Sunday, July 21, 2013

Links: Indian Higher Ed

  1. The biggest news of the week: the Supreme Court scrapped NEET, the medical entrance examinations for UG and PG admissions. In doing so, it appears to be going against its own earlier views. See also Arun Mohan Sukumar's strong critique of the verdict: A hatchet job, NEETly done.

    Here's another relevant piece of info pointed out by Ramya Kannan in The Hindu:

    Tamil Nadu was among the first few States to oppose the conduct of NEET. Subsequently, as the Central Institutes, AIIMS and PGI, stayed out of NEET, conducting their own entrance examinations and admitting students, the chorus of dissent against NEET grew more vociferous.

    Soon, the National Board of Examinations, which awards the DNB qualification, also conducted its own examinations.

    In effect, then, it turned out that what was not good enough for the Central Institutes was considered good enough for the States. Naturally, the States objected; slowly, their voices grew louder. A number of cases were filed across the country by medical institutions and States objecting to the implementation of NEET. States also reasoned that they would have to have a control on PG admissions if they were to be able to retain professionals in the State's medical services cadre.

  2. In an interview Prof. Amartya Sen reveals some of the plans for Nalanda University (including his hope to "advertise the [academic and research] posts this summer, and ... [start] in a small way 2014". Other highlights [bold emphasis added]:

    We hope we will get large sums of money. We have some money initially from the government of India to survive the core plans that we have at the moment. We will start with six faculties, and as and when we have the money, we will expand. We have to make sure the quality of education in those areas is extremely high.

    The six faculties are environment, information technology, economics and management, history, linguistics, and international relations. One of the problems many newly created universities face, especially in India, is this idea that you have to begin with absolutely every department.

    That’s not the way we have to see it. We have to expand faculty by faculty to be financially comfortable. Within the finances we will try to provide curriculum reach and coverage as we can, subject to maintaining the highest quality of experts that the world can offer.

  3. Shame on our Central Universities for doing such a shoddy job of their entrance exam this year. Seriously:

    And then were puerile queries, some relating to soap operas that had garnered eyeballs but very little critical acclaim.

    One question sought to test potential students for doctorate degrees to identify which channel ran the “Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’’ serial and which telecast the serial “Mowgli”.

  4. UGC to establish chairs on 7 Indian Nobel Laureates; 31 more on 9 ‘illustrious’ persons.