Provisions of RTI Act apply on private schools also: CIC

CBSE syllabus

The provisions of RTI Act apply on private schools also which are governed by a law such as the Delhi Education Act, the Central Information Commission has held.

The case relates to an ex-employee of Jindal Public School who filed an RTI application with Directorate of Education seeking a certified copy of service book and other details from her past employer.

The Directorate provided the information available with them but the school refused to furnish the reply saying RTI Act does not apply on it.

Directing the school to disclose information sought by its ex-employee, Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu said the school is duty bound under sections four and eight of Delhi Education Act 1973 to abide by the regulatory conditions of service, payment of salaries as prescribed for which school has to maintain records which provide an “inherent and implied” right to information to their employees.

“Under Right to Education Act 2009 also, the recognised school is under an obligation to appoint eligible teachers and provide them with prescribed wages. This also reveals that it has given inherent right to information to the teachers from their employers,” he said.

The Commissioner said if the appellant in her capacity as ex-employee of the school has right to information under any legislation such as Delhi Education Act, that will fall under the purview of Section 2(f) of the RTI Act which gives PIO, Appellate Authority and the Information Commissioner power to enforce her right to information.

“Hence, the school is directed to discharge their obligation under law by furnishing the information sought by the appellant to the respondent authority (Directorate of Education), who in turn is directed to provide the same to the appellant,” he said. (PTI)

Oldest College in Western Odisha Reels under Deepest Crisis

Rajendra Autonomous College

Rajendra Autonomous College

Large scale vacancies in faculty, lack of classrooms and poor maintenance of infrastructure have seriously affected teaching in the Rajendra Autonomous College here, the oldest in Western Odisha. The college is hit by shortage of staff since 2008 and no step has been taken by the Higher Education authorities to improve the situation.

Against the sanctioned post of 62 lecturers in degree stream, the college has only 24. Besides, it does not have a regular principal. Biology, Logic, Philosophy and Computer Science departments have no lecturer. The lone lecturer in Chemistry has been on leave since long and the only lecturer in History retired on May 31. Meanwhile, the principal in-charge will retire this month. The total 38 vacant posts include English (2), Hindi (1), Sanskrit (1), History (1), Political Science (4), Economics (2), Mathematics (2), Geography (1), Physics (7), Chemistry(4), Zoology(3), Psychology(2) and the rest in Biology, Logic, Philosophy and Computer Science subjects. The student strength in the degree stream is 1936. Due to shortage of teaching faculties, classes are not conducted on a regular basis.

Similarly, out of 29 sanctioned posts in Rajendra Junior College, 22 lecturers have been appointed. There are no lecturer in Sanskrit, History and Botany subjects. The student strength in the junior college is 1280.

Similarly, the college lacks basic amenities like urinal and toilet for lady teachers and girl students. The principal’s quarters, office of alumni association and the guest house are in urgent need of repair.

The lone girls’ hostel of the college having a capacity of 50 inmates houses more than 150 students. According to sources, every year more than 400 girl students need hostel facilities which can be provided with two more hostels.

The new boys’ hostel is also in a dilapidated condition. The college has no auditorium facilities for organising different events.

When contacted, the principal in-charge MS Pal said 38 lecturer posts in degree stream and seven posts in Junior College are lying vacant since 2008. Despite several requests to higher authorities, there is no response, he added.

Former principals Khitish Chandra Bhoi and PK Patra had also written to higher authorities on the issues. But no step has been taken till date, Pal said.

Established in 1944, the Rajendra College was upgraded to a degree college in July, 1946 by offering Arts course (BArts) with Pass subjects. Further, it became a full fledged degree college after the affiliation of Commerce faculty (BCom) in 1964-65 and Science faculty (BSc) in 1965-66. The College started offering Post-Graduate (PG) courses in different subjects of Arts, Science and Commerce streams in 1978-79. (Express News Service)

Assam to get 12 government colleges

students

Education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the state government would play a proactive role in the coming months to set up quality educational institutions in the state.

Speaking at a function here, the education minister said the state had expedited the establishment of 12 government colleges in Assam on the lines of Guwahati’s prestigious Cotton College.

“The objective behind opening new government colleges is to achieve excellence in the field of higher education. Hopefully, we will be able to open the colleges by 2016,” he said.

“Our government wants at least one purely government or a government-aided college in every block headquarters across the state so that students are not deprived of higher education,” Sarma added.

He added that the Assam government had also charted plans to boost school education in the state. Sarma said the state had enough primary schools for every kilometre, except in the hill districts of Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao, where, he said, 2,500 more primary schools were needed to enroll all students.

Sarma added that for every 3 kilometre, the state needed 4,000 ME schools and for every 5 kilometre, it needed 700 high schools.

The education minister added that in Assam, 1,200 more higher secondary schools were required to enroll all matriculates.

“Healthcare and education should be the priorities of the government and an escapist attitude in these two sectors is not acceptable,” added Sarma.

At the same function, the state education department distributed post allotment orders to college employees. The move is expected to benefit the staff of 57 colleges of the state. (TOI)

Gandhi College Jmu to run Mass Com program

mass communication

For the first time in private sector, the State Government and Kashmir University has permitted starting of three years Bachelors Degree program in Mass Communication and Multi Media Production (MCMP) from this academic session for the students of this northern state at Gandhi Memorial College of Education, Jammu (GMCEJ).
The course was approved by the State Government’s Higher Education Department at GMCEJ, which is affiliated to the University of Kashmir.
GMCEJ, is a unit of Hindu Education Society Kashmir (HESK).
The HESK (registered), is a society of philanthropic Kashmiri pundits serving to the cause of quality education in the state for the last seventy years.
The three year course of MCMP will run from GMCEJ campus at Bantalab -Raipur in Jammu, the winter capital of the state.
“The college has already established a state of art recording studio with related facilities for the intending students. Besides, it also offers to the students of MCMP exposure to the print media from the first year itself as the college is already publishing a daily newspaper Frontier Post. Since the publishing facility is situated in the campus itself, as such the students shall get a regular practical training,” a GMCEJ statement said.
Mass Communication and Multi Media Production as a course of study and as a career, has become important as it is said to be highly paid and also brings a great deal of job satisfaction and expression of creativity.
It includes careers in Multi Media, Journalism, TV, Radio, Films, Public Relations, Web Design, Animation and Publishing and Advertising. The MCMP degree uses digital computer- based tools for designing graphics, creating web-sites and animations and incorporating sound with still and moving images.
In order to provide quality exposure to the students, the Institute of Mass Communication at GMCEJ shall provide expertise of renowned Advisory Board and Guest Faculty, college statement said, adding, “The girl students shall be provided on campus hostel facility, while the management of college will facilitate accommodation for students around the campus. College transport facility is also available to and fro city/ campus.”
The sanctioned student intake for the course is 30 and the University of Kashmir shall conduct the examinations, statement said, adding, “The course fee, as authorized by Kashmir University is Rs. 45,000 per year.”

Simplify procedure to revise medical syllabus, says expert

Medical

There has to be a national policy for establishment of medical colleges in the country, Medical Council of India Chairman (MCI), Vedprakash Mishra, said.

Delivering the Dr S Kantha Endowment Lecture at the 18th Foundation Day of Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS), he said medical education needs a fillip with specific national objectives for quality assurance, student intake and curriculum in medical institutions.

The needs are a national entrance test, national exit test, national curriculum and national faculty development programme.

“We do not have a national policy document guiding the geographical distribution of colleges. We have to ensure that the entire country bears the fruits of medical education,” he said, calling for the National Development Perspective Plan for opening and locating medical institutions.

“The MCI is the recognising, approving and permitting authority for colleges. However, MCI regulations do not talk about accreditation of colleges.”

For this purpose, there has to be a law for an autonomous accreditation body which will take care of certification of international standards for the medical colleges, Mishra said.  “Nearly 80-85 per cent of colleges are in the private sector. Public sector financing vis-a-vis the medical colleges is dwindling. Owing to this, the concept of equity and accessibility is lost.”

In the present system, the procedure for revising the syllabus is cumbersome. It takes a minimum of four years to get the syllabus notified.

“The recommendations made in 1993 were notified only in 1997. Every subsequent recommendation for curriculum revision has taken four years to be notified. The recommendations made in 2009 have not seen the light of the day. By the time it is implemented, it becomes outdated.”

Once the syllabus is notified by the Government of India, it has to percolate to State universities.

It has to pass through Board of Studies, Faculties, Academic Council, Board of Management and then to the Chancellor. This will take another two years, adding to the delay, he said.

In this regard, the Indian Medical Council Act has to be amended to permit the Central Enactment (of notification) to come to immediate effect as part of the university bye-laws, instead of going through a tedious procedure, Mishra said.

All this would work effectively only if there is competent faculty in colleges to deal with international curriculum standards.

To ensure this, we have to establish a National Faculty Development Programme, which includes periodic orientation and learning for the faculty, he added. (DHNS)

State okays government engineering college in Nagpur

engineering

The Maharashtra government finally issued a government resolution (GR) for establishing a government college of engineering in the city, months before the assembly elections in state. The GR stated that the new institute would be set up at Mouza Wanjari under the constituency of EGS minister Nitin Raut. A budget of Rs89.29 crore has been allotted for the institute and would be released in phases for building and other requirements.

The state Directorate of Technical Education (DTE) has been entrusted with the responsibility to draft proposals in this regard along with requirement of teaching and no-teaching staff. It will have 300 seats in branches like – civil, mechanical, electrical, electronics and telecommunication, and computer science and engineering.

TOI had first reported the issue on February 10, 2012, quoting joint director of technical education for Nagpur region Gulab Thakre and then pro-VC Maheshkumar Yenkie. Afterwards, Raut strongly took up the issue with chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and apprised him of need of such an institution in the city for the benefit of poor students.

After GCoE in Chandrapur was shifted to Gondwana University post bifurcation, NU with four districts and 58 engineering colleges was left without a government college thus depriving poor students of taking up this stream. (TOI)

BJB College remains first choice for many students

BJB College

BJB Junior College remains the first choice, particularly for science students, needing the highest cut-off for admission. The brand image of the college, its location in the state capital, consistently good results and enough hostel facilities makes it the most attractive destination for students across the state.

Despite competition from private colleges over the years, it continues to hold its number 1 position.

A look into its Plus II results, published on May 31, shows its remarkable performance. Out of the 580 students who appeared for the exam in the science stream, over 400 passed in first division. Total 551 of the 580 have come out successful. In the arts stream, 477 out of 510 passed the exam, including around 160 in first division. Similarly, in commerce 202 out of 203 cleared the exam; 130 of them in first class.

BJB had invited a cut-off of 92.5 per cent in the first round of admission last year, the highest in Odisha. The last cut off was 91.20, also the highest for any college in the state. The college has an intake capacity of 544 students in science, 512 in arts and 192 in commerce though it takes students from reserved category beyond the seat strength.

In commerce, BJB’s cut-off was 80.33 in the first selection last year which went down to 78.67 in the final round. In arts, the minimum marks required for admission was 64.67 in the first round and had become 63.83 in the final round in 2013.

College’s principal Gobind Chandra Pradhan feels the institution has earned a name for itself because of its faculty’s persistence efforts to excel. “I thank my predecessors who toiled hard to make the college what it is today. Now, because of its brand, it continues to attract the best talents, making our job easier,” he said. “As bright students are taking admission, results remain invariably good,” he added. Though it is too early to say, BJB would most probably remain the most sought after college this year too, he added. (TOI)

Big push for students eyeing engineering colleges

Engineering colleges

High scores in HSC this year are most likely to push up the number of students who make it to engineering colleges in the state. Not only has the pass percentage improved this year, there is also a marked rise in scores as well.

Engineering colleges give 50% weightage to HSC marks, and the remaining 50% to the entrance examination score. “If more students have passed and scored well, then there would be more chances of state board students making it to the top engineering colleges,” said Durgesh Mangeshkar, an education expert.

A close analysis of the scores reveals how the number of students who scored over 75% this year has shot up to 79,543 from 49,762 last year. This also indicates stiffer competition to make it to top engineering colleges this admission season.

 

The scores will also play a big role for admissions to the 30 National Institutes of Technologies (NIT) in the country as 40% weightage is given to HSC marks for admission at these institutions. “Students who have applied for NITs will benefit in this case as the 60:40 formula is being used for admissions. The 40 % weightage is for HSC marks while the rest 60 % for marks scored in entrance test. HSC students will be at an advantage as individual scores would also have improved this year,” said Vivek Deshpande, who runs a tutorial for engineering entrance tests.

 

However, good scores will have no impact on admissions to the premier Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). “For IITs, students have to fulfill only the advance test criteria. The state board will submit the percentile of top 20 % students to IIT, which students passing the advance test will have to meet. Last year, this percentile came to about 62 %, which would be easily scored by a student who would have cleared the IIT-JEE (Mains). Hence it would not have any impact on the IIT admissions,” said Mangeshkar.

 

BETTER FOOTING

 

79,543 students have scored over 75% this year as against 49,762 last year

 

Over 4 lakh students scored over 60% thus years as against over 2.47 lakh students last year (TOI)

Facelift mooted for government school uniforms

municipal schools

If you can’t match up to them, then at least try to look like them. This seems to be the new motto of government and aided schools in the district.

Recently, at a meeting of school headmasters, the district education department advised that steps should be taken to make school uniforms attractive, including introduction of tie and shoes to ensure that students look presentable.

The step has been mooted as part of efforts to stem the flow of students seeking admission to CBSE schools.

“Student enrolment in government and aided schools has been falling over the last few years. As students in private schools wear attractive uniform with tie and shoes, parents have high regard for such schools and desire to enroll their children there.

Hence, it is important that we too introduce attractive uniforms that make students look smart,” said Shinemon M K, deputy director of education, Ernakulam.

Though the government had announced a scheme to provide free school uniform for students in government schools up to Class 8, it has not been executed as yet. Every year Rs 400 will be allocated to each student to buy two sets of uniforms from agencies identified by the government under the scheme.

“We found that among students of government schools, the uniform is often untidy and improperly maintained. As the amount earmarked for school uniform purchase is insufficient to buy the cloth and stitch it, headmasters may seek financial aid from the PTA and sponsors. We also need to introduce tie and shoes in our schools as a mandatory aspect of the school uniform,” said Sreelatha A S, assistant educational officer, Kothamangalam.

There are 88 government schools and 175 aided schools under the four district educational offices in Ernakulam.

“We will try to implement the suggestion. But the stitching cost of uniform will pose a big problem to parents. It is a fact that if we have a proper uniform, the children will look smart and more parents would be inclined to enroll their children in our school as they will also get quality education,” said Khadeeja K A, headmistress, Kanjiramattom GLPS. (TOI)

Gujarat National Law University allocates Rs 2.15 crore to attract Meritorious Students

Gujarat National Law University

Gujarat National Law University

The Gujarat National Law University has allocated a whooping Rs 2.15 crore in its annual budget to give a significant boost to its vibrant international exchange program and the co-curricular activities of its students. The university in order to attract bright meritorious students and to recognize and consolidate research culture among students has allocated such a large amount in its 2014-15 annual budget. The budgetary money will be divided between 20 such programs.

Fifty scholarships are announced for CLAT 2014 toppers joining GNLU with 100% and 50 % tuition fee waivers for the first 20 and 21-40 rank holders in UG and the first 5 and 6-10 rank holders in PG category will get 100% and 50% tuition fee waivers.

In line with top research houses and international management and law schools, GNLU has also instituted a unique Legal Incubation Center to promote legal entrepreneurship among its students with an initial investment of Rs 10 lakhs.
GNLU as a research based university has a well-established Deanery of Research and has set up a unique Student Research Development Council to create and promote research culture amongst the students. The research council undertakes research in collaboration with counterparts from other Indian and foreign universities and institutions. Two students from each batch from both undergraduate and postgraduate will be selected and designated as Student Research Associates (SRA) to provide research, organizational and other assistance to faculty members and the University as a whole.

The University has allocated about Rs 37 lakhs for mooting, Rs 10 lakhs for debating and Rs 20 lakhs for student participation in quizzes and debates. GNLU conducts the prestigious GNLU International Moot Court Competition, India’s only WTO moot and the ‘GNLU Debate’ both well renowned international level competitions.

GNLU has Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with many foreign & national universities and United Nations Organizations and to promote international exchange of students and also to fund GNLU students who intern at intergovernmental organizations such as the United Nations, International Court of Justice, International Law Commission, Specialized Agencies, Rs 55 lakh has been allocated.

GNLU has also allocated substantial funds to its Legal Services Clinic, Civil and Judicial Services Training Program and its Student Welfare Office.

The university in pursuance of its mid-term goals to strive for an all-round and inter-disciplinary academic excellence among its students and to attract bright and meritorious from both India and abroad has instituted these many scholarships and funds. GNLU attempts to provide as many scholarships in the future as possible.

Dr William Nunes, Senior Faculty and the Director of the GNLU Centre for Foreign Policy and Security Studies said “It is extremely good that GNLU has allocated this large sum for the student community as it will greatly help boost their academic and non- academic activities. GNLU seeks to attract the best students to study at the university and the availability of such funding will help enhance the horizons of the students and give them rich exposure to the different activities happening at law school. GNLU actively promotes mooting and the laurels brought to the university by the students after winning prestigious competitions and the funding provided by the university are witnesses to that. GNLU has established itself as a top law school and there will be more such projects and funding in the near future to enhance its academic excellence”.