Education Notes

Uttar Pradesh

Modest fees increase

Medical and technical education in Uttar Pradesh is likely to become more expensive with the state government set to announce higher fees with commencement of the new academic year in July/ August.

At a meeting held on April 21, the executive council of the government-run Chattrapati Shahuji Maharaj Medical University (CSMMU), Lucknow decided to increase the annual fee for under-graduate and postgraduate programmes, although they continue to be heavily subsidised. “The fee of the MBBS programme has been raised to Rs.22,000 per year from Rs.18,300, and for postgrad courses to Rs.44,000 per annum from Rs.36,000,” said a CSMMU statement.

The council also resolved to reserve 10 percent of capacity for self-financed courses priced significantly higher at Rs.400,000 for the MBBS programme and Rs.7 lakh for postgrad courses. The state government has also raised the  fees of state-run polytechnics by more than Rs.3,000 — to Rs.12,760 per year.

Andhra Pradesh

Schulich School campus in Hyderabad

The Hyderabad-based infrastructure major GMR Group and the Schulich School of Business of York University, Toronto, Canada, will jointly develop a Schulich School campus in Hyder-abad. Schulich’s GMR campus will operate as a “seamless extension” of Schulich’s Canadian campus, ensuring the same high quality of programmes, faculty, and students, according to a press statement issued on April 22.

Initially, the Schulich School will offer its two-year MBA programme to 120 students on the Hyderabad campus, in addition to several executive education programmes. Admissions are scheduled to commence after 2013 as the project has to receive several approvals under the Foreign Education Providers Bill which is under discussion countrywide.

Under the agreement, Schulich will develop the learning environment and academic infrastructure, while the GMR Group will provide the land and buildings in the GMR Aerospace SEZ (Special Economic Zone) near Hyder-abad International Airport.

“The GMR campus of the Schulich School of Business will be a mirror image of our Toronto campus, with first-rate facilities, international faculty, and an internationally focused curriculum,” said Dr. Dezso J. Horvth, dean of the Schulich School of Business.

Jammu & Kashmir

Rural education infrastructure push

The Jammu & Kashmir state government is developing rural infrastructure to make education facilities available to children near their homes. “Greater focus is being laid on development of education infrastructure in rural areas so that students don’t need to migrate or travel to cities for education,” said chief minister Omar Abdullah, addressing the All Kargil Students Union in Srinagar on April 21.

Moreover the chief minister announced that separate hostels for girls and boys have been set up at Bemina for students from Kargil district. Library, recreational and communication facilities will also be made available in due course.


Universal primary education drive

The Puducherry government will zealously implement the Right to Education Act recently enacted by Parliament, chief minister V. Vaithilingam informed the legislative assembly on April 22.

Replying to legislative assembly members at the end of a debate on the grants to various departments including education, Vaithilingam said special enumeration of children who have either dropped out of school or have never been to school would be conducted shortly to attain universal primary education goals. The chief minister elaborated that Rs.3.5 crore has been earmarked to provide infrastructure in schools including sufficient class-rooms, toilets and compound walls under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA, Education for All) scheme in the Union territory. Classrooms in government higher secondary schools will also be constructed with an outlay of Rs.5.58 crore.

Simultaneously a drive to achieve the goal of 100 percent literacy will be launched this year under the Kamaraj Literacy Movement.


Teachers protest delayed award

Teachers of deficit (government funded) schools in Meghalaya have threatened to take to the streets, to protest the delay in granting them revised pay as per the state’s Fourth Pay Commission. In a notice issued to the state government on April 26, the Khasi-Jaintia Deficit School Teachers Asso-ciation (KJDSTA) announced it will launch an agitation to protest the delay in granting the revised pay and 40 percent arrears to deficit  school teachers. Education minister Ampareen Lyngdoh had cited financial constraints for the delay.

“We will wait for one more day and then we will launch our agitation,” KJDSTA president Ed Nongsiang informed the media. Earlier in April, the association had struck work by taking three days’ mass casual leave to protest the delay in implementation of the Fourth Pay Commission award.


Dust-free chalk breakthrough

Dust-free chalk can now be made available to municipal schools across the country, as the technology to manufacture it is ready for licensing to state governments. “We are ready to license the technology to state govern-ments so that superior quality dust-free chalk developed by us can reach municipal schools across the country,” Dr. Pushpito K. Ghosh, director of the Central Salt & Marine Chemical Resea-rch Institute (CSMCRI), informed media personnel in Ahmedabad on April 22.

The Bhavanagar-based CSMCRI has developed the first prototype machine for manufacturing dust-free chalk, with each chalk stick priced at Rs.0.35. According to Ghosh this is a great boon, because particles of traditional chalk widely used in government and municipal schools are known to cause respiratory disorders within the teacher and student communities.