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Campus Notes

IIHMR University to conduct NFHS4 Survey in Chhattisgarh

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Healthcare research institution IIHMR University, Jaipur has been assigned by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) to execute the National Family Health Survey (NFHS4) as a field agency to conduct field work in Chhattisgarh.
 
The survey helps to collect essential data needed by the Central and State Governments to formulate policies on important health and family welfare issues.
 
The survey is designed to provide information on population, family planning, maternal and child health, child survival, HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), reproductive health, and nutrition in India.
 
“We take pride in announcing that we have been assigned by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India to conduct the field survey for NFHS4," Dr. S. D. Gupta, President, IIHMR University said.
 
A press release from the university said NFHS4 would cover 29 states along with six Union Territories which have been included for the first time nationally. The survey will provide estimates of most indicators at the district level for all 640 districts in the country.
 
IIHMR University will cover 946 Primary Sampling Units (PSU) from 18 districts of Chhattisgarh (as per Census 2011). From these PSUs, 18,920 households (HH) will be covered. Out of the total PSUs 15,620 households (HH) will be covered for district module (22 HH will be selected from each PSU where all eligible females' interview will be done), whereas state module will be executed in 300 PSUs covering 3,300 HH, in which eligible men will also be included in the survey, he said.
 
“There are significant social, regional and genders disparities in accessing public health in Chhattisgarh. Interior regions in general and tribal districts in particular have poor physical and economic access to health services. The private health care system is generally less developed in interior areas and is not economically accessible. Low female literacy levels also adversely impact reproductive child health care in tribal and other interior areas. 
 
"The Infant Mortality Rate (SRS 2013) is 46 whereas the Maternal Mortality Rate (SRS 2013) is 269 in the state. The nutritional status of children under five in Chhattisgarh, as indicated in the NFHS-3, shows that more than half of children (53%) in Chhattisgarh are stunted, or too short for their age, which indicates that they have been undernourished for some time. One-fifth of children (20%) are wasted, or too thin for their height, which may result from inadequate recent food intake or a recent illness. Forty-seven percent children are underweight, which takes into account both chronic and acute under-nutrition. Prevalence of severe malnutrition among children, mothers, old and indigent people is a matter of serious concern in the State. 
 
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"Under-nutrition among adult women is more prevalent in Chhattisgarh than among women of all other states except Bihar and more prevalent among adult men of Chhattisgarh than among men of all other states except Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Jharkhand. The proportion of overweight/obese adults in Chhattisgarh is lower than in most other states and thus lower than the national average of 13 percent. Overall, only 51 percent of women and 57 percent of men in Chhattisgarh are at a healthy weight for their height," he said.
 
Through NFHS4, IIHMR Univesity will collect essential data on health and family welfare for policy and programmes and provide  information on important emerging health and family welfare issues. 
 
Among other things, it will provide information on peri-natal mortality, adolescent reproductive health, high-risk sexual behaviour, safe injections, tuberculosis, and malaria interventions; health and family welfare conditions among slum dwellers; non-communicable diseases; use of emergency contraception; and HIV prevalence for adult women and men at the national level and for several groups of states/union territories (UTs) including high HIV prevalence states.
 
IIHMR University is a WHO Collaborating Centre for District and Primary Healthcare in the State of Rajasthan. 
 
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IIMs announce results of CAT 2015

IIM Ahmedabad
IIM Ahmedabad
The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) today announced the results of the Common Admission Test (CAT) 2015 conducted by them on November 29, 2015.
 
A note from the Prof. Tathagata Bandyopadhyay of IIM, Ahmedabad, the convener of CAT 2015, said candidates could log into the CAT website with their ID and password to view their score card.
 
"IIMA is pleased to announce the CAT-2015 results today. We had messaged the total percentile to all the candidates at 1:50 pm and at present, the candidates can also log in with their ID and password to view their score card. 
 
"Today morning (between 9:00-9:40 am), some students accessed their own results (not others) on the portal during the period the website was being updated, which caused some confusion among students. There was no leakage, no error or hacking of data whatsoever. TCS plugged this loophole immediately," the note added.
 
As many as 2,18,664 registrations were made for CAT 2015, the highest number in the last ive years.
 
The test was conducted in two sessions on November 29, 2015  at 650 test sites in 136 cities. Online registration for the examination opened on August 6 and ended on September 25, following a five-day extension.
 
The CAT is a pre-requisite for admission to the flagship post-graduate programmes (PGP) in management of the IIMs. Several other institutions also use the CAT scorecard to decide their admissions.
 
 
The number of female candidates in the applicant pool increased, from 59,211 in 2014 to 69,176 in 2015 - an increase of 17%. There was also a significant increase in the number of candidates from non-engineering background from 37% in 2014 to 46% in 2015.
 
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Rajendra Srivastava takes over as new Dean of ISB

Rajendra Srivastava
Rajendra Srivastava
Professor Rajendra Srivastava has taken charge as the new Dean of the Indian School of Business (ISB) here with effect from January 1.
 
He has succeeded Prof. Ajit Rangnekar, who served as Dean of the school since January 2009 and retired on December 31, 2015. 
 
Prof. Srivastava, who is the fifth Dean of ISB, is also the Full Professor of Business in Marketing and the Novartis Chair Professor of Marketing Strategy and Innovation.
 
Prior to joining ISB, he was the Provost and Deputy President (Academic Affairs) and LKC Distinguished Chair Professor of Marketing Strategy and International Business at the Singapore Management University (SMU).
 
A press release from ISB, which also has a campus at Mohali, said Prof. Srivastava's experience as an academic and administrator spanned over 30 years and North America, Europe and Asia. He has held distinguished research chairs and senior management positions at the University of Texas at Austin and Emory University in Atlanta in the past. 
 
An alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur, he holds a master’s degree and a doctorate in Business Administration from the University of Pittsburgh and an MS in Industrial Engineering from the University of Rhode Island.
 
“Professor Rajendra Srivastava’s appointment as the new Dean of ISB marks a significant step towards ISB’s mission of consolidating and strengthening its position as a world-class business school. I wish him success with the confidence that ISB will achieve new heights of success in the years to come," Mr. Adi Godrej, Chairman of the ISB Board said.
 
"I also take this opportunity to thank Ajit Rangnekar for his contributions to ISB over the last decade, first as the Deputy Dean and then as the Dean. Under his guidance, the school made great progress to become one of the most sought after global business schools," he said.
 
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Prof. Srivastava said, "It is indeed with a sense of immense anticipation and confidence that I take up this very prestigious role as Dean of the Indian School of Business (ISB). ISB has made a mark for itself as a premier B-school in a short span. It has the advantage of having the best of insights from India and Asia that are valued the world over and is in a position of advantage to place itself as a leading Indian B-School in Asia and the world. I look forward to a fruitful association with ISB that will also give me a sense of purpose and fulfilment.”
 
Outgoing Dean Rangnekar said, “It has been a great personal and professional privilege to have been associated with this wonderful institution. We have been ranked consistently among the top global B-schools; we are the first in India to be globally top ranked for research, first to get the AACSB accreditation in South Asia, and the first to innovate with industry specific institutes to address issues of national importance. I am delighted that ISB will be led by a renowned academician and an able administrator like Raj Srivastava. I am sure he will take ISB to even greater heights.”
 
Professor Srivastava’s research interests are in the area of Marketing and Brand Strategy, the release added.
 
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Cabinet gives ex-post facto approval for signing of MoU on BRICS Network University

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The Union Cabinet yesterday gave its ex-post facto approval for signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) among BRICS countries on BRICS Network University. 
 
The negotiations in this regard were held during the 3rd BRICS Education Ministers meeting and Senior Officials meeting in November, 2015 in Moscow, Russia. 
 
An official press release said the MoU would help in developing pro-active cooperation among the BRICS nations for the purpose of enhancement of scientific research, higher education, information exchange, analysis and implementation of best practices, joint research programmes, and mobility of students, researchers and educators. 
 
BRICS groups Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
 
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Govt. issues advisory to students travelling to US

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The Government today advised students seeking admission in two educational institutions in the United States -- Silicon Valley University at San Jose and Northwestern Polytechnic University, Fremont -- to defer their travel to that country till such time as various issues are satisfactorily resolved.
 
"All Indian students seeking admission in US educational institutions are advised to do due diligence to ensure that the institutions to which they are seeking admission have proper authorization and capacities," an advisory issued by the Ministry of External Affairs said.
 
"Apart from travel documents, the students should also carry all required documentation regarding their study plans, housing, financial support, healthcare arrangements etc. and be prepared for admission (entry to the US) interviews with U.S. immigration officials," it said.
 
The advisory came after several instances in recent days of denial of entry by the US Immigration authorities to Indian students having valid student visas to pursue studies in the two educational institutions.
 
"Government of India has taken up this matter with the US Government. We have asked the US authorities to explain the reasons for denial of entry on a large scale to Indian students holding valid visas. The response of the US Government is awaited," the Ministry added.
 
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ISB, Strategy& to set up defence industry think tank

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The Indian School of Business (ISB) and Strategy&, a part of PwC network, have entered into a partnership to set up an industry think-tank to drive thought leadership and impact in the Indian defence sector.
 
An agreement to this effect was entered into on the sidelines of the ISB National Conclave between officials of the Munjal Institute of Global Manufacturing at the ISB and Strategy& in New Delhi recently, a press release from ISB said.
 
The agreement was exchanged in the presence of Sunil Kant Munjal, Joint Managing Director of Hero MotoCorp Ltd, Rakesh Bharti Mittal, Vice-Chairman, Bharti Enterprises, Ajit Rangnekar, Dean ISB and Pradeep Singh, CEO ISB Mohali Campus and Deputy Dean ISB.
 
“The academic rigour at ISB and market insight from Strategy& are being brought together through this collaboration to provide access to ground-breaking research and analysis of key issues to industry players against the backdrop of the Government of India’s Make in India policy and thrust on local aerospace and defence production,” said Pradeep Singh, speaking at the event. 
 
India is uniquely positioned to emerge as a major aerospace and defence market thanks to Make in India campaign coupled with a healthy supplier base and engineering talent in the country, he said.
 
“We at Strategy& are committed to bringing our knowledge and unique point of view to our clients, to enable them to enter and expand in the defence sector with a strong understanding of realisable market opportunities. We are happy to collaborate with ISB in this journey to achieve market traction and impact,” added Anurag Garg, Director and Defence Vertical Leader, Strategy&.
 
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As per Strategy& estimates, the Indian defence capital expenditure is estimated to increase by 8-10% annually till 2020, with the scope for private sector expanding significantly across the tiered value chain.
 
The think tank will focus on engaging with the Indian companies on strategy, go-to-market approaches and government policy -- including large corporates seeking to grow their defence revenue, foreign players looking to credibly enter the Indian landscape, and MSMEs wanting to play an increasing role in the defence value chain.  
 
It will also provide a platform for various players in the sector to get together to discuss burning issues through its flagship event InDeCap, as well as workshops and roundtable discussions, the release added.
 
The ISB offers management education across its two campuses – Hyderabad and Mohali.
 
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Govt. signs MoUs to establish IIITs at Ranchi, Nagpur, Pune

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The Central Government yesterday signed memoranda of understanding (MoUs) and documentation for establishing three Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) at Ranchi in Jharkhand and Nagpur and Pune in Maharashtra.
 
These IIITs will be operated in the public-private-partnership (PPP) mode with participation of the state government and industry, apart from the Central government. 
 
The IIITs are expected to bring out high quality IT manpower required for building up the IT industry in the country, an official press release said.
 
The agreement was signed by Mr. Vinay Sheel Oberoi, Secretary, Department of Higher Education on behalf of the Central government and by Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Motors, ADCC Infocad, Nagpur and Hubtown, Mumbai. 
 
IIIT-Ranchi will operate from the Old Judicial Academy in the Administrative Training Institute, Ranchi, admitting 120 students for the year 2016-17 through the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) 2016. The partners for IIIT-Ranchi -- TCS and Tata Motors -- have committed participation in developing curriculum which is required by the industry. The institution will be mentored by NIT-Jamshedpur. 
 
IIIT-Nagpur will be set up in the BMIT Campus (temporary campus) with the participation of ADCC Infocad and TCS. The government of Maharashtra has identified 88 acres of land for setting up a permanent campus. The BNIT will be the mentor institution. It has proposed to admit 120 students in the CSE and ECE branches in 2016 through JEE-2016 examination. 
 
IIIT-Pune will be set up in the Siddhant Engineering College (temporary campus) and the permanent campus will be constructed at Chakan for which the state government has identified 100 acres of land. The industry partners are Hubtown Mumbai and Roltas, who have agreed to develop the curriculum suitable to the industry. The institute will start functioning under the mentorship of COE Pune and 120 students will be admitted in 2016 through JEE-2016. 
 
With this, the total number of IIITs in the PPP mode has gone up to 16, leaving four more to be set up.
 
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TCS, Vanderbilt University Medical Center partner to advance healthcare, life sciences research

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IT services major Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has announced a new partnership with Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) to drive innovation in the healthcare and life sciences fields.
 
A press release from TCS said they would drive specific research in areas including genomics, metagenomics, systems biology, bio-informatics, improved care management, and advanced healthcare analytics. 
 
"This important collaboration will also lay the foundation for TCS’ COIN emerging technology network to connect with Vanderbilt University’s Center for Technology Transfer and Commercialization (CTTC) start-up community," the release said.
 
“At TCS, we’re investing in new and emerging digital technologies to develop innovative solutions that our clients need to re-imagine their businesses,” said Suresh Muthuswami, president, head, Insurance and Healthcare, TCS. “TCS and VUMC share a passion and curiosity that will enable us to collectively solve complex healthcare challenges and problems. The unique combination of TCS expertise and solutions, coupled with VUMC academia and private research, will create an environment that accelerates innovation in a critical industry like healthcare.”
 
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“Research is one of VUMC’s core missions,” said Dr Kevin Johnson, Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor and Chair of Biomedical Informatics, Professor of Pediatrics, Chief Informatics Officer, Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “We are thrilled about this new partnership with TCS, as it allows us to enrich our initiatives to create the largest impact on the lives of people globally and provide the highest quality of research possible.”  
 
As a partner in TCS’ Co-Innovation Network (COIN), the two organizations will combine forces surrounding product development, enhancement capabilities and go-to-market strategies in healthcare IT.
 
“Being part of TCS COIN will help to accelerate the time-to-market for Vanderbilt’s start-up community and bring a global perspective to the innovation agenda,” said Ananth Krishnan, chief technology officer, TCS.
 
The Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) is a collection of several hospitals and clinics, as well as the schools of medicine and nursing associated with Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, United States, dedicated to patient care, research, and biomedical education.
 
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UK university offers scholarships to students from India

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The University of Aberdeen, Scotland, is offering students from India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand the opportunity to apply for a prestigious scholarship to complete their undergraduate studies in the United Kingdom.
 
The Sir Thomas Sutherland Scholarship, funded by HSBC, is available to students who have been offered a place at the University starting in September 2016, and who are the first generation of their family to attend university.
 
The scholarship is named after Sir Thomas Sutherland who studied at the University of Aberdeen and went on to establish The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, which is known as HSBC today.
 
HSBC Group’s Chief Financial Officer, Iain Mackay holds an MA in Business Studies and Accounting from University of Aberdeen. Iain is an active member of the University of Aberdeen’s Business Alumni.
 
Professor Richard Wells, the University of Aberdeen’s Regional Dean, said: “HSBC awarded its first scholarship in 1965 and we’re delighted to support this legacy and partner with them to make scholarship opportunities available through the University of Aberdeen.
 
“This is a fantastic opportunity for students to benefit from a scholarship that will fund their studies at one of the world’s top 150 universities. The scholarship offers students the chance to have their tuition fees, travel and maintenance costs paid for throughout a four year degree," he said.
 
“We are now inviting prospective students to submit an application including a short video clip that tells us what a degree from the University of Aberdeen would mean to them. We’re keen for the students to decide on the best way to tell their story, with the only condition being that the clip is less than a minute," he said.
 
To mark 150 years in business HSBC is donating $ 150 million to charities and community projects around the world to thank customers, shareholders and employees for their support. The Sir Thomas Sutherland Scholarship is one of the beneficiaries of this funding, a press release from HSBC added.
 
More information on the scholarship, including eligibility requirements, is available here.
 
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NBCC signs MoU for construction of culinary institutes at Tirupati, Noida

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National Buildings Construction Corporation Ltd (NBCC) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the construction of the Indian Culinary Institutes (ICIs) at Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh and Noida in Uttar Pradesh.
 
The MoU was signed here yesterday at the Ministry of Tourism by Dr. Preeti Srivastava, Joint Secretary & ex-officio Director, ICI on behalf of ICI Society and Mr. Rajendra Chaudhari, Director (Commercial) on behalf of NBCC Ltd.
 
Mr. Vinod Zutshi, Secretary, Tourism, and Mr Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, were amongst those present on the occasion.
 
Indian Culinary Institute (ICI) at Tirupati and its Northern Regional Chapter at Noida are being set up by the Ministry of Tourism. The foundation stones for both the institutes have already been laid. 
 
The Government of Andhra Pradesh has transferred land measuring 14.21 acres at Tirupati in favour of ICI Society for construction of ICI Tirupati. 
 
The main objective of setting up of ICI is to institutionalise 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 teachers, and promote cuisine as a niche tourism product. 
 
The ICIs are proposed as Institutes of Excellence that will offer structured regular programmes of study specific to culinary arts leading to graduate and post-graduate degrees, promote research and innovation, organize demand driven certificate and diploma courses, document and create data base specific to Indian cuisine and commission studies and surveys on cuisine. 
 
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The need for ICI is felt as formal education specific to Indian cuisine, a culinary art, with pan-India sweep is conspicuous by its absence. There is no regular credible institutional source at apex level for supply of cuisine specialists to the sector. Also, at present there is no institutional mechanism to document and disseminate information related to cuisine. 
 
"In India at present, there is dearth of ideal training ground to groom chefs of international standards. To fill this void, the ICIs would provide the appropriate training ground at par with the culinary schools functioning in different parts of the developed world. The edifice to be created would be exclusive and one of its kind at selecting and training the best talent through intensive programmes of one to three years duration. This effort will facilitate building a super-speciality food production work-force to assure positions of chefs and beyond in the hospitality industry," an official press release added.
 
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Sajid Javid launches 20th year of Chevening Gurukul Fellowship Programme for Leadership and Excellence

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Mr. Sajid Javid, UK Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, yesterday  launched the 20th Year of the Chevening Gurukul Fellowship Programme for Leadership and Excellence, the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s leading fellowship in India.
 
"Gurukul alumni have an excellent record of becoming leaders across a wide range of fields including politics, business, media, civil society, science and technology, and academia. This is exactly what we hope to encourage in the future, helping build stronger, deeper relations between the UK and India," he said.
 
The Chevening Gurukul fellowship will take 12 mid-career professionals with strong and demonstrable leadership qualities from diverse backgrounds to the UK for a fully-funded three month fellowship programme. Those selected work with the very best British academics, practitioners and leaders, a press release from the British High Commission sai.
 
The online application window will be open from 21 December 2015 – 7 March 2016 and the programme will commence in September 2016.
 
Since 2014, the programme is held at King’s College in the UK. King’s India Institute has curated a stellar programme which familiarises India’s future leaders with best practice case-studies of leadership in the fields of government, innovation, health, and industry in the UK through a variety of methods, ranging from seminars, role-playing scenarios, shadowing, and site visits.
 
The Chevening programme in India is the largest in the world, offering fully-funded UK education for 130 Indian students.
 
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Science Film Festival being held as part of IISF 2015 at IIT Delhi

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An animated movie about a young leopard cub and his ragtag band’s journey to Delhi; an inspirational documentary about three of India’s finest scientists; and the story of a young tigresses chosen to start a new dynasty inside a wildlife reserve are among the award winning films being screened at the Science Film Festival that got underway at the India International Science Festival 2015 yesterday.
 
Nikhil Advani’s Delhi Safari, Raja Choudhary’s The Quantum Indians and S Nallamuthu’s Tiger Dynasty will be among nearly 25 acclaimed films on science, health and environment that will be shown at the three-day festival.
 
The festival recognises the efforts of filmmakers in popularising science and the impact of the visual medium in science communication. 
 
Aspiring young filmmakers will also get a chance to hone their skills and techniques at workshops led by experts such as filmmaker Benoy Behl, NDTV Science Editor Pallav Bhagla, and Prof Iftekhar Ahmad, Director, AKJ Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia.
 
The competition section at the film festival will feature around 20 shortlisted entries from a nationwide short films contest held for students and film enthusiasts on the themes ‘Science & Society’ and ‘Swacch Bharat’.
 
A jury, headed by Prof J S Yadav, Chairman of the Communication Management Foundation, International Media Institute and former Director of IIMC, will chose the winner of the IISF 2015 Best Science Film Award.
 
Dignitaries including renowned scientist Prof Yash Pal are expected to attend the awards ceremony on December 7.
 
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First India International Science Festival gets undeway at IIT Delhi

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The first India International Science Festival (IISF), expected to promote access and spread of knowledge to a wider audience, got off to a start at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi here yesterday.
 
IISF 2015 is aimed at involving and including common people to help them improve their scientific understanding, temperament and appreciation for various feats in science and technology by showcasing Indian achievements.
 
The event has been organized by the Ministries of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences.
 
Technology Information, Forecasting & Assessment Council (TIFAC)is the nodal government institution for the event that has been organized in collaboration with Vijnana Bharati, an NGO that works for promotion of science and technology.
 
Among other things, the festival is expected to provide a platform to young scientists for exchange of knowledge and ideas and support flagship programmes like Make in India, Digital India, Start-ups, Smart Villages, Smart Cities, and so on initiated by the Government.
 
About 3000 young scientists from the country are participating in the event, which will feature, among other things, a Young Scientists' Conference,  Techno-Industrial Expo, Science Film Festival, National Level Exhibition & Project Competition (NLEPC) showcasing innovative models under ‘INSPIRE’ Programme of DST, Industry-Academia Conclave,  Practical Science Lab Demo and Interactive Workshops & Informative Sessions.
 
The Techno-Industrial Expo has attractd participation from major research organisations, industrial units, technological institutes, laboratories, educational institutions, public/private sector companies apart from government departments and councils.
 
In his inaugural address at the festival, Minister for Science and Technology Harsh Vardhan said the private sector should come forward to support unheralded innovators in rural areas who are coming up with solutions to solve everyday problems but do not have opportunities to promote and market them.
 
“We need an inclusive approach to entrepreneurship. There is a lot of potential in the informal sector that the private sector too can tap,” he said.
 
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The National Innovation Foundation in Ahmedabad, for instance, has identified a number of grassroots level solutions that can be scaled up, some of which have been developed by innovators from tribal communities, he said.
 
Dr Vardhan said the value of scientific research to the country’s economy is estimated at between Rs. 1 lakh crore and Rs. 2 lakh crore every year. “An independent study by the National Council of Applied Economic Research has shown that weather forecasts by IMD alone have benefited the fisheries sector to the tune of Rs 34,000 crore annually,” he said.
 
Describing the festival as a landmark event, he said, “IISF is not just another routine programme for three to four days. It is the stepping stone for realising the dreams of great leaders from the first Prime Minister of the country, Jawaharlal Nehru to the current Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, to make India a top country in the world."
 
Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Ashutosh Sharma, and Director General, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Girish Sahni, expressed the hope that the festival would go a long way in promoting Indian science and technology. 
 
Vijnana Bharati President Vijay P Bhatkar and Sachin Mandavgane, Member Secretary, Scientific Programme Committee of the Festival, noted that a salient feature of the festival was that it had different elements from interactions between scientists and students to screening of award winning science films and documentaries to cater to people from different walks of life. A key goal of the festival was to take Indian science to the common man and build bridges between the lay public and the scientific community, they added. 
 
Director of IIT, Delhi, Kshitij Gupta, welcomed the gathering and Executive Director of TIFAC, Prabhat Ranjan, proposed a vote of thanks.
 
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Cabinet nod for introduction of Regional Centre for Biotechnology Bill in Parliament

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The Union Cabinet today gave its approval for introduction of a Bill for establishment of a Regional Centre for Biotechnology at Faridabad in Haryana, near here. 
 
The objective of the Regional Centre for Biotechnology Bill, 2015  is to provide a legal status to the Centre so as to function independently as an autonomous body and also an Institution of National Importance for education, training and research in the areas of biotechnology. 
 
The Centre has already been established by an executive order of the Government of India in November, 2008 after the approval by the Union Cabinet. It is currently operational at the NCR Biotech Science Cluster, Faridabad and the enactment does not involve any financial implications at this stage, an official press release said.
 
The Centre is a regional hub for interdisciplinary education, training and research in biotechnology with emphasis on novel education programmes relevant to industry, including bio-drug discovery science, nano-science and medicine, imaging techniques, designer crops, bioengineering and biomaterials, intellectual property, technology transfer and regulation to fulfil and overcome the acute shortage of skilled human resources in India. It would be a hub of biotechnology expertise in the countries in South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) region, and more generally in the Asia region, and to address human resources needs in the region. 
 
The Centre is an inter-disciplinary institution in life sciences and biotechnology and offers novel educational & training courses in the interdisciplinary and related areas of biotechnology. It would also address designing of new and novel programmes for education and training which could then be assimilated by the existing universities in India and the region, the release added.
 
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Cabinet okays setting up of six new IITs

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The Union Cabinet today gave its approval for the setting up of six new Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) in Andhra Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, Goa, Jammu, Kerala and Karnataka. 
 
The Cabinet further gave its approval for operationalisation of these IITs initially by forming of Societies under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 in order to give a legal status to them till the amendment for their incorporation in The Institutes of Technology Act, 1961 is enacted.
 
An official press release said each new IIT would have an initial intake of 180 students in its first year, which would increase to 450 in the second year and to 928 (840 Undergraduates, 80 Postgraduates and 8 Ph.D.) in the third year of their operation. 
 
The total cost for running these IITs is Rs. 1,411.80 crore and will be incurred between 2015-16 and 2018-19, the release said.
 
The new IITs will be operated from their temporary campuses for the initial period of three years before shifting into their permanent campuses in the 4th year. Each IIT will have a sanctioned strength of faculty members, with a faculty-student ratio of 1:10. 
 
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Cabinet approves revised cost estimates for setting up of five IISERs

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The Union Cabinet today approved the revised cost estimates to the tune of Rs. 4,799 crore, as against the originally approved cost of Rs,2,500 crore, for setting up of five Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISERs) at Kolkata, Pune, Mohali, Bhopal and Thiruvananthapuram. 
 
While construction of these five institutes is in progress, approval of the revised cost estimates will enable the Ministry of Human Resource Development and the Boards of Governors of the institutes to enhance the pace of work and expeditious completion of fully operational permanent campuses with 9,275 students, 928 faculty and 1,020 non-teaching staff by 2018-19, an official press release said.
 
These institutes will integrate undergraduate education, post-graduate education and research under the same umbrella. They will interact with national laboratories and other research institutes to develop a synchronous environment for research that would transcend rigid administrative structure and also encourage interdisciplinary research, it said.
 
Many areas of basic science eventually evolve as applied sciences such as lasers, super conductivity, semiconductors and nano-materials. Research in such areas can generate significant intellectual properties which have the potential for generating sizeable revenue, it said.
 
"These institutes would also contribute to highly competent and trained manpower that would be a major catalyst for technological human resource revolution that would inevitably have an impact on the economic growth of the country," the release added.
 
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Mukherjee calls for ensuring quality and excellence in education

President Pranab Mukherjee presenting degrees to students at the 62nd convocation of Gujarat Vidyapith, at Ahmedabad, in Gujarat on December 1, 2015.
President Pranab Mukherjee presenting degrees to students at the 62nd convocation of Gujarat Vidyapith, at Ahmedabad, in Gujarat on December 1, 2015.
Expressing concern over meritorious students leaving for foreign shores and a dip in international students coming to India, President Pranab Mukherjee has called for ensuring quality and pursuit of excellence in education.   
 
“Quality consciousness must be at the back of every initiative in our higher academic institutions. Many meritorious students leave the shores of our country and study abroad due to lack of institutes in India conforming to high standards of education,” Mr Mukherjee said in his address at the 62nd convocation of Gujarat Vidyapith here yesterday.
 
The President described the fall in number of international students seeking higher education in India was a “worrying sign”. The number of students from seven out of the top eight countries in this respect – US, Germany, France, South Korea, Australia, China and Singapore – has dipped 73 percent in 2014, he said.
 
“We must do all at our end to reverse this trend and make India emerge as a quality and affordable education destination for students outside,” he added.
 
Mr Mukherjee called for an inspired response from higher education system to meet the developmental challenges faced by the country.
 
“Quality and relevant research can help tide over our socio-economic problems. To build a research eco-system, we need to adopt a multi-disciplinary approach, promote research at under-graduate level and develop scientific temper in the students,” he added.
 
Despite focused attention on innovation in recent years, India lags behind many countries on innovation and putting such ideas to practical use, the President said.
 
“At 81st position in the Global Innovation Index 2015, we have much ground to cover. An efficient set-up for mentoring innovative ideas and nurturing grassroots innovations could see our country surge ahead in innovation,” Mr Mukherjee said.
 
India is home to a large population of the young. Demographic dividend can occur only if greater number of competent and skilled professionals is produced by our higher educational and technical institutions, he said.
 
This calls for skill development initiatives on a massive scale. For that, cooperation amongst our institutes is necessary. Technology must be leveraged to bring greater number of youth in the skill net.
 
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Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have become a preferred mode of learning due to its merits of scale, speed and cost. Interactive MOOCs can offer vocational aspirants equal opportunity to learn. Such an initiative can revolutionize delivery of skills knowledge and revamp vocational education in the country, he added.
 
Referring to Mahatma Gandhi, who founded the Vidyapith in 1920 and remained its Chancellor till he breathed last, Mr Mukherjee expressed happiness that his ideals were well entrenched in the institution.  
 
“Gandhi was a rare visionary. He created this university, which is going to complete one hundred years soon, because he realized that education and education of youth was a sound way to form the new world,” he added.  
 
It is heartening to find Gandhiji’s ideals well-entrenched in this institution as it marches ahead in imparting higher education. It today offers 12 courses at the graduation level, 9 at post-graduation, and 20 at M.Phil stage, besides diploma and certificate courses.
 
Gujarat Vidyapith has made good progress in imparting education in contemporary subjects like microbiology, computer science and energy technologies.
 
“At a time when higher education is becoming increasingly costly, this Vidyapith has become an institution of choice for youth from the underprivileged sections, with 80 percent of the students’ enrolled belonging to these backgrounds,” the President noted.
 
That 40 percent of the student population comprises girls is an encouraging sign. The state and the society at large ought to continue supporting such a noble organization, he added.
 
For social reconstruction, Gandhiji had propounded the principle of Nai Talim which states that knowledge and work are not separate. The constituents of Nai Talim are the 3-H: heart, hand and head. To put this philosophy into practice, Gandhiji promoted an academic curriculum of ‘basic education for all’, the President said.
 
With ashram shalas and buniyadi schools operating in the remote areas, Gujarat is perhaps the only state where Nai Talim exists in an institutional form, he added.
 
Gujarat Vidyapith provides education aimed at building the character, competence, culture and conscientiousness in students. This is needed to regenerate the country according to Gandhian ideals.
 
This institution has been specially mandated to educate youth for Gram Swaraj, which is a laudable goal espoused by Gandhiji. He firmly held that India lived in her villages, Mr Mukherjee said.
 
Despite growing urbanization, 68 percent of the country’s population still resides in rural areas. Intervention in food security, education, skill development, employment, technology dissemination, health and nutrition, housing, drinking water, and sanitation would go a long way to uplift the quality of rural life and address poverty concerns, he added.
 
“I am told students of this institute are oriented and trained to support rural development in line with Gandhiji’s vision. Initiatives such as this would help create self-reliant villages and achieve equity as well as economic and environmental sustainability. This, according to me, will lead to a Samarth Bharat,” the President said.
 
“As a country, we have promised ourselves a Swachh Bharat by October 2, 2019 to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Gandhiji. It is noteworthy that students of this institute through their own labour have kept the campus clean,” Mr Mukherjee added
 
“Such traditions in community life are not built in a day. Hence, it must be the endeavour of each one of you to proliferate this noble practice outside,” the President said.
 
Gandhiji in life and in death struggled for communal harmony. Educating in peace and harmony is the key to contain and reorient the disruptive forces in society. The motto of Gujarat Vidyapith is "Sa Vidya Ya Vimuktaye”, that is "Education that Liberates”.
 
The students of Gujarat Vidyapith are not only learning Gandhian thought as a subject, but they are being provided exposure to world religions as well, Mr Mukherjee said.  
 
This institute should continue to demonstrate that it is by educating the heart and mind of the youth that social rejuvenation on the path of non-violence is possible.
 
“In this context, I compliment Gujarat Vidyapith for having brought out a digital version of the Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi in collaboration with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. This will enable wider dissemination of Gandhian thought and philosophy amongst people,” he added.
 
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Railways Chair on Sustainable Mobility to set up at TERI University

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An Indian Railways Chair on Sustainable Mobility will be set up at TERI University here to focus on research in various aspects of railways which are a crucial mode of transport to achieve sustainable development in the country.
 
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) in this regard was signed here yesterday by TERI University Vice-Chancellor Rajiv Seth and Mr. Manoj Pandey, Executive Director, Training and Manpower, Ministry of Railways.
 
Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu and Railway Board Member (Staff) Pradeep Kumar were among those present on the occasion.
 
An official press release said the Chair would ocus on and promote research on issues of sustainable mobility, use of energy efficient technology and green energy initiatives by the Railways.
 
It would also facilitate research for finding innovative solutions to these issues that are extremely important in today’s environment, it said.
 
The tenure of the Chair would be one year initially, extendable upon review. The annual funding will be Rs 20 lakh.
 
A Chair Professor would be appointed, who will be a renowned academician/ professional of repute, selected by the Chairman, Board of Management, TERI University, and a nominee of the Ministry of Railways. 
 
Among other things, the Chair will guide the research of at least one PhD scholar and two master’s level students in each year, undertake research resulting in at least one paper in a year, and develop at least one case study on Indian Rail Transport in a year for training of railway managers.
 
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India International Science Festival to be held at IIT, Delhi from Dec 4-8

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The first India International Science Festival (IISF) will be held at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi here from December 4-8 to promote access and spread of knowledge to a wider audience.
 
IISF 2015 is aimed at involving and including common people to help them improve their scientific understanding, temperament and appreciation for various feats in science and technology by showcasing Indian achievements, an offical press release said.
 
The event is being jointly organized by the Ministries of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences.
 
Technology Information, Forecasting & Assessment Council (TIFAC) has been chosen as the nodal government institution to organize the event in collaboration with Vijnana Bharati, an NGO that works for promotion of science and technology.
 
Among other things, the festival is expected to provide a platform to young scientists for exchange of knowledge and ideas and support flagship programmes like Make in India, Digital India, Start-ups, Smart Villages, Smart Cities, and so on initiated by the Government.
 
About 3000 young scientists from the country are expected to participate as delegates in the festival which will feature, among other things, a Young Scientists' Conference, Techno-Industrial Expo, Science Film Festival, National Level Exhibition & Project Competition (NLEPC) showcasing innovative models under ‘INSPIRE’ Programme of DST, Industry-Academia Conclave,  Practical Science Lab Demo and Interactive Workshops & Informative Sessions.
 
The Techno-Industrial Expo will see participation from major research organisations, industrial units, technological institutes, laboratories, educational institutions, public/private sector companies apart from government departments and councils.
 
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As a run-up to this event, and to inspire the general public to use green energy, Syed Sajjad Ahmed, 63, is undertaking a journey from Bangalore to Delhi by a solar-powered car. 
 
Ahmed is a school dropout who has designed a solar-powered vehicle, thanks to his passion for innovation. Originally from Kolar, he moved to Bangalore about 15 years ago. He started off by selling fruits to make a living and went on to set up a shop where he repaired radio and television sets. He went on to make television antennae, design a two-wheeler and now a solar-powered car, which he has driven to places like Chennai, Kochi and Kanyakumari.
 
The journey, which began on November 1, will cover places such as Hindupur, Anantapur, Kurnool, Mahaboobnagar, Hyderabad, Bhopal, Itarsi, Jhansi and Agra.
 
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Infosys Foundation provides grants worth Rs. 56 crore to top academic institutes

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Infosys Foundation, the philanthropic arm of IT services major Infosys, today said it had instituted 11 faculty chairs at eight leading academic institutes across India over the past 12 months. 
 
The foundation has provided grants ranging from Rs. 2 crore to Rs. 33 crore for setting up the chairs with a total commitment of Rs. 56 crore. 
 
A press release from the foundation said the donated funds would be used for research in areas such as obstetrics & gynaecology, agriculture, economics, mathematics, technology, biology, rural development and cancer.
 
The beneficiaries are International Institute for Information Technology – Bangalore (IIIT-B), Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Institute of Bioinformatics and Applied Biotechnology (IBAB), Chennai Mathematical Institute (CMI), Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), Presidency University, All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) and Indian Institute of Management - Ahmedabad  (IIM-A).
 
The faculty chairs, also referred to as the Infosys Chairs, will promote research, provide advanced training, support student and faculty exchange programs in India and abroad. Along with these, the funds donated will be used to offer travel fellowships for conferences and inviting internationally renowned professors to India for academic pursuits. 
 
A part of the fund will also be utilized for research to identify and discover new drugs, and to develop policies to boost growth in agriculture, value chains and food security.
 
Mrs. Sudha Murty, Chairperson of the Infosys Foundation, said, “We believe that scientific advancement is imperative for the progress of the nation. Through the Infosys Chairs, we seek to encourage scientists and researchers to collaborate with international academicians and enrich the student community with current concepts and the latest technologies. By diversifying our fund into areas such as economics, agriculture, science and medicine, we aim to elevate research excellence and contribute significantly towards improving the quality of people’s lives.”
 
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Dr. Vishal Sikka, Chief Executive Officer, Infosys said, “The great teachers and mentors of my life have had a profound impact on me personally, and to this day I seek their advice and input at life’s most important moments. They have taught me that we can explore and find and ultimately work to solve the most fundamental challenges we see in the world around us, and that we can do this through our own imaginations and creativity, and by leveraging the great achievements and findings of those before us. I believe the Infosys Chairs will be the great influencers and guides for the next generation of learners, researchers, scientists and problem-finders, the mentors to help us find and solve the most important challenges ahead of us.”
 
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Committee of Eminent Persons suggests changes in IIT JEE structure from 2017

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The Committee of Eminent Persons (CEP) constituted by the IIT Council under the Chairmanship of Prof Ashok Misra has suggested major changes in the structure of the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) from 2017 onwards for admission to the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and other top engineering colleges.
 
Among other things, the committee has, in its report submitted to the government on November 5, recommended that a National Testing Service be set up by early 2016, mandated to conduct an Aptitude Test, which should test the scientific aptitude and innovative thinking ability. 
 
The Aptitude test may be offered two or more times in a year and would be an online test. The testing shall test the scientific thinking and cannot be gamed through coaching. 
 
Based on this performance, about 4 lakh candidates shall be short-listed for taking the JEE. 
 
The JEE itself will be on the lines of the current JEE (Advanced) and designed to test the students' knowledge in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics; and will be conducted by the IITs.  From this, ranks will be issued to 40,000-plus students who can seek admission in IITs and NITs based on a common counselling. 
 
An official press release said that the IITs would be requested to set up a system for developing mock JEE examinations which will help students prepare for the JEE significantly and wean them away from the coaching industry. The possibility of using the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) platform can also be explored. 
 
The committee suggested that the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) should take measures for the improvement of school education and the method of examination of the Boards, so that students with aptitude in science are well prepared in the concepts by the time they reach 12th grade, without dependence on coaching institutions. 
 
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Till such time, that is for 2016 and 2017, the practice of two-tier JEE examination shall be continued, the release said.
 
The top 200,000 students from JEE (Main) shall be allowed to appear in JEE (Advanced).  More than 40,000 ranks will be issued in JEE (Advanced) for developing a better system for selection of candidates. 
 
Joint counselling for IITs and NITs shall be continued as was done last year. Board marks shall not to be counted for giving rankings this year for NITs, CFTIs etc., the release said.
 
The Government has decided to place the recommendations of the report in the public domain for widespread consultation with the stakeholders. 
 
Since this process would take some time, it was decided that the JEE 2016 shall be conducted in the same manner as 2015, with an enhanced intake from 1.5 lakh to two lakh into the JEE (Advanced) stage. The weightage given to Board marks in JEE (Main) would continue for the year 2016, it added.
 
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Mukherjee to host Visitor's Conference of VCs of universities on Nov 4-6

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President Pranab Mukherjee will host a conference of Vice-Chancellors, Directors and Directors General of institutions of higher learning for which he is Vistor at Rashtrapati Bhavan here from November 4-6.
 
This is the first time such a conference bringing together at one forum all heads of higher education institutions is being convened by Mr. Mukherjee. 
 
Earlier, separate conferences were held of Vice Chancellors of Central Universities, Directors of NITs, IITs, IISERs and IISc. 
 
An official press release said the agenda for the conference includes improving the quality of higher education in institutions to bring them at par with the top institutions of the world; capacity development of faculty; engagement of institutes of higher learning with community and society for sustainable and inclusive development; and promotion of gender equity and cultural inclusion through higher education.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Ministers of Shipping, Chemicals and Fertilizers and Human Resource Development; Ministers of State for Human Resource Development; Nobel Peace laureate Kailash Satyarthi, eminent scientist C. N. R. Rao and renowned agricultural scientist M. S. Swaminathan will attend the conference, the release added.
 
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ISB launches Healthcare Management Programme with Max Institute

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The Indian School of Business (ISB), with campuses in Mohali and Hyderabad, is all set to launch a Healthcare Management Programme (HMP) to groom doctors and healthcare professionals to deliver excellence in healthcare management and to enable them to move into leadership positions in the near future and drive the growth of the sector.
 
The one year part-time programme, which will commence in January 2016, has been designed and developed by the Max Institute of Healthcare Management and the Centre for Executive Education at the ISB, a press release from ISB said.
 
Analjit Singh, Founder, Max India Group and Founder Supporter, Mohali campus of ISB, said, “There is a serious paucity of well-trained quality healthcare management professionals in India. The impressive increase in investment and capacity of the private healthcare industry in India in the last few years, accentuates this shortage .Further, as we deal with lives and care of our patients, the finesse required in management deserves specialised training .Management, Science and Art have to all come together."
 
"This one year programme is a step to remove this glaring inadequacy in India’s healthcare set up. I often draw a parallel with the hospitality industry. India has had a remarkable success in supplying the best quality hospitality talent, not only in India but internationally as well .This has been possible because the quality and number of hotel management and training institutes. The best ones being backed by top hotel chains. I hope that the ISB one year programme can replicate success in a similar way for the healthcare industry," he said.
 
Announcing the programme, Ajit Rangnekar, Dean, ISB, said, “The healthcare sector in India has reacted to numerous challenges in the sector with some very positive responses, including new delivery models, innovative business practices and investments in niche areas. A major consequence has been the professionalisation of the sector, thus creating a huge demand for management professionals. Consistent with our vision of grooming future leaders for India and the world, ISB’s Healthcare Management Programme will address this need by creating future leaders and visionaries in the healthcare sector.”
 
According to the release, the HMP has been designed in close collaboration with the healthcare sector, practicing professionals and academia. 
 
An Academic Advisory Council, comprising eminent faculty from across the world, provides academic oversight and an Industry Advisory Council that includes senior leaders from organisations like Max Healthcare Global Hospitals, Fortis Healthcare Ltd, Care Hospitals, and Narayana Netralaya brings in the industry perspective.
 
Mr. Pradeep Singh, CEO Mohali campus and Deputy Dean, ISB, said, “Considering the specialised nature of the sector and the fast pace of its growth, it is expected that future leaders will come from within the healthcare industry and allied sectors. A cadre of middle-management professionals needs to be groomed into leadership positions and drive the growth of this sector. The Healthcare Management Programme has been created to cater to this need in a structured learning format.”
 
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The HMP is designed as a rigorous and challenging 12-month, part-time programme, providing students the opportunity to study as they work.
 
HMP will be delivered in a blended learning format comprising classroom and technology aided learning that minimises disruption at work and encourages personal pursuits. The programme will be taught by a combination of globally renowned faculty from ISB and other premier educational and capacity-building institutions from across the world.
 
Participants have the option to bring in a live project from their own organisations or can bid for projects from other organisations.
 
The course is meant for doctors who are looking to pursue a career in hospital management; professionals from healthcare delivery and allied sector organisations such as Pharmaceutical, Medical Devices, Diagnostics, Clinical Research and Medical Insurance; and entrepreneurs and management consultants who wish to expand their operations and also get an in depth understanding of the sector, the release added.
 
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IIMA announces five new chaired professor positions, three student scholarships

IIM Ahmedabad
IIM Ahmedabad
The Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA), the country's top business school, today announced five new chaired professor positions and three student scholarships.
 
IIMA Director Ashish Nanda also said that an anonymous contribution had been made by an alumnus in support of the institute's admissions process and entrepreneurship among students. 
 
"Alumni contributions will help upgrade the Child Care Centre to modern standards," he said.
 
“We are also delighted to partner with the Infosys Foundation, for Chair of Societal Development; Edelweiss, through establishing Edelweiss Term Chair in Finance; PwC, for establishing PwC Chair of Financial Reporting and Corporate Governance; UTI, for a term chair in Macro-Economics; and Kasturbhai Lalbhai for the Chair in Management Development,” said Prof. Nanda.
 
“I am also thankful to Ajay and Ritu Banga for their contribution towards PGP scholarships. I am also pleased to announce Shapoorji Pallonji’s contribution towards PGPX scholarships. Contributions from the 1986 PGP batch and other alumni, including the 2014 PGP batch and several of our women alumni will help upgrade the IIMA Child Care Centre," he said.
 
Speaking about the Infosys Chair of Societal Development at IIMA, Mrs. Sudha Murty, Chairperson of the Infosys Foundation, said, “With over 65% of the Indian population living in rural areas, development in these regions will play a significant role in influencing the economic growth of the country. Through the establishment of the Infosys Chair of Societal Development, we aim to provide the much-needed impetus to researchers of IIMA to formulate policies, regulations, technology interventions and programs for Rural Development."
 
"The Chair intends to support studies that will lead to the creation of gainful employment, better housing and sanitation, non-conventional methods to alleviate poverty, and inclusive growth of population across the pyramid," she said.
 
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Edelweiss Group Chairman Rashesh Shah, who has helped set up the Edelweiss Term Chair in Finance, said, "Today's complex world of finance is ever-changing, highly inter-connected, with inter-linkages across business, government and society."
 
“There is a clear need for collaboration between industry and academia in order to develop new thought, new ways of looking at things and to ably spot, understand and smartly navigate the emerging winds of change. Having experienced firsthand the thought leadership that IIMA provides, led to the decision to endow the Edelweiss Chair of Finance. 
 
"The chair aims to support faculty for research around higher levels of learning in the areas of finance, markets and economy," he said.
 
UTI AMC Managing Director Leo Puri said the UTI Chair in Macro-Economics was being established as part of the company's commitment to contributing to the growth of the Indian financial markets and promoting education and research in the area of capital markets. 
 
“India will play a significant role in shaping the global economy, going forward. Top quality educational and financial institutions will have an important role in this journey. This collaboration between UTI AMC and IIM-A to start the UTI Chair in Macro-Economics is an important step in that direction. The valuable insights generated will benefit all stakeholders in the years to come.” 
 
"Policy makers and regulators around the world are focussed on changes to financial reporting and corporate governance frameworks and regulations to improve transparency and accountability and thus capital flows. We believe that collaboration among businesses, regulators, other stakeholders and academia is critical in achieving these objectives. We are delighted to establish the PwC Chair of Financial Reporting and Governance at IIMA to support excellence in research and teaching in this area," PwC India Chairman Deepak Kapoor said.
 
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Mr. Vasant Sanzgiri, Group Head, HR, Shapoorji Pallonji, said: “Executive Management programs bring out the best in experienced people. We congratulate IIMA for their pioneering effort in the executive education arena - the PGPX course in its 10th year has been building the talent pipeline for industry at large. We, at Shapoorji Pallonji, believe that experienced executives bring in value from day one and can be assimilated into varied environments with relative ease. Programs such as the PGPX play an important role in making this happen. The program proves that academic excellence and managerial excellence can complement each other at different stages in one’s career. Shapoorji Pallonji is happy to partner with IIMA to institute the debutant award for academic excellence in the PGPX batch. The award is presented to the topper of the PGPX batch at the time of the convocation.”
 
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Highest registration for IIM CAT in five years, rise in female candidates

IIM Ahmedabad
IIM Ahmedabad
As many as 2,18,664 registrations have been made for the Common Admission Test (CAT) of the Indian Institutes Management (IIMs) in the country -- the highest number in the last five years.
 
The test will be conducted in two sessions on November 29 this year at 650 test sites in 136 cities. Online registration for the examination opened on August 6 and ended on September 25, following a five-day extension.
 
The CAT is a pre-requisite for admission to the flagship post-graduate programmes (PGP) in management of the IIMs. Several other institutions also use the CAT scorecard to decide their admissions.
 
 
“Of late, some observers have expressed concern whether CAT examination is losing its potency because of slight decline in numbers in recent years, except last year. This year’s applications, a five-year-high, should put such doubts to rest,” said Prof. Tathagata Bandyopadhyay, Convener, CAT 2015. 
 
“Also, IIMs would be interested in the quality of students taking CAT rather than the number of CAT applicants. From the data of the last few years, it is evident that in recent years more focused candidates are taking CAT than when we touched the peak in terms of the highest number of registrations,” he said.
 
The number of female candidates in the applicant pool has increased, from 59,211 in 2014 to 69,176 in 2015 - an increase of 17%. There is also a significant increase in the number of candidates from non-engineering background from 37% in 2014 to 46% in 2015.
 
“We have been striving to bring diversity to our classrooms and these changes should reflect in the next PGP cohort at IIMA. I am sure we would see increase in diversity for other IIMs as well. I would like to thank our friends in the media, who have helped to get the word out in this regard to the applicants. We also see the diversity reflected in the number of transgender applicants, which stands at 80,” said Prof. Bandyopadhyay.
 
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There has been a 26% increase in the number of registrations from Maharashtra (6,973), the highest increase among all states, followed by Uttar Pradesh (2,181, about 9%), and Telangana (1,909, about 23%). One of the reasons for the substantial increase in registrations in Maharashtra could be attributed to the setting up of IIM Nagpur. There has been a 16% (457) increase in the number of registrations from the North Eastern states of India.
 
Candidates will be permitted to download their Admit Card from mid-October onwards till the date of examination.
 
The duration of the examination has been increased to 180 minutes instead of 170 minutes. There will be three sections, ‘Quantitative Aptitude (QA)’, ‘Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)’ and ‘Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VRC)’. 
 
QA and VRC will have 34 questions each, and DILR will have 32 questions. Some questions in each section may not be of multiple choice type. Instead, direct answers are to be typed on the screen. 
 
Candidates will be allotted exactly 60 minutes for answering questions in each section and they cannot switch from one section to another while answering questions in a section. Tutorial to understand the format of the examination will be available on the CAT website from 15th October.
 
The results of the test are expected to be declared in the second week of January 2016.
 
As per the Government of India requirements, 15% of the seats are reserved for Scheduled Caste (SC) and 7.5% for Scheduled Tribe (ST) candidates. 
 
Another 27% of seats are reserved for Other Backward Classes candidates belonging to the “non-creamy” layer (NC - OBC).
 
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