Thursday, 3 September 2015

Muslims want education, jobs and development

BHAGALPUR: The tone and tenor of minority community members present in good number at the PM Narendra Modi's rally was different. They talked about education, enhancing technical skill, employment opportunities and development in Bihar.
At the same time, they didn't feel comfortable talking about infamous 1989 Bhagalpur riots after nearly 26 years. They, instead, dismissed the riots as a non-issue which the political parties should not raise to bully any community. Communal harmony and peaceful coexistence with state's development was the buzz word for them, now.
They were seen discussing 'vikas, vishwash, vichar aur pradesh mey kaisi sarkar (development, trust, understanding and what kind of government in the state needed). TOI talked to a cross-section of the minorities to elicit their points of view vis-a-vis assembly election in the state.

Md Manjoor Ali, a Bhagalpur local, said "aman-chaain aur vikas hi mudda hai aur hum log bacchon ko acchi shiksha dena chahte hain (communal harmony and development are the issues and we want good education for our children)".

MBA graduate Syed Zeejah Hussain, who works in a private company and is a social activist, said development is very important for every section of the society, including minorities. Communal feeling fades away with education and development. It is a heartwarming situation that every politician now talks about development, he added.

Dr Imtiyazur Rehman, a leading neurosurgeon, said 1989 riots memories have faded away and new generation has come up. "We all want development and education. We want quality education for our children, he said.

Md Arif said earlier people used to vote on different counts, but now the focus is on development, employment, electricity, roads, law and order, etc. It is for sure that developmental issues are on the forefront and other issues have taken a back seat, echoed Hasnain Ali.

Md Jumman, an old man sitting at the meeting ground, said, "Hum gareeb hain kya bolen, lekin tarakki hogi, aman chain hoga toh sabka bhala hoga. Abhi tak toh sirf log bewakoof banatey aaye hain."

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Wednesday, 2 September 2015

KSOU Still Dragging Its Feet on Recognition Proposal

BENGALURU:The board of management of Karnataka State Open University (KSOU) is meeting on Monday amidst uncertainty among thousands of candidates about the validity of its degrees.

The varsity was derecognised on July 16 after it failed to send a proposal to the University Grants Commission (UGC) in the prescribed format to renew its recognition. The UGC first issued a notice to the university, but since it found the KSOU response unsatisfactory, it slapped a second notice on August 17.

“It is requested that the university may submit an affidavit on a non-judicial stamp paper” stating that “the university has closed its franchisee with private establishments and study centres outside the territorial jurisdiction of Karnataka,” the notice reads.
UGC has also demanded that the varsity affirm in the said affidavit that it has also discontinued its franchisee/private collaboration to offer its open and distance learning (ODL) programmes even within Karnataka. The steps to continue the recognition of ODL programmes of KSOU will be taken only after the affidavits are received by the UGC, the notice said.

When contacted, M G Krishnan, KSOU vice-chancellor, played down the UGC notice. He said all required documents have already been submitted, and “they have only sought some clarifications.”

He said he had submitted the application for recognition to UGC in Delhi on July 16. “UGC authorities have convened a meeting on August 27 regarding the issue. I am hopeful that the issue will be sorted out on that day.”


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Monday, 31 August 2015

India, Australia education ties: Recognition of VET by India is a big step for Indian students

That Australia has emerged as one of the most-favoured overseas destinations for higher studies was once again highlighted during the visit of the country’s minister for education and training, Christopher Pyne, and ambassador for Australian education in India, cricketer Adam Gilchris.
That Australia has emerged as one of the most-favoured overseas destinations for Indian students for higher studies was once again highlighted during the visit of the country's minister for education and training, Christopher Pyne, and the first ambassador for Australian education in India, cricketer Adam Gilchrist, last week.
Announcing to reporters in Delhi that 48,500 Indian students had already gone to Australia from India this year for higher education, minister Pyne said that his government was looking at expanding educational ties with India to research collaborations between top institutions in both the countries as well as linking schools in India and Australia.
"While the number of Indian students in Australia is growing at around 15% annually, we would also like to build a stronger relationship between educational institutions in both the countries," the minister said. A significant development during minister Pyne's visit was the announcement that the Indian government will soon recognise pathways and foundation courses offered by Australian colleges.
The memorandum of understanding signed between Pyne and human resource development minister Smriti Irani will now facilitate credit transfers and mutual recognition of qualifications between the two countries.
The recognition of Australian pathways and foundation courses in the vocational education & training (VET) sector by India is a big step for Indian students who choose to return to work in India or take up further studies.
"Recognition of qualifications from Australia in the pathways and technical and further education (TAFE) streams will provide flexibility to both Indian students as well as Australian institutions," Pyne said.
The providers of VET in Australia include TAFE institutes, adult and community education providers and agricultural colleges as well as private providers, community organisations, industry skill centres, and commercial and enterprise training providers.
In addition, some universities and schools also provide VET. The sector, which is crucial to Australia both for the development of the national workforce and as a major export industry, is supported through a network of eight state and territory governments and the Australian government, along with industry, public and private training providers.
These organisations work together to provide nationally consistent training across Australia. Significantly, of the total number of Indian students who enrolled in Australian institutions between January and June 2015, a sizeable percentage joined vocational education & training courses.
In fact, 20,189 Indian students chose to join VET courses. Most sought-after subjects for VET among Indian students in Australia were management and commerce; food, hospitality and personal services; engineering and related technologies; information technology and health. "About half the cohort of Indian students in Australia join vocational courses.
The Australian VET system is very strong and is designed to address workplacespecific skills requirement of different industries. There is a strong connect between the Australia's VET and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of building a skilled workforce in India," minister Pyne said. He added that the number of Indian students in Australia was growing and was now second only to China.
"We welcome Indian students to Australia and feel that international students are the best ambassadors for our country. Besides providing a channel for soft diplomacy, Indian students also add to the multicultural mix in our classrooms," he said.
The Australian government's post-study work visas for international students who complete university degrees in Australia enables international graduates to gain practical work experience after they graduate and enhance their overall international study experience.
On completion of studies, a student can, under the subclass 485 visa category, work in Australia fulltime for a period of 18 months to four years (depending on their level of studies) along with an option of applying for permanent residency.
"While this programme is a big incentive for Indian and other international students after they complete their masters, bachelors or doctorate degrees in Australia, they are also allowed to work 20 hours a week during their courses," the minister said.
During minister Pyne's visit, Australia's Group of Eight (G8) universities had also sent their representatives to India as part of the education delegation. Under a new agreement, the G8 universities will work towards attracting more top students from India.

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Thursday, 27 August 2015

Awaiting UGC nod, KSOU puts off admission process

MYSURU: The Karnataka State Open University (KSOU), whose courses have been derecognized by the University Grants Commission (UGC), has postponed its admission process. It wants to get the UGC recognition for its courses before admitting students.
The admissions were supposed to start in July.On June 16, UGC secretary Jaspal S Sandhu sent a public notice saying KSOU had blatantly flouted its norms, guidelines and directives and that the courses offered by the university after 2012-13 were not recognized.
After the news broke, lakhs of students who had got admission to courses in KSOU rushed to the university seeking explanations.
Subsequently, KSOU vice-chancellor MG Krishnan visited the UGC headquarters in New Delhi to clear their doubts. He also met SP Goyal, joint secretary, department of higher education, union ministry of human resources development, and explained the situation.
"While the KSOU used to update the state higher education minister and the governor about its admission process, courses, students and other details, it failed to submit any details to UGC in the past three years," source said.
The UGC has now called for a meeting with vice chancellors and registrars of all recognised universities in the state, including KSOU, University of Mysore, Kuvempu University and Gulbarga University to discuss various issues including recognition for courses. It has demanded that KSOU submit all the details pertaining to its admission process, courses and others by August end.
"We are expecting a positive response from the UGC after the meeting. We hope to start the admissions by September 20. Students will be given time till the end of January, 2016 to join our courses," sources said adding that around 5 lakh students are already pursuing various courses in KSOU.
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Tuesday, 25 August 2015

More educational opportunities for foreigners in India!

The government is planning to open its education and legal services to foreigners and liberalizing education, which is a move aimed at boosting the country's services sector. Explaining the country's approach to open education sector, Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia suggested opening online courses to make it better accessible across communities and countries.
About opening legal services for foreign players, she said the Commerce Ministry's intention is to work with Bar Council of India (BCI) to move in a direction which is in tandem with the policies of both. The government is also in consultation with the Society for Indian Law Firms for this. The Department of Commerce built with stakeholders aims at allowing multi-professional firms to come in, and to allow them to increase size of the firms. "So, these could be early stage reforms. Once we do that, in the next stage we can have consultation with the BCI," said Rita in a statement to PTI.
Opening up of these two sectors is under discussion of the Committee of Secretaries. The UK and the US have been pushing India to open up the sector to foreign firms.
The Advocates Act, which is administered by the BCI, provides for foreign lawyers or law firms to visit India on a reciprocal basis for temporary periods to advise their clients on foreign law and diverse international legal issues.

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Friday, 21 August 2015

Govt launches education loan portal

NEW DELHI: The government on Thursday said it has a launched the website '' for students seeking educational loans. Five banks, including SBI, IDBI Bank and Bank of India, have integrated their system with the portal."Vidya Lakshmi was launched on the occasion of Independence Day for the benefit of students seeking educational loans," a finance ministry release said.
The portal has been developed and maintained by NSDL e-governance infrastructure limited (NSDL e-Gov) under the guidance of department of financial services in the finance ministry, department of higher education, ministry of human resource development and Indian Banks Association (IBA).
Finance minister Arun Jaitley in his budget speech for 2015-16 had proposed to set up a fully IT-based student financial aid authority to administer and monitor scholarships as well as educational loan schemes through Pradhan Mantri Vidya Lakshmi Karyakram(PMVLK).
It is aimed to ensure that no student misses out on higher education for lack of funds, said the release., adding that the launch of the portal is the first step towards achieving this objective. "Vidya Lakshmi Portal is the first of its kind portal providing single window for students to access information and make applications for educational loans provided by banks as also government scholarships," it added.
The portal will provide information about educational loan schemes of banks, common educational loan application form for students, facility to apply to multiple banks for educational loans, and facility for banks to download students' loan applications.It also has facility for banks to upload loan processing status, facility for students to email grievances/queries relating to educational loans, dashboard facility for students to view status of their loan application and linkage to National Scholarship Portal for information and application for government scholarships.
Finance ministry said so far 13 banks have registered 22 educational loan schemes on the Vidya Lakshmi Portal and five banks -- SBI, IDBI Bank, Bank of India, Canara Bank and Union Bank of India have integrated their system with the portal for providing loan processing status to students.
"This initiative aims to bring on board all banks providing educational loans. It is expected that students throughout the country will be benefited by this initiative of the government by making available a single window for access to various educational loan schemes of all banks," said the release further.

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Thursday, 13 August 2015

100 candidates complete training in digital literacy

About 100 persons, most of them women, who underwent a 15-day training in digital literacy under the National Digital Literacy Mission (NDLM) were awarded certificates here on Friday.
The NDLM aims at helping adults with low technological literacy to develop the skills essential for interacting in an increasingly digital world. It seeks to empower at least one person per household with digital literacy skills by 2010 and reach out to move then 250 million individuals over the next five year. The NDLM programme was being conducted by the Capgemini Business Services India Pvt. Ltd., in association with Nasscom Foundation and Global Talent Track.
The 20-hours of training was conducted at the Capgemini NDLM Centre in Tiruchi with the participants being provided training in basic operation of computers, social media, online ticketing, and shopping. The training included various activities and practical sessions.
The participants were in the age group of 30 to 45 hours and most them were school dropouts from communities in and around Tiruchi.
On Friday, the first batch were awarded certificates in the presence of Nitin Suvarna, Vice-President, Capgemini, Bangalore, Vikram Kannoth, Director (Finance), Uma Ganesh, CEO, Global Talent Track, and Santosh Abraham, Vice-President, Nasscom Foundation.


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