … http://www.clean-campus.aicte-india.org/

IIT JEE entrance exam to be conducted online from next year

The Indian Express | Express Web Desk | New Delhi |  August 20, 2017 |

The IIT entrance exam will go completely online from next year, according to a member of the IIT Joint Admission Board.

The IIT entrance exam will go completely online from next year, according to a member of the IIT Joint Admission Board. The JAB, which is the policy-making body on IIT admissions, took the decision at a meeting in Chennai. In a statement, Director, IIT-Madras, and Chairman JAB 2017, Prof Bhaskar Ramamurthi said, “It has been decided that the JEE (Advanced) will be conducted in online mode from 2018 onwards. Further information regarding the examination will be provided by the JAB in due course.” The HRD Ministry had earlier introduced the option of taking the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE)- Mains online. The JEE-Mains is the entrance examination for admission to engineering courses offered across the country and a qualifying exam for JEE-Advanced which is required for admission to the prestigious IITs and NITs. “In order to make logistics and evaluations easier it was decided today that the JEE-Advanced should be made online,” a JAB member said. “The concept was being discussed for many years, but it was necessary to have adequate infrastructure to conduct the exam online,” the member added.

More than 13 lakh students took the JEE-Mains this year, with less than 10 per cent of them going online. Around 2.2 lakh students were eligible to write the JEE (Advanced). For admission engineering in 23 Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), students have to appear for the Joint Entrance Examination – Advanced (JEE – Advanced). It is the sole admission test for the IITs. Earlier this year, the Ministry of Human Resource Development notified two major changes in the JEE pattern for 2017. Firstly, there shall be no weightage for the 12th class marks in calculating the ranks in the JEE (Main) examination. Secondly, for the candidates to qualify for the admission in the IITs/NITs/IIITs and such other CFTIs whose admissions are based on the JEE (Advanced)/JEE(Main) ranks, they should have secured at least 75% marks in the 12th class examination, or be in the top 20 percentile in the 12th class examination conducted by the respective Boards. For SC/ST students the qualifying marks would be 65% in the 12th class examination. – Courtesy

Rajasthan’s Kalpit Veerwal Enters Limca Book of Records For Scoring 100 Per Cent in JEE Mains

India.  com | News Desk |  August 20, 2017 |

Veerwal’s father who works as a nurse in a government hospital in Udaipur, and mother is a government school teacher. His elder brother is pursuing MBBS from AIIMS, Jodhpur.

Kalpit Veerwal topped JEE Mains Image- Kapilt Facebook

New Delhi, August 20: Limca Book of Records registered the name of Udaipur-born Kalpit Veerwal after he scored 100 per cent in the JEE Main (Joint Entrance Examination). The 17-year-old Rajasthan kid scored 360 out of 360 marks to top the examination conducted across the nation. After securing the top spot, Veerwal moved to Mumbai to study at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). His name in the Limca Book of Records 2018 edition will be visible in the category of Education Achievements. This is not the first achievement of Veerwal. In the past, he had topped Indian Junior Science Olympiad and National Talent Search Examination. Speaking to news agency PTI, Veerwal said he was sure of clearing the examination but never imagined of making it to the top spot. Also, he never imagined that one day his name would be registered in the Limca Book of Records. ”I never studied for 15 hours a day, just followed the practice of studying regularly ” 17-year-old told PTI. He also did not go to Kota for studies which is considered as country’s engineering hub.

Talking about the family of the bright kid, Veerwal has a father who works as a nurse in a government hospital in Udaipur, a mother who is a government school teacher and an elder brother who is pursuing MBBS from AIIMS, Jodhpur. JEE engineering examination is conducted throughout the nation to get admissions into various colleges in India. It has two exams Main and Advanced. First, the Main exam is to be cleared and then comes the next stage that is Advanced Exam. Over 10 lakh students appeared for the JEE Main exam in 2017 in which the second slot was shared by Vasu Jain and Ananye Agarwal, as both had scored 350 marks out of 360. – Courtesy

Mixed reaction to MHRD move on Ph.D. doctorate rule

The Hindu | R. Krishnamoorthy |  TIRUCHI, August 17, 2017 | Tamil Nadu | Opinion |

Ph.D. may become optional at UG level to gain promotions

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There is mixed opinion among the academic community here on the move by Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry to make changes in the Academic Performance Index (API) to make Ph.D. optional for college teachers at the undergraduate level to gain promotions, and to increase their involvement in community activities instead. One section emphasises that Ph.D. as an entry level requirement was a must to retain and improve quality of education, while another section strongly believes that the quality of Ph.D. has taken a beating due to the stipulation. “Deterioration of the standards of higher education must not be permitted. Relaxation of the Ph.D. requirement for college teachers would be a retrograde step,” K. Anbarasu, Director of National College, said.

The reasoning of the other section of the academic community is that a college teacher should be mainly engaged in teaching, and that the quality of research has been diluted due to the Ph.D. compulsion. This section of academics cite the acknowledgement made by the Central Government during 2015 in Parliament that no dedicated study for assessing the quality of Ph.D research in the country has been undertaken under the purview of University Grants Commission. The former HRD Minister, Smriti Irani, had gone on record with her statement that there was a mushroom growth of substandard Ph.D. degrees, as it was a necessity for recruitment at entry level and for promotions. Though the UGC had framed the Minimum Standard and Procedure for the awards of M.Phil/Ph.D. Degree, Regulation 2009, to bring about uniformity in the procedure of award of M.Phil / Ph.D. Degree with a view to maintaining standards of higher education, the MHRD had come across instances of universities hiring services of supervisors who were not regular teachers on its rolls or in affiliated post-graduate colleges, in violation of the regulation. Unlike in universities, teachers in colleges are required to spend more time in teaching. “The move to make Ph.D. optional was a step in right direction. In most of the developed countries, there are teaching colleges and universities with varied objectives essential for the overall improvement of higher educational quality,” M. Selvam, Professor and Head, Department of Commerce and Financial Studies, Bharathidasan University, said. – Courtesy

AICTE to crack down on institutes offering technical education without approval

Prakash Kumar |  DH News Service | New Delhi | Aug 14 2017 |

The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) is gearing up for a crackdown on the institutes offering technical programmes without its approval in different parts of the country.

The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) is gearing up for a crackdown on the institutes offering technical programmes without its approval in different parts of the country. It has decided to collect information about such institutes from the general public and take “appropriate legal action” against them. As the Council’s regulations revised in 2016, such institutes are liable to face “punitive and criminal action” for violation of the AICTE Act. “Let people inform us about such institutions. We will conduct an inquiry and take legal action against them. We have issued a public notice inviting people to come forward and inform us about institutions offering technical programmes without obtaining any approval from the Council,” an AICTE official told DH.

To offer technical education in the country, the institutions need to have the mandatory prior approval of the AICTE in accordance with the section 10 and 11 of the AICTE Act, 1987 and Regulation 2016, the official added. The move comes as a large number of institutions continue to offer technical programmes without any approval from the AICTE despite several requests were made to the States to put a check on such institutes in the best interest of students. “We have requested the State Governments and the Universities operating in different parts of the country to ensure that the institutes seeking a grant of affiliation from them have obtained a prior approval of the AICTE to offer technical programmes,” the official said. Any Institute not having prior approval from the AICTE and offering degree, diploma or certificate programmes in technical education are liable “to punitive legal/criminal action” in accordance with para 9 and 10 of the AICTE regulations, 2016 as notified in the Gazette of India on November 30 last year, the official added. – Courtesy  /   AICTE Notification : Public Notice – Prior Approval from AICTE

AICTE eases norms for private firms to offer on-job training through NEEM

Deccan Herald | Prakash Kumar |  NEW DELHI | 15 Aug  2017 |

AICTE also revised the minimum and maximum age limits for trainees.

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A private company with a minimum annual turnover of Rs 5 crore can now seek registration with the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to offer on-job training to the students of technical education. The council has relaxed the conditions for registration of private firms as “facilitators” to offer on-job training, revising its National Employability Enhancement Mission (NEEM) Regulations of 2013. Apart from a Company registered under Section 25 of Companies Act, a non-government organisation, registered as the Society or Trust, can also apply for registration as the NEEM facilitator, provided their minimum annual turnover is Rs 5 crore and they have the capacity to train at least 1000 candidates per year.

Earlier, private organisations with an annual turnover of at least Rs 50 crore and capacity to place 10,000 trainees were only eligible for registration as the NEEM “agents.” The AICTE notified the revised NEEM Regulations in an official gazette recently. Under the revised rules, a private organisation with annual turn over of Rs 15 crore to 25 crores is eligible for registration as the NEEM facilitators, provided they have the capacity to train at least 3000 candidates per year. An organisation with an annual turnover of Rs 25 crore and above may also be registered as the NEEM facilitator if it has the capacity to train at least 5000 candidates per year. The NEEM, launched by the Centre in 2013 along with a national skill development programme, seeks to enhance the employability of the students pursuing degree or diploma courses at any of the technical institutes approved by the Government. Candidates from a non-technical stream or those having discontinued their studies after Class X are also eligible for on-job training to enhance their employability in the industry and other sectors. To enable more candidates to get on-job training under the scheme, the AICTE has also revised the minimum and maximum age limits for trainees. “A person seeking training under NEEM shall be at least 16 years of age and not more than 40 years of age as on the date of registration,” the revised regulations stipulate. As per the AICTE regulations, the government bodies are also required to be registered with the AICTE as the NEEM facilitators to offer on-job training programmes. – Courtesy

Indian-origin Stanford Professor Thomas Kailath to receive Marconi Society award

The Hindu Business Line | Sangeetha ChengappaBengaluru  | 15 August 2017 |

Thomas Kailath’s research contributions span over six decades

Thomas Kailath

Many contributions

The award recognises Kailath’s many contributions over six decades to information theory, communications, filtering theory, linear systems and control, signal processing, semiconductor manufacturing, probability and statistics, linear algebra, matrix and operator theory, which have directly or indirectly advanced modern communications technology. It also recognises his sustained mentoring and development of new generations of scientists. The Indian government conferred the Padma Bhushan on Prof Kailath in 2009.

His journey

Kailath earned a Bachelor’s degree in Telecommunications Engineering from the College of Engineering, Pune, in 1956. He then went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology ( MIT) in 1957. After his doctorate in electrical engineering in June 1961, the first Indian-born student to get one at MIT, he was invited by the late Prof. Solomon Golomb to join the pioneering Digital Communications Research Group at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In January 1963, he accepted an associate professorship at Stanford, becoming a full professor in 1968. He served as Director of the Information Systems Laboratory from 1971 through 1980, building it into a world-leading centre for communications, control and signal processing research. Kailath was Associate Chair of the Electrical Engineering Department Chair from 1981 to 1987 and in 1988 was appointed the first holder of the Hitachi America Professorship in Engineering at Stanford. Although Kailath became Emeritus in June 2001, he has been recalled to active duty, and he continues his research and writing activities to this day. – Courtesy

Engagement of staff by unaided colleges, not a public function: Hyderabad High Court

The New Indian Express | Express News Service  |  16th August 2017 |

HYDERABAD: Engagement of staff or employees in every private unaided educational institution cannot be said to be a public function. It is a purely private arrangement made by the said institution to carry out its aims and objectives, the High Court has held. Justice MS Ramachandra Rao has recently dismissed a petition filed by Mohan and 19 others challenging their termination of services by the management of Raja Mahendra Engineering College in Rangareddy district. The petitioners contended that the termination of their services without any reason or cause while failing to pay their salaries on the pretext that the college was being closed was unreasonable and in violation of the right to employment and in breach of Article 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution.

The judge said that every society or institution imparting education and discharging a public duty was not amenable to writ jurisdiction of the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution. The writ would lie only where a public function breach was alleged. In the present case, the college was not a deemed university and the provisions of University Grants Commission Act did not apply to it, he noted.“Merely because imparting education is a public function, it cannot be said that engagement of employees for the said purpose is also a public function. It is purely a private arrangement made by the Society with the petitioners and so the rights claimed by the petitioners are pure of a private character and relief under Article 226 of the Constitution cannot be granted to them,” the judge pointed out. “If the petitioners’ contention is accepted, it would open the flood gates and every dispute in every private unaided school/college between its management and academic staff would then be brought before the High Court for judicial review,” the judge said while dismissing the case. – Courtesy

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