Global Goals

Press Freedom Day




July 7, 2019

UNESCO and G7 Countries Raise the Alarm about Bullying, Join Forces against Violence in Education.

UNESCO, Paris, Education

Photo: Concrete staircase, UNESCO building, Paris, France. Designed in 1958 by Marcel Breuer & Pier Luigi Nervi. Image Credit: David Crowley.

Unesco, G7, Education

Paris, 04 July, 2019 — During their meeting in France, the Education Ministers of the G7 countries, with the participation of the Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, adopted a declaration to “unite against bullying in all of its forms, proclaim respect as a fundamental principle for all, and help ensure that our schools are safe and welcoming for all students.”

G7, or the Group of Seven, is a group consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. These countries, with the seven largest IMF-described advanced economies in the world, represent 58% of the global net wealth.

“Bullying is unacceptable and is getting even worse. UNESCO is committed to combat this educational scourge, which costs lives, ruins childhoods, and jeopardizes the future. We have big data and practical guidelines in place. We now must intensify efforts with all Member States, including G7 countries, to end this plague,” said the Director-General of UNESCO during the ministerial meeting.

As the United Nations’ lead agency for education, UNESCO works to measure and assess the prevalence and many forms of bullying and its impact. UNESCO built a global indicator to compare situation among countries and is committed to helping strengthen legislation, train, and support teachers in the fight against school violence and bullying.

UNESCO welcomed the G7 declaration and called on all countries to intensify efforts against bullying and violence in schools. Bullying takes place in all states and affects many children and young people. According to the recent UNESCO report, “Behind the Numbers: Ending School Violence and Bullying,” almost one in three students worldwide (32%) has been bullied by their peers at school at least once in the last month. With the growing presence of online social networking platforms, cyber-bullying has extended the scope of bullying. Bullying, whether psychological, physical or sexual, including online, is a severe issue and a global threat to quality education and self-confidence, UNESCO said.

According to UNESCO, several factors contribute to effective national responses, including political leadership, the collaboration between the education sector and other sectors, evidence-based approach, and training for teachers.

Meanwhile, UNESCO has joined the French proposal to organize an international conference in Paris on this issue. UNESCO will also propose to its Member States the adoption of an international anti-bullying day.

In a related development in India, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has notified “Regulations on Curbing the Menace of Ragging in Higher Educational Institutions.” These regulations are mandatory for all higher educational institutions in the country.

UGC has written a letter to the Vice-Chancellors of all Universities. It has warned, “Any violation of UGC Regulations or failure to suitably punish the perpetrators of ragging, will attract punitive action under the UGC Act.”

Meanwhile, on 23 July 2019, UGC issued a Public Notice listing 23 “fake,” “self-styled” universities that are “functioning in various parts of the country in contravention of the UGC Act.”



“Smite a scorner, and the simple will beware.”

— Proverbs of Solomon 19:25. King James Version. StumbleUpon reddit Facebook Google Plus Tweet This Seed This on Newsvine

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July 2, 2019

Human Resource Development Minister of India, Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, felicitates heads of IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi and IISc Bangalore for getting included in the Top 200 of QS World University Rankings - 2020.

QS World University Rankings, India

QS World University Rankings, India

Photo The Minister for Human Resource Development, Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, congratulated the heads of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi and the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore for securing ranks in top 200 of QS World University Rankings- 2020, in New Delhi on July 02, 2019.

New Delhi, 02 JUL 2019 — Union Human Resource Development Minister, Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, felicitated the heads of Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi and Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore for securing ranks in top 200 of QS World University Rankings- 2020 in New Delhi today.

The Minister said that the progress of a nation depends upon the status of education in that country. He said that all the higher educational institutions should focus on quality, research, and innovation. The training should find solutions to the problems of society at all levels and contribute to the overall development of the nation.

The Minister said that the research and innovation is the foundation for making developed, prosperous New India. He added that the Ministry is taking various steps to promote research and innovation and prepare young scientists in the country.

Earlier, the senior officials of the Ministry had a brainstorming session with the representatives of QS World University Rankings on improving the ranking of the Indian Educational Institutions at the global level.

Mr. R. Subrahmanyam, Secretary, Department of Higher Education, MHRD and Mr. Ashwin Fernandes, Regional Director for QS Intelligence Unit in Middle East, North Africa & South Asia, took part in the discussion.

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June 30, 2019

The Department of Higher Education of India's Ministry for Human Resource Development has released the Education Quality Upgradation and Inclusion Programme (EQUIP).


Photo: India’s Minister for Human Resource Development, Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal’ Nishank’, chairing a meeting with the Directors of all IITs and IIITs, in New Delhi on June 14, 2019. Secretary, Department of Higher Education, R. Subrahmanyam, is on his left.

New Delhi, June 28, 2019 — Following the decision of the Prime Minister for finalizing a five-year vision plan for each Ministry, the Department of Higher Education of HRD Ministry has released a five-year vision plan named Education Quality Upgradation and Inclusion Programme (EQUIP). The experts have prepared EQUIP covering the following ten areas:

Group Number. Group Focus — Chairperson

  1. Strategies for expanding access — Hasmukh Adhia, Chancellor, Central University Gujarat
  2. Improving teaching/learning process — Dr. K. Kasturirangan, Chancellor, Central University of Rajasthan & former Secretary, Dept of Space; former Chairman - ISRO
  3. Promoting Excellence — Pawan Goenka, Chairman, BoG, IIT Madras
  4. Governance reforms — Prof M S Ananth, Chairman, National Testing Agency (NTA)
  5. Assessment, Accreditation & Ranking systems — Prof Surendra Prasad, former Director, IIT Delhi
  6. Promotion of research & innovation — Dr. Vijaya Raghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser to PM
  7. Employability & entrepreneurship — Ajit Balakrishnan, former Chairman, IIM Kolkata
  8. Using Technology for better reach — Prof Deepak Pathak, Chairman, NIT Goa & Prof IIT Bombay
  9. Internationalization — Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog
  10. Financing higher education — Kris Gopalakrishnan, former CEO, Infosys.

The ten Expert Groups, which consist of senior academicians, administrators, and industrialists, have suggested more than 50 initiatives that would transform the higher education sector completely. Groups have set the following goals for the higher education sector:

  1. Double the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education and resolve the geographically and socially skewed access to higher education institutions in India:
  2. Upgrade the quality of education to world standards
  3. Position at least 50 Indian institutions among the top-1000 global universities
  4. Introduce governance reforms in higher education for well-administered campuses
  5. Accreditation of all institutions as an assurance of quality
  6. Promote Research & Innovation ecosystems for positioning India in the Top-3 countries in the world in matters of knowledge creation
  7. Double the employability of the students passing out of higher education
  8. Harness education technology for expanding the reach and improving pedagogy
  9. Promote India as a global study destination
  10. Achieve a quantum increase in investment in higher education

For each initiative, the Groups have recommended modalities for implementation, investments, and timelines. The proposal would now be taken for inter-departmental consultations before being taken to Cabinet for approval.

Source: Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India

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June 29, 2019

A Pioneering Student Team from the Netherlands wins UNESCO - Airbus "Fly Your Ideas" Global Competition.

UNESCO, Airbus

Photo: Fly Your Ideas 2019 Winner Team, Zero Hero, from the Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands. Image provided by & copyright © AIRBUS.

UNESCO, Airbus

Photo: Airbus A330neo - a highly-innovative aircraft that delivers superior quality and efficiency - takes to the skies above Le Bourget Airport for a Paris Air Show flying display. Image provided by & copyright © AIRBUS.

UNESCO, Airbus

Photo: Airbus H175 static display ambiance at Paris Airshow 2019. Showcased at the 2019 Paris Air Show, the H175, a performance record-setter with a time-to-climb 6,000 meters in 6 minutes 54 seconds. Image provided by & copyright © AIRBUS.

Paris, 28 June 2019 — Team “Zero” Heroes from the Delft University of Technology, (the Netherlands) has won the top prize of 25,000 euros of the 2019 Airbus Fly Your Ideas global student competition organized by Airbus in partnership with UNESCO. In recognition of their easy to use battery-less wireless smart switch application to replace traditional wired systems in aircraft.

Team “Zero” Heroes got selected from among 269 projects and a subsequent shortlist of seven. The biennial competition is a celebration of creativity, designed to inspire young people to get involved in sustainable innovation and engineering.

All seven finalist teams spent the last week of the competition in Toulouse, France, prototyping their idea in Airbus’ cutting-edge Innovation and R&D facilities with support from dedicated Airbus mentors and experts using state-of-the-art equipment. On 27 June, the teams presented their projects to a panel of aerospace and academic experts, and the general public through live streaming.

The jury of aerospace and academic experts from Airbus and the International Space University (Strasbourg, France) was impressed by the innovative spirit and economic understanding of the students of the “Zero” Heroes Team. Their development of wireless systems solves the main limitation of using the Internet of Things (IoT) in aircraft by removing battery integration, current safety, and regulatory challenge. Their innovation furthermore reduces fuel consumption and weight while simplifying aircraft retrofit and maintenance needs.

The runners up, Team Airfish from the University of Cambridge (UK), also presented a persuasive project with their ocean monitoring system using a satellite and video imaging technology. Their development can help governments combat illegal fishing, reduce the bycatch of endangered species, and generally decrease damage to the marine habitat.

Airbus Fly Your Ideas is a global competition challenging students to innovate for the future of aerospace in six key areas: Electrification, Data Services, Cyber Security, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, and Mixed Reality.

Since its launch by Airbus in 2008, and the signing of a partnership agreement with UNESCO in 2012, over 22,000 students from over 700 universities in 100 countries worldwide have registered for Fly Your Ideas.

This year’s finalist teams represent 11 countries and eight different universities from Asia, Europe, and South America.

The winning team received a prize of €25,000 and €10,000 were awarded to the runner-up project. The remaining finalists shared an additional €10,000.

Source: UNESCO

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June 25, 2019

The World's First Smart Life Creator Award presented at University of Oxford

Oxford University

Photo: John Frater, Professor, University of Oxford, United Kingdom, makes a point during the session ‘Ideaslab / Oxford - ‘Reinforcing Critical Systems’ at the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Image provided by and copyright © World Economic Forum / Monika Flueckiger. [File Photo]

Oxford University

Photo: Aoife Bennett, DPhil Candidate, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, United Kingdom, during the Session “Future-Proofing the Planet” at the World Economic Forum, Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils. Image provided by and copyright © World Economic Forum / Benedikt von Loebell. [File Photo]

Oxford, England — SEED AWARD 2019 - the world’s first creativity award, kicked off its global convening tour’s first leg at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom, inviting “those who have a passion of life and are willing to embrace innovative ideas.”

An excellent research team with Oxford alumni showcased at the event their invention of Routemaster systems, a novel combination of deep learning technology and air balloons to observe and predict traffic flows in the often jammed streets of Lagos, Nigeria, to help the city move faster.

Defined as “the world’s first creativity award that highlights the integration of technologies and everyday life,” SEED AWARD, sponsored by Guangzhou-based real estate Seedland Group, aims to encourage the innovative application of technology in everyday life.

SEED AWARD features a grand cash prize of RMB 1 million, three Prizes for Excellence and 30 Talent Awards. It is open to all individuals, teams, research institutions, and start-ups, regardless of age, nationality, or background.

“Contestants will benefit from an expert mentoring program with some of the world’s leading scientists and inventors to help them test and bring their creations to fruition,” said Lu Chuyang, CEO of Fast Company China, business media partner of the award.

Dr. Dov Moran, the inventor of the USB Flash Drive and Eric Frank, a founding member of Uber AI Labs, among other leading figures, are judges for the awarding committee.

Technological innovation is vital for humankind to live a better, more sustainable life, opined Dr. Carl Benedikt Frey, co-director of the Oxford Martin Program on Technology and Employment and Economics Associate of Nuffield College, University of Oxford.

During his presentation titled “Technology for a better life” at the event, Dr. Frey walked the 100-strong audience through his research on the transformation of industrial nations to digital economies, and subsequent challenges for economic growth, labor markets, and urban development.

Shimon Whiteson, professor of Computer Science at the University of Oxford and Chief Scientist and co-founder of Latent Logic Ltd., demonstrated how to design algorithms for computational systems to acquire and execute intelligent behavior, learn from experience and reason about their goals and deduce behavioral strategies to maximize their utility.

SEED AWARD tour will also stop at Peking University, China and Stanford University, the United States before the award selection enters its next stage.

According to the organizers, SEED AWARD 2019 will organize its semifinals in North America, Asia Pacific, and Europe as a further step in helping creators to bring their ideas to life.

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June 19, 2019

QS World University Rankings 2020 Announced

QS World University Rankings

QS World University Rankings

Photo: A building at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Image Credit: Shih-Pei Chang.

QS World University Rankings

Photo: Ngaire Woods, Dean, Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford, United Kingdom; Meta-Council on the New Architecture of Governance at the World Economic Forum Summit. Image provided by & copyright © World Economic Forum / Benedikt von Loebell. [File Photo]

LONDON, June 18, 2019 — The sixteenth edition of the QS World University Rankings was released today by global higher education analysts QS Quacquarelli Symonds. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is the world’s best university for the eighth consecutive year.

QS says it ranked 1000 universities from 82 different locations, surveyed 94,000 academics and 44,000 hiring managers and analyzed 11.8 million research papers and 100 million citations. QS measures universities on academic standing, employed graduates, student/staff ratio, research impact, and international outlook.

Key Facts

QS World University Rankings 2020: Global Top-30

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology — United States
  2. Stanford University — United States
  3. Harvard University — United States
  4. University of Oxford — United Kingdom
  5. California Institute of Technology — United States
  6. ETH Zurich — Switzerland
  7. University of Cambridge — United Kingdom
  8. University College London — United Kingdom
  9. Imperial College London — United Kingdom
  10. University of Chicago — United States
  11. Nanyang Technological University — Singapore
  12. National University of Singapore — Singapore
  13. Princeton University — United States
  14. Cornell University — United States
  15. University of Pennsylvania —United States
  16. Tsinghua University — China
  17. Yale University — United States
  18. Columbia University — United States
  19. Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne — Switzerland
  20. University of Edinburgh — United Kingdom
  21. University of Michigan — United States
  22. Peking University — China
  23. The University of Tokyo — Japan
  24. Johns Hopkins University — United States
  25. Duke University — United States
  26. The University of Hong Kong — Hong Kong
  27. The University of Manchester —United Kingdom
  28. University of California, Berkeley — United States
  29. The Australian National University — Australia
  30. University of Toronto — Canada

QS World University Rankings



  1. 152 — Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB)
  2. 182 — Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD)
  3. 184 — Indian Institute of Science
  4. =271 — Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM)
  5. =281 — Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (IIT-KGP)
  6. =291 — Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IITK)
  7. =383 — Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee (IITR)
  8. =474 — University of Delhi
  9. =491 — Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IITG)
  10. 651-700 — Jadavpur University
  11. 701-750 — Manipal Academy of Higher Education
  12. 751-800 — Anna University
  13. 751-800 — Jamia Millia Islamia
  14. 751-800 — O.P. Jindal Global University
  15. 801-1000 — Aligarh Muslim University
  16. 801-1000 — Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham (Amrita University)
  17. 801-1000 — Banaras Hindu University
  18. 801-1000 — Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani
  19. 801-1000 — Savitribai Phule Pune University
  20. 801-1000 — Thapar Institute of Engineering & Technology
  21. 801-1000 — University of Calcutta
  22. 801-1000 — University of Mumbai
  23. 801-1000 — Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT)

India has 23 universities in the just-announced QS World University Rankings. IIT Bombay (152), IIT Delhi (182), and IISc Bangalore (184) are in the Global Top 200.

The Vice-Chancellor of O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU), Prof. (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar and the Dean of Jindal School of Banking & Finance, Prof. (Dr.) Ashish Bharadwaj met with India’s Minister of Human Resource Development, Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’.

Vice-Chancellor Professor C. Raj Kumar presented the minister with the QS Certificate of Achievement awarded to JGU for being ranked between 751-800 globally. JGU is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year.

Dr. ‘Nishank’ congratulated JGU for breaking into QS World University Rankings 2020 for the first time.

QS evaluates the universities according to the following six metrics:

QS World University Rankings

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June 3, 2019

Government of India selects 10 High Performing State Universities for Mentoring by Leading U.S. Schools.

Cornell University

Photo: Banner outside one of the buildings housing Cornell Law School (Established 1887), Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. Image Credit: Indabelle.

RUSA, India, Universities

New Delhi, June 3, 2019 — Under the Ministry of Human Resource Development’s Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA), ten high-performing state universities are set to undergo a significant improvement.

The chosen colleges will get a special grant of Rs 100 crore each this academic year. Further, as part of this program, these universities will be mentored by seven leading US universities, including Cornell, UPenn, and UC Berkeley.

The ten state universities picked for this global association are:

  1. Osmania University, Hyderabad
  2. University of Jammu, Jammu
  3. Andhra University, Visakhapatnam
  4. Sri Venkateshwara University, Tirupati
  5. Jadavpur University, Kolkata
  6. Alagappa University, Karaikudi
  7. Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra
  8. Savitri Bai Phule University, Pune
  9. Utkal University, Bhubaneshwar
  10. Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar

Broad agreements and advanced plans have already been drawn up with University of California, Berkeley; University of Pennsylvania; Purdue University; Northeastern University; Drexel University; Cornell University and the University of South Florida for the collaboration.

The Selected 10 Indian State Public Universities and their U.S. Guides/Associates are as follows:

State — University — U.S. Guide/Associate — Area Of Collaboration

The National Higher Education Resource Centre ((NHERC) will monitor the international collaborations to achieve the objective set for each of the selected ten universities.

In one of the first instances of the implementation of this program of the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA), Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, and its decided mentor/partner Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, are building a plan of exchange and collaboration in Agriculture. GNDU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jaspal Singh Sandhu, and Cornell University Vice-Provost for International Affairs, Professor Wendy Wolford, signed a formal “MoU.”

Prof. Sandhu said, “This is the first time in the history of Guru Nanak Dev University that it has established an international partnership of this magnitude and significance with a top university of the world.”

UC Berkeley

Photo: Laura D. Tyson, Professor of Economics, University of California, Berkeley, USA, captured during the session ‘Is Freedom overrated?’ at the Annual Meeting 2007 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 26, 2007. Image provided by & copyright © World Economic Forum / E.T. Studhalter. [File Photo]

The University of California Berkeley will mentor the University of Jammu, Jammu; Jadavpur University, Kolkata; Savitri Bai Phule University, Pune; and Utkal University, Bhubaneshwar. The idea is to make all the 10 Selected State Universities as World-Class Universities.

• Meanwhile, the Government of India has determined that Panjab University Chandigarh is Unfit and Ineligible for this Pivotal Project.

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June 1, 2019

College Consensus Releases Ranking of Best Colleges in New York State

Cornell University Clock Tower

Photo: McGraw Clock Tower at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Image Credit: Kyle Wagaman.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — College Consensus, a college ranking publisher, has announced its ranking of the Best Colleges in New York State.

To identify the Best Colleges in New York, College Consensus says that it combined the latest results from the most respected college ranking systems with thousands of real student reviews to produce a unique consensus score for each school. According to College Consensus founder Jeremy Alder, “Similar to what ‘Rotten Tomatoes’ does for movies, College Consensus gathers the publisher rankings and student reviews from around the web and distills the results into simple, easy to understand scores so students can quickly and easily compare schools. It is the ranking of all rankings, so to speak.”

‘Rotten Tomatoes,’ it may be mentioned, is an American review-aggregation website for film and television. It was launched in August 1998 by three undergraduate students at the University of California, Berkeley. The name “Rotten Tomatoes” derives from the practice of audiences throwing rotten tomatoes when disapproving of a poor stage performance.

To help prospective New York students evaluate the higher education options that are right for their individual needs, College Consensus identified the best-ranked colleges in the Empire State:

Even before there was the United States, New York emerged as the center of American culture; a major port and trade hub, New York is where the “melting pot” concept first appeared in the American imagination. From the first Revolutionaries to hip-hop culture, New York has been at the forefront of business, art, politics, and entertainment, driven by the unique combination of ambition, competition, and cooperation that is New York’s calling card. While almost half the state’s population lives in New York City alone, New York as a whole is a role model for nearly every industry, from agriculture to tourism, manufacturing to finance. It’s no wonder New York has one of America’s best-educated populaces and a system of higher education that includes the Ivy League, nationally-renowned public universities, and some of the most prestigious private liberal arts colleges in the U.S.

“Ranking the best colleges and universities in New York,” as Managing Editor Carrie Sealey-Morris explains, “is pretty close to a fool’s errand.” With more than 200 institutions, “New York’s higher education excels in the areas where New York dominates,” including areas as far afield as theater and medicine, finance and fine arts. New York’s higher education system is led by “the renowned State University of New York (SUNY) system - quite possibly the world’s foremost public higher education system” and not one but “two Ivy League universities, Columbia and Cornell.” New York’s liberal arts colleges “are models of the form, in many cases literally, including the first women’s college in the U.S.” New York also introduced the polytechnic model of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education with The Cooper Union, the longest-running entirely free college, Carrie Sealey-Morris explained.

Source: College Consensus

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May 30, 2019

India's University Grants Commission (UGC) directs all Universities to get on board the National Academic Depository (NAD) before September 30, 2019.

UGC, Certificate

New Delhi, May 30, 2019 — University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked all higher educational institutions — Central Universities, State Universities, Deemed to be Universities, Private Universities, as well as School Boards — to immediately join the National Academic Depository (NAD), an online storehouse of Educational Credentials (Degrees, Diplomas, Certificates, and Mark-Sheets).

NAD not only ensures easy access to and retrieval of an academic certificate but also validates and guarantees its authenticity and safe storage.

Main Features of the National Academic Depository (NAD) include —

NAD is an effective deterrence to fake and forged paper certificates. It benefits academic institutions by providing a permanent and safe record of all credentials issued by them. There is no need to issue duplicate certificates; students can get them directly from NAD.

NAD serves students by providing them immediate access to their academic credentials. There is no risk of losing, spoiling or damaging the certificates.

National Academic Depository (NAD) was launched in September 2016 to develop a digital depository for school learning certificates, degrees and other academic awards of higher education institutions on the pattern of a securities depository. NAD is an online 24X7 store-house of all academic honors. It provides safe storage, easy retrieval, and validation of the authenticity of educational certificates.

The UGC has, on behalf of all eligible Higher Educational Institutions, signed a tripartite agreement with NSDL Database Management Limited (NDML) and CDSL Ventures Limited (CVL), the two inter-operable digital depositories that constitute the National Academic Depository (NAD). NDML and CVL possess the prescribed hardware, software, and network facilities required for the smooth and steady operationalization of NAD.

UGC has advised the institutions to enter into a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with either of the depositories by June 15, 2019, upload the legacy data by July 31, 2019, and fully integrate with NAD by September 30, 2019.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) of India is a statutory body entrusted with coordination, determination, and maintenance of standards of higher education. While the UGC has done its job, the universities now must advance this critical project and bring it to success.



UGC has just asked the Vice-Chancellors of all universities to observe the “World No Tobacco Day” tomorrow (May 31, 2019), and organize a pledge-taking ceremony in the campuses of the university and the affiliated colleges. StumbleUpon reddit Facebook Google Plus Tweet This Seed This on Newsvine

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May 21, 2019

The University of California Berkeley Alumni Association is organizing a Forum on Contemporary India in New Delhi.

UC Berkeley

Photo: Sather Tower, University of California, Berkeley. Image Credit: Corey Seeman.

UC Berkeley

The University of California Berkeley Alumni Association is organizing a Forum on Contemporary India in New Delhi.

The afternoon forum would be lead by Professor Pradeep Chhibber, Professor and Indo-American Community Chair in India Studies at UC Berkeley. Prof. Chhibber is the author of various books including — • Ideology and Identity: The Changing Party Systems of India, Oxford University Press; and • Democracy without Associations: Transformation of Party Systems and Social Cleavages in India, University of Michigan Press.

Berkeley undergraduate students will present to the gathering their fascinating research projects on contemporary India.

The event will also be an opportunity to connect with fellow Cal Alumni and friends.

Date: Saturday, May 25, 2019, 4:00pm - 6:30pm

Location: Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, Teen Murti Bhawan, Teen Murti Marg, New Delhi 110011.

The Cal Alumni Association will serve refreshments to the attendees.


4:00pm-5:30pm: Panel discussion followed by Q&A.

Panelists include:

Professor Pradeep Chhibber and his UC Berkeley colleague, Pranav Gupta, have written several articles in the Indian Press on the current Lok Sabha elections. One of their reports is titled: “Political Parties dominate India’s National Elections, not Candidates.” The number of candidates in each constituency has proliferated since Independence, but an independent has a minimal likelihood of winning a Lok Sabha seat, they explain. Their another article is titled: “Not just Political Apathy, Faulty Electoral Rolls to blame for lower Lok Sabha Poll Turnout.”

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May 20, 2019

Nine Leading Global Universities Team Up To Create Global Infrastructure For Digital Academic Credentials.

• Researchers set sights on a new standard for issuing, sharing, and verifying educational certificates.

Harvard University

Photo: Harvard Yard, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. Image Credit: Corey Seeman.

Global Universities

CAMBRIDGE, MA, May 20, 2019. While digital technology has started to transform education by enabling new learning pathways customized to each’s needs, the way that educational institutions issue and manage academic credentials has not changed much. Nine leading global universities announced today that they had formed the Digital Credentials collaboration to create a trusted, distributed, and shared infrastructure standard for issuing, storing, displaying, and verifying educational certificates.

“Currently, those who complete a degree from an institution must go back to that institution — sometimes by mail or even in person — each time there is a need to verify the academic credentials earned,” said Sanjay Sarma, MIT vice president for open learning. “This can be a complicated problem, especially if the learner no longer has access to the university. Such is the case with many refugees, immigrants, and displaced populations.”

“As teaching and learning offered by our universities have come to encompass digital platforms, the question of trusted verification and authentication of learning and credentials poses itself with broad urgency,” said Diana Wu, dean of university extension and new academic ventures at University of California, Berkeley.

Using technology that relies on strong cryptography to prevent tampering and fraud, and shared ledgers to create a global infrastructure for anchoring academic achievements, the researchers plan to build upon earlier research and pioneering efforts by their institutions.

The universities working on this effort include:

One of the driving forces behind this shared effort is the interest by universities to utilize the advances brought by these new technologies in a way that prioritizes the needs of learners. Digital credentials allow learners to maintain a compelling and valid digital record of their lifelong learning achievements that may include badges, internships, boot camps, certificates, MicroMasters, and stackable combinations, as well as traditional degrees — all of which they can easily share with employers or other institutions. Institutions can record and manage the achievements of their learners in a way that is easy, safe, and inexpensive, and minimizes the risk of identity fraud.

“We are well positioned in academia to use cutting-edge technology to empower learners to advance their careers and education with credentials in the palms of their hands,” said Hans Pongratz, senior vice president for IT-systems and services at Technical University of Munich (TUM).

The team has now set its sights on the evolution and governance of a shared standard. “Digital credentials are like tokens of social and human capital and hold tremendous value for the individual. The significant opportunity we have today is to bring together institutions that share a commitment to the benefit of learners, and who can act as stewards of this infrastructure,” said Philipp Schmidt, director of learning innovation at the MIT Media Lab.

“Our shared vision is one where academic achievements, and the corresponding credentials that verify them, can open up new pathways for individuals to become what they want to be in the future,” said José Escamilla, director of TecLabs Learning Reimagined at Tecnologico de Monterrey.

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May 13, 2019

University Grants Commission (UGC) publishes "Redressal of Grievances of Students Regulation" in the Government of India Gazette. Penal Action against Erring Institutions.

India Education

UGC Regulations

India Universities


Photo: The front of the Government of India Gazette notifying the University Grants Commission (Redressal of Grievances of Students) Regulations.

• New Delhi, 13 May 2019 — The University Grants Commission has published Redressal of Grievances of Students Regulation in the Government of India Gazette.

The regulation mandates the institutions to upload on their websites the prospectus containing information on the list of programs, number of seats, conditions of educational qualification and eligibility, process of selections, each component of fee, deposit and other charges payable by students, details of teaching faculty with their pedagogical skills, and data about physical and academic infrastructure.

There will be four types of students grievance redressal committees, collegiate student grievance redressal committee, departmental student grievance redressal committee, institutional student grievance redressal committee, and the University Student Grievance Redressal Committee. Any student aggrieved by the decision of the University Student Grievance Redressal Committee may prefer an appeal to the Ombudsperson, who shall be a person of eminence in academics or research, and who had been Vice-Chancellor of a University.


“Grievance” means, and includes, complaint(s) made by an aggrieved student in respect of the following, namely:

  1. Admission is contrary to merit determined in the declared admission policy of the Institution;
  2. Irregularity in the process under the stated admission policy of the Institution;
  3. The Institution refuses to admit a student under its declared admission policy;
  4. Non-publication of the prospectus by the Institution, under the provisions of these regulations;
  5. Publication by the Institution of any information in the brochure, which is false or misleading, and not based on facts;
  6. Withholding of, or refusal to return, any document in the form of certificates of degree, diploma or any other award deposited by a student to seek admission.
  7. The demand for money above that specified in the declared admission policy of the Institution;
  8. Violation, by the Institution, of any law for the time being in force regarding reservation of seats in admission to a different category of students;
  9. Nonpayment or delay in payment of scholarships or financial aid applicable to any student under the declared admission policy of such Institution, or under the conditions, if any, prescribed by the Commission;
  10. Delay by the Institution in the conduct of examinations, or declaration of results, beyond the schedule specified in the academic calendar of the Institution, or such timetable prescribed by the Commission;
  11. Failure by the Institution to provide student amenities as set out in the prospectus, or is required to be extended by the Institution under any provisions of law for the time being in force;
  12. Non-transparent or Unfair Practices adopted by the Institution for the Evaluation of Students;
  13. Delay in, or denial of, the refund of fees due to a student who withdraws admission within the time mentioned in the prospectus, or as may be notified by the Commission;
  14. Complaints of alleged discrimination of students from the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, Women, Minority or persons with disabilities categories;
  15. Denial of quality education as promised at the time of admission or required to be provided;
  16. Harassment or victimization of a student, other than cases of harassment, which are to be proceeded against under the penal provisions of any law for the time being in force.


Every Institution, shall publish and/or upload on its website, before expiry of at least sixty days prior to the date of the commencement of the admission to any of its courses or programs of study, a prospectus containing the following for the information of persons intending to seek access to such Institution and the general public, namely:


The Commission shall in respect of any institution, which willfully contravenes these regulations, or repeatedly fails to comply with the recommendation of the Ombudsperson or the Grievance Redressal Committee(s), as the case may be, proceed to take one or more of the following actions, namely:

The Commission will, however, take no action under this regulation without first giving the Institution a chance to explain its position.

The Commission has notified this regulation to the Vice-Chancellors of all Universities.

UGC Regulations

• Consequent upon the promulgation of this regulation in the Government of India Gazette, any University, whose “Registrar” professes to possess the absolute authority to manipulate the data under his supervision and engage in non-transparent, unfair practices for the evaluation of students, would be served with a Show Cause Notice. The University would be required to show cause why it should not be declared “Unfit for receiving Government Grants.”

Source: University Grants Commission, New Delhi.

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April 26, 2019

Meet the Finalists of 2019 Fly Your Ideas Student Competition


Photo: Comlux - which provides VIP charter solutions, aircraft operations, and management services - received the first of three ACJ320neo Airbus corporate jets in March 2019. Image provided by & copyright © AIRBUS.


Seven international teams of students have been selected for 2019 of 2019 Fly Your Ideas global competition, which invites students from around the world to innovate in critical areas for the industry: Electrification, Data Services, Cyber Security, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and Mixed Reality. The biennial competition is a celebration of creativity and innovation to solve real industry challenges, organized by Airbus in partnership with UNESCO.

The selected concepts represent a range of trendsetting topics such as a ‘Smart Wheelchair’ for air travel or a ‘Solar Windmill.’ The finalist team members represented 11 countries (Argentina, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Moldavia, Netherlands, Norway, United Kingdom), eight different universities and were selected from over 270 entries worldwide. Their academic backgrounds vary from Engineering to Information Technology and Natural Sciences to Finance.

The students, competing for a share of the €45,000 prize fund and the chance to further evolve their idea in the aerospace industry, are motivated by the digital nature of this year’s challenge, and the opportunity to change the world with their ideas. In June, the teams will travel to Toulouse, France to work in Airbus’ innovation and R&D facilities to further develop, prototype or visualize their ideas using state-of-the-art equipment with support from Airbus. On 27 June, the students will present their projects in front of Airbus experts, UNESCO representatives and personalities from the aerospace and academic world, live-streamed in parallel to a global audience.

The seven finalist teams are:

Team AirFish, University of Cambridge, UK.
Airbus Integrated Fisheries Information Services
Data Services Challenge
AirFish is an ocean monitoring system using satellite imagery and video imaging technology. It can help governments combat illegal fishing, reduce bycatch of endangered species, and generally decrease damages to the marine habitat. This project aims to improve the efficiency of fish farming, making food production more affordable while reducing open-water fishing and thus environmental impacts.

Team AIQinspect, Saarland University, Germany.
Automated Intelligent Real-Time Quality Inspection Exploiting Human-Robot-Collaboration
Artificial Intelligence Challenge
AIQinspect will assist the human operator in performing rivet inspection by using Artificial Intelligence. Quality is predicted based on images and physical parameters while riveting in real time.

Team “Zero” Heroes, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands.
Internet of Things Challenge
Batteryless Wireless Switches for Airplanes
Application of wireless systems in aircraft instead of traditional wired networks.

Team Osprey, University of Strathclyde, UK.
Motor Intra-body Cooling System - MICS
Electrification Challenge
Replacing the traditional method of cooling electric motors with a water jacket or submerged cooling with a cooling system integrated inside the body of the engine itself.

Team Seren, University of Cambridge, UK.
The Solar Windmill
Electrification Challenge
A novel method of electricity generation for spacecraft using trapped high energy particles. This innovative approach aims to store and create energy in deep space where the current density from sunlight is low.

Team Move-EZ, Technical University of Milan, Italy.
Swan - Smart Wheelchair for Air travel Needs
Internet of Things Challenge
SWAN is an innovation that aims to revolutionize the air-travel experience of Passengers with Reduced Mobility (PRM). It converts a redesigned class of detachable airplane seats into smart electric wheelchairs that passengers can use from check-in to arrival. It is fully controllable by smartphone through a dedicated app.

Team V.A.C.A, National University of La Plata, Argentina.
V.A.C.A. - Earth-obserVation-data based Application for stockbreeding Administration
Data Services Challenge
VACA is an integrated service for stockbreeders, based on Earth observation, meteorological and IoT data applied to agriculture. VACA aims to provide actionable information to stockbreeders on quality and quantity of pastures, the number of animals in paddocks as well as the physical condition of cattle.

Airbus Fly Your Ideas is a global competition challenging students worldwide to innovate for the future of aerospace, designed and launched by Airbus in 2008 and organized in partnership with UNESCO since 2012. Since 2008, over 22,000 students have registered for Fly Your Ideas from over 700 universities and 100 countries worldwide, with more than 500 Airbus employees contributing their mentorship and expertise to support the competition.

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April 16, 2019

Reuters wins Pulitzer Prizes for International Reporting and Breaking News Photography.

Pulitzer Prize

Photo: Outside the Columbia School of Journalism building. Image provided by & copyright © Eston Bond.

NEW YORK, April 15, 2019 — Reuters, the world’s largest multimedia news provider, was today awarded two 2019 Pulitzer Prizes from Columbia University. It is for the second consecutive year that Reuters has received two Pulitzer Prizes.

Reuters journalists Wa Lone, Kyaw Soe Oo, and their colleagues were recognized as co-winners, alongside the Associated Press, in the International Reporting category, for their series of investigations on the mass expulsion of the Rohingya from Myanmar.

Reuters photographers Mike Blake, Lucy Nicholson, Loren Elliott, Edgard Garrido, Adrees Latif, Goran Tomasevic, Kim Kyung Hoon, Alkis Konstantinidis, Carlos Garcia Rawlins, Carlos Barria and Ueslei Marcelino were recognized in the Breaking News Photography category, for their photos of the mass migration of Central and South Americans towards the U.S. border, and its aftermath. Awarding the prize to Reuters, the Pulitzer committee recognized the team for “a vivid and startling visual narrative of the urgency, desperation, and sadness of migrants as they journeyed to the U.S. from Central and South America.”

“While it’s gratifying that we got recognized for the work, public attention should be focused more on the people about whom we report than on us: in this case, the Rohingya and the Central American migrants,” said Reuters Editor-in-Chief Stephen J. Adler.

“I’m thrilled that Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo and their colleagues have been recognized for their extraordinary, courageous coverage, and our photojournalists for their moving pictures that show humanity defying huge obstacles,” said Adler.

Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world’s largest multimedia news provider, reaching billions of people every day.

Announcement of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize Winners

On Monday, April 15, the Pulitzer Prize Board announced the 2019 Pulitzer Prize winners in 14 journalism and seven letters, drama and music categories.

The 2019 Pulitzer Prize Winners are:

- Journalism -

Public Service
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Breaking News Reporting
The staff of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Investigative Reporting
Matt Hamilton, Harriet Ryan and Paul Pringle of the Los Angeles Times

Explanatory Reporting
David Barstow, Susanne Craig and Russ Buettner of The New York Times

Local Reporting
The staff of The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La.

National Reporting
The staff of The Wall Street Journal

International Reporting
Maggie Michael, Maad al-Zikry and Nariman El-Mofty of Associated Press.
The staff of Reuters. Critical contributions from Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo.

Feature Writing
Hannah Dreier of ProPublica

Tony Messenger of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Carlos Lozada of The Washington Post

Editorial Writing
Brent Staples of The New York Times

Editorial Cartooning
Darrin Bell, freelancer

Breaking News Photography
Photography Staff of Reuters

Feature Photography
Lorenzo Tugnoli of The Washington Post

- Letters, Drama and Music -

The Overstory, by Richard Powers (W.W. Norton)

Fairview, by Jackie Sibblies Drury

Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, by David W. Blight (Simon & Schuster)

The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke, by Jeffrey C. Stewart (Oxford University Press)

Be With, by Forrest Gander (New Directions)

General Nonfiction
Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America, by Eliza Griswold (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux)

PRISM, by Ellen Reid

Special Citations
Capital Gazette, Annapolis, Md.
Aretha Franklin

The Pulitzer Prize is an award for achievements in newspaper, magazine and online journalism, literature, and musical composition in the United States. Columbia University in New York City administers it. Prizes are awarded yearly in twenty-one categories. The Pulitzer Prize Board awards a gold medal to the winner in the public service category of the journalism competition.

Sources: Pulitzer Prize, Reuters.

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April 3, 2019

Ministry of Human Resource Development, India, issues clarification on its recent orders for revision of allowances of Teachers, Registrars, Finance Officers, and Controllers of Examinations in the Central Universities.

HRD Ministry, India

HRD Ministry, India

New Delhi, 03 April 2019 — India’s Ministry of Human Resource Development has issued a clarification on its recent orders on the revision of allowances and special allowances for Teachers, Registrars, Finance Officers, and Controllers of Examinations in Central Universities.

The order had also included revised special allowances per month for Vice Chancellors, Pro-Vice-Chancellors, and College Principals.

The Ministry has now clarified that its orders are also applicable to Deputy Registrars, Assistant Registrars, Deputy Controllers of Examinations, Assistant Controllers of Examinations, Deputy Finance Officers and Assistant Finance Officers in Central Universities and Centrally funded Deemed to be Universities.

The order benefits 30,000 teaching and equivalent staff in the Central Universities and 5,500 officials in Deemed to be Universities.

The order is also a benchmark for 7,00,000 teachers and staff in the State Universities of the country.

Any corresponding increase in the allowances in a State University, however, is possible only if the State Government overseeing that university has sufficient funds at its disposal.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has, meanwhile, published the lists of Central Universities, State Universities, Deemed Universities, and Private Universities in India.

The University of Delhi, University of Allahabad, Aligarh Muslim University, and Banaras Hindu University, for example, are Central Universities. While Kurukshetra University, Guru Nanak Dev University Amritsar, Punjabi University Patiala, and Himachal Pradesh University Shimla, for instance, are State Universities.

Fast-rising universities, such as Amity University, Chandigarh University, Chitkara University, and Lovely Professional University, are Private Universities.

The Pakistani-origin Panjab University of Chandigarh is the only academic institution that holds the fragile legal status of ‘Interstate Body Corporate.’ It survives on an Annual Grant from the University Grants Commission, while the Finance Department of the Punjab Government controls the Pay Scales of its officials, teachers, and employees.

Sources: Ministry of Human Resource Development, University Grants Commission.

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March 10, 2019

U.S. News Unveils Speakers for Workforce of Tomorrow Conference

U.S. News, National Press Club


Photo: A scene from the 2018 U.S. News conference. Image provided by & copyright © U.S. News & World Report / Brett Ziegler, photographer. [File Photo]

WASHINGTON, March 10, 2019 — U.S. News & World Report, publisher of Best Universities and Best Colleges, will host the eighth annual U.S. News STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Solutions Workforce of Tomorrow forum on May 22, 2019, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Leaders from government, education, industry, nonprofits and more will come together to share ideas and best practices for developing a modern workforce with the skills needed for a shifting jobs landscape. This year’s one-day summit will examine the future of work, the impact of automation and artificial intelligence, diversity in the workplace, education innovation, lifelong learning and reskilling, and more.

Confirmed speakers include:

“As we enter a new industrial revolution, it’s crucial that workers possess the proper skills to utilize developing technologies like artificial intelligence,” said Brian Kelly, Editor and Chief Content Officer of U.S. News & World Report. “The Workforce of Tomorrow forum brings together the leading voices in STEM education and workforce development to explore the evolving labor needs of today’s - and tomorrow’s - employers.”

U.S. News & World Report is a global leader in quality rankings that empower people to make better, more informed decisions about important issues affecting their lives. Founded in 1933, U.S. News has its headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The venue of the conference, National Press Club, is located on the 13th Floor of the National Press Building at 529 14th St., NW, Washington, D.C.

Source: U.S. News & World Report

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March 2, 2019

The University of California terminates subscriptions with the World’s Largest Scientific Publisher Elsevier: Pushes for Open Access to Publicly Funded Research

University of California

University of California

Photo: Sather Tower, University of California, Berkeley. Sather Tower is the third-tallest bell-and-clock-tower in the world. One can hear its 61-bell carillon many miles away. Image credit: Christian Ortiz.

UC Office of the President, Friday, March 01, 2019 — As a leader in the global movement toward open access to publicly funded research, the University of California (UC) is taking a firm stand by deciding not to renew its subscriptions with Elsevier. Despite months of contract negotiations, Elsevier was unwilling to meet UC’s fundamental goal: securing universal open access to UC research while containing the rapidly escalating costs associated with for-profit journals.

In negotiating with Elsevier, UC aimed to accelerate the pace of scientific discovery by ensuring that research produced by UC’s ten campuses — which accounts for nearly 10 percent of all U.S. publishing output — would be immediately available to the world, without cost to the reader. Under Elsevier’s proposed terms, the publisher would have charged UC authors large publishing fees on top of the university’s multi-million dollar subscription, resulting in a much greater cost to the university and much higher profits for Elsevier.

“Knowledge should not be accessible only to those who can pay,” said Robert May, chair of UC’s faculty Academic Senate. “The quest for full open access is essential if we are to uphold the mission of this university truly.” The Academic Senate issued a statement today endorsing UC’s position.

Open access publishing, which makes research freely available to anyone, anywhere in the world, fulfills UC’s mission by transmitting knowledge more broadly and facilitating discoveries that build on the university’s research and scholarly work.

“I fully support our faculty, staff, and students in breaking down paywalls that hinder the sharing of groundbreaking research,” said UC President Janet Napolitano. “This issue does not just impact UC, but also countless scholars, researchers and scientists across the globe — and we stand with them in their push for full, unfettered access.”

Elsevier is the most significant scholarly publisher in the world, disseminating about 18 percent of journal articles produced by UC faculty. The transformative model that UC faculty and libraries are championing would make it easier and more affordable for UC authors to publish in an open access environment.

“Make no mistake: The prices of scientific journals now are so high that not a single university — not the University of California, not Harvard, no institution — can afford to subscribe to them all,” said Jeffrey MacKie-Mason, university librarian and economics professor at UC Berkeley, and co-chair of UC’s negotiation team. “Publishing our scholarship behind a paywall deprives people of the access to and benefits of publicly funded research. That is terrible for society.”

Elsevier was unwilling to meet UC’s reasonable contract terms, which would integrate subscription charges and open access publishing fees, making public access the default for an article by a UC scholar and stabilizing journal costs for the university.

“The university’s, and the world’s move toward open access has been a long time in the making. Many institutions and countries agree that the current system is both financially unsustainable and ill-suited to the needs of today’s global research enterprise,” said Ivy Anderson, associate executive director of UC’s California Digital Library and co-chair of UC’s negotiation team. “Open access will spur faster and better research — and greater global equity of access to new knowledge.”

Source: University of California

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February 21, 2019

Indian Educators visit the University of Michigan for Leadership Training

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan — About 30 Indian educators spent a week at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business as part of a new Leadership for Academicians program.

The LEAP program, launched by the India Ministry of Human Resource Development, provides a three-week training program for upcoming academic leaders. The collaboration between the University of Michigan Ross Business School and the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, is the first one in a series.

The educators, who come from 15 states across India, spent the first two weeks in India as part of the new executive education program. They attended the final week at University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus to cover areas critical for the development of academic leadership in India.

“Hearing how a higher education institution works in the U.S. has been eye-opening,” said Bhupendra Gandhi, a professor at IIT-Roorkee. “We are looking forward to adapting them in the Indian context.”

At the University of Michigan, the Indian educators participated in several workshops and lectures about best practices in academic governance, technology disruption, student engagement, and innovation in teaching techniques.

“We are pleased to be selected as a partner in this crucial leadership development program in higher education in India,” said M.S. Krishnan, associate dean for executive programs at the Ross School. “We look forward to collaborating and shaping the academic leadership across institutions in India.”

As part of the training, the participants met with several senior University of Michigan leaders, including President Mark Schlissel, Provost Martin Philbert, Ross School Dean Scott DeRue and Dean of the College of Engineering, Alec Gallimore.

“I teach C.K Prahalad’s work to my students,” said Lalitha Ramakrishnan, a professor at Pondicherry University. “To walk the halls where he once taught is awe-inspiring.”

India Ministry of Human Resource Development’s Leadership for Academicians Programme (LEAP) is a three weeks Flagship leadership development training programme (2 weeks domestic and one-week foreign training) for second level academic functionaries in publicly funded higher education institutions in India. The primary objective is to prepare second-tier academic heads who are potentially likely to assume leadership roles in the future. The programme would provide senior faculty, with high academic credentials, the necessary leadership and managerial skills including skills of problem-solving, handling stress, team building work, conflict management, developing communication skills, understanding and coping with the complexity and challenges of governance in higher education institutions, and financial & general administration.

In short, this Leadership Development Program aims to equip second level functionaries in Public Funded Institutions such as Deans, Heads of Departments, and Directors of Divisions/Schools with the leadership skills necessary for governance roles in higher education institutions.

Alumni Reception: The University of Michigan Alumni Association is organizing a gathering of its members and friends on 26 March 2019. Time: 7.00 P.M. Location: Qutub Hotel, New Delhi, India.

Sources: The University of Michigan and India Ministry of Human Resource Development

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February 20, 2019

India launches Operation Digital Board

India Universities

Photo: The Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Prakash Javadekar, addressing a press conference on Operation Digital Board, in New Delhi on February 20, 2019.

New Delhi, February 20, 12019 — The Minister of Human Resource Development, Prakash Javadekar, today launched Operation Digital Board (ODB) to leverage technology to boost quality education in the country.

Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, the Minister said that Operation Digital Board is a revolutionary step which will make the learning as well as the teaching process interactive.

Mr. Prakash Javadekar disclosed that the digital board would be introduced all over the country in government and government-aided schools from class 9th onwards as well as in higher education institutions. The process will begin from the coming session of 2019 itself, the Minister explained. He further said that ODB aims at converting a classroom into a digital class with the availability of e-resources at any time and any place to students. It will also help in Intelligent Tutoring by exploiting emerging technologies like Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence & Data Analytics. An expert committee has worked out the optimum configuration of the Digital Class Rooms under ODB, he said.

The Union Minister explained that the biggest challenge facing the education sector in the country is maintaining acceptable quality standards across the country. Although we have a good number of premier institutions, which compete with the best in the world, a large number of higher education institutions and schools need improvement in quality teaching-learning, as the students coming out of these institutions find themselves unsuitable for the requirements of the society and the market.

Implementation of ODB in Higher Education Institutions

The University Grants Commission (UGC) will be the implementing agency for ODB in Higher Education Institutions. UGC has passed a resolution for extending digital education to every classroom in the country by 2022. UGC proposes to take up 300 universities and 10,000 colleges in the first phase, covering 2 lakh classrooms.

Source: Ministry of Human Resource Development, India

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January 30, 2019

Switzerland Maintains Top Spot Overall, Japan Captures Second Place in 2019 Best Countries Report

Wharton, Best Countries

US News

Davos, Switzerland


Photo: Aerial Photo of Davos, the most significant tourism metropolis of the Swiss Alps, captured before the opening of the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Davos is in the middle of Swiss Alps and the city for holidays, sports, congresses, health, development, and culture. Image provided by & copyright © World Economic Forum / Andy Mettler. (File Photo)

WASHINGTON, January 29, 2019 — Switzerland is the No. 1 country in the world for the third consecutive year, according to the 2019 Best Countries Report, a rankings and analysis project by U.S. News & World Report, BAV Group and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The rankings evaluate 80 countries across a range of categories, from economic influence and military might to education and quality of life, to capture how the public perceives the nations on a global scale.

For the first time, respondents were asked to pick the countries they would prefer to buy goods from as a measure of a country’s brand power. Germany comes out on top with consumers wanting cars, healthcare, and pharmaceuticals from the nation. France is No. 1 for cosmetics and fashion, Italy is No. 1 in food and wine, and Japan is first for technology and electronics. At No. 8 on the overall Best Countries list, the U.S. has some catching up to do, ranking No. 7 in wine, No. 10 in healthcare and No. 11 in food.

“The Best Countries rankings draw on U.S. News’ expertise and global authority in measuring complex institutions, such as colleges and hospitals,” said Eric Gertler, executive chairman at U.S. News. “The report arms citizens, thought leaders, business executives, and government officials with the data to evaluate the global standings of their nations and leadership.”

Key Findings in the 2019 Best Countries Report:

Tumultuous news cycles have made an impact on global opinions regarding media and world safety. Sixty-three percent of people agree that there are no more objective news sources, and 66 percent say internet news and content is dividing us rather than uniting us. Additionally, more than 50 percent agree the world has worsened in the last year.

With data privacy scandals at the forefront of people’s minds, 77 percent of respondents agree that their internet privacy is at risk. However, slightly more than half of the respondents trust private companies to keep their data safe, and 58 percent generally trust private companies more than the government.

More than 80 percent of those surveyed agree that CEOs and business leaders need to be vocal about their views on societal issues.

Japan rises to the No. 2 spot overall as the world anticipates the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. The country is perceived as the most forward-looking, and for the first time, ranks as No. 1 for entrepreneurship. The rest of the top five finds Switzerland - viewed as an innovative country - at No. 1 again, with Canada, Germany, and the U.K. following Japan, respectively.

For the second year in a row, the U.S. ranks at No. 8 overall. However, the world’s level of trust in the U.S. continues to decline with the nation now at No. 27 for perceptions of trustworthiness. Perceptions of the U.S. as a country that cares about human rights have also fallen. While these might be signs that President Donald Trump’s strategy on the world stage may not be working, the U.S. is still perceived as No. 1 in power, followed closely by Russia at No. 2.

Nordic countries maintain their strong standing in the overall ranking, with Sweden and Norway both in the top 10 overall. At No. 6 overall, Sweden is the best country for women, to raise children and for green-living. Norway moves up to No. 9 overall, seeing increases in the up-and-coming category and remains No. 1 in citizenship. Belgium makes its rankings debut at No. 17 overall, behind China and ahead of Italy, due to high marks for citizenship at No. 10 and quality of life at No. 11.

Assessing perceptions of countries from North America to Europe to the Middle East, the report finds the U.K. is No. 1 for education, and Canada has the best quality of life. Luxembourg leads in the most business-friendly nations, the United Arab Emirates is No. 1 for countries with up-and-coming economies, and Switzerland is the top to headquarter a corporation.

“This report can help brands understand the potential power they have in connecting to their home nations, and help guide in managing their branding,” said Michael Sussman, CEO of BAV Group.

The 2019 Best Countries ranking methodology relies on data gathered from a proprietary survey of more than 20,000 business leaders, informed elites and general citizens. “The report speaks to the value of having a strong global standing as nations compete for investment, tourists and influence in the same way companies compete for consumers’ dollars,” said David Reibstein, professor of marketing at the Wharton School.

2019 Best Countries Rankings


  1. Switzerland
  2. Japan
  3. Canada
  4. Germany
  5. United Kingdom
  6. Sweden
  7. Australia
  8. United States
  9. Norway
  10. France

To Start a Business

  1. Thailand
  2. India
  3. China

For Quality of Life

  1. Canada
  2. Sweden
  3. Denmark

Most Powerful

  1. United States
  2. Russia
  3. China

For Women

  1. Sweden
  2. Denmark
  3. Canada

For Education

  1. United Kingdom
  2. United States
  3. Canada

Source: U.S. News & World Report

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Edited & Posted by Surender Hastir | 5:55 AM | Link to this Post

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