Memorandum of Understanding on Mutual Recognition of Academic Qualifications between India & France is ‘Historic”: HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar

prakash javadekar

Underlining the strong and long-standing relationship between France and India, Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar termed as “historic” the inking of an MoU on “mutual recognition of educational qualifications” between the two countries.
“It is historic for the first time, a government to government MoU has been signed to mutually recognize academic qualifications. It will help the student community. There used to be only bilateral arrangements between institutions to institutions,” he said while speaking at the Knowledge Summit at PravasiBharatiyaBhawan, New Delhi in the presence of French Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation Mrs Frederique Vidal.
“I hope more and more countries, like France, will come forward for mutual recognition of academic qualifications so that the mobility of students and professionals improves,” Mr. Javadekar added.
The first high-level India-France Knowledge Summit, 2018 was jointly organized by French Institute in India, along with Ministry of Higher Education, Research & Innovation (MESRI), France and co-Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India.
Pointing that more than 5000 Indian students are studying in France and about 1500 French Students in India, the Minister said the HRD Ministry would launch “Study in India” initiative to attract more and more students from other countries to India.
Apart from MoU on Mutual Recognition of Academic Qualifications between India and France, 15 MoUs between various institutions of India and France in the areas of Higher Education, Research, Innovation, Faculty exchange, Scientific Cooperation were exchanged.
He took the opportunity to list out the various initiatives, such as IMPRINT, GIAN, SWAYAM and PMRF taken by Government of India to boost Innovation, Research and accessibility of education in India. He pointed out that under GIAN, which is an initiative where foreign faculty visit India and conduct tailor-made courses for Indian students in certain HE institutions, last year about 30 French Faculty members had visited India to conduct course and this number is expected to grow more.
Under SWAYAM, India’s own MOOCs, already more than 700 number of courses have been started and about 2 million students, faculties and professionals have registered themselves for various courses. “Like ATM (Any Time Money), SWAYAM is ATL (Anytime Learning) and AWL (Anywhere Learning),” he said.
Underlining the importance of innovation and research in country’s progress, MrJavadekar said his Ministry is giving special thrust to research and innovation. He said under IMPRINT-II, which is an open invitation for innovation by faculties, students, professionals and others in 10 domain frontier areas of innovation, Rs 1000 crore is being allocated to fund high-end research and innovation proposals. Besides, under PMRF, highest ever scholarship of Rs 70000 to 80000 per student per month will be offered to around 1000 students each year. Apart from these initiatives Ministry has created special vehicle called higher education finance agency, through this agency Ministry is mobilising hundred thousand Crore Rupees to put in next three four years essentially in higher education and small portion is school education. He further said that we have started smart India Hackathon from last year. In the previous year total 42,000 students from 2000 technical and engineering colleges participated. This year around 1 lakh students already participated.
Mrs. Frederique Vidal, Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, Government of France said that the knowledge summit is an essential step toward the goal set by the French Government to attract 10,000 students to France by 2020. Last year, over 5000 Indian students chose France as a study destination, showing a 60% increase from the previous year. The summit explores seven priority sectors for collaboration: space and aeronautics, mathematics and information technology, agronomy and food processing, eco-energy, natural resources and bioactive compounds, architecture and urban planning and urban mobility.

Conducting of the National Eligibility Test (NET) exam as per the existing schedule

The National Eligibility Test (NET) for Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) and Eligibility for Assistant Professor has been conducted regularly, i.e., twice every year in the months of June/July and December/January. The conduct of UGC-NET had been outsourced to Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) from December, 2014 onwards. The NET examination that was to be conducted in July, 2017 was conducted by CBSE in November, 2017. CBSE has been requested to continue to conduct the UGC-NET examination as per the existing schedule (twice a year). Recently, the CBSE has notified the conduct of next UGC- NET on 8.07.2018.
The University Grants Commission has informed that in its meeting held on 22.12.2017, a decision has been taken to extend the validity period of joining/registering for Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) by one year, i.e., from the earlier period of two years to three years from the date of issue of JRF Award Letter.
This would become applicable from the UGC-NET to be held on 08.07.2018, which has been duly notified by CBSE in its Information Bulletin.
This information was given by the Minister of State (HRD), Dr. Satya Pal Singh today in a written reply to a Rajya Sabha question.

New AICTE rules for admission in and approval of institutions

In order to grant approval to new Technical Institutions and extension of approval to existing Technical Institutions, detailed Approval Process for the Academic Year 2018-19 have been notified in the Official Gazette of India on 05.12.2017. The Approval Process Hand Book for 2018-19 is available on AICTE Website The revisions incorporated in the latest edition of APH 2018-19 include revision of intake in Pharmacy Courses and Fellowship Program in Management, reduction of approved intake to 50% for Institutions having admission less than 30 for five continuous years, conversion of Post Graduate Diploma in Management to MBA Courses, introduction of Built up Area concept instead of Land Area in Metro and Mega Cities and revision of penal actions in case of violation of AICTE Regulations and Approval Process Norms. This information was given by the Minister of State (HRD), Dr. Satya Pal Singh today in a written reply to a Rajya Sabha question.

Digital education and literacy

Ministry of Human Resource Development has some major key initiatives to promote Digital Education, which are as follow:
1. SWAYAM: SWAYAM will provide one integrated platform and portal for online courses, using information and communication technology (ICT) and covering all higher education subjects and skill sector courses. As on date, more than 28 Lakhs learners have been enrolled in 1000+ MOOCs courses that have been run through SWAYAM.
2. SWAYAM Prabha: SWAYAM Prabha is an initiative to provide 32 high quality educational channels through DTH (Direct to Home) across the length and breadth of the country on 24X7 basis.
3. National Digital Library (NDL): The National Digital Library of India (NDL India) project is to develop a framework of virtual repository of learning resources with a single-window search facility. As on date about 1.5 Crore e-books and documents are available on NDL contributed by 160 Content contributor and 30 lakh users from 9 thousand educational institutions were registered on NDL
4. e-Shodh Sindhu: The main objective of the e-Shodh Sindu: Consortia for Higher Education E-Resources is to provide access to quality electronic resources including full-text, bibliographic and factual databases to academic institutions at a lower rates of subscription.
5. The Free and Open Source Software for Education (FOSSEE): FOSSEE project has been promoting use of open source software in educational institutions.
6. Virtual Lab: The project aims to provide remote-access to virtual laboratories in various disciplines of science and engineering for students at all levels from under-graduate to research. Foreign Universities are welcome to offer their courses on SWAYAM Platform and the examinations shall be done through SWAYAM following SWAYAM Guidelines.

Rs 1000 crore for research in science and technology in next two years under IMPRINT-II: HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar

Proposals under IMPRINT-II to be invited from 16th March onwards
The Union Minister for Human Resources and Development, Shri Prakash Javadekar today said that in a major boost for research and innovation in the country, the Central Government has sanctioned a sum of Rs. 1000 crore for the phase two of the Impacting Research Innovation and Technology (IMPRINT) India programme.
In a statement in the Visitor’s Conference held in New Delhi today, the Minister said under the IMPRINT-II, a fund is being created by the Department of Science and Technology and Ministry of Human Resource Development together, in which participation will come from industry and other interested Ministries. The project will be run as a separate vertical in coordination with the DST. Prof. Indranil Manna of IIT-Kharagpur will be the National Coordinator. The proposals for IMPRINT-II will be called from 16th March and will be sanctioned by May this year.
Under the IMPRINT-I Programme, 142 projects at a cost of Rs. 318.71 crore are already under implementation. These projects cover crucial domains like security and defence, information technology, energy, sustainable habitat, advance materials, health care, nano technology, climate change, etc. All these projects are expected to result in publications and also patents.