Education Current Affairs

UGC rolls out application process for institutes seeking status of eminence

The University Grants Commission (UGC) rolled out an application process for universities and higher education institutes (public or private) seeking “institutions of eminence” status.

The aim of  scheme is to help higher education institutions from country break into top 500 global rankings in 10 years, and then eventually break into top 100 over time.

Application process

It will be 90-day application process for interested public and private institutions. Institutions applying for it will be divided into three categories- existing government educational institutions, existing private higher educational institutions and sponsoring organisation for setting up of private institutions. The HRD Ministry will set up empowered expert committee to process application. The entire process of shortlisting institutions will be completed by March-April 2018.

Eligible Institutions: Top 50 of National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF) rankings or those who have secured ranking among top 500 of Times Higher Education World University Rankings, Shanghai Ranking Academic Ranking of World Universities or QS University Rankings will be eligible to apply.

Benefits for institutions of eminence status

20 institutions — 10 public and 10 private — will be given this status with aim to give them freedom to become world-class institutions. The 10 state-run institutions get additional benefit — provision of Rs. 10,000 crore over a period of 10 years, over and above regular grants.

Such institutions will be free from usual regulatory mechanism to choose their autonomous path to become institutions of global repute with emphasis on multi-disciplinary initiatives, global best practices, high quality research and international collaborations.

These institutions will have liberty to enroll up to 30% foreign students. Moreover, selected public institutions can recruit up to 25% foreign faculty and there will be no such limit for selected private institutions. They will have freedom of devising their own courses, own fee structure, create centres without coming to UGC.

University Grants Commission (UGC)

UGC is statutory body under HRD Ministry. It was set up by Union government in accordance to the UGC Act 1956. Its mandate is to initiate important decisions and dialogues having important bearing on entire student population of country.

The three primary functions of UGC are (i) Overseeing distribution of grants to universities and colleges in India. (ii) Providing scholarships/fellowships to beneficiaries, and (iii) Monitoring conformity by universities and colleges to its regulations.

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India, Belarus sign 10 pacts to expand cooperation

India and Belaru have inked 10 agreements to expand cooperation in range of areas including oil and gas, education and sports and also decided to explore joint development and manufacture of military platforms.

The agreements were signed after extensive delegational levels talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Belarus President A G Lukashenko in New Delhi. Both leaders agreed to focus on ramping up economic engagement between two countries and held that their is huge scope for boosting trade and investment.

Signed MoUs/Agreements

  • MoU in the Oil and Gas Sector
  • MoU for Cooperation in Agricultural Research and Education
  • Programme of cooperation in the field of culture for 2018-2020
  • MoU between Sports Ministry and Ministry of Education of Belarus
  • MoU for Cooperation in the Field of Vocational Education and Training
  • MoU between JSC Belarusian Potash Company (BPC) and Indian Potash Ltd (IPL)
  • Agreement on Scientific and Technical Cooperation between National Academy of Sciences of Belarus and Indian National Science Academy (INSA)

India-Belarus Bilateral Relations

India’s relations with Belarus are traditionally warm and cordial. India was one of first countries to officially recognize Belarus as independent country in 1991. Bilateral relation between both countries is marked by broad understanding on issues of mutual interest.

Cooperation in science and technology and defence is important aspect of India-Belarus bilateral relations. Two-way bilateral trade amounted to US$ 402 million in 2016. The trade balance remains in favour of Belarus primarily on account of imports of Potash. Belarus has been supportive of India’s candidature for permanent seat at UNSC. Belarus also supported India at NSG meeting in Seoul in April 2016.

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