Is Smriti a proxy?

Smriti Zubin Irani, 38, the youngest minister in the Modi cabinet has been allocated the Ministry of Human Resource Development. The move has surprised many political observers who have given vent to their views and venom on social media as well as in private gatherings.

Irani, a higher secondary passout, with a soap entertainer background, was pitted against Rahul Gandhi in Amethi and, indeed, gave him a tough fight, loosing by just a few thousand votes. Obviously this does not qualify her for the august Ministry of Human Resource Development which was, in the recent past, graced by giants like Murli Manohar Joshi, Arjun Singh and Kapil Sibal.

Higher Education experts and political observers are at their wits end to solve this mind-boggling riddle behind Modi's ministry-making exercise.

Smriti is a sitting Rajya Sabha member who was elected from Gujarat in 2011 and hence doesn't need a bye-election route to Parliament till 2016. But then what prompted Narendra Modi to award the high-profile MHRD portfolio to her?

Is she being used as proxy, a stop-gap arrangement, till a political heavy-weight --may be Dr Murli Manohar Joshi -- agrees to step
in ?


Nalanda varsity comes to life at Rajgir

Students, teachers and officials of Nalanda University assemble outside Rajgir International Convention Centre after attending the orientation programme.

PATNA : Without Nagarjuna or Shilabhadra, the university of Nalanda came to life once again nearly 800 years after it was destroyed by Muslim raiders. On September 1 eleven teachers and 15 students gave university chancellor Amartya Sen's dream project a symbolic start at a makeshift campus, 12 km away from the ruins of ancient Nalanda University, which was destroyed by Muhammad Bin Bakhtiyar Khilji, a general of Mohammad Ghori in the 12th century. more


IITs prepare to fight for universities' freedom from UGC 
NEW DELHI : The IITs are preparing to spearhead a unified campaign for academic independence of universities to counter UGC’s directives on the design and duration of courses and entry qualifications. more

No change, damned deemed varsities still in poor condition
The committee set up on apex court's directive to survey 41 'C' category deemed universities has found that most of them still do not fulfill the criteria needed to become deemed university. more

UGC proposes a 3-year Bachelor of Vocation degree course      
MUMBAI: UGC has proposed a three-year Bachelor of Vocation (B.Voc) degree course at recognised colleges and universities. It will be different from the conventional arts, science and commerce course. more

UGC move to bail out 44 damned deemed universitiesl
NEW DELHI : Under pressure, the University Grants Commission has recommended a fresh inspection and review of 44 deemed universities that were found unfit by a government committee in 2009. more


MHRD accepts uniform staffing pattern for varsities

Pune, Kolkata film inst. to be centres of excellence

4-year UG course : UGC sends warning note to varsities



Cambridge-India fellowship soon

NEW DELHI: Cambridge University vice-chancellor has said a new Cambridge-India Senior Fellowship for scholars above the post doctoral level will be announced soon. This will entail spending a portion of time at Cambridge, but nearly 60 per cent time in India. more


CUs : Smriti Irani to realise Sibal dream

NEW DELHI : Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani has picked up a tricky task to blend all the Central universities into a workable whole, a dream that her predecessor Kapil Sibal saw but failed to realise. The decision to amalgamate CUs' academic working was taken at the two-day conference of the vice-chancellors of 39 Central universities at Chandigarh which concluded on September 13. Since 21 Central universities are running without de jure vice-chancellors, they were represented by the officiating VCs, mostly senior professors of the respective university or a pro vice-chancellor. more


Self study is key to JEE success, says study

NEW DELHI : A recent study by IIT Kharagpur has found that coaching centres are NOT the success mantra for IIT admissions. The study shows that an overwhelming 63 per cent students who cleared JEE (advanced) did it without joining coaching institutes. more


4 IIITs to get degree awarding powers

NEW DELHI : On August 12 HRD Minister Smriti Irani introduced the Indian Institutes of Information Technology Bill 2014 in Lok Sabha which seeks to declare the four IIITs as institutes of national importance on lines of the IITs and NITs, granting them degee awarding powers. These four IIITs are – the IIIT Allahabad, the IIIT Gwalior, the Indian Institute of Information Technology, Design and Manufacturing Jabalpur and the Indian Institute of Information Technology, Design and Manufacturing, Kancheepuram.


SC stays Kalyani's ouster from MKU

NEW DELHI : On July 4 the Supreme Court stayed an order of the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court, quashing the appointment of Kalyani Mathivanan as Vice-Chancellor of Madurai Kamaraj University. more

Kalyani Mathivanan





Ashok Thakur

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