Tag Archives: University Grants Commission

UGC approves M.Phil in gender studies, Rajasthan University first to offer course

Rajasthan University

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has approved interdisciplinary M.Phil on gender studies and the Rajasthan University would be the first one to offer the course from the coming session.

The course in gender studies is with special reference to women which would study the impact of society, politics and media  related to gender sensitivity. The course will also help the government in framing the policies related to women at the local and national levels.

The duration of the interdisciplinary course is one year during which the students will explore the issues related to social inequality, women’s rights and gender disparity.

Osmania University gets green signal to hold SET

Osmania University

The varsity has been given accreditation by the UGC to hold the test for the next three years

Osmania University has been accredited by the University Grants Commission (UGC) to conduct the State Eligibility Test (SET) for Andhra Pradesh for the next three years in 27 subjects related to Sciences, Arts and Humanities.

In a letter sent to the Osmania University, the UGC expressed overall satisfaction over the smooth and successful conduct of SET last year. Usually UGC grants accreditation for one year but it is a rare distinction that Osmania University has been given accreditation for the next three consecutive years starting from June, 2013, a statement from the OU said.

The OU intends to conduct the SET this year in August. The State governments and Union Territories have been given an option of conducting SET examinations in English and respective languages for eligibility for Lecturer and assistant professor jobs at the State-level. (The Hindu)

 

Delhi University approves 26 additional courses for 4-year programme

Delhi University

The second day of the marathon meeting of the Delhi University’s Academic Council saw the clearance of 26 subjects for the new four-year programme, bringing the total number of courses approved to 54.

“42 courses in Discipline 1, Discipline 2 and Application, 11 foundational courses and another course have been approved. The meeting today was attended by over 100 members,” Council member Sanjay Kumar said.

The meeting, which went on past midnight, gave the nod to syllabus for courses including computer science, mathematics, economics, operational research, statistics, political science, social work, commerce, management studies, African studies, east Asian studies and music.

The syllabus for history and sociology will be approved in another meeting of the Council. Yesterday, the Council had passed 28 courses in an over 12-hour-long meeting.

The Council also discussed changes in the university ordinances, including changes in the nomenclature of degrees, admissions under reserved categories, internal assessment in the four-year undergraduate programme.

Instead of the baccalaureate degrees proposed to be offered under the four-year course, Council members have come to a consensus that a diploma will be given if a student exits after two years, a bachelor’s degree after three years and a bachelor’s degree with honours or a B.Tech degree on completion of four years.

The decision comes following the University Grants Commission’s directive that the Delhi University could shift to a four-year system, but it would have to retain the conventional nomenclature of degrees.

Another change passed by the Council was regarding the admission under the reserved categories.

Till now admissions for candidates from the Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and people with disability (PWD) were conducted centrally. From this year, SC/ST and PWD admissions will be decentralised and colleges will declare a cut-off list for students under these categories.

The courses passed by the Council will be discussed today at an Executive Council meeting.

The four-year programme with multiple degree options will entail a shift from the present 10+2+3 scheme to a four-year graduation with multiple exit points.

The new system, which is being watched closely by other universities, seeks to introduce interdisciplinary pedagogy, enhance the quality of education and impart employable skills. (PTI)

Madurai Kamaraj University to start exclusive centre for nano sciences

Madurai Kamaraj University

The Madurai Kamaraj University (MKU) is all set to create an exclusive ‘Centre for Nano Sciences’ with the objective of increasing research activities in the area. The decision was taken during the syndicate meeting held at the university, on Tuesday. The university authorities have setup the centre to develop teaching activities in various disciplines related to nano sciences.

Kalyani Mathivanan, vice-chancellor of the university said, “Nano science is a thrust area where several research activities can be carried out. The University Grants Commission has been encouraging research activities in nano sciences. The creation of the centre would encourage the research activity further, she said.

“Recently, UGC-University with Potential of Excellence had given Rs nine crore to purchase instruments for the labs in various centres. At present, the instruments, which are purchased under the grant have been distributed to various departments. We are planning to bring all the equipment at one place so that everyone can access the facility,” she said.

Although nano sciences is an important field, there was no such department in the university. After considering the importance of the subject, it was decided to create a separate centre. The department of genetic engineering, School of Biotechnology will start M Phil in nanotechnology from the academic year 2013-2014. The programme would be started as there is a great demand for students in research activities.

The syndicate also approved for the creation of ‘Centre for Green Chemistry’ in the School of Chemistry. The centre would develop sustainable green chemistry protocols, teaching practices and industry-academic interactions. The centre would help designing products and chemical processes to reduce and eliminate the use of hazardous substances. It would also facilitate more innovative environment-based teaching programmes and short-term courses. (TOI)

UGC tightens rules on awarding MPhil, PhDs

UGC

In an attempt to standardize the process of awarding MPhil and PhD degrees and bring about a qualitative improvement in the research output, the University Grants Commission has devised a way to crack down on universities that award degrees in a haphazard manner.

All universities, including central, state, private varsities and deemed-to-be universities, have been asked to submit information regarding the number of PhDs and MPhils given and the manner in which they are awarded. All universities are expected to follow the recommendations of the UGC (Minimum Standards for Award of MPhil/PhD Degree) Regulation, 2009.

“The UGC has decided to elicit information from the universities or institutions to understand their pursuit of research vis-a-vis the impact in generating new knowledge and applications of its outcomes. The data so collected will be analysed and made useful for the promotion of research besides applying mid-course corrections, wherever required,” said UGC chairman Ved Prakash in a letter to vice-chancellors of over 430 universities.

Universities have been given four weeks to respond to questions on whether research scholars are allowed to take up actual research work after successful completion of the course work, and whether the institution has made it mandatory to publish one research paper in a refereed journal before submission of thesis.

The UGC has also asked if the evaluation of the thesis is done by at least two experts, one from outside the state or country. Information has also been sought on whether the candidate has undergone viva voce examination and an open defence of the thesis and the number of publications in refereed journals by PhD scholars before the submission of the thesis.

Though the regulations have been around for the last couple of years, academics say, enforcement has been left to the universities, some of which had revised the regulations to suit their convenience. Some universities have done away with the mandatory publishing of research paper in a refereed journal, and there have been reports of PhD holders with publications in in-house journals.

Reports have also surfaced that some universities have not insisted on evaluation of thesis by experts from outside the state or country, citing lack of experts in the area. Senior academic and Tamil Nadu State Academic Audit and Accreditation Council chairman S P Thiagarajan said the inadequacy of research collaboration and literature that made institutions come up with such excuses. “Now, we find students being able to get enormous support from even foreign researchers just by emailing them. So, it is unscientific to say that the university cannot find an expert.” (TOI)

DHE seeks status report on NAAC ratings by May 15

NAAC

Taking note of the delay by college and university authorities in updating the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) rating of their institutions, the Department of Higher Education has sought reports from them on the issue by May 15.

NAAC accreditation is necessary for higher education institutions to get funds and recognition from the University Grants Commission (UGC).

The Department has sought status of NAAC certification of all colleges and universities and steps taken for re-accreditation by due date.

As per the NAAC report, certification of  Utkal, Sambalpur and Berhampur universities and 20 colleges under Berhampur University, 17 under Fakir Mohan University, six under North Odisha University, 25 under Sambalpur University and the highest of 79 colleges under Utkal University have lapsed. No renewal application has been filed by any of these institutions.

The gazette notification of January 19 this year by NAAC on accreditation stated that institutions should apply for re-accreditation six months before the expiry date of the five-year period of certification.

Since these private and Government colleges and universities have not applied for re-accreditation, they are ineligible for UGC grants and recognition under any of its scheme.

NAAC gives four grades – A (very good), B (good), C (threshold) and D (not accredited) – to higher education institutions. The grade of the colleges and universities depend on seven factors: teaching-learning and evaluation; research, consultancy and extension; infrastructure and learning resources; student support and progression; organisation and management, and healthy practices.

As far as universities are concerned, NAAC accreditation makes them eligible to apply for potential excellence grant and ‘Navaratna’ status which can be used for developing research facilities, improving infrastructure, buy lab equipment, books and journals.

On the other hand, it has come to notice that even as many colleges are ready with their assessment reports for NAAC re-accreditation, not many are aware of how to go about the submission process. Sumitra Mishra, a faculty of Government Women’s College, Sambalpur said the college was accredited B+ in 2006. “We are trying for re-accreditation and all the assessment works are over. But we are not sure to whom and how to submit the report,” she said. (The New India Express)

DU can switch to 4-yr format but must offer regular degrees: UGC

UGC

As a controversy rages over Delhi University’s switch to a four-year undergraduate programme, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has stepped in to point out that the baccalaureate degrees promised by the university are not tenable. Under UGC guidelines, a university can only offer B A Pass and Honours degrees.

This apart, the UGC has also ‘advised’ that the two-year associate baccalaureate degree be swapped instead for a certificate/diploma.

While insisting that the conventional nomenclature of degrees be adhered to, the UGC has, on the other hand, fully backed the switch to the four-year format.

The Human Resource Development Ministry is also not inclined to “interfere” in the affairs of Delhi University — several academics have voiced opposition to the four-year format and said it must be deferred by a year. The ministry, however, has asked the university to adhere to the conventional nomenclature of degrees as suggested by UGC.

“As per the Kothari Commission report, the duration of a programme may vary from university to university and also within the same university, so there is no problem with Delhi University starting a four-year programme. There are some issues that have to be addressed though. This programme has to be aligned with the Master’s programme offered in this university as well as other universities. Also it has been conveyed to the vice chancellor that conventional nomenclature of degrees has to be adhered to and no associate baccalaureate degree can be offered. The VC has agreed to these changes,” UGC chairman Prof Ved Prakash said.

The issue is likely to be taken up at the Delhi University academic council meeting scheduled for May 7. V-C Dinesh Singh said he would not comment on the issue till it is taken up at council meeting.

The ministry which has been holding meetings on the issue over the last one week — it is hearing out both sides — is of the view that it is best not to interfere in matters pertaining to an autonomous university. Sources in the ministry said that as per information provided by the VC, it appeared that the consultation process had been conducted. (The Indian Express)

M S University’s H M library ranked among top 25

Hansa Mehta library

Hansa Mehta library

M S University (MSU), especially its Hansa Mehta library, is among top 25 institutes of the country.

The Information and Library Network (INFLIBNET) Centre, an autonomous Inter-University Centre of the University Grants Commission (UGC), has ranked MSU’s H M Library 17th in terms of yearly total downloads (YTD).

In terms of document delivery service (DDS), it has been ranked sixth. And in terms of contribution to the ‘Shodhganga’ project, the university has been ranked at 24th position.

The INFLIBNET Centre has recently brought out a compilation titled ‘Measuring research output and its impact using bibliometric indicators: Profiles of top 50 universities of India’. This compilation is aimed at sensitizing academic administrators and policy makers on measuring and evaluating research performance and ranking of academic institutions.

It also provides an opportunity to these 50 universities to examine its performance in different disciplines, identify gaps and figure out ways and means for further improvement.

The download statistics reveal that MSU is the only university from Gujarat to be in the top 20 list with 2,09,825 YTD.

“Last year, we (MSU) were ranked 18 in terms of YTD. Now, our ranking has improved further with an increase of nearly 36,000 YTD,” MSU librarian Mayank Trivedi told TOI.

“The statistics provided by INFLIBNET show a strong and positive correlation between number of articles downloaded from e-resources through UGC-Infonet Digital Library consortium by faculty and researchers of MSU and number of research publications,” he said.

In terms of DDS, MSU has been ranked sixth. DDS refers to the supply of photocopy from repository against a request from researchers from outside the campus.

“Our library is one of the 20 designated document delivery centres of the country designated by UGC,” said Trivedi.

It was last year that MSU and INFLIBNET Centre had entered into collaboration whereby MSU became part of UGC’s ‘Shodhganga’ project which refers to the storage of all Indian Electronic Thesis and Dissertations (ETD) at the centre.

“Although we (MSU) had joined the Shodhganga project in September last, we have been ranked at 24th position out of 130 universities that have joined the project,” said Trivedi, adding that the university’s position will further improve as more scholars become part of the Shodhganga project. (TOI)

Former VCs give thumbs up to private universities

UGC

Varsities are needed to increase GER in higher education’

Some student organisations and academics may oppose the setting up of as many as 17 new private universities in the State, but a few former Vice-Chancellors (VCs) have pledged their support for their establishment.

Speaking at a seminar on ‘Establishment of private universities in Karnataka’, organised by the Forum of Former Vice-Chancellors’ of Karnataka (FVCK), S.N. Hegde, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Mysore, said when the government is finding it difficult to maintain the existing universities, there was no question of establishing new ones to cater to the need to enhance the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER).

“It appears that the policy decision of the State government to permit private universities is in consonance with the changing dynamics of higher education system,” he said.

N.S. Rame Gowda, former VC of the Karnataka State Open University, Mysore, who is also Chief Executive Officer of the Sri Adichunchanagiri Shikshana Trust (which has been approved as a private university), said the establishment of private varsities was necessary to increase the GER in higher education in India from the present 15 per cent. The present affiliation system, he said, would eventually have to be eliminated, and colleges should be converted into autonomous institutions and further, into private universities.

Commenting on the regulations, M. Khajapeer, former Vice-Chancellor of Karnatak University, Dharwad, said the decision of the University Grants Commission (UGC) to revisit the regulations laid down in the UGC (Establishment of and Maintenance of Standards in Private Universities) Regulations, 2003, would make the survival of the universities dependent on their efficiency, credibility and adherence to the stipulated norms. (The Hindu)

Karnataka State Open University

UGC seeks help of varsities to develop e-content

University Grants Commission

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has sought the help from state universities to identify eminent faculty members to develop e-content in 77 subjects at the postgraduate level.

Named e-PG Pathshala, UGC proposes to create high quality material in four quadrants for different subjects across all disciplines under this initiative. The material developed will be made available for both teachers and students in the form of open online courses through a learning management system (LMS). The project is part of the centrally-sponsored scheme of the National Mission on Education through ICT (NMEICT) of the Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD). “Such a task can be accomplished only through a participatory exercise.

Accordingly, the UGC solicits contributions from academic experts belonging to various educational institutions. It is in this backdrop that I am writing this letter to request you to identify and convey to us the list of eminent faculty members who are willing to contribute in this exercise,” states a letter from UGC chairman Ved Prakash.

The syllabus proposed for the creation of e-content will follow UGC model curricula.

However, the course coordinator in consultation with subject experts is expected to incorporate the latest developments in various subject as value-added information. “The e-content development and associated web-based learning described here do not seek to replace traditional teaching and learning, but are expected to supplement them. The inclusion of e-content in learning is now inevitable, and the UGC initiative is designed to meet the new challenges,” said a UGC official.

The e-content will consist of lectures, laboratory sessions, tutorials followed by homework, quizzes, term papers and examinations and self-assessment questions to benefit the learners. (TOI)