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 ?


Amartya stirs row, then mollifies BJP

Amartya Sen

NEW DELHI: On 19th of February 82-year-old Amartya Sen triggered off a controversy that had obvious political overtones. Then on February 25 he took a quick U-turn, turned defensive and made a sober move to silence the controversy he had himself stirred. In an obvious move to mend fence with the BJP government in Delhi the Nobel laureate expressed appreciation of the Union government, the Bihar government and the East Asia Summit to help create Nalanda University. more


MHRD promises to frame new criteria for deemed varsities 
NEW DELHI : Allowing relief to deemed universities, the MHRD told the Supreme Court on February 23 that it proposes to frame 'criteria' to deal with the issue of recognition of deemed universities. more

Budget bloomer ? Andhra Pradesh to get another IIM
NEW DELHI : Union Finance Minister's budget speech of February 28 carried an announcement that made even the MHRD bosses sit up in surprise -- an IIM for Andhra Pradesh!

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

SC tells Central govt to hurry up on damned deemed universities
NEW DELHI : On January 8 the Supreme Court gave Central government five-weeks' to submit its report on the status of the 41 deemed universities facing de-recognition. 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



Welukar gets no relief from Chancellor

MUMBAI:  Suspended and ousted Mumbai University vice-chancellor Rajan Welukar's efforts to get himself reinstated bore no fruit on March 3 when he called on the Chancellor Ch Vidyasagar Rao after  the Supreme Court order. more

Rajan Welukar


Andhra prepones Eamcet to May 8

HYDERABAD : Andhra Pradesh has preponed its Engineering and Medicine Common Entrance Test (EAMCET) to May 8 instead of May 10 in view of clash of dates with other entrance tests. more


Gajbhaiye arrested, suspended from IIT

N S Gajbhiye

KANPUR: On Feb.23 the CBI arrested IIT don N S Gajbhaiye and two days later, on February 25, the IIT administration suspended him for allegedly amassing wealth and property disproportionate to his known source of income. more


Rs 10 crore to Azam's varsity for med college

LUCKNOW: A separate provision has been made in the budget to provide a grant of Rs 10 crore to set up a medical college/ hospital at Muhammad Ali Jauhar University (Rampur) of parliamentary affairs minister Mohd Azam Khan. Khan is the chancellor of the university.


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


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.





Ashok Thakur

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