EDUCATION TRIBUNE

Chancellor’s advice vs university autonomy
Varinder Walia
T
he issue of autonomy for the universities for safeguarding academic interests, the academic environment and ensuring quality education has been hotly debated recently. The issue has been revived once again with the Punjab Governor and Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University, Gen S F Rodrigues (retd), “advising” the Vice-Chancellor of GNDU on the appointment of the head of a particular department.

Education fair a big draw
Rajmeet Singh
I
t is now not easy for the fly-by-night operators to fleece students on the pretext of sending them abroad for higher education. With the surveys projecting the North as a potential market for prospective students, various foreign universities, colleges and educational consultants are bringing requisite information to their doorsteps.

Wealth and grades
A
new survey conducted by Britain's Higher Education Funding Council suggests that parents who want their children to go to university should live in a detached house in a salubrious neighbourhood, read The Telegraph, avoid having sons and give birth to their daughters in September.

Admission caution
Rajiv Shukla
T
he rigmarole called higher education has become so complex that an
admission-seeker should, before taking admission to a university course, confirm whether the course is actually valid or not.
Because, paradoxical though it may sound, there may be a situation where a valid, lawfully established university could be running an unauthorised course.

Admission Deadline

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Chancellor’s advice vs university autonomy
Varinder Walia

The issue of autonomy for the universities for safeguarding academic interests, the academic environment and ensuring quality education has been hotly debated recently. The issue has been revived once again with the Punjab Governor and Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University, Gen S F Rodrigues (retd), “advising” the Vice-Chancellor of GNDU on the appointment of the head of a particular department. Can this be justified legally or academically? This is a fundamental question because on this depends the future of the universities in Punjab.

The “advice” of Governor in his capacity as Chancellor with regard to the appointment of departmental Heads/Deans is bound to open a Pandora’s box. The “directive” or “advice” is seen as an attempt to erode the autonomy of universities, which Vice-Chancellors had been enjoying since the inception of these institutions. Interestingly, the Chancellor’s “advice” had been made on the basis of a communication sent from Chief Minister’s office to Raj Bhavan.

The question arises whether there is any such precedent in the recent past. If the “advice” is implemented in toto, it would definitely affect the on going rotation system in the universities. However, the students of the particular department say that the statutes, which were framed at the time of creation of the university, have been rendered obsolete and hence there is dire need to amend them.

The “advice” of the Chancellor has come after the apex court dismissed a petition filed by the students of the Sports Medicine and Physiotherapy Department.

What does autonomy mean? Autonomy is not certainly to act as one desires nor is it to go beyond what is permissible as per law. It is to act independently without any outside influence as per statutory provisions. In this case, the acceptance of “advice” by the Vice-Chancellor has resulted in the denial of claim of the next incumbent for the post of Head. If the rationale involved in the letter is further extended, it would mean the Vice-Chancellors, in future, may be advised to act in a particular fashion even if it violates the statutes.

The Guru Nanak Dev University Teachers Association claims that the direct intervention by the Governor has baffled the academicians. To date, the Board of Control, Board of Studies, Research Degree Committees and other academic bodies have been working independently without any influence of the other officials of the university, including the Vice-Chancellor, within the domain of statutory provisions.

For example, the Research Degree Committee of the department concerned, without any extra-constitutional influence, takes independent decision on a research proposal. Likewise, with what academic qualification and specialisation the faculty member(s) is/are to be recruited are decided within the university. Any outside influence for deciding the academic qualifications of the teachers to be recruited, amounts to interference and hence denial of university autonomy.

Moreover, the need for interdisciplinary studies is well established in academics. Would it have been possible to start the field of biotechnology, if it were mandatory to have teachers only with the background of biotechnology?

In modern areas like bio-informatics, one needs people with specialisation of biology, computer applications, information technology and even medicines. These are academic matters, which need to be settled by academic bodies and not by political interference.

Any binding as envisaged in the “directive” issued by the Governor must be viewed as a highly retrograde step. Elsewhere, at places like JNU, Delhi, the number of teachers with diverse backgrounds serving in the same department has been much more.

Universities in Punjab have been rather conservative and slow to adopt an inter-disciplinary approach. Whatever little progress has been made on this front would be nullified, if universities are to be directed under the influence of vested interests, as has been done in the case referred above.

Punjab’s record on giving autonomy to its universities has been good so far. This is perhaps the major reason that the academic institutions of Punjab don’t lag much behind in academic standards. One can only hope that the autonomy of universities, which at the moment seems to be under threat, is allowed for ensuring high academic standards.

Those who are in favour of amending the prevailing statues put forth their argument saying that the statutes were enacted when this university was established and there were no professional departments on the campus.

If the Constitution of India can be modified hundreds of times since its inception, the statutes too need to be amended with the inception of professional departments and the fast changing education scenario. The statutes are enacted as per the requirements of courses in line with national/international norms and not according to the whims of the teachers.

However, the GNDUTA says the university is competent enough to initiate such amendments through a set procedure. No amendment can be implemented until it is formally approved by the competent bodies. Thus, the selective implementation of Governor’s “advice” before the amendment seems to be intriguing.
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Education fair a big draw
Rajmeet Singh

It is now not easy for the fly-by-night operators to fleece students on the pretext of sending them abroad for higher education. With the surveys projecting the North as a potential market for prospective students, various foreign universities, colleges and educational consultants are bringing requisite information to their doorsteps.

While most of the students are going abroad for studying management and computer-related courses in the UK and Canada, some of them are diversifying in courses like the Certified Planners Course, fashion designing, languages, call center training and graphic designing.

To address the expectations and concerns of students, the concept of education fair has become a hit in the region. The 10th two-day International Education Fair held recently at the CII, Chandigarh, was yet another pointer in this direction

“The students want to have a face-to-face interaction with the representatives and consultants of various universities to know about the functioning of these institutes, options about the fee structure and quality of education,” said Mr Siddharth Jain, organiser of the education fair. “By bringing various institutes and consultants under one roof, the fair enables the students and their parents to study various career options and the fee structure through free counselling and seminars,” he added.

Mr Amit Dutt, a student who visited the fair, told the Tribune, “I have made it a point to attend education fairs. Earlier, I was not able to decide about higher studies. Now I have decided to do a course in language training”.

At the fair, the representatives of foreign universities and consultants gave information on admission procedures that are followed by various institutes in Canada, USA, England, Italy, Germany, Ireland, Cyprus, Russia, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and Singapore.
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Wealth and grades

A new survey conducted by Britain's Higher Education Funding Council suggests that parents who want their children to go to university should live in a detached house in a salubrious neighbourhood, read The Telegraph, avoid having sons and give birth to their daughters in September.

According to The Telegraph, it plotted the proportion of young people in each of the Britain's 8,400 electoral wards who enter higher education and found a close correlation with measures of underprivileged, material deprivation and child poverty. Those aged 18 or 19 who live in the most advantaged 20 per cent of neighbourhoods were five or six times more likely to enter higher education than those living in the most disadvantaged 20 per cent.

"There are broad and deep divisions in the chances of going into higher education according to where you live. Many cities and towns are educationally divided, containing neighbourhoods where almost no one goes to university and neighbourhoods where two out of three or more will enter higher education," the study said.

"Children in low participation areas are likely to be living in local authority rented homes in some of England's most deprived wards with, for example, less space and fewer household goods than their peers in high participation areas.

Often, their nearest secondary school will have only a small proportion of its pupils gaining five GCSE A* to C grades. In contrast, children in high participation areas are frequently near schools where very nearly all the pupils gain these grades," it added. — ANI
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Admission caution
Rajiv Shukla

The rigmarole called higher education has become so complex that an admission-seeker should, before taking admission to a university course, confirm whether the course is actually valid or not. Because, paradoxical though it may sound, there may be a situation where a valid, lawfully established university could be running an unauthorised course.

This is because, legally, a university is competent to confer any degree it deems fit. Section 22 (1) of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956 (3 of 1956) says: “The right of conferring or granting degrees shall be exercised only by a university established or incorporated by or under a Central Act, a Provincial Act or a State Act… “ However, this right is not absolute. Compare the above law with the following one and you will know what I am saying:

Section 10.A (1) of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 (102 of 1956) stipulates:

“Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or any other law for the time being in force:-

(a) no person shall establish a medical college or

(b) no medical college shall:-

(i) open a new or higher course of study or training (including a postgraduate course of study or training) which would enable a student of such course for training to qualify himself for the award of any recognised medical qualification… except with the previous permission of the Central Government obtained in accordance with the provisions of this section.”

The explanation given for the purposes of this section clearly says that a “person” includes any university or a trust, but does not include the Central Government.

The contrast is clear and loud: The UGC Act passed in 1956 entitles every university to grant any degree it deems fit, while The Indian Medical Council Act, passed just a couple months later in 1956, denies universities what has been awarded by the UGC Act. The Indian Medical Council Act, in essence, says that a university cannot run a medical course or establish a medical faculty without the approval of the Medical Council of India.

Likewise in 1987, Parliament enacted The All-India Council for Technical Education Act, 1987, which gave the AICTE absolute powers in the monitoring of technical education in the country.

Before jumping for a university degree, be careful to confirm whether or not the course you are seeking to study is duly approved by the corresponding apex monitoring body.
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Admission Deadline
Pervin Malhotra

Armed Forces

February 14

Indian Navy, Post Box 4921, Safdarjang Enclave, New Delhi 110029
www.nausena-bharti.mil.in.

Matric Entry Recruit (MER) for 2/ 2005 batch

Elig: Unmarried Indian males Cl 10 (55%, Sc, Maths)/10+2 (50%,Phy, Maths) Dob: 01 Aug ’85 - 31 Jul ’88.

Details: Employment News (22-28 Jan)/Website

January 28

Coast Guard HQ, Director (HRD), Coast Guard Recruitment Cell, PB No. 127, NOIDA 201301 (UP)
www.indiancoastguard.org

Recruitment of Assistant Commandants (January ‘05) in:
1) General Duty
2) General Duty-Pilot
3) CPL Holders
4) Tech Branch

Elig: For 1: Bachelor’s Deg (Maths & Phys in 10+2).
For 2: BSc (Phys & Maths), PABT pass.
For 3: 10+2 with valid CPL (Bachelor’s deg prfd).
For 4: BE/ BTech in Arch/ Marchine/ Mech/ Elect/Telecomm & Electron/ Design/ Prodn/ Aeronautical/ Control Engg/ CoC 1st Class Engg of Motorship/ Coll of Marchine Engg (IMET, Kol)/ A & B of IE in above fields or equiv.

DoB: For 1: 01 Jul ‘80 - 30 Jun ‘84
For 2 & 3:
01 Jul ‘78 - 30 Jun 86
For 4: 01 Jul ‘75 - 30 Jun ‘84.

Selectn: Tests, Interview (At Chennai/ Del/Kol/M’bai).

Appln F: Send in prescribed format to above add or d’load from website.

Details: Employment News (January 15-21)/Website

Engineering

Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information & Communication Technology, Gandhinagar (Guj).
www.da-iict.org

BTech (Info & Comm Tech) (4-yr)

Elig: 10+2 (PCM).

Selectn: AIEEE 2005

Details: Website.

Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), A-34, Phase VIII, Industrial Area, Mohali 160071 (GoI, M/o Comm & IT)
www.cedtimohali.org

Adv Dip in CADD Engg (26-wk)

Elig: Deg/ Dip in (Mech/ Prodn/ Auto or equiv in Mech field)

Appln F: Send appln on plain paper (mention your name, mailing add, educn qual) with reqd docs and course fees by DD fvg "The Director C-DAC" payable at Mohali to The Director, C-DAC, Post Bag No. 10 at above add.

Details: Website

Hotel Management

February 21

National Council for Hotel Management & Catering Technology, Library Avenue, Pusa Complex, New Delhi 110012
www.nchmct.org

Joint Entrance Exam 2005
For: BSc in Hospitality & Hotel Admin (in collab with IGNOU)

Elig: 10+2 with Eng Age Limit: 22 yrs

Selectn: JEE: 24 April ‘05.

Appln F: Send Rs 850/- by DD fvg "National Council for Hotel Management and Catering Technology ", payable at New Delhi to JEE Cell, 4th Floor at above add. Write your name and add behind DD.

Details: Website

Management

March 1

ABV-Indian Institute of Information Technology & Management, Morena Link Road, Gwalior (Deemed Univ)
www.iiitm.ac.in

MBA (Gen, ITES, Infrastruct Mgt, Public Serv Mgt & E-Governance, Non-Formal Sector Mgt.)

Elig: BE/ BTech/ MCA (60%/ 6.75 CGPA on a 10 pt scale) & valid JMET score.

Appln F: Send Rs. 500/- by DD fvg "Director, ABV-IIITM Gwalior" payable at Gwalior with self-add stamped (Rs 45/-) env (9" x 4") to above add by 15 February/ d’load from website.

Indraprastha Apollo Hospital Complex, Sarita Vihar, Delhi-Mathura Road, New Delhi (in collab with Medvarsity)
Email: [email protected]

Diploma in Hospital Management (1-yr, Corresp, online)

Elig: Bachelor’s deg in med or any other.

Details: Contact above add or send email

April 8

Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute of Management, Sec-III, R K Puram, New Delhi-110022
www.lbsim.edu

PG Prog in Mgt (3-yr/Evng)

Elig: Bachelor’s Deg, 2-yr wk ex prfd.

Selctn: GD & Interview.

Appln F: Send Rs 1125/- by DD fvg "Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute of Management" payable at New Delhi by 31 March.

Details: Website.

January 31

Indian Institute of Technology - Delhi, D/o Management Studies, Hauz Khas, New Delhi 110016
www.iitd.ac.in

MBA (2-yr, FT)

Elig: JMET-2004

Selectn: GD/Interview: 26-28 February (at Mumbai)/ March 5-7 (at Delhi)

Details: Website.

February 4

Directorate of Technical Education, Maharashtra State, 3, Mahapalika Marchg, PO Box No. 1967, Mumbai–400001
www.dte.org.in/mba

MBA/MMS (2-yr)

Elig: Bachelor’s deg (45%).

Test: MAH-MBA/MMS-CET 2005: 27 February ‘05

Details: Website.

Maths & Stats

March 18

Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), ISI, 203, BT Road, Kolkata 700108
www.isical.ac.in/~deanweb

1) B Stat (Hons, 3-yr)
2) B Math (Hons, 3-yr)
3) M Stat (2-yr)
4) M Math (2-yr)
5) MS (Quant Eco, 2-yr)
6) MTech (Comp Sc, 2-yr)
7) MTech (Quality Reliability & OR, 2-yr)
8) JRF (a) Stat, b) Math, c) Comp & Comm Sc, d) Eco e) Demography, f) Phys & App Maths, g) Geol, h) Sociol, i) Psychol, j) Human Genetics, k) Lib & Info Sc,
9) Associateship (Doc & Info Sc, 2-yr)
(Progs 2, 4, 8 k & 9 at Bangalore
Progs: 8 a, b & d at Kolkata, Del & B’lore
Prog: 3 at Del
Remaining progs in Kolkata only

Elig: Website

Selectn: Written test: 1 May ‘05, Interview & Acad Performance.

Appln F: Send request for appln with Rs 350/- by DD fvg "Indian Statistical Institute" payable at Kolkata to the Head, Delhi/ Bangalore/ Chennai/ H’bad Centre by 25 February/ d’load from website.

Medicine

January 31

University of Rajasthan, New CDPE Building, JLN Marchg, Jaipur 302004.

Pre-PG Med Exam-2005
(MD/MS/Dip Courses)

Exam: 13 February (in Jaipur).

Appln F: Send Rs 250/- by DD fvg "Convener, Pre-PG Medical Examination, 2005" with self-add slip (3" x 5") to UGC Infonet Centre above add.

Elig & Details: Appln Form.

January 31

All India Institute of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Haji Ali Park, K Khadye Marchg, Mahalaxmi, Mumbai 400034.

DNB (Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Course)

Selectn: CET-NBE score, Aptitude Test.

Appln F: Contact Institute.

Protective Service

January 31

Bureau of Police Research & Development (M/o Home Affairs), Block No. 11, 4th Flr, CGO Complex, Lodhi Rd, New Delhi 110003

Fellowships for Doctoral Work in Criminology & Police Sc

Elig: PG Deg (55%) with Ciminol/Sociol/SW/Psychol/Soc Anthro/Public Admin/PolSc/Law at UG deg. NET/SLETqualfd cands prfd Age Limit: 30 yrs

Details: Employment News (January 15-21).

Recruitment

Indian Railways, Railway Recruitment Board, Bhopal, Mumbai, Kolkata, Jammu Tawi & Chandigarh

Recruitment for various posts

Details: Employment News (Jan15-21).

February 05

National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd, PO Box No.004, Head Post Office, Lodhi Road, New Delhi 110003
www.naukri.com/ntpc

1) Engineering Executive Trainees (EET)
2) Human Resource Executive Trainee (HRET)

Elig: For 1: BE/ BTech (65%);
For 2: PG Deg/ Dip in (HRM/ Soc Wk/ IR/ PM/ MBA) (60%).
Age Limit: 27 yrs

Selectn Test: 6 March ‘05

Appln: Apply online.

Details: Employment News (January 15-21)/ website

University

Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University, Bharati Vidyapeeth Bhavan, Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg, Pune 411030
www.bharatividyapeeth.edu

All India Entrance Tests for Admission to:
March 31
1) MBBS/BDS/BAMS/BHMS
May 02 2) BE/ BTech (IT)
May 16 3) MBA/ MBA (HR/IT)/ MCA
May 25 4) BPharm/ BBA/ BCA
Jun 01 5) LLB (5-yr/ 3-yr)
Details: Website.
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