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Campus Notes

Fee hikes, discrimination trigger unrest on university campuses

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Universities across the country are becoming the hotbeds of unrest, discontent and disillusionment with fee hikes being a major trigger for student protests in most cases.
 
At a time when there is a huge slowdown in the economy, anecdotal evidence is that jobs are hard to come by. A burgeoning unemployment problem coupled with hike in fees across institutions and universities is leading to unrest and agitation has overtaken learning.
 
Premier institutes, IIT, JNU, AIIMS and IIMC are all seeing protests by students in the last few months in one form or the other. Teachers in Delhi University are protesting non-payment of three months of salary and demanding regularization of ad hoc teachers. The BHU has been in a controversy with the appointment of a Muslim, Feroz Khan, as a teacher for Sanskrit.
 
IIT Madras has been rocked by the suicide of a Muslim student, and there have been charges of discrimination. IIT Madras is also facing allegations of discrimination against students and faculty from Dalit communities.
 
In the most recent incident, thousands of ad hoc Delhi University teachers under the aegis of DUTA gheraoed the office of the Vice-Chancellor seeking unpaid salaries for three months and demanding  regularization. Such was the urgency of the matter that a meeting was held between the agitating teachers and the administration which continued for 6 hours without any resolution.
 
The DUTA teachers have now been given an assurance by the officials of the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry. The Ministry, it seems, is only putting out small fires all over the place. Last week, a high-level committee formed by the Ministry had gone to Jawaharlal Nehru University to hold talks with the students.
 
Though there are no protests yet in schools, there has been a fee hike by CBSE also for examinations. "The CBSE has increased examination fees of Class X and XII Board Examination 2020, on 'no profit no loss' principle from Rs 750 to Rs 1,500 for all categories of students, including SC/ST candidates for all schools in whole of India, except for schools of Delhi government," HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal said.
 
On the agitations in universities, Twitter is dominated with hashtags such as feehike, jnu, aims, iimc, iit.
 
What started as a protest against fee hikes is metamorphosing into a war cry by the students to protect public-funded education. This implies low fees, opportunities for those who cannot afford the fees and empowerment of the deprived sections.
 
This has added an economic and social element to the agitations where the aspirations of the students which have been fuelled by wild promises are now clashing with the prevailing realities of few jobs and low incomes with the GDP growth at a 6-year low of 4.5 per cent.
 
Some MPs of Left parties have pointed out that the Central government is following the recommendations of the Birla-Ambani committee which gave its report way back in 2000 under the then NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Critics say that, without saying so, the recommendations of the panel are being implemented including fee hikes, setting up of private universities, de-politicisation of campuses and asking universities to generate 25 per cent of fund requirements from internal resources.
 
Social media is abuzz with chatter over turbulence in various institutions. IIT Delhi research scholars have expressed solidarity with students who are fighting against the fee hikes.
 
Netizens have commented, "The abominable fee hike in JNU and IIMC is a glaring example of how trapping students in acres of loans for higher education is the perfect way to keep them busy in this putrid cycle of debt, so that they don't have time to even think about changing the world!!!".
 
The IGNOU Research Scholars' Association also supported JNU students. "We, IGNOU Research Scholars' Association, New Delhi, stand with #JNU students on the issue of #FeeHike".
 
A former student from AIIMS Bhopal tweeted, "Back in my college days i paid only 6k as my whole 5 year tuition fee plus hostel and library fee in @AIIMSBhopal. It is going to be 60 k per year soon! Education should be free."
 
A student of IIMC Delhi studying English language journalism tweeted, "It is the duty of the government to provide affordable education to students. (Rs) 1.65 lacs for 9 months course seriously?? It's a public funded education institution".
 
A twitter user posted "#M_Tech fee is going to be increased by 900%. Almost 2 lakh per year. They think #AIIMS students are ready to pay even if their parents have to sell home or any other property".
 
A tweeple wrote, "#JNU is on protest, lots of students are getting affected by the fee hike all across India including #IITs, #NLU. Is this the parties have promised in their manifestos?"
 
IANS

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Kovind asks IITs, NITs and IIEST to find solutions to smog and environmental pollution

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President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday asked institutions like IITs and NITs with their various specialisations to find ways and means to tackle the burgeoning problem of environment pollution and create sensitivity and awareness among students and researchers.
 
Addressing the concluding session of a conference of Directors of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), National Institutes of Technology (NITs) and the Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST), Shibpur, hosted by Rashtrapati Bhavan, the President said, ”This is that time of the year when the air quality of the national capital as well as of many other cities worsens beyond all norms.
 
“We are facing a kind of challenge here that we have never faced before. Hydrocarbon energy changed the face of the world in the last couple of centuries, but now it is threatening our very existence,” he added.
 
“The challenge is compounded for nations battling to bring substantial sections of populations out of poverty. Yet, we will have to find alternatives,” Kovind said.
 
The President said many scientists and futurologists have painted doomsday scenarios. “On days of smog and poor visibility in our cities, we fear the future might already be here.” He expressed confidence that institutions like IITs, NITs with their various specialisations, would take care to create a sensitivity and awareness among students and researchers towards a common future.
 
From the technology perspective, he expressed confidence that institutions like IITs, NITs can make the most crucial contribution to Ease of Living for all citizens. Improving urban infrastructure, making water supply systems efficient, making healthcare delivery more effective – there are countless ways technology can make a dramatic difference in the life of an average Indian.
 
“Science and technology become more humane when there are more women practitioners. I am happy to learn that your institutes have been striving to improve the gender ratio. I have been trying to increase the number of women Visitor nominees in your various committees. However, the number of women faculty in your institutes is still very low. I am sure this issue will get the attention it deserves from all of you.
 
“Along with more women faculty members, we also need more faculty with international experience. Although some progress has been made by your institutes, a lot more needs to be done. This is an area which needs to have more focussed efforts from everyone,” the President said.
 
“Last month I had the opportunity to launch the endowment fund of one of the institutes present here today. I hope to see the other institutes also similarly engage their alumni in their activities. Your alumni are important stakeholders in building your institute and they should be made to feel part of your growth story.
 
“You must also pay attention to the next generation of leaders in your institutes. It is essential that you groom competent administrators who will be able to continue to provide the vision and leadership that you are providing right now. This is not an easy task but necessary steps in this direction have been taken by the ministry with the Leadership for Academicians or LEAP programme. I am happy to note that the second edition of this programme was launched a couple of months ago by the Human Resources Minister,” he said.
 
Apart from the Directors of 23 IITs, 31 NITs and IIEST, Shibpur, the conference was attended by the Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Minister of State in the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Secretary (Higher Education), Secretary, Department of Science and Technology and Chairman AICTE.
 
The conference was part of the regular interactions of the President with such institutions in his capacity as Visitor to 152 Central Universities and institutions of higher learning.
 
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JNU students taunt cops, confine minister

Students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) participate in a demonstration organised by the JNU Students' Union (JNUSU) to protest against a hike in fees and some other decisions taken by the JNU administration, outside the varsity gate in New Delhi on November 11, 2019.(Photo: IANS)
Students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) participate in a demonstration organised by the JNU Students' Union (JNUSU) to protest against a hike in fees and some other decisions taken by the JNU administration, outside the varsity gate in New Delhi on November 11, 2019.(Photo: IANS)
Angry Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students targeted police with "Tis Hazri, Tis Hazari" slogans after the police allegedly pushed some students, including women, who were holding a massive protest outside the campus gate on Monday, which saw Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal unable to leave the university after a convocation event.
 
The protest began in the morning, against the hostel draft manual and fee hike proposed by the administration, even as Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu was addressing the JNU's Third Convocation Day there. 
 
The entire road outside the campus was blocked for hours due to the protest.
 
While the Vice-President was able to leave the campus after his speech, the HRD Minister was not so lucky. He had to remain inside the compound for around five hours as angry students massed outside the gate.
 
It is only after a delegation of Delhi Police, comprising Special Commissioner of Police (Headquarters) R. S. Krishnia and DCP (Central) Mandeep Singh Randhawa entered the campus, that they were able to escort the minister out safely after 4 p.m.
 
In between, the police brought in water cannons to disperse the students, and kept one on standby for use. The use of water canon angered the students even more.
 
While he was confined inside, the HRD Minister met a delegation of students to hear about their demands. However, the students were unwilling to bring the Minister into the fracas, and demanded that the only way to call off the protest would be by arranging talks with Vice-Chancellor Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar.
 
In the evening, the protesting students appeared in no mood to call off their protest, and began to call more students to support them.
 
The students also shouted "Shame, Shame" at students who received degrees at the convocation ceremony. The protesters demanded that the VC and HRD Minister meet some of the students outside AICTE Hall.
 
"This is an urgent appeal for JNU students to join those protesting to continue building pressure on VC Mamidala to come out to meet those here at AICTE," went an appeal.
 
The 'Tis Hazari, Tis Hazari' chant was a taunt aimed at Delhi Police who were last week engaged in a massive scuffle with lawyers at the Tis Hazari courts over a parking row that left many injured, and escalated into a prolonged fight, with police coming out in protest.
 
Later, when some female constables pushed and shoved the protesting women students, the police were taunted with "Vakil Bulao, Vakil Bulao" (call the lawyers), in a throwback to the police-lawyers scuffle.
 
The students' union had called for a boycott of the convocation and demanded rollback of the hostel draft manual and fee hike proposed by the administration. In its latest orders, the JNU administration massively hiked the hostel, mess and security fee by a reported 400 per cent. It also limited the hostel timings.
 
IANS
 

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Police uses water cannons on JNU protesters

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The Delhi Police on Monday resorted to the use of water cannons on students and members of the Jawaharlal Nehru Students' Union (JNUSU) who staged a protest outside the university campus over a reported fee hike and the hostel draft manual.
 
The protest took place as the university held its third convocation on Monday, at which Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu and Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' were present.
 
While Naidu has left the campus, Pokhriyal was still reported to be inside the university premises.
 
The students' union has called for a boycott of the convocation and demanded the rollback of the hostel draft manual and fee hike proposed by the administration.
 
In its latest orders, the JNU administration massively hiked the hostel, mess and security fee by a reported 400 per cent. It also limited the hostel timings.
 
IANS
 

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JNUSU stages protest outside campus over fee hike

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The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union (JNUSU) on Monday staged a protest outside the varsity campus over a reported fee hike and the hostel draft manual, even as Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu was addressing a convocation ceremony.
 
The protesting students alleged that the varsity administration had put barricades at its entry gate and also deployed CRPF personnel.
 
Sharing photographs of the blocked entry gates, former JNUSU President, N. Sai Balaji wrote, "Barricades at Ambience Mall gate and CRPF deployed."
 
The JNU is holding its third convocation on Monday, which is being addressed by Vice President Naidu along with Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank'.
 
However the students' union has called for a boycott of the convocation and demanded the roll back of the hostel draft manual and fee hike proposed by the administration.
 
No statement on the deployment of CRPF in the campus has been made by the JNU administration as of now.
 
In its latest orders, the JNU administration massively hiked the hostel, mess and security fee by a reported 400 per cent. It also limited the hostel timings.
 
IANS
 

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Kovind launches endowment fund of IIT Delhi

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President Ram Nath Kovind launched the Endowment Fund of the Indian Institute Technology (IIT), Delhi at Rashtrapati Bhavan here yesterday.
 
Speaking on the occasion, the President said, endowments globally have become integral to the financial health of educational institutions. “While we are still far from the size and importance of endowment funds of institutions such as Harvard, Yale or Columbia, it is the right first step in this direction.
 
“By giving through endowments, alumni are not just giving to their institution but they are also supporting and nurturing future generations of learners,” he added.
 
The President said the best way to honour a gift is to make the best use of it. In the latest QS World University ranking 2020, IIT Delhi was ranked at 182. There is a lot of scope for improvement if it aims to be one of the top institutes in the world.
 
It needs to increase the number of faculty particularly faculty with international experience. Additionally, it needs to upgrade its infrastructure to ensure its campus, course content and research facilities are completely world class.
 
He expressed the hope that the institute will make use of the valuable contribution from the alumni to bring changes in these areas.
 
“Throughout history, our educational institutes have been the beacons of our culture. We have a tradition of universities showing the way for the people in society and enriching lives,” Kovind said.
 
He urged all to devote some amount of their time for the benefit of the not-so-fortunate sections of society by picking up any cause of their choice. It can be the empowerment of the divyang, or rehabilitation of destitute women, or helping children in distress. The cause does not matter, only their will to make a difference does, he added.
 
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IIT Madras develops software to solve engineering problems

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Researchers at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Madras have developed a software which they say can help solve engineering problems in fields from thermal management and semiconductors to automobile, aerospace and electronic cooling applications much faster than existing methods.
 
For a few years now Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and deep learning are being used in areas such as signal processing, speech recognition, image reconstruction and prediction, but few attempts have been made to use them to solve engineering problems.
 
Assistant Professor at IIT Madras and leader of the research team, Dr Vishal Nandigana, said that the software has been found to be nearly million-fold faster compared to existing solutions for thermal management problems. “Our software works on any generalized rectilinear and curvilinear input geometry. Our research saves computational time, which is the bottleneck to solve most engineering problems,” he explained.
 
“We utilized data-driven AI and deep learning to arrive at solutions for engineering problems after training AI with data sets. These prior data sets can be from existing big data in the relevant engineering industry, where a lot of experimental data are available. Also, if data is not available for training the AI, it can be generated using commercially-available CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) software on small independent pieces of the full-blown problem,” he said. The team, he said, used a novel Recurrent Neural Network (RNN) and a Deep Neural Network (DNN).
 
Researchers are working on establishing a start-up named `Alsoft’ to offer solutions for various engineering problems based on the new software, according to an institute press release. 
 
(India Science Wire)
 

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Indian eco-friendly batteries using aloe vera wins Schneider Electric’s Student Competition

Nimisha Varma and Naveen Suman of Team Aloe e-Cell from Rajasthan Technical University in Kota, who won the Go Green in the City 2019, an international student case study competition organised by Schneider Electric in Barcelona, Spain on October 3, 2019
Nimisha Varma and Naveen Suman of Team Aloe e-Cell from Rajasthan Technical University in Kota, who won the Go Green in the City 2019, an international student case study competition organised by Schneider Electric in Barcelona, Spain on October 3, 2019
Team Aloe e-Cell from Rajasthan Technical University in Kota, India, comprising Nimisha Sharma and Naveen Suman, who created 1.5v green batteries that do not impact the environment, has won the top honours at Schneider Electric's Go Green in the City 2019 finals held in Barcelona, Spain earlier this month.
 
Go Green in the City is an international student case study competition organised by Schneider Electric, leaders in digital transformation of energy management and automation.
 
A press release from Schneider Electric India said the company received over 8000 registrations for the Go Green competition from the country. The top 49 teams made it to India Semi-Finals after an evaluation by technical experts from multiple fields. In this process, the top 14 teams presented their idea to the technical leaders in the India Finale.
 
The finalists from India joined the global finals in Barcelona where they were in competition with 8 teams. Team Aloe E-Cell emerged as winners in the Go Green Global Finale.
 
"Team Aloe E-Cell composed of students Nimisha and Naveen created 1.5v batteries made up of aloe vera and a few herbal extracts. These batteries are eco-friendly and they do not cause soil, water or air pollution as no hazardous metals like lead and mercury are used. In addition, it is not explosive and is safe for human use as explosive electrolytes like Potassium Hydroxide are not present. Executive judges from Schneider Electric and academia highly evaluated the team’s problem definition, realistic solution and great presentation," the release said.
 
Additionally, Aloe E-Cell gives 1.5 volts of potential which can replace the dry cell and alkaline batteries of AA and AAA size and can be used for low to high drain devices, it said.
 
“We can actually find the solutions of complex problems around us. Schneider Electric’s emphasis on clean, green and sustainable energy usage is also our passion,” said Team Aloe E-Cell. “Go Green in the City was an awesome experience to learn from and network with a lot of people around the world. We encourage young innovators to be bold and share their ideas!”
 
The release said that, as announced at the recent Climate Week NYC 2019, Schneider Electric takes a collaborative approach to sustainability in alignment with the UN Sustainability Development Goals.
 
“Whether it’s in our business decisions, people agenda or governance, our commitment to sustainability is in everything we do. But we need to do more. Go Green is a way for us to support the future generation to think outside the box. Through their ideas, we can co-create the future. Schneider Electric empowers all to make the most of their energy and resources. We are all in this together,” said Olivier Blum, Schneider Chief Human Resources Officer.
 
Launched in 2011, interest in Go Green in the City has grown exponentially. More than 113,000 students registered and submitted 18,800 ideas over the past 9 years. This year alone in 2019, Schneider Electric received more than 23,000 applications from 165 countries and over 3,000 students submitted their ideas, a new record for the competition.
 
Sixteen finalist students from the USA, Brazil, Hong Kong, India, Philippines, UK, Turkey and Spain made their final presentations at the Schneider Electric Innovation Summit Barcelona. It was a great learning opportunity to students as 3,500 industry professionals gathered to discuss the digital transformation of energy management and automation.
 
Schneider Electric also announced the launch of its 10th edition under the new name of ‘Schneider Go Green’. Sixteen finalist students will be invited to the global final competition at the Innovation Summit Las Vegas in June 2020. The global winning team will have an opportunity to visit the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Greentown Labs in Boston to network with clean tech start-ups in USA. 
 
Interested students can register here.
 
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Kovind lays stone for campus of JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research in Mysuru

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President Ram Nath Kovind laid the foundation stone for the campus of the JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research at Varuna village near here on Friday.
 
Speaking on the occasion, the President was happy to note that the campus is a tribute to Sri Shivarathri Rajendra Mahaswamiji whose 104th Jayanti is being celebrated this year. He said that Sri Suttur Math’s focus on education was strongly encouraged by Sri Shivarathri Deshikendra Mahaswamiji. 
 
JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research was established in 2008 and is today regarded as a reputed institute of health sciences. He expressed confidence that this new ‘Global Campus’ of the institution will help it to further contribute in the field of education.
 
Pointing out the healthcare challenges in the country, the President said that India had achieved a lot over the years. 
 
"Yet, health remains a key development challenge for us. As a country, we are challenged by the triple burden of communicable, non-communicable and new and emerging diseases. Malnutrition and neglected tropical diseases place severe constraints on us. We need to improve access to health services," he said.
 
The President said that cleanliness and sanitation is the base requirement for tackling many of the country's health-related issues and diseases.
 
"A nationwide revolution for cleanliness and health is already underway. It must continue and become stronger with each passing day. This would be our tribute to Mahatma Gandhi whose 150th birth anniversary we just celebrated," he said.
 
The President said that the country's health challenges are linked to its larger socio-economic challenges. 
 
"Our solutions to meet our health challenges need to be broad-based and multi-pronged. They must use the power of both modern medicine and traditional knowledge. They must focus on both the mind and the body. They must involve both prevention and cure," he added.
 
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IIM Ahmedabad to introduce Post-Graduate Programme in Advanced Business Analytics

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The Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA) today said it would offer a Post Graduate Programme in Advanced Business Analytics (PGP-ABA), a 16-month post-graduate diploma, from the academic year 2020.
 
The institute, generally regarded as India's top business school, said this was being done  at a time when, with the deluge of digital data, data-driven decision making has now become an integral part of the efficient functioning of every organization, and more generally of society at large. 
 
Prof. Errol D’Souza, Director, IIMA said, “Along with the growth in processing power we are witnessing the growth of large pools of unstructured data which have embedded information that can be beneficially used for the good of organizations and societies. This course enables those who take it to deploy appropriate methodologies so as to extricate significant information from data and enrich decision-making that unlocks value for all stakeholders.”
 
A press release from the institute said the PGP-ABA is designed to help working professionals to acquire essential skills and knowledge for asking the right questions, addressing it with analysis of the right kind of data, and finally drive the decisions with the insights gained from the analysis to drive decisions. The programme thus provides a framework for transforming data into insights that are coupled into an effective business decision making process. 
 
"In a nutshell, the programme will focus on building blended expertise in data 'literacy', data processing and business acumen. We strongly believe that this unique blended competency is the requirement in the Analytics profession today," it said.
 
"The PGP-ABA curriculum is designed to give the participants in-depth exposure to the analytics tools and techniques, and prepare them to solve business problems across industry verticals and functional domains using data. The course is geared towards enhancing the analytical problem-solving ability of the students through structured coursework. The students will be exposed to state-of-the-art data handling tools and techniques, followed by a rigorous and comprehensive coverage of analytical methods and model development techniques, which are immediately applicable to cutting-edge business problems," it said.
 
Prof. Tathagata Bandyopadhyay, Chairperson, PGP-ABA, IIMA, added, “IIMA believes in delivering high-quality programmes, with emphasis on experiential learning and this programme is no exception. Besides explaining the theoretical underpinning of the tools and techniques, emphasis will be given on hands-on learning using a variety of data sets from various domains of applications. Finally, you will be exposed to the domain-specific application of analytics in two chosen domains from different business vertical and Public Policy.”
 
The objective of PGP-ABA programme is to upskill and prepare students for future in taking up leadership positions and shouldering more significant responsibilities in the organization. The programme delivery is through a thoughtful mix of online, and on-campus sessions, the release added.
 
More details about the course are available here.
 
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Jaishankar, Pokhriyal launch 1000 Ph.D. fellowships for ASEAN students at IITs

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External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' formally launched a programme offering 1000 Integrated Ph.D. fellowships to students from ASEAN countries at Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) here on Monday.
 
The fellowships had been announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the 25th Anniversary ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in New Delhi.
 
The Ambassadors or High Commissioners of all ten ASEAN Member States in New Delhi, senior officials of the Ministries of External Affairs and Human Resource Development, Directors or representatives of all  23 IITs, the CEO of NITI Aayog and the chairpersons of the University Grants Commission (UGC) and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) were also present at the ceremony.
 
IIT Delhi has been designated as the coordinating IIT for the fellowship programme. It has developed a web portal (http://asean.iitd.ac.in) to administer the application and admission process. ASEAN students can log in to the portal to apply for PhD programmes of their choice at various IITs, a press release from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.
 
The first batch of the ASEAN students will be admitted in January 2020. Admissions under the programme will be staggered over three academic years i.e. 2019-2020, 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. MHRD will provide scholarships to ASEAN students at par with Indian PhD scholars, along with a yearly research grant, as applicable. IITs will make a small provision to cover living expenses of selected students from their own budgetary resources.
 
The fellowship programme at a total budget outlay of INR 300 crore (approximately USD 45 million) is the single-largest capacity development initiative of India in its partnership with ASEAN, the release added.
 
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IIM Udaipur launches one-year MBA in Digital Enterprise Management

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Indian Institute of Management Udaipur (IIMU) has launched a one-year full-time residential MBA in Digital Enterprise Management (DEM), said to be the first such programme that will cater to the needs of a fast-changing world.
 
A press release from IIMU said the course, with its emphasis on analytics and new technologies, would enable managers to work efficiently in the emerging digital business enterprises.
 
"This program is designed for experienced professionals aiming to explore new and emerging technologies and intending to gain an understanding of managerial functions in digital enterprises," it said.
 
The DEM program will provide students with an opportunity to develop a working knowledge of emerging technologies and acclaimed practices as the course curriculum is prepared in consultation with  industry experts, the release said.
The Institute has set up an academic advisory board for developing the new program. The board comprises founders of successful digital companies in the country like Pranay Chuley (Quikr) and Hitesh Oberoi (Info Edge India Ltd).
 
Senior leaders from leading consulting companies, including Ganesan Ramachandran (Accenture) and Kamesh Mullapudi (Deloitte) are also part of the board. Nitin Bawankule (Google) and Sreejit Roy (IBM) bring in the expertise of the technology companies.
 
K Harishankar (Unilever), an expert in digital transformational initiatives from the CPG world and Ravi Vijayaraghavan (Flipkart), proficient in the use of analytics in solving real-life business problems, are also members of the advisory board.
 
IIMU has already entered into an MoU with several  leading companies across business verticals.  There are various others in the pipeline that would collaborate in the process of sharing and development of knowledge in the digital world.  
 
For instance,  IBM will give the students relevant and enhanced industry exposure by virtue of its experts delivering guest lectures on leading-edge technologies, including Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Analytics, with industry use cases, as well as by providing a platform to the students for short-term projects in the digital space.  
 
IIMU has also executed MoU with leading consulting firm- Accenture, which advises and enables large, global companies on their digital transformational strategies; E-commerce start-up company Quikr – comprising real-estate industry (Common-Floor), blue and grey collar jobs (Baba Job) and in online sale of used items (mobile, cars and household goods); ITC Infotech – a company that works on green and brownfield projects on digital twin, Industry 4.0 and in CPG verticals.  
 
"This approach of engaging with leading organizations helps bridge the gap between academia and industry so that students get a jump start and are ready to enter the workforce with relevant experience," the release said.
 
Pankaj Patel, Chairman, IIM Udaipur, said, "The way technology is changing the world, future careers are going to be quite different than what we see today.  
 
"At IIM Udaipur, we don’t just want our students to prepare for this change but welcome it. The DEM program would cater to the needs of emerging digital business enterprises and the aspirants," he added.
 
"The one-year program provides students with a solid foundation in management fundamentals and exposes them to contemporary practices of data-driven decision making. This program provides a well-rounded exposure to business management, data analytics, and emerging technologies that are severely in demand in the corporate world," the release said.
 
"Students will learn from academicians and industry practitioners through case studies, simulations, frameworks and practical lab projects," it said.
 
Talking about the relevance of the program, Pranay Chulet, founder, Quikr and Member, Academic Advisory Board added, “Our dependency on technology is increasing. Technology has started influencing our lives in so many ways. The way we make decisions is starting to get dependent on technology. It is important that today’s managers understand that.”
 
This is a full-time residential program, and admission is through the GMAT/GRE. This program is ideal for professionals with a graduate degree and 3+ years of work experience.
 
Students start the program in April of the first year and graduate in March of the following year. Interested candidates can apply online through the IIM Udaipur website, the release added.
 
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IIT JEE Advanced results announced, Maharashtra boy tops

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Maharashtra's Kartikey Gupta has topped the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Advanced 2019, by securing 346 out of 372 marks, according to the results declared on Friday by IIT-Kharagpur.
 
At number 10, Ahmedabad's Shabnam Sahay secured the top rank among the female candidates. She has obtained 308 marks of the total, the results showed.
 
A total of 1,61,319 candidates appeared for the exam, of which 38,705 candidates cleared it. Among the candidates who passed the exam, 5,356 were female and 33,349 male.
 
The total number of General Category students who qualified for the examination were 15,566. Apart from these, 7,651 candidates were successful from the OBC (non-creamy) layer category, 8,758 Scheduled Caste and 3,094 candidates from Scheduled Tribe categories. 
 
A candidate is required to score at least 10 per cent marks in each subject and an aggregate of 30 per cent to pass the examination. 
 
JEE Advanced is the second stage of the selection process for various engineering colleges in India. Only the candidates who meet the cut off of the JEE Main examination, progress to the JEE Advanced exam.
 
Of the 11.47 lakh candidates who appeared for the JEE Main this year, 2.45 lakh students qualified for the JEE Advanced but only 1.73 lakh registered for the same.
 
IANS
 

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UGC revises guidelines to fill vacant faculty posts

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In a bid to address the issue of shortage of quality teaching faculty in higher education institutions, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued fresh guidelines for the recruitment of faculty in these institutions.
 
The UGC has set a time-frame of six months for the entire recruitment process for the faculties including identification of vacancies, permission for filling vacancies, release of advertisement, constitution of selection committee, fixing of dates of the selection committee meetings and scrutiny of applications.
 
"All the universities, colleges and institutions Deemed to be Universities are requested that the enclosed guidelines shall be adhered to in letter and spirit. You are requested to take steps to ensure the vacancies in the universities, as well as the colleges affiliated to your university, are filled at the earliest," UGC Secretary, Rajnish Jain wrote in a letter to the Vice Chancellors.
 
The selection procedure section of the revised guidelines states that the UGC should ensure that all the vacant posts, along with reservation details, are uploaded on the online portal www.nherc.in. "The monitoring of the filling up of the vacancies would be done by MHRD and UGC through this portal," it states.
 
The guidelines state that the higher education institutions should follow the selection process as per their Acts, statutes or constituent documents and in accordance with the UGC (Minimum Qualifications for Appointment of Teachers and other Academic Staff in Universities and Colleges and other Measures for the Maintenance of Standards in Higher Education) Regulations, 2018.
 
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Five FTII courses receive AICTE approval under applied arts and crafts category

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The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has granted approval to five courses of the  Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune, under its newly created applied arts and crafts category.
 
This approval makes India's premier film school, FTII, the first and only Institute in this category in the country to receive such recognition.
 
A list of Institutions and approved courses published by AICTE on May 11 under its newly-constituted category pertaining to Institutes offering courses in applied arts, crafts and design, includes FTII and all its five one-year Post Graduate Certificate courses.
 
Of the five FTII courses which have received AICTE approval, four are in Television wing (Direction, Electronic Cinematography, Video Editing and Sound Recording & TV Engineering) and one in Film wing (Feature Film Screenplay Writing).
 
FTII Governing Council Chairman Brijendra Pal Singh said, "This is a historic moment for FTII to have received AICTE approval for all five PG Certificate courses. This makes FTII the first film school in India to receive this recognition.
 
“In recent years, FTII's television courses have been in the limelight winning several National awards and even international honours. The AICTE approval lends more value to the TV courses making them as attractive as the film wing specializations. Screenwriters from FTII are already making their mark in the entertainment industry,” he added.
 
“With the AICTE approval coming into effect from 2019-20, students entering TV courses and Feature Film Screenplay Writing course this year stand to gain. This is as important a watershed event as the grant of Master's degree equivalence granted to FTII's six PG Diploma film wing courses by Association of Indian Universities (AIU) in January 2017.
 
"With this, all the 11 FTII courses now stand approved by either AIU or AICTE," he said.
 
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NEET on May 20 for train-delayed Karnataka students

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A total of 365 students of Karnataka will get a chance to appear for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) on May 20 as they missed it on Sunday because the train in which they were travelling from the state's northern districts reached Bengaluru seven hours late, said Union HRD Minister Prakash Javdekar on Monday.
 
"Happy to announce that #Karnataka students who missed #NEET exam due to railway delay will get another chance," tweeted Javdekar.
 
Javdekar responded a day after state Chief Minister H. D. Kumaraswamy urged him to hold the test for the students who missed it for no fault of theirs.
 
"Thank you @PrakashJavdekar and @HRDMinistry for considering the request and helping our students," re-tweeted Kumaraswamy.
 
The National Testing Agency (NTA) of the HRD ministry conducts the test every year in May for students to secure admission to state-run and private medical and dental colleges across the country for studying graduate and post-graduate courses
 
The students, who travelled in Hampi Express from Hubli to Mysuru via Koppal, Hospet and Bellary, reached Bengaluru over seven hours late at 2.36 p.m. instead of 7.00 a.m, while the test began at 2.00 p.m.
 
"The students could not reach the test centres across the city in time and missed it," a South Western Railway (SWR) official admitted on Sunday.
 
The students staged a protest demo outside the railway station for missing the test for no fault of theirs.
 
The railways, however, attributed the delay due to the diversion of the train route from the normal route due to doubling of line work and operational reasons since May 3.
 
The Chief Minister also wrote to the ministry to allow another 150 students who also missed the test as their exam centre was shifted to Bengaluru from Chikkaballapur at the last minute without prior intimation or information to them.
 
"As the distance from the exam centre at Chikkaballapur to the centre in Bengaluru is about 40km, about 150 students who reached the centre in time to appear for the test there, could not commute to the city by 2:00 p.m and missed it for no fault of theirs," an official said.
 
Kumaraswamy directed state Chief Secretary T. M. Vijay Bhaskar to request the HRD Ministry for holding the test again for the 150 students who missed it due to change in exam centre at the last minute from an adjacent district to the state capital.
 
"The ministry has assured the state that a decision would be taken soon," tweeted the Chief Minister's Office.
 
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France to now recognise four Indian academic qualifications

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Four Indian academic qualifications -- Senior School Certificate (SSC), Bachelor's and Master's degrees and PhDs -- from government-approved institutions will now be recognized by the French government with effect from May 1.
 
Similarly, the French equivalents of these qualifications will be recognized by the Indian government.
 
This has been made possible by an agreement between France and India for the Mutual Recognition of Academic Qualifications signed during President Emmanuel Macron's maiden state visit to India last year.
 
The agreement, which will come into force from May 1, was inked on March 10 last year during the India-France Knowledge Summit, the first high-level summit for university, scientific and technological cooperation held by the two countries, a statement by the French Embassy here said on Monday.
 
It is the first such inter-governmental agreement that India has entered into.
 
As per the agreement, the educational qualifications from India (from government-approved institutions) which are now recognised by the French government are All India Senior School Certificate Examination (AISSCE) (CBSE, state boards, pre-university (PU) or any equivalent qualification recognised by the Government of India), Bachelor's degree, Master's degree and Ph.D., the statement said.
 
The educational qualifications, recognised by the French Ministry of Higher Education and which will now be recognised by the Indian government, are Baccalaureat (equivalent to AISSCE), License (equivalent to Bachelor's in India), Master's and Master's level qualifications (equivalent to Master's in India) and Doctorat (equivalent to Ph.D. in India).
 
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Professional degrees such as law, medicine or those of other professions regulated by a professional council are excluded, the statement said.
 
"The mutual recognition of AISSCE and Baccalaureat degrees will enable students to advance their studies in both French and Indian educational systems. It promotes mobility of students between the two countries," the statement said.
 
Welcoming the development, French Ambassador to India Alexandre Ziegler said: "I am delighted that the Agreement will benefit Indian students wishing to study in France and French students wishing to study in India, since both governments will recognise their degrees."
 
He said over the past few years, his country has taken several steps to facilitate student exchange between India and France. 
 
"With this MoU, we have reached an important milestone, which is a great opportunity for students from both countries," the Ambassador said.
 
In addition to encouraging student mobility, this agreement will also promote excellence in higher education through cooperation and exchanges between Indian and French universities, he added.
 
"People-to-people ties are essential for strengthening our links, and producing ambassadors of each other's countries," Ziegler said.
 
France ranks third globally, welcoming the highest number of foreign students.
 
In 2018, as many as 8,000 Indian students chose France to pursue their higher education -- mostly in the English medium -- a significant increase over the previous years, the Embassy said.
 
"The Embassy of France in India is committed to fostering this positive trend with supporting initiatives. The target set by President Emmanuel Macron to welcome 10,000 Indian students annually by 2020, will be reached by the end of this year," it added.
 
The Embassy said it has developed a highly-attractive visa policy for Indian students, which includes the option of a 2-year employment visa in France after the completion of post-graduate studies.
 
Furthermore, all Indian alumni who hold a Master's or higher degree from state-recognised French institutes are eligible for 5-year short-stay visas.
 
Indian alumni with French degrees enjoy many career opportunities in India as well, as over 500 French companies, employing more than 3,50,000 people, operate in India.
 
The French Government currently invests 1 million euros (7 crore rupees) in over 500 scholarships for Indian students every year.
 
The French Embassy founded the Franco-Indian Education Trust in 2017 to further increase scholarships.
 
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Infosys Foundation signs MoU with Pune's Bhandarkar Institute to foster research in Orientology

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Infosys Foundation, the philanthropic and CSR arm of IT services major Infosys, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Pune, for five years to strengthen research activities in Orientology, the study of ancient cultures of the Asian sub-continent. 
 
The proposed grant of Rs. 9.13 crore will be utilized to train scholars in Orientology and prepare a bibliography of relevant academic texts in the field, a press release from the foundation said.
 
The grant will also help to create a centralized information cell through descriptive cataloguing of manuscripts, collection and publishing of inscriptions and outlining the history of the collected information, enabled by a team of specialists, it said.
 
The release said the foundation would establish two chairs at the institute, The Infosys Foundation Chair of Orientology and the Karnataka Chair of Orientology, for eminent scholars of Orientology. Two visiting scholars renowned in any area of Orientology will also be invited for a term of two to six months, as part of this grant, and will be known as Infosys scholars.
 
Through this grant the Institute will appoint four visiting fellows for visits of one week to one month, who will be referred to as ‘Infosys Fellows’, and also make provisions for two principal investigators, six research assistants, one helper and one design artist for various activities that will be conducted by the Institute.
 
Speaking on the occasion Mrs. Sudha Murty, Chairperson, Infosys Foundation, said, “The study of ancient texts holds great importance in society today as it forms a means to better understand both our past as well as our present. The discovery and preservation of these texts will ensure that Indological research continues to grow and thrive as an academic field in our country. Our partnership with the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute aims to support the field of Orientology through the provision of the necessary tools and resources and we at the Infosys Foundation are proud to be a part of this endeavor to better understand India’s past and its place in the history of the East.”
 
“The Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute focuses on Orientology which is the study of ancient cultures of the Asian sub-continent. We live in a time where social sciences have expanded their horizons to be able to apply their inferences across almost all fields of learning. Orientology, therefore, is not limited to the Orient and the Occident alone; it has numerous applications in areas of social sciences and more. This initiative by Infosys Foundation will definitely boost the vigor and charm of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute.” said, Prof. Shrikant Bahulkar, Honorary Secretary, The Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute.
 
The Bhandarkar Oriental Institute, Pune was founded on July 6, 1917, and is a public organization registered under Act XXI of 1860 and is administered by a regulating council. The Maharashtra Government nominates five representatives on the regulating council and two on the executive board.
 
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HRD Ministry denies issuing any directive to restrict choice of subjects for research

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Saying that the Government believes in the principle of freedom in research, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) today denied having issued any directive to restrict the choice of subjects for research, as has been reported in a section of the media.
 
“Last year, there was a meeting of Vice-Chancellors of 11 Central Universities, which were lacking in research. In the said meeting they presented a road map to improve research and also discussed the issue of more research on issues relating to national priorities. The minutes of the meeting was recorded,” the Ministry said in a statement.
 
The Government has given impetus to improve and expand research facilities. It has provided Rs 480 crore for Social Science Research Project under Impactful Policy Research in Social Sciences (IMPRESS); Rs 225 Crore for research in basic sciences; Rs 1000 crore under Impacting Research, Innovation and Technology (IMPRINT) for technology-related research.
 
It has also provided Rs 450 crore under STRIDE for research in Humanities; and Rs 480 crore under Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC) for joint research with foreign universities in any discipline, the statement added.
 
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Inland, coastal maritime technology centre coming up at IIT-Kharagpur

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The Ministry of Shipping, under its flagship Sagarmala Programme, is setting up a state-of-the-art Centre for Inland and Coastal Maritime Technology (CICMT) at IIT-Kharagpur at a cost of Rs 69.20 crore, the institute said on Sunday.
 
The Centre will provide applied research and development, as also real world solutions for the inland and coastal waterways sector, as also coastal waterways transportation.
 
It would also provide tools and technological inputs to double the share in intermodal transport for domestic waterways freight carrying capacity, the IIT-Kharagpur statement said.
 
The project is of strategic long-term interests for the port and maritime sector of the country and is being fully funded under unique and innovative projects under Sagarmala.
 
The funding for CICMT is for five years after which revenues generated from the end users will make it sustainable.
 
Currently, there is no testing and experimentation facility available in the country for inland and coastal vessels for which the shipbuilders have to approach various European countries. The CICMT is expected to address this long-felt need, the statement said.
 
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Work begins on permanent campus for IIM Nagpur

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Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Union Road Transport & Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari performed the groundbreaking ceremony for the permanent campus of the Indian Institute of Management, Nagpur (IIMN) here on Wednesday.
 
Chandrashekhar Bawankule, guardian minister for Nagpur, was also present on the occasion.
 
The event, hosted by C P Gurnani, Chairman of the Board of Governors of IIMN, was also attended by Maharashtra Airports Development Company Ltd (MADC) Vice-Chairman and MD Suresh Kakani, Nagpur Mayor Nanda Jichkar and other dignitaries.
 
The "bhoomipoojan" was followed by the unveiling of a commemorative plaque and the model for the proposed campus. A short film showcasing the infrastructure at the permanent campus was also screened.
 
The ceremony flagged off the first phase of the development of IIMN’s permanent campus at Dahegaon Mauza in MIHAN. Designed to cater to 600 students, the new 132-acre campus has been designed by the Delhi-based R K Associates Ltd. The project will be executed by Ahluwalia Contracts India Ltd., and managed by Engineers India Limited (EIL) as Project Management Consultants (PMC). 
 
A press release from IIMN said the campus had been designed to minimise the environmental footprint while facilitating learning both inside and outside the classroom. Phase 1 has a built-up area of approximately 60,000 sq. m., and includes the construction of a state-of-the-art academic complex, library, administrative block, student hostels, sports complex, and residential quarters.
 
The campus will also house a Management Development Centre for the institute’s Executive Education Programmes (EEP) and IIM Nagpur’s entrepreneurship incubation centre, InFED, in addition to allied infrastructure. The first phase is expected to be completed in 18 months.
 
Nitin Gadkari lauded the efforts of the Board of Governors, led by Gurnani in developing the institution, and acknowledged the support of the administration of VNIT, Nagpur, where the institute is currently operating from. He emphasized on the development of Nagpur as a logistics hub and the value that an institution such as IIMN can add to the growth of the region. 
 
He exhorted the gathering to ensure that all stakeholders, including people displaced as a result of the development, benefit from this growth.
 
Fadnavis thanked the Central Government for enabling the establishment of an IIM in Nagpur. His speech emphasized on the indispensability of quality human resources. Capital for industry cannot be deployed in the absence of human resources, he stated, thus underscoring the importance of premier institutions such as IIM in a city like Nagpur. He explained how the growth of Pune as an IT hub was founded on its development as an educational centre and consequently an industrial city.
 
Envisioning a similar model for Nagpur, he stated that the establishment of institutes of national importance such as IIM, AIIMS, NLU and IIIT in the city will enable the development of skilled human resources, thereby attracting the attention of the industry as well. He stressed that 80% of India’s GDP is concentrated within an hour’s flight from Nagpur, which, as the logistics hub of the nation, is therefore the ideal location for the first and only IIM in Maharashtra.
 
Institutes such as IIMN contribute to the educational ecosystem of the region, which in turn provides an impetus to overall development. He hailed the event as a milestone in the growth of the city, and shared his vision for elevating IIM Nagpur to the stature of prestigious IIMs like IIM Ahmedabad and IIM Bangalore. 
 
Kakani related how the company had ensured that Project-Affected Persons received adequate compensation and employment with the coming up of new institutions in SEZ – MIHAN. Training orders were given to local youth from displaced families who would work as paid trainees, and eventually be employed with MADC Ltd.
 
Gurnani spoke of the challenges in the development of the new campus and outlined the Board's ambitious vision for the institute and their enthusiasm to transform IIM Nagpur into an institution of international repute. 
 
Gurnani was positive that with Phase I proceeding as planned, the work for Phase II would be expedited as well.
 
IIM Nagpur is the first of the six new-generation IIMs to commence its flagship Post Graduate Programme (PGP) in Management in 2015. Mentored by IIM Ahmedabad, it has successfully placed its first two batches. The third batch of IIM Nagpur is set to graduate in 2019.
 
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CIPAM invites entries for Intellectual Property Competition

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The Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM), Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, in collaboration with ASSOCHAM and Ericsson India, has launched the second edition of IPrism, an Intellectual Property (IP) competition for students of schools, polytechnic institutes, colleges and universities. 
 
Aiming to foster a culture of innovation and creativity in the younger generation, the competition will provide young creators an opportunity to see their creations recognized on a national platform, an official press release said.
 
This year, entries are invited on “IP in Daily Life” in two categories – film making and comic book making. 
 
The film making competition will accept entries of 60-second long animated/film videos, while the comic book making encourages participants to narrate a story in comic strips under 5 pages.
 
Cash prizes worth more than Rs. 2 lakh will be given to the winning teams besides a special trophy of recognition for the school, institute or college that the students represent. The winners will also be recognised on CIPAM’s official website
 
The last date for receiving entries is May 30, 2019, the release said.
 
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IIMA adds GRE as criteria for admission into ePGP Programme other than CAT, GMAT

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The Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA) today said that, from the 2019-21 batch onwards, it would also accept valid GRE scores (of last five years), apart from GMAT and CAT, for admission into its e-Mode Post Graduate Programme (ePGP).
 
Candidates who have missed the CAT 2018 deadline can also appear in GMAT / GRE until March 31, 2019 in order to be eligible for 2019-21 batch application, a press release from the institute said.
 
Shortlisted candidates applying for 2019-21 batch will be invited for personal interview at IIMA campus or other cities decided by the institute.
 
The application for admission into ePGP 2019-21 batch has already begun. The last date for the application is May 31, 2019. The first campus module for new batch is slated to start from September 23, 2019.
 
The 'e' in ePGP stands for Electronic Mode (Interactive Onsite Learning). The ePGP marks IIMA's foray to offering long-term hybrid management education course leading to awarding a PG Diploma. The ePGP is a hybrid learning programme, with online lessons attended through study centers, classroom teaching at IIMA campus at regular intervals and, mentored project work. 
 
The two-year course is comprehensive and designed for working executives and entrepreneurs. The programme is aimed to enhance strategic thinking and impart the entrepreneurial as well leadership abilities required for taking organizations to the next level, while also advancing individual career aspirations, the release said.
 
The innovative curriculum is designed by the faculty members of IIMA, with their diverse experience in research, consulting / advisory, and teaching the regular students and executives in various programmes. The pedagogy is benchmarked with global standards in management education, thus providing participants with knowledge that are vital in today's knowledge economy.
 
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Government hikes fellowships, research fellows now entitled to HRA

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The Central Government has enhanced the fellowship of Ph.D. students and other researchers in any area of science and technology, including Physical and Chemical Sciences, Engineering, Mathematical Sciences, Agricultural Sciences, Life Sciences, and Pharmacy.  
 
Union Science & Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan said PhD. scholars, working in science and technology, are the most significant contributors to the knowledge base of the country for its industrial competitiveness, academic vibrancy and technology led innovations.
 
Emphasizing on the commitment of the government, Dr Vardhan said that improving the value of Ph.D. research cannot be a one-time exercise but requires constant input and efforts which the Government is fully committed to undertake.
 
The hike in fellowship will directly benefit over 60,000 Research Fellows and also provide a template to the States to consider an increase in their fellowship rates, an official press release said.
 
Fellowship of the Junior Research Fellows in the first two years of Ph.D. programme has been increased from the current rate of Rs 25,000 to Rs 31,000 per month. Similarly, in the remaining tenure of Ph.D., Senior Research Fellows will get Rs 35,000 per month instead of the present Rs 28,000 per month, it said.
 
Further, there is substantial 30-35% enhancement in the financial rewards for the scientists involved in the R&D projects as Research Associates. The top bracket of Research Associateship is fixed at Rs 54,000.  All the research fellows are also entitled to house rent allowance (HRA) as per Central Government norms, the release said.
 
This empowering mechanism is uniformly applicable across all the fellowship granting Ministries, Departments, Agencies and Academic and Government R&D Organizations of the country. 
 
For the first time, the Government has also recommended a set of strong financial and academic incentives to enhance and recognize the performance of research fellows.  This will be a performance-based addition to the fellowship.  
 
An Empowered Inter-Ministerial Committee has been constituted to periodically examine all the fellowship matters that have a bearing on enhancing the value, quality and experience of doctoral research, including the quantum of fellowship.  
 
One of the recommendations is to involve Ph.D. students in undergraduate teaching and managing research infrastructure during their doctoral research. This will not only widen their scope of training but also enhance their career prospects, the release added.
 
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Cabinet okays creation of post of VC for National Rail & Transport Institute at Vadodara

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The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved the creation of the post of Vice-Chancellor for India's first rail and transportation university, National Rail & Transport Institute (NRTI) at Vadodara in Gujarat.
 
The Vice-Chancellor shall be the Principal Executive Officer of the institution and shall exercise general supervision and control over the affairs of the institution and shall be mainly responsible for implementation of the decisions of all the authorities of the Institution deemed to be University, an official press release said.
 
NRTI opened its doors to the first batch of 103 students from 20 states of India, in two fully-residential undergraduate courses - BSc. in Transportation Technology and DBA in Transportation Management, the classes for which started from September 5, 2018. These three-year degree programs have interdisciplinary curricula, benchmarked with leading institutions in the world, consisting of foundation, core and elective courses.
 
NRTI seeks to forge collaboration with leading international institutions in the areas of Joint research and faculty and student exchange. Memoranda of Agreement have been signed by NRTI with Cornell University, USA; University of California, Berkeley; MIIT, Moscow and St. Petersburg Transport University, Russia so far.
 
NRTI is focused on transport-related education, multidisciplinary research and training. It was established as a Deemed to be University under the de novo category in 2018 to create a resource pool of best-in-class professionals for the railway and transportation sector.
 
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