Campus Notes

IIM Bangalore sets up Case Recording Lab to advance digital delivery of management education

Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB) Chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and Director G. Raghuram inaugurated a Case Recording Lab set up at IIMB here today as part of its efforts in digital learning.
Set up with funding support from Mitsubishi Corporation India Limited and Metal One Corporation India Limited, the laboratory is equipped to record and encapsulate live case discussions, a press release from IIMB said.
"The aim is to create a digital repository of teaching and learning aids that captures the essence of the case method of teaching in the IIMB classroom," it said.
The release said that, through the IIMBx MOOCs Programme, IIMB has offered Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to more than five lakh global learners in various core and specialized management subjects. Videos are the backbone for delivering pedagogically designed digital content to learners and with this lab, IIMB has strengthened its technical capability to produce world-class MOOCs, it said.
Inaugurating the Case Recording Lab, Dr. Mazumdar-Shaw said: “The country needs to leverage MOOCs on a massive scale to enable millions of Indian youth access high-quality education. IIMB has taken great strides in the area of making management education accessible through digital platforms. This lab is another instance of the institute’s continued focus on technology innovation to make education effective and far-reaching.”
Observing that IIMB has taken a very strong lead in providing quality digital learning in the management education space to Indian and global learners, she said that when she visited MIT recently, she learnt that IIMB is one of the most important partners of the edX platform and the initiatives are seen as ‘problem solvers’ on the platform. 
Dr. Mazumdar-Shaw lauded the "incredible reach" of MOOCs, calling it the true democratization of education. 
In his opening remarks, MCI Chairman and Managing Director Eisuke Shiozaki, said:  “It is a great pleasure to be associated with IIM Bangalore and with the project which will allow education to reach to millions of students across the globe.” Describing the IIMBx Case Recording Lab as “another addition to the global IOT movement”, he said he hoped that the lab would go a long way in supporting future managers and decision-makers of India.
Professor Raghuram emphasized IIMB’s strong focus on reinforcing Indo-Japan ties in the domain of management education and said, “IIMB is thankful to Mitsubishi and Metal One for their support in our technological endeavor. We hope that the Case Recording Lab is one of many initiatives that the institute accomplishes in collaboration with our Japanese partners.”
Thanking the IIMB Board of Governors for their support to IIMB’s MOOCs initiative and the faculty of IIMB for devoting time to create and deliver quality management MOOCs, Prof. Raghuram announced that IIMB would soon be setting up a Japan Centre. “The Japan Centre @ IIMB aims to become a knowledge centre of Japanese business history, business strategies and technology innovations,” he added.
As a location, Prof. Raghuram said Bangalore boasts the highest number of Japanese companies and professionals in India. “Further, Bangalore has been ranked among the world’s best innovation ecosystems and IIM Bangalore is ideally positioned to start a Japan Centre.”
IIM Bangalore’s Deans of Faculty, Administration and Academic Programmes – Prof. Gopal Naik, Prof. G Shainesh and Prof. Sourav Mukherji, along with senior faculty members Prof. R Ravi Kumar and Prof. M S Narasimhan, were present at the inauguration.
Earlier, in his welcome address, Prof. P D Jose, Chairperson, IIMB Digital Learning Initiatives, offered an overview of IIMBx, the MOOCs programme of IIM Bangalore, and highlighted its success in delivering these programmes in 190 countries to those who may not, otherwise, have had access to quality management education. “IIMBx is proof of IIMB’s commitment to delivering quality management education to all," he added.

Mukherjee says higher education institutions must be designed to serve society

President Pranab Mukherjee has said that it was not enough for higher education institutions to be modern and relevant and they must be designed to serve and make an impact on society.
"Their research capability must be used with an aim to innovatively address real world problems that nations face. Higher educational institutions must strive to become community assets," he said at a function to dedicate the BML Munjal University to the nation at Rashtrapati Bhavan here yesterday.
The university has been founded by the Hero Group  at Gurgaon in Haryana and named after the chairman and co-founder of the group, Brijmohan Lall Munjal.
"One of the things Munjalji discovered from his own life experience was the importance of learning skills and the value of being practical. He believed that life’s education and learning occurred both within and outside the walls of the classroom. True to this philosophy, this university has been modeled on the principle of practicality, which is unique in India’s higher education landscape today. I hope that such an effort is emulated by others venturing into this noble field," Mr. Mukherjee said.
The President said campuses serve as an important venue for the transition from adolescence to adulthood. It is a critical phase in the life of the youth when their minds are willing to experiment and think of novel things. 
He said that, in the emerging global scenario, the quality of higher education imparted would play an important role in moulding the careers of young men and women.
"In less than ten years from now, nearly 140 million people will be in the college-going age group. Every fourth graduate in the world will be a product of our higher education system. In such a competitive environment, only those professionals who are properly skilled and trained will achieve success. The onus is on the higher educational institutions to prepare their students in a way that they are globally relevant and yet sensitive to the needs of the local socio-economy," he said.
Mr. Mukherjee noted that the government had been taking several initiatives to make education in India more skill-centric. 
"Higher educational institutions also have a great responsibility in modernizing education. Technology and communication are fast transforming the way the world works. Institutions must catch up with the latest technology to make education more effective and meaningful. They have to reorganize courses, programs and structures to meet the needs of a changing era and suit the aspirations of students.
"Students have to be versed in original analytical thinking, communication skills, superior presentation skills and ability to work in teams. This can only happen when the top-down approach to education changes. Rather than the teacher serving as the only source of knowledge dispensation in a classroom, he or she must encourage information sharing between students. Peer-to-peer learning has the potential to unearth and create new knowledge," he said.
Mr. Mukherjee said students entering the workforce must be self-managing, self-developing and emotionally self-sustaining. "These are qualities that must be ingrained in students when they enter an institute of higher learning. Students cannot sit and be passive recipients any longer. Curriculum must not be pre-designed. Rather, it must undergo continuous revision to make it increasingly contemporary. The dominant mode of instruction can no longer be text-book and lecture-centric," he stressed.
"In today’s world, continuing with the twentieth century template for education can be risky. With a rise in online learning, world class content and courses from the finest universities are now being made available through knowledge networks. MOOCs have become an important component of learning in conventional education system due to the changing profile of learners. There are many who are seeking education from their work places in line with the philosophy of lifelong learning. Online learning allows the learning experience to be tailored to individual style or pace. Tricky concepts can be relearned through programs online or processed through a variety of formats. With this flexibility, students are better prepared to take their learning in stride," he said.
The President said it was clearly important for contemporary higher education institutions to offer an extra edge, in terms of a more interactive and unique learning experience. "Making more optimal use of classroom time holds the key. Many are moving from the traditional lecture style towards a discussion-based seminar approach. Others are adopting the concept of ‘flipped classroom’ (astrategy of blended learning that reverses the traditional learning mode by delivering content outside the classroom, often through online communication channels)," he said.
Mr. Mukherjee said it was heartening that the university is doing some pioneering work in both the areas of education formats as well as sustainable research and innovation. 
"I am told that about 45 percent of the students’ time is spent outside the classroom, where learning takes place through projects, workshops, labs, industry visits and practice school. In these endeavours, students should work in teams to identify problems and think through solutions. 
"Accrual of knowledge in renowned institutions takes place through collaborative partnerships with such other institutions as well as industrial organizations. I am glad that BML University has tie-ups with some of the world’s leading institutions like Imperial College, London, Singapore Management University and the University of Maryland as well as corporations such as IBM, KPMG, Intel, Shell, Siemens and Axis Bank. I hope that this momentum is not only maintained but strengthened further," he added.

IIM Kozhikode to incubate 12 start-ups under its IIMK Live Business Incubator

IIMK LIVE, a business incubator launched by Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode (IIMK) in early 2016, has offered admission to 12 start-ups in its first job creation programme.
IIMK LIVE (Laboratory for Innovation, Venturing and Entrepreneurship) is a business incubator and entrepreneurship development centre established by IIM Kozhikode with the support of Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India. 
Responding positively to the proposal submitted by IIMK in early 2016, DST sanctioned a grant of Rs. 3 crore to set-up the business incubator, a press release from the institute said.
IIMK has made available required space and facilities on campus and is developing a series of programmes and products that would ensure long-term sustainability of LIVE. As a government recognized on-campus incubator, DST would continue supporting it in various ways including it acting as an important element of its Seed Support System, the release said.
"Over last two decades, IIM Kozhikode has always taken initiatives that contribute to national development goals and LIVE is in response to the prime minister’s call - ‘Startup India, Standup India’. LIVE seeks to emerge as national center of excellence in promoting innovation, new business venturing and entreprenuership among student community on campus as well as greater community," Prof. Kulbhooshan Balooni, Director In-charge of IIMK, said.
“LIVE would gain immensely from the faculty members, knowledge base, students, alumni, international linkages and other institutional networks of IIM Kozhikode and is in turn expected to contribute to the institute’s various programmes and activities,” he added. 
Of the 12 start-ups offered admission to LIVE in first round that concluded recently, five are founded by IIMK alumni. The selected ventures in this group are across a range of sectors but many are based on digital technology. 
LIVE registered under Indian Societies Act in June 2016, hopes to support start-ups not just founded by IIMK’s own students/ alumni but also any idea owner with innovation that is believed to have commercial potential.
“While we have some thrust areas to focus in mind, in the beginning we are sector agnostic. Also, while we want more and more of our own students taking to entreprenuership, we do not limit supporting only them," Dr. Keyoor Purani, Executive Director, IIMK LIVE and professor of marketing at IIMK, said.
Justifying such an approach, he said, "The start-up environment in India is fast evolving and our
startegy with regard to the sectoral and other focus areas would evolve over a period of time.” 
“IIMs and other B-schools have job placements deeply entrentched in many of their programmes as traditionally that has been the sole career track MBAs looked for. Over the years, newer models would evolve that would facilitate entreprenuerial risk taking by MBA students despite burden of educational loans. We are working towards that but as of now I am happy with the response," he added.
The 12 start-ups were selected from about 100 applications received for the year-long incubation in the first round of admission. Applications for the programme are invited round the year and enrolments are expected to take place every six months or so. Under the incubation programme, start-ups ready with the proof of concept will work with mentors to develop go-to- market startegy, build team and prepare itself for funding. 
Apart from mentorship, training, professional services and a collaborative work space, LIVE hopes to help many of the incubatee companies with seed support funds to help translate innovative idea into a commecial venture, the release added.

MoS (HRD) Mahendra Nath Pandey visits IIT Palakkad site in Kerala

Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development Mahendra Nath Pandey visited the site of the permanent campus of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Palakkad at Puduserry (West) in Palakkad, Kerala yesterday.
An official press release said the Minister reviewed the progress of the civil works of the transit campus and also the construction of the compound wall.
Prof. P. B. Sunil Kumar, Director, IIT Palakkad and Ms. P. Marykutty, District Collector of Palakkad, accompanied the Minister during inspection of the site. 
Dr. Pandey expressed satisfaction after seeing the progress of the civil works at the site and urged the District Collector to speed up the balance land acquisition process. He appreciated the Director, IIT Palakkad and District Collector for their active involvement to establish the IIT Palakkad. He also thanked Kerala State Government and the District Administration for their involvement and support for establishing IIT Palakkad by providing necessary land and other connected facilities. 

Cabinet approves setting up of Indian Agricultural Research Institute in Assam

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) today approved the setting up of Indian Agricultural Research Institute (lARI) in Assam.
The proposal of Department of Agriculture Research and Education (DARE) / Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) says that the institute would be set up on 587 acres of land provided by the state government, an official press release said.
lARI-Assam would be a post-graduate institution of higher learning in Agricultural Education. It will have the hallmark identity of an IARI including all sectors of agriculture like field crops, horticultural crops, agroforestry, animal husbandry, fisheries, poultry, piggery, silk rearing, honey production, and so on.
It will be off-campus of IARI, New Delhi and integrated multi-disciplinary research would be undertaken in school mode -- Schools of Crop Sciences, Natural Resource Management, and Animal Sciences & Fisheries.
IARI-Assam would work on the agrarian challenges and complexities of North Eastern India in tandem with all existing Central and State Government R&D Institutions and private sector enterprises. It would undertake research, education, extension programs in its mission towards developing the quality human resource, generation of farmer-friendly technologies to enhance productivity, quality and profitability, promote agro-based industries and generate employment opportunities for holistic and sustainable development of the agriculture sector in the North Eastern region, the release added.

IIM Bangalore’s CCGC, Academy for Innovation & Management to hold digital governance summit on May 15

The Centre for Corporate Governance and Citizenship (CCGC) at Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIMB) has collaborated with the Academy for Innovation and Management (AIM) here to present a C-level summit on how to design and implement digital governance in a company. 
The summit, aimed at senior business executives, will be held on May 15 at the Management Development Centre (MDC) of IIMb, a press release from IIMB said. 
The release said that one of the challenges faced by CEOs and other C-level executives is how to accelerate digital transformation at senior levels of a company. To undertake digital business transformation, C-level executives need to drive change top-down and have a clear understanding of the role that the Board of Directors can play, the new roles (such as that of Chief Digital Officer) that need to be created, the coordination and control mechanisms to be implemented, and how to fund and monitor digital initiatives in the company. The summit aims to address some of these important governance issues.
The summit will include a senior-level CEO panel, comprising some of India’s top business leaders, who are also prime catalysts for such a transformation.
They include Anand Kripalu, CEO & Managing Director, United Spirits Limited; Shiv Shivakumar, Chairman & CEO, PepsiCo India, and Bhaskar Bhat, Managing Director, Titan Company Limited. 
Dr. Ajay Kumar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Electronics & IT and Head of the Digital India Initiative of the Government of India, will also be a speaker at the summit.
Prof. Anil B Suraj from the Centre for Public Policy (CPP) at IIM Bangalore will set the context of the discussions and Prof. Ram Nidumolu, founder and MD of AIM, will be the moderator for the CEO panel. The discussion will focus on the ‘how’ of corporate digital governance, the release added.

Mukherjee stresses need for capacity building among youth

Stressing the need for capacity building for skilled work among the 600 million youth in the age group of 25 years and below, President Pranab Mukherjee has called for inculcating in them an aptitude to think ahead in which the universities could play a major role.
Delivering the convocation address at Goa University here yesterday, Mr Mukherjee said that, to prepare graduates for a competitive global economy, educational institutions would have to adopt global best practices for world-class academic management.
“Our institutions have to work relentlessly towards excellence. They have to provide the best of amenities to their academic community. Models of teaching have to be adaptive to the latest trends and also the changing learner profile,” he said.
“There has to be an alliance between the IT-enabled platforms like MOOCs and knowledge networks, and pedagogy. As concepts and understanding evolve, our faculty has to be better prepared with updated knowledge.
“A strong research eco-system has to be built on the plank of institutional collaborations, research parks, and talented researchers. There also have to be a close link between Indian universities and industries,” he added.
Recognising that no institution can excel in isolation, he said they have to provide students and faculty international exposure, introduce industry relevant matter in course work, and share academic resources.
“A mechanism is needed in our higher education system that promotes competitiveness. National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF) is a valuable initiative. I am sure that with greater and more involved participation, this indicator will provide impetus to our institutions to do better in the coming years,” Mr Mukherjee said.
“Our centres of higher learning are social institutions too. They have to carry out their responsibilities as a social entity. A strong connection with the society will provide the edifice for value-oriented learning in them. This will instil in the students a sensitivity that will inspire them to search for solutions to vexed socio-economic problems in the environment in which they are living.
"The onus is on our institutions to produce men and women of substance and character, not merely competent professionals, he added.
On the occasion, the President was conferred with an honorary D. Litt. degree.

Cabinet nod for setting up Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy at Visakhapatnam

The Union Cabinet today gave its approval for the setting up of Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy (IIPE) at Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh as "an Institute of National Importance" through an Act of Parliament.
The institute will have the governance structure as well as legal mandate to grant degrees in a manner similar to that enjoyed by Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), an official press release said. 
A separate Act will also impart the required status to the institute to become a "Centre of Excellence" in petroleum and energy studies, it said.
The Cabinet also approved Rs. 655.46 crore as capital expenditure to set up IIPE and contribution of Rs. 200 crore towards its Endowment Fund (in addition to a contribution of Rs 200 crore from oil companies towards the Endowment Fund). 
The decision to set up the institute has been taken up under Schedule 13 of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act, 2014. The objective is to meet the quantitative and qualitative gap in the supply of skilled manpower for the petroleum sector and to promote research activities needed for the growth of the sector. The academic and research activities of IIPE will derive strength from the Institute's proximity to sector-related activities such as KG Basin, Visakhapatnam refinery and the planned petrochemical complex at Kakinada. 
The Andhra Pradesh Government has allocated 200 acres of land, free of cost, for setting up of IIPE at Sabbavaram in Visakhapatnam district.
IIPE has been registered as a society under the AP Society Registration Act, 2001 on April 18, 2016. A temporary campus of IIPE has been set up from academic session 2016-17 from the Andhra University campus with two undergraduate programmes namely, Petroleum Engineering and Chemical Engineering (with capacity of 50 students each). IIT, Kharagpur has taken up the responsibility of mentoring the institute.

Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore tops India Rankings 2017

Union Minister for Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar addressing at the release of the “INDIA RANKING 2017”, in New Delhi on April 3, 2017.
Union Minister for Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar addressing at the release of the “INDIA RANKING 2017”, in New Delhi on April 3, 2017.
The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore has bagged the first position in the India Rankings 2017 for Educational Institutions, released by Union Minister for Human Resource Development (HRD) Prakash Javadekar here today.
IISc also occupied the first rank in the Universities category.
In this second edition of India Rankings, a total of 2995 institutions had participated. They included 232 Universities, 1024 Engineering Institutions, 546 Management Institutions, 318 Pharmacy Institutions and 637 General Degree Colleges. Many of these have participated in multiple disciplines, adding to a total of 3319 participants across disciplines.
In the top ten overall rankings, apart from IISc, apart from Jawaharlal Nehru University (6th rank) and Banaras Hindu University (10th rank), all other positions have gone to Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). In the second spot is IIT, Madras followed by IIT Bombay, IIT Kharagpur, IIT New Delhi, IIT Kanpur, IIT Guwahati and IIT, Roorkee.
IIT Madras has bagged the 1st Rank in Engineering followed by IIT Bombay in the second spot and IIT Kharagpur in the third place.
In Management category, the first rank goes to Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad with IIM, Bangalore coming second and IIM, Calcutta, third. In the fourth rank is IIM, Lucknow followed by IIM, Kozhikode in the 5th rank.
The 6th rank goes to IIT, New Delhi, followed by IIT, Kharagpur in the 7th rank, IIT, Roorkee in the 8th spot. The Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI), Jamshedpur ranked 9 is the only private institute in the top ten. The tenth rank goes to IIM, Indore.
In the Universities category, IISc, Banglore is placed first followed by Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi in the 2nd rank and Banaras Hindu University ranked 3rd.
In the Colleges category, Miranda House, New Delhi, occupies the first rank, Loyola College, Chennai 2nd and Shri Ram College of Commerce, New Delhi 3rd.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Javadekar said that this is another step in the Government’s commitment towards bringing landmark changes in the quality of education provided to students across the country. This ranking is meant to bring about fair competition among the institutions for achieving excellence in their efforts.
The Minister said so far no one has raised fingers on the ranking charted out by the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), working under his Ministry. Until now National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) and National Board of Accreditation (NBA) used to assess educational institutions. The government went in for this modification for bringing transparency and credibility.
Besides institutions, parents and students will also get information about the ranking and quality of a particular university, college or vocational institution. “This has led to the global scaling up of our credentials,” he added.
The Minister on this occasion also announced that government will extend more help to quality education institutions. It is a vital change of policy and will motivate all the institutions to perform and excel, he said.
Factors regarding number of research papers submitted, patents obtained and campus placement figures will also count for seeking government support. Due weightage will also be accorded to public perception, employer perception and academic perception, he said.
“India Rankings 2017” have ranked institutions in the disciplines/categories and have also provided a common overall rank across all disciplines for those institutes which either have more than 1000 enrolled students, or which are centrally funded.
The parameters used for India Rankings 2017 are broadly similar to those used last year. However, at the level of detail, some of the sub-parameters have been tweaked for a more robust system of rankings. In particular, for evaluating Research Impact, parameters for quality of publications have been enhanced to include the number of highly cited papers, in addition to the usual parameters of publications per faculty and citations per paper.
Innovations have also been made in improving the scoring metrics, where the “percentile” metric has been replaced by a more discriminating metric. All research related information, including publications, citations, highly cited papers and even patent information about institutes was collected from third party databases (from industry partners) to obtain an objective and unbiased picture.
For this year’s Perception inputs, a large data base of academic and industry peers and employers was deployed, in addition to getting inputs from members of general public. Finally, some provision has also been made for the scale of operations of an institute in terms of the size of its student population and graduated doctoral students, he added.
Mr Sharma said the data received from both institutional and third party sources were subject to extensive scrutiny for consistency and correctness by a team of experts. As per the declared time-schedule, the rankings are being announced on the first Monday of April. The Rankings List includes 100 institutions each in the Overall, University, Engineering and General College Categories, and 50 each in Management and Pharmacy Disciplines. Additional rankings in suitably bunched forms are also being provided.
List of top 10 India Rankings 2017:
Indian Institute of Science, Banglore, Karnataka
Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (Chennai), Tamil Nadu
Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (Mumbai), Maharashtra
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, West Bengal
Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, Delhi
Jawahar Lal Nehru University, New Delhi, Delhi
Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh
Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, Assam
Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, Uttarakhand
Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
1. Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, Tamil Nadu
2. Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (Mumbai), Maharashtra
3. Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, West Bengal
4. Indian Institute of Tchnology, New Delhi, Delhi
5. Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh
6. Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, Uttarakhand
7. Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, Assam
8. Anna University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
9. Jadavpur University, Kolkata, West Bengal
10. Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad, Telangana
1.Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, Gujarat
2. Indian Institute of Management, Banglore, Karnataka
3.Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, West Bengal
4. Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
5.Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode, Kerala
6. Indian Institute of Technology,New Delhi, Delhi
7. Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, West Bengal
8. Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, Uttarakhand
9. Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI), Jamshedpur, Jharkhand
10. Indian Institute of Management, Indore, Madhya Pradesh
1.Indian Institute of Science, Banglore, Karnataka
2. Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, Delhi
3. Banaras Hindu University
4. Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Banglore, Karnataka
5.Jadavpur University, Kolkata, West Bengal
6. Anna University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
7. University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, Telangana
8. University of Delhi, Delhi
9. Amrita Vishwa Peetham, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu
10. Savitribai Phule PuneUniversity, Pune, Maharshtra
1. Miranda House, Delhi, Delhi
2. Loyola College, District Chennai, Tamil Nadu
3. Shri Ram College of Commerce, New Delhi, Delhi
4. Bishop Heber College, District Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu
5. Atma Ram Sanatan Dharma College,New Delhi, Delhi
6. St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata, West Bengal
7. Lady Shri Ram College for Women,New Delhi, Delhi
8. Dyal Singh College, Delhi, Delhi
9. Deen Dayal Upadhyay College, New Delhi, Delhi
10. The Women’s Christian College, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
1. Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi, Delhi
2. National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Mohali, S.A.S. Nagar (Mohali), Punjab
3. University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chandigarh, Chandigarh
4. Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai, Maharashtra
5. National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Hyderabad, Telangana
6. Birla Institute of Science, Pilani, Rajasthan
7. Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Science, Manipal, Karnataka
8. Poona College of Pharmacy Erandwane Pune, Maharashtra
9. S.R.M.Institute of Science and Technology, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
10. JSS College of Pharmacy, Mysore, Karnataka

IIM Nagpur concludes Summer Placement for second batch of PGP in Management

Students of the post-graduate programme (PGP) class of 2016-18 of the Indian Institute of Management Nagpur (IIMN) are in a celebratory mood after their batch recorded 100% summer placement like their senior batch last year.
This year more than 40 recruiters across all sectors offered IIMN students summer internship positions. IIMN has seen a significant increase in a number of first time recruiters even for the second batch of PGP students, a press release from the institute, which is being mentored by IIM Ahmedabad, said.
The recruiters’ list includes Yes Bank, BPCL, ICICI Lombard, Choice India, Calderys, Delivering Change Foundation (Sakal Group), IDBI Federal, Excellon, Diffusion Engineers, WCL and Persistent. Among these, ICICI Lombard and IDBI Federal made the highest number of offers, the release said.
Many of the students chose Sales and Marketing as their preferred domain while otehrs chose to undergo internship in domains such as Strategy, Consulting, Finance, Business Analytics, IT Consulting, Operation, and IOT.
Most of the students will be undergoing their summer internship in metro cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, as well as Nagpur.
IIMN Placement Coordinator, Ms. Srishty said, “I am glad that our batch received offers from prominent companies who offered interesting roles.”
Aniket Hinge, placement coordinator, said “The PGP batch of 2016-18 has performed excellently – both academically and professionally. Their summer internship placements speak for it. IIM Nagpur's presence is being felt in the corporate fraternity resulting in more number of new firms absorbing the talent pool at the Institute.”
Dr. Vijay Phate, In-charge Placement Office, said, “This year both the highest and the average stipend offered saw a significant jump. The highest stipend offered was Rs 1.6 lakh, and the average stipend of the batch also increased by 24% to Rs. 56,900.”

Cabinet okays grants-in-aid of Rs. 25 crore to AERCs, AERUs for one more year

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) yesterday approved a proposal to extend the grants-in-aid support to the existing network of 12 Agro-Economic Research Centres (AERCs) and three Agro-Economic Research Units (AERUs) for one more year upto 2017-18. 
An official press release said an amount of Rs. 25 crore would be required to continue the grants-in-aid to the existing 15 AERCs/AERUs. 
The employees of 12 AERCs and three AERUs situated in different states will be benefited, it said.
"This would provide policy oriented agro-economic research inputs through field studies and reviewing / monitoring of flagship programmes of the agriculture and allied sector.  This would lead to better agricultural development policy and programmes which in turn would raise employment potential in both farm and non-farm areas," the release said.
There will be a review after one year for taking the final decision on the recommendations of the Review Committee, chaired by Dr. S.M. Jharwal, Chancellor, India Gandhi National Tribal University.  This committee was set up by the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare (DACFW) to review the functioning of AERCs/AERUs.  
The committee has recommended that the AERCs/AERUs must be retained and strengthened and that the present pattern of grant-in-aid to these grass-root research institutions must be continued.  The committee has also made recommendations regarding functioning and improving governance of the AERCs/AERUs, the release said.
The Agro-Economic Research (AER) Scheme was initiated in 1954-55 for undertaking research studies on agro-economic problems of the country.  
The Department of Agriculture & Cooperation has set up 15 AERCs/AERUs in different Universities/Institutes with a view to conduct policy oriented research/evaluation studies on topics of interest.  The scheme is staff oriented and fully funded by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare through grants-in-aid (Central Sector Plan Funds).  
Currently, these AERCs/AERUs are being funded under the ‘Integrated Scheme on Agriculture Census, Economic and Statistics’, central sector scheme of Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare. 
The three AER Units -- ADRT, Bangalore, CMA, Ahmedabad and AER Unit, Delhi -- are functioning under the Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore, India Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi, respectively.  AERC, Pune is functioning under the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics (a deemed University).  The remaining 11 centres are functioning under different Universities.  Out of which AERCs at Jorhat, Ludhiana and Jabalpur are under Agricultural Universities, AERCs at Allahabad, Delhi and Visva-Bharati, Shantiniketan are under Central Universities.  The other five Centres at Bhagalpur, Chennai, Shimla Vallabh Vidyanagar and Waltair are functioning under the respective State Universities.

IIMA hikes fees for flagship two-year programmes to Rs. 21 lakh

IIM Ahmedabad
IIM Ahmedabad
The Board of Governors of the Indian Insititute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA) met here yesterday and approved a 7.7 percent in hike in the fees for its flagship Post Graduate Programme in Management and Post Graduate Programme in Food and Agri-Business Management to Rs. 21 lakh.
"This fee covers costs associated with tuition, accommodation, course material, library, placement services, and IT resources," a press release from IIMA said.
Both programmes are two-year courses and, at the increased level, the fees would work out to Rs. 10.5 lakh per year.
"General inflation and Seventh Pay Commission implementation exert an upward push on cost of programme delivery. The Institute is committed to striving for efficiency in its operations. As the most liberal among Indian management institutions by far in financial aid disbursements (in 2016-17, one-third of our students received financial aid), IIMA is also committed to ensuring that no capable candidate is denied entry for reason of lacking financial wherewithal," the release added.
IIMA had increased the fees for these programmes to Rs. 19.5 lakh from Rs. 18.5 lakh last April.

LIBA, TCS launch PGDM programme on business analytics

Loyola Institute of Business Administration (LIBA), Chennai, and IT services major Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) yesterday announced a partnership to design a first-of-its-kind management programme with a specialisation focused on business analytics. 
LIBA will offer this course from the next academic year (2017-18), a press release from TCS said.
"The partnership will mark yet another milestone in the industry-academia collaboration to fulfil the growing demand for business analytics in India," it said.
The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed in the presence of Fr Christie SJ, director, LIBA, and Ranjan Bandyopadhyay, vice president, HR, TCS, along with and other senior management representatives and academicians from TCS and LIBA.
Considering the increasing demand for business analytics, TCS and LIBA have collaborated to design a management course that specialises in this segment to bridge the existing skill gap in the industry. This will be offered under full-time and part-time MBA (PGDM) in business administration.
Fr Christie said, “It is a momentous event for LIBA to sign an MoU with TCS, the largest IT company in India, as an industry partner to offer programmes in the area of business analytics. With its expertise, TCS will be able to add value to the students of LIBA. LIBA is the first B-school in India which is forging ahead in signing an agreement with TCS to offer business analytics as a specialisation for the full-time PGDM students”.
“We are extremely happy to note that LIBA with its focus on excellence and ethics has found a renowned industry partner, which espouses the same values," he said.
Mr Bandyopadhyay said, “Analytics is emerging as a key growth area spanning industries. The need of the hour is talent that can work on delivering carefully crafted analytics solutions insights and recommendations to businesses. TCS designed courses bring in contemporary application oriented inputs to the class room thorough its academic collaboration. We are delighted to partner with LIBA in the field of analytics.
One of the key highlights of the course is the ‘Train the Trainer (TTT) Programme’, in which TCS specialists will train the faculty with industry knowledge.
TCS-designed courses will also comprise one-year executive diploma in business analytics, to train experienced professionals through part time / weekend programmes offered at the institute, the release added.

15 IIITs to be declared as Institutes of National Importance

The Union Cabinet yesterday approved the introduction of the Indian Institutes of Information Technology Public Private Partnership (IIIT PPP) Bill, 2017 that seeks to declare the existing IIITs in PPP as Institutions of National Importance with powers to award degrees. 
There is no financial implication with regard to the proposed IIIT PPP Bill, 2017, an official press release said.
The release said the decision would entitle the IIITs to use the nomenclature of Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) or Master of Technology (M.Tech) or Ph.D degree as issued by a University or Institution of National Importance. 
The grant of a formal degree in Information Technology, Engineering or Ph.D will enhance the prospects of the graduating students in the job market and will also enable the institutes to attract enough students required to develop a strong research base in the country in the field of information technology, it said.
The emerging needs of the industry and the economy as a whole for skilled technical manpower is expected to be met from the talent pool of trained personnel of the institutes, it said.
Every institute shall be open to all - irrespective of gender, caste, creed, disability, and domicile, and ethnicity, social or economic background. Academic session has commenced in the IIITs in Andhra Pradesh (Chittoor), Assam (Guwahati), Gujarat (Vadodara), Haryana (Sonipat), Himachal Pradesh (Una), Jharkhand (Ranchi), Karnataka (Dharwad), Kerala(Kottayam), Maharashtra (Nagpur & Pune), Manipur (Senapati), Rajasthan (Kota), Tamil Nadu (Tiruchirappalli), Uttar Pradesh (Lucknow) and Kalyani (West Bengal). 
The scheme of setting up of 20 new IIITs in Public Private Partnership (IIIT PPP), as approved by the Union Cabinet on 7.12.2010, does not have provision which empowers the institutes set up in Public Private Partnership to grant degrees to its students. The first batch of under-graduate students enrolled in the Year 2013-14 will be passing out in the Year 2017. 

Footwear Design and Development Institute Bill, 2017 introduced in Lok Sabha

Commerce & Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman yesterday introduced in the Lok Sabha the Footwear Design and Development Institute (FDDI) Bill, 2017 that seeks to declare the FDDI as an Institution of National Importance (INI).
The FDDI was established in 1986 with the objective of providing trained human resource and assistance to the sector. FDDI has pan-India presence with campuses at Noida, Kolkata, Chennai, Fursatganj (UP), Rohtak (Haryana), Chhindwara (M.P) and Jodhpur (Rajasthan) equipped with state-of-the-art academic facilities and infrastructure.
New campuses at Hyderabad, Patna, Ankleshwar (Gujarat), Banur(Punjab) and Guna (M.P) will also start functioning shortly.
The Statement of Objects and Reasons of the Bill said the footwear, leather and retail sector in India had been growing both in terms of value and volume. India is the third biggest market of footwear and prominent exporter of the footwear and leather goods. Being a highly labour intensive industry, the requirement for trained human resources for leather and footwear sector is immense. 
The statement said there was a strong need for upgradation of the institution to enable it to deal with international standards and market.
According to it, the global footwear market is expected to reach $220.2 billion by 2020 from the current level of $ 198.7 billion. 
"The opportunity cost of not investing in human resources required for this sector in India at this juncture would result in increased imports, thereby impacting the domestic and exports sector of footwear and leather products. It is proposed to empower the institute to improve its capacity and performance with a view to address the shortage of the trained human resource.
"In view of the above, it is proposed to declare the Footwear Design and Development Institute as an institution of national importance and enable it to emerge as centre of excellence with the objective of meeting the national and international standards for the promotion and development of quality and excellence in education, research and training in all disciplines relating to footwear and leather products design and development," the statement said.
Among other things, the Bill proposes to establish a Governing Council and other authorities of the institute; and empower it to grant degrees, diplomas, certificates, or any other qualification to its students.

IIMA invites alumni, corporates to contribute to restoration, conservation of its campus

IIM Ahmedabad
IIM Ahmedabad
For the first time in its history, the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA) has invited its alumni and corporates to contribute to the conservation and restoration of its Heritage Campus.
"About five decades ago, the renowned American architect Louis Kahn translated education philosophy into infrastructure when he assumed responsibility of building IIMA’s infrastructure," a press release from IIMA said.
"Generations of students since then have been inspired by the spaces to reflect, deliberate, break the mould, and free the spirit. These buildings have witnessed generations of academic life on campus and withstood Gujarat Earthquake. The grandeur of the Louis Kahn Campus infrastructure leaves the visitors to campus awestruck. But age has taken its toll, requiring conservation and restoration on priority," it said.
The release said the Government of India had recognized the conservation and restoration of IIMA’s iconic Louis Kahn Campus buildings as an important task and contributions for this are covered within the ambit of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the Companies Act 2013 under “protection of national heritage, art and culture, including restoration of sights of historical importance as well as promoting education.”
IIMA has recently received significant funding from individual alumni and alumni batches to support conservation and restoration of dorms, classrooms, and other infrastructure. 
The institute had announced last year the TCS–IIMA partnership for restoration and upgradation of Vikram Sarabhai Library at IIMA, supported by a Rs. 20 crore funding by TCS Foundation.
Dorm D1 is being renamed the “D-1 Professor Kamla Chowdhury Dorm” in memory of a founding faculty of the institute, with funding support of Rs. 3.5 crore by individual alumni. Classroom 3 is being renamed “CR-3: Professor Labdhi Bhandari Classroom” in the memory of another distinguished faculty member, with financial support of Rs. 2.5 crore also contributed by one of its alumni.
Classroom 4 is being renamed "CR 4:  1992 Batch Classroom" supported by a Rs. 2.5 crore contribution by the Silver Jubilee Reunion batch last December. The 1992 batch representative, Mr. Birendra Baid, said, "The time we spent at IIMA was among the best years of our lives. IIMA has given us much more than just an MBA degree –it is here we made lifelong friends, developed our personalities, and gained life skills that allowed us to pursue our careers with confidence. Giving back to the alma mater was always one of the top items on our agenda when we started planning our Silver Jubilee Reunion that was held in December 2016. We were fortunate that around the same time IIMA was embarking on a comprehensive restoration project for the Heritage Campus. The Batch of '92 is delighted to have contributed towards restoration of one of the Classrooms where we studied 25 years ago."
Tower Lawn opposite Louis Kahn Plaza is being conserved and upgraded with funding support of Rs. 1 crore by the 1995 batch that came for their reunion on campus in December 2015. The 1995 batch coordinator, Mr. Rahul Phondke, said, "It was a small gesture from the batch reflecting our collective recognition of the fact that we all owe a significant part of our careers, lives and relationships to the Institute and no amount of financial contributions can really pay back the emotional debt which we owe to the Institute."
Ms. Susan Macdonald, Head – Buildings and Sites, the Getty Conservation Institute added, “After some 50 years, Louis Kahn's magnificent IIM complex still has the ability to inspire and move the human spirit. Inevitably, it is now suffering many of the conservation challenges typical of many great architectural works of the modern era. It is to be commended that IIM has commenced a careful and thorough program of work that seeks to understand these challenges and develop conservation approaches to sustain Kahn's great work over the next 50 years.”
 “I am touched by these gestures and thankful to our alumni for the love and care that they have for the Institute. The strong commitment of IIMA alumni to the institute will enable us to pursue excellence in teaching, research, and infrastructure and educate future generations of leaders,” said Prof. Ashish Nanda, Director IIMA.

President presents Visitor’s Awards for ‘Best University’, ‘Research’ and 'Innovation’

President Pranab Mukherjee yesterday called upon researchers in universities to apply themselves to meeting the developmental challenges of the nation.
“The best minds in our universities should apply themselves to work out solutions in areas like sanitation, urban transportation, sewage disposal, clean river systems, healthcare and drought-resistant farming,” he said during the presentation of the Visitor's Awards for the year 2017 at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
“They should also convert new knowledge into innovative products that are directly beneficial to the common population. Innovative minds should create tools and implements that alleviate the drudgery of farmers, workers, artisans and weavers.
“The number one barometer for successful outcome of research and innovation should be its beneficial applicability to a wider section of the population,” he added.
The award presentation was on the third day of the Festival of Innovation at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
The President presented the Visitor’s Award for the ‘Best University’ to Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
The Visitor’s Award for ‘Innovation’ was presented to Dr. Deepak Pant, Department of Environmental Science, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Central University of Himachal Pradesh for development of a reactor for direct conversion of waste plastic to LPG in small scale.
The Visitor’s Award for ‘Research’ was jointly received by Dr. Shyam Sunder, Department of Medicine, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University and Prof. Niranjan Karak, Department of Chemical Sciences, Tezpur University.
Dr Shyam Sunder got the award for his work in the area of diagnosis and treatment of Indian Kala-azar. Prof. Karak was honoured for development of renewable resource based bio-degradable hyper-branched polymer nano-composites as self-cleaning, self-healing and bio-compatible smart sustainable futuristic material.
For selecting the winners, online applications were invited from all Central Universities for each category. A Selection Committee headed by Ms. Omita Paul, Secretary to the President and comprising Secretary, Department of Higher Education, Secretary, Department of Science & Technology, Chairman, UGC; Executive Vice-Chairperson, National Innovation Foundation and DG, CSIR screened the applications and selected the winners of the Awards.
The President said the honours recognize the single-minded devotion and painstaking work in the pursuit of excellence of the winners. JNU has been adjudged the best university for its unrelenting pursuit of academic excellence.
It has shown outstanding performance in all key parameters like quality of students and faculty, training of faculty, citations, publications, research projects, foreign collaborations, seminars and innovation exhibitions. He urged the university to continue the good work.
“A lot has been said about the quality of India’s higher education system. Many have debated that standards are declining as a corollary of the vast expansion seen over the past few years. Yet, many have argued that increasing our capacity to provide higher education is a dire need in the context of a growing youth population,” the President said.
“There are over 250 million young people – one-fifth of the country’s total population - in the age group of 15-24 years. The onus is on the higher education system to realize their aspirations and perfect their scholastic potential.
“I, for one, do not see any dichotomy between greater access and better quality; or between higher equity and superior standards. It is entirely possible for the attributes of quantity and quality to move in the same direction at the same time,” he added.
Referring to the concept of ‘world-class’ institutions that have, of late, engaged the minds of policy-makers, educators and academic experts lately, he said, "The jury is still out on what elements a world-class institution constitutes. And whether some features of such institutions can be specific to the context of a region or an economy. But, presence of certain key traits is essential to label any institution world-class."
"Firstly, a sizeable presence of meritorious students and faculty. This does not happen all of a sudden as institutions have to attain a certain degree of maturity before it starts gathering a pool of talented people.
“Many of our institutions of recent vintage may face problem in the beginning on this account. But policy catalysts may help. Under the Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN) programme, about 780 foreign faculty experts have enrolled to teach in Indian institutions.
“We are also witnessing a favourable economic climate pulling Indians working abroad, back to their motherland to seek the opportunities emerging here. Our institutions would do well to leverage this ‘brain rain,” he added.
"Secondly, adequacy of financial resources to boost physical infrastructure and academic resources: Institutions have to look beyond government funding to innovative mechanisms like industrial projects, sponsorship of chairs, and tie-ups for setting up research facilities.
"Thirdly, a governance model that allows institutions to respond quickly to change while enforcing a mechanism of critical analysis and honest reflection.
"Such a system requires strong institutional leaders who can enlist the cooperation and commitment of all in driving the vision of the institution. It also calls for building a cadre of academic leaders who can inspire students and fellow educators. Drafting alumni and industry experts in governance structures, too, can bring in a fresh perspective to the academic environment.
"Fourthly, an eco-system that supports research and innovation.” A challenge for our institutions has been to retain bright students after education to do research. Good students either leave formal education to enter the corporate, government and other sectors, or pursue a higher degree in universities abroad.
“To arrest this trend, we need to make holistic changes in our education system. The pedagogy in our institutions at all levels has to promote creative thinking, novel learning and scientific scrutiny,” he pointed out.
“An atmosphere where learning modules are supplemented by inquiry-based project work will be necessary. This will build in students an inclination to do research and to innovate,” he said.
“If we have a large pool of meritorious researchers – complemented by top-notch research laboratories, tie-ups with industry, collaborations with foreign institutions, and an attractive compensation system – our institutions could be involved in doing more cutting-edge research,” he added.

Government has added over 4000 medical PG seats for 2017-18: Nadda

Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare has said that a record number of 4,000 post-graduate medical seats had been approved by the Government of India in various medical colleges and hospitals for the academic session 2017-18.
Mr. Nadda said that this would take the total number of post-graduate medical seats available to 35, 117.
He said the Government was committed to strengthening tertiary care and improving medical education in the country.
The Health Minister said that, of the total increase, 2,046 seats are in medical colleges.
Looking at the need to increase PG seats in clinical subjects, the Government had decided to amend the teacher student ratio in clinical subjects in government medical colleges. This change alone has resulted in the creation of 1,137 extra seats in 71 colleges. 
Many others out of the total of 212 government colleges are sending their proposals and it is expected that at least 1000 more seats could be added during the month of March 2017, Mr. Nadda stated. 
This includes DNB seats, which are equivalent to MD/MS and have increased by 2,147 in the last one year, he said.
Mr. Nadda said that there had been a total addition of 4,193 PG seats in the country so far, and a further addition of more than 1000 seats is likely during March 2017. The budget announcement of adding 5,000 PG medical seats in the country is thus likely to be achieved soon, he added.

Prof. G. Raghuram takes over as Director of IIM Bangalore

G. Raghuram
G. Raghuram
Professor G. Raghuram, who has been a member of the faculty at Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA), took charge as the new Director of the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIMB) here today.
Prior to this, he was Professor and Chairperson of the Public Systems Group at IIMA.
Prof. Raghuram has a Ph. D. from Northwestern University, USA, a Post-graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) from IIMA and a B. Tech. degree from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras.
“I feel honoured and privileged to get the opportunity to work for IIM Bangalore. This is a top rated institution with a unique culture which I look forward to discovering. I would like to reach out to all its stakeholders: students and participants, faculty, staff, alumni, board members and the external ecosystem including industry and government, to enable IIMB reach greater heights," he said in a message to faculty and staff at IIMB soon after assuming charge.
Prof. Raghuram was Dean (Faculty), IIMA, from September 2013 to December 2015. He was Vice-Chancellor of the Indian Maritime University from July 2012 to March 2013. He was the Indian Railways Chair Professor from January 2008 to August 2010. He specializes in infrastructure and transport systems, and logistics and supply chain management. He conducts research on the railway, port, shipping, aviation and road sectors. He has published over 35 refereed papers in journals and written over 155 case studies. He has published six co-authored books. He was awarded the ‘MC Puri Memorial Award’ for Contribution to Operational Research in India, 2016; ‘Academician of the Year’ by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in 2012, and ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ for contribution to logistics and infrastructure by EXIM News in 2014. He is a Fellow of the Operational Research Society of India, and Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport. He has teaching experience at universities in India, USA, Canada, Yugoslavia, Singapore, Tanzania and UAE.
He is a member of the Global Future Council on Mobility of the World Economic Forum, Executive Council of the National Aviation University, and of the Board of Directors of six companies in the fields of infrastructure, logistics and education. Overall, he has been on the Board of 12 companies. He has offered consultancy services to over 100 organizations including multilateral agencies. He has served on various government policy making and advisory committees for the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Ministry of Shipping, Cabinet Secretariat, Comptroller and Auditor General, the Planning Commission and various State Governments.

MoS Finance promises to sort out problems in education loans by banks

Minister of State for Finance Arjun Ram Meghwal assured students and banks dispensing education loans that the problems faced by both would be sorted out soonest by convening a meeting of officials of the Ministry of Finance, Education Departments and banks and NGOs concerned with the issue.
“I will convene a meeting of secretaries of finance and officials of the education ministry and also top bank officials and representatives of NGOs espousing the cause of students to hear and help resolve the problems faced," he said at a seminar organised by the ELTF, a wing of the PreSense portal, and part of the NGO Prime Point Foundation.
Mr. Meghwal said that, as a start, he would ask banks in urban areas to set up a grievances cell at their corporate office and a nodal officer in the regional centres of the banks in tier two and tier three cities to deal exclusively with the issue of education loans. 
The demand for the grievances cell was made by ELTF convener and PreSense Editor K Srinivasan, who claimed that the system of dispensing and recovery of education loans needed to be streamlined so that students did not face any problems in the repayment mode. He also demanded 100% reimbursement of interest subsidy.
Mr. Subramanya Kumar, Executive Director, of Indian Overseas Bank (IOB), which has disbursed the highest amount of education loans at over Rs 3,600 crore, said there was no question of a loan waiver but the repayment system could be looked at again to make it easier for the students.
Some politicians promised students at the time of elections that education loans would be waived which was not possible in reality, he said.
While the rate of interest for education loans should be reduced, Mr. Srinivasan said, a new institution on the lines of NABARD or SIDBI should be set to provide refinance for all education loans. Also, a high level committee should be set up with all stake holders to examine the present education loan interest subsidy management.
A demand was also made to separate education loan from other loans and that the task of recovery should not be outsourced to collection agencies but done by bank officers themselves. It was pointed out that students were often threatened, muzzled and harassed by collection agencies to return the loans with unreasonable deadlines which generated tremendous pressure on the students .
Mr. Meghwal promised to look into this matter and discuss it with banks to separate education loans from the regular non-performing assets (NPA) category. Parents attending the meeting and some NGO representatives pointed out that students were future assets of the country and education loan was an investment made on them. As such, it was not right to treat their loans as an NPA.
Most of the times, students, after they passed out, found it difficult to find jobs and hence there was a delay in repayment of loans which the banks needed to understand, it was pointed out.
As per information given in the Lok Sabha recently , public sector banks disbursed education loans to the tune of Rs. 9674 crore in 2015-16 against Rs. 8312 crore in 2014-15. Private sector banks disbursed Rs. 9049 crore in 2015-16 against Rs. 7619 crore in 2014-15.
In Tamil Nadu alone, education loans disbursed by all banks amounted to Rs. 1583 crore in 2015-16 against Rs. 1952 crore. The top four banks which sanctioned maximum education loans in Tamil Nadu are:
Indian Overseas bank – 2.07 lakh accounts – amount outstanding Rs 3679 crore.
Canara Bank – 1.51 lakh accounts – amount outstanding Rs 3017 crore
Indian bank – 1.44 lakh accounts – amount outstanding Rs 2906 crore
State Bank of India – 1.01 lakh accounts – amount outstanding Rs 2351 crore.
Total 6.03 lakh accounts – amount outstanding Rs. 11, 953 crore.
According to RBI statistics released in December last year, Gross Bank Credit until December 2016 was Rs. 66,458 billion , out of which education loan amounted to Rs 608 billion which was 0.91% of the whole. In the same period last year, gross bank credit was Rs 64,335 billion, out of which education amounted to Rs. 609 billion, which was 0.94 % of the total.

Six FTII courses get Master’s degree equivalence

A view of the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune
A view of the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune
The Association of Indian Universities (AIU) has equated six post-graduate diploma programmes of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune with Master's degree.
"The Master's equivalence launches FTII into a new academic orbit and introduces a new dimension for students who can now leverage this attribute for higher studies, in India and abroad," an official press release said.
According to it, FTII had been making efforts since 2011 for securing the Master’s degree equivalence for its programs. Recently, a four-member committee from Association of Indian Universities visited the institute and were briefed by the Heads of Department and Faculty members who made detailed presentations before the AIU Committee. The committee also visited the academic locations as well as technical facilities and also met student representatives on the campus. 
Mr. Gajendra Chauhan, Chairman FTII, Mr. Pawan Manvi and Mr. Rajan Welukar, members of FTII Academic Council, briefed the committee on the credentials of FTII. Renowned FTII alumni Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Satish Shah, Tom Alter, Amitabh Shukla, Mahesh Aney, Bishwadeep Chatterjee and Siddharth Tatooskar were also present during the presentations. 
The two- and three-year programmes which have been given Master's equivalence are: Cinematography; Editing; Direction & Screenplay Writing; Sound Recording & Sound Design; Art Direction & Production Design; and Acting, the release added.

Govt. proposes National Testing Agency for Entrance Examinations for Higher Education Institutions

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said the Government proposed to establish a National Testing Agency as an autonomous and self-sustaining premier testing organization to conduct all entrance examinations for higher education institutions in the country.
Presidenting the General Budget for 2017-18 in Parliament, he said this would free the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and other premier institutions from these administrative responsibilities so that they can focus more on academics.

IIITDM Kurnool to be declared as Institute of National Importance

The Union Cabinet today gave its approval for introduction of The Indian Institutes of Information Technology (Amendment) Bill, 2017 in Parliament, which provides for inclusion of Indian Institute of Information Technology Design and Manufacturing (IIITDM), Kurnool along with the other IIITs in the Principal Act. 
Subsequently, IITDM Kurnool will be declared as an institute of National Importance with the power to award degrees to students, an official press release said.
The expenditure for the operationalization of IITDM Kurnool is incurred from the Plan funds of the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
"The emerging needs of the industry and the economy as a whole for skilled technical manpower is expected to be met from the talent pool of trained personnel of the Institute. The Institute shall be open to all persons irrespective of gender, caste, creed, disability, domicile, ethnicity, social or economic background," the release said.
The Indian Institutes of Information Technology Act, 2014 confers the status of Institutions of National Importance on the IIITs and also provides for matters connected with administering these IIITs. 
Subsequently, the Government has approved creation of a new IIIT at Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh as embodied in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act, 2014. Due to addition of a new IIIT, amendment has to be made in the IIIT Act, 2014. With this, IIITDM. Kurnool will be the fifth Member as a Centrally Funded IIIT.
Academic session has commenced in IITDM Kurnool in two branches of study in 2015-16, the release added.

Rajiv Gandhi National Aviation University to launch Executive Development Programme

The Rajiv Gandhi National Aviation University in collaboration with US-India Aviation Cooperation Programme will launch its first Executive Development Programme on February 2.
The programme will be delivered by leading experts in the aviation sector and would cover key topics such as Next Generation Transportation Systems, Airport Planning, Air Traffic Flow Management, Safety and Security and Sustainability in Aviation, an official press release said.
The programme will be attended by CXO level professionals from the industry and senior officials from the Regulatory Authorities.
The programme will help senior professionals keep abreast with latest trends in the sector, Air Vice-Marshal Nalin Tandon, Vice-Chancellor of the university, said.
The programme will fulfil the objectives of the university by facilitating and promoting aviation studies and research, he added.
The programme will also provide a platform for active exchange of ideas on opportunities and challenges in the areas of growth and development of Indian aviation sector, the release said.

Applications open for NEET (UG)-2017 for admission to MBBS/BDS courses

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) today opened a month-long window for the acceptance of online applications for the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (UG)-2017 (NEET(UG)-2017) to be conducted by it on May 7 for admission to MBBS and BDS courses in India.
The test is conducted as per the Indian Medical Council Act-1956 as amended in 2016 and the Dentists Act-1948 as amended in 2016 for admission to Medical and Dental Colleges run with the approval of the Medical Council of India and the Dental Council of India under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India except for the institutions established through an Act of Parliament such as AIIMS and JIPMER, Puducherry.
"Candidates have been given an opportunity to submit the online application for a month period from 31.01.2017 to 01.03.2017," a press release from CBSE said.
The release said that, this year, admission for all the MBBS/BDS seats would be made through NEET (UG) 2017. Accordingly, admissions will be made in All India Quota Seats, State Government Quota Seats, State/ Management/ NRI Quota Seats in Private Medical / Dental Colleges or any Private/ Deemed University and Central Pool Quota Seats, it said.
The examination will be conducted in 80 cities across the country on 7th May, 2017, it said.
Indian citizens, Non-Resident Indians, Overseas Citizens of India, Persons of Indian Origin and Foreign Nationals are eligible to appear in NEET (UG) 2017 and will also be eligible for 15% All India Quota seats, the release said.
The upper age limit of the candidates has been fixed at 25 years on the date of conduct of examination. There will be a five-year relaxation for  reserved category candidates. There shall be three attempts available uniformly for all the candidates in NEET examination.
The release said Aadhaar number is required to fill up the online application of NEET 2017 for the candidates of all States except Jammu & Kashmir, Assam and Meghalaya. In this regard, based on the Aadhaar Act, CBSE has issued a public notice to make the candidates aware of the requirement.
"The responsibility of the CBSE is to conduct the NEET 2017, prepare All India Rank based as per the instructions supplied by Medical Council of India.
"CBSE will hold NEET-UG, 2017 for the first time for admission in MBBS/BDS courses for all seats and all Medical/Dental Colleges. Looking into the magnitude of this examination and the requirement of various States, CBSE is making all preparations for the smooth conduct of examination by selecting examination centres on vigorous parameters as about 1500 examination centres will be fixed across the country for the conduct of NEET for more than 10 lakh candidates," the release said.
Last year, in both NEET-I & NEET-II, as many as 8,02,594 candidates were registered. 
Detailed information and Information Bulletin alongwith the frequently asked questions are available on the NEET website.
CBSE will give the results of the examination to the Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for providing the same to admitting authorities. Admitting authorities will invite applications for counselling and Merit List shall be drawn based on All India Rank by the admitting authorities subject to their applicable rules, the release added.
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