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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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FTII To Conduct Film Appreciation Course In Bhubaneswar

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The Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune, will conduct a week-long film appreciation course in Bhbaneswar.

PURPOSE OF THE COURSE

This will be a part of the institute’s nationwide programme to popularise film learning. This was informed by the Director of FTII, Pune, Bhupendra Kainthola. The course will provide a unique opportunity to the cine lovers of Odisha, to understand cinema from one of the world’s leading film schools..

The film appreciation course, to begin from February 14 will be conducted for the first time in Odisha, an official release said.

“Odisha has a film industry that goes back over 75 years and is still a robust one. As part of the FTII’s ongoing nation-wide programme to popularise film learning, a week-long film appreciation course has been designed for Bhubaneswar,” Kainthola said.

For over five decades, film appreciation was just a once a year course, conducted only in Pune and this made little sense for a country with a rich cinematic history and millions of cinema lovers, he said.

In the last nine months, the FTII has conducted film appreciation courses in Pune, Mumbai, Nagpur, Delhi, Jaipur, Guwahati, Srinagar (J&K), Haridwar and Srinagar (Uttarakhand), he added.

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

The programme will be conducted with inputs from National Film Archive of India (NFAI), Pune, in association with the Directorate of Technical Education and Training (DTET), Odisha government, the official release said.

Though the programme will be open to all, only 100 participants will be admitted on a first-come-first-served basis, and it will be held at the Museum of Tribal Arts & Crafts.

The Course will be conducted by renowned film academic Pankaj Saxena, an FTII alumnus, who is a filmmaker and TV programmer based in New Delhi, it said.

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Prince Charles Launches Education Impact Bond for India

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Britain’s Prince Charles has launched a new 10-million-dollar Development Impact Bond (DIB) to help improve education for over 200,000 children in India.

WHAT’S THE BOND FOR

The DIB, the largest bond of its type in South Asia, is the latest fundraising initiative by the British Asian Trust (BAT), set up by the royal 10 years ago to fight poverty in South Asia. The new bond has been launched by the trust with the support of the UK government’s Department for International Development (DfID), Comic Relief, the Mittal Foundation and the UBS Optimus Foundation.

“We are launching a 10-million-dollar Development Impact Bond that will improve education for more than 200,000 children in India,” Prince Charles said at a Buckingham Palace event yesterday evening to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the British Asian Trust.

“This will be the largest bond of its type in the region and will, I hope, offer a compelling model for a mere effective approach to philanthropy at scale,” he said.

“These bonds are an innovative and, I think, a tremendously effective way of raising the funds needed to address some of the greatest challenges in the region at the kind of scale necessary to make a significant difference,” he said.

THE TARGET

–The concept of DIB is intended as a result-oriented way to attract new capital into development projects, with a strong emphasis on data and evidence.

–Under the initiative, the DIB will provide funding to local not-for-profit delivery partners in India over four years, delivering a range of operational models including principal and teacher training, direct school management, and supplementary programmes.

–It is intended to improve literacy and numeracy learning levels for primary school students from marginalised communities in the country.

 

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JMI Honours Hotmail Founder Sabeer Bhatia

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Founder of Hotmail, renowned entrepreneur and innovator, Sabeer Bhatia was conferred with Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI)’s highest award, ‘Imtiaz-e-Jamia’.

He has been conferred the honour for his ‘outstanding contributions to public service and for technological innovation for the benefit of the society’. 50-year-old US-based, Mr Bhatia was presented with a plaque with the citation and a shawl by JMI Vice Chancellor, Prof Talat Ahmad at a function in the university campus amidst students from the Science and Technology faculties.

The citation read: ‘JMI confers Imtiaz-e-Jamia on Mr Sabeer Bhatia, entrepreneur, philanthropist and innovator for his outstanding contributions to public service throughout his life’.

Accepting the award, Mr Bhatia, who subsequently sold-off Hotmail to Microsoft in 1998, gave a stimulating talk on entrepreneurship and the future of information technology.

HIGHLIGHTS OF BHATIA’S SPEECH

— He asked the students to develop innovative ideas and be open to risks that come with entrepreneurship.

— With technology changing at a rapid pace, he said that, newer technology makes old technology obsolete.

— Neural networks are the new paradigm of technology, he said adding that, the Internet of Things (IoT) will bring in the next wave of revolution that will transform the society.

— Talking about the risk involved in entrepreneurship he said that all decision-making has to be based on logic and one should be prepared to face failure. There should be no shame in failing, he added.

THE FUTURE

Mr Bhatia said that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is future technology and it will bring sweeping changes in the lives of people and business as machines and the superior algorithm will outdo human intelligence. He said that though algorithms are good for machines, it is not how the human brain works or for that matter how a child’s brain develops. “Though algorithms may have more accurate analytical ability than human beings they lack the emotions that human beings can express,” he said.

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