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 ?


Smriti warns of curbs on pvt varsities

Union Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani in Hamirpur on January 31.

NEW DELHI : On January 31 Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani issued a veiled threat to mushrooming private universities saying his ministry will soon bring in a bill to curb their activities. She was speaking to reporters in Una, Himachal Pradesh at a function where she gleefully informed the innocent reporters that the draft of the proposed Unfair Practice Education Bill was almost ready and that it will be introduced in Parliament soon. more


Govt allows exam centres to use low-powered jammers
NEW DELHI : Low-powered jammers to block data connectivity can now be installed at examination centres to prevent students from using radio devices in cheating. 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



John Varghese to head Delhi's St. Stephen's

Prof John Varghese

NEW DELHI : John Varghese, the man who had left St Stephen's College in a huff years ago has been named as the new Principal of the college, according to an announcement made by the out-going Princial Valson Thampu here on February 10. more


ICHR chief Sudershan Rao quits in a huff

NEW DELHI : On November 24 Indian Council of Historical Research chief Y.Sudershan Rao submitted his resignation from the top history body
completing just 16 months on the job. He cited “personal reasons” in the resignation letter sent to the MHRD.

Y.Sudershan Rao


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


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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