With over 900 million eligible voters, the world is about witness the largest democratic exercise in history.
Attempts by the government of India to impose new rules on centrally funded universities that would restrict academic freedoms and the right to protest or strike are being reversed.
The Indian government has put forward two draft acts to replace the higher education regulatory body with a new body.
The typical college, whether public or private; whether for arts, science, commerce or engineering, is mediocre.
Source: The PIE
Indian government to launch web portal that will list accredited foreign universities to combat bogus courses.
Source: The Economic Times
CEOs on government wish list to pick India’s ‘institutes of eminence’.
In an op-ed for the Montreal Gazette, Vanier College professor Mark Cohen argues that Elections Canada should allow students to cast their ballots from campus. He points to an Elections Canada survey in which most students cited “access barriers” as their main reason for not voting, and says that Quebec’s Bill 13—which allows students to vote on-campus for a candidate in their home riding, even if their school is outside of that riding—provides a possible model. Cohen says that a similar move on the federal level would demonstrate to students that they have an important role to play in the electoral system and that their input is valued.
Pradeep Sood is seeking the Federal Liberal nomination for the Markham-Unionville riding. “I am a strong believer that if given the chance, I can contribute positively to Canada and the riding that I have lived in for over 21 years. I have a proven track record of job creation, fighting for small and medium businesses and supporting our health care through my work with both the Business Chambers and many not for profit organizations.”
Please e-mail email@example.com to find out how you can support his election campaign.
Source: Consulate General of Canada News Release | February 19, 2014
OTTAWA—At the request of the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, Their Excellencies the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and Mrs. Sharon Johnston will conduct a State visit to the Republic of India, from February 22 to March 2, 2014.
“Sharon and I are looking forward to our State visit to India, which will be centred on the themes of innovation, entrepreneurship and education, with a special focus on the contributions of women and girls,” His Excellency said. “This visit is a reflection of the importance Canada attaches to its relationship with India. Both of our countries are committed to strengthening our partnership and co-operation. The Canada-India economic relationship is strong and holds tremendous potential for broader and expanded collaboration. During our time spent in New Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai, we will meet with government officials, representatives from the business and education sectors, and those from non-governmental organizations with the aim of advancing our economic, academic and cultural ties with our Indian counterparts.”
His Excellency will be joined by parliamentarians and an accompanying delegation of Canadians who will enhance business, academic, cultural and people-to-people ties with their Indian counterparts. These exchanges will further develop the wide-ranging and multi-faceted relationship with India, a major economic player and priority market for Canada, and will provide greater impetus to bilateral initiatives in various sectors, particularly in strategies promoting innovation, entrepreneurship and education.
State Visit to India: New Delhi (February 22 to 25)
In the capital city of New Delhi, Their Excellencies will be officially welcomed by the President and Prime Minister of India during a welcoming ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhawan, the Presidential Palace. To underscore the important friendship and co-operation between both countries, and on behalf of the people of Canada, Their Excellencies will present an inuksuk to the people of India.
During this visit, His Excellency will meet with Canadian and Indian business leaders to discuss our nations’ economic relationship at a business meeting with the Chambers of Commerce hosted by the Government of India, and at the Canada-India CEO Forum. The Governor General will also discuss the role of innovation in addressing global health challenges during the Grand Challenges Global Health Innovation Roundtable, organized by Grand Challenges Canada.
Her Excellency will discuss the opportunities and challenges faced by women researchers supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), and also by women entrepreneurs. She will also visit non-governmental organizations (NGOs) providing education to underprivileged children, and free services to children diagnosed with cancer.
State Visit to India – Bangalore (February 26 and 27)
In Bangalore, Their Excellencies will meet with the Governor of Karnataka. They will visit the All India Coordinated Small Millets Improvement Project—created by IDRC and the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) at the University of Agricultural Sciences, in Bangalore—as well as inaugurate the new consulate general, which will oversee Canada’s expanded presence in South India.
His Excellency will discuss the importance of skills development in further building connections between Canadian and Indian institutions during a panel discussion, and participate in a Canada-India discussion on innovation hosted by the Asia-Pacific Foundation of Canada and the National Innovation Council of India.
Her Excellency will visit NGOs dedicated to helping children with HIV and to supporting Indian women entrepreneurs.
State Visit to India – Mumbai (February 27 to March 2)
While in Mumbai, Their Excellencies will meet with the Governor of Maharashtra, and pay their respects at a memorial to the 32 victims of the November 2008 terrorist attack on the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. During a visit to Dharavi, one of the largest slums in Asia, Their Excellencies will see, first-hand, examples of India’s deep-seated entrepreneurship and various micro-businesses. They will also discuss the future of audiovisual co-production between Canada and India at Film City, one of the largest shooting locations in India.
In addition, His Excellency will have the opportunity to open the stock market at the Bombay Stock Exchange, and witness the inauguration of BIL-Ryerson DMZ India Ltd., an incubation centre for entrepreneurs supported in partnership with the Bombay Stock Exchange Institute, Ryerson University and Simon Fraser University. He will also address innovators and entrepreneurs at the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay; business leaders at the Indo-Canadian Business Chamber Annual Convention; and the heads of various educational institutions to exchange views on skills development and the future of education in India.
Her Excellency will meet with women leaders from the private and public sectors, civil society and academia on the status of women in India, and visit a strategic philanthropy NGO co-founded and co-managed by an Indo-Canadian. She will also meet with social workers and volunteers who prevent second-generation trafficking among the children of sex workers in Asia’s largest and oldest red-light district.
Visits abroad by a governor general play an important role in Canada’s relations with other countries. They are highly valuable as they help broaden bilateral relations and exchanges among peoples.
Members of the public can follow the Governor General’s State visit to the Republic of India online at www.gg.ca, where speeches, photos and videos will be posted.
The detailed itinerary and a list of accompanying delegates will be published at a later date.
Marie-Ève Létourneau Rideau Hall Press Office 613-998-0287 firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Canada News Release | February 3, 2014
The Canadian government has announced that visitors to Canada will be automatically considered for a multiple-entry visa for 6 months at a time, for up to 10 years, without having to reapply, which will make it easier for international students to visit home. The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) applauded the move. “CASA has been calling on the government to provide multiple-entry visas to students and we’re happy these changes are being made,” says CASA Chair Amanda Nielsen. “Improving the clarity of visa applications will help government reach the goal of increasing Canada’s international student population.” Canada recently launched its new International Education Strategy, sparking considerable discussion within the PSE sector.
TCS Insights: In the Government of Canada’s new strategy for international education it is explained that visitors to the country, international students included, will be able to travel to and from Canada with more ease than before. By granting students opportunities to return to their home countries while attending post-secondary institutions, the government aims to convince more international students to choose Canada as an educational destination.
NEW DELHI: Education is what will determine how fast India joins the ranks of leading nations of the world, President Pranab Mukherjee said here Thursday.
“I believe education is the alchemy that can bring India its next golden age,” Mukherjee said in his address at the valedictory session of the 12th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, the annual gathering of the Indian diaspora.
“The success we achieve in educating our people will determine how fast India joins the ranks of leading nations of the world,” he said.
Mukherjee said that if India has to attain a growth rate of nine percent per year, as has been envisaged during the 12th Five Year Plan period, “we must put in place enabling factors, most prominent of which is education”.
He pointed out that no Indian from India has won the Nobel Prize since C.V. Raman in 1930, and said educational institutes in the country should focus more on research and development.
“I have been urging our educational institutions to invest more in research and development and to pursue greater international linkages by establishing collaborations with foreign universities and inviting the best of faculty from across the world to come and teach in our institutions,” the president said.
He said the government has prioritized higher education and supported it with increased resources, and enrolment to higher education institutions in the country has increased from 1.39 crore in 2006-07 to 2.18 crore in 2011-12.
“India has today 659 degree-awarding institutions and 33,023 colleges,” he said.
However, despite the rise in the number of higher education institutes, India has very few institutes of global standards, Mukherjee said.
“Time has now come for us to reclaim our leadership position in the world as far as higher education is concerned. Our effort to increase ‘quantity’ must be matched with commensurate efforts to improve ‘quality’,” Mukherjee said.
He said that in a world that is facing increasing constraints on natural resources, innovation was another key area India should focus on.
“China and the US are amongst the countries at the forefront of innovation with over five lakh (500,000) patent applications filed by each country in 2011,” he said.
“In contrast to this, India filed only 42,000 patent applications, which is far behind these countries. As per an international survey, only three Indian companies are amongst the world’s 100 most innovative companies.”
He called on both the industry and higher education institutes to emphasize on research.
“We have only 119 researchers in R&D per million people, as compared to 715 in China and 468 in the US. Out of the total student strength of 71,000 in NITs, there are only 4,000 PhD students. In IITs, there are only around 3,000 PhD students in the total student strength of 60,000,” the president said.
Stating that upgrading the standards of higher education in India should be accorded top priority, he said: “Overseas Indians such as all of you gathered here can play a major role in supporting and supplementing the efforts of the government to remedy this situation.”
He said the Indian economy was more resilient than most other countries.
“I am sure you have (the) confidence in the inherent resilience of our people and the dynamism of our economy which has the ability to overcome temporary downturns,” he said.
TCS Insights: President Mukherjee believes that an increased focus on innovation by the government will improve the ability of India to rank with global leaders. Countries around the world, including Canada, have invested in research and have seen their institutions climb international standings while strengthening themselves economically. India aims to achieve similar results by raising the quality of their educational institutions to meet others around the world.
The Canadian government is seeking public input on a new federal Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy, with the launch of a discussion paper to guide the dialogue. The paper asks how Canada can “continue to develop, attract and retain the world’s top research talent at our businesses, research institutions, colleges and polytechnics, and universities” as well as “Is the Government of Canada’s suite of programs appropriately designed to best support research excellence?” Submissions will be accepted until February 7, and then the government will release an updated strategy “in the months following the consultation phase.”
TCS Insights: The Government of Canada indicated in 2013 that it would update their Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy while continuing to invest in research. This revision will be finalized after reviewing public input and is expected to continue the trend of recent achievements that have lead to greater funding of research.
NEW DELHI: Access to education beyond higher secondary schooling is a mere 10% among the university-age population in India. This is the finding of a report “Intergenerational and Regional Differentials in Higher Education in India” authored by development economist, Abusaleh Shariff of the Delhi-based Centre for Research and Debates in Development Policy and Amit Sharma, research analyst of the National Council of Applied Economic Research.
The report says that a huge disparity exists — as far as access to higher education is concerned — across gender, socio-economic religious groups and geographical regions. The skew is most marked across regions. Thus, a dalit or Muslim in south India, though from the most disadvantaged among communities, would have better access to higher education than even upper caste Hindus in many other regions. Interestingly, people living in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal — designated as the north central region — and those in northeast India have the worst access to higher education. Those in southern India and in the northern region — consisting of Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Chandigarh, Haryana and Delhi — are relatively better placed in this regard.
In the age group 22-35 years, over 15% in the northern region and 13% in the southern region have access to higher education. In the north-central region, the number is just 10% for men and 6% for women whereas in the northeast, only 8% men and 4% women have access to higher education.
The report, brought out by the US-India Policy Institute in Washington, is based on data from the 64th round of NSSO survey 2007-08. It throws up quite a few other interesting facts. For instance, among communities, tribals and dalits fare worst with just 1.8% of them having any higher education. Muslims are almost as badly off, with just 2.1% able to go for further learning. Similarly, just 2% of the rural population is educated beyond higher secondary level, compared to 12% of the urban population and just 3% of women got a college education compared to 6% of men.
South India offers the best opportunities for socially inclusive access to higher education including technical education and education in English medium. For instance, the share of Hindu SC/ST in technical education in south India is about 22%, and the share of Muslims 25%. These were the lowest shares among all communities in south India. But this was higher than the share of most communities including Hindu OBCs and upper caste Hindus in most other regions. South India also has the highest proportion of higher education in the private sector at about 42%, followed by western India where it is 22%. The northeast has the least privatized higher education sector and is almost entirely dependent on government-run or aided institutions.
Not surprisingly, government institutions are the cheapest places to study at, with annual expenditures ranging from less than Rs 1,000 to around Rs 1,500, except in north and south India, where the average is above Rs 2,000. Both private and private-aided institutions are quite costly, making them difficult to access for the poor. With little regulation of the quality of education and cost differentials, the poor and deprived are often trapped in low quality education, the report points out. It adds that although free education is provided at school level, it is almost non-existent at higher levels.
The report also compares India’s low 10% access to higher education with China’s 22% enrolment and the 28% enrolment in the US. Since the early 1990s, China’s post-secondary enrolments grew from 5 million to 27 million, while India’s expanded from 5 million to just 13 million, says the report, while emphasizing that higher education has the potential to enhance productivity and economic value both at the individual and national levels.
“The government has to urgently address the geographical skew in the availability of higher education facilities in the two regions of north-east and north-central,” says Shariff. “The central region, comprising Chhattisgarh, MP, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Odisha, too needs attention. There is so much talk about a Harvard in India. I say, give two hoots to Harvard. What we need are thousands of community colleges that can offer professional courses so that youngsters can improve their skills and become employable.”
TCS Insights: In regards to the ability to access a higher education, disparities are apparent across a various groups in India. Due to a lack of regulation, in terms of the quality of education provided, not being able to afford a private institution can lead to individuals earning a poorer education because of where they are from, in addition to factors such as religious beliefs and gender. It is thought that increased enrolment in higher education has been linked to both individual and national improvements.
The Canadian government has announced a $63-million boost for research infrastructure under the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund. Currently, the fund is contributing to research equipment, laboratories and tools at over 250 facilities at 37 universities across Canada. “Our government believes significant investments in Canadian research are essential to sparking innovation, creating economic prosperity and improving the lives of Canadians,” says Minister of State (Science and Technology) Greg Rickford.
TCS Insights: The CFI awarded $48.4 million through their John R. Evans Leaders Fund in order to help Canadian universities attract top available research talent. This increase in funding will enable researchers, such as Ryan D’Arcy of Simon Fraser University, make use of portable technologies at sporting events, hospitals and homes.
Canadian Minister of State (Science and Technology) Greg Rickford today announced that the most recent round of Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) funding will provide $43 million to 77 research teams at universities across the country. The funding will go towards 2 grants: the Strategic Network Grants and the Strategic Project Grants. The funds will help researchers work with companies and other organizations on long-term projects to address industrial and societal challenges.
TCS Insights: The Canadian government aims to use these grants to increase research and training in areas that influence the Canadian economy and environment over the next decade. Additionally, this funding will go towards research that involves interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers and institutions such as solar power and cloud-based computing projects.
Pune: In a bid to get rid of random disbursement, the government is planning a selective approach in allocating research support for academic institutions. This will also ensure that resources for research are used to the best advantage.
This has been one of the mandates given to the special committee set up by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to improve research performance of academic institutions.
The 18-member committee, headed by chairman of Centre’s Department of Biotechnology, has former heads of UGC, AICTE, and NCL. The heads of NAAC, NBA, IISc Bangalore and JNU are among other educational establishments.
“As India moves in the global knowledge economy, building awareness about critical global rankings, research evaluation and targeted and competitive research funding would be central to the country’s strategy to improve its research capacity and performance. The government has decided to constitute a committee to drive up the research performance of academic Institutions,” a MHRD notification reads.
Review of existing arrangements for funding of research, both core funding of research facilities, infrastructure and project funding in academic institutions, to identify gaps and create a framework to evaluate research and rankings are some of the key objectives the government has laid down before the committee.
TCS Insights: In a bid to eliminate random disbursement, the Indian Government is planning a selective approach in allocating research support for academic institutions. The move is also expected to ensure that resources for research are used to the best advantage.
This is a progressive move by the Indian government towards more application based research and from traditional research focused on publishing papers in journals. This approach has the potential to create opportunities for Canadian academic institutions to focus on high quality research exchange programs with Indian counterparts.
The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service’s education team has connections with a range of academic institutions in India across the areas of social science, physical science, engineering, technology, management, finance etc. and can facilitate discussions.
The Harper government boasts that foreign students brought $8-billion into the Canadian economy in 2010. When you consider what’s at stake, and the federal government’s goal to double the international student intake by 2022, it borders on the absurd to think that in promoting Canadian education abroad, the Canadian government is short of funds to serve a glass of water.
Such is the way Canada frequently presents itself as an international student recruiter.
This was on display recently when the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade held a major Canadian education promotion event in Lagos, Nigeria, in January.
In a venue where the air conditioning is hit and miss, it not only wouldn’t provide any food for the university and college representatives who paid thousands of dollars and came all the way from Canada – it said it couldn’t even provide water. It was deemed to be “not in the budget” by DFAIT officials in Nigeria to offer to the parched representatives.
“Put it in the feedback form,” was the best advice and the closest thing offered as relief by junior staffers in Lagos, according to one of my colleagues who attended.
Is a glass of water really a big deal?
It is a canary-in the-coal-mine example of how far Canada has to go to achieve the kind of brand consistency and recognition that befits the magnitude of the opportunity Canada has before it.
When the British Council blows through town promoting Education UK, you know it – advertisements, aggressive school outreach programs, and first-class event venues proclaiming ‘brand Britannia.’
The U.S. State Department regularly sponsors significant cultural and other outreach programs to raise the profile of American culture and education in countries around the globe – often bringing in top artistic and academic talent to work with local high school students.
Juxtapose the February 2013 DFAIT press release trumpeting the success of International Trade Minister Edward Fast’s trade mission to Africa. The minister crossed paths with the Canadian education events on at least one occasion in Nigeria, yet made absolutely no mention of the education outreach events at all. This is the norm for how poorly Canada coordinates its efforts. When we consider that Canada spends a tiny fraction of what its competitors do on promotions, making the most out of a little is critical.
Canada has an excellent global brand, but fails to take advantage of this by attracting enough quality students to its world-class public universities (most of Canada’s recent self-proclaimed foreign-student recruitment success is a result of mediocre students filling classrooms in colleges or in foundation pre-university programs).
Canada’s international student recruitment is akin to Apple computers circa 1990 – a superior product but inferior marketing and hence a miniscule market share (if only Canada had a Steve Jobs to market the Maple Leaf abroad!)
Some relief could be in sight: Last week’s federal budget did pledge additional funds to recruiting international students. Yet the 2011 budget made a similar pledge – of $10-million spread over two years – and there was little evidence of this spending visible abroad. And these funds are miniscule compared to those being spent by our competitors, especially Britain and the United States.
If the doubling of international student numbers is achieved in Canada by 2022, it means an estimated $18-billion contribution to the Canadian economy in that year alone. That’s a big-picture, big-ideas scenario, not one allowing room for the sort of execution that does not provide a glass of water to its participants.
Yet that moment was not an exception. One weekend this winter, when Canada was holding another such no-frills education fair in Nairobi, Kenya, the U.S. State Department flew in top Broadway performers hold a glamorous concert, featuring Academy and Grammy award winners spending the better part of a week working with local high-school musical talents and spreading word about their EducationUSA brand.
Americans have been hugely successful in international student recruitment for generations – and, no doubt, they had plenty of water available during their performance.
Mel Broitman is managing director of the Canadian University Application Centre and the editor of Overseas, Overwhelmed, where this article first appeared
Source: The Indian Express via PwC – EdLive
Academics have expressed reservations over the special exemptions granted to government-run institutions in the new regulations released by the University Grants Commission (UGC) with regard to collaborations with foreign universities. The UGC recently approved regulations through which foreign universities could venture into India and collaborate with Indian institutions. While this was widely seen as a backdoor measure, given the fact that opposition pressure in Parliament had kept the Foreign Universities Bill out of light, the governing body provided wide-ranging prescriptions for such partnerships. According to the regulations, only institutions with an ‘A’ rating from the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) would be eligible for such an agreement. The institutions must also have at least five years of experience in providing post- graduate courses. However, government- run institutions, both at the state and central levels, have been exempted from both these clauses.
Chairman of the Board of Governors at IIT-Kanpur, M Anandakrishnan, said that the regulations, which were yet to be notified, would ensure that only respectable institutions could get into such collaborations. However, he opined that the clause exempting the government-run institutions from such minimum qualification, such as NAAC accreditation, should be dropped. “There is still scope for change as the norms are yet to be notified. Government institutions should not be excluded from such quality norms,” he pointed out.
Read the Memorandum of Understanding here, signed a the G20, recognizing education as ‘an area of new momentum.’