Saturday November 16, 2019

UGC allows Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan to open off-campus centers

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New Delhi: The University Grants Commission (UGC) granted an exemption to the Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, a fully government-funded deemed university to run off-campus centers, even as it is embroiled in a controversy with some of India’s leading institutes over their off-campus centers.

Following a request from the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD), the UGC decided to exempt the Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan from the stipulation present in the Clause 12.03A (Off-campuses) of the UGC (Institutions Deemed to be Universities) Regulations, 2010, which requires the deemed universities to limit its number of off-campus centers to six. The decision was taken in a meeting held on December 21.

Though, the exemption applies to all institutions that are fully government-funded, government-owned, and government-managed, there was no information yet regarding how many institutes other than Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan actually meet the requirements.

The exemption will help Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, which already runs 10 off-campus centers, to open its new proposed center in Agartala.

Last month, the UGC had sent notices to ten top deemed Universities to immediately close down some of their off-campus centers which it alleged to be operating without taking any prior permission from UGC or HRD ministry.

The institutes to which notices were sent included Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (Mumbai), Birla Institute of Technology (Pilani), Birla Institute of Technology (Mesra), Homi Bhabha National Institute (Mumbai), Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (Mumbai), Indian School of Mines (Dhanbad), Banasthali Vidyapeeth (Rajasthan), Ponnaiyah Ramajayam Institute of Science and Technology (Thanjavur), Indian Veterinary Research Institute (Izatnagar, UP), and Lakshmibai National University of Physical Education (Gwalior).

Following this, BITS Pilani has filed a writ petition against the UGC order to close down its off-campus centers in Goa and Hyderabad.

(Picture Courtesy: sanskrit.nic.in)

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UGC Issues Guidelines to Higher Education Institutions across India to Impose Ban on Single-Use Plastic

The guidelines state that the institutions should systematically ban the use of plastic on their campuses and replace it

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Carpets, Rugs, Plastic Waste, Biodegradable, Recycle
The rugs manufacturer and exporter emphasises green and responsible production using non-polluting manufacturing practices and conservation of energy and materials as far as possible. Pixabay

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued guidelines to higher education institutions across the country to impose a ban on single-use plastic.

The move comes ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi launching a mass revolution against single-use plastic from October 2, which will mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

The guidelines state that the institutions should systematically ban the use of plastic on their campuses and replace it with “environment friendly substitutes.” It also mandates that every higher education institution in the country should ban single-use plastics in canteens, hostels and shopping complexes in the institution’s premises.

“Carry out awareness drives and sensitisation workshops on the harmful impacts of single-use plastics, mandate all students to avoid bringing non-bio-degradable plastic items to the institution, install necessary alternative facilities like water units to avoid the use of plastic,” the guidelines state.

UGC, Plastic, Ban
The University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued guidelines to higher education institutions across the country to impose a ban on single-use plastic. Pixabay

The UGC guidelines also ask the institutions to encourage the students to sensitise their respective households about the harmful effects of plastics and make their households ‘plastic-free’. The guidelines are an effort to encourage the universities and colleges to adopt policies and practices towards cleaner and plastic-free campuses.

The guidelines also ask the higher education institutions, which have adopted villages under the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan, to undertake a campaign in their adopted villages till they are converted into ‘plastic-free villages’ through promoting awareness and encouraging shift to alternative products.

The higher education regulator, while issuing the guidelines, said that plastic waste has emerged as one of the biggest environmental concerns adversely impacting the soil, water, health and well-being of citizens at large and that time has come for a systematic campaign to reduce the usage of plastics.

It added that the educational institutions have the unique spread and influence to educate the students and households on the need to avoid the usage of plastics.

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Prime Minister Modi in his Independence Day speech had urged citizens to eliminate the use of single-use plastic, besides suggesting that shopkeepers should provide eco-friendly bags to the customers.

Subsequently, in his monthly “Mann Ki Baat” address, Modi had said that the time has come for the citizens to join hands in curbing single-use plastic. (IANS)