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DUTA protests UGC Autonomous Scheme

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Delhi University teachers Association is fiercely opposed to the University Grants Commission’s (UGC) Autonomous Colleges scheme. It staged a protest at an event organised by UGC to educate college principals about the scheme. The UGC had on November 10 announced an orientation programme for college principals aiming to familiarise colleges with the Autonomous Colleges scheme.

What DUTA Claims

Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) was staging a demonstration on Lodhi Road. It believed that:

— The scheme granted “arbitrary powers” to college governing bodies to determine fees and start courses in revenue generating mode

— By touting autonomy as a way to improve quality and further academic excellence, the government wants to abdicate its responsibility by refusing to allocate adequate funds to meet the severe infrastructure deficit

— The Move to forcibly convert established Delhi University colleges into autonomous institutions is an agenda to commercialise– —– The cost of education will steeply increase; every aspect from tuition fees to hostel facilities, and examinations will become means of generating money

Further Revolt Expected

The teachers’ body also criticised Graded Autonomy Scheme – another UGC initiative. And said it would make university rely on loans from Higher Education Funding Agency (HEFA) rather than UGC grants. The DUTA says that it is committed to broadening the movement against the autonomous scheme by reaching out to students, parents and members of civil society to build opinion against these insidious moves of the government. 

What UGC Asserts

–There will be no impact on the funds

— Colleges will continue to get the same funding as we’re getting now

— Colleges will get autonomy to start their own courses, formulate their own syllabus and hold their own examinations

— The results will be declared by the university

— Also, on the degree, the name of the college will be mentioned although it will be given by the university

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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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