Wednesday, November 12, 2008


The Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M), which recently introduced engineering courses on Google and YouTube, is set to get up to Rs 50 lakh as an academic grant from Google to fund its National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL). The US-headquartered search giant is helping IIT-M develop a text-based search engine to index its video courses. The company will provide the grant to IIT-M in a few months.NPTEL plans to enhance the quality of engineering education in the country by developing curriculum-based video and web courses. Seven IITs and the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, have collaborated to carry out the venture. The IITs have been nominated as the fourth-best institutions in providing free university courses.NPTEL in the first phase of the project, has developed around 250 courses. All of these are available online for a duration of 4,500 hours, free of charge. The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has sponsored the project with Rs 20 crore. In the second phase, the institute has asked for Rs 50 crore from the MHRD. The institute will double the of number of courses and will also conduct 200 workshops for the faculty involved to train themselves. The second phase will be complete in three years.Over 90 government institutes, government aided institutes and private institutes are using the services of NPTEL. IIT-M distributes web contents free of charge to the government-funded institutes. The institutes, which require video content, pay a minimum sum of Rs 15,000 to the institute to cover the cost of three 500 GB SATA hard disks and postage.It also allows the content to be hosted on a website local to the institutions (intranet). Privately-funded institutions can obtain the entire web course contents on DVD ROMs for hosting them on their Intranet for a fee of Rs 1 lakh. NPTEL was started along the lines of Open Courseware by MIT in the US

Monday, November 10, 2008

International Conference on Recent Trends in Mathematical Sciences

Sixty-five mathematicians from 15 countries will take part in the first international conference on mathematics.The three-day International Conference on Recent Trends in Mathematical Sciences is organised by Bahrain University's mathematics department.Mathematicians will present lectures on their recent research on various topics, including statistics and operations research.The topics also include quantum information and mathematical modelling, computational mathematics, differential equations, algebra, number theory, history and foundation.The keynote speakers are Cardiff University professor Michael Eastham, Frankfurt Institute of Natural Sciences Professor M S Alnachaii and Russian Academy of Sciences Professor R Nagmaatulin.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


The number of candidates appearing for CAT, to be held on November 16, has risen 15% from last year’s 2.4 lakh, according to an IIM-Bangalore official. An acceptance offer this year will go to just one in 138 candidates against one in 120 last year.All the candidates who have taken the CAT 2008 will receive their CAT score cards by mid-January 2009 from the IIMs to which they had sent their application forms. Besides the IIMs, the CAT scores will be accepted by 102 non-IIMs. The three-hour test will start at 10 am across the country.

South Asian University

Government has approved the tabling of a bill in parliament to create a South Asian University (SAU).The university is expected to commence functioning in the second half of 2010 with 5,000 students and a postgraduate academic programme.India had proposed SAU's establishment at the 13th SAARC Summit held in Dhaka in November 2005 to provide world-class facilities and professional faculty to students and researchers from SAARC countries.An Inter-Governmental Agreement for establishing the university was signed at the 14th SAARC Summit in April 2007. The SAARC member states also decided that the university would be established in India.The SAARC member states have already set up a Project Office for the university that India is funding for two years.It will also be the first international university to be set up in India and would have branches of learning in other SAARC member states.


The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has issued a circular to its affiliated schools to establish a mathematics laboratory in order to promote learning among students through work activities. It was suggested that the concept would likely to be introduced from class third till eight.This new concept would not only help the children but also the teacher to visually explain some abstract concepts by using three-dimensional models.The laboratory would help a student learn the subject with the help of concrete objects and verify and discover certain geometric properties using models and measurements.The board has directed the schools to emphasize on the tools and equipment’s to be used in the laboratory, should be made locally designed by innovative methods.

Quota for OBCs

The ministry of human resource development is considering a proposal to introduce preparatory courses at the Central universities to enrol quota students who fail to secure admission. The year-long feeder course would coach them for admission to the varsities.The proposal was put forward to the Supreme Court in September in a reply filed by the ministry in response to a petition seeking direction on the vacant seats in the quota categories in all the 13 IITs—seven existing and six launched this year.The proposal comes in the wake of implementation of 27% quota for OBCs in Central educational institutions this year, which has led to several vacant seats in the category.At the 13 IITs, which implemented a 9% quota for OBCs this year, just 20 out of 654 seats for the category remained vacant. But at the six new IITs, only seven out of 54, or 12%, of the seats reserved for ST students have been filled.

Monday, November 03, 2008

project evaluation committees for UPTU

Uttar Pradesh Technical University (UPTU) will now have to work on their final year projects from the beginning of the session. The university has decided to monitor the progress of the projects on a monthly basis so that students take their assignments seriously.The UPTU has started to set up project evaluation committees, which will be functional from the current academic session. The committees are being set up at three levels. The state level committee, which has already been constituted, comprises the vice-chancellor, additional examination controller and six professors — from university and engineering and management institutes.The other two types of committees will be set up by each of the institutions. While one will comprise selected faculty members headed by the concerned college director, the other will comprise senior teachers of different engineering and managements streams of the same college.