Thursday, February 28, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Distance education gaining ground in rural areas 
Gaurav Choudhury

The Indian Vice-President, Mr Krishan Kant, has called for a radical shift in the pattern of education, where it would no longer be necessary for learners to go to universities, but the universities would go to the learners.

He was speaking at the 15th Annual Conference of Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU) being organised in the Capital by the Indira Gandhi National Open University. (IGNOU).

The information revolution today has resulted in a virtual collapse of traditional institutions, paving the way for the emergence of a global village characterised by “shrinking time, shrinking space and disappearing borders.”

With the costs of communications plummeting and innovative tools becoming easier to use, people around the world have seized all possible opportunities to make rapid progress, he added.

The Vice-President, who also released a book during the conference, emphasised that in today’s information age, the interactive information technology has brought to the distance learner, virtual classroom with intense interactivity and the sharing of resources and information. Open university system responds to the demands of this information age, where everybody has access to knowledge and information, giving the learner the opportunity to grow without limitations of time and space.

“In our country, we have one of the largest distance education provision, with about 25 per cent of the students studying through open universities and the distance education provision of the conventional universities. The Government of India has proposed that in the 10th Plan period 2002-07, this provision shall be strengthened to cover about 40 per cent of students in the sector of higher education and training. We need to think of viable strategies that shall fulfill this mundane goal,” the Vice- President said.

The Vice- Chancellor of IGNOU, Prof H. P. Dikshit, declared in his address that the university proposes to establish around 2000 satellite down-link facilities and 40 FM radio stations to strengthen Gyan Darshan, the educational channel and Gyan Vani, the radio cooperative of IGNOU. He announced that the first of the FM stations has started transmission and another two are under test run whereas six more should be operational by March 2002.

These developments have led to the availability of 8760 hours of TV time and in the near future, more than 350, 000 hours of radio time will be available when all the FM radio stations become operational. Apart from these, the Ministry of Information and Technology intends to collaborate and share their resources in the North-East. With the availability of these, we have vast possibilities for using radio/TV, audio/video teleconferencing and other technologies in order to take education to the remotest corner of the country, particularly in the regional languages, he added.

Over 100 international scholars from more than 20 countries participated in the three-day conference.

Mr M.V. Subbiah, Chairman of Murugappa Group was confered with JRD Tata Corporate Leadership Award for 2001 by the Deputy Chairperson of Rajya Sabha, Najma Heptullah.
Mr M.V. Subbiah, Chairman of Murugappa Group was conferred with JRD Tata Corporate Leadership Award for 2001 by the Deputy Chairperson of Rajya Sabha, Najma Heptullah.

Tata Award: The JRD Tata Corporate Leadership Award for 2001 was conferred on Mr M.V. Subbiah, Chairman of Murugappa Group by the All India Management Association (AIMA) at its Foundation Day celebrations here.

AIMA’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Management was conferred on Mr Faqir Chand Kohli, Chief Executive of Tata Consultancy Services. The Public Service Excellence Awards were presented to Dr T Chandrashekhar, IAS and Mr J. S. Mishra, Secretary, Urban Development, UP Government. The awards were given away by the Deputy Chairperson of Rajya Sabha, Najma Heptullah.

In his acceptance speech, Mr Subbiah said talent in the country “needs to be nourished and encouraged and provided with the right environment. This is one of the primary role of the leader.” He said the “core ingredients essential for leadership were national pride, vision, integrity, discipline, mutual respect, passion, humility, and nurturing future leaders.”

Mrs Heptulla called for the application of new management concepts in public administration at the field level. “Why can’t management skill be applied in the government sector? It can be used for health and education management at the district level. It can be applied for coordinating the works of different agencies in a given area,” she said.

Indo-French Scientific Cooperation In the framework of the ongoing Indo-French Technical and Scientific Cooperation in water and wastes management, a joint training centre has been set up in the Department of Civil Engineering, at the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi.

Administered by a Joint Advisory Council with experts from IIT, Delhi and National Institute of Applied Science, Lyons, France, this unit has been set up to provide training in the field of water and waste technologies and to develop academic exchange programmes between Indian and French universities and research institutes.

Its objective is also to create a laboratory for water and waste analysis for the private sector. A number of reputed French industries and consultancies are participating in the project.

Amity conference: Amity Business School (ABS), Noida, held its fourth annual international conference, “International Business Horizon- Inbush”. Mr Rajeev Pratap Singh Rudy, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry inaugurated the conference, which was attended by international observers and captains of industry.

Addressing the students, Mr Rudy said that in this rapidly shrinking global village, the political, ecological and social ramifications are as important as the economic fallout. Besides an international outlook, the global managers of tomorrow need to possess in-depth understanding of all these aspects. “Only then can we hope for sustainable development,” he said.

The two-day meet was organised by the students of the Centre of International Business of ABS and was aimed at building linkages between the academia and the corporate world and to analyse whether the concept of global village is sustainable.



Insurance courses in colleges emphasised 

The Commerce Association of Dyal Singh College of the University of Delhi organised a one-day seminar on “Strategic Issues in Corporate Management” on February 26. Inaugurating the seminar, the Chairman of Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA), Mr N. Rangachari, said that it was difficult to isolate India from globalisation process. In the new scenario, the path for developing the insurance sector was to expand the customer base. He emphasised on the importance of competent professionals and the need for a large number of professionals to be trained by the universities and colleges by introducing new courses in insurance.

He said that IRDA has initiated steps for setting up of an Institute of Insurance Management in collaboration with the Government of Andhra Pradesh.

Mr Rangachari emphasised the need to introduced courses to train competent professional people in insurance sector.

He said that there was a large market for the emerging insurance sector in India and the separation of ownership from regulation is a positive step taken by the government. He suggested the introduction of under-graduate courses on insurance at the university level and offered all possible help from the IRDA. 



Engg entrance exam: CBSE extends form sale date

New Delhi, February 27
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) today extended the last date for the sale and submission of All India Engineering Entrance Examination application forms. The last date for the sale of application forms is March 7 and the students would have to submit the application by March 11, a CBSE release said. TNS


College meet

Rewari, February 27
Mamta Yadav was declared the best athlete in the annual athletic meet of the Public Girls College, which conclude here on Tuesday. She bagged first position in 400 mt, 800 mt, and 1500 mt races.

Suman won the 100 mt race as well as the long jump while Sudesh was the winner in the 200 mt. Other winners included Ranu in the shot put, Sangeeta in the discuss throw, Suman in chatty race, Charu Jain in fancy dress and Pooja Yadav and Sarla Verma in the three-legged race. OC


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