Minister deflects lockout threat
Andhra Pradesh’s minister for technical education, Mopidevi Venkata-ramana, informed a press conference in Vijaywada that a sum of Rs.1,800 crore will be disbursed to engineering colleges by the state government by end June under the fees reimbursement scheme, including Rs.,000 crore for technical educational institutes. Of this Rs.500 crore would be disbursed by end May and the remainder by end June, he said on May 24.
Earlier, the Association of Private Engineering College Managements had issued an ultimatum to the government demanding clearance of arrears under the fees reimbursement scheme, threatening to shut down their institutes and cancel examinations.
However, following the government’s acknowledgement of the debt and its assurances to settle it, the association has withdrawn its ultimatum, and agreed to conduct examinations on May 25, said Venkataramana.
Jammu & Kashmir
Police sponsored students’ tour
Students of government schools in land-locked Leh in the frontier region of Ladakh district were introduced to a new world during a tour organised by Jammu & Kashmir police. “We saw a train for the first time during the tour,” a student said while sharing his experi-ences of the week-long tour organised by the state police. Often described as a cold desert, Ladakh is connected with the rest of the country solely by the 434-km Srinagar-Leh highway, which remains blocked for nearly six months in a year due to heavy snowfall during winter.
The state police organised a grand reception in the district police lines in Leh for the 68 students on their return from a Bharat Dharshan Tour, which took them to Delhi, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. The students were warmly received by B. S. Tuti, superintendent of police, officers of the education department and jawans of the district police, Leh.
Speaking at a grand reception for the returning students, Tuti said the students’ tour had been organised to bridge the gap between civilians and police.
AMU greenfield campus
Interacting with media personnel on May 22 after inspecting a 243.7 acre site in Kishanganj (Bihar), allocated for construction of a greenfield Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) campus, AMU vice chancellor Dr. P. K. Abdul Aziz said the proposed new campus at Kishanganj will revolutionise education in Bihar.
Expressing his gratitude to the JD (U) Nitish Kumar government of Bihar for allotting AMU the campus site, he said: “Our new university here will usher in an educational revolution in Bihar.” Adding that providing quality educa-tion countrywide is the mission of AMU, Abdul Aziz informed the media that the university also plans to establish new campuses in Pune, Murshidabad, Malayapuram and Orissa under s.12 (2) of the AMU constitution which encou-rages the varsity to spread the light of contemporary secular education.
Students intensify agitation
In a statement issued in Kohima on May 28, the Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) said it will intensify its ongoing blockade of Manipur-bound vehicles on National Highway (NH)-39 to protest the failure of the Manipur government to fulfill their demands. This decision was taken on May 27 at an emergency meeting of NSF during which it resolved to continue the ban imposed on Manipur-bound vehicles on NH-39.
The federation also served an ultimatum to the Manipur government demanding withdrawal of prohibitory orders imposed upon Naga-inhabited areas of Manipur and an unconditional apology from chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh for preventing NSF leaders from entering beyond the inter-state gate at Mao on May 3.
The disruption of traffic and supplies into Manipur due to the economic blockade by NSF and others opposing ADC (autonomous district council) elections has triggered a humanitarian crisis in Manipur because of an acute shortage of essential commodities.
Industrial training centres drive
At a special ceremony staged in Bhubaneshwar on May 24, the Orissa state government inked agreements with nine heavyweight corporates to jointly establish high-quality industrial training centres (ITCs).
The state government’s Directorate of Technical Education and Training signed memoranda of association (MoUs) with representatives of the Orissa Power Generation Corporation Ltd; Tata Power Co; Vedanta Sterilite Energy; Emami Paper Mills; RSB Metaltech; Surendra Mining Industries; Monet Power Co; Uttam Utkal Steel and Ind-Barath Energy Ltd to this effect. Speaking on the occasion, the state’s chief minister, Naveen Patnaik said that the curriculum of these institutions will be shaped in collaboration with the companies which are party to the MoUs.
Estimating the state’s requirement of newly trained personnel at 140,000 per annum during the next quinquennium, Patnaik asked Indian corporate houses to promote ITCs before operationalising their factories.
After a formal meeting of the cabinet on May 26, the Himachal Pradesh government announced a decision to re-inspect all educational, vocational and health training institutes in the state to ensure that mandatory requirements of infrastructure facilities and faculty are strictly followed by all teaching-learning institutions.
The cabinet decision was taken following complaints against institutes alleging widespread failure to adhere to mandatory norms. The re-inspection was also prompted by media reports alleging maladministration of a private nursing hospital at Palampur, says an official in a government statement released in Shimla on May 26. “If any irregularity is found in any institution, action will be taken against members of the committee which recommended a no-objection certificate (NOC) to the institution,” says the official statement.