The Indian Express | 2 weeks ago | 16-01-2023 | 11:45 am
In a series of dramatic events, the board members of the country’s topmost business school, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, met online on November 11, 2022, and after two rounds of ‘anonymous voting’ edged out its incumbent chairman, Kumar Mangalam Birla, who not only was willing to continue, but even the Union government wanted him to stay on for one more year at the helm. Birla’s term was set to expire four days later on November 15, 2022.The IIM-A’s governing council appointed Pankaj Patel, Chairman, Zydus Lifesciences Ltd, as its chairperson, by making a point that the Centre’s proposal to give a one-year extension to incumbent Birla “may not be legal for us”, The Indian Express has learnt.Birla, Patel and the Union Ministry of Education declined to comment on the matter.During mid-2022, the Union Ministry of Education had written to 18 IIMs (whose chairpersons’ terms were to end during the year) requesting them to extend the tenure of their existing chairpersons by one more year. Another letter to the IIMs sought suggestions on fresh ways to form a search-cum-selection committee to pick a chairperson.Records seen by The Indian Express show that on September 24, 2022, the IIM-A board met and its members were of the view that “if we extend the tenure of the current chairperson without formation of search-cum-selection committee then it will not be legal for us”.“It is suggested that we should form a committee today and then we will decide whether the appointment should be for one year or four years. If we form a committee, then we are not in violation of the process and meanwhile the chairman can interact with the Ministry,” said the minutes of the meeting.The representative of the state (Gujarat) government said the committee would be formed as per the IIM Act. “…whether we should appoint the Chairman for one year or four years is the board’s prerogative. But as a letter comes from MoE, we should take that also into consideration,” the state government representative noted.In the IIM-A board, Gujarat is represented by its Principal Secretary (Higher & Technical Education), and the Union government is represented by the Joint Secretary (IIMs).Accordingly, under IIM Rules 2018 section 3, sub-section III, a five-member committee was formed which included Zydus Lifesciences’ Patel. But the composition of the committee was later changed, with Patel recusing himself. The committee recommended the names of Patel, Kotak Mahindra Bank CEO Uday Kotak and Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra as possible candidates for the chairperson’s position.Sub-section VII of the rules state that apart from the names submitted by the search-cum-selection committee, the board may consider the “name of the current incumbent provided the current incumbent has not completed two terms”.In this case, sources said Birla was eligible not just because he had completed one term, but also because “he was willing to have another term”. “On top of that, the government communique also said that IIMs may consider giving the incumbents a year-long extension. But the IIM-A board decided to follow the IIM Rules, 2018, and give Birla a chance along with others,” said a board member, who did not wish to be named.The rules also state that the selection of the chairperson shall be made with the consent of at least two-thirds of the members present and voting, and more than 50 per cent of the members in a special session to be convened at least 30 days prior to the completion of the tenure of the current incumbent.However, Patel’s selection took place only four days prior to the completion of the tenure of the current incumbent. On the day of the appointment, out of 15 members, including Birla, 13 attended the meeting.Sources said Patel’s name was finalised following anonymous voting among the board members who met virtually on November 11 during which Birla, Kotak and Mahindra were edged out of the race.“There was anonymous voting on four names including that of Birla’s. Birla himself recused from voting and so did Patel. To become chairperson, a person needed at least eight of 11 votes. In the first round, no one got the requisite number of votes. Those with less votes were eliminated. In the second round, Patel came out on top,” the source said.The development comes at a time there is a brewing tension among the government and the IIMs with the Ministry of Education also writing to IIMs seeking suggestions on drawing up a new procedure for setting up the search-cum-selection committees involved in the appointments of chairpersons.“As you are aware Section 3 of the IIM Rules, 2018, deals with the appointment procedure of Chairperson of the Board of Governors of IIM. Formation of a Search-cum-Selection Committee (SCSC) is an essential prerequisite for that. The present tenure of Chairperson of many IIMs shall be over by the end of this year. The Ministry is getting suggestions regarding the way such SCSCs can be formed. Keeping in view the importance of the position of Chairperson of the IIM in the Higher Education ecosystem of the country, it may be beneficial to have suggestions of all IIMs. Accordingly, it is advised that we undertake the above consultation before finalising the SCSC for Chairperson,” Higher Education Secretary K Sanjay Murthy had written in a letter to the chairperson of all the IIMs on June 27, 2022.
PUNE: Involvement of parents in teaching their wards, providing uniforms and study material on time and to every student and mock tests were among suggestions from experts and educators in the draft policy to improve academic excellence in government schools prepared jointly by Samagra Shiksha Abhiyaan project and the Maharashtra State Council of Education Research and Training. The draft has been submitted to the state government for approval and once it gets a nod the policy will be implemented from next year onwards.Project director of SSA Kailas Pagare and other education department officials conducted a meeting recently to take suggestions and discuss ways to improve the quality of education in schools. Pagare said, "We took the opinions of ideal teachers, education experts, SCERT officials, and researchers among others."The campaign 'Nipun Maharashtra' is being implemented in the state for the past few months in order to improve the quality of school education."Against the same background, the quality of school education in the state should be enhanced more rapidly in the next academic year," added Pagare.Zilla parishad teacher Somnath Valke said, "We need to understand how to become self-sufficient in an effort to improve the quality in classrooms. One of my suggestions was that it was necessary to add classes from V to VIII to zilla parishad schools. This will help in increasing participation in scholarships and other examinations."Ashwini Sonawane, block development officer of Bhor taluka, said that the experiment of 'Mothers' Club' they had conducted in government schools has been effective. Parental involvement and environment are very important for the development of schools. "Innovation and experimentation lead to an increase in the quality of students," Sonawane added.
MUMBAI: With increasing focus on research, enrolment in PhD courses in Maharashtra has more than doubled (109%)in the last five years. Nationally, the number has grown by 50% in the same period, shows data from the All-India Survey of Higher Education (AISHE) 2020-21 report, released in New Delhi on Monday.Enrolment in postgraduate courses in the state has seen a decent growth of 30%, with girls outnumbering boys significantly. More than half the students pursuing their master's programmes are girls in Maharashtra. In undergraduate courses, which involve the maximum number of students, enrolment has gone up by less than 10% in five years.The figures contradict the general perception that enrolment across courses dropped in the first pandemic year of 2020-21. Both national and state data from the report paint a completely different picture.‘Better results followed online exams, boosted enrolment’Even as the All-India Survey of Higher Education (AISHE) 2020-21 report showed more enrolment in the first year of the pandemic in 2020-21, S Mali, former vicechancellor of North Maharashtra University, said the pandemic impacted the assessment process across universities and more students may have cleared exams. “There was no significant impact on enrolments,” he said. A state government official said as more students cleared the class XII exams, enrolment may have gone up in the undergraduate courses. Online exams could have boosted scores at undergraduate level as well, leading to an increase in postgraduate enrolment at some places, said a principal. Maharashtra has the second highest enrolment numbers in higher education, after Uttar Pradesh. Compared to 2016-17, students pursuing PhD went up by 109% in the state in 2020-21. The official said PhD has become important in recruitment of faculty members, for career advancement schemes and other incentives. “Many teachers have realised it and are completing their degrees. The state government is also emphasising on having qualified teachers in colleges for sponsored schemes,” said the official. PhD enrolment went up by 31% in the pandemic year (from 2019-20 to 2020-21), showed the AISHE report; nationally, it was up less than 5%. In Maharashtra, research centres in autonomous colleges would have largely contributed to the drastic increase in numbers, said a vice-chancellor. Mumbai University has the highest numbers of autonomous colleges in the state. Over the last few years, an increasing number of girls in the state are pursuing postgraduate courses. In 2016-17, a thousand more boys were in PG courses compared to girls. Then the numbers started tilting, with over 75,000 more girls enrolled in PG programmes in 2020-21. “This increase is possible because of the rural regions in the state,” said Mali, who was also on the state’s committee to draft the statutes of the Maharashtra Public Universities Act of 2016. “In rural regions, we have seen an increase in the number of colleges, better transportation and more hostel facilities. All these could have boosted the numbers of girl students pursuing higher studies. It is a big plus for them,” he said. In Shivaji University, Kolhapur, Mali said, he has seen girls comprising 70-80% of the total admissions in some departments. More coverage of institutions under AISHE could be another reason for the rise in numbers, he added. Though the state has done better in both postgraduate and PhD education, the numbers in undergraduate education has not seen a significant growth. Nationally, enrolment rose by 15% in undergraduate programmes, as opposed to the state’s 9%. Speaking about the increase in enrolment numbers in 2020-21, an official from the Centre’s higher education department said it showed students continued with their education online despite the uncertainty. “There is a possibility the vulnerable sections of society in some states may have taken a hit, but better enrolment in other regions may have compensated. Positive initiatives in some states for better coverage of AISHE may have helped in the increase in enrolment. Government scholarships also largely covered the vulnerable section, who were financially hit in the pandemic,” said the official.
The minister's comment had stirred up a controversy, resulting in an ink attack on him. (File)Pune: Bharatiya Janata Party leader Chitra Wagh has compared Maharashtra cabinet minister and her senior party colleague Chandrakant Patil with social reformer Mahatma Jyotiba Phule.Wagh, who heads the state BJP women's wing, made the comments on Sunday at a programme organised here by local party leader Hemant Rasne which was also attended by Patil."We can see Savitribai (wife of Phule and pioneer of women's education in Maharashtra in the 19th century) in households, but a search is on for a Jyotiba (Phule) like Chandrakant Patil and BJP leader Hemant Rasne," she said.Notably, state Higher and Technical Education Minister Patil, who is an MLA from Pune, had kicked up a row by commenting that B R Ambedkar and Jyotiba Phule did not seek government grants for running educational institutions, but they “begged” people to gather funds for starting schools and colleges.The use of the word “begged” had stirred up a controversy, resulting in an ink attack on Patil.Meanwhile, Wagh, who had filed a complaint against social media influencer Uorfi Javed for dressing "improperly" in public, said the latter should be praised as she has started wearing full clothes.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com"I never had any problem with that woman or with any religion. I had a problem with abnormality but now I think we should praise her because she is seen in full clothes now. I have received multiple photographs of her and I can see she's wearing good clothes," Wagh said responding to a query from reporters.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)Featured Video Of The DayShah Rukh Khan's Signature Pose And A Pathaan-Special Dance
MUMBAI: To acquire de-novo status for the proposed Sir JJ University of Art, Architecture and Design, the state government is likely to take the route of registering it as a company under Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013. Deemed institutions focussed on innovations and research in unique and emerging areas fall under the de-novo category, as per University Grants Commission (UGC) regulations. While a section 8 company primarily operates for charitable and non-profit objectives, the state government will now have to resolve the names for its board of directors. The Department of Higher Education of the Union Ministry of Education in its letter of intent granted on October 27, 2021, has asked the state to fulfil around nine conditions for the de-novo status. The most important one was to set up the cluster of three institutions - Sir JJ School of Art, Applied Art and Architecture - as a separate and dedicated society/trust/company that needs to be registered under the new name as per UGC regulations of 2019. Sources from the state government said that the taskforce set up to work on the conditions have decided to register the new university as a Section 8 company, which will be sponsored by the state government. The taskforce led by state project director for Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan, Nipun Vinayak, has resolved many conditions laid down in the letter of intent and will soon submit the final report to the government. Speaking to TOI, the officer said that it is a visionary move for Sir JJ Institutions to become a world-class university with a 'de-novo' status, one of its kind in the country. "For this, like other de-novo universities, the institution will have a sponsoring body in the form of a trust or a Section 8 company upon which the taskforce is deliberating," he said. Only a handful of institutions in the country have been granted de-novo status. Another official said, "Once the state finalises the decision to register as a company, the institutions can recommend some names for the board of directors. The final decision, however, will lay with the government. Ideally, the institutions will prefer to have the deans and some of their illustrious alumni on the board." The state has time till October 2024 to fulfil the conditions laid down in the letter of intent. While the letter of intent came in 2021, the state's higher education department, under MVA then, decided to convert the Sir JJ Group of Institutions into a state university. The decision did not find many takers. Now the de-novo plan is back on track. But students have apprehensions about fee hikes, though officials said this won't be the case.
NAGPUR: The Unaided Schools’ Forum (USF), which represents almost all CBSE schools in Maharashtra, has alleged that education officials are trying to extort money in the guise of ‘NOC renewal’.An email sent to chief minister Eknath Shinde among others by USF said the 3-year NOC renewal GR has already been stayed by the Bombay High Court in 2021, but the state education officials continue to ‘harass’ schools. In the email, USF’s honorary secretary Subhash Chandra Kedia, wrote, “We are really shocked to bring to your kind notice that officers of the education department are harassing our unaided private schools and trying to extort money on the pretext of renewal of the NOC.”Speaking to TOI, Kedia said that the state government had issued a GR in August 2009 in which it mentioned that schools have to take NOC from the education department every three years. Kedia said, “This GR was challenged by us in writ petition No. 2157 of 2010 before the Bombay High Court. The court stayed the GR in its order dated November 14, 2011.”He said that things changed in 2020. Kedia said, “The education department has again issued illegal GRs dated March 4, 2020 and July 20, 2020 regarding renewal of the NOC every three years by disobeying the order of the court aforesaid.” He added that both these GRs have also been challenged before the court.USF said that this ‘discrepancy’ had been pointed out to the state government in official correspondence in March 2021. Kedia said, “Still education officers throughout Maharashtra are threatening our schools that if NOC is not renewed, then such schools shall be derecognized. They are also indulging in extortion of money under the pretext of renewal of the NOC.” Kedia said, “We really fail to understand why the education department is openly defying the court’s order of 2011.” USF has warned that if education officials insist on renewal of the NOC, then they will proceed with legal action. “These officials are in contempt of court. So we will definitely file a case against them for harassing our schools,” said Kedia.