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EXPERT SPEAK ‘60 per cent of the population makes a living by agriculture’

(18/2/09) HT Horizon

(HS Gaur of IARI on what makes a career in agriculture crucial Studying agriculture has its own advantages. The best one is that you are entitled to a stipend of Rs 8,000 per month if you are doing MSc – a rarity for any other course. For PhD scholars, the amount increases to Rs 10,500. At the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), there are 22 different disciplines to choose from. After the course, one can opt for jobs in banking, the corporate sector, research and teaching DR H S GAUR dean of IARI)

Why is the study of agriculture yet to catch on with youngsters, especially from the metros? Youngsters are more inclined towards glamorous and cushy jobs in the corporate sector. There are also some myths attached to this sector. You would be surprised to know that some researchers innovating with newer technologies in the laboratories of Delhi have not set their eyes upon a farmer’s field? They don’t even need to. An agricultural scientist is like a chemist who makes medicines in labs but doesn’t need to work in hospitals among patients. What about the career prospects for those who study agricultural science? IARI has a campus placement cell but students don’t need it as they manage to grab jobs much before they finish their course. Some join PSU banks while some are hired by one of the 50 state agricultural universities. A few also go abroad. After the Sixth Pay Commission came into force, agricultural scientists are drawing more than a decent salary. Depending on the requirement, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) hires around 300-400 scientists every year.

What options are available here for a student? We don’t have any graduation course. At the Master's level, we have 100 seats in 23 disciplines and around 135 seats at the doctorate level in 22 disciplines. Forms will be available from next month for the written test to be held in June at five-six centres all over India. Any measures to keep up with globalisation? Yes, of course. We have partnered with a few foreign universities including University of Saskatchewan in Canada and University of Reading in UK. A few students come from abroad to study here and vice versa. What are your predictions where the future of this sector is concerned, especially when vast tracts of arable land are being lost to industrial and retail development? When 60 per cent of our population still makes a living by agriculture, avenues seem to be bright. With the decreasing land availability for agriculture, there is an urgent need to increase productivity, which further intensifies the demand for professionals and experts. It is also evident from the past that only agriculture professionals are the answer to the ever-rising demand of food. Our population has tripled in last 60 years and the production of wheat has grown fivefold to 260 million tonnes, thanks to agriculture experts and scientists.

Why is the study of agriculture yet to catch on with youngsters, especially from the metros? Youngsters are more inclined towards glamorous and cushy jobs in the corporate sector. There are also some myths attached to this sector. You would be surprised to know that some re- searchers innovating with newer technologies in the laboratories of Delhi have not set their eyes upon a farmer’s field? They don’t even need to. An agricultural scientist is like a chemist who makes medicines in labs but doesn’t need to work in hospitals among patients. What about the career prospects for those who study agricultural science? IARI has a campus placement cell but students don’t need it as they manage to grab jobs much before they finish their course. Some join PSU banks while some are hired by one of the 50 state agricultural universities. A few also go abroad. After the Sixth Pay Commission came into force, agricultural scientists are drawing more than a decent salary. Depending on the requirement, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) hires around 300-400 scientists every year. What options is available here for a student? We don’t have any graduation course. At the Master's level, we have 100 seats in 23 disciplines and around 135 seats at the doctorate level in 22 disciplines. Forms will be available from next month for the written test to be held in June at five-six centres all over India. Any measures to keep up with globalisation? Yes, of course. We have partnered with a few foreign universities including University of Saskatchewan in Canada and University of Reading in UK. A few stu- dents come from abroad to study here and vice versa. What are your predictions where the future of this sector is concerned, especially when vast tracts of arable land are being lost to industrial and retail development? When 60 per cent of our population still makes a living by agriculture, avenues seem to be bright. With the decreasing land availability for agriculture, there is an urgent need to increase productivity which further intensifies the demand for professionals and experts. It is also evident from the past that only agriculture professionals are the answer to the ever-rising demand of food. Our population has tripled in last 60 years and the production of wheat has grown fivefold to 260 mil- lion tonnes, thanks to agriculture experts and scientists.

Tags: Agriculture, Career, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, IARI, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, ICAR, Abroad


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 Armed Force

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 Art & Design

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 Civil Services

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Ford India to add 1,000 staff in 2009

(21/2/09) ToI

Ford India, a 100% subsidiary of Ford Motor Company, US said that it plans to add 1,000 more employees to its India operations this year. The move is a part of the company’s plan to attract best talents in the industry.

This will be in addition to the 6,000 staff across various levels in the country. Ford India president and MD Michael Boneham said that on the economic downturn, one has to look for solutions based on corporate intelligence. This was the right time to ‘grab those intellectuals. The company’s proposal to introduce a small car by 2010 was ‘on track’ and that it would be launched it as per schedule.

Tags: Employment, Job Trends, Ford Motor Company, 2009

What meltdown? Govt is hiring and paying more

(17/2/09) HT 4924&Headline=What+meltdown%3f+Govt+is+hiring+and+paying+more

While most companies and businesses across the country are cutting down on employees or freezing salaries amid a worsening economic downturn, the Indian government is hiring, and paying more.

According to numbers contained in the Interim Budget unveiled on Monday, the government is estimated to add about 92,000, or 3 per cent more, to its staff strength through 2008-09, even as its outgo on salaries and allowances in the current fiscal year jumps 55 per cent from a year ago because of pay revisions.

And this is despite Indian Railways, the biggest employer, not hiring any new employees. In fact, without railways, the percentage increase in central government staff works out to 5 per cent.

No major company or business in the country seems to have hired on this scale in the past year. That’s not all; the government expects to add 42,800 new employees in the coming fiscal year and spend 23 per cent more on account of salaries and allowances.

The projections offer a limmer of hope for job seekers as the hiring outlook for private sector remains rather weak. On the contrary, private companies are increasingly looking to cut staff in the face sluggish demand and falling profits.

If demand picks up, the corporates will be able to match up. But on the face of it, it looks challenging.

Within the government, departments of revenue and audit & accounts led the hiring race, together adding nearly 30,000 new employees in 2008-09. Almost every major department hired more, except the department of posts, which is estimated to have cut its staff strength by 5,000 employees.

Tags: Employment, Job Trends, Govt Jobs, Salary Trends

Salary hikes to average 8.2%, highest in Asia-Pacific: Survey

(20/2/09) ToI

Here’s some news that beats the gloom. Despite the economic slowdown, 63% of Indian companies are still hiring, reveals a survey conducted by HR consultancy firm Hewitt. That’s not all. The survey says the average salary hike in India in 2009 will be 8.2% — the highest in the Asia-Pacific region.

Though the projected salary hike is understandably lower than the increase of 13.3% seen in 2008, it’s higher than the estimates for China, which is pegged at 8%. By comparison, salaries are expected to rise by 3.2% in the US and 2.3% in Japan, the report says. Hewitt said the survey was conducted on 480 Indian companies over December 2008 and January 2009. The sectors expected to see the highest raises are the ones that cater directly to consumers, such as FMCG, durables and telecom, the survey said.

Less than 13% cos laying off in India

According to Hewitt, employees at the junior manager, professional and supervisor levels are expected to receive the highest increases for the ninth year in succession. Hear of Hewitt’s performance and reward consulting practice in India, Sandip Choudhary said that less than 13% of companies in India were considering retrenchments while more than 60% are still hiring.

Nine out of every 10 companies were still giving promotions while only 0.83% of companies were resorting to salary cuts, he added. In fact, with inflation well below 5.5%, an average increase of 8.2% in the salaries can be considered healthy, the survey noted. As against this, 55% of companies in the US, 30.6% in China, 32% in Australia, 20% in Thailand and 17% in Japan were considering laying off their employees to cut costs in the face of economic recession.

Choudhary that in India, most companies were facing the downturn by cutting down on luxuries and discretionary expenses like nonbillable travel and entertainment, with greater focus on prudence and productivity. ‘‘The intent is to avoid layoffs to the extent possible by limiting other spends,’’ he said.

Tags: Employment, Salary Trend, HR consultancy firm Hewitt, FMCG


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 Environment & Forest

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Finance: PSU bank staff to get 20-25% hike

(21/2/09) HT 1247&PrimaryID=4932&Headline=PSU+bank+staff+to+get+20-25%25+hike

Public sector banks, which have stood tall even as the global slowdown hit the financial sector, are set to provide a 20-25 per cent hike in pay packages to its 7.5 lakh employees.

All state-owned banks have managed to significantly boost their businesses. Bankers said that most banks have already made provision for the increased outflow on account of increase in pay. Depending on the size of the banks, the additional outflow could be between Rs 200 crore and Rs 600 crore.

The trade unions have also demanded that pension benefits be given to all employees.

The move could mean an additional cost of Rs 6,000 crore for state-owned banks. The managements and trade unions are yet to sort out how the additional burden would be sourced and shared.

Banks are also set to embark on an aggressive recruitment drive. With the implementation of the new wage scheme, the new recruits may also get pension benefits.

Tags: Finance, PSU banks, Salary Trend, Pension Benefits

 Home Science

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 Hotel Mgmt

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 Information Technology

IT firms rejig plan for campus hiring

(16/2/09) ET

Software companies will go in for justin-time hiring on campuses to ensure that they do not needlessly increase their bench strength in an environment where project pipelines are under pressure. The strategy has received software lobby Nasscom’s blessing and it has asked top colleges in the country to postpone their placement season to the final semester.

Till now, IT companies hired engineering graduates a year before they passed out, but now have decided to undertake recruitment only when a batch is about to pass out of college. Nasscom, after consulting all large recruiters, wrote to over 200 colleges in India last week, asking them to delay the placement procedure from the sixth to eighth semester or the final year.

Companies have to make an estimate of their requirements almost 18-24 months prior to their need. This worked well in past with some degree of certainty of growth, but is increasingly difficult during current economic environment. In many cases, it has also led to joining dates of students getting staggered and deferred.

IT executives said that the decision to send this letter was unanimously approved by all members of Nasscom’s executive council, though they added that it is not mandatory for all IT companies to follow this recruitment strategy. This proposed policy will come into play from the next fiscal.

When project flow is slow, companies have to still honour the offers given 16-18 months earlier and increase their bench costs. The move will ensure lower costs for companies and also better hiring strategies. This change is good for all stakeholders, including companies. It will ensure that when hiring outlook changes, companies can offer jobs accordingly.

Nasscom’s directive comes on the back of requests for a delay in recruitment process, not just from companies, but also from colleges. In a recent study conducted in Tamil Nadu by HR consulting firm Hewitt Associates and AMCHAM, a group that represents US companies in India, a large number of faculty members from engineering institutions wanted campus placement to happen “only in the final semester”, and not in the penultimate semester or pre-final year.

It is good for students because they have an extra year to prepare themselves for placements. This move, if implemented, will help remove the element of uncertainty among students about the timing for placement and also reduce the waiting period.

Tags: IT, Employment, Job Trends, NASSCOM, Recruitment



Indian languages ‘endangered’: UNESCO

(21/2/09) Hindu

With 196 of its languages listed as endangered, India, a nation with great linguistic diversity, tops the UNESCO's list of countries having maximum number of dialects on the verge of extinction. India is closely followed by the US which stands to lose 192 languages and Indonesia, where 147 are in peril.

The facts were revealed in the latest Atlas of World's Languages in Danger of Disappearing unveiled by the UN's cultural agency UNESCO on the eve of International Mother Language Day.

The atlas classifies around 2,500 of the 6,000 languages spoken worldwide as endangered.

It further adds that nearly 200 languages have fewer than 10 speakers and 178 others have between 10 and 50 speakers. It reveals that over 200 languages used in the world have died out over the last three generations, 538 are critically endangered, 502 severely endangered, 632 definitely endangered and 607 unsafe.

UNESCO Director-General Kochiro Matsuura said that the death of a language leads to the disappearance of many forms of intangible cultural heritage, especially the invaluable heritage of traditions and oral expressions of the community that spoke it.

Tags: Languages, UNESCO, Languages in Danger of Disappearing


Judges get hike with a footnote on corruption

Tags: Law, Salary Hike, Judges, Amendment Bill 2008

(20/2/09) ToI

MPs Concerned over Rot in Judiciary, Pendency of Cases

The Lok Sabha gave its approval for a three-fold salary hike to judges but not before members expressed concern over the incidence of corruption in the judiciary, rising pendency of cases and long vacations that the courts continued to take.

The high court and Supreme Court Judges (salaries and conditions of service) amendment Bill, 2008, proposes to increase the salary of the Chief Justice of India from Rs 33,000 to Rs 1 lakh per month and that of other apex court judges from Rs 30,000 to Rs 90,000 per month.

It seeks to increase the salary of the Chief Justices of high courts from Rs 30,000 to Rs 90,000 per month and that of HC judges from Rs 26,000 to Rs 80,000 per month.

Referring to cases of corruption, Law Minister HR Bhardwaj said that here is public disquiet and criticism over cases of corruption in the judiciary.

However, he expressed his helplessness in taking any action against judges who were suspected of wrongdoing. He said that any action could only be taken after amendments to the Constitution. But this is an area where even angels fear to tread. They are tinkering with the judiciary; they have to be very careful. The minister nevertheless added that corruption cases were ‘‘vagaries’’ of recent origin. Earlier, during the debate, several members voiced concern over, what they claimed, the ‘‘increasing corruption’’ in the judiciary and said some amendments in law, especially with regard to appointment and removal of judges, should be brought.

The judiciary is not accountable to anybody. The only process (of removal) is through impeachment which is not practical. National Judicial Commission should be set up.

Cannot lure students with false ads: SC

(20/2/09) ToI

The Supreme Court has sounded a chilling warning to educational institutions, which despite being not affiliated lure students with promising advertisements.

SC ruled that not only would the students be entitled to refund of their fees, but they would also be entitled to compensation. It also ruled that such practices by institutes were redressable under the consumer protection law. A bench comprising Justices Dalveer Bhandari and H S Bedi upheld a ruling by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission taking to task Buddhist Mission Dental College and Hospital, which misrepresented that it was affiliated to Magadh University when it had none.

Tags: Law, Educational Institutes, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission

Judge says no to salary hike

(20/2/09) HT

A Bombay High Court judge has turned a rebel and has refused to accept the three-fold salary hike in protest against the government’s decision to bypass Parliament to implement the hike.

Of the total 535 judges in the Supreme Court and high courts in the country, Justice B.H. Marlapalle is the only exception. In a letter to Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, he has also revealed that he has been declaring his assets for a decade now. He has been submitting his family income and assets details to the chief justices of his high court for last 10 years. His daughter got married in December and he has submitted the amount spent for the marriage.

Justice Marlapalle also complimented Chatterjee’s bold stand of questioning the government for waiting to get the judges’ salary Bill passed in Parliament. In his reply to the judge, Chatterjee said his decision to voluntarily declare assets is an example for other judges, the Speaker said that he hopes that his decision will also be followed by other learned judges so that there is no controversy concerning the learned judges of the Supreme Court and high courts.

The exchange of letters became public on a day when Lok Sabha passed a bill to ratify the government ordinance to hike the salaries. The judges are now getting raised salaries effective from January 2006.

However, there is still no word on whether the judges are willing to declare their assets. Supreme Court has refused to accept the Central Information Commission’s decision on the matter and has challenged it in Delhi High Court. The next date of hearing is February 27.

Tags: Law, Salary Trends, Central Information Commission

Law firm’s recruitment plan

Tags: Law, Job Trends, Recruitment, Intellectual Property.

(21/2/09) Hindu

One of India’s largest IP (intellectual property) law firms, Lall Lahiri & Salhotra would hire 30 employees this year.

They recruited 18 lawyers last year, most of them lateral hires from reputed law firms. This year, they plan to bring in a mix of freshers and experienced lawyers so as to maintain a balance between fresh innovative ideas and proven methods. The move was the latest in the growth strategy of the law firm, which had seen a 180 per cent growth in the past 18 months.

 Library & Info Science

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 Mass Communication

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 Maths & Stats

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IIMC to raise flagship course fee to Rs 9 lakh

(21/2/09) ET

Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta (IIMC) is ready to raise the fees of its flagship postgraduate programme in management to Rs 9 lakh from the 2009-10 academic sessions. Students enrolling for the 2009-11 batch will now have to fork out Rs 4 lakh in the first year and Rs 5 lakh in the second year. The students in the 2008-10 batch who had paid Rs 3 lakh in their first year will have to shell out Rs 4 lakh in the second. The decision was taken after the IIMC board of governors’ meeting.

IIMC last effected a fee hike in the 2008-09 academic session when it hiked fees to Rs 3 lakh for the first year from the earlier Rs 2 lakh a year. Though the institute had then considered raising the fees for the two-year programme to Rs 7 lakh, it subsequently reversed its proposal and waited for the IIM review committee report before implementing the hike. Incidentally, IIM Bangalore and IIM Ahmedabad currently charge Rs 9 lakh and Rs 11 lakh for their respective PGP courses

The decision to raise the fees was taken in view of rising costs and will be implemented from the coming academic session. It was under consideration, which is why we now took the decision. Before the meeting, IIMC board of governors’ chairman Ajit Balakrishnan, also a key member on the IIM Review Committee panel had met the faculty council to discuss their views on the report. On February 18, that IIMC’s faculty council had sent its comments to the MHRD, slamming the IIM Review Committee Report.

Subsequently, the IIMC board will discuss and sent the institute’s feedback to the MHRD. The ministry is currently getting the feedback from all the IIMs before taking a call.

The institute has also enhanced the amount allocated to need based scholarships from the present Rs 75 lakh to Rs 1.5 crore. They can now offer more scholarships than the 72 they offered last year.

Tags: Management, IIMC, B-Schools, Fees Hike, IIM Review Committee Report

Indian B-schools look at tough recruiting season

(20/2/09) HT

Leading business schools in India might have to deal with a difficult placement season, if the amendments for stricter H-1B norms proposed by the US government are passed.

According to recommendations proposed by Senators Chuck Grassley and Bernie Sanders, firms receiving taxpayer money in the US bailout could face tough restrictions if they decide to hire foreigners under the H-1B visa category for highly-skilled workers.

Banking institutions such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Merrill Lynch & Co, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Morgan Stanley that have been amongst the top recruiters at institutions like Indian Institute of Management (IIMs) in the past are now on the bailout list.

The restrictions do mean it would get tougher for Indians in general to get placed in the US. However, these firms are all long-time recruitment partners of IIM-A and have several alumni working in senior positions. With a reputation built on intellectual calibre of our students, we do not see too much difference in the pattern of recruitment from our campus by these firms.

Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch had already given out offers for summer placements during November last year. The summer training starts in April and none of the offers have been withdrawn yet.

The impact of the global slowdown and the US move on visa curbs will be known only during the final placements.

However, IIM-Kolkatta does not yet know whether these financial firms will be recruiting during the final placements at all considering the economic situation.

Last year, the financial sector placed a total of 95 offers, the second highest after the consulting sector which made the maximum offers at the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad.

But things might be a bit different in a post-Wall Street Crisis world. As it is, placements are difficult this time, as the job market is bad all-around, not just for ISB but for everyone. Already there is a lottery system for H-1B visas and stricter norms will have impact.

Tags: Management, Abroad, Job Trends, IIMs, H-1B visas


Entrance exam for PG medical may be scrapped

(18/2/09) ToI

Medical students aspiring for post-graduate courses may no longer have to appear for an entrance examination. The department of medical education and research has mooted a proposal that students’ MBBS marks be considered for admitting them to the master’s programme and the decision is likely to be accepted by the Maharashtra government.

Medical Council of India regulations say students can be admitted to post-graduate courses on the basis of an entrance exam conducted by the Central government or the state government or on the basis of the MBBS aggregate if a particular state has one medical university. Maharashtra has 10 government colleges and three civic colleges in Mumbai. Admission to these colleges is conducted after a post-graduate medical entrance examination.

Medical Education Minister Rajesh Tope said that the proposal was under consideration and the state would soon go ahead and decide as to when it could start implementing this. The state can go ahead with the proposal from the coming year itself and inform fourth-year students that their final-year marks will be considered for admission to PG courses. Third-year students can be informed that aggregate marks of their third and fourth years will be considered when it’s time for them to join the PG course and so on.

Tags: Medicine, Entrance Exam, PG Medical, MBBS, Maharashtra

UP needs 2,813 docs, 766 pharmacists

(19/2/09) Tribune

In spite of shortage of doctors and other medical infrastructure, there has been an unprecedented surge in the number of institutional deliveries in the state. The institutional deliveries in the state had gone up from 1.25 lakhs to 10 lakhs per year.

This is a significant indicator as the state tops the list of maternal deaths in the country. 517 maternal deaths are recorded per one lakh live births in the state. Delivery through untrained persons is one of the main reasons behind the deaths.

Going by the national health standards, the state needs 2,813 doctors and 766 pharmacists.

The state government has already requisitioned the state service commission, the minister informed.

Compulsory rural postings for fresh medical graduates whose education was being subsidised by the government should be introduced.

Earlier in the state fresh medical interns were recruited on an ad hoc basis and regularised as and when permanent vacancies arose. The state government should make medical students sign a bond for compulsory rural posting at the time of admission.

There should be a provision to provide adequate residential, security and other infrastructure support in remote areas so that medical staff could stay there and not clamour for urban postings or opt for private practice.

Repeated GOs have been issued to Commissioners and District Magistrates to ensure the presence of doctors in the community health centres (CHCs) and primary health centres (PHCs).

In this concern, 38 doctors have got adverse entries in their service records, 12 have been transferred, five dismissed and 31 have been left after being warned. However, he made it clear that the government was not considering making private practice by government doctors a punishable offense.

Tags: Medicine, Doctors, Pharmacists, Institutional Deliveries, Job Trends


 Personality Development

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 Physically Challenged

Board exams: CBSE opens helpline for disabled kids

(9/2/09) Tribune

In an attempt to cater to the needs of disabled children, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), for the first time, has designated educators to answer to the queries of disabled students taking Class 10 and Class 12 exams. With the board exams beginning from March 2, examination stress is already building up among students.

Four special educators— three from Mumbai and one from Delhi— will help students and parents overcome anxiety and stress during the board exams. The special educators are available online as well as on telephone from centres located in Mumbai and Delhi from February 1 to April 2.

However, educators feel that maximum queries would start coming about 15 days before the exams. The basic idea is to make the child feel confident of taking the exams despite their disability. Educators try to ease the extra pressure on them by making them feel comfortable about the exams and then counselling them on their specific requirements. Children with special needs require patient handling and often a good amount of attention and this is precisely what we try to give them.

Special educators are extremely attentive and polite while dealing with disabled children. They also try to talk to the parents and inform them about the facilities provided by the CBSE to such children.

The CBSE offers certain concessions to physically challenged, spastic and dyslexic candidates taking the month-long board exams. These concessions include extra time (60 minutes extra to write the exam), a writer and flexibility in selecting subjects at the secondary level.

The CBSE has also given special training to teachers on the marking criteria for such children.

Another counsellor added that disabled kids tend to be very vocal and there is a need to understand their gifted abilities. Sometimes it can be difficult to completely understand the child on telephone.

The helplines for the disabled kids are: Abha Sharma, Mumbai, 9967800337; M.R Shipley, Mumbai, 9833950896; Hetal Sayla, Mumbai, 9819209623 and Shweta Khanna, Delhi, 9717882074. For online counselling, kids or parents can visit CBSE’s website

Tags: Physically Challenged, Board Exams, CBSE, Counsellor


 Protective Services

1081 posts to cater to NSG needs

(19/2/09) ToI

With the Centre taking a number of steps to strengthen National Security Guard (NSG) post 26/11, the home ministry has sanctioned 1,081 additional posts of different rank “ to meet immediate operational requirements” of elite anti-terror commando force.

These posts-meant for the Special Action Group of NSG- will be filled up by taking Army Personnel on deputation. All these personnel will be posted at the four new NSG hubs which are to be set up at Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai.

More post will be sanctioned once the new hubs became operational. The existing plan was to add nearly 2,000 more personnel for these hubs in a phased manner by increasing the strength of NSG from over 7,500 to nearly 10,000 by the end of this year. New additions will be meant for the SAG which is the main unit of NSG. Meanwhile, the Home Ministry has asked defence ministry to spare 1,081 Army Personnel for NSG.

Tags: Protective Forces, NSG, Job Trends, Special Action Group,


 Reserved Category

Quota to apply to all posts in top institutes

(20/2/09) ToI

There will be no exemptions from the quota regime, with the Centre buckling under protests from Dalit groups and dropping contentious provisions from a proposed law which sought to restrict job reservations only to entry-level posts in IIMs, IITs and scientific organisations.

The law, giving statutory form to executive orders on quotas, was slammed by Dalit groups for “surreptitiously” shrinking the quota ambit. Parliamentary affairs minister Vayalar Ravi assured the House that the SC/ST reservation bill of 2008 would be amended as UPA insiders felt the controversy could be politically damaging ahead of polls.

Now, clause 4 of the SC/ST (Reservation in Posts and Services) Bill, 2008, dealing with “no quota posts” will be dropped while the term “desireable” from clause 9(1) will also be deleted. This will mean that standards for entry to various levels would not be open to discretion of authorities. Also, the quantum of reservation will be specified — 15% for SCs and 7.5% for STs.

The implications are significant as the viewpoints of interest groups have been catered to. An amended bill will now apply quota to all positions in elite educational institutions and even science hubs. A schedule in the bill, now to be dropped, had exempted 47 institutions including IITs, IIMs, BHU, AMU and AIIMS.

Clause 4 of the bill sought to restrict job quota to ‘‘lowest grade of Group A post” — Assistant Professor level. It meant that vacancies for higher posts, unlike the current practice, would not have quota for SCs and STs. The restriction was also applicable to “scientific or technical” posts. An amended bill is seen by dalit groups as a major gain from the current reservation policy. They claim that central governments are generally reluctant to give reservation in “scientific” posts till now, but absence of a specific bar on these posts in a law would open it to legal challenge. It is thus seen as an extension of the quota frontier in a way.

Further, the proposed law would open quota in short-term appointments as also in emergency relief work. With the dropping of the clause to the contrary, these jobs would be open for reservation, or at least seen to be so.

Tags: Reserved Category, IITs, IIMs, AMU, BHU, AIIMS


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Soon, ‘private’ schools by Govt

Tags: School, Govt Aided Private Schools, Primary, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg, Laxmi Bai Nagar

(19/2/09) HT b6d3-1de32985d992&MatchID1=4924&TeamID1=4&TeamID2=2&MatchType1=1&SeriesID1=1244&PrimaryID =4924&Headline=Soon%2c+%e2%80%98private%e2%80%99+schools+by+Govt

Tired of running around private schools to get your child admitted?

Soon, you would be able to send them to a school with comparable facilities and education and at a lower fee. The city government is all set to open its own unaided schools.

The Govt is starting these schools since there is a constant complaint from middle-class and upper middle-class parents about the paucity of good public schools. They have identified two locations in Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg and Laxmi Bai Nagar. They plan to set up eight-nine such schools.

The board for these schools would comprise eminent educationists. A society headed by the chief minister would run these schools assisted by the education minister.

The education department is looking at setting up the pilot school at Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg. They have some land available near ITO. The school will come up with all the wherewithal of a top private school. Apart from giving parents a quality option, this will also help the department figure out really how much money one needs for running such an institution.

While Delhi government school students have done well in board exams and overall the results steadily climbing, officials felt there was still some resistance to sending ones children to a government school since they did not sound or look as posh.

No change in CBSE pattern

(21/2/09) Hindu

There will be no change in the question pattern this year for the Class XII and X examinations being conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education beginning March 2.

The CBSE had revised the design of question papers in all the major subjects of Class XII and X in 2008 to assess the Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) in children.

Over 14.60 lakh candidates have registered themselves for the senior school certificate examination (Class XII) as well as secondary school examination (Class X) this year, up from 13.13 lakh in 2008. The number of students appearing for Class XII is 636,322, and for Class X 823,887.

As many as 181,349 and 231,464 children from Delhi are scheduled to appear in the Class XII and X examinations.

The number of candidates has shot up from nearly 13 lakh last year to over 14.60 lakh this year for both the classes. They include 20,329 students studying in CBSE-affiliated schools in foreign countries. There will be 2,509 examination centres for Class XII and 2,713 for Class X across the country. In Delhi alone, 555 centres will be for Class XII students, while 568 have been designated for those studying in Class X.

There has been no change in the question pattern from last year. Only the number of pages in the answer scripts will be reduced. In the past few years we had been increasing the number of pages. But in our survey we found out that the numbers of pages were being left unused by the students.

The number of pages for the Class XII answer script has been reduced to 40 from 48. Similarly the answer script for Class X students now comprises 32 pages as against 40 earlier

Tags: School, CBSE, Higher Order Thinking Skills, Board Exams

14.5L students to take Board exams

(21/2/09) ToI

Here is a breather for 14.5 lakh students appearing for the Board exams beginning from March 2. According to sources, CBSE has decided to stick to the same question pattern for class X and XII exams as in 2008, where the focus was on understanding and analysis rather than on memorising ability of students.

The Board had introduced 20% questions on ‘high-order thinking skills’. CBSE has already placed the sample papers on its website. The 15-minute time for students to go through questions which was introduced last year will continue. Meanwhile, the numbers of students appearing for the Boards have also increased by over 1.5 lakh this year.

The number of candidates has increased from nearly 13 lakh last year to over 14.5 lakh this year for both the classes. This includes the 20,329 students studying in CBSE-affiliated schools in foreign countries. The break up is 6,32,322 students for class XII and 8,23,887 for class X. The Board has also decided to check wastage of papers by reducing the number of pages of the answersheets. There will be 2,509 examination centres for class XII, of which 555 are in Delhi and 2,713 centres for class X, of which 568 are in the city.

Tags: School, CBSE Board Exam, Class 10, Class 12



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 Self Employment

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Bihar dental college to pay for ruinous ad

(20/2/09) Hindu

Students aggrieved at misleading advertisements, given by unrecognised educational institutions that their courses are recognised, are entitled to refund of fees and compensation.

Such misrepresentation resulting in ruining the career of students and loss of academic years will come within the ambit of unfair trade practice under the Consumer Protection Act.

The Bench upheld the order passed by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission directing an unrecognised dental college and hospital in Bihar to refund the fees paid by 11 students who joined the institution believing that it was a recognised college and lost two academic years. The court directed the college to pay a total compensation of Rs. 22 lakh, in addition to refund of fees and a Rs. 30,000-penalty imposed by the Commission.

Bhupesh Khurana and 10 others joined the college during 1992-93 paying a huge capitation fee.

Later they came to know that the college was not affiliated and their course was not recognised, and so they could not sit for the examination. On their complaint, the Commission directed refund of fees and payment of compensation.

Appeal dismissed

Dismissing with costs the appeal filed by the college against this order, the Bench pointed out that its wrong claim that it was affiliated to Magadh University and its BDS course was recognised by the Dental Council of India amounted to deficiency in service under the CP Act.

The appellant-institute, by giving totally a misleading and false advertisement, clearly misled the respondents. The appellant institute has played with the career of the students and virtually ruined their career and the respondents have lost two valuable academic years. The Commission rightly concluded that this was a case of total misrepresentation on the part of the institute which was tantamount to an unfair trade practice.

Tags: Shame, BDS, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Dental Council of India


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 Travel & Transportation

Dump expat pilots by 2010: Govt to airlines

(18/2/09) ToI

There’s some hope for scores of young Indian students who have spent lakhs on becoming a commercial pilot but are jobless. The government has set a deadline of July 31, 2010, for Indian carriers to replace their foreign pilots with Indian ones. The 1,000-odd foreign pilots working here have become a serious bone of contention with both their Indian counterparts over issue of pay parity and also with growing number of unemployed Indian pilots.

There is a shortage of type rated pilots which is being met by expatriate pilots. Airlines have been advised to adopt training programmes for Indian pilots who shall replace foreign pilots. Foreign pilots have been permitted to operate upto July 31, 2010.

The issue has assumed serious proportions as the falling passenger loads has led to all airlines reducing flights. This has affected the earlier projected boom demand for pilots that had led to middle class families taking loans for up to Rs 30 lakh to send their children abroad for pilot training. Many families are now finding it difficult to repay loans with their children jobless.

Tags: Travel & Transport, Aviation, Expat Pilots, Indian Pilots


Appraisals for University teachers?

(18/2/09) ToI

Performance appraisal of professors and college principals? If the University Grants Commission (UGC) has its way, for the first time, lakhs of professors and principals in the 400-odd universities across the country will face evaluation. The UGC proposal includes compulsory stay on campus for five hours every day, 30 weeks of actual teaching (six working days), minimum six hours research per week and performance assessment. The vacation period too has been cut from 10 weeks a year to eight weeks.

The UGC’s draft notification on ‘revision of pay scales, minimum qualifications for appointment of teachers in universities/colleges and other measures for maintenance of standards 2009’ stipulates that everyone — from associate professors to principals — in all colleges/universities will come under the newly-introduced Performance Appraisal Scoring System (PASS) and Academic Performance Indicator (API). UGC sources said the regulation would be finalised in March after receiving feedback from universities and teacher associations.

Simply put, they will be evaluated on various criteria. For instance, a professor who excels in developing new technologies for teaching and satisfies the required number of hours for teaching will get 150 points. While 200 points has been earmarked for student mentoring, professional activities (being a member of board or committee) will earn him/her 50 points. And then there are points for familiarity with up-to-date teaching material too.

To ensure that the best get into teaching, direct recruitment will be only through merit and selection committees will be headed by the vice-chancellors themselves. On its part, the UGC will draw up a national subject expert bank and colleges/universities must include the expert while appointing a professor.

The idea is not aimed at policing the education system but to bring in quality in our higher education system. Universities can develop a weightage formula. But UGC will seek a compliance report every year from the universities on the performance. UGC have sought feedback from the stakeholders

Predictably, university teachers are not happy with UGC’s diktat. There are too many conditions, especially for recruitments at the college level. They are not practical. Some measures like performance indicators are needed but why is the teaching community targeted? Didn’t state and central government employees too benefit from the 6th Central Pay Commission?

Tags: University, Teachers, Performance Appraisal Scoring System, PASS, Academic Performance Indicator, API, 6th Central Pay Commission

Bill for setting up 12 Central varsities introduced

(18/2/09) Tribune

The government introduced two bills concerning education in the Lok Sabha - one to grant statutory powers to the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions and the other to set up 12 central universities in states having none to improve the low gross enrollment ratio of 11 per cent in higher education.

The National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (Amendment) Bill, 2009 seeks to amend the 2004 Act, which requires the commission to consult state governments when according minority status to any educational institution. The amended bill deletes this provision, saying in certain cases the state government or its agency may be a party before the commission.

If passed, this bill will grant overarching powers to the commission, which hears complaints of deprivation of rights of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.

The Central Universities Bill 2009 proposes to establish central varsities in Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu and replaces the January 15 ordinance in this matter.

Minister of state for higher education D Purandeshwari introduced the bill amidst severe criticism by the Left which questioned the government’s urgency of promulgating an ordinance when the House was seized of the matter.

The CU Bill 2008 was introduced in Rajya Sabha on October 23 last and referred to the department related parliamentary committee, which submitted its report on December 17.

The government blamed the haste on states, saying since the proposal had been pending for long and led to heightened expectations among the concerned states for action on the part of the government. The government felt a number of preparatory steps were required for operationalising central varsities in time for the next academic session and incorporate amendments proposed by the parliamentary committee on HRD. The 2009 Bill also proposes to convert three state universities in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand each into CUs.

The bill incorporates seven of the 15 amendments proposed by the parliamentary committee. These include deletion of the clause vesting in the central government the power to give directions to the university, appointment of the first chancellor, vice-chancellor, registrar and finance officer by the visitor instead of the central government, provision for elected student representatives in the students' council and provision for at least two meetings of the students' council every academic year instead of one proposed in the bill.

Tags: University, Bill, National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions, Central Universities Bill 2009

886 new Engg colleges, 1,084 B-schools on cards

(19/2/09) ToI

A common wisecrack among engineering aspirants in Andhra Pradesh has it that every second building in the state is an engineering college.

That may cease to be a joke when institutes dishing out management and engineering degrees start mushrooming all over the country.

Global depression may have taken the wind out of campus placements, but the rush for starting professional institutions is at an all-time high. Data from the All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), the regulatory body for professional technical education, shows that the dash to start professional colleges is more pronounced when it comes to engineering and management as compared to other streams like pharmacy, hotel management and catering technology or architecture.

The All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has received a total of 886 applications for starting engineering colleges and 1,084 applications for new management institutes. Five Indian states-Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala-account for almost 69% of the country's engineering graduates, indicating that these states also have most of India's engineering colleges.

Regional Imbalances

This year too most applications for starting new institutes have come from these states, causing worry among educationists about a regional imbalance creeping in. States like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Orissa together account for a measly 14% of India's technological colleges.

Colleges that get the nod by June 30 will be allowed to start classes in this academic year, so officials expect even more applications to pour in. Several academicians feel quality is losing out in the race to expand seats. The Principal of Pune Engineering College asked “Can the country boast of even 100 engineering colleges that impart cutting-edge education?” “Then what is the point in a thousand new colleges every year?”

He also said that part of the problem lies in the fact that most trusts running professional colleges are backed by politicians who pay little attention to quality. But the AICTE feels that meeting the massive demand for professional education is imperative. Twenty years ago, merely 1% of aspiring engineers got a seat. Now nearly 70% manage to find a place.

AICTE chairman R A Yadav said that it may come as a surprise, but very few engineering seats were left vacant last year. There's also a yawning gap between management aspirants and the number of seats in Indian B-schools.

But how many management schools boast of full campus placement? And are even 30% of MBA institutes accredited by the NBA (National Board of Accreditation)?

There were 2,297 engineering colleges with a total student intake capacity of 8.19 lakh students and close to 1,500 management institutes with an annual intake of 1.5 lakh students (2008-'09).

Tags: University, IIT, Engineering Colleges, IIMs, B-Schools, Regional Imbalances

IGNOU starts e-programme in Agri policy

(18/2/09) HT Horizon

Indira Gandhi National Open University's (IGNOU) School of Agriculture has started a six month certificate programme in agriculture policy The online programme covers various aspects essential for policy formulation to achieve overall economic development of the country. The curriculum is designed to address factors in agricultural development process in India, farmers' plight, their intellectual property rights issues in cases of plant-breeding and others, and research opportunities.

Professor B S Hansra, Director, SOA, said that In India, agriculture is rain-fed. Over 60 per cent of cultivation is dependent on rain. This and a bundle of other problems have made Indian agriculture a regular challenge. To address these, the programme on agriculture policy has been developed with four units and made available to all, particularly targeting researchers and extension workers.” If implemented in a proper perspective, the programme is likely to empower students with preliminary knowledge for gainful practices in agricultural extension work and policy implementation

Tags: University, IGNOU, Course, Agriculture Certificate Course, Six Months

IGNOU plans new courses

(18/2/09) HT Horizon

The university plans to launch courses in design education.

Here’s the latest from Indira Gandhi National Open University.

Modular courses in design IGNOU has teamed up with IILM Institute of Higher Education (IILM) to jointly develop innovative and cost effective undergraduate and post-graduate design education programmes.

Besides promoting the design programmes under a suitable fee-structure, two institutes plan to contribute to groom technical professionals of designs in product, communication, animation, retail, textile and apparel sectors. They have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for a four-year in-built modular degree programme in design education. The MoU will be in force for four years. Thereafter, it will be evaluated for future development. The unique points in the inbuilt modularity are: A student gets a certificate after successful completion of the first year, a diploma after the second year, an advanced diploma after the third and the degree after the fourth year. There are feelers that a slew of design education programmes will take off from this modular structure.

According to the MoU, IGNOU and IILM will jointly develop the content and courseware.

Vice Chancellor Prof. V N Rajasekharan Pillai said, “Design is an important area of creativity and development. There is a felt-need for developing such a programme.” Now see your answer scripts. From the 2008 December examination onwards, candidates appearing for various examinations in Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) can get a photocopy of their answer book, within 45 days of the declaration of results. Appropriate stationery charge of Rs 100 per paper may be levied from the candidate for this purpose. The procedure is for ensuring greater transparency and accountability in the evaluation of answer scripts. Return of the answer scripts will also give the learners an occasion to understand their mistakes and correct them through further study. The idea behind the practice is to start the question of transparency and accountability.

Tags: University, IGNOU, Courses, Design Education Programmes, IILM

UGC recognition for varsity cleared

(15/2/09) Tribune

The long wait of teachers of Chaudhary Devi Lal Univeristy for its recognition by the University Grants Commission under section 12-B of the UGC Act seems to be finally over. The UGC took a decision to grant recognition to the local university at its meeting held recently. A formal letter of recognition would be sent to the university soon.

A seven-member team of the UGC had visited the university campus and inspected the facilities there on January 19 and 20 and submitted its report to the commission.

The recognition is crucial for the university, which will soon have to implement new pay scales for its teachers as per the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission. If the recognition is not given in time, it will have to depend on its own resources for bearing the extra burden. 

The University has an establishment expenditure of about Rs 6 crore per annum on the salaries of its teachers and other staff members. These expenses will almost double once the new pay scales are implemented.

The UGC paid for a period of five years for the increased salaries of the teachers of universities which were recognised by it under section 12-B of the UGC Act.

A senior teacher of the university said that they cannot apply for any project of the UGC, grants, chance of post-doctoral research overseas and grants for career advancement till the university gets recognised by the UGC.

Tags: University, Chaudhary Devi Lal University, UGC

UGC lists fake varsities

(20/2/09) ToI

The UGC came up with a state-wise list on fake universities. The alert on this has been made available on the UGC’s website. As per the list, Delhi has six fake universities. They are Varanaseya Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya, Varanasi (UP) Jagatpuri, Delhi, Commercial University Ltd, Daryaganj, United Nations University, Vocational University, ADR-Centric Juridical University, ADR House, 8J, Gopala Tower, 25 Rajendra Place, and Indian Institute of Science and Engineering.

State-wise List of fake Universities as on 18thJanuary, 2009


1) Maithili University/Vishwavidyalaya, Darbhanga, Bihar.


2) Varanaseya Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya, Varanasi (UP) Jagatpuri, Delhi.

3) Commercial University Ltd., Daryaganj, Delhi.

4) United Nations University, Delhi.

5) Vocational University, Delhi.

6) ADR-Centric Juridical University, ADR House, 8J, Gopala Tower, 25 Rajendra Place, New Delhi - 110 008.

7) Indian Institute of Science and Engineering, New Delhi.


8) Badaganvi Sarkar World Open University Education Society, Gokak, Belgaum, Karnataka.


9) St. John?s University, Kishanattam, Kerala.

Madhya Pradesh

10) Kesarwani Vidyapith, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh.


11) Raja Arabic University, Nagpur, Maharashtra.

Tamil Nadu

12) D.D.B. Sanskrit University, Putur, Trichi, Tamil Nadu.

West Bengal

13) Indian Institute of Alternative Medicine, Kolkatta.

Uttar Pradesh

14) Mahila Gram Vidyapith/Vishwavidyalaya, (Women?s University) Prayag, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh.

15) Indian Education Council of U.P., Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.

16) Gandhi Hindi Vidyapith, Prayag, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh.

17) National University of Electro Complex Homeopathy, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.

18) Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose University (Open University), Achaltal, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh.

19) Uttar Pradesh Vishwavidyalaya, Kosi Kalan, Mathura, Uttar Pradesh.

20) Maharana Pratap Shiksha Niketan Vishwavidyalaya, Pratapgarh, Uttar Pradesh.

21) Indraprastha Shiksha Parishad, Institutional Area, Khoda, Makanpur, Noida Phase-II, Uttar Pradesh.

22) Gurukul Vishwavidyala, Vridanvan, Uttar Pradesh.


The matter of recognition of degrees like B.Ed/M.Ed.etc. awarded by the Bhartiya Shiksha Parishad, Lucknow and also its recognition is still subjudice.

Tags: University, UGC, Fake Universities

Defence varsity for Haryana

(20/2/09) Tribune

The Indian National Defence University (INDU) has finally come to Haryana with Binola in Gurgaon getting the nod of the Prime Minister’s Office.

With Binola getting the approval of the PMO, the state government would acquire the land for the university under an emergency clause which could take anywhere between one to six months.

Though Delhi was the first choice, it was rejected on account of space constraint. The ministry then turned its eyes to Punjab for setting up this university, which would run courses for the armed forces, the civil services and the paramilitary forces.

This makes India the third country in the world to set up National Defence University, the other two countries having been China and the USA. The university will be a multi-disciplinary centre of excellence in the country in education and research on national security issues. The president of the NDU will be a serving three-star general of the armed services.

On the recommendations of the Group of Ministers (GoM) Report on “Reforming the National Security System”, the government in 2001 set up a committee to examine the establishment of a National Defence University in India.

After interactions with the government and armed services officials, in-depth studies of the National Defence Universities in the US and China and visits to armed forces institutions in India, the committee has recommended the establishment of an Indian National Defence University (INDU).

Tags: University, Indian National Defence University, INDU, Binola

Railway stations to double up as virtual colleges

(20/2/09) HT

The next time you see people rushing towards a railway station, many of them may not be catching a train. They could be distance-learning students unwilling to bunk classes.

In association with the government-owned Railtel Corporation of India Ltd, the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) has decided to set up study centres at 3,000 railway stations.

IGNOU will utilise Railtel’s high-speed optical fibre cable (OFC) network to provide educational content. At these virtual colleges, students will interact with teachers through the university’s distance learning modules and online tests.

Professor V N Rajasekharan Pillai had a meeting with Railtel where both IGNOU and Railtel decided to go ahead with the project. Hopefully by June 2009, IGNOU’s study centres will be ready at many railway stations.

The idea is to take IGNOU to the interiors of the country. They are looking at setting up study centres at railway stations in rural areas, apart from tier II and tier III cities.

Railtel, which has laid about 30,000 km of OFC network, is equally enthusiastic. Railtel has offered land, bandwidth and data centres to IGNOU.

According to Railtel general manager (marketing) Anshul Gupta, the company wants to set up study centres at 3,000 railway stations where they have connectivity.

Tags: University, IGNOU, Virtual Colleges, Railtel Corporation of India Ltd, Study Centres, Rural Areas

Free JNU prospectus for students from BPL families

(21/2/09) Hindu

Jawaharlal Nehru University here has decided to provide its admission prospectus free of cost to students belonging to economically weaker sections of society.

The decision was taken after the JNU Students’ Union led a campaign against the hike in the price of the prospectus from Rs.120 to Rs.200 this year.

As a rollback was perceived untenable considering over 45,000 forms have already been sold, the authorities decided to introduce this new clause.

The committee has decided to arrange for 100 per cent refund of the prospectus fee to applicants belonging to BPL who have already bought the forms this year. They just need to show the BPL card and they will be returned the entire amount.

Meanwhile, Vice-Chancellor B.B. Bhattacharya will appoint a new committee for a comprehensive review of the entire matter pertaining to the pricing of prospectus, examination fees and expenditure on conduct of the JNU entrance examinations.

Tags: University, JNU, Free Prospectus, BPL

New research initiatives at DU

(9/2/09) Edu Times

Delhi University (DU) has come up with a range of schemes to boost its research activities. Though funding for research in Indian universities has improved considerably in the last decade or so, there is a dearth of research motivation. This can be attributed to the fact that policies and guidelines for research have not been in tune with the times. Hence DU, as one of the leading universities, is taking initiatives to attract and sustain the best talent in research.

To encourage research in the domain of biotechnology, medicine and law, DU has introduced a scheme where students with a BTech, LLB or MBBS can directly pursue a PhD. One does not necessarily have to pursue a Master’s to register for a PhD. However, to avail of this scheme, a BTech student should have 70 per cent in the final aggregate, coupled with a good Graduate Aptitude Test (GATE) percentile score. For LLB students, the qualifying requisite is 60 per cent in the final aggregate.

Students who meet this criterion will further be interviewed by the university’s Department Research Committee (DRC). Based on its decision, selected candidates can join the PhD programme. This scheme, novel to DU, is applicable to students from across universities in India.

According to Mohan, potential research students of law, medicine and BTech lose their inclination to pursue research because unlike other disciplines (five years) they have to spend seven years of university education after completing high school. It is observed that a student who can secure 60 per cent in law is usually on a par with a student who has pursued Master’s from any other discipline. BTech students on the other hand are strong in mathematics, which is the bedrock of research in all spheres. They want to attract talent from these high potential domains.

Some of the other initiatives include extending university teaching assistanceships to deserving research candidates, introduction of the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) cell and patent fund to help researchers cope with publication charges of their papers or to patent their work.

Tags: University, DU, Research, Biotechnology, Law, Eligibility, Department Research Committee, DRC

 Vocational Courses

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Few women on India Inc’s board

(20/2/09) HT

Women find a scarce representation in the board of Indian companies. In the list of the BSE 100 companies women occupy barely 5 per cent of the total number of directors on the company’s board.

A report prepared by the Virtcom Consulting for California Public Employees’ Retirement System’s (CalPERS) figures out that women hold only 17 per cent of corporate board seats at Fortune 100 companies even though they form over 50 per cent of the population.

The report states that companies having more gender diversified boards have higher performance and key financial metrics such as return on equity, return on sales, and return on invested capital.

According to the report, Norway has the highest 44.1 per cent, women members on company boards. Next comes Sweden with 26.9 per cent and Finland with 25.7 per cent.

However, in India, as per the March 2008 data, 56 companies from within the list of BSE 100 companies do not have a female member on its board.

ICICI Bank, JSW Steel and NMDC emerge as the most liberal gender diversified companies with each having three female board members.

Tags: Woman, California Public Employees’ Retirement System, CalPERS, Virtcom Consulting, Sex Ratio, India Inc


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