Maharashtra may make voter registration must for undergrad study

Times of India | 3 days ago | 25-11-2022 | 05:38 am

Maharashtra may make voter registration must for undergrad study

MUMBAI: Voter registration may soon be mandatory for students seeking degree college admissions in the state. Taking note of the dismal rate of voter registration by university and college students, higher and technical education minister Chandrakant Patil on Thursday said the government will issue a resolution mandating that students above the age of 18 years enrol themselves as voters during college admissions, reports Yogita Rao. Patil was speaking at a meet with the governor, CM, deputy CM, and vice-chancellors of 20 state universities. The state’s chief electoral officer, Shrikant Deshpande, told TOI that 90% of students in the 18-19 age bracket are not registered as voters. Of the 42. 03 lakh projected population in this age group in Maharashtra, barely 4. 36 lakh are enrolled as voters. Univs must offer four-year UG programme from 2023 The state’s chief electoral officer Shrikant Deshpande has flagged the need for a mechanism that will require all college aspirants to enrol themselves as voters. “Universities need to develop a system that can catch these youths right at the time of college admissions. If they are 18+ years and are not registered as voters, universities and colleges can get them registered on the spot. Universities also need to create electoral literacy clubs to involve students in the democratic process,” said Deshpande, adding that it should be a collective approach. Patil also said that universities will have to mandatorily offer the four-year undergraduate degree programme from June 2023 as mandated in the National Education Policy (NEP). TOI had earlier reported about the state government giving its nod for the programme. The Governor’s office will reconstitute the vice-chancellor search committees for Mumbai and Pune universities following the state’s decision to include a University Grants’ Commission (UGC) nominee. The committees were already formed by the governor’s office and in case of Pune University, an advertisement inviting applications was also released. However, with the amendment, chiefminister Eknath Shinde said new search committees will be constituted soon. While university officials are concerned about the delays in the appointment, Shinde said the process will be expedited. Currently, the committees have three members. The Governor will also have to appoint a search committee for the vice-chancellor of Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University, said an official. Stating that the NEP lays thrust on culture and Indian knowledge systems, Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari asked vice chancellors to create small advisory committees of dedicated officers, professors, young people andresource persons to advise them on the effective implementation of the policy in universities. Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis took note of the poor performance of some universities in key result areas (KRAs) such as declaration of results. He called for creating a live dashboard to report the 21 KRAs, including multidisciplinary education, skill development, courses in mother tongue, internships, registration with the Academic Bank of Credit, creation of research development cell, industry collaboration among others. Universities will be assessed on the basis of these KRAs relevant to the NEP.

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New, signal-free corridor will ease Mumbai-Thane traffic woes
Times of India | 4 hours ago | 28-11-2022 | 06:01 am
Times of India
4 hours ago | 28-11-2022 | 06:01 am

THANE: The MMRDA has given its approval to ease congestion at one of the 'world's most chaotic' traffic junctions at Teen Haath Naka by constructing a fresh pair of U-shaped flyovers in addition to the existing bridge that runs above the intersection, officials informed, adding that the project will also ensure the arterial junction could get rid of signals presently required for crossing the intersection. The proposal for the flyovers - with three lanes each and collectively costing approximately Rs 289 crore - was presented before the MMRDA committee last month and finally got administrative approval. Teen Haath Naka is a vital junction on the Mumbai (LBS route)-Thane-Pune-Nashik route where nearly seven roads, including three arterial lanes, converges. A 2014 study commissioned by the Thane corporation had pegged the junction as one of the world's most chaotic ones. Even though the MSRDC had built a flyover over the junction two decades back, it doesn't cater to the rising movement of traffic underneath and between the seven lanes that connect Mumbai-Thane via LBS road with the Eastern Express Highway. According to the plans, a 700m-long, U-shaped flyover will take off from the Nashik lane of the EEH after the Teen Haath Naka junction ends and will run parallel to the existing bridge and then take a turn to the right and land few metres ahead of the junction on the Mumbai-bound carriageway. All vehicles coming from Mumbai and entering Thane city or proceeding towards LBS road or old Pune highway will take this arm without waiting at the signal for crossing over. Similarly, traffic from Nashik, Pune and Thane city headed towards Mumbai using LBS road will ascend the second U-shaped flyover after crossing the junction on the Mumbai-bound lane of the highway. The flyover measuring 900m in length will run parallel to the highway and take a U-turn and land in the opposite direction ahead of the Teen Haath Naka. Officials say once the project is completed, the waiting time at signal for Mumbai, Thane, Nashik, and Pune-bound vehicles will be reduced substantially. The plan entails removing the signals that increase waiting time and often stretches beyond 15-20 minutes. The inclusion of the two U-shaped flyovers at the spot will prove beneficial in smooth management of traffic, especially once the metro station comes up on the stretch. The project may affect a small stretch of green cover between the service road and the highway.

New, signal-free corridor will ease Mumbai-Thane traffic woes