EDUCATION TRIBUNE

Rating institutions
Dharam Vir and S.K. Mullick
T
he increasing demand for higher education, particularly professional, has resulted in the mushrooming of private institutions and universities, often with dilution of academic standards and poor facilities, despite high tuition and other fees.

CAMPUS Notes
Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar
Keep option open on natural gas: Expert
D
r Kuldip Singh, Founder Director of Centre for South Central Asian Studies and Professor of Political Science Department of GNDU, while presenting his research paper in the first-ever bilateral international seminar on “India Turkmenistan Relations: 

Need to reverse brain drain
Kanupriya Baria
T
here has been a steep rise in the flow of highly skilled people to select countries for the past many years. The Indian diaspora has seen enormous immigrant growth in the US, Australia, Canada, Fiji, West Indies, etc for “lack of opportunities” back home.

New-age ‘Guru’
Anupreet Singh Tiwana

There is a synonym for the word ‘teacher’ in Sanskrit. It is ‘guru’—the one who dispels darkness and kindles the light within. The teacher has the ability to not only mould the students’ minds, but also affect their attitude and character. The abilities of the teaching community have been acknowledged worldwide.

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Rating institutions
Dharam Vir and S.K. Mullick

The increasing demand for higher education, particularly professional, has resulted in the mushrooming of private institutions and universities, often with dilution of academic standards and poor facilities, despite high tuition and other fees.

Though norms for the setting up of institutes and universities have been prescribed by regulatory bodies such as the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the All-India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) in terms of physical and academic infrastructure and human resources, these are flouted in a large number of cases and the defaulting institutions get away with it in one way or the other. Academic standards thus get compromised with and students suffer as a result.

Another major reason that contributes to this is the lack of transparency on the part of the management, especially about curricula, laboratories and faculty profile, and the subsequent dissatisfaction of students, their parents and the public. There is hardly any institutionalised mechanism for addressing major concerns of students and their parents, such as quality of education, facilities being provided by institutions, adherence to the academic calendar and timetable, smooth and efficient functioning of academic as well as non-academic administrative set-up and conflict resolution, in an effective manner.

There is hardly any institutionalised mechanism for addressing major concerns of students and their parents, such as quality of education, facilities provided, etc. 

This often leads to agitational student union activities and its exploitation by vested interests. Such activities, student union elections in particular, have reached a stage that the Supreme Court had to intervene and form a six-member committee, headed by former Chief Election Commissioner J.M. Lyngdoh, to streamline student union elections across the country to curb the use of money and muscle power.

A recent survey of higher education by The Economist rates the US model as the best in the world. Though we have tried to emulate this model in IITs, IIMs and some universities by adopting the semester system of instruction, more frequent and regular in-class evaluation, greater involvement of and freedom to instructors in curriculum making and academic evaluation, relative grading system and student evaluation of instructors’ pedagogy, a very important facet of the US and Western model of higher education-the Students’ Charter-has been ignored. Another very important lacuna is the absence of a successful facilitator like the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, a private, non-profit national body that fosters accountability, academic high standards and fair practices, and serves as a dispute resolution body.

In our country, the reputation of colleges and universities is available only by the word of mouth and ratings or rankings published by some media publications. The AICTE has only recently come forward with a plan to publish ratings of all 4,000-plus colleges under its umbrella on its website. It intends to merely rate them and not rank them.

A much-needed and heartening development that has taken place to bring about transparency and in improving the day-to-day governance is the Right to Information (RTI) Act. To make it an effective instrument of reform in our educational system, suitable variants of the RTI Act must be made applicable to all educational institutions, private and public. The UGC, it has been reported, is likely to bring forth a draft of RTI policy guidelines for universities and affiliated colleges.

Another effective way to bring about satisfaction of students, parents and the public is the Students’ Charter. It is a document, which aims to set out, as clearly as possible, what standards of service can be expected of students and what the university, institute or college can expect of students in return. Such charters are common features in colleges and universities in the West. It is an expression of the close working relationship between the administration, the faculty and the students and their shared commitment to maintaining and enhancing excellence in the educational experience of its students.

Such a charter should address the issues of admission and registration, academic, curricular and co-curricular facilities, fee structure, teaching, learning and academic guidance, grievance redressal, complaints and appeals, tutorial support, students’ academic representation and evaluation, academic services, health, safety and security, personal development, discipline, student services and information dissemination. It will result in greater transparency and accountability on the part of all stakeholders of an institution, especially its management.

Several universities in the West have made very elaborate charters, which can easily be searched on the Internet. The charter should be made a part of rules and regulation of the affiliating university so that an aggrieved person can approach a court of law for its enforcement. Regulatory bodies can draft a model charter for adoption by universities and institutions.

Dharam Vir, an IAS officer, is Principal Secretary, Public Works Department, Haryana. S.K. Mullick is Professor of electrical engineering at IIT, Kanpur.

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CAMPUS Notes
Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar
Keep option open on natural gas: Expert

Dr Kuldip Singh, Founder Director of Centre for South Central Asian Studies and Professor of Political Science Department of GNDU, while presenting his research paper in the first-ever bilateral international seminar on “India Turkmenistan Relations: Retrospect and Prospects” recently held in Ashgabat, capital of Turkmenistan, said India should keep its options open with Turkmenistan, which has one of the richest energy reserves in the world with some 2.86 trillion cubic meter of natural gas reserves, as the Iran-Pakistan-India Gas pipeline seems to be in jeopardy due to US reservations because of its known antipathy towards Iran and consequent political pressure on India and Pakistan.

He said Turkmenistan remained high on the agenda of India’s foreign policy priorities because the government was keen on regional cooperation with the central Asian countries to ensure India’s participation in the proposed Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan gas pipeline.

The GNDU expert said the central Asian countries remained a vital link in India’s search for energy security, as the area was very rich in oil and gas resources. India’s constantly rising energy requirements add urgency to the need of diversifying energy supplies. The country enjoys goodwill in post-Soviet space of Central Asia, which needs to be converted into meaningful linkages between India and its central Asian counterparts.

Varsity to have new museum

GNDU has decided to establish a science, technology and heritage museum on its campus which will not only make aware the students of schools, colleges and university about the functions and technical know-how of various scientific and technological instruments but also lead to better utilisation of unused resources in various departments of the university. Vice-Chancellor Jai Rup Singh said the existing museums of the departments of botanical and environmental sciences, zoology and display models of the department of electronics and other departments would be shifted to this newly established heritage museum. He said a committee would be appointed for selecting the items to be displayed in this museum and departments concerned had been asked to provide lists of irreparable and unused instruments.

—Contributed by Sanjay Bumbroo

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Need to reverse brain drain
Kanupriya Baria

There has been a steep rise in the flow of highly skilled people to select countries for the past many years. The Indian diaspora has seen enormous immigrant growth in the US, Australia, Canada, Fiji, West Indies, etc for “lack of opportunities” back home.

Developed countries embrace them with open arms, as they are a cheap source of English-speaking talent. Various reasons have been quoted in this regard: the prominent being the economic reason. Other “push” factors in India that add to brain drain are unemployment, lack of research facilities, discrimination in promotions, etc. Therefore, the young blood, attracted by high income and good lifestyle, prefer to migrate. Low population growth and low quality standards in research and other fields in these countries also contribute to the increase in the migrant flow.

According to ratings given by UNESCO, which has described brain drain as an abnormal form of scientific exchange between countries, characterised by a one-way flow in favour of most highly developed country, physicians are top-ranked, while engineers and scientists are ranked second. One-fourth of the technical workers immigrated to those countries where markets were developed.

Though a large number of people go abroad for better opportunities, it also remains the fact that they feel out of place there. A recently conducted survey found homesickness as the main reason. A few of the factors were duty towards home country and discrimination faced by them abroad. Discrimination is usually a push by the developed country to force them to return home.

With a large number of students aged between 18 and 25 opting to go abroad, the GDP growth of India has been disturbed. According to the latest figures of Carrington & Detragiache, out of a population of 979.67 million, total expenditure on tertiary education per student is $2014.4, with a migration rate of 1.1 per cent. Skilled migration and GDP per capita yield a negative correlation.

Instead of crying over spilled milk, there is need to accelerate the process of reverse brain drain. The government should encourage NRIs to implement their experiences and ideas in various fields back home. Communication channels should be improved so that students and professionals overseas remain in touch with the domestic job market. The government should take steps to provide proper facilities to returning professionals. Encouraging scientific infrastructure can act as a pull factor. Emphasis should be on more foreign exchange programmes and fellowships.

The problem of brain drain is a national problem. It needs immediate action as it has caused not only draining of highly qualified brains, but also disappearance of wealth from the country.

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New-age ‘Guru’
Anupreet Singh Tiwana

There is a synonym for the word ‘teacher’ in Sanskrit. It is ‘guru’—the one who dispels darkness and kindles the light within. The teacher has the ability to not only mould the students’ minds, but also affect their attitude and character. The abilities of the teaching community have been acknowledged worldwide. In ancient Greece, teachers were responsible for inculcating good values and developing the facilities of logic and rhetoric in their students-most of which is sustained in varied forms even today.

It is unfortunate that today, some teachers, supposed to be a beacon of knowledge, are leading their students astray. Materialism has not only transformed the ‘guru’ into a successful commercial entrepreneur, but has also led to an erosion of the value system of teachers. The westernisation bug seems to have bitten teachers too. India has a glorious tradition of a variety of regional and national attire. These have been adapted and adopted with pride by societies worldwide. But, back home, our traditional dresses seem to have taken quite a drubbing, more so, at the hands of teachers.

Some teachers of prominent public schools and colleges sometimes dress like characters from Ekta Kapoor’s soap operas. Or worse, they appear as if they are still out of a Bollywood movie. The message that goes down in the malleable minds of young students is-you have to show brawn to showcase your brain. As dresses become skimpier for teachers, fabrics too compete for transparency, leaving behind our very own tenacious khadi. Male teachers’ favourite wear seems to be jeans, a dress invented for the labour class in the West because of its ability to take on dirt and a laborious life. Woe to someone who crosses the institution’s threshold in a spotlessly white kurta-pyjama. His popularity in the staff room is certainly going to nosedive!

The gown, invented by the British as school wear for the teacher and the taught, now survives as a relic in graduation photographs. It is perhaps rightly so, because of its unsuitability to Indian climatic conditions. At the other extreme, you have teachers sporting hair in colours that will probably shock God and heavy jewellery and the ubiquitous mobile as their favourite accessories.

A teacher’s attire should be entirely non-fussy and simple. White, the colour most associated with purity and simplicity, can be a good choice. This is because the teacher has to literally live the adage of simple living and high thinking.

Teachers will do well to try and become role models for a student who has little choice, apart from politicians, film stars and cricketers, to look up to. It will signal a welcome change for teachers used to harping on salary raise to talk of social change instead.

Dr S. Radhakrishnan had once termed teachers of Punjab as very poor, since they did not have a library at home. But things just seem to have gone worse. The library never got a chance, but the wardrobe, it seems, is bursting at the seams, with staff rooms abuzz with talk of the latest fad during free periods. It is awfully disheartening to find teachers holding hi-fi models of cell phones rather than subject literature.

The frequency of a visit to the library is falling. Hardly can one can find a regular and punctual teacher to a library, but one can come across them at shopping malls, boutiques and cinema halls.

Heavy jewellery, latest cell phone models, perfumes or a good wardrobe do not produce a good teacher. She can win the students’ hearts only with her knowledge and grasp of the subject while using them to promote students’ aims. There is no use banning tank tops and minis in colleges or announcing fatwa-like dress codes for students. Let teachers show the way by their own example.

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ADMISSION DEADLINE

Armed Forces

Indian Navy, INS Kunjali, Colaba, Mumbai 400005 (Mah) www.nausena-bharati.nic.in

Sailors for MR (Musician) -2/2007 Batch

Eligibility: Unmarried Indian males; Class 10 proficient in music with theoretical knowledge & practical skill on any instrument.
DoB: 1 October ’86 - 30 September ’90.

Selection: Preliminary Screening Test; Physical Fitness Test; Medical Test

Application Form: Download from website.

Details: Website

Application Deadline: 23 April 2007

Art & Design

Pearl Academy of Fashion, A 21/13, Naraina Industrial Area, Phase II, New Delhi 110028 www.pearlacademy.com

BA (Hons): Fashion Design / Fashion Merchandising & Production / Communication Design / Textile Design / Jewellery Design / Fashion Retail & Merchandise (4 years) 
(Nottingham Trent University, UK)

Selection: Entrance Test: 03 June 2007

Application Form: Send Rs 1150/- by DD favouring “Pearl Academy of Fashion” payable at New Delhi to the above address / download from website.

Application Deadline: 25 May 2007

Engineering

Central Tool Room & Training Centre, B 36, Chandaka Industrial Area, Bhubaneswar 751024 (Oris) (M/o SSI, GoI) www.cttcbbsr.co.in

Summer Vacation Courses: Training Program in AutoCAD / Master CAM / PRO-E / CATIA / UNIGRAPHICS / Hardware & Network Mgmt / VLSI / PLC (2 months)

Eligibility: BTech / BE (Mechanical / Production / Automobile / Manufacturing Science / Computer Science / Electrical & Electronics / Electronics & Instrumentation / IT)

Application Form: Download from website

Details: Employment News (31 March – 6 April 2007) / website

Central Institute of Plastics Engineering & Technology (CIPET), Guindy Chennai 600032 (TN) www.cipetindia.com

MTech (PT/PE) / PG Diploma (Plastic Engg / CAD / CAM for Plastics Engg / Plastics Processing & Testing) / Post Diploma in (CAD / CAM for Plastics Mould Design / Machine Maintenance) / Diploma / Post Diploma – Integrated Programmes (Plastics Mould Technology / Plastics Technology)

Details: Website

Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information & Communication Technology, Gandhinagar 382007 (Guj) www.daiict.ac.in

PG Admissions:
1) MTech (information & Communication Technology) (2 years)
2) MSc (IT / ICT in Agriculture & Rural Development) (2 years)
3) MDes (Multimedia Design) (2 years)
4) PhD (3-5 years)

Eligibility: For 1: BE / BTech / MSc in (IT / CS / ICT / EE / ECE / I & C)
For 2: Bachelors degree
For 3: Bachelors degree in Agricultural & allied disciplines.
For 4: 10+2+4 years of study
For 5: MTech / MPhil / BE / BTech / MSc / MS

Selection: Tests / Interviews: 18 – 31 May ‘07

Details: Website

Application Deadline: 24 April 2007

Management

College of Agribusiness Management (CABM), G B Pant University of Agriculture & Technology, Pantnagar 263145 (Utt) 
www.cabm.ac.in / www.gbpuat.ac.in

1) MBA in Food Retail & Supply Chain
2) PhD in Management

Eligibility: For 1: BE / BTech / Bachelors degree in (Agriculture / Agrochemicals / Dairy Sciences / Food Sciences / Forestry / Home Science / Horticulture / Veterinary Science / Fisheries)
For 2: Masters degree in (Mgmt / Economics / Agricultural Economics / Commerce); with OGPA not less than 6.500/10.00

Selection: For 1: CAT-2006; GD; Interview: 16 June ‘07.
For 2: Admission Test

Application Form: Send Rs 1000/- by crossed DD favouring “Dean CABM, Pantnagar” drawn on Panjab National Bank (Code 4446) payable at Pantnagar to the above address / download from website.

Details: Employment News (31 March – 6 April 2007) / 
Website.

Application Deadline: 31 May 2007

Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, Vivek Vihar, Delhi 110095 (Delhi University) 
www.cbsdu.net

Bachelor of Business Studies (BBS; 3 years) 
Bachelor of Financial & Investment Analysis (BFIA; 3 years)

Eligibility: 10+2 (60%). Age: 17 years (on 1 October ‘07)

Selection: Test: 03 June 2007.

Application Form: Outstation Candidates: Send DD of Rs. 460/ - (For both courses: Rs. 660/ -) issued by any nationalised bank favouring “Principal, Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, Delhi” with stamped (Rs. 50/ -) self-addressed A4 size envelope to the Administration Officer at the above address. Locals must collect forms from college office.

Details: Website

Application Deadline: 04 May 2007

International Management Institute (IMI), B 10, Qutab Institutional Area, Tara Crescent, New Delhi 110016 
www.imi.edu

PG Diploma in Management (PGDM) (Part Time)

Eligibility: Bachelors degree with 2 year post degree fulltime work experience at executive level.

Selection: Admission Test: 06 May 2007; Interview.

Application Form: At Counter: Rs 300/- (By Cash) / download from website.

Application Deadline: 02 May 2007

Scholarships

Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics, Gandipet, Hyderabad 500075 (AP) 
www.cdfd.org.in

Research Scholars program: Genetics / Molecular and Cellular Biology / Molecular Pathogenesis / Computational & Structural Biology

Eligibility: MBBS / Masters degree in any branch of Science / Technology / Agriculture. Candidates (other than MBBS graduates) must have cleared the CSIR / UGC / DBT / ICMR / ICAR NET for JRF.
Selection: Written Test; Interview: 4 & 15 May ‘07

Application Form: Download From website.

Details: Employment News (31 March – 6 April 2007) / website

Application Deadline: 20 April 2007

British Council Division, British High Commi sion, 17 Kasturba Gandhi Marg, New Delhi 110001 
www.ukieri.org

UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI) PhD Scholarships

Eligibility: Indian; 1st or upper 2nd Class Masters degree holders with excellent academic background to carry out postgraduate research leading to PhD / DPhil etc in UK institutions. Majority of the awards are likely to be in areas related to science and technology. Fluency in written and spoken English.
Age: 35 years (on 15 May ‘07)

Scholarship: Fees, living expenses, airfares for three years. Extendable by 6 months on a case-to-case basis.

Application Deadline: 15 May 2007

Office of the Commissioner of Industries, Udyog Sadan, Plot No 419, FIE, Patparganj, Delhi 110092 (Govt of NCT of delhi)

National Award for Master Craftsperson & Weaver- 2006

Eligibility: Outstanding contribution in Craftsmanship & Development of Crafts / in training other Craftsperson / weaver.

Application Form: Send application with 6, duly attested passport size photographs (3 colored & 3 black & white) & an affidavit on Rs 10/- non-judicial stamp paper duly attested by First Class Magistrate stating “that he/she is submitting entry on his/her own risk and in any case of damage etc. during transportation and unforeseen circumstances, the central government will not be liable to pay any compensation”, to the Carpet Training Officer at the above address.

Application Deadline: 30 April 2007

The Oxford and Cambridge Society of India, D 1997, Palam Vihar, Gurgaon 122017 (UP)
www.oxbridgeindia.com/scholarship.php

Scholarships 2007
(For admission to the universities of Oxford / Cambridge & Emmanuel College, Cambridge)

Eligibility: Bachelors degree, Indian resident; schooling in India preferred. 
Age Limit: 26 years (01 May ‘07).

Selection: Interview: 26 May ‘07

Scholarship: Two OCSI scholarships worth Rs 100,000/- each, tenable at the universities of Oxford/Cambridge

One scholarship worth £ 1,000, tenable at Emmanuel College, Cambridge.

Application Form: Download from website.

Details: Website

Application Deadline: 15 April 2007

— Pervin Malhotra



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