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Govt Approves 7th Pay Commission Recommendations for Teachers of Technical Institutions

Hindustan Times | Jan 16, 2019 | Musab Qazi |

The move will benefit a total of 29,264 teachers and other academic staff of state government-funded institutes.

New Delhi: The Ministry of Human Resource Development on Tuesday approved a proposal to extend the seventh pay commission recommendations to academic staff of government and aided technical institutions with granting of Rs 1,241 crore for the purpose.  “This will directly benefit a total of 29,264 teachers and other academic staff of state government-funded institutes. Besides, about 3.5 lakh teachers and other academic staff of private colleges or institutions within the purview of All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) will also benefit from the approval,” Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters. “The central government will also reimburse 50 per cent of total additional expenditure to be incurred by these institutes for the payment of arrears on account of 7th Central Pay Commission implementation,” he added. The minister said that the move will help technical institutions on attracting and retaining faculty of high academic standards. – Courtesy

7th Pay Commission: After coming up with 10 per cent quota for upper caste poor, the Narendra Modi government has today announced a big pay hike for lakhs of state government employees. The Central government today approved the proposal to extend the 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC) to the teachers and other academic staff of the state government and government-aided degree level technical institution in the country. This will have put an additional liability of Rs 1241.78 crore at the central government. News agency ANI tweeted that the central government will reimburse 50% of the total addition expenditure (from 1.1.2016 to 31.3.2019) to be incurred by these institutes for payment of arrears on account of 7th Central Pay Commission. The move will benefit lakhs of academic staff members. The sudden announcement has raised the hope of the Central government employees who have been waiting for the over and above 7th CPC pay hike. The Central government employees, who have been getting pay by the fitment factor of 2.57 times, have been demanding a hike by the fitment factor of 3.68 times. A hike by 3.68 times will increase the basic salary to Rs 26,000 from the current Rs 18,000. There are around 48.41 lakh Central government employees and 62.03 lakh pensioners who will benefit from the hike in fitment factor. – (More details awaited) – Courtesy

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AICTE are set to introduce the flipped classroom teaching method from 2019-20 academic session

AICTE | New Delhi |  14 January 2019 |

Representational Image

New Delhi: Technical education institutions in India are on the cusp of adopting the flipped classroom learning method, taking a cue from a number of Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) that already rely on the technique for some of their lectures. The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), the regulatory body for technical education institutions, is all set to introduce the model of teaching in colleges affiliated to it from the 2019-20 academic session.  A flipped classroom reverses the teaching method, where the student is required to first learn about a concept from a video online before a discussion ensues in the classroom. The AICTE wants to adopt this method of teaching in order to make sure students are able to utilise their time in problem-solving in classrooms and are able to learn better. Currently, institutes such as the IITs in Delhi, Bombay and Kharagpur have adopted the method for some of their lectures. “Adopting flipped classrooms will be one of the ways in which we improve the standards of learning for our students, thereby making them more industry ready,” said a senior AICTE official. “Our students have always been touted as unemployable and not ready for industry. This is why we have been trying to make efforts to change this,” he added. “We have already changed our curriculum and now we are trying to change the way in which students are taught.”

To begin from next academic session

There are over 10,000 technical colleges in the country affiliated to AICTE. To begin with, the council plans to introduce flipped learning in engineering and management institutions. The colleges have been asked to adopt the flipped classroom model initially at the first-year level from the 2019-20 academic session. The council is in the process of uploading lecture videos and other study material on its website so that it can be made available to the teachers. It will also provide training to faculty members in colleges that want to adopt the model so this can be implemented in a better manner, ThePrint has learnt. In a typical flipped classroom, at the first stage, learning material like lectures and videos are recorded and students are asked to go through them. A time for discussion on those topics is also fixed in advance. Students go through the lectures and come to the class for problem solving and discussions on the given topics. A number of institutions abroad have already adopted the flipped learning model successfully for over 10 years now. John Bergman, an American middle school teacher, now an educationist, is believed to be the pioneer of the model. Courtesy – The Print

This Amazing Book Celebrates India’s Pioneering Women Engineers. About Time!

The Better India |

Authored by Dr Shantha Mohan and published in 2018, Roots and Wings is a book that chronicles the lives and careers of early women engineers of India.

There certainly exists a vast gender gap in the field of engineering, not just in India but across the globe. It is not that women are not interested in the field. In fact, I’ve personally met several who were quite passionate about becoming engineers and went on to become successful ones too. But not every girl in this country receives the motivation and opportunities that my friends did. Often, discouragement and the fear of society leads to dreams being nipped in the bud, which, sadly, explains the skewed gender ratio in technical fields. Now, think of a time in India when the concept of a working woman in any field, let alone in the engineering sector, was inconceivable.

However, history is a witness to the fact that there have always been women who refused to be slowed down and soared free to chase their dreams.

Authored by Dr Shantha Mohan and published in 2018, Roots and Wings: Inspiring Stories of Indian Women in Engineering, is a book that chronicles 29 such women. Interestingly, all of them had graduated from the College of Engineering, Guindy (CEG) in Chennai, between 1943 and 1971. For the uninitiated, CEG is the oldest engineering college in India. From A Lalitha, who is celebrated as the first Indian woman engineer, to Mallika Chellappa who worked as a researcher for the prestigious defence development labs of the Indian government, the book offers its readers a glimpse into the lives and careers of these women as they pursued their chosen path. Dr Mohan is a renowned name in the field of software engineering and operations management expertise, and this is her first literary work. “Overcoming several obstacles to their careers, these women managed to find a good balance between family and work. A few were, and are, also great community leaders. Their lives are models of courage, initiative, perseverance, innovation, entrepreneurship, resilience and flexibility,” shares the author to The Better India.

Making an excellent read for those interested in the history of pioneering Indian women, Roots and Wings isn’t a book that you just recommend to just women or girls.

If you want to do anything new—break new ground, fight the odds or persevere to reach your goals—regardless of your gender, these are stories you must read for the requisite dose of inspiration. What is more, all royalties from the sales of the book will be routed to Rotary Club Madras East (RCME) to support girls’ education in India. – Courtesy

Roots and Wings is available in both print and Kindle formats on Amazon as well as other online portals. You can purchase the book here.

From 2019-20, engineering colleges may offer diploma and degree in design

Hindustan Times |  Jan 07, 2019 | Musab Qazi |

4-year diploma courses, 4-year undergrad and 2-year post-grad courses planned.

Representational Image

Students across the country can now pursue diploma, degree and masters courses in design, as All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has recognised it as one of the technical disciplines. The courses related to design, an emerging inter-disciplinary field involving engineering, visual arts and management, have been included to the list of academic programmes in AICTE’s approval process handbook for 2019-20. The move has paved way for stand-alone design institutes while enabling engineering colleges to offer these courses. While institutes across the country have been offering design courses, most of them lack AICTE’s recognition, which hampers students’ ability to pursue a career and higher education in the discipline. Currently, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University (AKTU) in Uttar Pradesh is the only varsity to have the regulator’s approval for its bachelor of design (BDes) and master of design (MDes) courses.

“Many students are studying design and even drawing handsome salaries from companies after completion of their courses. But they are unable to pursue higher education, as the institutes offering these courses merely issue certificates. Hence, we decided to regularise it,” said Anil Sahasrabudhe, chairman, AICTE. According to the handbook, the duration of a diploma in design programme can be three or four years while undergraduate and post-graduation courses will be four- and two year-long respectively. The intake for a single division of diploma and degree course has been set at 30, whereas a masters class will consist of a maximum of 15 students. Academicians have welcomed the move as they believe that it will draw more students to the discipline. BK Chakravarthy, former head, Industrial Design Centre, Indian Institute of technology Bombay (IIT-B), said, “There’s much interest towards design among engineering students. Around 18,000 students apply for Undergraduate Common Entrance Exam for Design (UCEED), which serves as the gateway for 19 institutes offering design courses, despite the limited intake.” However, Chakravarthy added that classifying various design programmes will be a challenge. “Often, design institutes are taken over by engineering design, due to the limited legacy of the discipline,” he said. – Courtesy

AICTE nod to arts & science courses in engineering colleges

Times of India | 09 January 2019 | Preeti Biswas | TNN | Hyderabad |   AICTE nod to arts & science courses in engineering colleges |

Engineering colleges will be able to offer degree and diploma courses in arts and science from academic year 2019-20 as the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) has permitted them to use excess infra and unused resources for other job-oriented and emerging technology courses. The AICTE recently released the approval process for the ensuing academic year. Its decision comes as a boon to many colleges which intend to offer non-engineering courses in design, liberal arts, etc in Telangana . Many engineering colleges which did not have sufficient enrolment and excess space could not start an unapproved course. But now, engineering colleges can offer job-oriented degree and diploma courses, including those in emerging technologies , said KVK Rao, general secretary of All India Federation of Self Financing Technical Institutions. However, along with AICTE approval, colleges will also have to seek affiliation from local universities, which managements in Telangana view as a problem. Majority of the engineering colleges in Telangana are affiliated to Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, which does not affiliate arts or science courses. We will have to seek affiliation from other varsities such as Osmania University or Kakatiya University , which may in turn lead to conflict of interest.

While courses in emerging technologies is a welcome move, courses in arts and science may be an issue, said Goutham Rao, president of Telangana Private Engineering Colleges Association. As many as 17,076 seats went vacant in engineering colleges in Telangana after conclusion of the final phase of counselling during academic year 2018-19. With the demand for engineering seats dropping each year, the AICTE move to put an end to granting approval for additional seats in certain conventional branches and encouragement to start new courses in emerging technologies is likely to improve the demand. An AICTE-constituted committee to outline a National Perspective Plan in engineering education determined that capacity utilisation in traditional engineering disciplines such as mechanical, electrical, civil and electronics engineering was around 40 p.c as opposed to the 60 p.c in computer science and engineering, aerospace engineering and mechatronics. This is a clear pointer that the demand lies in emerging technologies as opposed to traditional engineering. We recommend that no additional seats are approved in traditional engineering areas, but institutions must be encouraged to convert current capacity in traditional disciplines to emerging technologies, read the recommendations. The apex body further encouraged colleges to introduce UG engineering programmes exclusively focused on artificial intelligence , internet of things, blockchain, robotics, quantum computing, data sciences, cyber security, 3D printing and design, artificial reality and virtual reality to name a few. – Courtesy

AICTE Approval Process Handbook 2019-20 and Gazette Notification

AICTE Gazette Notification | 04 January 2019 |  AICTE Approval Process Handbook 2019-20 and Gazette Notification |

AICTE invites applications for approval from all the existing and new Technical Institutions for conducting Technical Programmes/ Courses including courses of Management for the academic session 2019-20 as per the following:

1.      New Technical Institutions

Applications for “Setting up New Technical Institutions Offering Technical Programmes in Engineering and Technology/ Pharmacy/ Architecture/ Planning/ Applied Arts and Crafts/ Design/ Hotel Management and Catering Technology/ MCA/ Management at Diploma/ Post Diploma Certificate/ Under Graduate Degree/ Post Graduate Diploma/ Post Graduate Degree Levels affiliated to University/ Board or Standalone Institutions”.  The Institutions approved by the Council of Architecture/ Pharmacy Council of India in the previous Academic Years/ Existing Institutions offering Courses in Applied Arts and Crafts/ Vocational (Technical) Programmes/ Non-Technical Institutions conducting MCA/ MBA, without the approval of AICTE and seeking approval for the first time from AICTE, shall submit an application as a new Technical Institution. Institutions Deemed to be Universities seeking approval for the first time from AICTE (in compliance to the order dated 03.11.2017 passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court Order CA No. 17869-17870 /2017) shall submit an application as a new Technical Institution. State and Central Universities/ Constituent Colleges/ Private Universities, if interested in seeking approval from AICTE for the first time may submit an application as a new Technical Institution.

2.      Existing Technical Institutions

Applications from Existing Technical Institutions offering Technical Programmes in Engineering and Technology/ Pharmacy/ Architecture/ Planning/ Applied Arts and Crafts/ Design/ Hotel Management and Catering Technology/ MCA/ Management at Diploma/ Post Diploma Certificate/ Under Graduate Degree/ Post Graduate Diploma/ Post Graduate Degree Levels affiliated to University/ Board or Standalone Institutions for

  • Change of Site/ Location
  • Conversion of Women’s Institution into Co-ed Institution and vice-versa
  • Conversion of Diploma Level into Degree Level and vice-versa
  • To Start new Programme(s)/ Level(s) in the existing Institutions
  • Extension of Approval to the existing Institutions/ Continuation of approval after a break in the preceding Academic Year/ Restoration of Intake
  • Extended EoA
  • Increase in Intake/ Additional Course(s)
  • Introduction of Integrated/ Dual Degree Course
  • To start Diploma in Degree Pharmacy Institutions and vice-versa
  • Merger of Institutions under the same Trust/ Society/ Company operating in the same Campus
  • Closure of the Institution
  • Conversion of Management Institutions running PGDM Course into MBA Course
    • Conversion of Second Shift Course(s) into First Shift Course(s)
    • Closing of MBA Programme and Introduction of MCA Programme and vice-versa
    • Introduction/ Continuation of Fellowship Programme in Management
    • Introduction/ Continuation of supernumerary seats for FN/ OCI/ PIO / Children of Indian Workers in Gulf Countries
    • Introduction/ Continuation of seats for Non Resident Indian(s)
    • Change in the Name of the Course(s)/ Merger of the Courses/ Reduction in Intake/ Closure of Programme(s)/ Course(s)
    • Merger of Lateral Entry Separate Division in Second Year Engineering and Technology/ MCA to First Year Regular Courses
    • Change in the Name of the Institution or affiliating University/Board
    • Change in the Name of the Bank
    • Change in the Name of the Trust/ Society/ Company
    • Collaboration and Twinning Programme between Indian and Foreign University/ Institution in the field of Technical Education, Research and Training

Vocational Educational Courses

Applications from the existing Institutions offering Technical Programmes at Diploma/ Under Graduate Degree and affiliated to Board/ University for seeking approval for Introduction/ Continuation of Vocational Education Programme(s) leading to Diploma / Degree in Vocational Education under NSQF.  Submission of online applications for the session 2019-20 in respect of all approvals as above shall begin on 14th January, 2019 and end on 3rd February, 2019. The last date for submission of online application with penalty (as per the provisions of APH 2019-20) for Extension of Approval based on self- disclosure for existing Institutions is permitted up to 8th February, 2019. It may be noted that there shall be no further extension of date.   All applicants are requested to read carefully and thoroughly the AICTE Approval Process Hand Book 2019- 20 and All India Council for Technical Education (Grant of approval for Technical Institution) Regulations, 2018 which are available at  AICTE website before submitting online applications on AICTE Web Portal for the Academic Session 2019-20.

Note: All the Institutions are requested to visit AICTE Website at  Approval Process 2019-20 Quick link” regularly for all General Notifications, Updated Information and Official Communications related to Approval Process 2019-20. There will not be any other individual communication to the Institutions.  –  Prof. ALOK PRAKASH MITTAL –Member Secretary, AICTE

Click here to view / download Approval Process Handbook 2019-20,  ( 266 pages, pdf )

Public Notice for Approval Process 2019-20

AICTE (Grant of Approvals for Technical Institutions) Regulations, 2018, 42 pages, pdf

Quality Education Mandate online Application open for 2018-19 Approved Institutions, 13 pages, pdf

Global Highly Cited Researchers 2018 List Reveals Influential Scientific Researchers and their Institutions

Clarivate Analytics Blog | 27 November 2018 |

Global Highly Cited Researchers 2018 List Reveals Influential Scientific Researchers and their Institutions

Clarivate Analytics names people with multiple papers ranking in the top 1% by citations for their field and year

PHILADELPHIA, USA. November 27th, 2018 – Clarivate Analytics, the global leader in providing trusted insights and analytics to enable researchers to accelerate discovery, today published its annual Highly Cited Researchers (HCR) list. Now in its fifth year, the citation analysis identifies influential researchers as determined by their peers around the globe – those who have consistently won recognition in the form of high citation counts over a decade.  The Web of Science serves as the basis for the regular listings of researchers whose citation records position them in the top 1% by citations for their field and year.

David Pendlebury, Senior Citation Analyst at Clarivate Analytics explained: “This year, a new cross-field category has been added to recognize researchers with substantial influence in several fields but who do not have enough highly cited papers in any one field to be chosen. For example, an immunologist today is likely both a biochemist and molecular biologist, and a chemist is also a materials scientist and even an engineer.  Breaking through the artificial walls of conventional disciplinary categories by the introduction of the new cross-field category aims to keep the Highly Cited Researcher list contemporary and relevant.”

Key findings show:

  • Some 4000+ Highly Cited Researchers are named in 21 fields of the sciences and social sciences.
  • The United States is home to the highest number of HCRs, with 2,639 authors. The United Kingdom boasts 546. China (mainland) is gaining fast with 482. Harvard University keeps its pole position on the list.
  • Among the 4,058 researchers named as Highly Cited in the 21 Essential Science Indicator (ESI) fields, 194, or 4.8%, appear in two ESI fields. An elite 24 researchers, hailing from North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, appear in three fields.
  • New for 2018 – approximately 2,000 additional researchers have also been identified as having exceptional performance based on high impact papers in several fields. Nations or regions with more than 40% of their Highly Cited Researchers selected in the cross-field category are Sweden (53%), Austria (53%), Singapore (47%), Denmark (47%), China (43%) and South Korea (42%).
  • This year’s list continues to recognize researchers whose citation records position them in the highest ranks of influence and impact: it includes 17 Nobel laureates, including two announced this year: James P. Allison, Physiology or Medicine, and William D. Nordhaus, Economic Sciences. Also included are 56 Clarivate Analytics Citation Laureates – individuals who, through citation analysis, we have identified as researchers ‘of Nobel class’ and potential Nobel Prize recipients.
  • Australian research institutes continue to impress; the number of researchers recognized as Highly Cited has more than doubled in four years, from 80 in 2014 to 170 in 2018, among those selected in one or more of the 21 fields. Australian research institutions appear to have recruited a significant number of HCRs since 2014 as well as increasing their number of homegrown HCRs.
  • China (mainland) continues to march its way up the list and has overtaken Germany to reach the third spot on the top 10 country/region list.
  • Governmental research institutions also feature prominently with the US National Institutes of Health, the primary agency of the United States government responsible for biomedical and health-related research, appearing second in the list of Highly Cited Researchers. The Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Max Planck Society also both feature in the top 10.
  • The Highly Cited Researchers represent more than 60 nations, but more than 80% of them are from the 10 nations listed in the table below and 70% from the first five – a remarkable concentration of top talent.
Top 10 lists from 2018 HCR
Countries/regions with no. of HCRs represented   Institutions with no. of HCRs represented
United States (2639) 1 Harvard University, USA  (186)
United Kingdom (546) 2 National Institutes of Health –  (NIH),  USA (148)
Mainland China (482) 3 Stanford University, USA (100)
Germany (356) 4 Chinese Academy of Sciences, China  (99)
Australia (245) 5 Max Planck Society, Germany (76)
The Netherlands (189) 6 University of California Berkeley, USA (64)
Canada (166) 7 University of Oxford, UK (59)
France (157) 8 University of Cambridge, UK  (53)
Switzerland (133) 9 Washington University in St Louis, USA (51)
Spain (115) 10 University California Los Angeles – (UCLA), USA  (47)

Annette Thomas, CEO of the Scientific & Academic Research group explained: “The advancement of scientific endeavor represents a critical activity for individual research institutions and entire nations. The Highly Cited Researchers 2018  list helps to identify the researchers who are having the greatest impact on the research community as measured by the rate at which their work is being cited by others and that contributes so greatly to extending the frontier and gaining knowledge and innovations for society – contributions that make the world healthier, safer, richer, and more sustainable.”  The methodology that determines the who’s who of high-impact researchers draws on the data and analysis performed by bibliometric experts from the Institute of Scientific Information at Clarivate Analytics. It uses Essential Science Indicators, a unique compilation of science performance metrics and trend data based on scholarly paper publication counts and citation data from the Web of Science, the premier web-based environment of scientific and scholarly research literature totaling over 33,000 journals. Read our methodology here.

The 2018 Highly Cited Researchers list and executive summary can be found at https://clarivate.com/hcr/.

AICTE decides to allow arts and science courses in engineering colleges

The New Indian Express | 04th January 2019 | S Mannar Mannan | ENS |

COIMBATORE: The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has decided to allow engineering colleges run arts and science courses in parallelly on the same campus. Confirming the decision, AICTE chairman Anil D Sahasrabudhe told Express, “If other programmes are to be run, the requirement of each programme should be available separately except playground, parking, canteen, etc.”  In Tamil Nadu, engineering colleges come under the control of Anna University, whereas arts and science colleges are covered by arts and science universities like University of Madras, Bharathiar University, Madurai Kamaraj University, etc. When asked if engineering colleges will be allowed to get affiliation for arts and science colleges from other arts and science universities, he said, “It depends on having independent facilities for each of the programmes separately.”

Welcoming this decision, a chairman of a private engineering college said that it would help utilise the resources that now remain idle given the poor patronage for engineering courses. The classrooms built for such courses can now be used for arts and science programmes. Engineering colleges equipped with faculty members for physics, chemistry, and mathematics, and also laboratories for these subjects; these can be used effectively, the chairman suggested. He also recalled how engineering colleges were allowed to run courses like BSc and MSc in Computer Science and Information Technology till the year 2002. However, the chairman opined that starting the courses for the academic year 2019-20 would be impossible. The last date to apply to the Directorate of Collegiate Education for permission for these arts and science courses ended on December 31. Colleges could ask for the deadline to be extended, the chairman suggested. Meanwhile, Association of Self Financing Arts, Science and Management Colleges of Tamil Nadu president Ajeet Kumar Lal Mohan opined that the AICTE did not have the power to allow engineering colleges to run arts and science courses. The management would need a GO from the Tamil Nadu government. Besides, common land cannot be used for running engineering and arts courses, he claimed. – Courtesy

Don’t allow new colleges from 2020, review every two years: Panel to engineering body

The Indian Express | Ritika Chopra | New Delhi | January 1, 2019 |

AICTE chairman Anil Sahasrabuddhe told The Indian Express that the committee has submitted its report and that its suggestions are being considered by the technical education regulator.

The panel, in a 41-page report, has also suggested that no additional seats should be approved in traditional engineering areas such as mechanical, electrical, civil and electronics and that institutes should be encouraged. With more than half the engineering seats falling vacant every year, a government committee, headed by IIT-Hyderabad chairman B V R Mohan Reddy, has advised the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to stop setting up new colleges from 2020 and review the creation of new capacity every two years after that. AICTE chairman Anil Sahasrabuddhe told The Indian Express that the committee has submitted its report and that its suggestions are being considered by the technical education regulator. The panel, in a 41-page report, has also suggested that no additional seats should be approved in traditional engineering areas such as mechanical, electrical, civil and electronics and that institutes should be encouraged to convert current capacity in traditional disciplines to emerging new technologies. This recommendation has been justified on the ground that current capacity utilisation in traditional disciplines is just 40% as opposed to 60% seat occupancy in branches such as computer science and engineering, aerospace engineering and mechatronics. For the same reason, the committee has urged the AICTE to introduce undergraduate engineering programmes exclusively for artificial intelligence, blockchain, robotics, quantum computing, data sciences, cybersecurity and 3D printing and design. An investigation by The Indian Express in December 2017, found there were no takers for 51 per cent of the 15.5 lakh B.E/B.Tech seats in 3,291 engineering colleges in 2016-17. The investigation found glaring gaps in regulation, including alleged corruption; a vicious circle of poor infrastructure, labs and faculty; non-existent linkages with industry; and the absence of a technical ecosystem to nurture the classroom. All this, it found, accounted for low employability of graduates.

A few weeks later, the AICTE had announced its decision to reduce the intake in courses with poor admissions by half from the academic year 2018-19, a move aimed at addressing the mismatch. Following this, the total number of B.Tech and M.Tech seats this year, across all AICTE-approved institutes, dropped by 1.67 lakh – the sharpest fall in five years and almost double of what was witnessed in 2017-18. However, with enrolment remaining virtually stagnant, the AICTE appointed a committee headed by former NASSCOM chairperson and industrialist B V R Mohan Reddy this year to come up with a medium and short-term perspective plan for expansion in engineering education. “While we take such a serious decision, we also recognize that there could be some applications in the pipeline for additional/new capacity applied in the last one or two years. These may be pending for want of some minor clearances. So, applications made in the current year and the past two years may be considered for starting institutions if the infrastructure is already in place,” the report states. As for approving additional seats in existing institutions, the committee has suggested that the AICTE should only give approvals based on the capacity utilisation of concerned institute. – Courtesy

Education, healthcare are big opportunities for Amazon Web Services in India

Financial Express | Sudhir Chowdhary |  December 20, 2018 |

In the education sector, we are seeing customers journeying into the cloud in different ways. You have those that are still at the very stages of adoption, who just want to host their websites, to customers who are migrating off their datacentres completely into AWS.

Recently, Andhra Pradesh State Skill Development Corporation signed an MoU with Amazon Internet Services to build cloud skills and literacy for more than 30,000 students across 300-plus engineering and non-engineering colleges in the state. There has been a significant increase in cloud adoption among the state governments in India, says Vincent Quah, regional head-APJ (Education, Healthcare, Non-profits & Research), Amazon Web Services. “Not just in government, we are seeing an accelerated adoption of AWS Cloud services in education and healthcare sectors as well. They are now clearly aware about cloud computing and immense benefits associated with it,” he tells Sudhir Chowdhary in an interview. Excerpts:

Let me ask you about the AWS Cloud services; how do you anticipate growth among educational and research institutions in Asia Pacific region?
We are seeing an accelerated adoption of AWS Cloud services across all segments not just in education, but also in healthcare, not-for-profit, and government. In the education sector, we are seeing customers journeying into the cloud in different ways. You have those that are still at the very stages of adoption, who just want to host their websites, to customers who are migrating off their datacentres completely into AWS. We actually have the whole range of customers. How you move from this to that really takes different paths. Let me first describe the different phases of possible milestones that the customers can go through during their journey in the cloud. They can start with a public facing website, or they can start to do development and test workloads. Then they can perhaps do a cloud native type of application or new application that they want to develop. Then, they can become more serious, and develop real enterprise type of applications and run it on the cloud. Finally, they can migrate everything into AWS. Five years ago, everybody just wanted to talk about hosting websites. But today, more and more people are discussing more important critical applications, enterprise-level type of applications hosting it on AWS, as well as developing new applications natively running off the cloud. We are also seeing customers who are migrating off their entire datacentres.

How are the educational institutions using AWS?
Some universities in Japan—Kyushu University and Hiroshima University—are running their entire back-end on AWS. This would mean their student information systems, maybe even their alumni system, customer relationship systems; all these are actually running on AWS. We have Open Universities Australia running the student information system from PeopleSoft on AWS and they have been doing that for a number of years. A university in Singapore is running SAP as well as PeopleSoft application on AWS. This university actually has no datacentre at all. In India, we have big organisations such as Manipal Global running a lot of its back-end enterprise systems on AWS.

How does AWS ensure security of the data for its customers?
In Amazon when we talk about security we have to cover a few things, the first concept that we always talk to the customer about is that security is a shared responsibility, it is not just the responsibility of AWS. Security of the cloud, meaning the physical infrastructure, the operation, the people that go in there, the ones that have access etc, that security is the responsibility of AWS. And, we have very clear operating manuals and procedures of who can get in. But our customers also need to share responsibility because they can decide how they want to secure the entire environment, from operating systems to the network to the encryption of data, etc. There are many different layers of security that they have to put in place. AWS actually provides all these capabilities to its customers. The other thing about security is that the customer also needs to be aware of who in the environment has access to the AWS infrastructure, and we give them all the tool sets to create very granular access capability through the identity and access module.

Are the cloud demands of educational and research institutes in India somewhat different compared to their counterparts in developed economies?
If you are comparing the type of workloads that an education institution in India does or uses as compared to some of the other countries, whether developing or developed—there are some minor differences. In a developed country like Australia a lot of the universities would use commercial off-the-shelf type of solutions, the PeopleSoft, SAP, the Microsoft type of solutions to run their applications. Indian institutions may not use the same kind of solutions; they may use a locally developed solution or service, but it serves the same function. It may be a different solution set perhaps because of price point, or because they don’t need such a large enterprise type of application.

What are the opportunities that you see in the Indian market?
For the Indian market I think first, it is number of students, well over 200 million students across the entire sub-continent. Secondly it is the number of institutions. I think many people are trying to crack this, but I wouldn’t call it a challenge. The question is how can a service provider address such a wide range of requirements. Perhaps AWS is the right platform to able to serve such needs. It is really about what is the right service that can be developed to serve the customer. We work with local solution providers and they build the solutions that caters to the students, and that cater to the institutions. Some key technology trends and how AWS is aligned with them to address the requirements of the industry… Our approach is very straightforward. What we do is we listen to our customers first. In this case, there are actually two sets of customers, the end customer, that is the institution, but we also have the SaaS partners. They are also our customers because they build the services on top of AWS. When they use our services, they might sometimes discover, or they might desire that AWS builds this new capability that’s not currently available in their portfolio. We take that as an input—as a feedback and if we keep hearing the same requirement from multiple customers, then we know that this is probably a service that we need to build. Now 90% or more than 90% of our roadmap actually comes from feedback like this. The better we are at staying close to our customer, the better we will be in a position to build services or be relevant to them. – Courtesy

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