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The Indian Express | Express News Service | New Delhi | July 10, 2018 |
The Institutions of Eminence are proposed to have greater autonomy compared to other higher education institutions. For instance, they will be free to decide their fee for domestic and foreign students and have a flexible course duration and structure.
The government Monday awarded Institution of Eminence (IoE) status to three public and three private institutions — IIT-Delhi, IIT-Bombay, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), BITS-Pilani, Manipal Academy of High Education, and Reliance Foundation’s proposed Jio Institute near Navi Mumbai. The University Grants Commission (UGC) approved six names against the promised 20 slots. The government’s formal notification is expected soon. The Union Cabinet had approved UGC’s ‘Institutions of Eminence Deemed to be Universities Regulations 2017’, in August, 2017. The regulations are aimed at creating an enabling architecture for 10 public and 10 private institutions to emerge as world-class institutions, since the country has little representation in the international ranking of educational institutions. Only higher education institutions currently placed in the top 500 of global rankings or top 50 of the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) are eligible to apply for the eminence tag. The private IoEs can also come up as greenfield ventures, provided the sponsoring organisation submits a convincing perspective plan for 15 years.
The IoEs are proposed to have greater autonomy compared to other higher education institutions. For instance, they will be free to decide their fee for domestic and foreign students, and have a flexible course duration and structure. Their academic collaborations with foreign institutions will be exempt from approvals of government or UGC except institutions based on a list of negative countries prepared by the External Affairs and Home ministries. Once identified, the target for the IoEs would be to break into the top 500 in at least one internationally reputed ranking framework in 10 years and come up in the top 100 over time. The 10 government institutions, in addition to autonomy, will also get Rs 1,000 crore each from the HRD Ministry to achieve world-class status. The government will offer no financial assistance to the private institutions.
A total of 114 institutions and universities – 74 from public sector and 40 from private sector – had applied for IoE status. Out of these, 11 are central universities, 27 are state universities, 10 are state private universities and the remaining are institutes of national importance (INIs), deemed universities, stand-alone institutions and organisations that intend to establish universities. The Empowered Expert Committee (EEC), which was entrusted to find 20 institutions out of 114 applicants, could only identify 11, of which six have been awarded the eminence tag, for now. The four-member EEC is headed by former Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami and has Renu Khator, president of University of Houston, R Pritam Singh from the Management Development Institute and Tarun Khanna, Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor at the Harvard Business School, as its other members. The committee had each of the 114 applicants submit their presentations in advance. The members then met each applicant for about half an hour, of which 15 minutes were earmarked for a presentation and the remaining time spent on questions regarding the proposal. Asked why the committee couldn’t finalise names of 20 IoEs, Gopalaswami told The Indian Express, “That was maximum. Is there a rule that if the government prescribes a maximum, we should suggest the maximum even if the institution is not suitable? The basic criterion is not the number. The basic criterion is whether the institution has the capability (to break into the top 100 global rankings).”
The Indian Express has learnt that IIT-Kharagpur, IIT-Madras, Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Jadavpur University were among 11 names suggested by EEC, but were not awarded the status. “Out of the 11 names suggested by the EEC, only three were private. So, a decision was taken to announce equal number of institutes from public and private sector, which, consequently, limited the announcement of public institutions to three for now,” government sources said. Out of the three private IoEs announced Monday, Reliance Foundation’s Jio Institute which, at this moment, is just a proposal on paper, was selected under the greenfield category. According to sources, there were 10 other applicants under this category, namely Vedanta’s proposed university in Odisha, Indian School of Business (ISB) in Hyderabad, Satya Bharti Foundation, Indian Institute of Human Settlement in Benguluru, Indian Institute of Public Health in Gandhinagar, Maharashtra Institute of Technology in Pune, KREA University in Chennai, DICE Knowledge Foundation, Acharya Institutes in Bengaluru and Indus Tech University in Delhi.
According to the proposal submitted by the Reliance Foundation, the Jio Institute is proposed to have 10 schools offering over 50 disciplines, including humanities, engineering, medical sciences, sports, law, performing arts, sciences and urban planning. The Foundation has promised to hire faculty from the top 500 global universities, a residential university city for its teachers, set up inter-disciplinary research centres to provide solutions for real-world challenges and commit Rs 9,500 crore towards the institute’s funding, among other things. Justifying Reliance Foundation’s selection over other 10 applicants, the HRD Ministry said in a statement issued on Monday that the Jio Institute proposal satisfied four parameters – availability of land, a core team with high qualifications and experience, funding and a strategic vision plan.
Gopalaswami said, “The applicant has to prove and demonstrate that it has a plan of action ready, that they are prepared in every which way and it is a doable plan. You cannot say that you have identified land, but don’t have possession of the said land or that it is under legal dispute. In each case, we questioned them about their plan and then we made our assessment, whether it is a feasible one or not. The committee then decided that the most feasible of all was only this (Reliance Foundation) proposal.” The Jio Institute doesn’t get the IoE status right away, but a Letter of Intent, instead, for three years. In this time, it has to achieve all the milestones that it has promised to the EEC and the latter, after a review, will finally award the status to the institute. As for the existing institutions that were named as IoEs on Monday, they will formally get the tag as soon as they sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the government. Asked why an applicant with a good track record — ISB-Hyderabad, for instance — lost out to a proposed institute, Gopalaswami said, “Firstly, what came before us was not ISB, but a new institution they were also proposing to set up. Secondly, we haven’t selected any management institution, not even IIM-Ahmedabad, because they don’t figure in the international rankings. You have to be a comprehensive university, not a sectoral one.” The EEC has recommended that the government should start a special programme for sectoral institutions like IIMs, TISS, TIFR and invest in them with a different set of defined goals.
Asked why the government decided to even consider greenfield projects, when there are already many good institutes existing in the private sector, higher education secretary R Subrahmanyam told The Indian Express, “Why not greenfield? The idea is to invite the best to set up world-class institutions. If a new player has the wherewithal to do it, then there is no reason that they should not be encouraged.” The UGC has requested the expert group to continue their selection process to suggest nine more institutions it deems fit for the eminence tag, so that announcements for the remaining IOEs (seven public and seven private) can be made at the earliest. “We have identified the shortcomings (of the applicants who have not been selected) and asked them to come back after making amends,” Gopalaswami said. “This decision is a landmark decision for following reasons – This was never thought of & tried; it is more than a graded autonomy, it is really a full autonomy to the institutes; the institutes can take their own decisions,” HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar tweeted. “While today’s decision gives virtually full autonomy, it will also ensure that no student will be denied opportunity of education with various measures like scholarships, interest waiver, fee waiver and ensure all equity principles,” he posted. – Courtesy
Jio Institute only has ‘Letter of Intent’ not ‘IOE’ status: Higher Education Secretary – Jul 10, 2018, Deccan Chronicle
New Delhi, Jul 10 (ANI): As the Jio Institute, an education venture by Reliance Foundations, is yet to be set …
New Delhi, Jul 10 (ANI): As the Jio Institute, an education venture by Reliance Foundations, is yet to be set up, it is already embroiled in rumors that it has got an institute of eminence tag. On the issue of its status as ‘eminent institute’ R Subrahmanyam, Secretary, Higher Education said, “Regulation of Institutes of Eminence has given 3 categories, 1st- public institutions in which IITs were considered, 2nd category- private institutions in which BITS Pilani and Manipal are there. The third category is Greenfield private institutions which are not there right now but where well meaning responsible private investment wants to bring global standards to the country, they should be welcomed. As Jio institute is starting on a greenfield mode, they will only get ‘Letter of Intent’ which states they must set-up in 3 years. If they setup, then they get ‘IOE’ status, right now they don’t have the tag, they only have letter of intent”. These institutions will also receive funding from the government to help make them world-class institutions.. Courtesy
UGC Circular : Published on 11-07-2018 : Institutions of Eminence – Report of the Empowered Expert Committee and Resolution of the Commission (UGC)
- Report of the Empowered Expert Committee for Institutions of Eminence
- Resolution of the Commission (UGC)
The Economic Times | PTI | Jun 29, 2018 |
NEW YORK: An Indian software engineering manager in the US has been charged with trading on confidential information he received while creating a website for consumers impacted by a data breach. Sudhakar Reddy Bonthu, 44, is a citizen of India and a permanent resident of the US state of Georgia. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said Bonthu committed securities fraud by engaging in illegal insider trading in the securities of information solutions and human resources company Equifax. Bonthu was an Equifax employee from September 2003 until March 2018. The SEC charged him with insider trading in advance of the company’s September 2017 announcement of a massive data breach that exposed Social Security numbers and other personal information of approximately 148 million US customers.
This is the second case the SEC has filed arising from the Equifax data breach. In March, SEC had charged former chief information officer of a US business unit of Equifax Jun Ying with insider trading. Beginning in September 2013, Bonthu was a Production Development Manager of Software Engineering in Equifax’s Global Consumer Solutions business unit. On March 12, 2018, his employment was terminated by Equifax and is currently unemployed. In a complaint filed in federal court in Atlanta yesterday, the SEC charged that Bonthu traded on confidential information he received while creating a website for consumers impacted by a data breach. According to the complaint, Bonthu was told the work was being done for an unnamed potential client, but based on information he received, he concluded that Equifax itself was the victim of the breach. The SEC alleges that Bonthu violated company policy when he traded on the non-public information by purchasing Equifax put options.
Less than a week later, after Equifax publicly announced the data breach and its stock declined nearly 14 per cent, Bonthu sold the put options and netted more than USD 75,000, a return of more than 3,500 per cent on his initial investment. Bonthu was terminated from Equifax in March after refusing to cooperate with an internal investigation into whether he had violated the company’s insider trading policy. “As we allege, Bonthu, who was entrusted with confidential information by his employer, misused that information to conclude that his company had suffered a massive data breach and then sought to illegally profit,” said Richard R Best, Director of the SEC’s Atlanta Regional Office. “Corporate insiders simply cannot abuse their access to sensitive information and illegally enrich themselves,” Best said. In a parallel proceeding, the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia filed criminal charges against Bonthu. To settle the SEC’s civil charges, Bonthu has agreed to a permanent injunction and to return his allegedly ill-gotten gains plus interest. This settlement is subject to court approval. – Courtesy
The Economic Times | PTI | Jun 29, 2018 |
Japanese auto major Nissan Motor Co today said it is establishing its first global centre for digital operations in India and will hire around 500 people for the same by the end of this fiscal. The Nissan Digital Hub, to be set up in Kerala, will be followed by a number of software and information technology development centres in Asia, Europe and North America, the company said. The Kerala centre will focus on building new-age digital capability to enhance user experiences, product development capabilities, security and connectivity in line with the advent of autonomous, connected and electric vehicle technologies. “We are building our team up for this new-age digital capability. We thought that India would be a great market for us from a technology and talent perspective,” Nissan Motor Corporation Chief Information Officer Tony Thomas told PTI.
He said developing such new-age capability has been necessitated by the transformation happening in the automotive industry across the globe with respect to manufacturing, automation, engineering design and how cars are sold. It has become even more important with the the advent of autonomous and connected cars along with emergence of electric vehicle technology, he added. Commenting on the role of the new centre, for which the company has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Kerala government today, Thomas said,”This is for the global market. The talent that we are building here will be serving all over the globe for Nissan”. The centre, which will be initially located at Technopark – owned by the state government in Thiruvananthapuram before moving to a permanent location in the city, will focus on two key aspects, he said. “The first is to take the current IT capability that we have and evolve it to the next generation,” Thomas added.
It will focus on digitisation of Nissan’s current manufacturing and engineering capabilities and enhancing customer experience to take it to the next level. The second part, he said, would be on development of security and data analysis to cater to the needs of modern cars, which have become “computer on wheels”. “Connected, electric and autonomous cars, a lot of technologies go into these cars. (There is a) need for security and analysis of data…We will be focusing on building some of those capabilities here to serve our company,” Thomas said. When asked how big the centre would be in terms of manpower, he said,”Our assumption is that we will have about 500-odd employees here driving outcomes for Nissan across the globe”. The centre will start with around 20-odd people. “We have almost 100 offers ready to go as soon as we finalise with the government. Before the end of the fiscal we will hit 500 or more,” he said. Thomas said Nissan will also work with its partners to build an ecosystem for future technology at the centre. “We will be building it up. From thereon, based on our performance we will build up and the number (head count) will grow up,” he added. Nissan Chairman (Africa, Middle East and India region) Peyman Kargar said, “The creation of Nissan’s first global Digital Hub in India reflects our commitment to this growing market and our belief in investing in India for the long term”. Harnessing the skills and talents of the workforce in India is another way that Nissan is working to capture the full potential of the region, Kargar added. Nissan, along with its alliance partner Renault, has a manufacturing facility near Chennai with a potential annual capacity of 4.8 lakh vehicles. The alliance also has a global R&D centre in Chennai, employing 7,000 engineers engaged on several projects, including vehicle and technology development. – Courtesy
\ Apply Now….Nissan Digital Hub Jobs through LinkedIn
People Matters | Drishti Pant | 21 May 2018 |
Several engineering graduates from across India arrived at ONGC’s Delhi office with fake appointment letters for which each candidate had given Rs 10 lakh.
On March 7, 2018, two men from Hyderabad came to the Delhi office of ONGC and showed their appointment letters for the post of graduate engineer trainees at Eastern Offshore Asset, ONGC at Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh. After conducting an internal inquiry, the officials concluded that the letters were fake and informed the candidate that their selection was not registered. Later, the vigilance department of ONGC contacted the two aspirants for more details where they were informed that a job consultancy firm in Hyderabad promised them the job. In fact, each candidate had given Rs 10 lakh for the job under the ministry quota to the crooks, who contacted them through a placement agency in Hyderabad. Reportedly, the accused even conducted interviews inside Krishi Bhavan. Now, the Delhi Police is examining this multilevel job racket after ONGC informed them and brought this scandal to light.
One of the candidates shared that they met an agent based in Delhi in April 2017 who promised the job under the ministry quota. He told them that his brother-in-law is working with ONGC and asked them to send their documents to the agent. Later they also received a mail from ‘ONGC HR department’ through the email id ‘firstname.lastname@example.org.’ After a few days, the candidate received another email that confirmed his interview for the post of assistant executive engineer and asked him to report at ‘Recruitment Cell, ONGC, Krishi Bhavan’ on August 24. He shares that there were six more candidates from Hyderabad at the location. Four days after the interview, he got a mail confirming his selection and a pay grade of Rs 24,000-50,500 with a 3 percent increment per year. While investigating the matter the company’s vigilance inquiry found that the signature on the offer letter had some resemblance to the officials from HR department. While the standard format was not followed, the examination of the email ID indicated their origin from ONGC domain thus indicating the involvement of an insider. In the preliminary investigation, the police have found that the consultancy firm has shut down and the phone numbers used by the crooks are not functional. They are further looking into the matter and searching for the cons that pulled off this job racket. – Courtesy
News Bytes | 09 May 2018 | Pallabi Chatterjee |
Using basic engineering skills, this IIT-Kanpur student saved a man’s life, who was slowly dying due to lack of his medicines. The 30-year-old Dutch, a Type-I diabetes patient, was aboard the same flight as Karttikeya Mangalam, the student. Mangalam was returning from Switzerland after appearing his final semester exam at EPFL, where he was an exchange student, on a Geneva-Delhi flight.
BeginningMangalam’s slumber was disturbed due to an emergency doctor call
Mangalam, also a Stanford-graduate, said the flight was half-empty and he used the two vacant seats in his row to slip into a comfortable siesta. Suddenly after 3-hours, he was disturbed by a commotion: an air-hostess was running up and down asking for a doctor. After sometime, a doctor rushed to two rows behind Mangalam’s, who then found out the passenger needed insulin.
Details After no insulin for 5hrs, Thomas’ body had almost given-up
30-year-old Thomas had diabetes since past 19-years and used to carry a kit comprising his insulin shots, said Mangalam in his memoir that was later shared by his alma mater. But at Sheremetyevo International Airport, he forgot to collect it from the security-check. While Thomas was flying at 30,000ft, his body was already bereft of medicines for 5-hours, a dangerous situation for a diabetic.
Riveting When first insulin shot didn’t work, air-hostess announced emergency landing
The attending doctor, himself a diabetic, had short-term fast working insulin with him, different from what Thomas needed. But given the emergency, he took the risk and shot the dose using the insulin-pen. It didn’t work. After an hour, an air-hostess announced that they would make an emergency landing in the war-torn Afghanistan-Kazakhstan region. Thomas was foaming at the mouth, she said.
Finding solution Using flight’s Wi-Fi, Mangalam read up pen’s mechanism online
The doctor explained that Thomas’ blood sugar had touched an alarming level and that his medicine might not work due to a resistance Thomas had developed gradually. Still, he attempted to push, but this time, the insulin-pen didn’t work, though it did the first time. It then struck a suspicious Mangalam to use the flight’s Wi-Fi and read the insulin-pen’s mechanism online.
SolutionUsing a simple ball-pen’s spring, Mangalam repaired the insulin-pen
“I found a large engineering drawing style diagram in the manual showing how every part works,” said Mangalam. He disbanded the pen and realized it was the absence of a spring that caused the malfunction. He asked for ball pens and found a perfect-fit spring from one pen. He reassembled the insulin-pen, returned it to the doctor, who injected the readjusted dosage to Thomas.
Gesture returned Mangalam assisted Thomas to a check-up, arranged for insulin-pump
In 15-minutes, Thomas’ blood-sugar levels started normalizing and emergency landing was called off. He was shifted to business class, along with Mangalam. Upon landing at Delhi Airport, Mangalam assisted Thomas to a check-up at Medanta hospital and also arranged for an insulin pump. As a return gesture, Thomas invited Mangalam to his Amsterdam restaurant and gorge his way to glory without paying a penny!
‘I am grateful to IIT-K for making me this capable’
“This incident has made me realize the importance of the basic engineering skills we are taught in our freshman year. I am grateful to IIT-K for making me this capable to actually matter in such a critical situation,” wrote Mangalam in his memoir. – Courtesy
The Telegraph | Feb 07, 2018 ||
Sambalpur: An 81-year-old retired officer of the rural development department has taken admission in the Odisha Open University’s Bhubaneswar centre. The varsity’s vice-chancellor Srikant Mohapatra, while interacting with the learners, said: “There is no age limit for acquiring knowledge. The old man, Sarat Chandra Patnaik, a retired class I officer of the rural development department, has enrolled himself to study the rural development course.” Patnaik had secured his BA degree from Berhampur University in 1973. “See for yourself the interest of the old man. At this age, Patnaik wants to study and acquire more knowledge. He is sincere in his studies. He told me that as he was writing fast, the teachers were not able to read his handwriting,” the VC said, while narrating his experience of meeting Patnaik. He has successfully served 40 years in his department.
Mohapatra said he had gone through his answer papers. He added so many extra pages in his answer sheets, but due to age problem and fast writing, his hand writing was not clear for the teachers to evaluate. “I am proud of such a student. At this age, he is attending classes,” Mohapatra said. He said the Open University would start a master’s degree in cyber security from the next academic session. “We have applied to the UGC for allowing us to open the cyber security course in our university,” he said, adding: “I am not in favour of opening courses without the approval of the UGC. I do not want to provide unrecognised certificate to students.” He said the students enrolled in the Open University were taking keen interest in their studies. For the first time, the VC had organised the interaction session to get feedback from the learners in the presence of teachers. Most of the students took part in the interactive session, praised the courses and requested the VC to open more job-oriented courses. Teachers Lakshmi Meher, Subhas Panigrahi, Satyanarayan Bhoi, Pruthibiraj Mishra and course co-ordinator Mahendra Behera spoke on various aspects of teachings and its impact on students. Students requested the VC to include more practical classes and field study programmes. Pratap Kumar Das, a journalism student, said the course was so much interesting that his wife had also taken admission in it from this session. – Courtesy
DECCAN CHRONICLE | Oct 24, 2017 | Technology |
The new Kindle app is available now in the App Store and Google Play, and will be delivered as an over-the-air update starting this week.
Amazon has announced a new Kindle app that is designed for book lovers and provides easy access to popular Kindle features—users can now move between the pages of their book, their library, personalised bookstore and more. The new Kindle app is available now in the App Store and Google Play, and will be delivered as part of a free, over-the-air update starting this week.
Key updates include:
Amazon Kindle app gets new look, easier search & more – Androidos.in
If you love reading on the Amazon Kindle Android app, there is good news for you. The company has released an updated version of the Kindle app, which includes a revamped look, better search and a lot more. According to Amazon, the updated Kindle app will be available in the Google Play Store beginning today. “We’ve built the new Kindle app from the ground up for book lovers, giving readers easy access to everything they might want to do with their books, all in one place. It’s now easier than ever to turn your phone or tablet into a book and immerse yourself in an author’s world at any time,” said Chuck Moore, Vice President, Kindle.
The most important addition in terms of the visual changes in the Kindle app is the new light and dark background themes. You can now choose which background theme you want while browsing the app. Additionally, the Kindle is also getting new fonts including Amazon’s custom Bookerly font, larger book covers, and a brand new app icon.
One Tap Access
Apart from the fresh look, Amazon is adding a new One Tap Access feature in the Kindle app. The company notes that the new bottom bar navigation in the app will now automatically show an icon of the book you’re currently reading, making it easier than ever to get back to what you were reading.
This bottom bar also provides quick access to other Kindle features allowing you to switch between the pages of your book, your library, your personal bookstore, and more.
The Kindle is getting an always present search bar. So, no matter where you are in the app, you can always look for what you want.
While the Android version of Kindle is getting all the goodies mentioned above, it will have to wait for something which is debuting the iOS version today itself – the Goodreads integration. The Android version will get the integration in a future update.
So, what is this all about?
According to Amazon ,Goodreads is now built right into the Kindle app, unlike previously, when there were only bits and pieces of it here and there. The app will allow users to discuss books, get recommendations, share your views on books and other key Goodreads features.
With the objective of enablement and empowerment of cyber security, Cyber Peace Foundation (CPF) and Policy Perspectives Foundation (PPF) in collaboration with Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeiTY) and National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Center (NCIIPC), are organizing the Global Cyber Challenge at the Global Conference on Cyber Space (GCCS), 2017.
Global Conference on Cyber Space (GCCS) 2017 in New Delhi to host over 3500 cyber experts