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 ?


Punjabi varsity fee protests called off

Local political leaders appealing to the students to call off the fee hike agitation on November 22.

PATIALA : Punjabi University students here called off their protests on November 22 as the university authorities and district administration conceded their demands, ending the three-day impasse. Soon after the call-off the students opened main gates of the university allowing free flow of traffic and restoration of normalcy but three student unions — All India Students Federation (AISF), Students Federation of India (SFI), Punjabi University Research Scholar Association (Pursa), who have launched the protest in front of the vice-chancellor office — clung to their demands and refused to call off their hunger strike. more


IITs prepare to fight for universities' freedom from UGC 
NEW DELHI : The IITs are preparing to spearhead a unified campaign for academic independence of universities to counter UGC’s directives on the design and duration of courses and entry qualifications. more

No change, damned deemed varsities still in poor condition
The committee set up on apex court's directive to survey 41 'C' category deemed universities has found that most of them still do not fulfill the criteria needed to become deemed university. more

UGC proposes a 3-year Bachelor of Vocation degree course      
MUMBAI: UGC has proposed a three-year Bachelor of Vocation (B.Voc) degree course at recognised colleges and universities. It will be different from the conventional arts, science and commerce course. more

UGC move to bail out 44 damned deemed universitiesl
NEW DELHI : Under pressure, the University Grants Commission has recommended a fresh inspection and review of 44 deemed universities that were found unfit by a government committee in 2009. 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



Higher Edu & Research Bill, 2011 withdrawn

NEW DELHI : On November 25 the Central government officially withdrew, so to say, the sword of Damocles hanging over the UGC and the AICTE. The government withdrew from Rajya Sabha the Higher Education and Research Bill, 2011, which sought to create an overarching body in the higher education subsuming existing regulatory bodies such as UGC, AICTE and NCTE. more


JL Kaul appointed HNB Gharwal University VC

Prof Jawahar Lal Kaul

DEHRADUN : Jawahar Lal Kaul, a Delhi University professor  has been appointed Vice-Chancellor of Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Gharwal University, Srinagar. He was working as the VC of Vikram University in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh. more


ADN Bajpai gets a
2nd term at HPU

SHIMLA : Dr A D N Bajpai got a second term as a vice-chancellor at Himachal Pradesh University here.
A Raj Bhawan source confirmed on November 15 that the Chancellor Urmila Singh, has appointed Bajpai for a second term.

A D N Bajpai


Cambridge-India fellowship soon

NEW DELHI: Cambridge University vice-chancellor has said a new Cambridge-India Senior Fellowship for scholars above the post doctoral level will be announced soon. This will entail spending a portion of time at Cambridge, but nearly 60 per cent time in India. 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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