The National Council for Higher Education and Research (NCHER) regulator gets cabinet approval

The National Council for Higher Education and Research (NCHER), which will subsitute existing regulators such as University Grants Commission (UGC) and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and will cover all streams of higher education except medical and agriculture. This single independent body in place of multiple higher education regulators has been approved by Union Cabinet.

The council will be 70 member body have representation from states and for professional bodies to decide on policy issues. The NCHER Bill proposes to have an 11 member executive committee to execute the decisions of the council.

The draft bill provide mandate to the council to bring reforms in higher education for setting up quality institutions across India with an aim to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio to 30 % by 2020 from 20 % in 2010.

The council is expected to shift from multiple approval based approach to self-regulation based on accreditation. The new council would also prescribe academic and research quality norms from a university to a college for accreditation purpose.

The council will also disburse the budget for higher education to institutions based on based on performance, in place of the existing demand driven practice. It will have powers to decide the curriculum of different streams of higher education and research.

Business Schools object to CMAT by ACITE

The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) had announced launch of its own examination, Common Management Admission Test (CMAT), from February 2012. The Management Institutions have objected to AICTE’s move to make CMAT mandatory for all post-graduate diploma in management (PGDM) institutes.

This July, the Hon’ble Supreme Court, in an interim relief to B-schools, allowed AICTE to conduct its own all-India entrance test. This however, was allowed in addition to the existing five national tests, namely: Common Admission Test (CAT), Management Aptitude Test (MAT), Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT), AIMS Test for Management (ATMA) and Joint Management Entrance Test (JMET). JMET, used for admission to the B-schools run by the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), has since been scrapped. IITs would now be using CAT to admit students to their B-schools.

The B-Schools, which are petitioners before the Hon’ble Supreme Court have spoken in Media that unless the existing matter is resolved by Supreme Court, AICTE has no right to say CMAT will be the only test for 2012. B-schools also say they have already registered themselves with either CAT, ATMA or XAT for the academic year 2012-14.

The AICTE plans to conduct CMAT in 61 cities in the last week of February, 2012. AICTE advertisement in news papers states that CMAT scores would be used for allotment of seats in PGDM institutions for 2012-14 admissions.

Research Grant for Assistant Professors – Scheme of UGC and MHRD

 

The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and the University Grants Commission (UGC) have launched a scheme to attract young talent towards research through start-up grant for newly-hired faculty. “The MHRD/UGC empowered committee, spearheading to strengthen basic scientific research in universities and colleges, has found it desirable to launch a scheme on research start-up grant for newly-recruited faculty at the assistant professor level,” reads the notification issued by the UGC.

Terms for Grant:
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A: A grant of Rs 6 lakh will be given by the UGC under this initiative.

B: All teachers hired at the level of assistant professor against the permanent post, in basic science, engineering and technology departments, are eligible to get financial support under the scheme.

C: The grant has to be utilised within two years of approval.

D: The assistant professor will send the utilisation certificate along with statement of expenditure through the university/college.

The eligibility criterion include
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A: a PhD degree and

B: at least two published research papers in approved/cited journals.

C: The assistant professor will have to apply within a period of six months from the date of joining.

Content of Proposal for research
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The proposal, to be sent to the UGC, must include among others:

A: Details of origin of the research problem,

B: Its significance and potential to contribute in the field of social relevance or national importance,

C: Year-wise plan and targets to be achieved.

Procedure
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The empowered committee of the MHRD/UGC will select the candidates on the basis of ‘expert appraisal’