Education Notes

Education Notes


Law college vacancies

The principal’s post in all the 15 government law colleges in Rajasthan is vacant. Replying to a question in the state legislative assembly on April 19, the minister of state for higher educa-tion, Dayaram Parmar, said the matter of departmental promotions, through which these vacancies have to be filled, is sub judice. “So promotions are due and the principal’s post in the 15 law colleges is yet to be filled,” he said.

However, according to Parmar, all the 15 colleges are “functioning normally” with students attending classes on a regular basis. Besides government law colleges, there are 43 private colleges in the state, he informed the house.

In reply to another question, medical and health minister A.A. Khan informed the assembly that a recruitment drive to fill 21,000 new posts under the National Rural Health Mission will be initiated this year.

Jammu & Kashmir

IAUA preconditions for 2nd green revolution

At a special meeting of the Indian Agricultural Universities Association convened in Srinagar on April 27, vice chancellors of agricultural universities countrywide demanded a five-fold increase in Central government grants, and setting up of an Agriculture Educational Research Commission (AERC) to address issues confronting these institutions.

“We demand the setting up of AERC to address the issues facing agricultural universities so that a sustainable second green revolution is started,” C.S. Chakrabarti, president Indian Agricul-tural Universities Association (IAUA) told the media.

Among the other demands of IAUA are greater academic and financial autonomy for agricultural universities, and enhancement of financial assistance so the basic needs of teachers and researchers in these institutions are met. Chakrabarti suggested that state governments should directly allocate grants from their finance ministries to agricultural universities. “Agricultural universities need to be given impor-tance as it is these institutions which will provide the next generation technology and manpower for making the second green revolution happen,” he added.


Admission quota row

In a statement issued in Chandigarh on April 23, Punjab’s deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal took strong exception to a reported initiative of Thapar University to amend the varsity’s rules to abolish the admission quota of Punjab students in its engineering and polytechnic colleges without prior permission of the state government. According to Badal, Thapar University, Patiala, earlier known as Thapar Technology Campus, was allotted 250 acres of prime land at a highly concessional price by the Punjab government in 1956, with the objective of providing quality technical education to students of the state.

“Now Thapar University cannot be allowed to tweak rules, regulations and guidelines denying the legitimate admis-sion quota of the state government without taking our permission,” said the statement, adding that the deputy chief minister’s office has issued directions for taking all preventive, corrective, legislative and legal meas-ures to stop Thapar University from denying legitimate admissions to students from the state.

Currently, Thapar is a deemed university controlled by the Centre under UGC guidelines.


Mid-day meal monitoring system

Bihar’s chief minister Nitish Kumar launched an interactive voice response system (IVRS) for monitoring the state’s mid-day meal scheme in government schools on April 19. With the launch, Bihar became the second state after Uttar Pradesh to introduce the mid-day meal IVRS monitoring programme.

The state education department has initiated the IVRS — already in use in Indian Railways — to check “irregul-arities” in the mid-day meal programme in government schools in Bihar. Over 75,000 headmasters of government schools have been trained for effective implementation of the IVRS, according to education department officials.

While launching the monitoring system, Kumar lauded the state education department for this initiative and expressed the hope that it will ensure 100 percent coverage of students under the state’s mid-day meal programme.

Andaman & Nicobar

CII helping hand

The directorate of education of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands has inked an agreement with the Confed-eration of Indian Industry (CII), Institute of Quality, Bangalore to improve teaching-learning standards in the islands. A memorandum of underst-anding to this effect was signed recently between the CII Institute of Quality, Bangalore and directorate of education, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, CII announced in a statement issued on April 14.

Under the agreement, CII Institute of Quality will assist and facilitate the development of a roadmap for implem-entation of ‘Project Shikshotam’ in government schools in Andaman and Nicobar. The institute will initially develop ten schools and improve their performance through mutual sharing and learning.


RTE Act made more inclusive

An amending bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha on April 24 to include challenged children in the Right to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, which was substantially cleared by the Supreme Court on April 12.

Moving the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amend-ment) Bill, 2010, Union HRD minister Kapil Sibal said it makes all benefits conferred upon children by the Act available to challenged children, and provides the right to receive home-based education to children with severe disabilities. “It is a historic piece of legislation and will have a huge impact on quality education for children in classes I-VIII in the six-14 age group,” he said calling for the involvement of all stakeholders, including children, parents, NGOs and schools and not just government, for enabling the RTE Act.