Union Minister of HRD and
addressing the Parliamentary Consultative Committee addressed to his
Ministry, on 9th December, 2003, stated that the use of modern
technologies such as satellite communication, internet and electronics is
the only alternative available to expand higher education and improve the
quality of teaching. He informed that a number of initiatives have been
taken towards this and 124 universities have already been connected with
the UGC's Information Network and the rest would be connected by March,
2004. All over-15000 colleges will eventually become part of this network.
From 1st January, this year, 120 journals in science and technology
disciplines and 250 in humanities and other disciplines have been made
electronically available to the universities. A satellite, devoted
exclusively to education is proposed to be launched within the next few
months to make quality study material available through television and
other communication channels.
Dr. Joshi also informed the members about
the steps initiated by the UGC for improving the relevance and quality of
teaching and research, such as introduction of utility-oriented programmes
the traditional degree;
identifying the universities with potential for excellence; to establish
four National Institutes of Sciences at Bhubaneshwar, Chennai, Pune and
Allahabad; monitoring the universities using parameters for academic
performance, research performance and governance and providing incentives
to universities and colleges scoring high on these parameters.
Joshi also called upon the UGC to rejuvenate the students' interest in
basic sciences. He informed that the Government has decided to observe
2004 as the year of scientific awareness. Members were further informed
about the recently issued regulations for establishment and maintenance of
private universities. Dr. Joshi also emphasized the need for promotion of
sports in universities.
The following members were present from Lok
Sabha: S/Shri/Ms. Sharad Pawar, Savshibhai Makwana, Dr. Beatrix D'Souza,
Vinay Kumar Sorake Ananta Nayak and Ramseth Thakur. The members present
from Rajya Sabha were: S/Shri/Ms. Savita Sharda, Chandra Kala Pandey, Dr.
A.K. Patel, Dr. Kumkum Rai, Dr. Faguni Ram, K.
Dr. Bimal Jalan.