Times of India | Somdatta Basu | TNN | Jun 30, 2016 |
Kolkata: Union HRD minister Smriti Zubin Irani at the fourth convocation of Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata, announced that from the next year onwards pure science teaching institutes will form a separate category in the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF). This year, the ministry of Human Resource and Development started an indigenous ranking system for the Indian institutes. In the first year there were only four categories under which the institutes were ranked – Universities, pharmacy institutes, engineering institutes and management schools. “This has been done so that the students before taking admissions know where the institutes stand in comparison with others,” said the minister. Irani also promised more infrastructure funds for IISER Kolkata when director of the institute requested the minister to allocate funds for building a hostel in the campus. “In the next few days, two HRD officials will visit the campus and make necessary arrangements so that the infrastructure of the campus is ready,” the minister assured. She also increased the award for best thesis at IISER. The amount was hiked from Rs 2,000 to Rs 25,000. The second best thesis will get Rs 10,000. Irani also proposed the director of IISER Kolkata, R.N.Mukherjee to introduce ‘best thesis award’ for PhD students. “The best thesis among the Ph.D students will be selected by a sister IISER after going through the research,” Irani said.
At a path breaking move, the minister also said that the government has opened up the doors for universities to send their students abroad for two semesters at the undergraduate level and one semester at the postgraduate level which she said will be a step towards plugging brain drain. Students will get the degree from the home university but the certificate will mention the foreign stint — the name of the institute and the credits obtained there. In fact, the credits earned at foreign universities will be added to the student’s grade card here. “All Indian universities will switch to credit point assessment from this year. This will add value to the degree and the student’s employability,” a UGC official said. “This is a step towards introducing the dual degree system that the MHRD has been holding back. It’s a very positive step. However, the monitoring bodies should keep a watch so that it doesn’t lead to commercialization of education,” said Jadavpur University VC Suranjan Das. Rabindra Bharati VC Sabyasachi Basu Roychowdhury also hailed the decision, saying: “This will give better exposure to students and help them comprehend the subject in a wholesome manner.” – Courtesy