Maharashtra Education News

United Arab Emirates says it will teach Holocaust in schools
The Indian Express | 3 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
3 weeks ago | |

The United Arab Emirates will begin teaching about the Holocaust in history classes in primary and secondary schools across the country, the country’s embassy in the US says.The embassy provided no details on the curriculum and education authorities in the Emirates, a federation of seven sheikhdoms, did not immediately acknowledge the announcement on Monday.However, the announcement comes after the UAE normalised relations with Israel in 2020 as part of a deal brokered by the administration of President Donald Trump.“In the wake of the historic (hashtag)AbrahamAccords, (the UAE) will now include the Holocaust in the curriculum for primary and secondary schools,” the embassy said in a tweet, referring to the normalisation deal that also saw Bahrain and ultimately Morocco also recognise Israel.Ambassador Deborah E. Lipstadt, the US special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism, praised the announcement in her own tweet.“Holocaust education is an imperative for humanity and too many countries, for too long, continue to downplay the Shoah for political reasons,” Lipstadt wrote, using a Hebrew word for the Holocaust. “I commend the UAE for this step and expect others to follow suit soon.” The announcement comes ahead of a planned meeting of the Negev Forum Working Groups in Abu Dhabi this week, which grew out of the normalisation.The meeting will see officials from Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Morocco, the UAE and the US attend. Egypt has diplomatically recognized Israel for decades.The Holocaust saw Nazi Germany systematically kill 6 million European Jews during World War II.Israel, founded in 1948 as a haven for Jews in the wake of the Holocaust, grants automatic citizenship to anyone of Jewish descent.Other Arab nations have refused to diplomatically recognise Israel over its decades-long occupation of land Palestinians want for a future state.The announcement by the UAE also comes after it and other Arab nations condemned an ultranationalist Israeli Cabinet minister for visiting a flashpoint Jerusalem holy site for the first time since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new far-right government took office.The site, known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, is the holiest site in Judaism, home to the ancient biblical Temples.Today, it houses the Al Aqsa Mosque, the third-holiest site in Islam. Since Israel captured the site in 1967, Jews have been allowed to visit but not pray there.

United Arab Emirates says it will teach Holocaust in schools
Billionaires like Gautam Adani can help increase farmers’ incomes by funding solar treesPremium Story
The Indian Express | 3 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
3 weeks ago | |

If there is one wish I would like to make for 2023, it is for shared peace and prosperity for all.All efforts to propel economic growth are for the prosperity of people. But GDP growth rates, the absolute size of GDP, and even per capita income, do not fully capture the prosperity of the masses. Increasing inequalities are a reality in India and most developing nations. Simon Kuznets told us decades back that it is going to happen as economies open up and growth accelerates, before it stabilises and even declines as those left behind start catching up. But how do they catch up with the front runners? It can happen only when one invests heavily in their skills, education, access to finance (capital/technology) and innovative models of development that dovetail inclusiveness with faster growth plans.In 2022, India has registered the highest growth rate amongst all G20 countries and it is likely to do so even in 2023. That’s a matter of pride. And within India, when we talk about growth and wealth creation, one name stands out — Gautam Adani. In a recent interview with India Today, he revealed that his rise started with the liberalisation of economic policies during Rajiv Gandhi’s time, and got momentum with the 1991 reforms. But the year 2022 has seen the most explosive growth with his net worth rising to about $125.8 billion (as per the Forbes list on December 28, 2022) making him the richest man in Asia and third-richest in the world.Many critics say this is all due to his proximity to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. But then, why is the Chief Minister of Rajasthan hosting him as he announced plans to invest about Rs 65,000 crore in setting up a mega solar power plant of 10,000 MW, expanding a cement plant, and upgrading the Jaipur airport? Similarly, why did the Tamil Nadu government support him in setting up one of the largest solar power plants at Kamuthi? Even the West Bengal government has been wooing him for investment and the upgradation of its ports. The reality is that most of the top business houses work with all governments so long as it makes economic sense to them. Be it Adani, Reliance, Tatas, Wipro, and others — they all create wealth and millions of well-paid jobs. That’s their contribution to society. But they also give back to society through their CSR activities as well as through family foundations and trusts.A few years back, Azim Premji pledged to give away about half of his wealth to the society through Azim Premji Foundation. He topped the EdelGive Hurun India Philanthropy List in 2020. How many people are aware that Gautam Adani’s foundation is committing Rs 60,000 crore to give back to society through promoting better health, education, and skill development? This, said Adani, was the best gift on his 60th birthday.While all this is commendable, I feel there could also be an alternative model for shared prosperity. And that is making the less privileged partners in the journey of wealth creation. Let me elaborate. Since Gautam Adani is committing Rs 60,000 crore through the Adani Foundation to give back to society, here is a small idea that can make millions prosperous, if he takes it up as a priority.The largest share of India’s working population is engaged in agriculture (about 46 per cent). Their education levels are low and the average holding size is small (1.08 ha). The average household income hovers below Rs 20,000 per month at current prices. Of course, many marginal farmers earn even less than this. This is not enough to provide a sustainable demand base for a manufacturing revolution in India. Educating these people at a large scale or even creating new skills may be a long-drawn process. So, here is an idea that can augment their incomes substantially and quickly.Adani aims to be the largest player in green energy, especially solar. Solar farms today need a lot of land that is degraded. But land is scarce in India and I am not sure how far this model can be scaled up. The alternative is to have solar as a third crop on farmers’ fields. The designing of solar panels and structures has to be done in a manner that allows enough sunlight to come through for photosynthesis of crops below. Farmers can keep growing two crops below these solar trees that are about four meters high. The investment in solar panels will be done largely by entrepreneurs (say Adani Green Energy) with some equity participation by the farmers (say 10 to 15 per cent). Farmers will maintain these solar trees regularly. Power will be generated throughout the year and it can be fed to the grid at an agreed price. The farmer will get rent for his land and a share in the profits of power generation.This idea is being tried in a number of countries, including India. Our research in this area led to the setting up of a pilot in Ujwa KVK in the Najafgarh area in Delhi with the help of former Lt Governor of Delhi, Anil Baijal. Just two kilometres from the site of the pilot project, an entrepreneur, Surinder Ahuja (CEO, SUNMASTER), has tried out this idea on four acres and he is offering Rs 1.25 lakh per acre/year to farmers for using their land for solar and agriculture activities. This doubles farmers’ income within six months.The question is whether Adani can scale it a million times and create a revolution with farmers generating solar power along with food crops. Only then can the farmer become not only anna daata but also urja daata (giver of food as well as solar energy). This will be a true shared prosperity model.Gulati is Distinguished Professor at ICRIER. Views are personal

Billionaires like Gautam Adani can help increase farmers’ incomes by funding solar treesPremium Story
  • How Gautam Adani can help increase farmers' incomePremium Story
  • The Indian Express

    If there is one wish I would like to make for 2023, it is for shared peace and prosperity for all.All efforts to propel economic growth are for the prosperity of people. But GDP growth rates, the absolute size of GDP, and even per capita income, do not fully capture the prosperity of the masses. Increasing inequalities are a reality in India and most developing nations. Simon Kuznets told us decades back that it is going to happen as economies open up and growth accelerates, before it stabilises and even declines as those left behind start catching up. But how do they catch up with the front runners? It can happen only when one invests heavily in their skills, education, access to finance (capital/technology) and innovative models of development that dovetail inclusiveness with faster growth plans.In 2022, India has registered the highest growth rate amongst all G20 countries and it is likely to do so even in 2023. That’s a matter of pride. And within India, when we talk about growth and wealth creation, one name stands out — Gautam Adani. In a recent interview with India Today, he revealed that his rise started with the liberalisation of economic policies during Rajiv Gandhi’s time, and got momentum with the 1991 reforms. But the year 2022 has seen the most explosive growth with his net worth rising to about $125.8 billion (as per the Forbes list on December 28, 2022) making him the richest man in Asia and third-richest in the world.Many critics say this is all due to his proximity to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. But then, why is the Chief Minister of Rajasthan hosting him as he announced plans to invest about Rs 65,000 crore in setting up a mega solar power plant of 10,000 MW, expanding a cement plant, and upgrading the Jaipur airport? Similarly, why did the Tamil Nadu government support him in setting up one of the largest solar power plants at Kamuthi? Even the West Bengal government has been wooing him for investment and the upgradation of its ports. The reality is that most of the top business houses work with all governments so long as it makes economic sense to them. Be it Adani, Reliance, Tatas, Wipro, and others — they all create wealth and millions of well-paid jobs. That’s their contribution to society. But they also give back to society through their CSR activities as well as through family foundations and trusts.A few years back, Azim Premji pledged to give away about half of his wealth to the society through Azim Premji Foundation. He topped the EdelGive Hurun India Philanthropy List in 2020. How many people are aware that Gautam Adani’s foundation is committing Rs 60,000 crore to give back to society through promoting better health, education, and skill development? This, said Adani, was the best gift on his 60th birthday.While all this is commendable, I feel there could also be an alternative model for shared prosperity. And that is making the less privileged partners in the journey of wealth creation. Let me elaborate. Since Gautam Adani is committing Rs 60,000 crore through the Adani Foundation to give back to society, here is a small idea that can make millions prosperous, if he takes it up as a priority.The largest share of India’s working population is engaged in agriculture (about 46 per cent). Their education levels are low and the average holding size is small (1.08 ha). The average household income hovers below Rs 20,000 per month at current prices. Of course, many marginal farmers earn even less than this. This is not enough to provide a sustainable demand base for a manufacturing revolution in India. Educating these people at a large scale or even creating new skills may be a long-drawn process. So, here is an idea that can augment their incomes substantially and quickly.Adani aims to be the largest player in green energy, especially solar. Solar farms today need a lot of land that is degraded. But land is scarce in India and I am not sure how far this model can be scaled up. The alternative is to have solar as a third crop on farmers’ fields. The designing of solar panels and structures has to be done in a manner that allows enough sunlight to come through for photosynthesis of crops below. Farmers can keep growing two crops below these solar trees that are about four meters high. The investment in solar panels will be done largely by entrepreneurs (say Adani Green Energy) with some equity participation by the farmers (say 10 to 15 per cent). Farmers will maintain these solar trees regularly. Power will be generated throughout the year and it can be fed to the grid at an agreed price. The farmer will get rent for his land and a share in the profits of power generation.This idea is being tried in a number of countries, including India. Our research in this area led to the setting up of a pilot in Ujwa KVK in the Najafgarh area in Delhi with the help of former Lt Governor of Delhi, Anil Baijal. Just two kilometres from the site of the pilot project, an entrepreneur, Surinder Ahuja (CEO, SUNMASTER), has tried out this idea on four acres and he is offering Rs 1.25 lakh per acre/year to farmers for using their land for solar and agriculture activities. This doubles farmers’ income within six months.The question is whether Adani can scale it a million times and create a revolution with farmers generating solar power along with food crops. Only then can the farmer become not only anna daata but also urja daata (giver of food as well as solar energy). This will be a true shared prosperity model.Gulati is Distinguished Professor at ICRIER. Views are personal

Maharashtra: Schools not ready to fill up details on government’s Right to Education portal due to pending dues
Times of India | 3 weeks ago | |
Times of India
3 weeks ago | |

PUNE: Schools have responded poorly to the government's latest instructions to fill up Right to Education (RTE) Act-related information on the state's portal.School managements have been unhappy due to the poor remuneration provided by the state government on admissions done by schools under the 25% reserved category of the RTE Act. As per government instructions, school managements must fill up information on the state RTE portal depending on the districts, schools and students admitted by January 10. However, many schools do not want to fill up the data in such a short period of time since they have already not received the funds has.They have pointed out that the reimbursements have been so poor year-on-year that the information they provide on the RTE portal has now become just procedural and does not reflect in the reimbursements. Kailas Pagare, state project director of the Maharashtra Prathamik Shikshan Parishad, told TOI that the matter was more about the finance department than the education department . "If a school deserves Rs 100, we can only pay Rs 10, for instance, because the reimbursement amount coming from the Union government is less," Pagare said."Filling in students' information will determine the overall reimbursement of fees. The education minister has sanctioned only Rs 84 crore in the winter session while more than Rs 500 crore of RTE reimbursement is due to schools in the state so far."Maharashtra English Schools Trustees Association president Sanjay Tayde-Patil said, "In 2017, they paid us half of the dues, after which it kept accumulating. The Centre sends the money and it goes to the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan. But instead of ensuring full payment for schools, they use it for other educational projects."

Maharashtra: Schools not ready to fill up details on government’s Right to Education portal due to pending dues
Skilled workers could transform Maharashtra into trillion-dollar economy: Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis
Times of India | 3 weeks ago | |
Times of India
3 weeks ago | |

PUNE: Deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, while speaking at a function in the city, emphasized expanding the base of skilled human resources to make Maharashtra a trillion-dollar economy.He was speaking at the inauguration of Bharati Hospital's new super speciality facility and students' housing complex marking the 79th birth anniversary of Vidyapeeth founder and late senior congress leader Dr Patangrao Kadam at Bharati Vidyapeeth Educational Complex in Dhankawadi on Sunday.Former union agriculture minister and National Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar and Himachal Pradesh chief minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu were also present at the event. Chancellor of Bharti Vidyapeeth Dr Shivajirao Kadam, pro-vice-chancellor Dr Vishwajit Kadam, vice-chancellor Dr Vivek Saoji, executive director of the department of health sciences Dr Asmita Jagtap and cabinet minister of Himachal Pradesh Sanjay Awasthi were present."Pune has become the state's manufacturing and industrial hub. This could happen because Pune is primarily a pivotal education and research hub providing skilled human resources. Expanding such a skilled workforce through educational institutions can help accommodate the exodus of various industries from China," Fadnavis said.Adar Poonawalla, owner and chief executive officer (CEO) of Serum Institute of India (SII), was felicitated at the inauguration and presented with the first Dr Patangaro Kadam Memorial Award in recognition of his contribution to the fight against Covid-19. In his acceptance speech, Poonawalla said, "The entire SII workforce worked tirelessly during the pandemic. You may have seen me on television, but they were working hard to fulfil the delivery of the Covishield vaccine, which our country and the world needed. This could be possible because of the united efforts at the Central and state government, our healthcare workers and manufacturers working together with a common goal.""Many students want to go abroad for education, but with institutions like this (Bharati Vidyapeeth) and so many others in India, you can fulfil your dreams and ambitions. Even if you want to go abroad, please come back as soon as possible," Poonawalla said.Pawar, in his speech, urged educational institutes to focus on the ever-expanding field of artificial intelligence (AI). "Educational institutes like Bharati Vidyapeeth should take the lead in nurturing young minds in AI and elevate research work at the global level," he said. Pawar, during his speech, mentioned how he and Cyrus Poonawala studied together and were good friends. Sukhu drew attention to opportunities in Himachal Pradesh and spoke about various schemes and projects his government has undertaken.

Skilled workers could transform Maharashtra into trillion-dollar economy: Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis
Gautam Adani says regrets not completing college education
The Indian Express | 3 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
3 weeks ago | |

He dropped out of formal education at the age of 16 in 1978 to take a train to Mumbai to try his luck and three years later made his first killing — a Rs 10,000 commission doing a diamond trade with a Japanese buyer.That marked the beginning of the entrepreneurial journey of Gautam Adani, now Asia’s richest man. He, however, regrets not finishing college, saying early experiences made him wise but formal education rapidly expands one’s knowledge.Speaking at the 75th year celebrations of Vidya Mandir Trust Palanpur in Gujarat, Adani recounted his phenomenal journey that has made his group the world’s largest solar power company, largest airport and sea port operator in India, nation’s largest integrated energy player, country’s second largest cement manufacturer and a conglomerate with market capitalisation of over USD 225 billion — all in a span of four-and-a-half decades.While the dry and tough living conditions of Gujarat’s Banaskantha shaped his social behaviour, his father’s involvement in what is now known as ‘forward trades’ gave him the initial learning.After leaving Banaskantha, Adani moved to Ahmedabad where he spent 4 years completing secondary education.“I was just 16 years old when I chose to give up my education and move to Mumbai,” he said. “In this context, a question I often get asked is – why did I move to Mumbai and not work with my family? As many youngsters in the audience would agree, the optimism and desire for independence of a teenage boy is hard to contain. All I knew was that – I wanted to do something different – and do it on my own.” He bought a train ticket and boarded the Gujarat Mail to Mumbai with not much in his pocket.“Once in Mumbai, my cousin Prakashbhai Desai enrolled me at Mahendra brothers, where I started to learn to assort diamonds. I quickly picked up the business and after working at Mahendra brothers for about 3 years, I left to start my own brokerage in diamond trading at Zaveri Bazar,” he said. “I still recall the day I did my first trade with a Japanese buyer. I made a commission of Rs 10,000.” This, he said, was the start of his journey as an entrepreneur.“Another question I often get is if I have any regrets that I did not go to college. Reflecting on my life and the different turns it took, I – now – do believe that I would have benefitted if I had finished college. While my early experiences made me wise, I now realize that formal education rapidly expands one’s knowledge,” he said. “To acquire wisdom, one must experience but to acquire knowledge, one must study.” These, he said, are complementary. “And although I will never really know, I do reflect at times that the expansion in my abilities may have been faster had I gone to college.” Adani, 60, started off as a trader and has been on a rapid diversification spree, expanding an empire centered on ports and coal mining to include airports, data centers and cement as well as green energy.“First-generation entrepreneurs mostly start with a unique advantage – the advantage of having nothing to lose. This belief is their strength. In my own mind, this was liberating. I had no legacy to follow – but I had the opportunity to create a legacy.“I had nothing to prove to anybody – but had an opportunity to prove to my own self that I could rise. I had nothing to risk by jumping into uncharted waters. I had no expectations to fulfil except those of my own. These beliefs became a part of me,” he said.Adani said when he turned 19, he was called back by his elder brother Mahasukhbhai to help run a small-scale PVC film factory the family had acquired at Ahmedabad.“We used to procure imported raw materials. It was a tough business. In those day, PVC film manufacturing faced great scarcity of raw materials given all the import restrictions,” he said, adding the liberalisation of import policies by the then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1985 gave him the first real break.“While I had no trading experience, I took advantage of the opportunity and moved swiftly to establish a trading organization. We started importing polymers, to supply to the raw-material-deprived small-scale industries. This move laid the initial foundation of the Global Trading Business I was soon to build,” he said.The 1991 liberalisation by the then prime minister P V Narasimha Rao allowed him to move swiftly to establish a full-fledged global trading house dealing in polymers, metals, textiles, and agro products.“We became the largest global trading house in the country within two years. I had turned 29 and had a full appreciation of the value of two dimensions that would define everything we did — Scale and Speed,” he said.Till now Adani was primarily focused on trading. And in 1994, he listed Adani Exports, which is now called Adani Enterprises.Yet another opportunity came in 1995, when the Gujarat government decided to develop its coastline.“It was around this same time that the global commodities trader Cargill approached us with a proposal to source the salt produced across the Kutch coastline,” he said. “To cut a long, interesting story short, the partnership did not proceed. But we were left with about 40,000 acres of marshy land to harvest salt and an approval to build a captive jetty at Mundra for the export of salt.” He then built a full-fledged commercial port in Mundra, Gujarat. “And the rest is history,” he said.When the Gujarat government announced its SEZ policy in 2005, Adani moved quickly to convert the land originally allocated for salt works into the country’s largest multi-product SEZ — supported by world class infrastructure including ports, rail, air, roads, and water networks.“Today, I can confidently say that the real growth of Mundra is just starting. It now holds the potential to become one of the world’s top integrated industrial parks in the years to come,” he said.Adani group continued to grow and today it is the world’s largest solar power company and will be the world’s largest renewable company by 2030. It is the largest airport operator in India with 25 per cent of passenger traffic and 40 per cent of air cargo.It is the largest ports and logistics company in India with 30 per cent national market share. It is also India’s largest integrated energy player, spanning electricity generation, transmission, and distribution, LNG and LPG terminals, city gas and piped gas distribution.Adani group is the country’s second largest cement manufacturer and the highest valued FMCG company following the IPO of Adani Wilmar.“We have declared our path forward in new sectors that include data centres, super apps, industrial clouds, aerospace and defence, metals, and petrochemicals,” he said.Adani also said India will be a land of massive opportunities over the next 30 years and this is the time to dream big.

Gautam Adani says regrets not completing college education
Israel revokes Palestinian FM’s travel permit over UN move
The Indian Express | 3 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
3 weeks ago | |

Israel on Sunday revoked the Palestinian foreign minister’s travel permit, part of a series of punitive steps against the Palestinians that Israel’s new hard-line government announced days ago.Riad Malki said in a statement that he was returning from the Brazilian president’s inauguration when he was informed that Israel rescinded his travel permit, which allows top Palestinian officials to travel easily in and out of the occupied West Bank, unlike ordinary Palestinians. It was not clear whether the permits of other officials had been revoked as well.Israel’s government on Friday approved the steps to penalize the Palestinians in retaliation for them pushing the U.N.’s highest judicial body to give its opinion on the Israeli occupation. Rulings by the International Court of Justice are not binding, but they can be influential on world opinion.The decision highlights the tough line the current government is already taking toward the Palestinians just days into its tenure. It comes at a time of spiking violence in the occupied West Bank and as peace talks are a distant memory.In east Jerusalem, a flashpoint of Israeli-Palestinian tensions, Israeli police said they broke up a meeting by Palestinian parents about their children’s education, claiming it was unlawfully funded by the Palestinian Authority. Police said the operation came at the behest of National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, an ultranationalist with a long record of anti-Arab rhetoric and stunts who now oversees the police.The Palestinians condemned the revoking of Malki’s permit, saying Israel should be the one being “punished for its violations against international law.”Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a meeting of his Cabinet on Sunday the measures against the Palestinians were aimed at what he called “an extreme anti-Israel” step at the U.N. Israel’s Defense Ministry confirmed that Malki’s permit had been revoked. On Friday, the government’s Security Cabinet decided Israel would withhold $39 million from the Palestinian Authority and transfer the funds instead to a compensation program for the families of Israeli victims of Palestinian militant attacks.It also said Israel would further deduct revenue it typically transfers to the cash-strapped PA — a sum equal to the amount the authority paid last year to families of Palestinian prisoners and those killed in the conflict, including militants implicated in attacks against Israelis. The Palestinian leadership describes the payments as necessary social welfare, while Israel says the so-called Martyrs’ Fund incentivizes violence. Israel’s withheld funds threaten to exacerbate the PA’s fiscal woes.The Security Cabinet also targeted Palestinian officials directly, saying it would deny benefits to “VIPs who are leading the political and legal war against Israel.”Meanwhile, Israel’s new defense minister, Yoav Gallant, said he was stripping three senior Palestinian officials of VIP privileges allowing them to enter Israel. The move came after they visited an Arab citizen of Israel who was released from prison last week after serving 40 years for the murder of an Israeli soldier.The police operation Saturday came days after Ben-Gvir took office. Police alleged the parents’ meeting was funded by the Palestinian Authority and attended by PA activists, which it said was in violation of Israeli law. Police said they prevented the meeting from taking place and that they were operating under an order by Ben-Gvir to shut it down. Police declined to provide evidence backing up their claim and a spokesman for Ben-Gvir referred questions to the police.Ziad Shamali, head of the Students’ Parents’ Committees Union in Jerusalem, which was holding the meeting, denied there was any PA involvement, saying it was being held to discuss a shortage of teachers in east Jerusalem schools. He said he viewed the claim of PA ties as “a political pretext to ban” the meeting.The Palestinian Authority was created to administer Gaza and parts of the occupied West Bank. Israel opposes any official business being carried out by the PA in east Jerusalem, and police have in the past broken up events they alleged were linked to the PA.Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war and later annexed it, a move unrecognized by most of the international community. Israel considers the city its undivided, eternal capital.The Palestinians seek the city’s eastern sector as the capital of their hoped-for state. About a third of the city’s population is Palestinian and they have long faced neglect and discrimination at the hands of Israeli authorities, including in education, housing and public services.

Israel revokes Palestinian FM’s travel permit over UN move
Study Abroad: Government scholarships for Indian students in Australia
The Indian Express | 3 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
3 weeks ago | |

Australia is one of the most popular destinations in the world when it comes to higher education abroad. According to the data from the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade), the number of Indian students commencing academics with Australian universities was 52,186 until June 2022.Considering the popularity of the country among international students, the Australian government provides several scholarships that Indian students can apply for, to pursue their dreams of studying in Australia.There are a number of scholarships and grants available which can help Indian students study in Australia, while keeping their finances in check. — Student’s return airfare to and from Australia— Establishment allowance— Living allowance— Academic and other compulsory fees— Basic health insurance [Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)]Students are also advised to apply for Australian Government scholarships a year in advance after receiving an offer from the respective Australian university.This scholarship is given to exceptional graduate Indian students who have enrolled for bachelor, master, and doctoral courses programmes in engineering, construction, energy and resources, security, and strategic studies at leading Australian universities. Applications for this scholarship open in the month of February and continue till April every year. An important thing to remember here is that students who get this scholarship must return to India after completing their programme.Website: www.dfat.gov.au/people-to-people/australia-awards/australia-awards-scholarshipsAmount/Expense covered:— Full tuition fee— Return air travel fare (economy)— Establishment allowance— Contribution to Living Expenses (CLE)— Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)— Introductory Academic Program (IAP)— Pre-course English (PCE) fees— Supplementary academic support— FieldworkEligibility: — Minimum age of 18 years— Fulfill admission requirements set by your targeted university.— Meet expected minimum scores on entrance testsIELTS- 6.5, minimum 6.0 for every bandTOEFL- 84, minimum 21 in all subtestsPTE- 58, minimum Communicative skill score not 50These scholarships for international students are awarded by individual universities on behalf of the Department of Education. The application procedure, as well as the selection, differs from university to university. It is given to students who take up research masters and research doctorate programmes. It will cover one or more of the tuition fees, cost of living, and other study-related expenses. A research masters scholarship is valid for two years ,while the research doctorate scholarship is valid for a minimum of three years and a maximum of four years.Website: www.education.gov.au/research-block-grants/research-training-programAmount/Expense covered: — Up to $124,000— Tuition fee— StipendEligibility: — Completed postgraduate studies— Academic merit— Research potentialThe Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) nurtures the interests of committed researchers to work with them by providing various scholarship options every year. An annual vacation scholarship programme and other various scholarships let deserving researchers work with world-class scientists. The areas of the research study are as per the focus of CSIRO, so the candidates must check every year on the CSIRO website.Website: www.csiro.au/en/careers/scholarships-student-opportunitiesEvery year, 50 scholarships are given to  “outstanding graduates who enroll each year at Australian tertiary institutions.” It is for up to three years and can be extended for the fourth year.Amount/Expense covered: — The amount is variable with programme. However, the applicants can expect a better one-time payment.Eligibility:First-class Honors or H1 or equivalent degree in a relevant discipline of engineering/science— Minimum English language requirements— Adequate oral and written communication skills— Ability to work as part of a multi-disciplinary research team— Meet RMIT’s entry requirements for the PhD by research degreeThe Destination Australia Scholarship funds students to pursue their education in tertiary Australian universities and institutions. The idea of the scholarship is to extract the socio-cultural and economic benefits brought by international students to empower regional Australia. The candidates are expected to live and study in the remote and regional parts which are defined as areas outside the major Australian cities.Website: education.gov.au/destination-australiaAmount/Expense covered: — Up to $15,000 per year— Maximum duration is four yearsEligibility: — As per guidance published by the specific university— Academic merit— Applicant’s personal statementFocusing on STEM subjects, It is one of the PhD scholarships in Australia that offers two types of awards — Data61 PhD scholarship and Data61 top-up scholarship.The Data61 PhD comprises a full stipend, while the Data61 top-up scholarship provides additional support if you receive the university/government/third-party funded scholarship.Your offer letter will contain the benefits you will be getting which can be only a PhD scholarship, only a top-up scholarship, or both PhD and top-up scholarships. The validity of the scholarship is a maximum of 3.5 years. Based on university processes and the number of applications, application rounds are held 2-4 times a year.Website: data61.csiro.au/en/Our-Network/Students/Scholarship-ProgramAmount/Expense covered:— $10,000 per annumEligibility:— Completion of postgraduate studies— Research interest in a STEM topic that aligns with the CSIRO’s priority interests— Required academic merit and research potentialOffered by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), the John Allwright Fellowship is awarded to scientists from partner country institutions involved in the research projects of ACIAR. The beneficiaries of this fellowship would get the opportunity to undertake postgraduate training in Australia with standard coverage of their expenses. ACIAR focuses on agribusiness, crops, and forestry-related research in India.Website: aciar.gov.au/scholarships/john-allwright-fellowshipAmount/Expense covered:— Full tuition fee— Return air travel fare (economy)— Contribution to Living Expenses (CLE) – AU$ 30,000/year— Establishment allowance- AU$ 5,000 onceEligibility criteria:— Belonging to a developing country that has a partnership with ACIAR projects— Degree equivalent to an Australian bachelor’s degree in the relevant discipline—Scientist or economist from the developing country partner actively involved in ACIAR projectsThe Australian government funds Endeavour postgraduate scholarships to Australians who wish to study abroad as well as to non-Australians who desire and deserve to study masters programme in Australia. This scholarship covers an amount up to AU$ 27,500, including various expenses a student has. Sponsored by the Australian government’s Department of Education, Skills, and Employment, the scholarship scheme is known as Endeavour Leadership, indicating that the beneficiaries are potential leaders of the world.Website: internationaleducation.gov.au/scholarships/Scholarships-and-Fellowships/Pages/default.aspxAmount/Expense covered:— Tuition fees— Travel allowance- AU$ 3,000— Establishment allowance- AU$ 2,000/4000— Monthly stipend- AU$ 3000/month— Health insurance— Travel InsuranceEligibility criteria: — Citizen/permanent resident of a participating country— 18 years or more age— High-level academic excellence or work experience in the relevant field— Not applied in a category in which Endeavour scholarship was received once— Applicant receives no other scholarships in AustraliaStep 1: Research about the Institute and select a Scholarship.Step 2: Check for the minimum eligibility requirements for the scholarship.Step 3: Contact supervisors for supervision approval.Step 4: Submit an expression of interest.Step 5: Fill in the application and submit it.Step 6: Wait for the reply.Scholarships in Australia are offered on the basis of merit-based, need-based, student-specific, or course-specific grants. The amount of an Australian scholarship differs depending on the profile of the student ranging from $2000 up to 100 percent of the tuition fee. Doctoral degrees in the country are usually fully funded.These are a few scholarships exclusively for international students who wish to study in Australia. These Australian government scholarships are offered for full-time study in Australia for undergraduate, master, or technical courses.

Study Abroad: Government scholarships for Indian students in Australia
  • PB Mehta writes | UGC guidelines on foreign universities: The University Gimmicks Commission
  • The Indian Express

    The University Grants Commission is proposing new guidelines to allow the entry of foreign universities in India. Any good-faith effort to reform higher education ought to be welcomed. But before you applaud this latest pantomime on higher education and mistake it for a genuine revolution, ask a few probing questions. These so-called reforms, like so much that emanates from the UGC, are being carried out under false premises.Let us begin with the grandest of aspirations: To get top universities like Princeton, Stanford, Yale and Oxford to set up campuses in India. Ask yourself this. Why do these universities not have any branch campuses anywhere in the world, including countries with liberal regulatory environments? Why would they set up in India? What is it about the economics and the structural form of a top research university that makes it difficult to reproduce them? There are about four hundred foreign campuses operating in the world. But just consult the comprehensive database of American universities operating abroad compiled by C-BERT. Just go through the list yourself to see what proportion of those institutions are top-tier institutions. Barely a handful, if one is being generous. Very few are like NYU Abu Dhabi, but almost all of them received massive subsidies from the home government. Several high-profile ones like Yale–NUS have been “reabsorbed.” More than 30 per cent of foreign campuses receive some form of subsidy, and the better the institution, the more subsidy it requires. Can India justify subsidising top-tier foreign institutions with public money?Let us go further. This reform will apparently allow for the repatriation of money to the home institution. Now here is the blunt truth about universities. If you want to build a top-class university in India, it will have to integrate teaching and research. This is a financial black hole requiring continual support not derived from fees alone. Any private institution that is for profit that seeks to skim money off education can never build a world-class university since a top-class university requires continual reinvestment. Now, what kind of an institution looks to repatriate “surpluses?” The same kind that in India seeks profit.The UGC boldly declares that it will ensure that the qualifications of the faculty assigned to India will be the same as those of the faculty in the parent institution. A lot turns on how you interpret the term “qualification”. If it simply means formal equivalence of qualifications (PhD from a good institution, etc.) then most institutions are on par. But if it means faculty who are exceptional (which is what the top institutions claim they have), then there is no cost advantage to moving to India. Land and capital costs are not cheap. But if you are going to define equivalence as something close to those who have been through the tenure processes of the top-ranked universities, they have no economic or lifestyle incentives to spend a lot of time in India unless either their salaries are matched or exceeded. This makes running campuses in India with the same “standard” prohibitively expensive.Let us think about regulatory trust. Would you invest millions of dollars in a regulatory system that is unreliable, to say the least? There are at least 30 to 40 entrepreneurs in India who could (financially, at least), single-handedly create slightly lower-cost, world-class alternatives to Western institutions. But there has been only a trickle of institutions in India so far that are ambitious in this respect. The question to ask is why? If we are not investing enough, why would anyone else? Does anyone now remember the Institutions of Eminence revolution that was heralded a few years ago? How many of those high-profile greenfield projects have got off to a flying start, within two years, as was promised? How much net investment in higher-end research universities did that botched reform generate?The mendacity of this reform will also be obvious to anyone who has looked at Indian higher education. The same UGC that wants to standardise the admissions process for all public universities gravely assaults their autonomy day in and day out and is now supposed to protect the autonomy and distinct identity of foreign universities. You would be foolish to take the UGC at face value. In any case, the UGC is engaging in a nauseating form of reverse discrimination against Indian, and especially public, institutions. You ought to be wary of such a regulator. Just imagine the oddity of saying in higher education: Freedom for foreign, chains for the Indian.What is this reform supposed to achieve? The ostensible rationale is to make high-quality foreign education available in India at a somewhat lower cost so that students don’t have to leave, and some of the billions we are using to consume foreign higher education can be spent in the country. If you look at the C-BERT list, what strikes you is that not only are there very few top-tier universities, most foreign campuses are very small, with an average size of 300-400 students. How much supply are you augmenting, especially in a context where you are diminishing the net supply of higher education by destroying established public universities? Perhaps Indian capital might be willing to subsidise a foreign brand. Perhaps some professional schools will show up since mostly they can generate a surplus.The only thing good about this announcement is the UGC’s perverse honesty. It thinks of universities and teaching like a McDonald’s franchise that can easily be replicated without regard to agglomeration effects, or the effects of the larger ecosystem in which they are embedded. It seems to have little conception of what combination of capital, vision, and human resources it takes to get a high-end research university going. More depressing is its utter defeatism. The UGC has admitted that its cumulative failures, across governments and political parties, have brought us to this pass. India could have been a top-class, lower-cost higher education hub for the world. Indian universities, both public and private, can reach glorious heights of excellence; that both the top and the average quality can be improved. We gave up on that project with public institutions a while ago, then pinned hopes on a private revolution, which in quality terms is still a trickle, and now want to hang onto the coattails of foreign brands who will either be elusive or for the most part second rate. University Gimmicks Commission, indeed.The writer is contributing editor, The Indian Express

  • UGC guidelines on foreign universities: The University Gimmicks Commission
  • The Indian Express

    The University Grants Commission is proposing new guidelines to allow the entry of foreign universities in India. Any good-faith effort to reform higher education ought to be welcomed. But before you applaud this latest pantomime on higher education and mistake it for a genuine revolution, ask a few probing questions. These so-called reforms, like so much that emanates from the UGC, are being carried out under false premises.Let us begin with the grandest of aspirations: To get top universities like Princeton, Stanford, Yale and Oxford to set up campuses in India. Ask yourself this. Why do these universities not have any branch campuses anywhere in the world, including countries with liberal regulatory environments? Why would they set up in India? What is it about the economics and the structural form of a top research university that makes it difficult to reproduce them? There are about four hundred foreign campuses operating in the world. But just consult the comprehensive database of American universities operating abroad compiled by C-BERT. Just go through the list yourself to see what proportion of those institutions are top-tier institutions. Barely a handful, if one is being generous. Very few are like NYU Abu Dhabi, but almost all of them received massive subsidies from the home government. Several high-profile ones like Yale–NUS have been “reabsorbed.” More than 30 per cent of foreign campuses receive some form of subsidy, and the better the institution, the more subsidy it requires. Can India justify subsidising top-tier foreign institutions with public money?Let us go further. This reform will apparently allow for the repatriation of money to the home institution. Now here is the blunt truth about universities. If you want to build a top-class university in India, it will have to integrate teaching and research. This is a financial black hole requiring continual support not derived from fees alone. Any private institution that is for profit that seeks to skim money off education can never build a world-class university since a top-class university requires continual reinvestment. Now, what kind of an institution looks to repatriate “surpluses?” The same kind that in India seeks profit.The UGC boldly declares that it will ensure that the qualifications of the faculty assigned to India will be the same as those of the faculty in the parent institution. A lot turns on how you interpret the term “qualification”. If it simply means formal equivalence of qualifications (PhD from a good institution, etc.) then most institutions are on par. But if it means faculty who are exceptional (which is what the top institutions claim they have), then there is no cost advantage to moving to India. Land and capital costs are not cheap. But if you are going to define equivalence as something close to those who have been through the tenure processes of the top-ranked universities, they have no economic or lifestyle incentives to spend a lot of time in India unless either their salaries are matched or exceeded. This makes running campuses in India with the same “standard” prohibitively expensive.Let us think about regulatory trust. Would you invest millions of dollars in a regulatory system that is unreliable, to say the least? There are at least 30 to 40 entrepreneurs in India who could (financially, at least), single-handedly create slightly lower-cost, world-class alternatives to Western institutions. But there has been only a trickle of institutions in India so far that are ambitious in this respect. The question to ask is why? If we are not investing enough, why would anyone else? Does anyone now remember the Institutions of Eminence revolution that was heralded a few years ago? How many of those high-profile greenfield projects have got off to a flying start, within two years, as was promised? How much net investment in higher-end research universities did that botched reform generate?The mendacity of this reform will also be obvious to anyone who has looked at Indian higher education. The same UGC that wants to standardise the admissions process for all public universities gravely assaults their autonomy day in and day out and is now supposed to protect the autonomy and distinct identity of foreign universities. You would be foolish to take the UGC at face value. In any case, the UGC is engaging in a nauseating form of reverse discrimination against Indian, and especially public, institutions. You ought to be wary of such a regulator. Just imagine the oddity of saying in higher education: Freedom for foreign, chains for the Indian.What is this reform supposed to achieve? The ostensible rationale is to make high-quality foreign education available in India at a somewhat lower cost so that students don’t have to leave, and some of the billions we are using to consume foreign higher education can be spent in the country. If you look at the C-BERT list, what strikes you is that not only are there very few top-tier universities, most foreign campuses are very small, with an average size of 300-400 students. How much supply are you augmenting, especially in a context where you are diminishing the net supply of higher education by destroying established public universities? Perhaps Indian capital might be willing to subsidise a foreign brand. Perhaps some professional schools will show up since mostly they can generate a surplus.The only thing good about this announcement is the UGC’s perverse honesty. It thinks of universities and teaching like a McDonald’s franchise that can easily be replicated without regard to agglomeration effects, or the effects of the larger ecosystem in which they are embedded. It seems to have little conception of what combination of capital, vision, and human resources it takes to get a high-end research university going. More depressing is its utter defeatism. The UGC has admitted that its cumulative failures, across governments and political parties, have brought us to this pass. India could have been a top-class, lower-cost higher education hub for the world. Indian universities, both public and private, can reach glorious heights of excellence; that both the top and the average quality can be improved. We gave up on that project with public institutions a while ago, then pinned hopes on a private revolution, which in quality terms is still a trickle, and now want to hang onto the coattails of foreign brands who will either be elusive or for the most part second rate. University Gimmicks Commission, indeed.The writer is contributing editor, The Indian Express

  • Foreign universities, India campus
  • The Indian Express

    The Centre is set to open the door for foreign universities to set up campuses in India, pushing through an ambitious proposal that has run into political roadblocks in the past.On Thursday, higher education regulator University Grants Commission (UGC) released draft regulations to allow foreign universities to enter India. Public comments and feedback can be sent by email to ugcforeigncollaboration@gmail.com until January 18. The regulations will be notified by the end of this month.Does this mean that universities like Oxford, Cambridge, or Harvard can now open campuses in India?Technically, yes. But it will ultimately depend on whether those universities find the Indian market attractive enough to invest in a branch campus in the country.The UGC has said that universities in some European countries have shown a “keen interest” in setting up India campuses. Over the next few months, the UGC will reach out to Indian missions abroad to take the proposal forward, and will hold talks with ambassadors of various countries to apprise them of the regulations.In response to an email on Thursday, a spokesperson for the University of Birmingham told The Indian Express that while the university does not currently plan to open a branch campus in India, “We are always open to opportunities for partnership working.”“We would also point Indian students towards the excellent study opportunities available at the University of Birmingham in both the UK and Dubai,” the spokesperson said.In September 2022, responding to a question on whether its planned to establish a campus in India or launch courses in collaboration with Indian universities, the University of Oxford had told The Indian Express by email: “We have no plans for an overseas campus and are not in discussion regarding joint/ dual degrees or twinning programmes.”Responding to the same question in September last year, King’s College London had said it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the government of Telangana regarding “collaborative research projects, staff and student exchanges, as well as curriculum development and upskilling” in Telangana Pharma City.What criteria has the government laid down for foreign universities?In the draft regulations announced by chairperson Dr M Jagadesh Kumar on Thursday, the UGC said universities that are placed in the top 500 — either in the overall or the subject-wise category — in global rankings such as QS, can apply to enter India.Universities that do not participate in such rankings must be “reputed” in their countries to be able to apply. The draft regulations do not specify a metric to judge the ‘reputation’ of the university.Will the government regulate the fee structure of foreign educational institutions in India?No, the government will have no say in this matter. The foreign universities will have full freedom to decide the fee structure and admission criteria for both Indian and overseas students.They will also get a free hand in hiring faculty, either from India or abroad, and will not be expected to mandatorily follow reservation policies in admissions and employment.However, the draft regulations do say that the fee structure should be “transparent and reasonable”. Dr Kumar said the universities were unlikely to make their fees prohibitive, as that would deter students. “Based on an evaluation process, full or partial need-based scholarships may be provided by the FHEI (foreign higher educational institution) from funds such as endowment funds, alumni donations, tuition revenues, and other sources,” the draft regulations say.Why did previous attempts to allow foreign university campuses in India fail?The coalition governments that ran India for many years up to 2014, faced several pulls and pressures. The left parties, which have strong ideological and economic reservations against the entry of foreign capital in higher education, had a much larger electoral presence in national politics during this period.The BJP, which was in the Opposition then, too had opposed the move. The RSS-affiliated Swadeshi Jagran Manch adopted a resolution against the UPA government’s Foreign Educational Institution Regulation Bill, saying it would “open floodgates for such foreign educational institutions whose sole objective is to only earn profit”.Despite enjoying a formidable majority in Lok Sabha and governments in many states, the BJP-led Centre even now has chosen the regulatory route rather than legislation for this reform.Also, it is only now that the UGC has proposed that foreign universities will be allowed to repatriate funds to their parent campuses. This was not the case earlier — and most foreign players found this requirement restrictive.However, as India looked to set up IIT campuses abroad, there was a rethink in this position. In 2016, the NITI Aayog strongly pitched for foreign education providers to be allowed into India. The draft regulations say that all cross-border flow of funds, including through repatriation, will be covered by the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999.How does this proposal relate to the National Education Policy (NEP), 2020?The NEP, 2020, says that “top universities in the world will be facilitated to operate in India”, and “a legislative framework facilitating such entry will be put in place, and such universities will be given special dispensation regarding regulatory, governance, and content norms on par with other autonomous institutions of India”.In a way, the draft regulations released on Thursday only seek to institutionalise the NEP’s vision.What safeguards has the UGC proposed to secure the interests of Indian students?The draft states that the UGC will have the right to inspect the campuses at any time. Dr Kumar said that they will not be outside the purview of anti-ragging and other criminal laws. The draft says the UGC shall impose a penalty and/ or suspend/ withdraw its approval at any time if the university’s “activities or academic programmes are against the interest of India”.Asked whether the clause leaves room for misuse, the UGC chairman said that in the unlikely event of such an occasion arising, aggrieved parties could always seek legal recourse.The draft regulations also require the foreign universities to submit audit reports and annual reports to the UGC “certifying that [their] operations…in India are in compliance with FEMA 1999” and other relevant government policies.

  • Students welcome UGC’s draft norms on foreign universities’ campus in India
  • The Indian Express

    Students have welcomed the University Grants Commission‘s draft norms for establishment and operation of foreign universities in the country, saying it will improve the quality of education and research and give aspirants exposure to world-class learning without having to travel abroad.The UGC announced the draft regulations for ‘Setting up and Operation of Campuses of Foreign Higher Educational Institutions in India’.The final norms will be notified by the end of the month after considering feedback from all stakeholders.According to the draft norms, foreign universities will be able to set up their campuses in India for the first time. These varsities can also decide on the admission process, and fee structure and repatriate their funds back home.Sumit Bhati, 21, said, “I am planning to go abroad to pursue my post-graduation as the education is better there. I welcome the UGC notification but I don’t think universities will be established here soon. It will also depend on the types of universities that are interested to come to India.”.Kritima Bhapta, who is planning to shift to a European country for her PhD, said Indian students will be able to benefit from the world-class expertise of these varsities.“The education system in foreign universities is more advanced. Foreign universities offer a better quality of education.“If they are allowed to set their campuses in India, Indian students will be able to benefit from their world-class expertise in innovation and research,” Bhapta said. Bhapta, who has done her post-graduation from Singapore, said it will help those students who are poor or from the lower middle class households.“Studying abroad is expensive, especially in countries like the UK and the US. Because of the high costs associated, a lot of students who have the potential but don’t have the means to afford the education, are not able to go to the universities of their choice.“If foreign universities set up their campuses in India, this cost would be reduced significantly,” she said.Sidhant Gupta (25), who is pursuing his post-graduation from a UK university remotely, said the education system in foreign universities is more advanced.“Foreign Universities offer a better quality of education and if they are allowed to set their campuses in India, Indian students will then be able to benefit immensely,” he said.However, a few students raised questions over the move, saying the government should instead focus on improving the standard of education in Indian universities.“The government should focus more on improving the standard of education and infrastructure of Indian universities so that they are able to compete with universities at a global level,” Gaurdeep Kaur, whose brother is studying in Canada, said.She said her mother took a loan of 20 lahks to fund is her brother’s education.“If the universities here were good, my brother could have easily studied here. However, the education here is not good,” Kaur added.Sean Young, who is pursuing International Relations from UK, feels this is not going to make a big difference.“You’re allowing foreign universities to set up a campus in India — that’s great but no government intervention in the fee structure is a major red flag.“It is already bad enough that students have to leave the country to pursue education, it’s costly and tuition is not cheap. With this decision, I’m upbeat but the economics side of the policy needs work,” he said.Noting that foreign universities with campuses in the country can only offer full-time programmes in offline mode and not online or distance learning, UGC chairperson M Jagadesh Kumar said the foreign universities and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) will need a nod from the UGC to set up their campuses in India.The initial approval will be for 10 years and will be renewed in the ninth year subject to the meeting of certain conditions, he added and clarified that these institutions shall not offer any such study programme which jeopardises the national interest of India or the standards of higher education here. 

UK inflation, accommodation issues – Reasons why study abroad journey for Indians is getting tougher
The Indian Express | 3 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
3 weeks ago | |

Indians may have been issued the largest number of UK students visa this year but finding accommodation and surviving in cities where their colleges or universities are based has become a challenge for international students with the increase in inflation.According to students and industry experts, the study abroad journey has become a bumpy road for the students who have just moved to the country making it no less than a nightmare to have no roof over their heads in a country that is completely alien to them.Their woes aren’t limited to finding an affordable accommodation but also surviving amid continuously rising food inflation which has increased their daily expenses.UK inflation jumped to a record high in 2022. The Consumer Prices Index, including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH), rose by 8.8 per cent in the 12 months upto September 2022. As per the November stats by the Office for National Statistics, the inflation rate sky-rocketed at 9.3 per cent.According to British High Commission’s statistics, India has now overtaken China as the largest nationality being issued sponsored study visas in the UK. Indians received the largest number of UK student visas at 1.27 lakh for the year ending in September 2022.“I was forced to spend around Rs 1 lakh while shifting between Airbnbs between October 1 to October 21 last year and had over 10 in-person viewings for accommodation after arriving in London. I was out everyday on weekdays too after college,” said Chayanika Dubey, who flew to the UK three months back to pursue Masters in Administration and Cultural Policy at the Goldsmiths University of London.Naman Makkar, a student currently pursuing MSc in International Business at Aston University in Birmingam, tries to stay optimistic while battling such high prices.“With the current inflation rates, keeping my expenses to a minimum is a challenge in itself. I tend to focus on the essentials, but do try to take care of my cravings at times, because when you are away from home, you cannot afford to neglect the importance of self-care,” he said.Ria Jain, who completed her bachelor’s 7 years ago from the UK and has once again chosen the very same place to pursue further studies, said, “Seven years ago I was spending same amount on food for atleast two weeks that I am spending for quantity of food that would probably last not more than four days”.Jain is pursuing MSc in Project Management from University of Northampton.The unfolding scenario is also making some study abroad aspirants apprehensive about choosing the country as their destination.Skandha Rajeev, a class 12 student, said, “Ever since class six I have always dreamt of doing my Bachelors from the UK and preparing accordingly. But with the constant financial crisis in the country I decided to go for a realistic approach by choosing a less inflated country as compared to the UK”.“With a constant increase in prices, expectations and pressure increase too. As a student in a new country I would rather focus on my studies than to worry about how much allowance I am left with,” he said.Rajeev has instead chosen to study Electronics Engineering from Canada after finishing school.Anubhav Seth, AVP, Career Launcher, however, feels that a massive shift in the popular choice of study abroad destinations is unlikely.“The US, UK, Canada and Australia remain top destinations for students going abroad for higher education. Higher visa rejection rates for student applications to Canada and ease of applications for the UK have caused shifts among significant destinations, with UK emerging as the favourite. However, destinations such as UAE, Italy, Germany, Turkey, and Malaysia are quickly becoming hot destinations but a complete shift is unlikely,” he said.His thoughts were echoed by Ankit Mehra, CEO and Co-founder of GyanDhan, an education financing company, who said the changes introduced by the UK Home Office for the Student visa do not directly impact Indian students’ prospects of studying in the UK.“The UK will not become less favourable anytime soon. The country is gaining traction owing to the implementation of the graduate route and the High Potential Individual visa route.“But the rising cost of living has increased the financial burden on students abroad. It has led to a jump in the demand for top-up loans. Lenders have also increased the loan amount limit to pursue education abroad,” Mehra said.

UK inflation, accommodation issues – Reasons why study abroad journey for Indians is getting tougher
In hijab protest district, over 50% dip in minority students’ count in govt PUCsPremium Story
The Indian Express | 3 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
3 weeks ago | |

Karnataka’s order banning the hijab in school education at the senior level may not have affected exam attendance or girls’ enrolment but in Udupi district, the epicentre of protests for and against the headscarf in the state, there has been a significant shift of Muslim students from government to private pre-university colleges (PUC), according to admissions data accessed by The Indian Express.Data accessed by The Indian Express shows that while the number of Muslim students entering Class 11 (known as first PUC or PUC I in Karnataka) across all pre-university colleges in Udupi is almost the same (1,296 in 2021-22 to 1,320 in 2022-23), their enrolment in government PUCs has dropped by half from the previous year — the number is also the lowest in five years (see chart). According to the data, 186 Muslim students were admitted to PUC I in government pre-university colleges in Udupi for 2022-23, after 388 in 2021-22. Of these, a gender break-up shows 91 Muslim girls were admitted to PUC I in government institutions as against 178 in 2021-22 and the enrolment of Muslim boys dropped from 210 to 95.This drop is offset by an increase in their enrolment across private (or unaided) pre-university colleges in the district. In 2022-23, 927 students from the community enrolled in PUC I in unaided colleges as opposed to 662 in 2021-22. In addition, admission of Muslim boys shows an increase from 334 to 440 and girls from 328 to 487.A case in point is Salihath PU College in Udupi. According to the private institution, 30 Muslim girls enrolled in PUC I (or Class 11) in 2021-22, and 57 in 2022-23. Aslam Haikady, administrator of Saliath Group of Education, said, “The enrollment of Muslim girls in our PU college has almost doubled for the first time. This is a testament to how the hijab issue has actually impacted them personally and academically.” Habeeb Rehman, the principal of ALIhsan PU college, another private institution, said, “The trend in boys, too, may be because parents want them to stay away from any agitation on hijab. Considering the communalisation and politicisation of hijab in government PU colleges in Udupi, parents may have decided to ensure they focus on education and discipline in private PU colleges this academic year.”When contacted, B C Nagesh, Karnataka’s Minister of School Education and Literacy, said, “When it comes to admission of students, we look at the overall students’ trend, irrespective of their religion, caste or creed. We don’t single out a particular community or section of students and assess their admission numbers. Eventually, we want to ensure that we deliver quality education to all students, irrespective of their background. We feel, the overall admission numbers of all students in government PU colleges have increased considerably compared to previous years. However, if at all there is a dip in the Muslim students’ numbers in Udupi government PU colleges, we will look into it.”The latest trend comes at a time when there has been a steady increase in the number of Muslim girls going to schools and colleges in the state – the GAR (Gross Attendance Ratio) of Muslim women in higher education rose from a low of 1.1 per cent in 2007-08 to as high as 15.8 per cent in 2017-18, according to government surveys. GAR, in this context, is the ratio of Muslim women aged 18-23 years attending colleges to the total number of Muslim women in that age cohort.Besides, all registered Muslim girl students had appeared in the final exam held in April 2022, according to the deputy directors of the PU (Pre-University) Board of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi.Since then, the latest admissions data show, Udupi is the only district in the state where the number of Muslim girls in government PUCs has failed to cross double digits.Overall, 4,971 students in all categories registered for PUC I in government institutions in Udupi in 2022-23 compared to 5,962 the previous year. Similarly, the overall enrolment in private PUCs in Udupi increased from 6,773 to 5,401.The hijab row erupted early last year after six female students of the Government PU College in Udupi claimed they were not allowed to attend classes wearing them. This led to protests that spread to other districts and the state passing an order for students to stick to prescribed uniforms in PUC (Class 11 and 12) and degree colleges. In government colleges, the hijab is not part of the uniform, which rules out the headscarf on their campuses. At the same time, several private PUCs allow the hijab as part of their uniform.Last year, a three-judge bench of the Karnataka High Court upheld the state government notification, holding that a restriction on school uniform does not violate fundamental rights. The High Court ruling was challenged before the Supreme Court, where a two-judge bench delivered a split verdict — the appeal will be heard afresh by a larger bench, which is yet to be constituted.The trend underlined by the admissions data is pronounced in the Government PU College in Udupi, which was at the heart of the protests. Here, 41 Muslim girls enrolled in the first PU in 2021-22 — the highest since 2018-19. In 2022-23, the college had 27 new admissions in the same grade. Additionally, of the 41 in PUC I in 2021-22, only 29 graduated to the second PU (or Class 12).Rudre Gowda, the college’s principal, said, “Out of the 12 Muslim girls who did not graduate from first to second PU, only two dropped out because of the hijab issue. Six did not pass the first PU exams. Four were long absentees. As far as the dip in Muslim girls’ enrolment (in first PUC this year) is concerned, there are chances that they would have preferred a college where hijab is allowed or closer to their homes.”BJP leader Raghupati Bhat, the Udupi MLA and president of the college’s development committee, said, “We are looking at the overall enrolment of girls in our college which is 365 this year, a three-year high. There is no discrimination based on education because of hijab here. We are just ensuring equality by enforcing a common dress code. Moreover, the girls are being influenced by external players like CFI and PFI, who are discouraging them from attending government schools in order to strengthen their case in the Supreme Court.”Hussain Kodibengre, a convenor of the Association for Protection of Civil Rights in Udupi and one of the petitioners in the hijab case in Supreme Court, said, “Threatening statements by some BJP leaders have instilled fear amongst the girls, which is forcing them to discontinue government college and join an unaided college. We are counselling the girls consistently to stay away from anti-social elements, to comply with the High Court order and to focus on education until there is a final resolution in the Supreme Court.”

In hijab protest district, over 50% dip in minority students’ count in govt PUCsPremium Story
  • In hijab protest district, over 50% dip in minority students’ count in govt PUCs
  • The Indian Express

    KARNATAKA’S ORDER banning the hijab in school education at the senior level may not have affected exam attendance or girls’ enrolment but in Udupi district, the epicentre of protests for and against the headscarf in the state, there has been a significant shift of Muslim students from government to private pre-university colleges (PUC), according to admissions data accessed by The Indian Express.Data accessed by The Indian Express shows that while the number of Muslim students entering Class 11 (known as first PUC or PUC I in Karnataka) across all pre-university colleges in Udupi is almost the same (1,296 in 2021-22 to 1,320 in 2022-23), their enrolment in government PUCs has dropped by half from the previous year — the number is also the lowest in five years (see chart).According to the data, 186 Muslim students were admitted to PUC I in government pre-university colleges in Udupi for 2022-23, after 388 in 2021-22. Of these, a gender break-up shows 91 Muslim girls were admitted to PUC I in government institutions as against 178 in 2021-22 and the enrolment of Muslim boys dropped from 210 to 95.This drop is offset by an increase in their enrolment across private (or unaided) pre-university colleges in the district. In 2022-23, 927 students from the community enrolled in PUC I in unaided colleges as opposed to 662 in 2021-22. In addition, admission of Muslim boys shows an increase from 334 to 440 and girls from 328 to 487.A case in point is Salihath PU College in Udupi. According to the private institution, 30 Muslim girls enrolled in PUC I (or Class 11) in 2021-22, and 57 in 2022-23. Aslam Haikady, administrator of Saliath Group of Education, said, “The enrollment of Muslim girls in our PU college has almost doubled for the first time. This is a testament to how the hijab issue has actually impacted them personally and academically.”Habeeb Rehman, the principal of ALIhsan PU college, another private institution, said, “The trend in boys, too, may be because parents want them to stay away from any agitation on hijab. Considering the communalisation and politicisation of hijab in government PU colleges in Udupi, parents may have decided to ensure they focus on education and discipline in private PU colleges this academic year.”When contacted, B C Nagesh, Karnataka’s Minister of School Education and Literacy, said, “When it comes to admission of students, we look at the overall students’ trend, irrespective of their religion, caste or creed. We don’t single out a particular community or section of students and assess their admission numbers. Eventually, we want to ensure that we deliver quality education to all students, irrespective of their background. We feel, the overall admission numbers of all students in government PU colleges have increased considerably compared to previous years. However, if at all there is a dip in the Muslim students’ numbers in Udupi government PU colleges, we will look into it.”The latest trend comes at a time when there has been a steady increase in the number of Muslim girls going to schools and colleges in the state – the GAR (Gross Attendance Ratio) of Muslim women in higher education rose from a low of 1.1 per cent in 2007-08 to as high as 15.8 per cent in 2017-18, according to government surveys. GAR, in this context, is the ratio of Muslim women aged 18-23 years attending colleges to the total number of Muslim women in that age cohort.Besides, all registered Muslim girl students had appeared in the final exam held in April 2022, according to the deputy directors of the PU (Pre-University) Board of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi.Since then, the latest admissions data show, Udupi is the only district in the state where the number of Muslim girls in government PUCs has failed to cross double digits.Overall, 4,971 students in all categories registered for PUC I in government institutions in Udupi in 2022-23 compared to 5,962 the previous year. Similarly, the overall enrolment in private PUCs in Udupi increased from 6,773 to 5,401.The hijab row erupted early last year after six female students of the Government PU College in Udupi claimed they were not allowed to attend classes wearing them. This led to protests that spread to other districts and the state passing an order for students to stick to prescribed uniforms in PUC (Class 11 and 12) and degree colleges. In government colleges, the hijab is not part of the uniform, which rules out the headscarf on their campuses. At the same time, several private PUCs allow the hijab as part of their uniform.Last year, a three-judge bench of the Karnataka High Court upheld the state government notification, holding that a restriction on school uniform does not violate fundamental rights. The High Court ruling was challenged before the Supreme Court, where a two-judge bench delivered a split verdict — the appeal will be heard afresh by a larger bench, which is yet to be constituted.The trend underlined by the admissions data is pronounced in the Government PU College in Udupi, which was at the heart of the protests. Here, 41 Muslim girls enrolled in the first PU in 2021-22 — the highest since 2018-19. In 2022-23, the college had 27 new admissions in the same grade. Additionally, of the 41 in PUC I in 2021-22, only 29 graduated to the second PU (or Class 12).Rudre Gowda, the college’s principal, said, “Out of the 12 Muslim girls who did not graduate from first to second PU, only two dropped out because of the hijab issue. Six did not pass the first PU exams. Four were long absentees. As far as the dip in Muslim girls’ enrolment (in first PUC this year) is concerned, there are chances that they would have preferred a college where hijab is allowed or closer to their homes.”BJP leader Raghupati Bhat, the Udupi MLA and president of the college’s development committee, said, “We are looking at the overall enrolment of girls in our college which is 365 this year, a three-year high. There is no discrimination based on education because of hijab here. We are just ensuring equality by enforcing a common dress code. Moreover, the girls are being influenced by external players like CFI and PFI, who are discouraging them from attending government schools in order to strengthen their case in the Supreme Court.”Hussain Kodibengre, a convenor of the Association for Protection of Civil Rights in Udupi and one of the petitioners in the hijab case in Supreme Court, said, “Threatening statements by some BJP leaders have instilled fear amongst the girls, which is forcing them to discontinue government college and join an unaided college. We are counselling the girls consistently to stay away from anti-social elements, to comply with the High Court order and to focus on education until there is a final resolution in the Supreme Court.”

SSC starts recruiting teaching candidates deprived of jobs
The Indian Express | 3 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
3 weeks ago | |

The West Bengal Central School Service Commission on Friday began the process of recruiting candidates for the post of school teachers who were illegally deprived of their jobs. According to SSC officials, about 65 of such candidates were called for the counseling to take up teaching jobs for classes 9 and 10. After the selection, these candidates will be given appointment letters. Among these candidates, there were several who took part in the over 650-day sit-in on Mayo Road demanding teaching jobs.“We have been waiting for this day for a very long time. It seems that we have won our battle. Today is a happy day for us,” said a candidate after attending the counselling at SSC office in Salt Lake. On December 19, nine organisations of job aspirants had taken out a rally from Sealdah to Esplanade in Kolkata, demanding appointment letters against teaching posts in the state-run schools by the month-end.Intellectuals like educationist Miratun Nahar had also joined the rally that culminated at Y-Channel in Esplanade. “For the last eleven years, there is no government functioning in the state. Rather, there is a rule of the ruling party. If there had been a government in the state, then one could not have got a job through backdoor. If the rally fails to yield any result, then I would ask them to put up resistance against this injustice,” Nahar had said.The Calcutta High Court had directed CBI and ED probes into the SSC recruitment scam that led to the arrest of former minister Partha Chatterjee and recovery of movable and immovable properties worth over Rs 100 crore.Former senior officials of West Bengal Education Department, including Subiresh Bhattacharya, a Vice Chancellor, TMC MLA and former West Bengal Board of Primary Education president Manik Bhattacharya were arrested for their alleged involvement in recruitment scam in the primary board which involved giving teaching and non-teaching jobs to people in state-run schools in exchange of money.

SSC starts recruiting teaching candidates deprived of jobs
Maharashtra govt nod to hire ‘professors of practice’
Times of India | 3 weeks ago | |
Times of India
3 weeks ago | |

MUMBAI: State government colleges could have 'professors of practice' from the next academic session, with Maharashtra set to become one of the first states to adopt University Grants Commission guidelines on introducing the novel faculty position. Professionals with at least 15 years of experience in their field, such as industry veterans, will be eligible for the post and their salaries have been fixed at up to Rs 1.5 lakh per month, not exceeding Rs 6 lakh a semester. As the number of 'professors of practice' should not exceed 10% of the sanctioned professor posts at any given time, the Institute of Science and Sydenham College in Mumbai are likely to get one such professor each.A government resolution was issued by the higher and technical education department on Thursday. "The resolution is only for government colleges, but universities and private colleges are free to implement it based on the UGC's guidelines. The honorarium will be paid from the institute's own funds. The amount is close to the basic salary of a professor in government colleges," a department official said.Of the 28 government colleges in the state, only eight have the post of 'professors'-54 posts in all. Since the UGC norms recommend only 10% of the sanctioned posts to be filled by 'professors of practice', the state is planning to fill up five such posts. Apart from two in Mumbai, one post each will be filled in government colleges in Aurangabad, Nagpur and Amravati. An official said the plan was to fill these posts for the 2023-24 academic session. He added that colleges were expected to advertise for the posts and fill them up at the earliest.According to him, with the introduction of 4-year degree programmes from the next academic session, colleges are expected to focus on research and skill components in the fourth year. "With 'professors' from industries joining institutes, it will help students gain hands-on experience in their respective areas. It is a major decision in line with the National Education Policy (NEP)," the official explained. "Mumbai is our financial capital and we can get experts from the corporate world without any formal education in teaching as 'professors of practice'. Amravati is considered a textile hub and there will be experts available without formal education who can be appointed in colleges there," the official said.A principal from a private aided college, however, contended that it would be impossible to appoint 'professors of practice' at the pay scale the state government was suggesting. "We already have industry experts teaching students in our self-financed courses such as BMM and BMS, but we pay them according to the number of lectures they take. Paying them a basic salary of a professor will not be possible without government funding," the principal said. The government official said salary could be fixed based on a person's experience, background and posts held.

Maharashtra govt nod to hire ‘professors of practice’
With nod to five institutes, state govt initiates implementation of UGC’s Professor of Practice policy
The Indian Express | 3 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
3 weeks ago | |

Maharashtra government has initiated implementation of the Professor of Practice policy as directed by the University Grants Commission (UGC) with an objective to provide industry perspective to students in the classroom.According to the UGC guidelines, professionals from various fields having considerable years of experience can be appointed as professors in higher education institutions even without formal academic qualifications.The Government Resolution (GR) released earlier this week by the Higher and Technical Education department of Maharashtra has approved five such appointments in government institutions on 10 per cent of the total sanctioned posts.As part of this, five institutions, namely Institute of Science and Sydenham Institute of Management Studies, Research and Entrepreneurship Education in Mumbai, Institute of Science, Aurangabad, Institute of Science, Nagpur, and Vidarbha Institute of Knowledge Science in Amravati, have been allowed to appoint one Professor of Practice each on their rolls.The GR stated that candidates must have experience of at least 15 years in various industries such as engineering, science, literature, technology, farming, law and media. The appointment will be made by the institutions following the regular recruitment process, starting with advertisement. The institutions will have to use their own funds for these appointment; the government will not provide any financial assistance in this regard.The GR stated that the appointment will be for a year, adding a maximum of three years of extension can be allowed based on evaluation every year. These professor would be expected to bring industry linkage and provide industry oriented inputs in the curriculum.The move has irked the existing professors, though. “It is not like there is a dearth of qualified individuals to be appointed as professors. The government has shown complete apathy in filling up the vacant posts and now senior positions are going to be offered to industry professionals who may not be adequately qualified, not just academically but also in their experience of teaching,” said Dr Tapati Mukhopadhyay, former president of the Maharashtra Federation of University and College Teachers Organisations (MFUCTO).As per the regular practice, to be appointed as professor, a candidate must have at least 15 years of experience in teaching, apart from academic qualifications of PhD, research work and clearing NET or SET.A number of members of the academia have criticised the GR for not specifying any other parameter apart from 15 years of experience in the respective industry for appointment of Professor of Practice. This ambiguity, according to them, will lead to appointment of subpar talent in teaching. 

With nod to five institutes, state govt initiates implementation of UGC’s Professor of Practice policy
Learn about interstate water disputes and impact of savingsPremium Story
The Indian Express | 3 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
3 weeks ago | |

Important topics and their relevance in UPSC CSE exam for January 6, 2023. If you missed the January 5, 2023 UPSC key from the Indian Express, read it hereFRONT PAGENew UGC norms: Foreign universities can set up campus, decide fee, repatriate fundsSyllabus:Preliminary Examination: Indian Polity and Governance-Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.Mains Examination: General Studies II: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.Key Points to Ponder:• What’s the ongoing story- FOREIGN universities can set up their campuses in India, decide their admission process, fee structure, and will also be able to repatriate funds to their parent campuses according to draft norms announced by the University Grants Commission (UGC) chairperson M Jagadesh Kumar here Thursday.• UGC (Setting up and Operation of Campuses of Foreign Higher Educational Institutions in India) Regulations 2023-Know the highlights• What New Education Policy 2020 says about Setting up and Operation of Campuses of Foreign Higher Educational Institutions in India?• What are the salient features of New Education Policy 2020?• How National Policy on Education (NEP) 2020 and Sustainable development goals are linked?• “The operation of Foreign Higher Educational Institutions shall not be contrary to the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency, or morality”-Discuss• Growth of Education in India: Historical Background from Vedic Period to British Period• Growth of Education in the Post-Independence Period-Reforms taken so far• Education was initially a state subject but following an amendment (42nd) to the Constitution in 1976, it became a concurrent subject-True or False?• Constitutional Provisions Regarding Education- What Article 28, Article 29, Article 30, Article 21A, Article 45 and Article 46 says about Education?• Education System in India-Know the Present Structure from Pre-primary level to Primary or elementary Level (Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan) to Secondary level (Rastriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan) to Higher education (Rastriya Uchhattar Shiksha Abhiyan)• So premium institutes like Oxford and Cambridge can come to India under the UGC (Setting up and Operation of Campuses of Foreign Higher Educational Institutions in India) Regulations 2023?• The repatriation of funds and other cross-border movement of funds shall be governed by which act?Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:    📍Foreign universities operating in India not allowed to hold online classes: UGC ChiefSC stays Haldwani eviction order: Can’t uproot 50,000 within 7 daysSyllabus:Preliminary Examination: Economic and Social Development-Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.Mains Examination:• General Studies I: Urbanization, their problems and their remedies.• General Studies II: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.Key Points to Ponder:• What’s the ongoing story- The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the Uttarakhand High Court direction to forthwith evict people living on land claimed by the railways in Haldwani saying they cannot be uprooted overnight and some rehabilitation scheme is necessary for those claiming legal rights in the land.• Quick Recall- On December 20 last year, the Uttarakhand High Court directed the Railways to evict those living in Haldwani’s Gafoor Basti, land adjoining the Haldwani railway station. The decision by Justices Sharad Kumar Sharma and Justice Ramesh Chandra Khulbe came in a public interest litigation (PIL) filed in 2013. The petitioner had moved court against illegal mining in the area after a bridge collapse, but the HC expanded the scope of the petition.• What was the HC decision?• What is the land dispute?• What is the claim by the residents?• How did the HC decide in favour of Railways?• What Supreme Court said on Uttarakhand HC ruling?• How did the case reach the Supreme Court?• What is land encroachment?Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:    📍Haldwani case: How did the Uttarakhand HC arrive at its ruling?📍SC order in Haldwani case: What the apex court said on Uttarakhand HC rulingGOVT & POLITICSPM: Water should be a subject of cooperation between statesSyllabus:Preliminary Examination: Indian Polity and Governance-Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.Mains Examination: General Studies II: Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.Key Points to Ponder:• What’s the ongoing story-Observing that the subject of water comes under the control of the states in the Constitution, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday said that it was the responsibility of all to make water a subject of collaboration, coordination, and cooperation between states. Addressing the opening session of first All India Annual State Ministers’ Conference on Water via video message, PM Modi said, “It is the states’ efforts for water conservation that will go a long way in achieving the collective goals of the country”.• 1st All India Annual State Ministers Conference on Water- Know the Key Points• Why is the All India Annual State Ministers Conference on Water being held?• In what way do the Prime Minister’s remarks at the two-day conference assume significance?• What does the Indian Constitution say about the water?• What is interstate water dispute?• Interstate water dispute-give some example• What are the major causes of conflicts over water?• How many interstate water disputes Tribunal are there in India?• The resolution of water dispute is governed by which act?• Inter-State River Water Disputes (ISRWD) Act, 1956-Know the highlightOther Important Articles Covering the same topic:    📍All India Annual State Ministers’ Conference on Water: PM Modi lays thrust on the need for states’ efforts for water conservationBuilding blocks: Govt set to launch scheme tomorrow on lines of aspirational distsSyllabus:Preliminary Examination: Indian Polity and Governance-Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.Mains Examination: General Studies II: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.Key Points to Ponder:• What’s the ongoing story- The Centre is set to launch the Aspirational Blocks Programme (ABP), a new initiative on the lines of the Aspirational District Programme, it is learnt.• What is the Aspirational District Programme?• How the Aspirational Blocks Programme (ABP) will be different from Aspirational District Programme?• What is the rationality behind Aspirational Blocks Programme (ABP)?• What will be the key features of Aspirational Blocks Programme (ABP)?Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:    📍Niti Aayog’s Aspirational Districts Programme is a laboratory for governance reformEXPLAINEDInterest rate hike for small savings schemes: Implications, concernsSyllabus:Preliminary Examination: Economic and Social Development-Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.Mains Examination: General Studies III: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.Key Points to Ponder:• What’s the ongoing story- Amid rising yields on government securities, the Finance Ministry last week hiked the interest rates for some small savings schemes by 20-110 basis points for the January-March quarter. While the hike will serve as protection against high inflation and interest rates, the small savings rates are still below desired levels.• Why saving is important for the economy?• What is the household savings rate?• What is interest rate on savings?• Which sector is the largest contributor to savings in the economy?• Where does the Indian household invest?• What is the current state of household savings?• The hike in small savings rates-Know the background• “Coming amid a higher inflation rate and a rising interest rate cycle, the hike in small savings rate is seen as necessary to protect savers, especially senior citizens”-Why?• “Interest rates on small saving schemes are reset quarterly, in line with the movement in benchmark government bonds of similar maturity”-Why• Are the hikes enough?• What does it mean for savers?Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:    📍What investors should keep in mind in 2023Reading the junta’s poll promiseSyllabus:Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance.Mains Examination: General Studies II: India and its neighbourhood- relationsKey Points to Ponder:• What’s the ongoing story-On Wednesday, Myanmar’s military ruler, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, declared that his regime would hold “free and fair elections”. He did not say when, but it is believed he meant this year. The General made the remarks as the junta observed the 75th anniversary of Myanmar’s freedom from British rule, and three weeks ahead of the second anniversary of the military coup in the country. The military take-over had come hours ahead of the opening day of Parliament on February 1, 2021, after Myanmar’s biggest and most popular political party, National League for Democracy (NLD), swept the 2020 elections.• Who is Myanmar junta?• Who is in charge of Myanmar now?• For Your Information-Myanmar has remained in violent turmoil since the military takeover as battles rage between pro-democracy forces and the military. Days after the coup, many new parliamentarians organised themselves into the National Unity Government (NUG) and launched what they called a “spring revolution”.• Do You Know-India, shares a 1,643 km-long border with Myanmar, stretching from the India-Myanmar-China trijunction in Arunachal Pradesh to the India-Myanmar-Bangladesh trijunction at Mizoram.• What International organisations is Myanmar part of?• Know India-Myanmar bilateral relations in detail• Why is Myanmar important for India?• Since coup in Myanmar, How India has taken diplomatic approach on Myanmar?Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:    📍India, China, Russia abstain on first UNSC resolution on Myanmar in 74 years📍Why India must engage with MyanmarTHE IDEAS PAGELet’s plan a path to net zeroSyllabus:Preliminary Examination: General issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change – that do not require subject specialization.Mains Examination: General Studies III: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.Key Points to Ponder:• What’s the ongoing story- Rajat Gupta and Naveen Unni write: India needs imagination, realism, determination — and a sense of urgency. We must take steps this decade to set things up, establish momentum• ‘India’s per capita emissions are relatively low (1.8 tons of CO2e per person), but we are still the world’s third-largest single emitter’-How?• What is net zero?• Why is net zero important?• How can net zero be achieved?• Is there a global effort to reach net zero?• Are we on track to reach net zero by 2070?• Difference between ‘Net Zero’ and ‘Carbon Neutral’?• How can net zero be achieved?• Public-Private partnership frameworks to achieve ‘net zero’-issues and challenges• India’s emission Status-Present Scenario• What is India’s long-term strategy towards a low-carbon development?• What Vision India presented in COP27 net-zero target?• “Developing countries must not be asked to continuously upgrade their climate actions, and any further measures required to meet the global goals of keeping temperature below 1.5 degree Celsius must come from the developed countries alone”-decode and discuss• Do You Know-India’s emissions are set to grow from 2.9 GtCO2e a year to 11.8 GtCO2e in 2070. Nor will it come without cost. According to a recent McKinsey report, effective decarbonisation, down to 1.9 GtCO2e by 2070, would require India to spend a total of $7.2 trillion on green initiatives by 2050. This “line of sight” (LoS) scenario is based on announced policies and expected technology adoption. Deeper decarbonisation — an “accelerated scenario” that would reduce emissions to just 0.4 GtCO2e by 2050, or close to net zero — would require $12 trillion in total green investments by 2050. Under this scenario, India could create 287 gigatonnes (GT) of carbon space for the world, almost half of the global carbon budget, for an even chance at limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.• What is decarbonisation?• “Decarbonisation will drive many changes, from how we source energy to how we manufacture materials; from how we grow food to how we move around; from how we treat waste to how we use our land”-Discuss• How an orderly transition to net zero could help India decarbonise while creating an engine for growth?Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:    📍Road to net-zero statusECONOMYThe EU privacy breach ruling and its impact on MetaSyllabus:Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance.Mains Examination: General Studies II: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interestsKey Points to Ponder:• What’s the ongoing story-Facebook’s parent company Meta has been slapped with two sets of fines totalling €390 million as the Irish privacy regulator concluded that the company’s advertising and data handling practices were in breach of the EU’s overarching privacy law. The Irish Data Protection Commission said on Wednesday (January 4) that Meta should be ordered to pay two fines — a €210 million fine over violations of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and a €180 million fine linked to breaches of the GDPR by Instagram.• But why Facebook’s parent company Meta has been slapped with two sets of fines totalling €390 million?• What Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) said?• Why did the ruling come from the Irish regulator?• What is the Significance of the ruling?• What will be the Impact of the ruling?• What is European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)?• European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and United Kingdom’s Data Protection Act, 2018-Compareand contrastOther Important Articles Covering the same topic:    📍Irish privacy regulator fines Meta more than $400 mlnFor any queries and feedback, contact priya.shukla@indianexpress.comThe UPSC KEY Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest Updates.

Learn about interstate water disputes and impact of savingsPremium Story
Why you should read EU privacy breach ruling and its impact on MetaPremium Story
The Indian Express | 3 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
3 weeks ago | |

Important topics and their relevance in UPSC CSE exam for January 6, 2023. If you missed the January 5, 2023 UPSC key from the Indian Express, read it hereFRONT PAGENew UGC norms: Foreign universities can set up campus, decide fee, repatriate fundsSyllabus:Preliminary Examination: Indian Polity and Governance-Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.Mains Examination: General Studies II: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.Key Points to Ponder:• What’s the ongoing story- FOREIGN universities can set up their campuses in India, decide their admission process, fee structure, and will also be able to repatriate funds to their parent campuses according to draft norms announced by the University Grants Commission (UGC) chairperson M Jagadesh Kumar here Thursday.• UGC (Setting up and Operation of Campuses of Foreign Higher Educational Institutions in India) Regulations 2023-Know the highlights• What New Education Policy 2020 says about Setting up and Operation of Campuses of Foreign Higher Educational Institutions in India?• What are the salient features of New Education Policy 2020?• How National Policy on Education (NEP) 2020 and Sustainable development goals are linked?• “The operation of Foreign Higher Educational Institutions shall not be contrary to the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency, or morality”-Discuss• Growth of Education in India: Historical Background from Vedic Period to British Period• Growth of Education in the Post-Independence Period-Reforms taken so far• Education was initially a state subject but following an amendment (42nd) to the Constitution in 1976, it became a concurrent subject-True or False?• Constitutional Provisions Regarding Education- What Article 28, Article 29, Article 30, Article 21A, Article 45 and Article 46 says about Education?• Education System in India-Know the Present Structure from Pre-primary level to Primary or elementary Level (Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan) to Secondary level (Rastriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan) to Higher education (Rastriya Uchhattar Shiksha Abhiyan)• So premium institutes like Oxford and Cambridge can come to India under the UGC (Setting up and Operation of Campuses of Foreign Higher Educational Institutions in India) Regulations 2023?• The repatriation of funds and other cross-border movement of funds shall be governed by which act?Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:    📍Foreign universities operating in India not allowed to hold online classes: UGC ChiefSC stays Haldwani eviction order: Can’t uproot 50,000 within 7 daysSyllabus:Preliminary Examination: Economic and Social Development-Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.Mains Examination:• General Studies I: Urbanization, their problems and their remedies.• General Studies II: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.Key Points to Ponder:• What’s the ongoing story- The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the Uttarakhand High Court direction to forthwith evict people living on land claimed by the railways in Haldwani saying they cannot be uprooted overnight and some rehabilitation scheme is necessary for those claiming legal rights in the land.• Quick Recall- On December 20 last year, the Uttarakhand High Court directed the Railways to evict those living in Haldwani’s Gafoor Basti, land adjoining the Haldwani railway station. The decision by Justices Sharad Kumar Sharma and Justice Ramesh Chandra Khulbe came in a public interest litigation (PIL) filed in 2013. The petitioner had moved court against illegal mining in the area after a bridge collapse, but the HC expanded the scope of the petition.• What was the HC decision?• What is the land dispute?• What is the claim by the residents?• How did the HC decide in favour of Railways?• What Supreme Court said on Uttarakhand HC ruling?• How did the case reach the Supreme Court?• What is land encroachment?Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:    📍Haldwani case: How did the Uttarakhand HC arrive at its ruling?📍SC order in Haldwani case: What the apex court said on Uttarakhand HC rulingGOVT & POLITICSPM: Water should be a subject of cooperation between statesSyllabus:Preliminary Examination: Indian Polity and Governance-Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.Mains Examination: General Studies II: Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.Key Points to Ponder:• What’s the ongoing story-Observing that the subject of water comes under the control of the states in the Constitution, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday said that it was the responsibility of all to make water a subject of collaboration, coordination, and cooperation between states. Addressing the opening session of first All India Annual State Ministers’ Conference on Water via video message, PM Modi said, “It is the states’ efforts for water conservation that will go a long way in achieving the collective goals of the country”.• 1st All India Annual State Ministers Conference on Water- Know the Key Points• Why is the All India Annual State Ministers Conference on Water being held?• In what way do the Prime Minister’s remarks at the two-day conference assume significance?• What does the Indian Constitution say about the water?• What is interstate water dispute?• Interstate water dispute-give some example• What are the major causes of conflicts over water?• How many interstate water disputes Tribunal are there in India?• The resolution of water dispute is governed by which act?• Inter-State River Water Disputes (ISRWD) Act, 1956-Know the highlightOther Important Articles Covering the same topic:    📍All India Annual State Ministers’ Conference on Water: PM Modi lays thrust on the need for states’ efforts for water conservationBuilding blocks: Govt set to launch scheme tomorrow on lines of aspirational distsSyllabus:Preliminary Examination: Indian Polity and Governance-Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.Mains Examination: General Studies II: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.Key Points to Ponder:• What’s the ongoing story- The Centre is set to launch the Aspirational Blocks Programme (ABP), a new initiative on the lines of the Aspirational District Programme, it is learnt.• What is the Aspirational District Programme?• How the Aspirational Blocks Programme (ABP) will be different from Aspirational District Programme?• What is the rationality behind Aspirational Blocks Programme (ABP)?• What will be the key features of Aspirational Blocks Programme (ABP)?Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:    📍Niti Aayog’s Aspirational Districts Programme is a laboratory for governance reformEXPLAINEDInterest rate hike for small savings schemes: Implications, concernsSyllabus:Preliminary Examination: Economic and Social Development-Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.Mains Examination: General Studies III: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.Key Points to Ponder:• What’s the ongoing story- Amid rising yields on government securities, the Finance Ministry last week hiked the interest rates for some small savings schemes by 20-110 basis points for the January-March quarter. While the hike will serve as protection against high inflation and interest rates, the small savings rates are still below desired levels.• Why saving is important for the economy?• What is the household savings rate?• What is interest rate on savings?• Which sector is the largest contributor to savings in the economy?• Where does the Indian household invest?• What is the current state of household savings?• The hike in small savings rates-Know the background• “Coming amid a higher inflation rate and a rising interest rate cycle, the hike in small savings rate is seen as necessary to protect savers, especially senior citizens”-Why?• “Interest rates on small saving schemes are reset quarterly, in line with the movement in benchmark government bonds of similar maturity”-Why• Are the hikes enough?• What does it mean for savers?Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:    📍What investors should keep in mind in 2023Reading the junta’s poll promiseSyllabus:Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance.Mains Examination: General Studies II: India and its neighbourhood- relationsKey Points to Ponder:• What’s the ongoing story-On Wednesday, Myanmar’s military ruler, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, declared that his regime would hold “free and fair elections”. He did not say when, but it is believed he meant this year. The General made the remarks as the junta observed the 75th anniversary of Myanmar’s freedom from British rule, and three weeks ahead of the second anniversary of the military coup in the country. The military take-over had come hours ahead of the opening day of Parliament on February 1, 2021, after Myanmar’s biggest and most popular political party, National League for Democracy (NLD), swept the 2020 elections.• Who is Myanmar junta?• Who is in charge of Myanmar now?• For Your Information-Myanmar has remained in violent turmoil since the military takeover as battles rage between pro-democracy forces and the military. Days after the coup, many new parliamentarians organised themselves into the National Unity Government (NUG) and launched what they called a “spring revolution”.• Do You Know-India, shares a 1,643 km-long border with Myanmar, stretching from the India-Myanmar-China trijunction in Arunachal Pradesh to the India-Myanmar-Bangladesh trijunction at Mizoram.• What International organisations is Myanmar part of?• Know India-Myanmar bilateral relations in detail• Why is Myanmar important for India?• Since coup in Myanmar, How India has taken diplomatic approach on Myanmar?Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:    📍India, China, Russia abstain on first UNSC resolution on Myanmar in 74 years📍Why India must engage with MyanmarTHE IDEAS PAGELet’s plan a path to net zeroSyllabus:Preliminary Examination: General issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change – that do not require subject specialization.Mains Examination: General Studies III: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.Key Points to Ponder:• What’s the ongoing story- Rajat Gupta and Naveen Unni write: India needs imagination, realism, determination — and a sense of urgency. We must take steps this decade to set things up, establish momentum• ‘India’s per capita emissions are relatively low (1.8 tons of CO2e per person), but we are still the world’s third-largest single emitter’-How?• What is net zero?• Why is net zero important?• How can net zero be achieved?• Is there a global effort to reach net zero?• Are we on track to reach net zero by 2070?• Difference between ‘Net Zero’ and ‘Carbon Neutral’?• How can net zero be achieved?• Public-Private partnership frameworks to achieve ‘net zero’-issues and challenges• India’s emission Status-Present Scenario• What is India’s long-term strategy towards a low-carbon development?• What Vision India presented in COP27 net-zero target?• “Developing countries must not be asked to continuously upgrade their climate actions, and any further measures required to meet the global goals of keeping temperature below 1.5 degree Celsius must come from the developed countries alone”-decode and discuss• Do You Know-India’s emissions are set to grow from 2.9 GtCO2e a year to 11.8 GtCO2e in 2070. Nor will it come without cost. According to a recent McKinsey report, effective decarbonisation, down to 1.9 GtCO2e by 2070, would require India to spend a total of $7.2 trillion on green initiatives by 2050. This “line of sight” (LoS) scenario is based on announced policies and expected technology adoption. Deeper decarbonisation — an “accelerated scenario” that would reduce emissions to just 0.4 GtCO2e by 2050, or close to net zero — would require $12 trillion in total green investments by 2050. Under this scenario, India could create 287 gigatonnes (GT) of carbon space for the world, almost half of the global carbon budget, for an even chance at limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.• What is decarbonisation?• “Decarbonisation will drive many changes, from how we source energy to how we manufacture materials; from how we grow food to how we move around; from how we treat waste to how we use our land”-Discuss• How an orderly transition to net zero could help India decarbonise while creating an engine for growth?Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:    📍Road to net-zero statusECONOMYThe EU privacy breach ruling and its impact on MetaSyllabus:Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance.Mains Examination: General Studies II: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interestsKey Points to Ponder:• What’s the ongoing story-Facebook’s parent company Meta has been slapped with two sets of fines totalling €390 million as the Irish privacy regulator concluded that the company’s advertising and data handling practices were in breach of the EU’s overarching privacy law. The Irish Data Protection Commission said on Wednesday (January 4) that Meta should be ordered to pay two fines — a €210 million fine over violations of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and a €180 million fine linked to breaches of the GDPR by Instagram.• But why Facebook’s parent company Meta has been slapped with two sets of fines totalling €390 million?• What Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) said?• Why did the ruling come from the Irish regulator?• What is the Significance of the ruling?• What will be the Impact of the ruling?• What is European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)?• European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and United Kingdom’s Data Protection Act, 2018-Compareand contrastOther Important Articles Covering the same topic:    📍Irish privacy regulator fines Meta more than $400 mlnFor any queries and feedback, contact priya.shukla@indianexpress.comThe UPSC KEY Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest Updates.

Why you should read EU privacy breach ruling and its impact on MetaPremium Story
UGC’s draft regulations-2023: Opening the campus door
The Indian Express | 3 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
3 weeks ago | |

Internationalisation of Indian higher education is a salient feature of National Education Policy 2020. The draft regulations of the UGC on Setting up and Operation of Campuses of Foreign Higher Educational Institutions in India 2023 pave the way for the entry of foreign universities into the groves of higher education in the country. There is also a significant change. In NEP-2020, only the top-100 QS ranking universities could establish their branch campuses in India to provide quality higher education to Indian students who aspire to gain foreign degrees. The UGC draft regulations-2023 have “top 500 foreign universities” and the ranking will be decided by the UGC “from time to time”.Surely the top 100 universities were not terribly keen to open their campuses in India. A few Australian universities showed interest, for instance, in a conversation with this author in 2020 on the feasibility of foreign branch campuses in India. Now the door is wide open. The draft regulations-2023 set another criterion for a branch campus to be opened up in India that “the applicant should be a reputed institution in its home jurisdiction”. It is not clear how the UGC would determine the reputation of such foreign universities that do not appear in any world rankings but are considered “reputed” in their home country.The draft regulations-2023 allow foreign higher educational institutions to decide a fee structure that is “transparent and reasonable”. This gives foreign branch campuses in India an upper hand in deciding different fees for different programmes. As a result, programmes with higher market value would be more expensive and not accessible to many students. Although there is a provision for “full or partial need-based scholarships”, determining “need” will be a challenging task. Will this be in tune with the NEP-2020 commitment to cater to the needs of a large section of Indian society termed “Socio-Economically Disadvantaged Groups-SEDGs” that include women, transgenders, SCs, STs, OBCs, EWS, differently abled, migrants and geographically disadvantaged groups?Foreign higher educational institutions now have the freedom to decide “qualifications, salary structure, and other conditions of service for appointing faculty and staff”. Public higher education institutions in India follow the standard regulations (qualifications for recruitment, salary structure, and service condition) set by the UGC or state governments. However, very few private universities in India adhere to these rules. The opaque salary structure of private higher education institutions remains a cause of concern to many and, in the absence of tangible recruitment rules, the gap would further widen once foreign branch campuses are operational in India.The history and functioning of successful foreign branch campuses worldwide (for instance, Dubai Knowledge Park) indicate that the host country provides physical infrastructure to facilitate their strategy of internationalisation of higher education. In contrast, the draft regulations-2023 state that “The Foreign Higher Educational Institutions should arrange for adequate physical infrastructure”. This provision would be problematic for foreign higher education institutions reluctant to go for major infrastructural investment and many would prefer to wait and watch for others to take the initiative. Those foreign higher education institutions that already have infrastructure in place in the form of research centres would likely be the pioneers of foreign branch campuses in India.Foreign higher education institutions worldwide entrust their faculty members who are experts in their fields to frame the curriculum and teach it in the manner they deem fit. Two provisions of the draft regulations-2023 delimit the practice with instructions that “Foreign Higher Educational Institutions shall not offer any such programme of study which jeopardises the national interest of India or the standards of higher education in India”. And “The operation of Foreign Higher Educational Institutions shall not be contrary to the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency, or morality.”In the case of the first provision, insofar as STEM disciplines are concerned, there would not be much of a problem. The challenge, however, lies with Humanities and Social Sciences where multiple interpretations are popular, pushing the boundaries of knowledge. Creative imagination flourishes in a society sans restrictions. The foreign faculty members may find it difficult to balance state policies, sensibilities and laissez-faire intellectual standpoint. In days to come, this is going to be a major issue in the process of knowledge creation and transaction in India.All Indian students with foreign degrees are required to get an equivalence certificate from the Association of Indian Universities. The draft regulations-2023 waive off equivalence requirement for the degrees granted by the foreign branch campuses in India, which is a positive measure. However, it would be difficult to ensure that the degrees offered by the foreign branch campuses would be accepted by the employers in the home countries of the campuses.India is a young nation with an increasing need for higher education and an ever-increasing demand for foreign degrees. A major bone of contention between foreign branch campuses and the Indian government had been the issue of repatriation of profit. Education in India is not a profitable enterprise — it is a public good — and the income generated from it needs to be ploughed back into it. However, the draft regulations-2023 allow for smooth repatriation of profits earned by the foreign branch campuses under the rules and regulations of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) 1999.This would certainly intensify the competition for students with merit and/or paying capacity amongst public, private, and foreign institutions in India. Whether this competition will ensure access, equity and quality of higher education, the vision of NEP-2020, would remain to be seen.The writer is Associate Professor of Education at IILM University, Gurugram. Views are personal

UGC’s draft regulations-2023: Opening the campus door
PPC 2023: PM Modi’s Pariksha Pe Charcha registration date extended till Jan 27
The Indian Express | 3 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
3 weeks ago | |

Pariksha Pe Charcha 2023: The Ministry of Education today announced that the date to participate in PPC 2023 has been extended till January 27, 2023. Interested candidates can register at the official website — innovateindia.mygov.in/ppc-2023.Students of classes 9 to 12 are eligible to participate in PM’s annual discussion with students, parents and teachers. This year, about 2050 students, teachers and parents selected through competitions on MyGov, will be gifted with PPC kits by the Ministry of Education.No worries if you missed it! The date to participate in #PPC2023 has been extended till 27th January 2023. Join Hon’ble PM Shri @narendramodi on #ParikshaPeCharcha2023 & learn to do your best in upcoming exams. Participate now: https://t.co/MYWvbz2rLK pic.twitter.com/Oh2wvsuDFs— Ministry of Education (@EduMinOfIndia) January 6, 2023Recently, the Ministry of Education had announced that the sixth edition of Pariksha Pe Charcha (PPC) will be held on January 27. This year, PPC 2023 will be held in a town hall format at the Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi.Students who wish to participate in Pariksha Pe Charcha were given time till December 30 to register on innovateindia.mygov.in/ppc-2023 and take part in the creative writing competition on based on the several themes that have been uploaded on the website. Now, the deadline has been extended. Topics are different for students, teachers and parents.Selected questions which will be shortlisted by NCERT might feature in the programme. Those participants who have asked those questions may get an opportunity to interact with the media.

PPC 2023: PM Modi’s Pariksha Pe Charcha registration date extended till Jan 27
Food, caste wars over Kerala school fest, govt changes menu: Non-veg from next year
The Indian Express | 3 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
3 weeks ago | |

AFTER food politics swamped the 61st edition of a Kerala youth festival, with allegations made of “Brahminical dominance”, the state government Thursday announced that from next year, non-vegetarian would be on the menu.Reckoned as the biggest such event in Kerala’s cultural calendar, the ongoing Kerala School Arts Festival, which is happening after a gap of two years due to Covid, has 10,000-odd participants from across districts competing in 239 categories, both on-stage and off.The argument over “Brahminical dominance” emerged on the sidelines, with focus on caterer Pazhayidom Mohanan Namboothiri, who has been winning the contract to make the festival food for the last 16 years. Critics said that the caterer’s caste (Brahmin) had ensured only strict vegetarian fare was served.What further spiced up the debate was that this year’s host city, Kozhikode, is known for its non-vegetarian dishes. Education Minister and senior CPI(M) leader V Sivankutty added his bit when he indicated his preference for Kozhikodan biryani, saying: “My idea was to give biryani to the children.”On Thursday, making the announcement that non-veg food would be available at the festival from next year, Sivankutty said: “This is a festival of diversity and the Education Department will initiate steps to promote that. Over the years, only vegetarian dishes have been served at the festival. This is going to change and from next year, there will be non-vegetarian food at the table,” he said, adding that the government always encouraged “healthy discussions”. “But debates with political agenda have ulterior motives.”The backlash against the vegetarian fare coincides with the BJP’s rising star in Kerala, and the fear among many that the party is promoting a kind of politics that has no space in the state with its large minority population.Among those who raised the issue were several known personalities of the state. Writer Sudhesh Raghavan, in a Facebook post, said the catering of Pazhayidom was seen as “outstanding because he is seen as a Brahmin”. “The media also celebrates him because he is a Brahmin. The pertinent question is whether he had overcome Brahminism in cooking as well as in his life. If he has come out of that, he can cook delicious non-vegetarian food,’’ said Raghavan.Asokan Charuvil, general secretary of the pro-Left Progressive Kala Sahitya Sangam, noted: “A Brahmin cooking food is a contribution of the renaissance which happened in Kerala.” This, in turn, drew its own share of critics, who asked whether Charuvil wanted to convey that “food prepared by a Brahmin is the most sacred”, and should it be celebrated as part of renaissance.Finding himself in an unexpected spotlight, Namboothiri said he had no problems with non-vegetarian food, that the menu was fixed by the Education Department and that he had been getting the contract for 16 years as “the government has confidence in me”. “If the Education Department wants non-veg food, I will give it. I don’t cook non-veg food, but I have a separate team as well as separate utensils for that. My team had provided non-veg food for the state school sports’ meet as per the menu set by the organisers,’’ he said.On Wednesday, Namboothiri and his 70-member team prepared a noon meal for 22,000 people, including the contesting students. The food was served by 1,200-odd teachers and other volunteers.

Food, caste wars over Kerala school fest, govt changes menu: Non-veg from next year
New foreign univ norms: Earlier bids stalled, why this one most ambitiousPremium Story
The Indian Express | 3 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
3 weeks ago | |

After years of efforts by successive governments, the needle finally moved Thursday.The University Grants Commission’s announcement allowing foreign universities to set up campuses here offers a path of globalisation to the Indian higher education landscape. The draft regulations signal the widest opening of doors with the government even permitting cash remittances to the parent university.The NDA government officially announced its commitment to the entry of foreign universities in the National Education Policy document in July 2020. The idea, however, goes back to the ’90s.Governments in the past have made several attempts to enact legislation for the entry, operation and regulation of foreign universities in the country. The first was in 1995 when a Bill was introduced but could not go forward. In 2005-06, too, the draft law could only go up to the Cabinet stage.The last attempt was by UPA-II in 2010 in the shape of the Foreign Educational Institutions Bill, which failed to pass muster in Parliament and lapsed in 2014 since the BJP, Left and Samajwadi Party opposed it.One of the main reservations against foreign universities operating in India was that they would raise the cost of education (high tuition fees, faculty poaching from public universities), rendering it out of reach for a large part of the population.At that time, it was also not clear if this Bill would enthuse the best universities abroad to set up campuses in India.The latest UGC draft regulations try to address the latter by promising foreign universities complete autonomy in operating their Indian branch, including academic matters, governance, admission policy, tuition fee, faculty hiring, and remuneration.More significantly, repatriation of funds to the parent institution abroad, which was prohibited under the UPA-era Bill and had emerged as a major sticking point, has also been allowed.There’s also no requirement for foreign education providers to maintain a corpus fund to operate in India. The UPA Bill insisted on an undertaking from universities to maintain a corpus fund of at least Rs 50 crore.Despite the freedoms offered by the Indian government, attracting top universities may still remain a challenge. Over the last two decades, overseas branch campuses have mushroomed across the globe. According to the Cross-Border Education Research Team at the State University of New York at Albany, there are over 200 international branch campuses of foreign universities currently operating around the globe.US universities alone run over 70 foreign campuses, most of which are clustered in China and the Gulf countries. Interestingly, the funding of most of the foreign campuses of American universities mainly comes from the host countries’ governments.New York University’s campus in Abu Dhabi and US campuses in Doha, including those run by Northwestern, Cornell, Carnegie Mellon, Georgetown and Texas A&M are all built on state funding and state-sponsored infrastructure.The government has offered no such financial or infrastructural support. Instead, the hope, officials said, is in the formidable size of the target segment. Currently, just over a quarter of India’s 18-23-year-olds are enrolled in a college or university. This leaves a vast potential market open for foreign education providers. It remains to be seen if this, along with operational and financial autonomy (including the freedom to repatriate income) will be enough to attract reputed universities to India.

New foreign univ norms: Earlier bids stalled, why this one most ambitiousPremium Story
  • Foreign universities UGC norms: Earlier bids stalled, why this one most ambitious
  • The Indian Express

    After years of efforts by successive governments, the needle finally moved Thursday.The University Grants Commission’s announcement allowing foreign universities to set up campuses here offers a path of globalisation to the Indian higher education landscape. The draft regulations signal the widest opening of doors with the government even permitting cash remittances to the parent university.The NDA government officially announced its commitment to the entry of foreign universities in the National Education Policy document in July 2020. The idea, however, goes back to the ’90s.Governments in the past have made several attempts to enact legislation for the entry, operation and regulation of foreign universities in the country. The first was in 1995 when a Bill was introduced but could not go forward. In 2005-06, too, the draft law could only go up to the Cabinet stage.The last attempt was by UPA-II in 2010 in the shape of the Foreign Educational Institutions Bill, which failed to pass muster in Parliament and lapsed in 2014 since the BJP, Left and Samajwadi Party opposed it.One of the main reservations against foreign universities operating in India was that they would raise the cost of education (high tuition fees, faculty poaching from public universities), rendering it out of reach for a large part of the population.At that time, it was also not clear if this Bill would enthuse the best universities abroad to set up campuses in India.The latest UGC draft regulations try to address the latter by promising foreign universities complete autonomy in operating their Indian branch, including academic matters, governance, admission policy, tuition fee, faculty hiring, and remuneration.More significantly, repatriation of funds to the parent institution abroad, which was prohibited under the UPA-era Bill and had emerged as a major sticking point, has also been allowed.There’s also no requirement for foreign education providers to maintain a corpus fund to operate in India. The UPA Bill insisted on an undertaking from universities to maintain a corpus fund of at least Rs 50 crore.Despite the freedoms offered by the Indian government, attracting top universities may still remain a challenge. Over the last two decades, overseas branch campuses have mushroomed across the globe. According to the Cross-Border Education Research Team at the State University of New York at Albany, there are over 200 international branch campuses of foreign universities currently operating around the globe.US universities alone run over 70 foreign campuses, most of which are clustered in China and the Gulf countries. Interestingly, the funding of most of the foreign campuses of American universities mainly comes from the host countries’ governments.New York University’s campus in Abu Dhabi and US campuses in Doha, including those run by Northwestern, Cornell, Carnegie Mellon, Georgetown and Texas A&M are all built on state funding and state-sponsored infrastructure.The government has offered no such financial or infrastructural support. Instead, the hope, officials said, is in the formidable size of the target segment. Currently, just over a quarter of India’s 18-23-year-olds are enrolled in a college or university. This leaves a vast potential market open for foreign education providers. It remains to be seen if this, along with operational and financial autonomy (including the freedom to repatriate income) will be enough to attract reputed universities to India.

  • New foreign universities norms: Earlier bids stalled, why this one most ambitious
  • The Indian Express

    After years of efforts by successive governments, the needle finally moved Thursday.The University Grants Commission’s announcement allowing foreign universities to set up campuses here offers a path of globalisation to the Indian higher education landscape. The draft regulations signal the widest opening of doors with the government even permitting cash remittances to the parent university.The NDA government officially announced its commitment to the entry of foreign universities in the National Education Policy document in July 2020. The idea, however, goes back to the ’90s.Governments in the past have made several attempts to enact legislation for the entry, operation and regulation of foreign universities in the country. The first was in 1995 when a Bill was introduced but could not go forward. In 2005-06, too, the draft law could only go up to the Cabinet stage.The last attempt was by UPA-II in 2010 in the shape of the Foreign Educational Institutions Bill, which failed to pass muster in Parliament and lapsed in 2014 since the BJP, Left and Samajwadi Party opposed it.One of the main reservations against foreign universities operating in India was that they would raise the cost of education (high tuition fees, faculty poaching from public universities), rendering it out of reach for a large part of the population.At that time, it was also not clear if this Bill would enthuse the best universities abroad to set up campuses in India.The latest UGC draft regulations try to address the latter by promising foreign universities complete autonomy in operating their Indian branch, including academic matters, governance, admission policy, tuition fee, faculty hiring, and remuneration.More significantly, repatriation of funds to the parent institution abroad, which was prohibited under the UPA-era Bill and had emerged as a major sticking point, has also been allowed.There’s also no requirement for foreign education providers to maintain a corpus fund to operate in India. The UPA Bill insisted on an undertaking from universities to maintain a corpus fund of at least Rs 50 crore.Despite the freedoms offered by the Indian government, attracting top universities may still remain a challenge. Over the last two decades, overseas branch campuses have mushroomed across the globe. According to the Cross-Border Education Research Team at the State University of New York at Albany, there are over 200 international branch campuses of foreign universities currently operating around the globe.US universities alone run over 70 foreign campuses, most of which are clustered in China and the Gulf countries. Interestingly, the funding of most of the foreign campuses of American universities mainly comes from the host countries’ governments.New York University’s campus in Abu Dhabi and US campuses in Doha, including those run by Northwestern, Cornell, Carnegie Mellon, Georgetown and Texas A&M are all built on state funding and state-sponsored infrastructure.The government has offered no such financial or infrastructural support. Instead, the hope, officials said, is in the formidable size of the target segment. Currently, just over a quarter of India’s 18-23-year-olds are enrolled in a college or university. This leaves a vast potential market open for foreign education providers. It remains to be seen if this, along with operational and financial autonomy (including the freedom to repatriate income) will be enough to attract reputed universities to India.

  • Foreign universities’ Indian campuses fees, admission process, classes, and more – all FAQs answered
  • The Indian Express

    The UGC Chief M Jagadesh Kumar today announced guidelines for foreign universities setting up campuses in India. Kumar has issued guidelines on several topics such as the admission process of the Indian campuses of foreign universities, their mode of classes, transfer of funds and more.Here are some top questions answeredUGC approval compulsoryAll foreign universities that wish to set up their campus in India will be allowed to do so only after getting approval from the University Grants Commission (UGC). “No foreign higher education can set up campuses without the approval of the UGC,” the chairman said.However, foreign universities setting up campuses in the country will get initial approval for a period of 10 years only. The approval granted will be renewed in the ninth year, subject to them meeting certain conditions.To set up a campus in Indian foreign universities will either have to be in the top 500 to apply or will have to be “highly reputed” in their respective countries (if the varsity does not participate in global rankings). If their ranking is between 500 and 100, but the subject-wise ranking is higher than overall, then in such cases, the institutions will be permitted to set up their campuses only for those ranked subjects.Procedure for coming to IndiaThe process for getting approval for setting up a campus in India will be strictly online in the beginning. Interested institutions have to apply at the UGC portal with a non-refundable fee, and then submit some documents (asked by the UGC). After the applications are received, a committee formed by the Commission will examine these applications on these factors:— Credibility of the institution— Programmes to be offered by the institution— Their potential to strengthen academic opportunities in India— Proposed infrastructureThis process will be conducted within 45 days of the date of application, and the committee will provide its recommendations to the institute. After that, these recommendations will be examined by the Commission and the commission may decide to give a grant in principle approval and issue a letter of intent to the foreign higher educational institutes (HEI) to set up their campus. The Commission will give two year to the institute to set up their campus. If an extension is required, the Commission will take the decision on a case-by-case basis. Once the campus is set up, the Commission will check the readiness of the campus within 45 days of receiving the information of readiness from the HEIs.Offline classes onlyAll the foreign universities that open their branches in India will be allowed to conduct offline classes only, i.e. foreign universities can offer only full-time programmes in physical mode.Freedom to choose admission process, fee, facultyKumar has assured that all foreign varsities will have the freedom to come up with their own admission process. However, the universities will have to ensure “quality of education imparted at their Indian campuses is on par with their main campus.”In addition to this, foreign higher educational institutes (HEIs) will also have the freedom to devise their own fee structure, provided it is transparent and reasonable. Regulations also state that the institutes can award partial or complete need-based scholarships from their own endowment funds, alumni donations etc.The UGC (Setting up and Operation of Campuses of Foreign Higher Educational Institutions in India) Regulations 2023 also provide foreign institutions complete autonomy to hire faculty and other staff members either from abroad or in India. However, if the faculty members are flown into India from other countries, the faculty members will have to reside in the campus for a considerable amount of time and dedicate resources to the Indian campuses. “We have also said in our regulations that campuses established by foreign HEIs shall ensure that the foreign faculty appointed to teach at the Indian campus shall stay at the campus in India for a reasonable period. It’s not that they will come here for a week or two and then go back. They should be here for a reasonable time, i.e. at least for a semester or two, and then there could be rotation of these faculty members, as decided by these universities,” he said.Can international students also get admission to these institutes?Yes, foreign higher educational institutes will have the freedom to enroll Indian as well as international students on their Indian campuses.International funds transferTo ensure that there is no chaos in funds transfer, Kumar said that all matters related to funding will be as per the Foreign Exchange Management Act 1999. More details about the same will be notified by the end of the month.Additionally, the UGC will reserve the right to inspect these Indian campuses of foreign HEIs at any time, and they will not be outside the purview of anti-ragging and other criminal laws.

Bengal brings chicken into mid-day meal, Oppn spots a bone to pick
The Indian Express | 3 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
3 weeks ago | |

The Opposition has a new bone to pick with the Mamata Banerjee government. Effective immediately, West Bengal has announced a revised mid-day meal menu for schools run by its government, with chicken and seasonal fruits to be served weekly, from January to April.Served a googly, which it cannot bat away outright in a state with few non-veg apprehensions, the Opposition pointed out that the period of the scheme coincides with the run-up to the panchayat elections in the state.West Bengal Education Minister Bratya Basu told The Indian Express that “paucity of funds” had made them restrict the scheme’s duration to four months. “Under the caring leadership of our Chief Minister, we have constantly strived to provide maximum benefits to students, and this gesture is one more step in that direction. We have introduced chicken and seasonal fruits from our savings. We would have been very happy to continue the menu throughout the year, but that would need much more funds which, sadly, we lack,” said Basu.According to the January 3 notification issued by the School Education Department, Rs 372 crore extra will be allocated to provide for the extra chicken and fruits, which will be additional to the usual menu of rice, potatoes, pulses, vegetables, soybean and eggs. The extra money per child enrolled in the mid-day now known as PM POSHAN is expected to be Rs 20 a week, for 16 weeks. The notification put the number of beneficiaries at over 1.16 crore students in state-run and aided schools.While the state and Centre share the cost of PM POSHAN in a 60:40 ratio, the notification underlined that the additional Rs 372 crore will be paid entirely from the state’s share.The scheme comes into force immediately, with the additional items to be served in different blocks on different days of the week.The panchayat polls, which are expected to see a heated contest between the ruling Trinamool Congress and BJP, are to be held in the month of April-May. Last time, the rural elections had been marked by widespread violence.Senior BJP leader Rahul Sinha said, “Why did the state government all of a sudden feel the need to introduce chicken and fruits in the mid-day meal scheme? This means that the CM has understood that the situation is dicey and her party will not fare well in the rural polls… The government is now offering chicken to divert people’s attention from real issues. The TMC is trying to buy people’s votes in exchange for chicken and fruits.”Senior CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty too slammed the state government. “It is good that the state government has increased the allotment for mid-day meals. It was a long-standing demand of the people. But has the government done this to improve the quality of the meals or just because elections are around the corner?” Chakraborty said, adding that they would have no objections if the government extended the scheme to December.State Congress president Adhir Chowdhury said it was clear that the move was taken with an eye on the panchayat polls. “But we will not protest as we want the people of Bengal to have the best of things. However, please ensure that the move is corruption-free,” Chowdhury said.Questioning the Opposition’s objections, TMC Rajya Sabha MP Santanu Sen said it should not read politics into every government move. “I would tell the CPI(M) that it should keep its mouth shut as its government destroyed the education system in the state… To the BJP, I would say that first criticise your own government’s decisions. We saw how petrol and diesel prices were (kept low) before the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls. Before the Gujarat elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated projects worth crores.”Criticising the BJP’s “narrow-mindedness”, Sen added: “It indulges in this type of politics. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee works for the people throughout the year.”The introduction of chicken in Bengal is striking because measures to get eggs into mid-day meals in other states have faced resistance by some groups. Currently, eggs are served in mid-day meals in 13 states and three UTs as part of “additional food items”, with the states/UTs picking the tab. The frequency ranges from five days a week to once a month.In Madhya Pradesh, the previous Congress government’s decision to add eggs to the menu of anganwadis was overturned by the BJP after it came to power in 2020. In Karnataka, another BJP-ruled state, the proposal to add eggs has been fiercely resisted in the past by Lingayat and Jain seers.Meanwhile, Bengal Education Minister Basu had a counter-suggestion for the Centre: “We request it to provide us more funds so that we can continue with such best practices.”

Bengal brings chicken into mid-day meal, Oppn spots a bone to pick
  • Bengal brings chicken into mid-day meal, Opp spots a bone to pick
  • The Indian Express

    THE Opposition has a new bone to pick with the Mamata Banerjee government. Effective immediately, West Bengal has announced a revised mid-day meal menu for schools run by its government, with chicken and seasonal fruits to be served weekly, from January to April.Served a googly, which it cannot bat away outright in a state with few non-veg apprehensions, the Opposition pointed out that the period of the scheme coincides with the run-up to the panchayat elections in the state.West Bengal Education Minister Bratya Basu told The Indian Express that “paucity of funds” had made them restrict the scheme’s duration to four months. “Under the caring leadership of our Chief Minister, we have constantly strived to provide maximum benefits to students, and this gesture is one more step in that direction. We have introduced chicken and seasonal fruits from our savings. We would have been very happy to continue the menu throughout the year, but that would need much more funds which, sadly, we lack,” said Basu.According to the January 3 notification issued by the School Education Department, Rs 372 crore extra will be allocated to provide for the extra chicken and fruits, which will be additional to the usual menu of rice, potatoes, pulses, vegetables, soybean and eggs. The extra money per child enrolled in the mid-day now known as PM POSHAN is expected to be Rs 20 a week, for 16 weeks. The notification put the number of beneficiaries at over 1.16 crore students in state-run and aided schools.While the state and Centre share the cost of PM POSHAN in a 60:40 ratio, the notification underlined that the additional Rs 372 crore will be paid entirely from the state’s share.The scheme comes into force immediately, with the additional items to be served in different blocks on different days of the week.The panchayat polls, which are expected to see a heated contest between the ruling Trinamool Congress and BJP, are to be held in the month of April-May. Last time, the rural elections had been marked by widespread violence.Senior BJP leader Rahul Sinha said, “Why did the state government all of a sudden feel the need to introduce chicken and fruits in the mid-day meal scheme? This means that the CM has understood that the situation is dicey and her party will not fare well in the rural polls… The government is now offering chicken to divert people’s attention from real issues. The TMC is trying to buy people’s votes in exchange for chicken and fruits.”Senior CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty too slammed the state government. “It is good that the state government has increased the allotment for mid-day meals. It was a long-standing demand of the people. But has the government done this to improve the quality of the meals or just because elections are around the corner?” Chakraborty said, adding that they would have no objections if the government extended the scheme to December.State Congress president Adhir Chowdhury said it was clear that the move was taken with an eye on the panchayat polls. “But we will not protest as we want the people of Bengal to have the best of things. However, please ensure that the move is corruption-free,” Chowdhury said.Questioning the Opposition’s objections, TMC Rajya Sabha MP Santanu Sen said it should not read politics into every government move. “I would tell the CPI(M) that it should keep its mouth shut as its government destroyed the education system in the state… To the BJP, I would say that first criticise your own government’s decisions. We saw how petrol and diesel prices were (kept low) before the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls. Before the Gujarat elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated projects worth crores.”Criticising the BJP’s “narrow-mindedness”, Sen added: “It indulges in this type of politics. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee works for the people throughout the year.”The introduction of chicken in Bengal is striking because measures to get eggs into mid-day meals in other states have faced resistance by some groups. Currently, eggs are served in mid-day meals in 13 states and three UTs as part of “additional food items”, with the states/UTs picking the tab. The frequency ranges from five days a week to once a month.In Madhya Pradesh, the previous Congress government’s decision to add eggs to the menu of anganwadis was overturned by the BJP after it came to power in 2020. In Karnataka, another BJP-ruled state, the proposal to add eggs has been fiercely resisted in the past by Lingayat and Jain seers.Meanwhile, Bengal Education Minister Basu had a counter-suggestion for the Centre: “We request it to provide us more funds so that we can continue with such best practices.”

Duration of college lectures to be raised from 48 minutes to 1 hour in Maharashtra
Times of India | 3 weeks ago | |
Times of India
3 weeks ago | |

MUMBAI: The duration of lectures in degree colleges in the state is likely to go up by 12 minutes from the next academic session. Lectures are currently held for 48 minutes. It may change to one hour in line with the curriculum and credit framework adopted in the National Education Policy (NEP) of 2020.Implementation of NEP was discussed at the Joint Board of Vice-chancellors meeting chaired by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Thursday. A final decision is yet to be taken. "Changing the duration of the lecture to one hour, adding one more year to the undergraduate programme, all this will increase the workload of the department, and the government is implementing it without any consultation with teachers. Financial assistance to the institutions is needed, especially in rural areas, and the government needs to fill up vacant posts," said Madhu Paranjape, general secretary, Bombay University and College Teachers' Union .She said NEP implementation will require changes, which will impact the workload of teachers. Currently assistant professors have a weekly workload of 16 hours, in which they take around 20 periods. This will have to be converted to 16 periods if the duration is increased, said a teacher.An official, however, said the plan to increase lecture duration was not final. "While the vice-chancellors were positive about it, we have sought more inputs from them," he said, adding that a NEP steering committee has been formed under former vice-chancellor of Pune University, Nitin Karmalkar. The committee's mandate is to visit universities for wider discussion with stakeholders, he said.Stressing on the need for uniformity in exam and academic schedules across universities, state's higher and technical education minister Chandrakant Patil said the next academic session should start from August 1 without delay. He asked varsities to conduct all exams by May 31, declare results by June 30 and conduct entrance tests and admission process by July 31 and start the new session on August 1.Governor Koshyari said while it is important to conduct exams, declare results and start academic sessions as mandated by NEP on time, it is also important "for vice-chancellors to lead universities from the front and shape the character of students."IIT-Bombay will help in translation of books and resources of undergraduate and postgraduate professional and non-professional programmes in Marathi under the 'Udaan' project led by IIT-Bombay professor Ganesh Ramakrishnan.

Duration of college lectures to be raised from 48 minutes to 1 hour in Maharashtra
Overseas scholarship students facing shortage of funds, seek urgent Maharashtra govt aid
Times of India | 3 weeks ago | |
Times of India
3 weeks ago | |

Nagpur: Rising inflation and financial crisis in the UK has hit beneficiaries of foreign scholarship hard in the midst of their term in different universities there.According to NGO The Platform, the students covered under Rajarshi Shahu Maharaj Foreign Education Scholarship of Maharashtra, State Scholarship for Higher Studies by Higher Technical Education Board, Maharashtra, National Overseas Scholarship (NOS) by Central government, and Higher Studies Scholarship of different states are facing acute shortage of funds to meet their living and food cost.The NGO has moved both the state and central governments seeking immediate relief.Students, some of them from Nagpur, selected under the scholarship scheme are paid an annual living cost of 9900 GBP (around Rs9.9 Lakh) which comes to 825 GBP (around Rs82,000) per month.“This is half of the Chevening scholarship, and Commonwealth scholarship (15600 GBP or Rs15.6 lakh per annum) and is very insufficient to survive," the NGO said. Rahul Chaure, who is pursuing PhD in Clinical Psychology and belongs to Nagpur, said, “The financial crisis and emergency in the UK is terrifying. The Maharashtra government has always been ready for educational progress. We expect the government will understand the crisis that occurred this year and will help students through this.”A scholar from University of Glassgow, who too is from Nagpur, said paucity of funds has left them frustrated and distracted from studies. “We have been facing difficulties in fulfilling our financial needs from the scholarship amount since Covid. Housing rents have shot up by 50% and it depends on where you live. Many universities are not giving a joining letter to new students unless they find suitable accommodation,” the scholar said.Another scholar said earlier they used to save 300 GBP from the accommodation funds and used them for food expense. “Now the rent alone is 800 GBP. We have to work part-time. Our studies are getting affected. Our families in India can’t afford to arrange this money,” he said.The students said other countries have started dearness allowance keeping the inflationary pressures in mind. “Some of us are even in debt after borrowing for survival,” they said.Rajiv Khobragade, member, The Platform, said, “For the last decade, the state and central governments have kept the same old subsistence allowance for the students studying in many countries on government scholarships. Inflation rises every year by about 6%. The government should consider the ongoing cost of living crisis in the UK. The government should immediately increase the food and living allowance for the students on scholarships and help them tackle this international financial problem.”

Overseas scholarship students facing shortage of funds, seek urgent Maharashtra govt aid
Guyana, Suriname Presidents to attend Pravasi Bharatiya Divas
The Indian Express | 3 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
3 weeks ago | |

Narendra Modi will hold bilateral talks with the Presidents of Guyana and Suriname on the sidelines of the two-day Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention in Indore next week, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday.Guyanese President Mohamed Irfaan Ali will be the chief guest, while Chandrikapersad Santokhi, the President of Suriname, has been invited as a special guest at the convention where 27 Indians living overseas will be awarded.Asked about the agenda for the PM’s meeting with Ali, Ausaf Sayeed, Secretary (Overseas Indian Affairs) in the MEA, said the focus would be on energy. “India’s energy demands are expected to go up. Indian companies are already importing crude worth $1.5 million from Guyana. So energy is one subject we would like to build upon other than agriculture, ICT, infrastructure,” said Sayeed.The PM will also deliver the keynote address at the inaugural session on January 9.Responding to a question on US-based NRI Darshan Singh Dhaliwal being picked as one of the recipients of the award, Sayeed said “nothing should be attributed” to the choice other than the fact that it was done following the laid out criteria.“The awards are given on a particular criteria. The same criteria was also adopted while selecting Darshan Singh Dhaliwal,” Sayeed said. The award, he said, is for those overseas Indians who have done very well in their own fields, be it arts and culture, education, science and technology, business among others.“It is also for contribution in India and their services to the communities where they are residing. This is the principle which has been followed since the inception of the awards in 2003,” he added.Dhaliwal’s name drew attention as he was sent back from the Delhi airport on the night of October 23-24, 2021, allegedly for his involvement in the farmers’ agitation at Delhi’s borders.Overall, more than 3,500 registrations have been made from 70 countries to attend the convention, Sayeed said. There will be four plenary sessions during the January 9-10 convention on the themes of healthcare, soft power, Indian workforce, and women. On January 8, Youth Bharatiya Pravasi Divas will be held, where the Madhya Pradesh government will also host sessions.President Droupadi Murmu is scheduled to address the valedictory session. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya and Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan are expected to chair some of the plenary sessions.

Guyana, Suriname Presidents to attend Pravasi Bharatiya Divas
AAP gen secy: ‘9 states go to polls this year, seeing where our chances high’
The Indian Express | 3 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
3 weeks ago | |

Sandeep Pathak is one of the most influential leaders in the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) hierarchy, second perhaps only to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal when it comes to its plans to expand nationally. Elected to the Rajya Sabha last April, Pathak was appointed the party’s National General Secretary (Organisation) last month. It was a recognition of his role in the AAP’s victory in Punjab last year and its entry into Gujarat – factors which have earned it the status of a national party.Pathak, a former IIT professor, talks to The Indian Express about the AAP’s objectives this year, looks back at the Gujarat Assembly poll results, and the party’s plans for the all-important Lok Sabha elections in 2024.Post Gujarat, which are the states that are keeping AAP’s expansion manager busy?From the election point of view, nine states are going to the polls this year. We are trying to analyse where the chances of the party are high and carrying out surveys. It is just a matter of time regarding how we proceed. We are in the process of zeroing in on the states and will be in a position to say with clarity in a month.Since taking over you have been holding marathon meetings. You must have identified some states out of the nine by now.Right now, I can say that there is no doubt that we will contest in the poll-bound states and we will fight hard. But as of now, I cannot say whether that will be in one state or two states or more.The AAP in Gujarat could not build on its performance in the 2021 Surat municipal elections. Was that disappointing?I would not say that. For instance, in Kamrej, our candidate received over one lakh votes, compared to a few thousand votes when he had contested as an Independent. It is quite a leap. But yes if you aim high, you can say Surat did not deliver seats. But I believe in terms of vote share we have done quite well. Surat is quite complex and the BJP dominated. Achieving what we did is quite a success. The corporation polls, state polls, and general elections are completely different.Did the Congress make your task easier this time by not fighting aggressively?Our party is quite young and professional. Irrespective of whether the Congress fights or not, we fight elections hard. Even if the Congress had fought hard, they had nothing to gain. People do not see the Congress as a hope anymore. They have some good local candidates who also do not get support from the top leadership. Still, they won because of their work. Whenever there is a third force, the Congress collapses.Currently, the AAP does not have a single Lok Sabha MP. In 2024, apart from Delhi and Punjab, where do you see your MPs coming from?I totally agree that the number of elected representatives makes an organisation credible or prominent on the national stage. Delhi, Punjab, Gujarat, and Goa overall look good for us. In addition to that we have a mayor in MP, and more than 2,000 elected representatives across states. If you have local-level representatives, it helps you in organisation building. In MP, the Rewa belt and the Gwalior belt look promising for us; so do some belts in Rajasthan, adjoining Gujarat, and parts of Chhattisgarh.The AAP contested nearly every seat in the 2014 polls. Is that a mistake you want to avoid?If you look in terms of numbers, yes we won very few. But we won seats from Punjab. Had we not contested, we would have never known that Punjab was ready to vote for alternative politics. At that point, the party had just come out from the movement. It was not a mistake, I would say it was quite an audacious attempt. I think it was a good idea. There are so many states where our volunteer base is very strong. It all consolidated during that election even though we did not do much beyond that. You will see that in Odisha, Tripura, and Mizoram. Now we have learnt the art of fighting elections. We will fight strategically and to win. We will not fight for the sake of fighting but to maximise the numbers.As you enter more and more states, you will be expected to take a position on issues related to caste and religion. Will we see that from the AAP?Wherever it is required, we will. Sometimes it is a political trap. You have to be wise and smart enough not to get trapped. If you are fighting polls to win and someone frames a trap for you, you should not be naive to walk into that. Our agenda is very simple: we will stick to education, health, and good governance. But wherever there are critical issues, we will take positions.Do you see a situation where Muslims start deserting you due to a sense of betrayal? We saw the AAP losing some Muslim-dominated seats in Delhi in the MCD polls.I do not think so. We do not focus our policies on a particular segment. Good governance is for all. The civic polls in Delhi were very localised and local dynamics influenced them. Our focus is very clear – that we are neither focusing on anyone nor deserting anyone. That’s the novelty of this politics. The old-school politics will try to trap you in the same old tactics and if you get trapped you are done and dusted. Our agenda is refreshing. Kejriwal’s guarantees are for all. Promises on education, power, and governance may sound simple, but it is redefining politics.You say the BJP has not delivered on governance despite having a majority. Do you feel the party wins by pandering to majoritarian sentiments?They have been playing on sentiments and all these things. But they have been coming back with a greater majority because of a lack of fight from the Opposition, the Congress. They did not fight in Gujarat, why blame the BJP? I would not blame the BJP. They fought the way they fight. You have to counter it. The growth of the BJP can also partly be attributed to the failure of the Congress. As a political party, you have to go to the people with clarity of thought of ideas. You cannot blame people for your own failure to convince them.Arvind Kejriwal says honesty, die-hard patriotism, and humanity are the pillars of the AAP’s ideology. But some say they sound more like personal virtues rather than an ideology. Do you believe in secularism?Of course, this country believes in secularism, which is enshrined in the Constitution. No one can deny the Constitution. Ideology is a fundamental belief you have. I do not think complicated ideologies help. You deliver what you have been voted for. People do not vote for ideology but for what you have delivered. We will keep that simple. As a new political party, a new age party it is your governance you are voted for.Are you getting enough funding from corporates?No, we are not. So we reach out to people. So far that has worked. We have survived so far and will continue to do so. We will not compromise for the sake of big corporate support. People like us were primarily drawn by the idea of honesty in politics and governance. If people fall in love with you, everything falls into place.How do you explain the changes in your Gujarat unit announced on Wednesday? Why has Gopal Italia been removed from the post of state president?The party has grown manifold. It is a routine reshuffle based on volunteers’ aspirations. Italia has been brought to national politics and given a bigger role.

AAP gen secy: ‘9 states go to polls this year, seeing where our chances high’
Foreign varsities in India can decide their admission process, fee: UGC
The Indian Express | 3 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
3 weeks ago | |

Foreign universities willing to set up campuses in India will have the freedom to decide their own admission process, fee structure and repatriate funds to their parent campuses, the University Grants Commission (UGC) announced Thursday, releasing draft regulations that will govern the establishment and operation of such higher educational institutions.Addressing a press conference, UGC chairperson Prof M Jagadesh Kumar said the regulations, which are aimed at “providing greater access to our Indian students to high quality international education right in their country”, are likely to be notified by the end of January, 2023. It will be a key step towards implementing the National Education Policy, 2020, he added.Initially, the foreign universities will be granted approval to operate for 10 years. At the end of the ninth year of their operations, they will have to file for renewal of approval, Prof Kumar said. Universities that participate in global rankings will require a place in the top 500 to apply to set up campuses in India, while those that do not participate in such rankings will need to be “highly reputed” in their respective countries.“The campuses will have the freedom to decide their own fee structure, however, the regulations specify that the fee structure should be transparent and reasonable. Regulations also say that they will be free to provide need-based scholarships,” Prof Kumar said. The regulations – UGC (Setting up and Operation of Campuses of Foreign Higher Educational Institutions in India) Regulations 2023 – also provide foreign institutions complete autonomy to hire faculty and other staff members either from abroad or India.The application process will be web-based, with the UGC maintaining a separate portal for receiving proposals to set up campuses. A committee formed by the commission will evaluate the applications and make recommendations which will be further examined by the commission.“The selected applicants will be given about two years to set up campuses,” Prof Kumar said, adding that the institutes will have to ensure that the quality of education in the Indian campuses is at par with the parent campuses. Moreover, they will have to mandatorily impart education in offline mode as online classes shall not be allowed.The repatriation of funds and other cross-border movement of funds shall be governed by the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999, he said. The UGC will have the right to inspect the campuses at any time, he stressed, adding that they will not be outside the purview of anti-ragging and other criminal laws.

Foreign varsities in India can decide their admission process, fee: UGC