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Weekly Update on Education

10 November 2009


Companies may be allowed to set up universities
Business Standard, 10 Nov 2009

These non-profit multi-disciplinary institutions will have to be registered under Section 25 of Companies Act. The government is planning to permit corporate houses to set up higher educational institutions — like multi-disciplinary universities and colleges — by floating a separate not-for-profit entity under Section 25 of the Companies Act 1956. A not-for-profit entity is one that does not distribute its surplus funds to owners or shareholders. It, instead, reinvests these in the institute. Many private universities in India have been set up under Section 25 of the Companies Act. However, deemed universities are not covered by the Act. More [+]


Demand for govt schools to be leased out to pvt education providers
The Times of India, 9 Nov 2009

NEW DELHI: Nuts and bolts of the right to education law is still being put in place but the HRD ministry is getting serious suggestions from a host of private education providers to implement the concept of `charter schools' in India. The ministry is unlikely to fall for charter schools and a formal response will be given out soon. However, sources said these schools had shown mixed results in the US and elsewhere but were being pushed in India by a strong private sector school lobby to skirt the mandated 25% reservation that all schools have to give to underprivileged children under the RTE Act. Charter schools were against the concept of equity and access, the source said. More [+]


Foreign varsities welcome but can't make profits: Sibal
Business Standard, 7 Nov 2009

Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Kapil Sibal today said that during his visit to the US last week, he assured representatives of foreign universities that they were welcome to invest in India’s education sector but should not aim at making profits. Speaking to reporters here today, Sibal said that during his recent visit to the US, he assured foreign varsities that “there is a variety of involvement in educational services such as training, book, service facilities, testing, providing a range of opportunities to invest in India in these allied services, and there is no bar on surpluses even today for Indian private structure”. He, however, simultaneously cautioned them about India’s firm stance of not making profits from tuition fees and the education sector. More [+]


Sibal moots corporation to fund education
Business Line, 7 Nov 2009

New Delhi, Nov. 6 The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development has mooted the idea of setting up a national education finance corporation (NEFC) to raise resources for primary and higher education sectors. A brainchild of the Union Minister for HRD, Mr Kapil Sibal, the corporation is being equipped to generate resources for meeting the obligations imposed by the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, as well as the larger funding requirements of the higher education sector. More [+]


Engg fees to be linked with college's performance
The Times of India, 8 Nov 2009

PUNE: The key performance indicators (KPIs) devised by the director of technical education (DTE) for grading engineering colleges will be a crucial determining factor in the fixation of fees by the Shikshan Shulka Samiti (fee fixation panel). Panel's office secretary P E Gaikwad said, "We are seriously contemplating giving incentives like apt raise in fees for the performing institutions. A positive decision will be taken soon and colleges meeting the KPIs will benefit to a great extent." Gaikwad said that from this year (2009-10), the fee panel has introduced an incentive of 3 to 5 per cent hike in tuition fees for professional colleges which offer courses accredited by the National Board Accreditation (NBA). More [+]


HRD taskforce to tackle faculty shortage in universities
The Times of India, 9 Nov 2009

NEW DELHI: Having advanced the gross enrolment ratio in higher education to a highly ambitious 16% by the end of 11th Plan, HRD ministry has set up a new taskforce to come with a solution to deal with acute faculty shortage and work out an incentive plan aimed at better remuneration and greater societal respect. To be headed by Sanjay Dhande, director, IIT-Kanpur, the taskforce will consist of K K Aggarwal, formerly of Indraprastha University, Delhi; V Kanan, pro vice-chancellor, Hyderabad University, and Chiranjib Sen of IIM-Ahmedabad. University Grants Commission secretary R K Chauhan will be the member-secretary. The taskforce is likely to give its interim report within a month. More [+]


Panel reports on colleges to go online
The Times of India, 6 Nov 2009

CHENNAI: Rattled by several higher educational institutions with appalling infrastructural and academic facilities being granted university status (including deemed universities), the Union ministry of human resources development (MHRD) has directed the University Grants Commission (UGC) to make public inspection reports submitted by expert committees. According to a communication issued by MHRD joint secretary Sunil Kumar, the UGC will have to place the reports of its expert committees which inspect universities or institutions on its website. The order covers both central/state universities and deemed universities. The ministry has in its communication admitted that while the central government respects the academic autonomy of the university system, it is at the same time "concerned about certain practices adopted that could damage the creditability of the entire university system." More [+]


Centre tells states to adhere norms for teachers training
DNA, 6 Nov 2009

New Delhi: The human resource development (HRD) ministry has asked all states to upgrade their eligibility criteria for teachers training to meet National Council for Teachers Education (NCTE) norms. The certificates issued by states that fail to do so would be termed illegal. The warning came after the ministry was forced to step in to bail out about 31,000 West Bengal primary teachers whose D.Eds (diplomas in education) were declared illegal by the Calcutta high court without NCTE recognition."In case of a dispute, the central legislation prevails. All such degrees that do not meet norms would be termed illegal," HRD minister Kapil Sibal said. More [+]


To defang Taliban, some look to private schools
Associated Press, 8 Nov 2009

Qutbal, Pakistan — The schoolhouse is so tiny that dozens of pupils have to sit outdoors. They're lucky if their teachers have more than a basic education. And the chanting of math equations and Quranic verses gets so loud that the children have a hard time hearing themselves. Yet the pupils love the Islamia Model School, one of thousands of private schools popping up in Pakistan. Unlike at area public schools, Islamia's seven teachers show up regularly to work. Unlike at religious schools, its curriculum extends well beyond Islam. Plus, it has desks and chairs — no small thing to the many poor families who enroll their children here. More [+]

Photo of the Month


In this photo taken on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2009, children leave their school after classes in Qutbal, Pakistan. Pakistan is seeing a surge in private schools, a trend some find hopeful in a country where the government education system is decrepit and the other alternative is the madrasas, religious schools which offer little education beyond memorizing the Quran and are seen as one source of Islamic militancy. (AP Photo / Alexandre Meneghini)
...See all photos

 

2009 Templeton Freedom Awards

Centre for Civil Society’s “Performing Arts for School Choice” bags 2009 Templeton Freedom Award for Initiative in Public Relations.
Read complete report click here

 

STUDENT FIRST!
Dialogue Series on Quality Education for All

Book Launch and Panel Discussion on Prof James Tooley's book 'The Beautiful Tree'

Date: 11 November 2009 (6pm onwards)
Venue: Amaltas Hall, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi


For details visit website

 

From Independence to Freedom

Log on to www.azadi.me, India's first Liberal portal in Hindi.

 

Action for School Admission Reforms (ASAR) More+

Action for School Admission Reforms (ASAR) is School Choice Campaign's initiative to usher in fairness and transparency in nursery admissions. If parents in your city too are suffering, please write to us at studentfirstnews@schoolchoice.in

 

SCHOOL VOUCHERS FOR GIRLS

400 girl children from poor families of North East Delhi receive school vouchers for a period of 4 years.
For details visit  website

 

Support Children's Right to Education of Choice!
DONATE

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