Higher Educational Institutions Current Affairs - 2019

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HRD Ministry awards IoE status to IIT-Madras, IIT-Khg, DU, BHU and University of Hyd

Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) have issued orders to 5 public Universities namely, IIT Madras, Banaras Hindu University, IIT Kharagpur, University of Delhi and University of Hyderabad conveying their declaration as Institutions of Eminence (IoE).

Key Highlights

HRD Ministry has taken the steps on advice of University Grants Commission (UGC) and Empowered Expert Committee to implement the Institutions of Eminence (IoEs) scheme.

Private Universities: In addition to above mentioned 5 public Universities, HRD Ministry also issued Letters of Intent (LoI) to 5 Private Universities namely, Amrita Viswavidyapeetham (Tamil Nadu), Vellore Institute of Technology (Tamil Nadu), Jamia Hamdard (New Delhi), Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (Odisha) and Bharti Institute, Satya Bharti Foundation (Mohali) for accepting and sending their preparedness for being declared as Institutions of Eminence (IoE). These institutions will be required to submit their readiness for starting academic operations as IoEs.

IoE Deemed Universities: Also in respect of 2 more Universities, O.P Jindal University (Haryana) and Shiv Nadar University (Uttar Pradesh), letters were issued to State Government to pass legislation in State Assembly to cease the status of these Universities as Private Universities under State and so as to enable them to be considered as IoE Deemed Universities.

In regard to State Universities, namely Anna University (Tamil Nadu) and Jadavpur University (West Bengal)- were also selected by State Governments and Empowered Committee. They have been asked to indicate their commitment towards their contribution under IoE scheme.

About Institutions of Eminence scheme

It has been launched in order to implement commitment of Union Government to empower Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) and to help them become world class teaching and research institutions, as announced by Union Finance Minister Late Arun Jaitely in his budget speech of 2016.

Under the scheme 10 public and 10 private institutions are to be identified to emerge as world-class Teaching and Research Institutions.

Accordingly, University Grants Commission (UGC) has notified guidelines UGC (Declaration of Government Educational Institutions as Institutions of Eminence) Guidelines, 2017 for public institutions and UGC (Institutions of Eminence Deemed to be Universities) Regulations, 2017 for private institutions on 7 September 2017 to provide regulatory structure for enabling HEIs to become world-class teaching and research institutions. This will increase the affordability of access to high quality education for ordinary Indians.

Background

In the first round under Institutions of Eminence (IoE) scheme, 6 institutions were selected as IoEs:

(1) In Public Category

Indian Institute of Sciencee (IISc), Bangalore

Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), Manipal

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi

(2) Private Category

Birla Institute of Technology& Sciences (BITS), Pilani

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay

Jio Institute under Greenfield category.

The 3 Public Institutions were declared IoEs, while 3 private institutions were issued Letters of Intent (LoI).  As of now, there are 16 institutions as IoEs, apart from which another 4 institutions where State Government’s confirmation and commitment is awaited.

UGC directs Universities: observe 21 May as Anti-Terrorism Day

The University Grants Commission (UGC, the higher education regulator) has directed universities and higher educational institutions (HEIs) in India to observe 21 May as Anti-Terrorism Day so as to wean youth away from terrorism.

Key Highlights

  • Background: Every year 21 May is observed as Anti-Terrorism Day throughout India. It seeks to spread awareness among people about dangers of violence and terrorism and its effect on people, society and country altogether.
  • Reason: ‘21 May’ marks the death anniversary of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi who was assassinated in 1991 at an election rally near Chennai by a women suicide bomber from Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE, a separatist Sri Lankan Tamil outfit). The year 2019 mark 28th death anniversary of Late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
  • Objective: to wean youth away from violence and terrorism, and showing them how it is prejudicial to national interest. It also seeks to promote harmony, peace and unity across the nation.
  • UGC also suggested varsities to undertake activities for the day which includes discussions, symposium, debates, pledge taking ceremony and films screening as per the recommendations of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Government of India.