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Government Policy

Accreditation of all higher education institutes to be made mandatory from 2013

Accreditation for all higher educational institutions will be made mandatory from next year. With the National Accreditation Regulatory Authority (NARA) bill hanging fire for the last two years, the human resource development (HRD) ministry is planning to make accreditation mandatory for public and private institutions through executive order to continue with the reform process. Accreditation of educational institutions will help students assess the quality of programmes and courses, physical infrastructure and faculty. At present, only a fraction -- about 15% institutions -- are accredited. HRD minister M M Pallam Raju said both Universities Grants Commission (UGC) and All India Council for Technical Education(AICTE) have been tasked with preparing benchmarks for the accreditation process. In fact, the ministry will be writing to state governments to establish accreditation agencies that will inspect institutions on these regulatory benchmarks. AICTE has also been asked to set up another accreditation agency - Indian Board of Accreditation - that will assist the existing National Board of Accreditation in inspections of institutions. "There was need felt for a new accreditation body and AICTE will set up the IBA by February," Raju said. AICTE has under it 3,800 technical institutions, 3,700 management institutions, 3,500 polytechnics, 240 hotel management institutions and 60 applied art institutions. These institutions approach AICTE every year for either renewal of their accreditation or for introduction of new disciplines or other expansion plans. There are 60,000 programmes that are accredited under AICTE at present. "There is a long pendency already and once the process is made mandatory, the waiting period will only increase. We have to build our capacity before that," AICTE chairman Prof S S Mantha said. Under the NARA bill, existing universities will be given six years to complete the accreditation process while new universities will be allowed to complete teaching two batches of students. However, it remains unclear how the government will succeed in enforcing the accreditation process through rules.
(source : TOI)


Latest News and trends

Government higher education scheme likely to get Rs 500 crore

Government's ambitious programme aiming at increasing enrolment in higher educational institutions is likely to get Rs 500 crore for financial year 2013-14. A substantial allocation is also likely for setting up of 200 community colleges in the country, besides and research parks and innovation centre's. The Rashtriya Ucchatar Shiksha Abhiyan ( RUSA) aims at expanding the institutional base of higher education by creating additional capacity in existing institutions, establishing new institutions and incentivising state governments. HRD Ministry officials said they would be pressing for at least five per cent hike in the budget for the Ministry so that focus could also be given on critical areas like enhancing quality of the teacher training programmes and meeting the requirements under skill development initiatives. One of the budget proposals could also include allocation of 'norm-based' funds to central universities against the present practice of capital grants. This would mean that varsities receiving central aid will be given on the basis of number of students and actual demands for infrastructure like laboratory, library etc.As per the present practice, central universities are funded on account of total capital grants. Secondly, one of the key areas for the Centre during the next financial year would be increased focus on state universities. Adequate thrust would also be given on student financial aid programme too. During 2012-13 financial year, the higher education sector had received Rs 15,458 crore while school education got Rs 45,969 crore.
(source : TOI)


Enrolment in schools rises 14% to 23 crore

In a significant leg up to the government's literacy initiative, a national survey has revealed that almost 23 crore children are studying in 13 lakh schools across the country. There were 228,994,454 students enrolled in different recognized schools of the country with a 13.67% growth in student's enrolment from Class I to XII. This is an increase from 20.30 crore students enrolled in 2002. Encouragingly, there is a 19.12 % increase in girl's enrolment. However, one-fifth of the total primary schools in rural areas still do not have drinking water facility, three out of 10 are without usable urinal facilities and about half do not have playgrounds. This is part of provisional data from the eighth All India Education Survey (AISES) conducted by NCERT covering the school education system with respect to access, enrolment, retention, teachers and availability of basic facilities. The survey indicates trends from 2002 to 2009. Despite the overall growth in enrolment, there is cause for worry. A comparison of enrolment data from 2002 to 2009 for primary schools shows a drop in enrolment in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Orissa, and Tamil Nadu. "The decline in enrolment indicates that students at the primary level are shifting from government to private schools," a NCERT official said. The decline in total enrolment between class I to XII, however, is less sharp. The data confirms the disquieting fact that girl's education continues to be interrupted after primary school with the percentage of enrolment declining at the higher secondary school stage. While there is a maximum increase of 48.13% in girl's enrolment in primary schools, the figure dips to 42.56% in higher secondary schools. Similar trend is observed in percentage of girl'senrolment in schools in rural areas. There was 26.77% increase in total number of schools in the country during 2002-09. Maximum growth rate was seen in upper primary schools (49.15%), followed by higher secondary schools (46.80%), secondary (28.95%) and primary (16.68%). The survey captures more than 13 lakh (13,06,992) recognized schools across the country in each habitation, village and urban areas, out of which more than 84.14% are in rural areas. There is also 30% increase in number of teachers in the country. The total growth of teachers in higher secondary school increased by 34% with a 50% increase in number of teachers at higher secondary schools in rural areas. Consequently, the pupil teacher ratio (PTR) has also improved since the last survey. PTR in primary schools has declined from 42:1 to 32:1.
(source : TOI)



India will help set up a three-tier English training system in Sri Lanka to boost English language training infrastructure in the island nation. The Indian government will provide teaching aids for setting up a language laboratory of 30 computer units in each of the nine provinces of Sri Lanka, according to an Indian High Commission statement. The project will also help raise the general level of proficiency of various sections of society in the language as well as impart training in the use of English.
(source : The Hindu)


UGC's 'Innovation Universities' scheme to promote innovative learning

University Grants Commission has invited proposals from universities to introduce a scheme called " Innovation Universities". Financial support will be given to the universities during the XIIth plan for innovative teaching, innovative research programmes and organizational innovations. Only universities which have received Grade 'A' by NAAC can apply. The basic objective is to promote innovative ways of learning, sharing and collectively growing within and without. The scheme is meant to support bold and big ideas that require substantial support and flexibility, ideas that usually do not fit into any of the existing patterns of funding and do not, therefore, see the light of the day, UGC officials said. The proposed scheme doesn't cover upgradation of the overall infrastructure of the university, creation of new departments and centres in the established disciplines or those covered by existing schemes like Areas Studies and Women's Studies, routine improvements in teaching, teachers training and updating of curricula and supporting professional associations and bodies of researchers and regular implementation of the UGC regulations and guidelines about quality improvement and assessment.
(source : TOI)


Students can opt regular, distance degree together: UGC panel

An expert Committee of the UGC has recommended that students enrolled in a regular degree course can now pursue an additional degree simultaneously under open or distance education mode from the same or different university. However, they cannot undertake two regular degrees at the same time. The committee, set up by the University Grants Commission (UGC), has sought opinion of vice chancellors of all universities in the country before implementation the recommendations. The expert Committee has recommended that, "a student enrolled in a degree programme under regular mode may be allowed to pursue a maximum of one additional degree programme simultaneously under open/distance mode from the same or a different university. However, two degree programmes under regular mode may not be allowed simultaneously as it may create logistic, administrative and academic problems." The panel has also recommended that "a student pursuing a degree programme under regular mode may be allowed to pursue a maximum of one certificate/diploma/advanced diploma/PG diploma programme simultaneously either in regular or open and distance mode in the same university or from other institutions." The panel also discussed the issue of awarding a joint degree by universities within India and decided that "nothing prohibit universities to permit their students to take and complete a part of their programme of studies from any other recognised universities".
(source : business standard)


State students to get unique ID numbers

The unique identification numbers being given to schoolchildren in Karnataka by the Education department will serve as their base number up to their pre-university education. Speaking to reporters in Bangalore, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Vishweshwara Hedge Kageri said all students of classes one to 10 in government, aided and private schools across the State would be given a unique 16-digit number before the end of November. One crore numbers have already been prepared and would be issued to students shortly. "These Aadhaar-like permanent identification numbers will help us keep track of the performance of students as well as their welfare. It will serve as their base identification number till they complete their pre-university education.?We have approached the Higher Education department with the proposal that the IDs of students be continued during their higher studies, too," Kageri said. The minister said the numbering system would also help the department to check the dropout rate, enforce the Right to Education Act, plan student welfare programmes, check misuse of government schemes such as distribution of free textbooks, uniforms, bicycles and scholarships.
(source : deccan herald )


99% fail test for school teachers

In an alarming indictment of the quality of training given to prospective school teachers, over 99% aspirants failed to clear the Central Teacher Eligibility Test (CTET) 2012. The results of the competency test conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), declared on December 27, 2012, showed that less than 1% of the 7.95 lakh who appeared managed to clear the exam. In fact, since the exam was introduced in 2011, the pass percentage has been consistently declining. Educationists described the situation as alarming and "a wake up call for the quality of BEd degree being granted in the country." About 9.40 lakh aspirants registered for the test, conducted in November 2012. Some 7.96 lakh finally appeared for the test, of which only 4,849 managed to clear either Paper I or II or both. Clearing Paper I is mandatory for those wishing to teach classes I to V while Paper 2 is for those wishing to teach classes VI to VIII. Aspirants who wish to get certified for classes I to VIII need to clear both the papers. The papers feature objective questions which test the aspirants' knowledge of English, mathematics and environmental science.While the first CTET, conducted in 2011, recorded a pass percentage of around 9%, the figure declined to around 7% in the subsequent test, held on January 2012. In fact after the 2011 dismal show, MHRD has asked CBSE to analyse the results institution wise and provide feedbacks to teacher education institutions so that they can improve on their teaching and training.
(source : TOI )


Record 14 lakh candidates register for JEE 2013

Around 14 lakh candidates have registered for this year's Joint Engineering Entrance (JEE) - Main, formerly known as the All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE). According to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), this is the highest ever registration for the test, which will be conducted in April. Since 2008, the increase in the number of aspirants has been between 20,000 to 30,000. However, the number has increased to 2.8 lakh this year, which, CBSE says, is a record in itself. "Around 14 lakh aspirants have registered, which is nearly 2.8 lakh more. Last year aound 11.2 lakh candidates registered for the exam," said chairman of CBSE, Vineet Joshi. CBSE officials believe the significant rise in the number of candidates could be attributed to JEE Apex Board's decision, which states the merit list for admission will be prepared by giving 40% weightage to class XII results or other qualifying examination marks and 60% to the JEE (Main) scores. "For the first time weightage will be given to class XII results as well while preparing the merit list, which was not the case earlier. So while earlier many students used to concentrate on coaching for the entrance exam and prepare for the class XII boards in a way that they score just minimum eligibility marks. Giving weightage to Board results must have encouraged many students who are not exposed to intensive coaching, as they too now stand a good chance to be on the merit list if they perform well in the Boards," said Joshi.
(source :HT campus)


Engineering through correspondence soon: MM Pallam Raju

The All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) would soon allow more technical courses including engineering through correspondence, human resource development minister MM Pallam Raju said. After a meeting with AICTE chairman SS Mantha and other officials, Raju told reporters that a new accreditation body for technical education, Indian Board of Accreditation (IBA), will also be constituted soon. Students are presently allowed to pursue management (MBA) and computer application (BCA, MCA) programmes through correspondence. But the AICTE does not allow engineering courses through this mode. The AICTE chairman said that based on recommendations of several committees, the council has decided to allow more technical courses through correspondence. However, "there will be strict conditions of eligibility". Mantha said: "Nearly all courses except medicine and architecture would be allowed through correspondence." He, however, added that the final decision in this regard would be taken later. The proposal is likely to be finalised by February next year. Mantha added that an entrance test would be organised for graduate level courses, while Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores might be considered for entrance to post-graduate courses. He also made it clear that correspondence courses would be available only for those who have already done a diploma course, or some other regular technical course, and have some work experience.
(source :DNA)


School, college students to get 5 million tablets

Here's some good news for school and college students. The government is planning to buy five million low-cost tablets that it will distribute to students of government-run schools and colleges across the country. The human resource development ministry has prepared the proposal, which is expected to be approved by the Union cabinet soon. "We expect the tendering process to be completed by March. All the tablets will have to be supplied by the end of 2013," said an official of the communications & IT ministry, which will formulate the tender conditions, approve the specs and test the devices. The exact specs will be finalised by the end of the month. The UPA hopes to woo young voters and their families with this scheme before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Called "low cost access device", these tablets will come preloaded with educational content and related apps that are being developed by the IITs. Students will be free to load other apps of their choice once they get the devices. In order to ensure that the tablets are delivered within the prescribed time period, the government will select multiple vendors to execute this order. It has earmarked about Rs. 700 crore for the project. This implies that each tablet will cost Rs. 1,400. The exact price, however, will be subject to negotiation with the vendors. "The total budget for procuring devices may vary depending on the price quoted by the companies," said the official. In 2011, the government floated a tender for supply of 1,00,000 Aakash tablets. Canada-based DataWind won the bids by quoting a price of Rs. 2,263. But the tablets did not meet the required specifications. The upgraded Aakash 2 tablets will also be eligible to bid for this contract.
(source :Hindustan Times)


Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee has allocated Rs 61,427 crore for education in his budget

18% more than last year's Rs 52,057 crore. Of this, Rs 45,969 crore has been earmarked for school education and literacy while Rs 15,458 crore has been allocated for higher education. The allocation to implement the Right To Education (RTE) Act for children between 6 and 14 years was hiked by 21.7%. “The RTE Act is being implemented with effect from April 1, 2010 through the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and we propose to increase the allocation to Rs 25,555crore,” Mukherjee told Lok Sabha. Lauding the role of mid-day meals in enhancing enrolment, retention, attendance and improving the nutrition levels among children, the minister said the budget for the scheme was being hiked from Rs 10,380 crore to Rs 11,937 crore — an increase of 15%. Underlining the pivotal role played by the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan in improving secondary education, Mukherjee said Rs 3,124 crore had been allocated for it — nearly 29% higher than last year. Stressing on the need to set up model schools at block levels, he said in the 12th Plan, there was a proposal to build 6,000 such schools. “Of these, 2,500 will be set up under Public Private Partnership,” he said.

In the first edition of Central Teacher Eligibility Test, CTET held in 2011,

about 87% teachersfailed while 93% failed in the test held in January 2012. With a staggering 93% of aspiring school teachers failing to clear the Central Teacher Eligibility Test (CTET) 2012, the quality of teacher training in the country has come under the scanner. The results of the competency test conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education, declared on Tuesday, show that just around 7% of the 7.85 lakh are managing to clear the exam. Of the 8,61,231 registered aspirants 76,004 could not appear in the test due to the assembly elections in five states. Of the 7,85,227 aspirants who appeared only 55,422 managed to clear either paper I or paper II or both. What's even more worrying is that this year's performance is worse than the CTET in 2011, which recorded around 9% pass percentage. Meanwhile, after the dismal show last year, the Ministry of Human Resource Development has already asked the CBSE to analyze the results institution-wise and has decided to provide feedback to teacher education institutions so that they can improve on their teaching training. The CTET comprised two papers, paper I for teachers for class I to V and paper II for classes VI to VIII. Aspirants who wish to get certified for classes I to VIII need to clear both the papers.


The Department of School Education and Literacy,

MHRD, has invited Expressions of Interest, EOIs from private entities (PEs) to set up 2500 model schools as benchmarks of excellence in blocks other than educationally backward blocks under Public-Private- Partnership (PPP) mode. The model schools will operate classes 6 to 12 and will have the same minimum infrastructure and facilities as the Kendriya Vidyalayas. The PE shall build and operate the schools for an initial period of 10 years and the MHRD will provide recurringcosts on per capita basis. The last date for submitting the EOIs is 16th April, 2012. Central Board of Secondary Education is organizing an International Life Skills, School Health and Wellbeing Summit 2012 for the schools affiliated to CBSE in collaboration with Expressions India from 19th to 21st April, 2012 at the India Islamic Cultural Centre, New Delhi. Highlights of the Program include Global School Health Exhibitions, Youth Health Parliament, The Wellness Elocution and poster sessions, State of the Art Lectures and Hands on Training in 'Leadership for Life Skills', and Heritage Walk for Wellness.


The Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Government of India recently launched Virtual Labs

a collection of ninety-one virtual laboratories containing hundreds of experiments in nine disciplines of science and engineering. As part of Ministry of Human Resource Development, MHRD's National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT), Virtual Labs is part of a comprehensive undertaking to provide easily accessible and high quality education throughout India. Virtual Labs' primary focus is to provide graduate and undergraduate college and university students with the ability to perform their required laboratory experiments using only the World Wide Web, a standard computer, and an Internet connection. Virtual Labs allow students to practice and better learn the science and engineering behind the experiments that they are required to perform. Virtual Labs also allows the sharing of costly equipment across the country, and in very rural areas, students will be able to perform experiments that they would otherwise not be able to access. All Virtual Labs can be accessed through a common website: These Virtual Labs will be very useful for engineering college students who do not have access to good labfacilities, high-school students, whose inquisitiveness will be triggered, possibly motivating them to take up higher-studies, researchers in different institutes who can collaborate / share equipment and engineering colleges, who can benefit from the content and related teaching resources. Currently 85 Virtual Labs have been developed comprising of 769 experiments.


Around 50 domestic schools will offer Central Board of Secondary Education's (CBSE) international program.

The course is based on Geneva's International Baccalaureate (IB) and will help students with admissions to foreign education institutions after Class 12. The course known as CBSE-I will have a global curriculum based on enquiry based learning with flexibility in approach. The course offers social studies at local and global level and mathematics at two levels — core and elective — for secondary classes. The assessment will be school-based with a public exam in Class 10 and 12. HRD minister Kapil Sibal said that students who wanted to apply to foreign institutions should take the IB course. “We are increasing the children's choices,” he said. The Association of Indian Universities has recognized the course and CBSE chairperson Vineet Joshi said the feedback from schools, which had adopted the international course, had been positive. As compared to IB, the CBSE-I is less expensive and a quality alternative to international courses. The program is available through the Internet, open to both teachers and students. Sibal is expecting Kendriya Vidalayas and other schools to come forward and adopt the program. According to CBSE, the International curriculum of CBSE-I caters to individual learning styles in terms of pedagogy and assessment. It will address global needs as well as relate to local issues and local culture.


In Open Technologies Pvt Ltd, an IIT Mumbai based educational start-up, has announced its partnership with Homi Bhabha Center for Science Education (HBCSE), TIFR. On one hand InOpen designs and develops world-class educational content and solutions for academia and on the other HBCSE have played a phenomenal role in the promotion of science education in India for years. InOpen Technologies, with this association, will launch Small Science - a series of innovative primary science text, work and teacher's guide for Class I to V developed by the HBCSE, TIFR. Small Science is based on the principles of building upon the natural curiosity of young children and fostering skills of systematic observation, analysis and articulation. With this partnership InOpen Technologies will add a brand new category and venture into science education with one of the most prestigious establishments in the country while catering to institutions they have associations with. These books are releasing in English, Hindi and in various regional languages to cater to schools from metros, as well from Tier 2, 3 cities. InOpen is currently in discussion with implementation agencies, to implement Small Science across schools in India. InOpen Technologies also announced its joint venture with GurujiWorld Technologies to provide digital based e-content at schools that will offer InOpen and GurujiWorld capacity building opportunities in the space of computer education and IT literacy. InOpen with IIT Mumbai will be providing the academic support and GurujiWorld will be providing its technology support to create innovative lightweight digital contents for new delivery platforms like tablets and other mobile devices.


Govt. not to push for Foreign Educational Institutions Bill

The human resource development ministry has decided not to push the legislation allowing foreign education institutions to set up base in India in the Monsoon Session of Parliament. The human resource development minister Kapil Sibal's decision to put the Foreign Educational Institutions Bill on the back burner is in line with the strategy adopted in the Budget session—move ahead with the less contentious bills to create a momentum. There are seven Bills that are pending in Parliament. The ministry proposes to introduce two more-- the Indian Institutes of Information Technology Bill and the Central Board of Secondary Education—in the Monsoon Session. After nearly two years of legislative setbacks, Sibal managed to break the logjam in the Budget session of parliament and ensured passage of six Bills. While most of these Bills were non-controversial amendments, it did include the contentious Copyright Amendment Bill. Sibal is keen not to upset the hard won equilibrium. The proposed legislation could not be introduced given the opposition by the Left, which was then supporting the UPA I government. Following his appointment as human resource development minister, Sibal went ahead with the legislation reaching out to stakeholders, and meeting with top administrators of top ranking universities in the US and UK. The focus is on the three legislations that form the bedrock of Sibal's higher education reforms-- Higher Educational Institutions Bill (earlier known as the Prohibition of Unfair Practices Bill), Educational Tribunal Bill and the National Accreditation Regulatory Authority for Higher Educational Institutions Bill. These legislations form a higher education reform triad, and were conceived of as linked legislations. However, with the Rajya Sabha not passing the educational tribunal bill, the remaining two legislations could not be taken up. The ministry has decided to delink these legislations. This will mean removing cross-references. Changes have been made to the bills on the basis of inputs from MPs during the discussions Sibal held with them to garner support. Some of the changes are on the basis of recommendations of the Standing Committee.


DM in UP to ensure free distribution of workbooks

Under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), the district magistrates (DMs) have been asked to ensure free distribution of workbooks among children from class I to V in government-run primary schools. For this, a sum of Rs 57 lakh has also been released. The work has been given to the DMs as they are the chairman of Zila Shiksha Pariyojna Samiti. The DMs have been asked to issue purchase order against the budget allotted to their districts. Out of the total money released Lucknow is to get Rs 76,213, Hardoi - Rs 1,73,454, Rae Barelli - Rs 71,607 and Sitapur - Rs 1,76,232. The free distribution work is being done under the 'Learning Enhancement Programme' and extends to all 75 districts in the state. As per the order, if more books are required, the same can be procured from the authority concerned. Undistributed workbooks should be returned to the BSAs. SSA officials have also asked BSAs to carry out spot visits of at least 10% of the schools to cross check if the distribution work was being carried out in right earnest. DMs have also been instructed to get consumption certificates from the BSAs and forward the same to the additional state project director SSA.


UGC proposes a model to improve teaching standards

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has proposed setting up of regional centres of educational management in the Indian Institutes of Management at Ahmadabad, Kolkata and Bangalore and in the National University of Educational Planning and Administration. The commission has also proposed creating centres of excellence in science and mathematics education in leading national level institutions, namely Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) for development of specialized cadre of academy of teaching and teacher educators. In the presentation, it was also highlighted that technology enabled learning could also play an important role in enhancing the capacity of teachers. At present, under the National Mission on Education through ICT, up to March, 2012, Virtual Private Network and Internet connections have been provided to 392 universities and 18189 colleges/polytechnics across the country. Addressing the meeting, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal said the Mission would address current and urgent issues such as supply of qualified teachers, attracting talent into teaching profession and raising the quality of teaching in schools and colleges.
(source: igovernment)


Ma Foi Strategic Consultants will hold 51% stake in Axis-V

Ma Foi Strategic Consultants today said it was acquiring Chennai-based e-learning company Axis- V, a 10-year-old company which provides e-learning solutions, language training and life skills training to the IT industry. Some of its clients include Acer, Cognizant and Ramco Systems. Ma Foi Strategic Consultants is the second venture of K Pandia Rajan and his wife Latha Rajan. The three months old company was formed by the couple after they sold their stake in Ma Foi Management Consulting to Netherlands-based Randstand. Post the acquisition, Ma Foi Strategic Consultants will hold 51% stake in Axis-V, in which Rajan and Latha Rajan are already stake holders in their personal capacity. The new outfit will focus on education, analytics and market research. He declined to comment on the acquisition cost. “With education being one of our key focus areas, Axis-V will enhance our business model. The acquisition will add provide technology support for our businesses,” Rajan said. He added, while the brand name will be retained, soon it will be expanded to Bangalore and Hyderabad. Axis-V reported a turnover of around Rs 3.7 core last year. “We are open for more acquisitions in the future on the analytics, business consulting, energy consulting, IT strategy and financial structuring”, said Rajan. The company will soon set up a subsidiary in supply chain management for automotive and aerospace companies. Based out of Chennai, the subsidiary will also have a presence across 12 industrial clusters and work with SMES, tier 1,2 and 3 suppliers, he added. The company is also looking to set up a subsidiary in the US too; this will be a Greenfield venture.
(source: business standard)


Maharashtra vocational education commission to come into effect soon

The Maharashtra Vocational Education Commission (MVEC) would focus on bringing all the vocational courses under one roof, State Higher and Technical Education minister Rajesh Tope said. "The commission will definitely come into effect next week after the cabinet nod," Tope said. It will primarily focus on imparting vocational training to students, designing the syllabus and conducting examinations of vocational courses, he said. "Accreditation to the courses will also be given by the Commission, whose members will be from technical field," the NCP minister told PTI. He said the main purpose of the Commission is to bring all the vocational courses under one roof. Tope also informed that the state government is also contemplating starting a technology university and law university. "A presentation in this regard was done before Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan. He has given his approval. However, certain technical formalities are to be done with," he said. Tope said government would also give Rs 6,500 as stipend to people who are doing Ph.D in the state in any of the field. On the Maharashtra Prevention of unauthorised Institution Act (MPUIA), he said those who are found running such institutes they will have to cough-up a fine between from Rs onefive lakh.
(source: TOI)


Haryana to provide self-defense training to school girls

Haryana School Shiksha Pariyojna Parishad, under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, will provide training in self-defense and other martial arts to girl students studying at elementary level during 2012-13. Under this scheme, training would be provided in five schools of each block and for this trainers would be appointed for a duration of three months, an official spokesman said. He said that under the scheme, there was a provision for a budget of Rs 4,500 per month per trainer. In Mahendragarh district, the programme would be organised in 20 schools where a batch of minimum 50 students would be chosen at the district-level, the spokesman said. For the appointment of trainers, a committee was constituted under the chairmanship of additional deputy commissioner with district project coordinator, assistant project coordinator and elementary education officers of the concerned block as members.
(source: TOI)


Global Indian school chain gets IFC funding for new schools

A global chain of schools providing education with Indian values, especially meant for the diaspora, has received funding from the World Bank's International Finance Corporation (IFC) to set up more institutions in India and Southeast Asian countries. The IFC will provide Singaporean $25 mn ($19.4 mn) to the Global Indian International School(GIIS), run by the Global Schools Foundation (GSF) that has 20 campuses in seven countries, for setting up/acquiring new schools in South and Southeast Asian countries, GIIS officials said here on Monday. A GIIS statement cited IFC director Vipul Prakash as saying that "GIIS' ability to implement high standards of educational delivery helps in driving innovation in the primary and secondary education sector and fulfils the growing need for quality education in emerging markets". The investment is in line with IFC's strategy for education sector in Asia, which includes supporting service providers, he added. GSF co-founder Atul Temurnikar said that IFC's long-term loan will "allow us to accelerate our expansion plan and reach more students throughout the region". GIIS plans to use a significant part of the funding in India where two new schools are scheduled to come up in Bangalore and Ahdmedabad, to complement its existing schools in Noida, Surat and Indore, said its country chief (India) Rajeev Katyal. "Besides India, we are also looking to set up schools in the Gulf countries," said Katyal. The group offers Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Global Montessori Plus programme in its institutions.
(source: TOI)


Indians are No. 2 online searchers for education

A recent study by Google has found that Indians are second in the world, behind only the Americans, when it comes to searching online about educational institutions and courses. According to the survey, the details of which were released by the online search giant on Wednesday, over 60% Indian students use the internet to research on education. The study, covering the period from January 2011 to June 2012 and titled Students on the Web, revealed that education-related queries from India were growing at over 46% year-on-year and of the total questions asked online, 40% were for higher education courses. The use of mobiles to send queries has grown by 135% year on year, accounting for 22% of the total education-related searches. Rajan Anandan, VP and managing director of Google India, said, "With over 60 million internet users in India being in the 18-35 age group, education-related search queries are exploding on Google. Our core objective behind compiling the study was to understand the impact internet is having on this young population with regard to education-related decision-making." Despite an array of courses available, Indian students seem to stick to the tried and tested ones, with IT/vocational (44%) courses inviting the maximum hits, followed by engineering (40%) and management (16%). "Students opt for whatever assures them a good job. Engineering and IT are still the favourites as students start opting for bifocal subjects like computer science in junior college itself," said Suhas Pednekar, principal of Ramnarain Ruia College in Matunga. According to him, most students now go for a management course after graduation. "Since our graduation courses are majorly theoretical with very little of skill-based subjects, students prefer doing an MBA after graduation," Pednekar explained. The study was compiled by combining Google search query patterns and an offline research by TNS Australia. According to the offline survey which was conducted in seven cities, including Mumbai, Delhi, Pune and Ahmedabad, 56% students said job placement was the most important criteria while researching/selecting institutes/courses. Faculty (49%), course content (48%), reputation of the institute (43%) and fees (41%) followed behind. The study also found that students research for 5-6 months on an average before zeroing in on a course and an institute.
(source : TOI online)


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