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Campus Notes

ABVP bags president, two other posts in DUSU polls

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Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) won three out of four seats, including that of the president, in Delhi University Students' Union (DUSU) polls, the results of which were announced late on Thursday.
 
ABVP's presidential candidate Ankiv Basoya from the Department of Buddhist Studies defeated Sunny Chhillar of Shivaji College, a candidate of the Congress-affiliated National Students' Union of India (NSUI), by a margin of 1,724 votes.
 
A total of 20,467 votes were polled for Basoya, while Chhillar trailed behind at 18,743 votes.
 
Shakti Singh of ABVP defeated his closest rival, Leena of NSUI -- who also happened to be the only Dalit candidate in the fray -- by a wide margin of 7,673 for the post of vice-president.
 
The lone saving grace for NSUI was the secretary's post, which its candidate Akash Chaudhary won by defeating ABVP's Sudhir Dedha by a margin of over six thousand votes.
 
ABVP's Jyoti Chaudhary grabbed the post of joint secretary, defeating NSUI's Saurabh Yadav by a difference of just under five thousand votes.
 
The CYSS-AISA alliance failed to make an impact in its first outing together. Its presidential candidate -- fielded by CYSS which is affiliated with Aam Aadmi Party -- managed to get about eight thousand votes, less than half of the first runner-up's tally.
 
The counting of votes -- which began around 10 a.m. -- was anything but smooth and faced a deadlock when NSUI demanded recounting after few hours of the beginning of the process raising the issue of glitch in a few EVMs.
 
While the counting remained suspended for over four hours, the CYSS-AISA and ABVP raised slogans demanding the resumption of the counting process, which could only be done after 6 p.m.
 
"Apprehensions about EVM tampering are only valid when the victory margin is huge, while this is the not the case here, where vote gap is fairly close," the Joint Secretary-elect Jyoti Chaudhary told reporters after her win was announced.
 
CYSS-AISA criticised the incidents of violence which marred the election campaign at places and demanded an inquiry into the EVM glitch.
 
"AISA-CYSS alliance was forged at the very last moment and we couldn't convert the immense support we received into votes. Yet, the way we fought this election has given a new dimension to students politics in DU.
 
"We demand a high-level judicial enquiry in the poll mismanagement and EVM malfunctioning," CYSS-AISA said in a statement after the results.
 
IANS
 

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Cabinet approves amendment to National Institute of Design (NID) Act, 2014

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The Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave its approval for introduction of a Bill in Parliament for amendment of NID Act, 2014 to include the four new National Institutes of Design (NID).
 
The proposed institutes would come up in Amaravati/Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh), Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), Jorhat (Assam) and Kurukshetra (Haryana). These are also to be Institutions of National Importance (INIs) at par with the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad.
 
Some minor amendments to the Act including consequential changes considered necessary namely, to rename NID Vijayawada as NID Amaravati and nomenclature of Principal Designer as equivalent to Professor are also proposed in the Bill.
 
"Establishing new NIDs as Institutions of National Importance in different geographical regions of the country will help produce highly skilled manpower in design which, in turn, will create job opportunities, both direct and indirect, by providing sustainable design interventions for crafts, handloom, rural technology, small, medium and large scale enterprises; and outreach programmes for capacity, capability and institution building," the release added.
 
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HC stays JNU order to cancel NSUI member's candidature

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The Delhi High Court on Monday stayed the Jawaharlal Nehru University's (JNU) decision to cancel the candidature of National Students Union of India member Vikas Yadav for the September 14 students union elections.
 
Justice Siddharth Mridul said that the stay order will remain till November 27, the next date of hearing.
 
Yadav had challenged the JNU's September 7 order to debar him, citing a proctorial inquiry initiated against him wherein he was asked to pay Rs 20,000 in fine and transfer of hostel.
 
Yadav, pursuing M. Phil in International Relations from the university, had also sought directions for calling the records of the disciplinary inquiry against him.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 

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Former President Pranab Mukherjee to teach IIMA students

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Former President Pranab Mukherjee will teach students of the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA) who will be attending a new course called "Public Policy for Inclusive Development of India".
 
The course will be taken by students across the PGPM (Post Graduate Programme in Management), FABM (Food and Agri-Business Management) and PGPX (Post Graduate Program in Management for Executives) programmes at the institute.
 
The new course is housed within the JSW School of Public Policy at IIMA and Mr. Mukherjee will be the faculty for at least 12 of 22 sessions, a press release from IIMA said.
 
Prof. Vijaya Sherry Chand, Chairperson of JSW School of Public Policy and Prof. Anil Gupta will handle other sessions of the course.
 
The course deals with a broad overview of the interplay between the desired end of inclusive development and the system of parliamentary democracy in India.
 
The pedagogy draws on the experiences of Mr. Mukherjee to reflect on the theory and practice of public policy for the inclusive development of India. 
 
During the last five decades, Mr. Mukherjee has not only had a ringside view of Indian politics and governance, but has shaped many public policies and triggered off institutional innovations to execute many of these. 
 
"The course provides a unique opportunity for students to learn from the deep insights that Mr. Mukherjee alone can share with complete authenticity and conviction.
 
Mr. Mukherjee will be delivering lectures on the following broad themes:
 
-- Constitutional Provisions for Socio-economic Inclusivity: Theory and Parliamentary Practice
-- Policy and Institutional Intervention for Financial Inclusion: A Legacy to be Built Upon
-- Articulating Policy and Institutional Agenda for Future Transformation of India
 
Out of these, certain sessions will also include presentations of selected student projects that address developmental and institutional challenges identified in the beginning of the course.
 
Prof. Chand said, “Listening to Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, our students should develop a better understanding of the politics of inclusive development. In a complex democratic society such as ours, technically ideal solutions to public problems have to be balanced by the management of conflicts that are inevitable when there are multiple and contradictory pulls. This should also help in understanding why the idea of inclusion goes beyond narrow economic perspectives on poverty and its alleviation.”
 
After leaving his office as President, Mr. APJ Abdul Kalam had also taken up teaching positions at three IIMs, including IIMA. At IIMA, Mr. Kalam taught a course titled “Globalising and Resurgent India through Innovative Transform”.
 
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Cabinet approves establishment, operationalisation of permanent campuses of seven new IIMs

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The Union Cabinet today approved the establishment and operationalization of permanent campuses of seven new Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) at Amritsar, Bodh Gaya, Nagpur, Sambalpur, Sirmaur, Vishakhapatnam and Jammu.
 
At its meeting, the Cabinet also approved their recurring expenditure at a total cost of Rs 3775.42 crore (Rs 2999.96 crore as non-recurring and Rs 775.46 crore as recurring expenditure), an official press release said.
 
These IIMs, established in the year 2015-16/2016-17, are presently functioning from transit campuses.
 
The release said that, out of the total assessed cost of Rs. 3775.42 crore, Rs. 2804.09 crore will be spent for construction of permanent campuses of these institutes, as per the following details:
 
IIM Amritsar -- Rs. 348.31 crore
IIM Bodh Gaya -- Rs. 411.72 crore
IIM Nagpur -- Rs. 379.68 crore
IIM Sambalpur -- Rs. 401.94 crore
IIM Sirmaur -- Rs. 392.51 crore
IIM Vishakhapatnam -- Rs. 445.00 crore
IIM Jammu -- Rs. 424.93 crore
 
Each of these IIMs will construct an area of 60384 sqm, which will have complete infrastructural facilities for 600 students in each IIM. Recurring grants to these institute have also been approved at the rate of Rs 5 lakh per student per year for five years. Thereafter, the institutes are expected to meet their running cost / maintenance cost from the internal generation of funds.
 
"The construction of permanent campus of these institutes shall be completed by June, 2021. With this, all the 20 IIMs will have their own permanent campuses," the release added.
 
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CBSE declares results of 7th UGC-NET

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The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) today declared the results of the 7th UGC-NET conducted by it on July 8 across 91 cities in the country.
 
The results can be seen here after entering the registration number, roll number and date of birth.
 
A total of 11,48,235 candidates had registered for the examination, the highest number ever for the examination.
 
The National Eligibility Test (NET) conducted by the CBSE on behalf of the University Grants Commission (UGC) determines eligibility for positions of Assistant Professor or Junior Research Fellows in Indian  universities and colleges.
 
A press release from CBSE said that, out of the 8,59,498 candidates who appeared for both papers, as many as 55,872 candiddates qualified for eligibility for assistant proessor, including those who qualified for JRF.
 
The release said 3,929 candidates had qualified for JRF and became eligible for assistant professor's position also.
 
As per the UGC policy, 6% of the candidates who appear in both  the papers and obtain minimum qualifying marks in aggregate of both papers are declared NET qualified. The certificates to the qualified candidates will be issued by UGC>
 
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Rs 1000 crore grant only to public institutions under Institutes of Eminence tag: Javadekar

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Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Thursday only public institutions would be eligible for the Rs 1000 crore grant for Institutes of Eminence.
 
Mr Javadekar informed the Rajya Sabha during question hour that the University Grants Commission (UGC) had notified the UGC (Declaration of Government Educational Institutions as Institutions of Eminence) Guidelines, 2017 for public institutions and UGC (Institutions of Eminence Deemed to be Universities) Regulations, 2017 for private institutions for setting up or upgrading of 20 institutions (10 from public sector and 10 from private sector) as world-class teaching and research institutions called as ‘Institutions of Eminence’ (IoEs).  
 
The Regulations inter-alia provide for Greenfield category, too, he said.
 
Accordingly, applications were invited through UGC’s notification dated September 13, 2017, from existing Government Institutions and existing Private Institution along with from Sponsoring Organizations which intends to set up new Institutions of Eminence Deemed to be University.
 
A total of 114 applications, 74 from the public sector and 40 from the private sector, including 11 applications in the Greenfield projects had been received, he said.
 
These applications had been entrusted to an Empowered Expert Committee (EEC) constituted for this purpose. The EEC, after a thorough examination of applications and presentations made by the institutions, made its recommendations to UGC.
 
The Institutions were recommended and approved by the EEC and the UGC based on their detailed 15 year strategic vision plan and a five-year rolling implementation plan: Academic Plan, Faculty Recruitment Plan, Students Admission plan, Research Plan, Networking Plan, Infrastructure development Plan, Finance Plan, Administrative Plan, Governance Plan, and so on.
 
They also had to come out with clear annual milestones and action plans on how the Institutions of Eminence Deemed to be Universities were to be set up, with identifiable outputs and outcomes and their plan to meet the criteria for attaining the status.
 
The Minister clarified that the Institute of Eminence tag has not been given to Jio Institute yet; only Letter of Intent has been given on the recommendation of the EEC.
 
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Kovind urges IITs to ensure more participation of girls in science & technology

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President Ram Nath Kovind today urged the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) to take the lead in ensuring the greater participation of girls in higher education, especially in science and technology, and take it to fair and acceptable levels within the coming decade.
 
Addressing the 64th annual convocation of IIT Kharagpur here, he said that, in the colleges and universities that he has visited across the country, he found that girl students tend to win more medals and awards than their male counterparts.
 
“Yet, when it comes to IITs, the intake of girl students is distressingly low. In 2017, about 160,000 candidates appeared for the IIT Joint Entrance Examination (Advanced). Only some 30,000 were girls. In 2017, 10,878 students got admission into the undergraduate class of the IITs. Only 995 were girls,” he added.
 
He noted that of the 11,653 students enrolled at IIT Kharagpur, only 1,925 were girls, a little over 16%. “This cannot go on. We need to do something about these numbers. The participation of women in higher education, in science and technology and in the workforce of our country has to rise to fair and acceptable levels within the coming decade. This should be a national priority, and the IIT community must take the lead,” he added.
 
Mr Kovind said IIT Kharagpur has its origins in a committee that was set up by the government shortly after Independence to take stock of technical education. The committee was headed by the British Nobel laureate Dr A.V. Hill who recommended the setting up of an institution modelled on the pattern of MIT in the United States. The use of global experts to conceive this Institute was appropriate.
 
“Over the years, IIT Kharagpur and in fact the IIT network and community has become an important window to the world. This is in keeping with our country’s and our civilisation’s character. Exchange of ideas, of expertise, of knowledge – across fields, from engineering to economics, from medicine to management – has contributed to our policy choices and our people’s development. We must continue to celebrate this,” he added.
 
IIT Kharagpur’s diverse and trans-disciplinary academic portfolio has led to joint research programmes with several institutions. These include the Indian Statistical Institute, the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, and Tata Medical Centre, all located in Kolkata.
 
“With its wealth of knowledge, it is for IIT Kharagpur to continue to guide the nation by helping find solutions to the pressing problems of our age – whether agricultural productivity or emerging infectious diseases, whether renewable energy or low-cost housing and sustainable cities," Mr Kovind said.
 
He noted that IIT Kharagpur has signed a MoU with the Ministry of Rural Development to set up a Centre for Excellence in Big Data Analytics for Rural Development.
 
The President also unveiled the foundation stone for the Savitribai Phule Girls’ Hostel and the APJ Abdul Kalam International Visitors’ Guest House on the occasion.
 
Mr Kovind said, “Of all the IITs, I understand IIT Kharagpur has the largest percentage of women in leadership roles. This must translate into more girl students as well. Your institute has created 113 supernumerary seats for girl candidates in the undergraduate programme. I have also been told about a special initiative, with support from the Infosys Foundation, to fund women researchers who wish to attend major international conferences. These are good steps but a long road lies ahead of us."
 
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Kovind meets Directors of 59 Central institutes of higher learning

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Rashtrapati Bhavan hosted a one-day meeting of directors of 59 Central institutes of higher learning in the fields of information technology, engineering science and technology, and planning and architecture here on Thursday.
 
The meeting was part of regular interactions by President Ram Nath Kovind with such institutions in his capacity as Visitor to 146 Central Universities and institutions of higher learning.
 
Speaking at the concluding session, the President said the NIT system has been able to provide high-quality technical education to talented students across the country. This network of institutes has taken the opportunity of engineering education to remote corners. NITs were critical to promoting technical education and research.
 
The President said information technology has a pivotal role in today’s world. “Our Institutes of Information Technology strive to create a unique meeting ground for the two fields of information technology and of management. They contribute significantly to research, teaching and extension work for the integrated application of information technology and management. In an age when IT is critical to almost all our endeavours, this is extremely valuable,” he added.
 
The heads of these institutes have been gifted with the opportunity to shape the future of the youth of our country. Their work directly affects not only the future of their graduates but also the future of India. The young graduates from their institutes will be the torch-bearers of their generation. By giving them the right knowledge, the right values and the right ethics, the institutes are doing a service to the society, he added.
 
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CCEA approves establishment of Medical College, Salempur at Deoria

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The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) today approved the proposal of Uttar Pradesh government for the establishment of a new medical college at Deoria at a cost of Rs 250 crore under Phase-II of the centrally sponsored scheme.
 
Under Phase-II of the scheme for the establishment of new medical colleges attached with existing District/Referral hospitals, the criteria for one medical college in every three Parliamentary constituencies and one Government medical college in each State was adopted.  Accordingly, a requirement of 24 additional medical colleges including eight medical colleges in Uttar Pradesh has been approved.
 
Out of the eight identified blocks in Uttar Pradesh, Block-6 consists of (70) Ghosi, (71) Salempur and (72) Ballia Parliamentary constituencies.  The State Government has recommended for establishment of Medical College, Salempur at Deoria by up-gradation of District Hospital, Deoria.
 
The District Hospital, Deoria is also suitable as it has a sufficient number of beds and other facilities including the availability of land as per MCI norms for the establishment of a medical college of all possible locations in the identified block, an official press release added.
 
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Kovind tells Central Universities, institutes to collaborate and learn from each other

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Saying that knowledge cannot grow in silos, President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday urged the   Heads of Central Universities and Institutes of higher learning to collaborate and learn from each other.
 
“I would nudge you towards partnering with universities in our country and outside; in your respective fields and beyond. Knowledge cannot grow in silos and it is essential that each of you participate in the growth of the other,” Mr Kovind said at the one-day meeting of Vice Chancellors, Directors and Heads of 19 Central Institutes of Higher Learning hosted by him at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
 
“And all along, you must remember that you are institutions of national importance. The students you produce will shape the professions that will build our nation. This is what the people of India expect from you. And this is the benchmark by which you must measure yourselves,” he added.
 
Speaking at the concluding session, the President said each of these institutes has a rich history. Each of these is instrumental to the realisation of social and economic goals that India has set itself as it strives to eliminate poverty and become a middle-income country.
 
Mr Kovind, who is Visitor to 146 Central Universities and institutions of higher learning, said, on taking office, he was informed about the tradition of an annual conference of all the vice-chancellors, directors and other heads of these institutions. The President would address the gathering at the beginning of the conference and then the other sessions would begin.
 
However, when he thought about it, he felt that an omnibus conference, where 146 different types of institutions, with different systems, frameworks, motivations and challenges, would serve only a limited purpose. It was better to categorise the institutions into smaller, more manageable groups of similar institutions, or at least institutions with similar administrative regimes and issues. “To my mind, this would be a more worthwhile exercise if problem-solving was indeed a priority,” he added.
 
“This set of 19 Central Institutes of Higher Learning is the fourth such cohort with which I am interacting. Next week there will a meeting with the National Institutes of Technology and the Indian Institutes of Information Technology and that will complete the engagement with all 146 institutions well within one year of my tenure to be completed by the end of this month,” he said.
 
The 19 Central Institutes promoted technical education in critical areas such as agriculture, pharmaceuticals, aviation, design, footwear design, fashion, petroleum and energy, maritime studies and youth development.
 
“As such, it is important to plan the future of your institutes in the context of an India with a large youth population for the foreseeable future – and with the prospect of a $5 trillion GDP by 2025. This requires us to think big and to take risks – and each of your institutes must be equal to the challenge,” he said.
 
Take the seven National Institutes of Pharmaceutical Education and Research. India has a strong and vibrant pharmaceutical industry and an appreciable record in producing generics. Yet, it is now time to make a quantum leap in drug discovery and the developing of cutting-edge, patented medicines, he said.
 
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A stress on solutions for long-standing public health issues such as TB and a thrust on the management of emerging lifestyle diseases and the pharmaceutical products is needed along with an enabling environment for a thriving clinical research industry. “All this will create enormous economic and job opportunities for our young people. Incubating such an entrepreneurial environment should be vital for your institutes,” he said.
 
The three Central Agricultural Universities participating in the conference are force multipliers in the government’s resolve to enhance the quality of life for our farmers who are the backbone of our nation. 
 
“Nearly 61% of our population continues to be dependent on agriculture. We need to be mindful that the pressure on land and on water is immense. New technologies, including technologies we have so far shied away from, will need to be studied and adopted, as feasible. The food and agricultural value chain will have to be made more robust. Agricultural Universities have a mandate that goes beyond the farm,” he added.
 
“While developing your specialisations, I would urge you to collaborate and learn from each other. This is possible for institutes in the same field. It is also possible across categories. For example, the National Institute of Design and the National Institute of Youth Development have a cross-cutting identity.
 
“Design can add value to several fields, and our youth are at the centre of all our national endeavours and for all of the institutes here today. Please make actionable and focused plans for collaboration. The Nalanda University, which has a pan-Asian footprint and is a tribute to the heritage of learning that India shares with Southeast Asia, can also provide a platform,” Mr Kovind said.
 
The President also pointed out the need to create new posts at the earliest, filling up of vacant faculty positions and regular holding of convocations. In an era of global competition, it is important that the syllabus of various courses are updated on regular basis.    
 
Institutes whose heads participated in the meeting were: Central Agriculture University; Dr Rajendra Prasad Central Agriculture University; Rani Lakshmi Bai Central Agriculture University; National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Ahmedabad, Guwahati; Hajipur;  Hyderabad; Kolkata, Rai Bareli, Mohali; Rajiv Gandhi National Aviation University; Footwear design & Development Institute; National Institute of Design; Nalanda University; Indian Maritime University; National Institute of Fashion Technology; Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy; Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Petroleum and Technology and Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development.
 
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IIT Delhi, IIT Bombay, IISc among six Institutions of Eminence

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The Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry on Monday announced that six institutes -- three private and three public -- have been chosen as Institutions of Eminence (IoE), entitling them to more autonomy and grants from the government.
 
The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi, IIT Bombay and Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru were the three public institutes announced as IoE. They will get Rs 1,000 crore from the government in the next five years. 
 
From the private sector, BITS Pilani, Manipal Academy of Higher Education and Jio Institute by Reliance Foundation were granted the status. 
 
"This decision is a landmark decision for the following reasons: this was never thought of and tried; it is more than a graded autonomy, it is really full autonomy to the institutes; the institutes can take their own decisions," HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar tweeted. 
 
As per the University Grants Commission (Institutions of Eminence Deemed to be Universities) Regulations, 2017, the Ministry was to select 20 IoEs -- 10 private and 10 public -- and had formed a high-level committee to shortlist the entries solicited from the institutes on the basis of their research calibre and other criteria. 
 
According to a government statement issued earlier, these IoEs will have greater autonomy in that they will be able to admit foreign students up to 30 per cent of the admitted students and recruit foreign faculty up to 25 per cent of the faculty strength. 
 
They can also offer online courses up to 20 per cent of its programmes. 
 
IANS
 
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CCEA okays expansion of scope of Higher Education Financing Agency, enhances its capital base

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The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) today approved a proposal for expanding the scope of the Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) by enhancing its capital base to Rs. 10,000 crore and tasking it to mobilise Rs. 1,00,000 crore for Revitalizing Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE) by 2022.
 
An official press release said that, in order to expand this facility to all institutions, especially to the institutions set up after 2014, Central Universities which have very little internal resources, and the school education/health education infrastructure like AllMSs and Kendriya Vidyalayas, the CCEA has approved five windows for financing under HEFA and the modalities of repaying the principal portion of the fund (interest continues to be serviced through Government grants in all these cases).
 
The five windows are:
 
Technical Institutions more than  10 years old:  Repay the whole Principal Portion from the internally generated budgetary resources.
Technical Institutions started between 2008 and 2014: Repay 25% of the principal portion from internal resources, and receive grant for the balance of the Principal portion.
Central Universities started prior to 2014: Repay 10% of the principal portion from internal resources, and receive grant for the balance of the Principal portion.
Newly established   Institutions  (started   after   2014):   for   funding construction of permanent campuses: Grant would be provided for complete servicing of loan including the Principal and interest.
Other educational institutions and grant-in-aid institutions of Ministry of Health: All the newly set up AIIMSs and other health institutions, the Kendriya Vidyalayas / Navodaya Vidyalayas would be funded and the Department/Ministry concerned will give a commitment for complete servicing of the principal and interest by ensuring adequate grants to the institution.
 
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The CCEA has also permitted HEFA to mobilise Rs 1,00,000 crore over the next four years till 2022 to meet the infrastructure needs of these institutions. The CCEA has also approved increasing the authorized share capital of HEFA to Rs. 10,000 crore, and approved infusing additional Government equity of Rs. 5,000 crore (in addition to Rs. 1,000 crore already provided) in HEFA.
 
The CCEA has also approved that the modalities for raising money from the market through Government-guaranteed bonds and commercial borrowings would be decided in consultation with the Department of Economic Affairs so that the funds are mobilized at the least cost.
 
The decision would enable addressing the needs of all educational institutions with differing financial capacity in an inclusive manner, the release said.
 
It would enable HEFA to leverage additional resources from the market to supplement equity, to be deployed to fund the requirements of institutions.  Government guarantee would eliminate the risk factor in bonds issue and attract investment in to this important national activity, the release added.
 
HEFA was set up on May 31, 2017 by the Central Government as a non-profit, non-banking financing company (NBFC) for mobilising extra-budgetary resources for building crucial infrastructure in the higher educational institutions under Central Government. In the existing arrangement, the entire principle portion is repaid by the institution over ten years, and the interest portion is serviced by the Government by providing additional grants to the institution. 
 
So far, funding proposals worth Rs. 2,016 crore have been approved by the HEFA.
 
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Cabinet clears three-year action plan of Agricultural Education Division & ICAR Institutes

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The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the continuation of the Three-Year Action Plan (2017-2020) of the scheme for Agricultural Education Division and ICAR Institutes with an outlay of Rs. 2225.46 crore [Rs. 2197.51 crore + Rs. 27.95 crore (State share) as salary component for AICRP-HS] for strengthening and developing higher agricultural education in India. 
 
The plan comprises Strengthening and Development of Higher Agricultural Education in India - Rs. Rs.2050.00 crore; ICAR-National Academy of Agricultural Research Management (NAARM) - Rs. 24.25 crore and ICAR - Central Institute of Women in Agriculture (CIWA) including All India Coordinated Research Project on Home Science (AICRP-HS) - Rs. 151.21 crore.
 
An official press release said the scheme is aimed at generating quality human resources from the institutions of higher agricultural education. It encompasses several new initiatives, including steps to attract talented students, reducing academic inbreeding and addressing faculty shortage.  
 
"This will lead to generation of competitive and confident human resource. In addition, research on gender issues in agriculture and allied fields, formulating gender-equitable agricultural, policies/programmes and gender-sensitive agricultural-sector responses will be undertaken by ICAR-CIWA and capacity building needs of the human resources and stakeholders of the entire National Agricultural Research & Education System (NARES) will be catered leading to enhancing of competencies and capacities of the stakeholders including farmers, young scientists, students and agri-industry in NARES by ICAR-NAARM," the release said.
 
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Cabinet okays withdrawal of Nalanda University (Amendment) Bill pending in RS

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The Union Cabinet today approved a proposal for withdrawal of the Nalanda University (Amendment) Bill, 2013 pending in the Rajya Sabha.
 
The Nalanda University was established on the basis of a Joint Press Statement at the 4th East Asia Summit held in Thailand in October, 2009, which supported its establishment as a non-state, non-profit, secular and self-governing international institution. 
 
Subsequently, the Nalanda University Act, 2010 was passed by the Parliament and came into effect from 25th November 2010.
 
The present proposal is for moving a motion in Rajya Sabha withdrawing the Nalanda University (Amendment) Bill, 2013 introduced in Rajya Sabha on August 26, 2013 to amend certain existing provisions of the Nalanda University Act, 2010 and add some new provisions.
 
The Governing Board of Nalanda University has since been constituted as per section 7 of Nalanda University Act, 2010 with effect from 21.11.2016 with, the approval of Hon'ble President of India. The Amendment Bill will need to be discussed with the current Governing Board of Nalanda University before a final decision could be taken on going ahead with the proposed amendments. Further, the current Governing Board may also look into the entire Nalanda University Act, 2010 afresh and suggest amendments/additions wherever necessary.
 
Teaching in the University was inaugurated by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in September 2014. The President of India is the Visitor of the University, Dr. Vijay Bhatkar, the Chancellor and Professor Sunaina Singh, is the Vice-Chancellor. 
 
At present, the University has 116 students in three schools of studies --  School of Historical Studies, School of Ecology and Environment Studies and School of Buddhist Studies. This includes 35 international students from 21 foreign countries.
 
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SC gives go-ahead to declare CLAT-2018 results on Thursday

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday gave its nod for the declaration of the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT-2018) results on Thursday while giving more time to the Grievance Redressal Committee (GRC) to probe complaints received by it on glitches in the conduct of the online examination.
 
Permitting the Kochi-based National University of Advanced Legal Studies to go ahead with the declaration of results scheduled for May 31, a bench of Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice Mohan M. Shantanagoudar allowed the GRC headed by Justice M.R. Hariharan Nair to take up the complaints on the conduct of the examination by the candidates who took the common entrance test for admission to national law universities.
 
The court has given GRC time till June 6 to look into the complaints and submit its report.
 
The report of the GRC, which has Professor Santosh Kumar as its other member, that was submitted to the court in a sealed cover, said that it has gone into the complaints of 167 examinees out of 251 complaints that were received till May 23.
 
The committee had urged the court to grant it more time to complete scrutiny of the complaints which it has received beyond 251 and another 25 who had approached the top court and the high courts seeking the annulling of the exams.
 
IANS
 
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Education should promote innovation, freedom in thinking: Kovind

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The objective of education should be to promote innovation and freedom in thinking, according to President Ram Nath Kovind.
 
Addressing the annual convocation of the Veer Narmad South Gujarat University here yesterday, Mr Kovind said besides building capacities for a professional career, education should also make students develop a respect for the sentiments of others as well as an inclination to work for the welfare of society.
 
He said the Veer Narmad South Gujarat University is named after renowned Gujarati literary figure Narmadashankar Dave or Veer Narmad, who was not only a poet and writer but also a social reformer. He was a nation builder who shaped Gujarati and Indian identity and worked for female empowerment, widow remarriage and similar causes.
 
The President said the region of south Gujarat is an economic engine for the state. And within this region, Surat makes a significant contribution. The textiles and diamond industries are special to Surat and attract workers from across the country. That is why the city is sometimes called “mini--India”.
 
As the leading educational institution here, the Veer Narmad South Gujarat University bears an important responsibility. The large tribal student population that the University serves also adds to its importance.
 
Earlier in the day, the President attended a function to felicitate family members of cadaver organ donors. The function was organised by the NGO Donate Life. Addressing the gathering, Mr Kovind called for motivating people for organ donation as a service to humanity.
 
Later, at another function, he presented the ‘Santokbaa Humanitarian Award’, instituted by the SRK Foundation, to former ISRO Chairman A S Kiran Kumar and Nobel Peace laureate Kailash Satyarthi.
 
Speaking on the occasion, the President said he was happy to note that the business community in Surat, which was well known across the world, was supportive of philanthropic and social welfare efforts.
 
He appreciated the efforts of Govind Dholakia of SRK Exports for maintaining this tradition and instituting the awards.
 
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Committee to look into CLAT-2018 complaints

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The Grievance Redressal Committee set up by the National University for Advanced Legal Studies (NUALS) will look into the grievances of the candidates, on a case to case basis, who appeared in CLAT-2018.
 
The candidates had complained of facing technical glitches in their online examination, and issues related to question papers.
 
As the NUALS said it has constituted a two-member committee to look into the complaints, the vacation bench of Supreme Court judges Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice Indu Malhotra said candidates having any complaint about the difficulties they encountered while appearing for the online examination can approach the committee by 7 p.m. on Sunday. 
 
The order said that the Grievance Redressal Committee headed by the former judge of the Kerala High Court Justice M.R. Hariharan Nair with Santosh Kumar G as the other member, would in the first instance deal with 250 complaints already filed by May 29, 2018.
 
The committee will also examine the complaints of the students who have approached the Supreme Court and High Courts.
 
Santosh Kumar is Professor and Head of the Computer Department of Cochin University. The other complaints that would be filed online will be taken up in the second instance.
 
The court directed the University to file the status report on the working of the committee in the court by May 30, 2018.
 
IANS
 
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Research in Horticulture & Forestry of special significance to farmers in mountainous regions: Kovind

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Research in horticulture and forestry has a special significance for farmers in mountainous regions such as in Himachal Pradesh and, over the past three decades, the Dr Y S Parmar University has contributed significantly to advancements in the field, President Ram Nath Kovind said today.
 
Addressing the 9th convocation of the University, the President noted that it has the distinction of being the first Horticultural University in Asia. He congratulated students of the University for choosing to pursue their education in the agricultural sector.
 
This sector, he is said, is associated with the prosperity of farmers, the rural community and the entire country. He said he considered each student and teacher of this University to be a technically-equipped friend and partner of the farmers of Himachal Pradesh as well as other parts of the country.
 
Mr Kovind said the goal of education should not be limited to simply getting a job. They can start their own enterprises by using their skills and learning. There is immense potential in the field of fruit and vegetable processing.
 
With their knowledge and enterprise, graduates of the University could help consumers in the country and abroad get better food products and help farmers get better value for their produce. 
 
He urged the students to take advantage of various schemes and initiatives of the Union and state governments to set up their businesses in the agriculture sector.
 
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Indian Culinary Institute inks MoU with IGNTU, Amarkantak for degree programmes

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A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between the Indian Culinary Institute (ICI) and the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University (IGNTU), Amarkantak for collaborative degree programmes and research in culinary arts.
 
Minister of State for Tourism K J Alphons, Tourism Secretary Rashmi Verma and IGNTU Vice-Chancellor Prof TV Kattimani, were present at the signing here yesterday.
 
ICI has its campuses at Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh and Noida in Uttar Pradesh. The academic courses from Noida campus would commence from the 2018-19 batch and further batches at Tirupati campus from the 2018-19 academic session.
 
An official press release said the main objective of setting up of the ICI was to institutionalize a mechanism to support efforts intended to preserve, document, promote and disseminate Indian cuisine, meet the sectoral requirement of specialists specific to Indian cuisine, as also of promoting cuisine as a niche tourism product.
 
The ICIs will be Centres of Excellence which will offer structured regular programmes of study specific to culinary arts and culinary management leading to graduate and postgraduate level degrees, it said.
 
They would promote research and innovation, organize demand-driven certificate and diploma courses, document and create database specific to Indian cuisine and commission studies and surveys on cuisine.
 
Indian Culinary Institute would provide the appropriate training platform at par with the elite “Chef Schools” functioning in different parts of the developed world, it said.
 
The ICIs will also help the local youth to get trained in these streams as well as create entrepreneurs and make them self-sufficient.
 
The hotel and tourism industry also stand to benefit by getting trained and skilled manpower which in turn will enhance their business and thus generate gainful employment, the release added.
 
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IISc tops overall NIRF rankings for 2018

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The Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru topped the overall rankings in the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) for 2018 released by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) here today.
 
The third edition of the NIRF for institutions of higher learning in India featured rankings in nine categories, including two new categories of Medical and Law.
 
In the overall category, IISc was followed by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras; IIT Bombay; IIT Delhii; IIT Kharagpur; Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi; IIT Kanpur; IIT Roorkee; Banaras Hindu University (BHU) Varanasi; and Anna University, Chennai.
 
In Management, the top ranking went to Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad, followed by IIM Bangalore; IIM Calcutta; IIM Lucknow; IIT Bombay; IIM Kozhikode; IIT Kharagpur; IIT Delhi; IIT Roorkee; and Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI), Jamshedpur.
 
Among Universities, the top position went to IISc, Bengaluru, followed by JNU, New Delhi; BHU, Varanasi; Anna University, Chennai; University of Hyderabad; Jadavpur University, Kolkata; University of Delhi; Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore; Savitribai Phule Pune University; and Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Aligarh.
 
Miranda House, Delhi topped the rankings in Colleges, followed by St. Stephens`s College, Delhi; Bishop Heber College, Tiruchirappalli; Hindu College, Delhi; Presidency College, Chennai; Loyola College, Chennai; Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi; Lady Shri Ram College for Women, New Delhi; Ramakrishna Mission Vidyamandira, Howrah; and Madras Christian College, Chennai.
 
In Pharmacy, the list was topped by National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), Mohali, followed by Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi; Panjab University, Chandigarh; Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai; Birla Institute of Technology  & Science, Pilani; NIPER, Hyderabad; Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Manipal; Bombay College of Pharmacy, Mumbai; SVKM`s Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai; and JSS College of Pharmacy, Mysore.
 
All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi topped the list of Medical Colleges, followed by Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh; and Christian Medical College, Vellore.
 
In Architecture, IIT Kharagpur topped the list, followed by IIT Roorkee and School of Planning & Architecture New Delhi.
 
In Law, National Law School of India University, Bengaluru topped the list, followed by National Law University, New Delhi and Nalsar University of Law, Hyderabad.
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Among Engineering colleges, IIT Madras topped the list, followed by IIT Bombay; IIT Delhi; IIT Kharagpur; IIT Kanpur; IIT Roorkee; IIT Guwahati; Anna University, Chennai; IIT Hyderabad and Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai.
 
The rankings were released here today by Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar, who said the NIRF was aimed at promoting quality in education and encourage competition.
 
The parameters used for India Rankings 2018 are broadly similar to those used in previous years. However, some of the sub-parameters have been further tweaked for greater robustness and accuracy. In particular for evaluating Research Impact, parameters for quality of publications have been enhanced to include the number of highly cited papers, (i.e., number of papers lying in the top 25 percentile of citations) in addition to the usual parameters of publications per faculty and citations per paper.
 
The data received from both institutional and third party sources were subject to extensive scrutiny for consistency and correctness by a team of experts. The Rankings List includes 100 institutions each in the Overall, University, Engineering and General College Categories, and 50 each in Management and Pharmacy, 25 in Medical and 10 each in Architecture and Law. Additional rankings in suitably bunched forms are also being provided. Four institutions, which could not easily fit into any of the above categories, have been chosen for a special mention for excellence on a few parameters like Research and so on.
 
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Alumni gift foreign internships to IIT KGP students

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The US-based IIT KGP Alumni Foundation has announced internship scholarships for 14 students who received internship offers for 2018 at top global universities, it announced in a statement on Thursday.
 
The students from various disciplines and at different levels of study at the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur have been awarded the scholarships to pursue research or internships at renowned academic institutions abroad.
 
The grants were made available as part of the IIT KGP Foundation's "Award Program for International Internships", which was launched earlier this month.
 
Under the scheme, IITKGPF, a non-profit organisation headquartered at Nebraska, offers up to $3,000 as monetary support to exceedingly meritorious students who wish to pursue high quality international research and professional internships.
 
The scholarship is disbursed through direct payments for eligible expenses like airfare and stay. Partially funded students are also eligible for the scholarship.
 
Students of IIT Kharagpur have welcomed the initiative. 
 
Kaustav Brahma, B.Tech student at the Department of Electronics and Electrical Communications Engineering, who has received the scholarship for his internship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) this year, says: "Internships are expensive and stipends given by foreign laboratories or universities are often not enough to cover living and travel costs. 
 
"Many are unable to pursue internships not because their projects are not good, but because there are so few grants available and the competition for them is intense."
 
All the applications for the programme were received and screened by the IIT KGP Office of International Relations. A committee constituted of five IIT KGP deans together with the President of the Foundation, makes the final awards.
 
The selection process takes into account the reputation of the host institution, the quality of the proposed research or professional internship and the academic standing of the candidate.
 
Among the institutions where the IIT KGP students have received invitation to pursue their internships this year are the University of Cambridge, UK; University of Columbia; MIT; Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany; Albert-Ludwigs-Universitaet Freiburg, Germany; Carnegie-Mellon; University of Chicago and the California Institute of Technology.
 
IANS
 
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Female enrolment in IITs to be increased to 20% by 2020-21 by creating supernumerary seats

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Female enrolment in Indian Institutes of Technologies (IITs) will be increased to 20% by 2020-21 by creating supernumerary seats, according to Minister of State for Human Resource Development Satya Pal Singh.
 
The Minister informed the Lok Sabha in a written reply during Question Hour yesterday that the University Grants Commission (UGC) has undertaken several schemes for the benefit of girls and women to enhance their accessibility and provide more opportunities such as provisions of various scholarships and fellowships exclusively for single girl child and women. 
 
The low representation of female enrolment in Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) was reviewed by a Committee constituted by the Joint Admission Board (JAB) and on the recommendations of the Committee, it has been decided to increase female enrolment in IITs from 8% in 2016 to 14% in 2018-19, 17% in 2019-20 and 20% in 2020-21 by creating supernumerary seats.
 
The UGC is also implementing schemes for development of Women’s Studies in Indian Universities and Colleges, setting up of Women Hostels for Colleges and Universities, Capacity Building of Women Managers in Higher Education, Establishment of Day Care Centre in Central and State Universities, he added.
 
A Sub-Committee under Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) has been constituted to look into the issues related to Girls’ Education. The interim recommendations of the Sub-Committee inter-alia, include setting up of Residential Degree Colleges and Polytechnics for Women in the District Head Quarters, Exclusive Women University in each State and providing free education to girls up to PG level etc.
 
Also under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA), Central support is offered to increase access, equity and quality of higher education. Till date, the scheme has approved central assistance for 232 women colleges across States and Union Territories under various components.
 
These include the creation of Model Degree Colleges (MDCs), new colleges (professional & technical), Equity Initiatives, Upgradation of Colleges to MDCs, Infrastructure Grants to Colleges, etc. Approval under the scheme is dependent upon submission of each State Higher Education Plan (SHEP) which is submitted by the State after analyzing its higher education requirements in terms of access, equity and quality.
 
As informed by All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), the council has taken pro-active measures to attract girls in technical education through measures such as providing relaxation in land norms, FDR and Processing Fee for setting up of technical institutions, especially for girls. Additionally, the Pragati scholarship scheme provides scholarships for girls in AICTE approved Institutions.
 
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NEET: Registration for first round of counselling for PG seats extended till March 26

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Registration of candidates for first round of counselling for seats in post-graduate medical courses on the basis of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) Post-Graduate (PG) 2018 conducted by the National Board of Examinations (NBE) on January 7 has been extended till the evening of March 26.
 
Candidates can get more details on the website of the Medical Counselling Committee of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, an official press release said.
 
The results of NEET-PG 2018 were declared by NBE on January 24. NEET-PG 2018 is the single eligibility cum entrance examination for admission to Postgraduate Medical Courses for the academic session 2018 which include the following:
 
--All India 50% quota seats for MD/MS/PG Diploma courses (all states except Andhra Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Telangana)
--State quota seats for MD/MS/PG Diploma courses for all States/Union territories of India (including the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana & Jammu & Kashmir)
--MD/MS/PG Diploma courses at all Private Medical Colleges, Institutions & Universities/Deemed Universities all across the country.
--MD/MS/PG Diploma courses at Armed Forces Medical Services Institutions.
--DNB Broad specialty courses (January 2018 Admission Session)
 
The following Medical institutions are not covered by centralized admissions for MD/MS seats through NEET-PG for 2018 session: AIIMS, New Delhi; PGIMER, Chandigarh; JIPMER, Puducherry; NIMHANS, Bengaluru; and Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Trivandrum.
 
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Health Ministry approves admission under Disabilities Quota to PG medical courses

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The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has granted approval to amend the regulation for admission to post-graduate medical courses in order to expand the scope of persons with disabilities getting benefit of reservation.
 
An official press release said the percentage of seats to be filled up by persons with disabilities has been increased from 3% to 5% in accordance with the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.
 
Commenting on this decision, Minister for Health and Family Welfare J P Nadda stated that after 20 years, the Government has taken a historical decision for the welfare of ‘Divyang sisters and brothers’ ensuring that they are equal contributors to the progress of the nation.
 
“Now all the 21 benchmark disabilities as per the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 can register for admission to medical courses," he added.
 
The amended provision has included 21 kinds of disabilities (as per Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016) that includes Blindness, Low-vision, Leprosy Cured persons, Hearing Impairment (deaf and hard of hearing), Locomotor Disability, Dwarfism and Intellectual Disability.
 
It also includes Mental Illness, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, Chronic Neurological conditions, Specific Learning Disabilities, Multiple Sclerosis, Speech and Language disability, Thalassemia, Hemophilia, Sickle Cell disease, Multiple Disabilities (including deaf/blind). Acid Attack victims and Parkinson's disease affected will also be considered under the reservation provided for persons with disabilities, the release said.
 
Accordingly, the software used by the Director General, Health Services (DGHS) for central counselling has also been amended to allow registration of all such candidates. Registration/allotment of seats would be followed by a medical examination to ascertain the level of disability before finally granting admission to candidates selected under the reserved quota, the release added.
 
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