India News : April 2010

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Purandeswari says NCHE will be the apex

Recently, at the 20th annual convocation of Kuvempu University, Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development D. Purandeswari mentioned that the regulatory bodies of higher education such as the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) will not be done away with, after the constitution of the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE). These institutions will be subservient to the latter.

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The Bill for NCHE formation might be placed before Parliament in May or June. Purandeswari suggested another important recommendation of the National Knowledge Commission that universities should have a limited number of colleges affiliated to them, ranging from 70 to 100, so that they could coordinate with them in a better way to ensure quality education.

INR 50 crore for registration of New foreign universities

According to the Foreign Educational Institutions (regulation of entry and operation) Bill, the foreign universities will be checked from repartriating profits from Indian campus though education, by making it mandatory for the universities to publish a prospectus for settling in India. The new education providers settling down in India are required to deposit an amount of INR 50 crore with the body that will register them, which is the University Grants Commission (UGC).

Various levels of registrations are to be done by the foreign universities at various levels, but the bill promises time bound registration to them. 

Approach to Anganwari workers, in an attempt to rope in kids to school

To increasse the number of students in government schools and to reverse the trend of decreasing number of students, the Punjab School Education Department (PSEB), for the first time, a proactive stratgey has been adopted by the latter. The department has made a decision of sending its teachers, including over 28,000 anganwari workers to convince parents of children, including those not part of anganwaris, to admit them in government primary schools. 

Jharkhand school girls to get free bicycles

Class 8 girl students in Jharkhand are to receive free bicycles, to check the dropout rates in government schools, mentioned state Human Resource Development (HRD) minister Hemlal Murmu on March 15, 2010, night while replying in the assembly on his department's budget for 2010-11. Earlier, free cycles were provided to girls of tribal and Dalit families.

The objective of this action is to support girls to study up to the secondary level. According to a state government report, the majority of girls in the state leave school after studying upto Class 5 or 6. The literacy rate in the state is 54 % against national average of 65 %. The women's literacy rate is below 40 %. Additionally, it was announced that  48,410 primary school teachers had been appointed for schools.

Foreign universities can now apply to open campuses in India

On 15th March 2010, the proposal to allow foriegn universities to set up campuses in India was passed by India's cabinet. This is to reduce the flow of Indian students abroad. Tens of thousands of students head to universities in the United States, Britain and Australia among others for quality education each year. Political parties have in the past opposed the entry of foreign universities, saying the poor will not be able to afford the fees. A figure of 13.8 million will be reached most likely, as far as the demand for graduates goes over the next five years, analysts have estimated. But with only 13.2 million students graduating over the same period, India will face a shortfall of 600,000 graduates. India is to turn into a sought destination for top foreign universities, with India's large English-speaking population and growing middle class. 

Yale welcomes Rakesh Mohan, with lack of offers from Indian Universities 

The former Reserve Bank of India deputy governor Rakesh Mohan, who was previously appointed as the faculty with the prestigious Yale University, recently told that he was not offered a teaching job by any Indian university, as a professor. This was in response of a query regarding him not chosing any Indian university for teaching. Mohan added he would like to see India as the intellectual centre of the world in the coming years. He hoped that India would work towards re-structuring its higher education system, to level up with the huge amount of work taking place across Asian counrties. He is currently the non-executive vice-chairman of the Indian Institute of Human Settlements, and global advisor to the McKinsey Global Institute, McKinsey and Company. The economist will formally serve the faculty from July 1.

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