Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Uttarakhand to host central university on Himalayan technology

A new Central University for Himalayan Technology with international faculty will be established in Uttarakhand, HRD minister Smriti Irani said on Tuesday. The minister also said there is need to launch Rashtriya Aavishkar Abhiyaan (National Innovation Movement) to make study of science interesting for children.

Addressing a conference of state secretaries of higher and technical education, Irani said a large number of institutes and universities are mushrooming in various parts of the country with no standard facilities or full faculty. She asked the states to monitor such institutes to ensure that they conform to the standards. The minister also supported a strong "Know Your College" drive whereby it would be possible to get details of colleges on the website, which would help students make right choices.

Irani sought the help of states to create an enabling environment for education of children in backward areas, tribal zones and among minorities, women and weaker sections. She said special steps are being taken by the HRD ministry to meet the needs of higher education of students from the North-east in the form of collaborative efforts with premier institutes.

Irani asked the states to revisit the Right to Education (RTE) Act in the light of their experiences. The fragmentation between the primary, secondary and higher education should be removed and skill development should start at the school level while continuing up to the higher levels, she added. Technology will be leveraged for empowering the students and teachers. For this, the ministry proposes to launch a large number of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) and also establish a national e-library by the end of this year, she said.

Irani said there should be a National Framework of Ranking of Universities & Colleges suited to the local conditions, circumstances and requirements. The Shaala Deep Programme of schools can also be replicated in colleges, she added. The representatives of states presented their state-specific issues as well as ideas to improve the quality of higher education.

Source: The Times of India, June 18, 2014

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