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Telangana government eyes private engineering college premises

The Hans India | April 25,2015 | Hyderabad |

Hyderabad: With private engineering colleges applying for closure, the Telangana government is now eyeing on the premises of these colleges to shift government degree colleges there. As 58 government degree colleges do not have buildings and 18 colleges do not have lands, the government was of the view that renting out engineering colleges would be beneficial. The Commissionerate of Collegiate Education has already sent proposals to the government seeking an approval to rent out premises of the engineering colleges starting next academic year. As many as 12 private engineering colleges have come forward for the closure from the next academic and applied for the No Objection Certificates (NOC) to Jawaharal Nehru Technological University-Hyderabad. The government and JNTU-Hyd had already issued NOCs and the colleges are awaiting a nod from the All India Council of Technical Education for the closure.   An official of Commissionerate of Collegiate Education said-“The department has moved a file to the government. Once government accords permission from the next academic year the colleges will be shifted.” So far 58 government degree colleges were functioning from the premises of government schools and junior colleges on shift basis. – Courtesy

IIT Delhi Students Think They Can Dance. Viral YouTube Videos (“Call Me, Maybe”). You Agree?

ND TV | Offbeat | Written by Adrija Bose | April 24, 2015 |

Nearly a week ago, a bunch of students from IIT Delhi decided to show off their version Carly Rae Jepsen’s blockbuster song “Call Me, Maybe”. Shirtless, the students from the prestigious engineering college imitated a cover video of the song by the cheer squad for American football team Miami Dolphins. They uploaded the video on YouTube on April 17 and it became an instant hit. At the time of writing this, it had three lakh views. The IIT students parodied the Miami Dolphins’ version by imitating the bikini-clad cheerleaders’ choreography frame by frame. The result, we must admit, is hilarious. It also proved that dancing is not what these brainiacs do best.

Would you agree?

But clearly, the would-be Dolphins don’t want to take off the dancing shoes. In fact, they decided to upload another video and show off more dance skills. The video has been watched more than 5,000 times. In the 16-minute long video that was uploaded just a day after the ‘Call Me Maybe’ parody, the students dance to a medley which includes some very popular songs – ‘Barbie Girl’, Hrithik Roshan’s Kaho Na… Pyaar Hai, Govinda’s ‘Kisi Disco Mein Jaye’, Ranbir’s ‘Badtameez Dil’, Salman’s O O Jane Jana’ and Aamir’s Dil Chahta Hai,’ among others. They flaunt their biceps (*cough*) while dancing to ‘Dil Ding Dong Ding Bole’ dressed in formal shirts over veshtis, topped by ties and shades. It’s quite hilarious. It’s also some of the most uncoordinated dancing we’ve seen in a while. But don’t take our word for it, judge for yourselves:



Dear IIT students, thanks for the entertainment. For what it’s worth, we’re suggesting you stick to engineering. – Courtesy

Go ahead with grading of 41 deemed universities : Supreme Court to NAAC

Business Standard | IANS  |  New Delhi | April 23, 2015 |

The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) to proceed with the grading of 41 deemed universities. It noted that the government was framing rules to put in place criteria for the grant of deemed university status and accreditations to the academic institutions that would eliminate subjective considerations. “In our considered opinion, the NAAC shall look into the matter (of grading the deemed universities) and will decide the issue of accreditation and proceed as per law,” said the bench of Justice Dipak Misra, Justice R.K. Agrawal and Justice Prafulla C. Pant, who noted that admissions to the universities were fast approaching. The court said that “any decision given by the NAAC shall be subject to the result of the writ petition, as well as the further deliberations in the backdrop of rules framed by the Union of India”.

Initially, there were 44 institutions having deemed university status but later three withdrew. Noting that nowadays, the status of an educational institution comes with students seeking admission, including their parents, the court said “admissions are dependent on grades. That counts”. “As the admission time in the universities is fast approaching, the NAAC shall decide the matter within two weeks hence. If the NAAC has already accredited a university, the same status shall remain with the university till the next date of deliberation,” the court said in its order and listed the matter for August 18 for further hearing. Not heeding to the Centre’s plea that the NAAC should go for the gradation of the deemed universities while keeping an officer of the human resource development ministry in the loop, the court said: “Needless to emphasise, NAAC while determining the accreditation, shall act with utmost objectivity.” At the outset of the hearing, counsel Sanjay R. Hegde, appearing for petitioner Viplav Sharma, told the court that the position spelt out by the Centre was a “vote of non-confidence” both in the Tandon Committee and the University Grants Commission.

The court was told that if there was subjectivity in pointing out deficiencies in 44 deemed universities by the Tandon Committee, then by the same measure there was an element of subjectivity in the grant of deemed university status to all 128 institutions. Counsel said this as Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta wanted the court to put the matter on hold as the government was engaged in framing rules to lay down the criteria for the grant of deemed university status and the accreditation. Mehta told the court the government has consulted all stakeholder statutory bodies — All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), National Board of Accreditation (NBA), NAAC and UGC for framing of the rules. He said inputs by the statutory bodies have been received. The court’s order on Thursday came during the hearing of the 2006 PIL by which petitioner advocate Viplav Sharma had pointed to indiscriminate conferring of deemed university status in an arbitrary manner without application of mind and following criteria. The Tandon Committee that was set up to review the existing institutions deemed to be universities, in its report submitted on October 19, 2009, had divided the institutions having deemed university status in three categories. In respect of the first category, the report found their working satisfactory and recommended their continued status as deemed university. In the second category, the committee found them deficient in some respect but recommended giving them three years to graduate to the first category. However, in respect of these 44 institutions faced with the prospect of being denotified as deemed universities, the committee had said these institutions, “neither on past performance nor on their promise for the future have the attributes, in our considered opinion, to retain their status as universities”. – Courtesy

Engineering students of Manipal Institute of Technology shine on road, build solar-powered car

The Times of India |

BENGALURU: Four years ago, 27 engineering students with a love for automobiles put their heads together and came up with the seemingly far-fetched idea of building a solar-powered car from scratch. On Wednesday, the students of Manipal Institute of Technology not only rolled out a sleek machine powered by solar energy but are looking to make it commercially viable. “All of us had a passion for automobiles and wanted to do something that would be futuristic and beneficial to society. Green energy is our future,” said Jeet Bannerjee, an alumnus of Manipal Insitute of Technology and one of the founding members of team SolarMobil, whose SERVe (Solar Electric Road Vehicle) was launched in Bengaluru on Wednesday.The team was founded by five students of Manipal Institute of Technology, who then recruited juniors to continue bettering the car after they passed out of college. The car was built from scratch with students often making mistakes and correcting them on the job. The project tested the limits of what they had learnt in the classroom. Today, the team consists of 27 third and fourth-year engineering students, including one girl. While the initial design and prototype was provided by the founding members, their juniors who later joined the team improved on it to create a commercially viable prototype. “It took us eight months to design the car and another eight to put a basic frame and model together. Since then, we have been testing the vehilce, making it lighter and increasing its efficiency,” Bannerjee explained.He said the biggest challenge they faced was convincing people that they were serious about coming up with a design that would work. “Unless we could convince people, we couldn’t raise sponsorship,” he said. Bannerjee estimated that the car would cost around Rs 25 lakh but added that they were yet to calculate the actual price. Nithin Kumar, a final-year mechanical engineering student, recalled how they took their plans and prototype to an electronics exhibition last year, only to get just one company as a sponsor.The students said they faced tough times over the last two years, with the hardest being during exams. There were sleepless nights when students, after finishing classes, went to the workshop to work on the car till dawn. The only girl: Sonam Kumari, a third-year student of electrical engineering, is the only girl in the team. “Another girl was recruited with me, but she left after a month when balancing college and the long hours at the workshop became a problem. Her parents were worried and she had to leave,” Kumari said. She is part of the team that takes care of wiring work. “I make sure the solar panels are wired to the rest of the car and power is distributed to the entire car,” she said. “It is an important role,” she said, proudly. She too had her parents worried with her late hours. “But I told them that this was important. They would have to relax their restrictions because ultimately they will see the results,” she said. “They saw the car recently and were so proud of me. They know now that it was worth it.”- Courtesy Visit SolarMobil

Change in admission rules led to closure of course: Engineering Colleges in Tamil Nadu

The Times of India | |

COIMBATORE: While many engineering institutions in the state have sought to close down their courses, some colleges are looking to stop admissions for their MCA and MBA programmes as well. They say the eligibility criteria laid down by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) have led to poor admissions and a fall in quality of graduates. Earlier this month, the AICTE published a list of 588 colleges saying they have been denied approval for the academic year 2015-16. However, some of the institutions on the list said they had willingly offered to close down programmes, including MCA and MBA courses. According to a professor of one of the institutions that had sought to close their MCA course, the AICTE rules for lateral entry into the three-year postgraduate course are to be blamed for the situation. “A rule says that any BCA or information technology/computer science graduate with mathematics as a subject can skip first year and join MCA in the second year, like how polytechnic students can join engineering in the second year. This led to a drop in admissions in the first year,” he said.

Another problem, the institutions pointed out, was relaxation of eligibility criteria for MCA admission. In 2012, the AICTE, after requests from private institutions, said students who had maths as a subject in graduation, even if they had not studied maths in the 10+2 level, can apply for the course. Till then only graduates who had studied maths in the plus-two level were eligible to join MCA. A professor said this led to students from varied backgrounds enrolling in MCA, making it difficult for colleges to frame syllabus. “When any graduate is allowed to join the course, there is no clarity on what subjects to include and what to remove. This affects the quality of teaching,” the professor said. There is a fall in the popularity of the course as companies prefer engineering graduates to those who have done MCA. A similar situation prevails among the stand-alone MBA institutions. A member of the management of one such institution said, “An MBA programme within the engineering institution is successful for many institutions, as it is easy to manage. Despite good infrastructure and academic performance, some institutions have shut shop due to difficulty in stand-alone institutions.” At least four institutions in the state that are shutting down their MBA programme this year. “There is no problem with our college’s infrastructure of teaching quality. We approached the AICTE to stop admission this academic year, and it has accepted the request. We are yet to get the no-objection certificate from the state government,” said K V D Kishore Kumar, vice-president of Vel Tech Group of Institutions.- Courtesy

National Higher Education Authority should have powers to derecognise insititutes: HRD panel

The Economic Times | By PTI | 22 Apr, 2015 |

NEW DELHI: Powers to derecognise institutes lacking quality should be vested with the National Higher Education Authority, constitution of which was recomended by a HRD panel set up to evaluate UGC’s performance. The new statutory agency should have three boards to independently look after various functions of the authority in coordination with each other, HRD Minister Smriti Irani said. These include a regulatory board to look after academics, research and regulatory functions, a funding board to evolve norms and parameters for allocation and be responsible for disbursment of grants, and a higher education councils coordination board to coordinate activities of different councils of higher education, the Minister said.The former UGC chairman Hari Gautam-headed committee which submitted its report last month has also recommended that the pre-condition of 10-year experience as professor for appointment of vice chancellor should be dropped. The recommendations were disclosed by the Minister in a written reply in Lok Sabha. “The committee has recommended that instead of undertaking amendments in the UGC Act, 1956, the National Higher Education Authority Act be set up to repeal the existing UGC Act,” she said. However, till the time the new act is enacted, it has suggested revamping and remodelling UGC into a changed organisation through executive order, Irani added. “The committee has recommended that the authority be invested with powers to reward and punish the quality or its absence as the case may be in higher educational institutions including the power to derecognise and or debar the erring institutions from functioning,” she said in her reply. Referring to the suggestion about removing the pre- condition of being a professor for 10 years to be appointed as VC, she said the committee made the recommendation arguing that regular appointment of VCs in central universities takes time while adhering to the procedure of appointments as per the statutes of central universities.- Courtesy

IFET College of Engineering students design an ‘anti-pollutant hybrid motorised bike’ :This bike has got a promising future

The Hindu | National »

IFET College of Engineering students design an‘anti-pollutant hybrid motorised bike

Designed to draw energy from a motor-generator set, wind and solar, four students from the Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, IFET College of Engineering, Villupuram, have designed an ‘anti-pollutant hybrid motorised bike’ (APHMB). The bike designed by students R. Vineeth, P. Balaji, S. Thirunavukarasu and S. Mukunthan has a speed of 45m/hour and a load carrying capacity of up to 200 kilograms, said a release from the college. The project has won praise from Thothathri Visvanathan, vice president, Development Centre Head, and Delivery Head Life Sciences and Services of Infosys and R. Vijayan of Prodapt Solutions said the release. The APHMB was tested under the supervision of P. Pugazhendiran, Head, Research and Development and P. Nammalvar, project coordinator of the college. The project has been supported and encouraged by the college management and administration, and the Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering.


What an i-Diya! IIT-B student (Sachin Kumar) invents world’s tiniest eco-friendly solar device gadget

22 April 2015 – 6:15am IST | Agency: dna | Kranti Vibhute |

People across the globe are observing Earth Day today, by turning off their electricity for an hour. In tune with this, a student of IIT Bombay has developed an eco-friendly solar device, which can be used as a lamp, a USB port and to charge a cell phone. Final year electrical engineering student Sachin Kumar has perfected the device after more than three years of research. What separates i-Diya from other such gadgets, is its size – it is the smallest in the world. Kumar and three of his friends have started their company, ‘Illumind Solartek’, where they are manufacturing more i-Diyas. While doing a module on solar energy during his third semester as part of his five-year-course, he decided to venture into the renewable energy sector. Kumar participated and won a series of competitions like IIT-Bombay’s Eureka – a business plan competition in 2014. Coming from Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh, Kumar said he was aware of electricity being a huge problem. “Kerosene lamps, widely used in rural areas, have lethal effects on the environment,” he informed. Still, reaching the point where he is today, was not easy. “My parents thought I was crazy to think about starting my own company, rather than focusing on studies and focusing on placements,” says the 23-year-old.

Kumar also said that studying at IIT Bombay provided an ecosystem which encouraged him to push his limits. “So, when you have such an environment, friends and faculty to support you, you get that confidence to take the plunge. Once I made up my mind, there was no looking back. I knew my parents would come around, and they did.” After more than three years of finding the right design and elements for the light to work efficiently in all types of weather and terrain, Sachin got the idea of setting up a solar lights company. To turn his dream into reality, he collaborated with his friends Sandeep Rathi (non-IITian), Aanchal Choudhary (non-IITian) and batch mate Satpal Singh, a student of civil engineering. Talking about the product, which was launched in February 2015, Sachin said that i-Diya is the world’s smallest solar device, the size of which is that of a human palm. “It provides triple the amount of illumination (compared to other lights with the same pricing), and requires 7-8 hrs of charging time, he said. He added that the device can also be charged through electricity if there is a scarcity of sunlight, and is priced economically. The product comes in three versions, basic, home and chargeable, priced at Rs Rs699, Rs 849 and Rs 999 respectively. Initially, Illumind came up with 4200 pieces, which were sold within 10 days through demonstrations by door-to-door visits. Now, the company is planning to manufacture 40,000 models, which Kumar feels could be less, as the demands have come from places such as South Africa, Ghana and the Middle East. – Courtesy

Targeting Better Efficiency, UGC Unveils e-governance (management information systems,MIS) for Higher Education Institutions

The New Indian Express | By Express News Service | 22nd April 2015 |

COIMBATORE: The University Grants Commission has introduced e-governance so that reliable management information systems (MIS) can be put in place to monitor the functioning of higher education institutions.

The key objectives of the project are to enhance office efficiency, reduce paper work, achieve transparency, speed up processing of proposals for funding, recognition, etc, prevent fraud and misappropriation of funds and effectively manage schemes, grants, budget and finances. It has also developed a dedicated e-schemes portal and directed universities to register themselves and apply for various schemes directly through it. The UGC, through a service-oriented approach, process re-engineering and use of information and communications technology, wants to transform the quality of its services, Commission Secretary Jaspal S Sandhu said in a letter to vice-chancellors. “The e-governance system will enable the UGC to find what is happening in every institution, once approval is granted. It should also use the system to monitor efficiently the processing of applications for funds as well as their delivery,” said Association of University Teachers vice-president C Pichandy.

Lukewarm Response

However, the response of managements to the idea seems to be lukewarm. Most institutions still prefer paperwork over the digital medium, said K Meer Mustafa Hussain, Vice-Chancellor, Dr MGR Educational and Research Institute University, Chennai. “Though only a one-time investment, they look at it as unnecessary expenditure. Besides, if all database and records can be managed from one point, private institutions will see many clerical posts as excess,” he added. “How far e-governance will prevent misappropriation of funds remains to be seen,” said T Pramananda Perumal, Principal, Presidency College, Chenaai. “The UGC recently made arrangements for direct transfer of scholarships to research fellows. E-governance may reduce delays and help control fund misappropriation. However, curtailing losses and protecting the project associate’s financial rights depend on the project head,” he added. The Tamil Nadu Open University has already implemented e-governance in its admissions and examinations sections. “E-governance helps because we have a large student database of around 30,000. Being able to access records and examination details, not just of the current academic year but also of earlier years, is an advantage. The UGC is asking us to bring every aspect of management under e-governance,” said Vice-Chancellor Dr Chandrakantha Jeyabalan.- Courtesy

Amiraj Engineering College in Gujarat Builds Autonomous Car in 28 Days: Dextra Smart Mobi car

ND TV | Auto | By: Ameya Naik | Updated: April 21 |

Let’s face the fact; whether you like it or not, autonomous cars are going to be part of the automotive industry and there are companies which are working towards building technology that will help them achieve that goal. Sitting in a car sans a driver might be a scary thing for most people, but that’s where we are heading. Google, for one, has already started testing their autonomous car and thinks that it’ll be ready in a couple of years. Apple Inc. is readying to enter the market, meanwhile, Indians are wondering when we can see such a car on our roads. But there are some who want to see the technology here and two Professors, Kaushal Jani and Nirav Desai from the Amiraj College of Engineering, Gujarat, along with a bunch of 15 students embarked on a project to build their own version of a driverless vehicle. It’s called Dextra’s Smart Mobi car and is a driverless car based on a mobile app. “Yes, we had examples of Google and Apple, but making a driverless car in India is a big challenge. Neither is the technology available here, nor is there the infrastructure and so it was a big challenge for us to make the software work. We have taken a basic step towards making a car autonomous” says Kaushal.

Kaushal has spear headed this project and wanted to complete it in just 15 days. In fact, everything had been chalked out to complete it in record time. “There are always some unforeseen problems that one faces and the trial and error methodology takes some time. We tried our best and worked even on rest days but finally completed the project in 28 days, which is not bad at all, right?” said Kaushal. The car as you can see is not built from scratch, so technically it’s just a kit that they’ve attached it to a Hyundai i10. There is no particular reason why they chose the i10. “We needed a guinea pig and it was available” says Kaushal. The car comes equipped with high-range cameras and sensors for object detection, all of which are readily available in the market. The sensors are placed all over the car and these can detect movement which then helps the car understand when to brake and when to accelerate. The sensors used on this car can detect objects in the range of two to four feet and that is not enough, so they are trying to extend the range to ten feet, which will make it safer and better. The total equipment for the car cost around Rs. 2 lakh but the hitch is; it needs 3G connectivity, which in the current scenario is a bit dicey, even in the metros.

“Infrastructure is the main reason why the entry of the autonomous car in our country might be delayed, but we will see growth in the European markets in the next few years. We have the expertise in India and really good engineers too, but money is always a barrier to innovation. We have the Make-in-India wave coming our way and I hope we can eliminate a whole bunch of obstructions if engineers from all over the country pool in their resources” said Kaushal. Autonomous cars are not only for those looking for respite from driving according to Kaushal “Self-driving cars can and should also help the physically handicapped and this will help them get from one place to the other without any hassles.” When asked if any car manufacturer had shown interest in the Dextra Smart Mobi car, Kaushal said that there were none who did, but he’s expecting a surge in enquiries soon. Smart cars are the future, and there’s no denying it. The car might appear to be a crude version but it is a baby step to something bigger.- Courtesy

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