Friday, October 24, 2008

Hawking to retire as Lucasian Professor

British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking will next year retire as Cambridge University's Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, a position once held by Isaac was policy for the title holder to retire at 67. Hawking, who has held the position since 1979 and has worked at Cambridge since 1962, will be 67 in January.The scientist, whose books including "A Brief History of Time" have sought to popularise study of stellar physics, will stay at the university but a new Lucasian professor will be appointed.Isaac Barrow became the first holder of the post in 1664, and notable successors have included Charles Babbage, Sir Joseph Larmor and Sir James Lighthill.Despite being almost completely paralysed by motor neurone disease, Prof Hawking became one of the world's leading experts on gravity, black holes, and the origins of the universe.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Times World University Rankings.

America's Harvard University tops the list followed by Yale University also from the US, while the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford, UK were placed third and fourth respectively by the Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings.Over a third of the top 100 institutes are based in the US, even as nine Asian institutions have been included within the top 50, including three based in Hong Kong.Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Seoul National University are the two new entrants into the list this year.China has as many as five Universities in the top 200, with Peking University placed at 50 and Tsinghua University at 56.British universities have slipped down the world rankings, with Cambridge and Oxford losing ground to Harvard and Yale, while fewer British universities are in the top 200 list than last year.IIT Delhi and IIT Mumbai, which found a place among the elite institutions have been ranked 154 and 174 respectively.

UGC's scholarship

One thousand meritorious students across the country would benefit from the UGC Suvarna Jayanti scholarships.The scholarships are for postgraduate studies from the coming academic year in conventional subjects such as humanities, languages, literature, commerce, and basic sciences. The students will be paid Rs. 2,000 per month for two years. Selection will be on a national basis and distribution of different subjects will depend on the proportionate enrolment in various PG courses.Another new scheme was to provide grants up to Rs. 2 lakhs each to UGC recognised colleges for expenses connected with the accreditation and assessment process. This would come into effect from April and help a large number of colleges that could not seek accreditation, and benefit up to 6,000 colleges in the country.
The UGC would also offer the "Professor of Eminence" scheme sanctioned by the Union Human Resource Development Ministry to 500 teachers in universities. "There will be a national selection based on the applicant's contribution to teaching and research which has to match international standards. A UGC committee of experts will do the screening; there is no age or designation limit and the professors of eminence will be paid Rs. 10 lakhs to Rs. 15 lakhs and provided research facilities.

Fill vacant OBC seats from general category’

The Supreme Court ruled on that all vacant seats reserved for other backward classes or OBCs in Central educational institutions should be filled up by general category students.A five-judge Constitution Bench comprising Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justices Arijit Pasayat, C.K. Thakker, R.V. Raveendran and Dalveer Bhandari passed this order on an application filed by the former Chennai IIT Director, Professor P.V. Indiresan, seeking a direction that the 432 vacant seats in SC/ST/OBC categories in the IITs be filled by general category candidates.The apex court also directed the Union government to maintain cut-off marks for OBC students at 10% less than the general category.The institutes must “endeavour to fill up” vacant seats with general category students by the end of October, the Chief Justice said.The Centre, however, had already informed the Court that only 20 out of 654 seats meant for the OBCs in the 13 IITs remained vacant, of which 11 were in architecture/design course. Also only 47 seats meant for SC/STs remained vacant in the six new IITs because no preparatory course could be held.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

75% attendance minimum for taking exam

CBSE has issued a circular to all affiliate schools directing them to inform students about the exam by-laws well in advance.The by-laws state that candidates sitting for class X and XII finals must fulfil 75 per cent attendance to be eligible to sit for the board examinations.As per the examination by-laws, students short of attendance up to 15 per cent can only approach the CBSE chairman for condonation. However, the representation has to be send to the board by the respective school principals.The circular issued by the board states that in those cases where students are not regularly attending the schools for various reasons, the rule of CBSE must be brought to their notice in writing.

practical projects in Sociology

Central Board of Secondary Education has decided to include a 20-mark practical project in sociology for students of Class XII.It will be implemented in the Board examinations to be held in 2010. The project has been introduced in Class XI from this academic session onwards and shall be implemented for the students appearing in their Class XII examination next year.New textbooks of sociology were introduced for Class XI in 2006-07 and for Class XII in 2007-08, in view of the revision of the syllabus according to the directions from the National Curriculum Framework 2005.

Health diet in CBSE textbooks right from Class I

The National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT) has approved Health and Physical Education as part of the curriculum.The subject will be compulsory for Classes I to X and optional for Class XI and Class XII.The subject will be taught initially in English, but the textbooks will later be translated into Hindi and regional languages.The subject will cover a wide range of topics like hygiene and sanitation, the human body,food and nutrition, common ailments and epidemics, health services, indigenous healers, health and consumerism, health rights, and reproductive health.

Saturday, October 04, 2008


The West Bengal Joint Entrance Examination Board (WBJEEB) decided that there will be no age limit for appearing in the Joint Entrance Examination for admission to engineering and medical colleges of West Bengal.From now onwards, any student above the age of 17 years can appear in the JEE examination.Last year the board had fixed the upper age limit to 24 years for both medical and engineering entrance examination in the state.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Regional Mathematical Olympiad

The Regional Mathematical Olympiad will be held on November 9 between 1 p m and 4 p m in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Kottayam, Alappuzha, Adoor,Ernakulam, Irinjalakuda, Thrissur, Palakkad, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasargod. The students from Class XI/XII and exceptional students of Class X can apply.There is no prescribed syllabus for the Olympiad.The five toppers will win a cash prize of Rs 2000 and Prof C S Venkataraman memorial prizes.Twenty toppers candidates (six from class XII) will be selected for the Indian National Mathematical Olympiad (INMO) to be held at CUSAT on February 2009.Thirty INMO awardees will be invited for a training camp to select an Indian team for the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) 2009.IMO-2008 was held in Spain and India was placed 31 with 5 bronze medals.There is no application form for participating in the Olympiad.Principals can forward the list of the candidates with student’s name, medium of instruction,class, residential address,phone numbers, email-ids and requested centre with a registration fee of Rs 30 by Cash/MO/DD drawn in favour of Regional Coordinator, INMO payable at State Bank of Travancore, Cochin University.The last date for filled in application is October 10. For old question papers and information brochure, send in an application with a 10*8 self-addressed envelope affixed with Rs 25 stamps to Dr A Vijayakumar, Regional coordinator, INMO, Dept of Maths, CUSAT- 22.For further details, call 0484-2577518 or logon on

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

UPTU management test

Uttar Pradesh Technical University (UPTU) has decided to introduce group discussions and interviews after the written test to select candidates for management colleges of the state.UPTU will hold separate entrance examination for management courses. Earlier, entrance examinations for BTech and MBA courses were held jointly under Uttar Pradesh State Entrance Examinations (UPSEE).Under the new process, the university will conduct a written test for over 11,000 management seats in December for 2009-10 session. Engineering entrance exams for the same session will be held in April-May 2009.The proposal regarding the new examination procedure has been approved by the university’s academic council and soon it will be tabled before the executive council for final approval.

SEE -2008

Over 2.5 lakh candidates had appeared in SEE 2008 for admissions in around one lakh seats, which included around 70,500 seats for BTech and remaining for MBA, MCA, BArch and BPharma in 424 technical institutes affiliated to UPTU. Nearly, 1.5 lakh candidates were declared qualified and called for counselling.This included 1.25 lakh candidates for admissions in BTech course. Counselling was held in July-August. However, over 20,000 seats, including around 13,000 BTech, remained vacant after first round. UPTU also conducted a special round of counselling for reserved category candidates.After the first round of counselling, UPTU decided to conduct a second round to fill 20,000 odd vacant seats. It directed all the private colleges to provide details of the vacant seats and invited applications from the candidates interested in taking admission.However, many colleges filled the seats by conducting admissions on their own. They took plea that as per February 26, 2008 government order, they can fill the seats which remain vacant after counselling. They also said that since UPTU's academic session starts from September 11, they could not wait for the second round of counselling.

Student Feedback in UPTU

From next academic session students of the Uttar Pradesh Technical University (UPTU) will assess their teachers.The evaluation parameters will range from the teacher's academic expertise, punctuality, preparation before taking a class, conduct in classrooms and others.The step will assist teachers in overcoming their weak areas, which could be inefficient communication skills, mode of teaching.At present, there are about 12,000 faculty members associated with different colleges affiliated to UPTU.Nearly, 150,000 students are pursuing various technical courses in UPTU, which governs all the engineering and technical institutes in Uttar Pradesh.