EDUCATION TRIBUNE Tuesday, January 4, 2000, Chandigarh, India
 

GJU struggles for proper status
By V.P. Prabhakar
THE battle is on to get past ‘mistakes’ rectified in order to ensure proper status for Guru Jambheshwar University of Hisar. Although the University, northern India’s first technical university, was set up on October 20,1995, it has a chequered career in this very short span. With the recent decision of Haryana Government to bring this university within the ambit of the Department of Technical Education, only part of the mistakes have been rectified. The question of affiliation of existing colleges of engineering, technology and management with this university needs to be looked into afresh by the state government.

Nothing right with this college
From Bipin Bhardwaj
DERA BASSI (PATIALA):
Undergraduate students attending classes under mango trees. Nothing more can reflect the poor academic environment at the local Government Degree College here.

Autonomous colleges on the anvil
By J.P. Garg
THE University Grants Commission has sought a list of good colleges from this region which could be accorded the status of ‘autonomous colleges’. More than 150 autonomous colleges have already been functioning for the past about one decade, mainly in the states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Gujarat and Rajasthan, out of which TN and AP have shown gratifying results. For the states and universities located in this region, it will be a new adventure.

Career hotline
Pervin Malhotra

Deadline

DIARYTop

 







 

GJU struggles for proper status
By V.P. Prabhakar

THE battle is on to get past ‘mistakes’ rectified in order to ensure proper status for Guru Jambheshwar University of Hisar.

Although the University, northern India’s first technical university, was set up on October 20,1995, it has a chequered career in this very short span. With the recent decision of Haryana Government to bring this university within the ambit of the Department of Technical Education, only part of the mistakes have been rectified. The question of affiliation of existing colleges of engineering, technology and management with this university needs to be looked into afresh by the state government.

It is hoped that the state government will make amendments in the University Act for this purpose in the next Assembly session after the mid-term elections, says vice-chancellor K.C. Bangar. This is of utmost importance, he emphasises.

The Indian society is undergoing revolution in every field. The emerging socio-economic system will require specialists in the new kinds of vocation. The conventional centres of higher education are slowly but steadily responding to the new challenges. Realising the present and future needs of technical manpower required in industry, business, commerce and also in the government, this university was established on October 20,1995. This technical university is committed to promising studies in the emerging areas of technologies, environment, media, non-conventional energy sources, computers and management.

Despite this, a tussle started from the very beginning between the Technical Education Department and the Higher Education Department on administrative control. The then Planning Secretary of Haryana had pointed out that it would be easy to get liberal grants from various institutions, including the Central Government and the Planning Commission, if the university control was given to the Technical Education Department. However, his pleadings fell on deaf ears.

Mr Bhajan Lal, the then chief minister, at the time of inauguration announced that all four colleges in four districts would be affiliated with Guru Jambheshwar University, thereby upsetting the entire process of this institution. Confusion prevailed even in the bureaucracy over the announcement as this needed a change in the University Act. However, keeping in view the wishes of the then Chief Minister this was carried out.

It became all hotch potch. The then existing technical colleges were also affiliated with the university. Even the postgraduate Regional Centre at Sirsa was transferred to the university from Kurukshetra University.

However, the character of the university was again changed when the then Chief Minister, Mr Bansi Lal, transferred back the colleges of four districts in Hisar, Sirsa, Bhiwani and Jind to the MDU, Rohtak and Kurukshetra. A little later, all engineering, technology and management colleges were also reverted back to the respective university of Rohtak and Kurukshetra, making GJU a residential university alone.

Mr Bansi Lal also banned recruitment in GJU. The university, which in the beginning had jurisdiction all over the state, was now confined to the campus only.

The act and statute of GNU were amended accordingly and the same approved by the President of India. By doing this no institute of engineering, technology and management can be affiliated to this university today.

Dr Bangar sees this as a major setback for the development and betterment of technical and professional education in the state. Following Haryana, other states like Punjab and Delhi also established technical universities to promote technical, professional and job-oriented education in their states. All engineering, technology and management institutes in these states are affiliated to their technical universities. Even the entrance tests for these institutes are being held by these. It is another matter, that last year the Punjab Technical University bungled the CET results.

The other two universities of MDU and KU are providing higher education in conventional subjects. Hence, all three universities are placed under the purview of the Department of Higher Education. Under it are fifty or so degree colleges. The grant-in-aid and other university matters, including creation of posts, faculties and departments are processed by the Department of Higher Education.

However, according to the GJU Vice-Chancellor, the staff of Higher Education Department has no idea of the highly technical requirements of GJU. An admixture of courses have been started in GJU.

At present GJU gets a major share of grant-in-aid from the state government. The university is already getting financial assistance from the University Grants Commission and other related funding agencies. The UGC has, under the Ninth Plan, sanctioned Rs 1.37 crore for this prestigious university. Other grants like Rs 20 lakh for setting up of a computer centre and Rs 13 lakh for purchase of equipment for the university library have already been received from the UGC.

There is scope to get grants from the World Bank and international agencies which provide liberal assistance for promotion of technical education.

However, as it remains with the Higher Education Department, GJU gets low priority in the allocation of funds, feels the Vice-Chancellor. All technical institutes located in Haryana are getting sufficient grants from the Technical Education Department.

The matter was considered by the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, at a meeting with the Principal Secretary, Financial Commissioner, Education, and the Vice-Chancellor of GJU and latter it was placed before the Cabinet which approved the transfer of GJU to the Technical Education Department and the orders issued accordingly by the state government.

With this, the state government is likely to lift the ban on GJU appointments. There are about 200 post lying vacant.

Mr H.C. Disodia, Commissioner of Technical Education, Haryana, says the World Bank is assisting in strengthening of technical education under which polytechnics are being upgraded. Now efforts would be made to include GJU in the next phase so that World Bank funds can be obtained for the university as well.

Mr Disodia and Dr Bangar feel that engineering colleges and other management institutes should also be transferred to the university at the earliest.
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Nothing right with this college
From Bipin Bhardwaj

DERA BASSI (PATIALA): Undergraduate students attending classes under mango trees. Nothing more can reflect the poor academic environment at the local Government Degree College here.

Affiliated to Punjabi University, Patiala, the college was established in 1975. Since then the college has faced acute shortage of funds with scanty furniture, the students are forced to share desks or sit in the open under the shade of trees in the college campus.

Insufficient rooms in the college building is another problem which aggravates during rains. Sources attribute the state of affairs to paucity of funds from the Punjab Government. Limited aid from the University Grant Commission (UGC) has halted development works. Grants to the college are given by the UGC and the government jointly.

If the UGC releases funds to the college as per the demands, the government has to contribute an equal amount. But, whenever the college authorities have approached the government for funds, it has showed unwillingness for the same.

The college library is spacious but lacks books in the reference section. In the real sense there is no reference section as such. Instead of borrowing books from the library, poor and needy students from surrounding villages have to go for either second-hand or new books which means extra burden on their pockets. Because of shortage of books in the library, keen students are unable to compete with students of various city colleges.

The college canteen run from ramshackle premises on the verge of a collapse. Teachers often use the partially covered canteen veranda to conduct classes. Classes are often held under a covered platform in the college courtyard.

Dust has accumulated on ceiling fans in classrooms and these have begin to rust because of disuse due to power failure. The absence of tube-rods and bulbs in classrooms makes these dump. Scorching heat in summers the teachers to take classes in the open. Plaster on walls of different classrooms can be scent peeled off at many places.

In the absence of common rooms for girls and boys, students often gather in the shade of trees during free time. They have no shelter to spend time comfortably where they can go through their lessons or do homework during college hours.

Besides boxing, not a single game has been introduced in the college since its establishment. The playground is uneven and covered with weeds and shrubs.

The staircase looks like a junk yard with broken furniture and other waste material dumped on it and the entrance locked on the first floor. The only water cooler is in a deplorable state. With cobwebs inside, it has become a breeding centre for insects.

The principal of the college, Mrs Satwant Juneja, says the number of students has increased to 850 from 250 since 1975 but the number of Class IV employees remains 17. “We are doing our best to meet the needs by raising funds from parent-teacher funds and other sources. The college is likely to get Rs 9 lakh from the government within a month. The money will be spent on constructing classrooms and buying furniture” says Mrs Juneja.Top


 

Autonomous colleges on the anvil
By J.P. Garg

THE University Grants Commission has sought a list of good colleges from this region which could be accorded the status of ‘autonomous colleges’. More than 150 autonomous colleges have already been functioning for the past about one decade, mainly in the states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Gujarat and Rajasthan, out of which TN and AP have shown gratifying results. For the states and universities located in this region, it will be a new adventure.

The concept of autonomous colleges is not a new one. Way back in 1966, the Kothari Education Commission had envisaged and recommended the creation of such colleges. In acquiescence with the recommendations of subsequent commissions and the National Education Policy of 1986, the UGC has issued guidelines to universities to motivate these to set up autonomous colleges. The latest circular is an attempt in this direction.

The need to establish such colleges arose basically to improve the standards of higher education in the country. It was felt that the system of affiliating colleges to a university was designed at a time when the number of universities and colleges was small. Thereafter, the number of affiliated educational institutions increased manifold. The syllabi and curricula were formulated by the universities which also acted as examining bodies and awarded degrees. Any change in the pattern of education could be brought about at the university level only and the implementation became too cumbersome and time consuming. The affiliated colleges had hardly any academic freedom and the existence of a large number of these colleges became a drag on improving standards and making innovations.

Keeping in view the shortcomings of the closed system of affiliated colleges, the Education Commission recommended that: “Where there is an outstanding college which has shown the capacity to improve itself markedly, consideration should be given to granting it an autonomous status.”

This would involve the power to frame its own rules of admissions, to prescribe its courses of study, to conduct examinations and to introduce its own system of evaluation. The parent university’s role will be one of general supervision and the actual conferment of degrees.”

It was also stressed that this privilege cannot be permanent and can be revoked if the college, at any stage, begins to deteriorate in its academic standards. In a nutshell, the aim is to provide an opportunity to the teachers and students to utilise their creative talent, harness their energy, make innovations and improve the standards of teaching, examination and research.

An autonomous college will itself control the content and quality of instruction, devise its own pedagogical tools and determine the standard of examination. The degrees will, however, be awarded by the parent university with the name of the college mentioned on the certificate, till the institution is accorded the status of a “deemed university” in due course of time.

The UGC has fixed criteria for granting autonomy to the institutions. These include academic reputation and previous performance in the university examinations and their academic/co-curricular activities, academic attainments of the faculty, mode of selection of students and teachers, infrastructural facilities like rooms, laboratories, equipment and library, financial resources that the management/state government can provide for the development of the institution, the responsiveness of the administrative structure to the views of staff and students and the extent of academic freedom enjoyed by the faculty for advanced scholarship, research and experimentation and its involvement in educational innovation and reforms.

No doubt, the system of affiliated colleges has become stagnant, to the extent that some well-meaning educationists have started considering these colleges as almost irrelevant to the present needs of the society. Infusing dynamism into this decadent system in the form of autonomy can go a long way in stemming the rot and restoring its lost glory.

However, with the prevailing scenario of overall degradation of values, it will be a Herculean task first to convert some of these run-of-the-mill colleges into autonomous institutions and then to achieve the desired academic goals. Some pertinent questions which come to one’s mind are:

(i) Do we have sufficient number of admission seekers to undergraduate courses who would wean themselves away from the beaten track and opt for innovative techniques of instruction, periodic assessment and examination?

(ii) Do we have such dedicated faculty members who would whole-heartedly devote their time and energy in developing, upgrading and continuously refining these techniques?

(iii) Will the powers-that-be accord, in letter and spirit, conducive academic freedom to the principals and staff and not interfere in the day-to-day working of such colleges?

(iv) With the universities and state governments already reeling under a resource crunch, will adequate funds be available to create requisite infrastructural facilities?

(v) Will establishment of autonomous colleges not create some sort of an hierarchy, with non-autonomous colleges losing their lustre still further?

The idea here is not to strike a pessimistic note, but to forewarn, lest the system is entrapped into the same kind of problems which similar exercises have in the past. A high degree of planning and commitment would be required to establish autonomous colleges. A detailed survey of existing colleges be conducted to identify the pitfalls and necessary safeguards ensured. Principals and teachers of such colleges be properly trained, motivated and provided adequate incentives.

Only those with a high level of commitment, visionary outlook and courage of conviction should be appointed heads to these colleges. Above all, autonomy and accountability must go hand in hand because the former is meaningless without the latter.

If we can set up and successfully run even a few autonomous colleges in this region, it will be a great achievement in modernising our education system.Top


 

Career hotline
Pervin Malhotra

I’m keen on pursuing a career in banking. Could you tell me about the functions and career prospects of bank probationary officers.

Sushil Kumar Mishra, Cossipure, Calcutta

The nationalised banks recruit Bank Probationary Officers (POs) through a written test and interview. Eligibility is graduation in any discipline. Recruitment is through the regional offices of the Banking Service Recruitment Board (BSRB). After a 2-year training period that entails dealing with different banking functions like loans, foreign exchange, savings and current accounts, the probationers are appointed as officers who work their way up to become managers. After about 10 years of service, most POs reach senior positions such as Deputy Managers or even General Managers. As a manager, you would be responsible for the functioning of your particular branch. You are in charge of staff welfare, legal matters and profit margins. In an advisory and consultative capacity, you have to understand your prospective client’s interest and help him choose the best option. You could be posted at the head office or at any of the branches within the country or overseas.

Promotions are by and large through departmental exams held every 2 or 3 years. Seniority is a key consideration as well.

I am a graduate keen on joining the Indian Army. Could you tell me about various jobs available for women?

Sumati Sinha, New Delhi

Although women have been traditionally recruited in the armed forces in the medical and nursing corps, today the Indian Army offers several other openings for women. There are a greater number of women in non-combatant areas in the Army such as the army service corps, ordinance corps, the judge advocate general’s branch, etc. Women are selected after graduation and through the SSB and medical tests for only Short Service Commissioned jobs. Women are not granted Permanent Commissioned jobs. Short Service Commission which is usually for a period of five years is extendable to ten years.

Women are inducted as officers through the Women Special Entry Scheme into the following branches of the Army:

1. Non-Technical Entry: includes jobs in Army Service Corps, Army Ordnance Corps, Signals, Corps of Engineers, Corps of Electrical & Mechanical Engineering.

2. Technical Entry: includes jobs in Corps of Engineers, Corps of Electrical & Mechanical Engineering, Signals.

3. Specialist Entry: includes jobs in Army Service Corps, Army Education Corps, Intelligence Corps.

Eligibility:

Unmarried females, issueless widows/issueless divorcees.

Age: 19-25 years for graduates; 21-27 years for postgraduates.

For (1): BA/BCom/BCA/BSc (PCM) with 60% aggregate (50% for those possessing NCC ‘C’ Certificate with ‘B’ grade.

For (2): BE/BTech in Civil/Electrical/Mechanical/Electro-nics/Computer Science & Telecommunications Engg.

For (3): The following qualifications with 50% aggregate:

*Postgraduation in Biochemistry/Microbiology/Org-anic Chemistry.

*3-year Diploma/Degree in Hotel Management.

*Postgraduate Diploma in Mass Communication/Journalism/Public Relations.

*Postgraduation in Physics/Maths/Computer Applications/English/History.

*Graduation with Diploma in Computer Science/Personnel Management/Materials Management.

The candidates have to meet certain physical standards. Shortlisted candidates are called for interviews conducted by the SSB. The selection procedure consists of two stages based on Psychological Aptitude Test. After interview, the recommended candidates will have to appear for medical examination.

Selected candidates undergo training for a period of six months before they are granted commission.

For the Law Cadre, the eligibility is a 3-year or 5-year degree in Law with a minimum of 55% aggregate. The age requirement being 21-27 years.

Women with an MBBS degree from the Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC) can join the Army Medical Services while BDS degree-holders are inducted into the Army Dental Corps.

The notifications for entry into the army are published from time to time in leading national dailies.

For further information, you may contact:

*Additional Directorate General of Recruiting (Women Entry Section), West Block-III, RK Puram, New Delhi 110066.

I’m keen on making a career in the armed forces. Could you please tell me about the tests conducted by the Services Selection Board (SSB).

Anand Chatterjee, New Delhi

Selection to a Permanent Commission or Short Service Commission job in the armed forces is mainly through a written test, interview and medical examination.

If you clear the written exam, you are called for an interview before the SSB where you are administered a series of intelligence, psychological and physical tests in addition to group discussions and individual interviews. The SSB comprises the interviewing officer, The Group Testing Officer (GTO) and a psychologist.

The main purpose of SSB is to assess the overall personality and identify potential leadership qualities in prospective candidates.
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Deadline

Armed Forces

Jan 24 Indian Navy, INS Venduruthy Naval Base, Kochi 682004 (Ker).

  • Commercial Diving Course

Elig: Males aged between 18-28-yrs, class X or 10+2 (50% agg). Should be fluent in Hindi or English.

Selection Procedure: Aptitude test, and training.

Appln Format: See Employment News and leading national dailies.

Computers

Feb 25 Symbiosis Centre for Information Technology (SCIT), 7th Floor, Atur Centre, Model Colony, Gokhale Cross Road, Pune 411016.

Ph: 020-5674150/5677427, email: scit @ ip. eth net.

Master’s Programme in Information Technology (2-yr, F/T, Autonomous).

Elig: Bachelor’s Degree (50% agg.) in any discipline with 1-yr, computer education as part of the syllabus or acquired from a reputed institute.

Selection Procedure: Entrance test and interview, Test on March 5 at 5 centres including Delhi.

Appln Form: Send Rs 550/- by DD favouring “Symbiosis Centre for Information Technology” payable at Pune. Or Rs 500/- in cash at counter.

Corresp Courses — Management

Jan 15 National Institute of Personnel Management, 45, Jhowtala Road (1 Floor), PB No. 10275, Calcutta 700019.

Ph: 033-2475650, 2801759.

  • PG Diploma in Personnel Management (3 yrs).

Elig: Bachelor’s degree in any discipline,. those processing Master’s/Law/Engg/Medi/Agri degree and Chartered/Costs/Mgmt Accountants/MBAs are eligible for direct admission.

Selection Procedure: Admission test on Feb 13 at 21 centres including New Delhi or Scores in AIMA-MAT.

Appln Form: Send Rs 230/- by DD favouring “National Institute of Personnel Management” payable at Calcutta to the above address or Rs 200/- in cash at counter.

Note: Last date for receiving Application Forms for Direct Admission: 29 Feb.

Law

Mar 15 National Law School of India University, Nagarbhavi, Bangalore. 560072.

Ph: 080-3213160, 3211303, Fax: 3217858.

1. Integrated BA LLB (Hons) (5 yrs).

2. LLM (2 yrs).

Specialisation in: Busi, Public, International, Personal, Criminal, Human Rights & Enviro Law.

Elig:

For 1): 10+2 (50% agg). Those appearing for final exams in March/April, 2000 may also apply. Age: Below 20 yrs (22-yrs for SC/ST) on 1 July, 2000.

For 2): BL/LLB/BALLB (50% agg).

Selection Procedure: Admission test on 7 May, 2000 at 7 centres including Delhi.

Appln Form: Send Rs 200/- by DD payable to “National Law School of India University, Bangalore” before March 1.

For 1): Last 11-yrs admission test papers can be obtained by sending Rs 350/- by DD.

Management

Jan 27 Professional Examination Board, MP, Chayan Bhavan, Main Road No. 1, Chinar Park (East), Bhopal-462011.

  • All India Entrance Test for MBA/MCA Courses in M.P.

Entrance Tests: Feb 20 at 7 centres including New Delhi.

Appln Form: Send Rs 275/- for MBA and Rs 150/- for MCA by crossed DD favouring “professional Examination Board” payable at Bhopal or in cash (Rs 200/- for MBA and Rs 100/- for MCA) at counter and at:

1) College of Correspondence & Courses, 5, Cavalry Lines, (Ph: 7256773)

2) Avanti Handloom, (Ph: 3368035).

Feb 04 Regional Engineering College, D/o Management Studies, Tiruchirappalli 620015 (TN)

  • MBA

Elig: Master’s/Bachelor’s degree in any discipline.

Selection Procedure: Entrance test on Feb 20 at 8 centres including New Delhi.

Appln Form & Prosp: Send Rs 600/- (Rs 200/- for SC/ST) by crossed DD favouring “The Principal, Regional Engineering College, Tiruchirapalli” payable at Tiruchirapalli-15 (SBI 1617) along with a request letter mentioning your full name and address, DD particulars, choice of test centre, along with three self-addressed slips to Dr M. Sachithanandam, Admissions Co-ordinator, before 21 Jan, Write your name on the reverse specifying MBA.

Medicine

Mar 30 Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, PO Sevagram, Wardha 442102 (Maha)

  • MBBS

Elig: 10+2 (1st attempt) with Eng, Phy, Chem & Bio with 50% (40% for SC/ST and OBC) agg in PCB Age: 17 years on Dec 31, 2000.

Selection Procedure: Entrance exam on May 16 at 4 centres including New Delhi.

Appln Form & 5-yr Model Q Papers: Send Rs 790/- by MO favouring “Dean, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences,” or in cash at counter. Write your name and full address on the MO form.

Research

Jan 24 Ch Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural Univer-sity, Hisar 125004

1 PhD:

Agri, Basic Sc, Home Sc & Animal Sc

2 MVSc

Further Info & Appln Form: Send Rs 180/- by IPO favouring the “Registrar” payable at HAU Post Office, Hisar to the Asstt. Registrar (PGS), PG Block, CCS HAU, Hisar by regd. post or Rs 150/- in cash at counter.

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DIARY

Learning an elixir
The more learning activities older persons engage in, the more they participate in community life, with positive effects on health and well-being, according to a research in Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, the UK and the USA. “Older people who continue to learn and play a role in society make fewer demands on welfare schemes, already under pressure in many countries,” explains Toshio Ohsako of the UNESCO Institute for Education. Patterns of learning and social participation vary according to gender: older men read more and participate in learning activities organised by professional bodies, while older women tend to get involved in social work and participate more in group activities.

Changing times
Casterton School, in Cumbria, UK, is proud of its long history and its connections with the literary world. Charlotte Bronte borrowed the school as a setting for Jane Eyre — although today’s school is a long way from the strict institution in the famous novel. Rock bands are as likely as flute lessons in today’s boarding schools. The starvation rations are out: instead, a girl rock band is the latest innovation. Infauna, Casterton’s attempt to break into the pop world, is part of a determined effort to cast off the austere image of boarding schools and reverse a decline in boarding, according to a BBC report. Casterton does fulfil some of the boarding-school cliches: it gets regularly excellent academic results, and it is a single-sex school, two features which teachers say are closely linked. But with fees of up to 12,000, a good education is the least parents can expect.

Africa’s education crisis
It is nearly a decade since world leaders met in Jomtien, Thailand, and made a commitment to providing basic and life-long education to all their citizens. But at the dawn of the new century, African countries, most of which signed the Jomtien Declaration on Education For All (EFA), have little to write home about. It is this realisation that dominated the discourse at the sub-Saharan Africa Regional Conference on Education For All held in Johannesburg, South Africa, recently, reports The Nation (Nairobi). Participants were concerned that Africa is entering the new millennium with a lot of unfinished business — low enrolment, high dropout rates, irrelevant curricula, among other things. — KSBTop