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rti happenings: HRD minister Smriti Irani & water resources minister Uma Bharti have 100% attendance
akhilesh yadav posted a topic in RTI in MediaNEW DELHI: They might be outnumbered by male counterparts but women ministers in Team Modi seem to attend Cabinet meetings more than their colleagues. Information accessed by ET through Right to Information (RTI) Act shows that unlike Congress-led UPA regime, BJP's allies are more involved in the decision-making process at the Centre with ministers regularly attending meetings. Read more at:HRD minister Smriti Irani & water resources minister Uma Bharti have 100% attendance; score over male counterparts - The Economic Times
sanjaypatkar posted a topic in RTI in MediaNew Delhi, June 14: The human resource development ministry has rejected concerns raised by deemed universities over the new regulations governing them. The ministry has decided against amending the legally binding rules aimed at improving standards of education at these institutions. HRD minister Kapil Sibal has asked officials to implement the new UGC regulations for deemed universities without any amendments, senior government officials have said. The ministry has prepared a point-by-point rebuttal of arguments made by the deemed universities, led by Pune-based Symbiosis International. This rebuttal will be used by the ministry to take on any possible legal challenges from deemed universities. Deemed universities were till now regulated merely by guidelines with no legal sanctity, fuelling frequent allegations from students, parents and other stakeholders that some of these institutions were misleading students or providing substandard education. In April, the UGC notified the country’s first legally binding regulations on deemed universities. Reported first by The Telegraph, the regulations require institutions to earn the highest possible rating from accreditation agencies to be eligible for the deemed tag, which allows them to offer degrees. Under these regulations, institutions must be in existence for at least 15 years before seeking the deemed label — the earlier guidelines required 10 years of existence. An HRD ministry review team that found 88 of India’s 130 deemed universities unfit for the tag noted in its report that many deemed universities were using distance education to offer substandard programmes. The new regulations have banned all deemed universities from offering distance education. These also bar the president of the society sponsoring the deemed university from being made chancellor. They explicitly bar these institutions from dropping the “deemed-to-be” prefix to their names. to call themselves universities, thereby confusing ordinary students who may not know that these institutions are not full-fledged varsities answerable to legislative bodies. Vidya Yeravadekar, director of Pune-based deemed university Symbiosis International and member of the UGC, had in an email to Sibal argued that against many of the new rules. She had also indicated that her views reflected those of several other deemed universities. barring the president of the sponsoring society of a deemed university from the chancellor’s post blocks private enterprises from entering higher education. But the ministry argued that allowing the president of the funding society to become chancellor — the apex authority of the institution — would make the institutions susceptible to pressures over appointments. The ministry’s review team had said that many deemed universities were being run like family fiefdoms, not educational institutions. The ministry also rejected Yeravadekar’s proposal to allow deemed universities to drop the “deemed-to-be” prefix from their names, arguing that such a move would confuse students. Yeravadekar had argued against a regulation which requires the government of the state — where the institution is located — to agree to safeguard the interests of students of the institution if its deemed tag is withdrawn. She argued that state governments were too slow to respond to requests. But the HRD ministry has argued that state governments must be taken on board before granting deemed status to an institution. This, officials argue, was crucial because state universities may have to admit students from deemed universities that shut shop or are stripped of their deemed tag. Yeravadkar has also argued against banning deemed varsities from offering distance education courses. The HRD ministry has cited the findings of the review panel to justify its move. Rap on IIT The Central Information Commission (CIC) has ordered IIT Kharagpur to fine two senior officers Rs 15,000 each for “harassing” a professor at the institute who sought information under the Right to Information Act. The CIC has also ordered the IIT to pay Rs 5,000 as compensation to the appellant, computer science professor Rajeev Kumar. This is the first time that IIT Kharagpur officials have been fined. The order came after the two officials tried to blame another for delay in providing information to Kumar.Kumar had asked for details of judges who had lectured at the Rajiv Gandhi School of Intellectual Property Law at IIT Kharagpur. Registrar T.K. Ghoshal and officer on special duty T.K. Mukherjee had blamed V.C. Vivekanandanan, former dean of the law school, for the delay, arguing that he had not provided them information to forward to the appellant. But the CIC concluded that Ghoshal and Mukherjee were wrongly trying to blame Vivekanandanan when they were responsible for the delay. In its order, the CIC also recorded that Ghoshal had warned Kumar that he was “cutting his own hand” by pursuing the case. For full story visit :- The Telegraph - Calcutta (Kolkata) | Nation | HRD sticks to rules for deemed varsities
Govt blurs IIT stand against faculty quota as reported by Hemali Chhapia,TNN | 6 Oct 2008 MUMBAI: Censorship. That is what directors of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are currently fighting, after the Union human resource development ministry edited out their opinion against faculty reservation. Access to the minutes of the meeting of the standing committee of the IIT council (SCIC), through a right to information query, reveals that the opinion of the seven directors was cleverly masked by the HRD ministry. The minutes left out one of the most crucial points aired by the IIT chiefs — that they were totally against the introduction of reservation in the recruitment policy for faculty members. The SCIC meeting on July 4, chaired by C N R Rao, principal scientific adviser to the PM, was called to discuss the issue of introducing SC, ST and OBC reservation in recruiting faculty members. However, despite the directors' opposition, the minutes did not incorporate their view. The HRD ministry had sent a diktat to all IITs on June 9, asking them to set aside 15%, 7.5% and 27% quotas in teaching positions for the SC, ST and OBC categories. IITs currently have reservations for the backward category for administrative posts — from attendants to the level of deputy registrar. However, there is no reservation for faculty members. The SCIC meeting was chaired by C N R Rao, principal scientific adviser to the Prime Minister, and attended by the seven IIT directors, R P Agarwal (MHRD secretary), V S Ramamurthy (chairman, board of governors, IIT Delhi), M Anandakrishnan (chairman, board of governors, IIT Kanpur), N K Sinha (MHRD joint secretary) and Seema Raj (director, technical education) among others. The ministry order read, "It has been decided to implement reservation for SC, ST, OBC, in recruitment to teaching (faculty) posts in IITs with immediate effect." For subjects in science and technology, there would be reservation for posts of lecturers and assistant professors. In other areas, like management, social sciences and humanities, reservation would be applicable up to the professor level. The government ruling allows the IITs to de-reserve the posts after a year, if they do not get filled "despite all efforts". The SCIC minutes of the July meeting, a copy of which is available with this paper, only stated that the directors did not want a distinction made between faculty of science and technology and that of social sciences and humanities while omitting the fundamental opposition to reservation in faculty. "This (the minutes) clearly means that the directors were fine with reservation. However, we were and we (still) are not fine with reservation in recruiting faculty members," said a director. Further, as the last option, the minutes stated that the IIT directors had demanded that their institutes be given special recognition as institutes of national importance. The topic of faculty reservation concluded by stating: "The government of India can take decisions on policies (sic) matters including reservations on its own." Shocked at the way their opinions were kept out, IIT directors have taken up the matter with the SCIC chairman, who in turn has written to the ministry for a modification in the minutes. Govt blurs IIT stand against faculty quota-India-The Times of India