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 ?


SC scraps AIPMT-15, next in 4 weeks

The Supreme Court of India

NEW DELHI : On June 15 the Supreme Court finally scrapped the All India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT) 2015  and ordered the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to re-organise it within four weeks. The Bench comprising justices R K Agrawal and Amitava Roy said, “The examination stands vitiated even if one student is being benefited illegally. We are not holding CBSE guilty as such. Taking into consideration the past such incidents, CBSE ought to have been cognisance of these things. It had been happening for last two-three years,” it said. more


UGC bars engg, tech courses in distance learning mode 
NEW DELHI : The UGC has banned universities and institutes from offering diploma and postgraduate courses in engineering and technology through distance learning mode until further orders. more

Smriti insists on common counselling for IITs & NITs
On March 25 the MHRD told Delhi High Court what Smriti Irani had announced in Parliament a week before : that there will be common counselling for admission to IITs and NITs from 2015. 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


MHRD accepts uniform staffing pattern for varsities


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



Appoint panel to look into CLAT ‘errors’: HC

LUCKNOW : On July 2 Bombay high court ordered setting up of a panel to look into the complaints against this year's Common Law Admission Test conducted by Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University (RMLNLU) here. The expert panel should examine the questions and if they are found disputable, all the answer sheets must be revaluated and a revised merit list declared at the earliest, the court told the CLAT authorities. more


Sanjay Deshmukh is Mumbai varsity VC

MUMBAI: Sanjay Deshmukh will take over as the vice-chancellor of Mumbai University on July 7. The five-year term of Rajan Welukar ends on July 6. Deshmukh’s appointment was announced by the university Chancellor on June 20.  more

Sanjay Deshmukh


KU backs out, AIU
meet put off again

LUCKNOW : The annual general meet (AGM) of the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) was put off at the eleventh hour forcing the AIU Secretary General Furqan Qamar to announce another postponement. An emergency meeting of the governing council of the AIU was held on April 15 to review the situation but it could not fix a revised date or venue. more


PMO's rejection, TIFR director to resign

Sandip Trivedi

MUMBAI: In a first, the Prime Minister’s Office has rejected the appointment of the new director at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) on technical grounds, CNR Rao, chairman of search committee said. 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





Dr S Jafet

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