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No UGC Approval To BU, Distance-Learning Students’ Future In Jeopardy

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University Grants Commission (UGC) has come out with its list of recognition to Distance Learning Program Institutes for the year 2016-17. Bharathiar University (BU), headquartered at Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu has missed it making to these five.

Students Future in Doldrums

With the UGC denying an approval to BU, the future of those enrolled in distance education through the varsity, now lies in jeopardy.  Sources in the University inform that there are 22,000 students of which it had admitted nearly 50 % in the last academic year and 1,636 for the 2017 calendar year programmes.

BU runs courses starting January and then June/July.

No heed to UGC warning 

Sources inform that BU did not pay heed to UGC’s warning:

First being, a notice to stop operating centres outside its jurisdiction. It was allowed to operate distance education centres only in the Nilgiris, Coimbatore, Tirupur and Erode districts. But BU was operating centres in other states as well.

Second reason was that BU was operating through franchisee in rented buildings. As per UGC regulation, a University has to run its centres either on own buildings or only from rented buildings that meet certain regulations.

Loss of revenue & prestige 

The sources add that this loss of prestige for BU also means loss in significant revenue. In 2016-17 alone, it had netted ₹55 crore by operating 390 centres.

University Vice-Chancellor A. Ganapathi says “ The institution had moved the court that had stayed the UGC decision in 2015. As the stay continued, the University went ahead offering programmes that enjoyed UGC recognition.” He added that the University would now operate only within the State as dictated by the state govt.

However sources say that the V-C is hiding the fact that the 2015 court stay had nothing to do with distance education programme. If it were so, UGC would have included BU in the list of approved institutions for distance education programmes.

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IIM A wraps up summer placements – Accenture, RPG Group, Amazon top recruiters

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For a second year in a row, Accenture Strategy has been the top recruiter at IIM Ahmedabad’s summer placements. The recently-concluded summer placement saw students placed across more than 15 sectors and functions of their choice.

Firms were grouped into cohorts based on the profile offered and invited to the campus in 3 clusters. As in the previous years, students were allowed to submit “dream” applications to firms of their choice in a cluster even with an offer in hand. More than 120 students applied this year.

Who All Made It To The Top

–Among the global banks, Citibank made five offers. 

–FinIQ was the top recruiter in the banking, financial services and insurance recruiters (BFSI) cohort, having made 10 offers.

— AB InBev recruited nine students and took the lead in the Consumer Goods cohort while the RPG Group was the top recruiter in the General Management cohort with 14 offers.

— Amazon, with 12 offers, was the highest recruiter in the Retail B2B space, followed by Flipkart

— Microsoft was the leading recruiter in the Consumer Tech cohort with five offers, followed by Uber.

— The Telangana government, which hired for the Industry & Commerce and ITE&C departments, also made five offers.

IIM A

The placements also saw an active participation in the PE and VC domain this year with the likes of Kedaara Capital, Multiples Equity, Temasek and True North visiting the campus.

Significantly, this year, 7 students opted out of the placement process to work on their own ventures under the mentorship of Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE), which is two more than last year’s batch.

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Bharti Airtel vows INR 7000cr towards a free university for the poor

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Bharti Airtel is writing a fresh philanthropic code. The Bharti family has vowed to hand over Rs. 7000 crores ($1.1 billion) to the Bharti Foundation. The whopping amount will be used to kick-start a free university for the children from poor communities. The Bhartis’ contribution includes a 3 percent stake in their telecom operator Bharti Airtel.

What Students Will Learn

To be named “The Satya Bharti University for Science and Technology”–the university will have a strong focus on artificial intelligence, robotics, virtual reality and the internet of things.

What’s The Motive

Education is a common cause for many millionaires and billionaires. But the Bhartis are going beyond the generous, well-trod routes of scholarships or even funding whole departments and building libraries. Instead, they’re dedicated to establishing an entire non-profit institution of higher learning targeting India’s large underprivileged class. The plan helps bring attention to the woeful state of the country’s education system, a top complaint of the local financial elite. Their endeavour also very publicly embraces innovations some worry will subsume jobs for India’s low-cost labour force. A study published last year by the World Bank estimates almost 70 per cent of India’s jobs are threatened by automation.

Bharti Airtel

What More?

World-changing developments like virtual reality are to be taught at the envisioned university, and degrees offered in electrical engineering. Partnerships with Apple, SoftBank and other companies may be in the cards, too. That sends a clear message of hope that technology can transform lives, and create new fortunes for the future. 

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Three IITs and IISc Bangalore among top 20 BRICS varsities 

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Three IITs and the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore have made the cut among top 20 varsities in BRICS countries, according to the latest QS Rankings.

Who Ranked Where

The Indian Institute of Technology Bombay has secured ninth rank followed by IISc, Bangalore at 10, IIT Delhi at 15 and IIT Madras at 18.

Over 300 universities from India, China, Russia, South Africa and Brazil have been observed and graded for the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) ranking, one of the global prestigious rankings. Chinese universities, including Tsinghua University, Peking University and Fudan University have secured the top three ranks with the country occupying eight of the top 10 positions.

India has the second highest representation in the 2017 list after China. Last year, IISc Bangalore was the only Indian institution to figure in the top 10 with rank 6.

How Is Ranking Done

Based on eight performance indicators, namely academic reputation, employer reputation, proportion of staff with a PhD, faculty/student ratio, research publications and citation rates and proportion of international faculty and students, the ranking provides insights into the relative strengths and weaknesses of leading instituions in the five countries.

According to the rankings, among the top 10 public varsities in India are IIT Bombay, IISc Bangalore, IIT Delhi, IIT Madras, IIT Roorkee, IIT Kanpur, Delhi University and Kolkata University.

What UGC Says

UGC chairman VS Chauhan unveiled the rankings, asserting, “Role of ranking in terms of students getting to know about the institutions cant be negated, but also sometimes overplayed. Rankings are relevant for institutions and most importantly because of the rankings what happened in India is that institutions have started to look at themselves. We will celebrate that day when of 350 universities 150 of them will be Indian institutions in the BRICS rankings”

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