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Jammu & Kashmir: First medical university

The state government is all set to establish an independent medical university in response to  demand from a large number of government and private medical colleges, Bali Bhagat, the state’s health minister, informed press personnel in Jammu on November 28.

A four-member committee headed by additional secretary (health and medical education) has been constituted which includes representatives of Jammu University and medical and dental colleges in the state. Currently, there are more than two dozen medical education institutions, including nursing and paramedical colleges and schools affiliated with the Kashmir and Jammu universities with more in the pipeline. In the absence of an exclusive medical university, these universities are “overburdened” with issues related to academics, admissions, timely conduct of exams and publishing of results, said the minister.


Distance education degrees invalidated

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has declared all engineering degrees awarded by four deemed-to-be universities through distance education null and void with prospective effect, UGC secretary P.K. Thakur informed the media in Delhi on November 24. The four universities are JRN Rajasthan Vidyapeeth, Institute of Advanced Studies in Education, Rajasthan, Allahabad Agricultural Institute and Vinayaka Mission’s Research Foundation, Tamil Nadu.

The UGC directive follows a Supreme Court order last month which restrained private engineering universities countrywide from introducing new distance education programmes from the academic year 2018-19 without prior approval of their regulatory body AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education). 

Principal sacked for molestation

A retired Indian Air Force officer heading the Government Meritorious School, Ghabdan in Punjab’s Sangrur district was removed from the post of principal after being indicted on sexual harassment charges made by two class XII girl students, a state government official informed media in Chandigarh on November 20.

According to a report submitted to the chief minister’s office recently, the principal was found guilty under s.354 A (sexual harassment) of the Indian Penal Code, and under provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.

Consequently, the Society for Promotion of Quality Education for Poor and Meritorious Students of Punjab divested Dogra of the office of principal with immediate effect, the official added.


Gold medal award suspended

Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) announced suspension of a gold medal award instituted by the Yog Maharshi Ramchandra Gopal Shelar Trust after its attention was drawn to one of the ten preconditions of the trust that only vegetarian and teetotaller postgraduates are eligible for the award. The trust’s award advertised in a recent circular on the university website invited sharp criticism statewide.

Addressing the media in Pune on November 11, Nitin Karmalkar, vice chancellor of SPPU, said talks will be held with family members of the Yog Maharshi, over the possibility of removing the “vegetarian only” condition.

The university will also review the eligibility criteria for 40 medals and awards sponsored by various people and organisations and awarded during its convocation.


Big bounty for education

In his first-ever televised address beamed live tor over 6 million children of the state’s government schools on Children’s Day (November 14), chief minister Naveen Patnaik announced scholarships for 40,000 students in different categories and launched a new initiative, under which he pledged a Rs.100-crore corpus fund for the development of educational institutions statewide.

In his address, made possible through advanced technology, the chief minister urged students to develop curiosity while gathering knowledge about modern technologies to translate their dreams into reality. “I want students of my state to excel in all fields including education, sports, music, art and social service,” he said, adding that he had full faith in the younger generation.


New university foundation laid

Chief minister Raghubar Das laid the foundation of the state’s ninth university — the Binod Bihari Mahto Koylanchal University (BBKM), named after the late Jharkhand state movement leader — at Bhelatand in Dhanbad district on November 12.

Addressing a function on the occasion, the chief minister said his government is committed to educational development of the state. A women’s university at Jamshedpur and a technical university at Palamu will also be established soon, he added.

Meanwhile Dr. D.K. Singh has been appointed pro tem vice chancellor of the BBKM University.


Paromita Sengupta with bureau inputs 

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