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 ?


No quota in PG med admissions : SC

Front view of the Supreme Court of India

NEW DELHI : On October 27 the Supreme Court directed the Union  government and all state government to ensure that super-speciality medical admissions are kept "unreserved, open and free" following complaints that some southern states were allowing only domiciled MBBS doctors to appear for PG medical entrance exams. Delivering a 58-page judgment in Dr. Sandeep and others versus Union of India and others the bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice P.C. Pant said that there should be no reservation in post-graduate medical courses based on caste, religion, residence or any other criteria. more


'Occupy-UGC' agitation gradually gaining ground 
NEW DELHI : The 20-day-old ‘Occupy UGC’ is slowly but steadily growing into a students' movement despite government's assertion that UGC had been told not to discontinue the Non-NET fellowship. more

17 damned deemed universities awarded "A" grade by NAAC
NEW DELHI : The National Assessment and Accreditation Council has awarded “A” grade to 17 deemed universities, which were among 38 universities declared unfit by a govt-appointed expert panel
. more

Admission test : a private venture for 11 pvt. varsities      
A group of 11 private universities have decided to pick students for admission from an examination to be conducted by a Bangalore-based private agency, ERA Foundation. more

Maharashtra shows 14% rise in MBA degreee seekers
MUMBAI: Robust placement season in B-schools this year has drawn more students to pursue an MBA degree. Their numbers had been falling since 2008 said a Maharashtra DTE official on March 5. more


Kakodkar rejects Irani's charge about IIT top post


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



Panel suggests key changes in JEE main

NEW DELHI : An expert committee of the MHRD has suggested an online aptitude test, held more than once a year, by a National Testing Service, instead of JEE Main conducted by the CBSE, a ministry announcement said on Nov 7. more

Prof Ashok Misra


TSR Subramanian to head edu policy panel

T S R Subramanian

NEW DELHI : Former Cabinet Secretary T.S.R. Subramanian, a 1961 batch UP cadre IAS officer, has been appointed chairperson of a committee set up by the Human Resource Development Ministry to draft the new education policy. more


Avula Damodaram is
VC of SVU, Tirupati

TIRUPATI : Avula Damodaram, a professor of Computer Science  and Director of Academics & Planning at JNTU Hyderabad, took over as Vice-Chancellor of Sri Venkateswara University (SVU), here on November 2.  more

Avula Damodaram


Leftists' nursery JNU on RSS radar

NEW DELHI : Rastriya Swayamsevak Sangh's print organ Panchjanya has targeted north India's Leftists' nursery Jawaharlal Nehru University in its current issue (dated November 8) dubbing it as "a huge anti-national bloc that wants to break India up". more


Hungarian scholarships for Indian students

NEW DELHI :  The University Grants Commission has invited applications from interested Indian students for “Stipendium Hungaricum” Scholarship Program started by the Hungarian Government. The scholarships are for 200 Indian students to pursue undergraduate, postgraduate, M.Phil/PhD and postdoctoral studies in Hungary in 2015. more





Ramachandra Guha

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