Education Current Affairs - 2020

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Dr Vijay Bhatkar appointed new vice-chancellor of Nalanda University

President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed Dr Vijay Bhatkar, architect of India’s first supercomputer the Param series, as the chancellor of Nalanda University.

He will have term of three years from the date of his appointment as provided under Section 11(3) of the Nalanda University Act. He shall succeed George Yeo, former Foreign Minister of Singapore, who resigned after the Board of the University was reconstituted.

About Dr Vijay Bhatkar

  • Dr. Bhatkar is one of the acclaimed scientists and IT leaders of India. He is best known as the architect of India’s first supercomputer Param series.
  • He is also known as the founder executive director of C-DAC, India’s national initiative in supercomputing. He is also credited with the creation of several national institutions.
  • He also was member of the scientific advisory committee to the cabinet of Union Government and as also of the governing council of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
  • Bhatkar studied at the Indian Institute of Technology (Delhi) and the Maharaja Sayaji Rao University. He has been honoured with Padma Shri, Maharashtra Bhushan, Padma Bhushan (2015) awards for his contribution to field of science and technology.

About Nalanda University

  • Nalanda University revived version of ancient Nalanda University located at Rajgir in Nalanda District in Bihar.
  • It is a non-state, non-profit, secular and self-governing international institution. Its idea was mooted by former President APJ Abdul Kalam in 2006.
  • It was established through Nalanda University Act, 2010. It functions under Ministry of External Affairs.
  • It is mandated to be engaged in the pursuit of intellectual, philosophical, historical and spiritual studies

Note: The ancient Nalanda University was established in 427 AD during the reign of Gupta king Sakraditya. It was one of India’s earliest university. At its peak, it had attracted scholars and students from near and far with some travelling all the way from Tibet, China, Korea, and Central Asia

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Union Cabinet approves Indian Institute of Management Bill, 2017

The Union Cabinet has approved the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bill, 2017, under which the IIMs will be declared as Institutions of National Importance.

It will also enable IIMs to grant degrees rather than diplomas to their students. At present IIMs are not authorised to award degrees as they registered as societies. Hence, they are awarding Post Graduate Diploma and Fellow Programme in Management.

Salient features of the Bill
  • Allow IIMs to grant degrees to their students.
  • Grant complete autonomy to IIMs, combined with adequate accountability. Coordination Forum of IIMs as an advisory body will be established.
  • Board of an IIM will drive the management of the institution. It will select Chairperson and Director of IIM.
  • Board will have greater participation of experts and alumni. It will also include women and members from Scheduled Castes/Tribes.
  • Periodic review of the performance of IIM will be conducted by independent agencies and their results will be placed in public domain.
  • The Annual Report of the IIMs will be placed in the Parliament and CAG (Comptroller and auditor general of India) will audit their accounts. 
Background

Indian Institutes of Managements (IIMs) are the country’s premier institutions imparting best quality education in management and are recognized as world-class management Institutions and Centres of Excellence. All IIMs are separate autonomous bodies registered under the Societies Act and are not authorized to award degrees. These awards are treated as equivalent to MBAs and Ph.D, respectively, but their equivalence is not universally acceptable, especially for the Fellow Programme.

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