Google is launching AI to forecast floods in India, in partnership with Ministry of Water Resources. A pilot flood forecast system will first be launched in Patna, India. According to Google India, IA will help to A) provide "early & accurate flood warnings, B) predict dangerous areas, and C) reach people more quickly by sending alerts through Google Sitemap."
"Under this Agreement, CWC and Google will share technical expertise in the fields of artificial intelligence, machine learning, geospatial mapping and analysis of hydrological observation data to collaborate on (i) improving flood prediction systems, which will help provide location-targeted, actionable flood warnings, (ii) high priority research project utilizing Google Earth Engine to help visualize and improve flood management and (iii) a cultural project to build online exhibitions on the Rivers of India ."
Machine learning and artificial intelligence (A.I.) are two of the most-hyped concepts in technology at the moment. Even businesses without the budget to afford a platoon of subject-matter experts want to leverage machine learning to make their processes “smarter.” Meanwhile, tech giants such as Google hope that A.I. can remake the world, or at least change how we drive to work every day.
But where are the actual A.I. jobs? According to a new study by Indeed, the highest concentration of these positions is in New York City, with 11.6 percent of the site’s job postings. San Francisco came in second, with 9.6 percent, followed by San Jose with 9.2 percent. Washington D.C. (7.9 percent) and Boston (6.1 percent) rounded out the top five.
These results aren’t surprising. New York, San Francisco, San Jose, and Boston are huge tech hubs; Washington D.C. features government agencies, defense contractors, and consulting firms that are all attempting to figure out how to best make A.I. work for them. In an accompanying blog posting, Indeed suggested that New York’s variety of “industry centers,” including “media, fashion, and banking,” were responsible for its impressive showing.
Despite its second-place showing, Silicon Valley clearly remains dedicated to exploring A.I. “San Jose has the most job postings for algorithm engineers, computer vision engineers and machine learning engineers, which are all in the top four for jobs that most frequently require A.I. or machine learning skills,” that posting added. “San Jose also had the most job postings for research engineers.”
Those tech pros with the right combination of A.I.-related skills can make incredible amounts of money. Earlier this year, for example, The New York Times analyzed a tax filing by OpenAI, a nonprofit that specializes in A.I. work, and found that its top researcher, Ilya Sutskever, made nearly $2 million in 2016. Another researcher earned $800,000.
Nor is that the ceiling: At a conference in mid-2017, Tom Eck, CTO of industry platforms at IBM, said that “top-tier A.I. researchers are earning the same salaries as NFL quarterbacks.” Many quarterbacks make many millions of dollars per year, so you can imagine what those tech pros make.
These high salaries at least partially stem from scarcity: A recent analyst report from McKinsey & Company estimated the number of qualified A.I. experts in the world at fewer than 10,000. And companies know that the A.I. and machine learning market will only get bigger, with the report estimating that the practical applications of artificial intelligence could add a staggering $3.5 trillion to $5.8 trillion in value across various industries over the next several years.
The Dice Salary Calculator suggests that a tech pro in San Francisco with at least five years’ experience in technologies related to artificial intelligence (including data analytics and natural-language processing) can earn as much as $121,000 per year. We can infer that even those A.I.-trained tech pros who aren’t operating at “NFL quarterback level” can comfortably pull down a six-figure salary—no matter where they live. No matter what the future may hold, learning at least some A.I. skills has some clear benefits on your career.
U.S.-based graphics processing unit (GPU) manufacturer NVIDIA recently partnered with the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) to develop India’s first supercomputer based on Artificial Intelligence (AI). Vishal Dhupar, managing director, NVIDIA-South Asia, tells Fortune India that India is his priority market, and the company is forging partnerships to address the country’s problems through technology.
Could you briefly distinguish between machine learning and deep learning?
Think of machine learning and deep learning as concentric circles that sit within the category of AI. AI involves machines showing elements of human intelligence. Machine learning is the practice of using algorithms to parse data and then make a prediction about something. Deep learning is a technique for implementing machine learning that involves training neural networks to understand data.
How are enterprises in India using your advances in AI and deep learning?
Our highest priority in India and globally is to play a central role in the computing infrastructure ignited by GPU. We are partnering with labs and researchers to apply deep learning to solve India’s grand challenges.
For example, last month, we established a Centre of Excellence in partnership with the Central Electronics Engineering Research Institute (CEERI). The NVIDIA Centre of Excellence (CNCoE) will be powered by a five-petaflop AI supercomputer. This will be India’s first industrial AI supercomputer, at CEERI’s Delhi campus and will house a high-throughput AI computing infrastructure that can be leveraged by the CSIR, in collaboration with public and private organisations and industries across the country, to conduct research and development (R&D). The CNCoE is currently powered by five NVIDIA DGX-1 AI supercomputers, providing a purpose-built deep learning development platform based on NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPU accelerators. This is an opportunity to develop AI applications with the help of CEERI’s expertise.
How has the mix of your business changed? What is the share of deep learning and data centres in your revenue?
We have increased our global revenue, specifically in the data centre business, gaming and automotive sectors, among others. Our global revenue in the first quarter FY19 grew 66% over a year to $3.21 billion. Additionally, our global data centre revenue grew 71% over a year to a record $701 million. And, our global gaming business grew 68% over a year to $1.72 billion.
From graphics solutions to Bitcoin to AI, how has NVIDIA evolved over the years?
We set out to transform computer graphics 25 years ago. We have evolved the GPU into a computer brain. The computing platforms we build are highly regarded by gamers, designers, scientists, and enterprises. We are currently in the middle of one of the most important advances in technology, namely deep learning, that has proven to be incredibly effective, robust, and relatively easy to be applied. We are advancing GPU computing for deep learning and AI at the speed of light. We create the entire stack, starting with the most advanced GPUs and systems followed by the software that we build on top of them.
The AI ecosystem is evolving at a rapid pace globally as well as in India. According to a report by Accenture, AI could add $957 billion to the Indian economy by changing the nature of work to create better outcomes for businesses and the society. NVIDIA’s play involves enabling organisations to adopt AI for their workflows. As an AI compute company, our goal is to provide computing tools that will enable the best scientific minds across research, academia, government, enterprises, developers and startups to apply AI in solving some of the greatest challenges of humanity.
What is the future?
Our GPUs have democratised supercomputing and AI, making these tools available to researchers, scientists and developers who want to use them. As advances in technology continue unabated, we see other bottlenecks.
While India is home to a growing pool of developers, there is also a significant amount of brain drain witnessed in the country. A survey by blockchain community, incrypt, stated that close to 80% blockchain developers are likely to migrate out of India. We are in the process of building a huge pool of India-based AI developers, data scientists, researchers and academicians, to understand and deploy AI trends, technology and use cases.
Another important activity focused on developer engagement is the launch of the Developer Connect Program in India. The main aim of this program is to empower developers with skills needed to use deep learning in their applications. This year, we will be organising a GPU hackathon under this, in association with OpenACC, C-DAC and IISER Pune.
Four out of every 10 engineers who graduate in India each year don't find jobs because of a yawning gap between what they learn and what industry demands, a serial entrepreneur on Monday told an audience of educators, marketers and administrators.
"Forty per cent of around 800,000 engineers that India produces are unemployable," Bhupesh Daheria, the CEO of Aegis School of Data Science, said.
He was speaking at Engage 2018, a digital media conference presented by the Public Relations Society of India's Calcutta Chapter and Mayabious Group, in association with The Telegraph, at the ITC Sonar.
"Nine per cent of India's 600 million estimated workforce will be deployed in new jobs that do not exist today," Daheria said.
He cited a recent study on the future of jobs by Ernst and Young, Ficci and Nasscom to illustrate how fast trends change. The most paying jobs now are those in the field of artificial intelligence and data science, and these are avenues that barely existed four to five years ago, according to Daheria.
Ayesha Hazra, the co-founder of a digital marketing company, told Metro on the sidelines of the conference that the curriculum followed in engineering colleges needs an upgrade to make new engineers industry-ready.
Bengal's education minister Partha Chatterjee had said in June that colleges in the state that were producing "too many unemployable engineers" should shut down. Anil Sahasrabudhe, the chairman of the All India Council for Technical Education, said weeks later that engineering colleges should start new courses in data analytics, cloud computing, robotics and the Internet of Things to attract students and improve their job prospects.
US chipmaker Intel has trained as many as 99,000 developers, students and professors in artificial intelligence (AI) in India since April 2017, against a target of 15,000 for the first year of its programme, according to the tech major.
It has also tied up with premier educational institutes like the IITs in Delhi, Mumbai, Kharagpur, Kanpur, Chennai, and IIITs in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, BITS Pilani, ISI Kolkata, IISc Bangalore, CDAC and companies like Shell and TCS among others for training under its AI developer education.
"Though we had committed to train 15,000 developers, students, and professors in AI initially through training and workshops, we have already exceeded the target over seven-fold at over 99,000 by roping in many of them from 100 organisations," said Prakash Mallya, managing director for sales and marketing, Intel India.
The programme was launched in April 2017 and the initial target was for a year ending April 2018, he said, adding the programme is aimed to democratising AI through collaborations with partners and customers.
The company, which organised its first AI developer conference in the country last week in Bengaluru after the initiative in home market US earlier this year, had over 500 developers attending it.
It also announced collaborations with Philips India and Mphasis to deploy its AI portfolio in the local ecosystem.
This year, as many as 10.5 lakh students appeared for the IIT JEE entrance exam. These students are relying on an engineering degree to give their career the much needed leap, believing that this is the key to success. However, the state of engineering education in India is far from that.
The lack of employable skills in engineers in the country has been a rising concern over the past decade. In a recent report by Aspiring Minds, the organisation compiling the National Employability Report every year, stated that as many as 95 per cent of 36,000 engineers assessed in IT related branches were considered unemployable for software development jobs. Last year, the shutting down of over 150 engineering colleges by the All India Council for Technical Education due to lack of basic technical knowledge among the students also raised a number of questions on the gravity of the situation.
Reasons behind engineering education tumbling down in India: One of the most important reasons has been the lack of integrity and interest on the part of the institutions to impart quality education. The era after the IT boom in India, in the early 2000s, saw an exponential increase in the demand for engineering education and colleges mushroomed all around.
Most of these institutions were only interested in encashing on this demand and relied heavily on bulk placements by the upcoming IT firms. This led to a decade of engineering students who had the degree but no skills to be able to apply their learning.
The other aspect that has left our engineers behind is the irrelevance of the curriculum. Work and workplaces are undergoing a tectonic change. This is due to fundamental changes in technology as well as economics — places of production, purchase and consumption have transformed.
The second era of engineering is coming to an end with the rapid technological advancements in areas like automation, robotics, data sciences, artificial intelligence and machine learning. The speed of change in last three to four years has probably surpassed most expectations.
As a result, most institutions have been unable to keep pace and the poor quality of the curriculum and the infrastructure has directly impacted the knowledge and the skills of the graduates.
The fact that only 1.4 per cent of the engineers could write functionally correct and efficient code, as revealed in a recent report, raises questions around how prepared we are for the era of automation ahead of us.
The lack of job opportunities in core domains other than computer science and IT has also led to a mismatch of skill versus the requirements. In order to place their students, institutions often push them from all domains to appear for opportunities in the software industry.
Before the giant IT companies in India began selectively hiring and slashing out their hiring percentages very recently, it was usual to find a mechanical engineer taking up a job in an IT company.
The often less emphasised reason for this crisis is also the lack of genuine interest in the domain among many students enrolling in engineering programmes.
A number of students every year decide to study engineering either under the pressure of family, society or because they believe that this will be an easy way towards bagging a job. This is why a large number of engineers are not only unhappy with their jobs but also incapable to develop skills that are relevant to the times.
Other options have opened up: As the country’s most coveted profession began to suffer, other non-engineering disciplines have emerged in quality and offering ample opportunities. Disciplines like design and law have gained popularity in the past few years and students are now beginning to explore outside engineering.
In addition to this, foreign education has come to the reach of many. US universities registered a 12 per cent increase in Indian students in 2017 and according to the World Education News + Reviews research, India is the second sender of students.
What can be done: It is important to understand that in spite of the situation, it is an exciting time to be an engineer. If one can respond to the changes and upskill to be ready for the future world of work and business, engineers are the problem solvers of tomorrow.
Many renowned foreign institutions have responded to the unprecedented changes by retooling, reskilling, reprogramming, creating new learning paths, offering unbundled learning and providing a multidisciplinary perspective to the subject.
In India, we have to buckle up and provide students practical, application based education, where they truly learn to experiment, solve problems and apply their education.
Technology will evolve faster than curriculum can catch up but what we can teach them is how to become lifelong learners and prepare for a career, a life and not simply a job. We need to teach them to unlearn and relearn, to break down any problem and think of creative technological solutions, beyond the machine.
Experiential and hands-on learning, with a cutting edge and evolving curriculum could be just the key to solve the problem of unemployability. Institutions also need to train engineers on essential communication, critical thinking, decision making and collaboration skills that are transferrable, no matter the jobs they switch.
We need to begin the process of developing engineers that really see the world around them, respond to it and innovate. Engineering colleges around the nation must start working towards creating future ready professionals, before they fail their students and themselves.
Indian IT giants TCS and Infosys have joined a global drive for tech reskilling of one million workers in the first ever such IT industry initiative. The initiative, whose founding partners also include Accenture, CA Technologies, Cisco, Cognizant, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Pegasystems, PwC, Salesforce and SAP, aims to bring competitive training content together on one platform to serve the greater good.
The initiative will be targeting 1 million people for training and resource opportunities on the World Economic Forum SkillSET portal by January 2021.
The IT Industry Skills Initiative was launched here by the World Economic Forum to meet the global skills gap challenge and address job displacement arising from automation and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The initiative was conceived by the Forum's IT Governors community under the chairmanship of Chuck Robbins, the chairman and chief executive officer of Cisco.
"We need responsive solutions and coordination from all parts of society - governments, citizens and private industry alike - to re-envision an educational system based on lifelong learning that can fully prepare workers for the jobs of the future," said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum. "This initiative is a clear example of industry leaders taking concerted, collective action to address a major social challenge at scale."
According to a World Economic Forum report on workforce reskilling, one in four adults reported a mismatch between the skills they have and the skills they need for their current job. Therefore, enabling and empowering workers to transform and update their skills is a key concern for businesses and societies across the globe.
The coalition has created a free platform of online tools to streamline the process of reskilling adults. The initial iteration of the portal will be available in April 2018. The coalition, which continues to add members, will be working over the next few months to develop tools and processes intended to address many of the barriers that prevent adults from reskilling or successfully completing trainings.
The initiative will initially target the US market, with plans to scale to other geographies and build industry and public-sector partnerships in 2018 and beyond. Under the chairmanship of Mike Gregoire, Chief Executive Officer, CA Technologies, the coalition will report on progress at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2019. Cognizant CEO Francisco D'Souza said: "The workplace issue of the 21st century is a worldwide shortage of qualified technology talent driven by a massive skills gap, which we must address together on a global scale.
"The pace of technological change has education systems struggling to keep up in delivering learning experiences that are relevant, immersive and readily available as workers seek to expand their skills."
He also said the future of talent development depends on new models, ways of thinking and initiatives like this one that engage individuals as lifelong learners and provide them with opportunities for continuous reinvention.
Infosys CEO Salil Parikh said, "Our relevance, in an increasingly digital future, will depend on our ability to learn and evolve lifelong at the pace of technology. Democratising digital literacy is an essential first step to make technology a force for good that moves us all forward."
TCS chief Rajesh Gopinathan said with the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, enterprises are leveraging the combined effect of emerging technologies to transform their businesses.
"Employees will also have to transform their skills and adopt newer ways of working to participate in today's opportunities that are as enormous as in any of the previous generations. It is important for enterprises to make investments in reskilling and upskilling employees and prepare them for digital-age careers," he added.
Easy and ubiquitous access to education and quality healthcare forms the fundamentals of any society and makes a huge contribution to the development of a country. Even as one can see considerable progress in the growing number of schools, colleges, nursing homes, hospitals across the nation, it still is insufficient to meet the needs of India’s 1.3 billion citizens. Also, given the country’s size and diversity, a lot more is required to bring the benefits of education and quality healthcare to hundreds of millions. As technology continues to transform our society, it is evident that innovations in Information Communications Technology (ICT) can help meet the challenges in these sectors as well.
Healthcare and education as such are not standardized globally and access is impacted by various factors such as poverty and geography. According to the Medical Council of India, the doctor-population ratio stands at 1:1681, assuming 80% of these doctors are available on any given day. From seeing a specialist oncologist to getting a simple ailment diagnosed, a sizeable percentage of the population cannot reach or afford to pay the healthcare professionals they need to treat them. However, constant technological innovations are radically transforming healthcare. In recent times, the advent of automation technologies and remote health monitoring and the concept of artificial intelligence have promised an accurate and optimized delivery of healthcare across the globe.
As an example, ICT does not only benefit medical practitioners in remote areas through the exchange of information between primary and specialty care health professionals, but also enables them to obtain a second opinion to help with diagnosis. This helps in strengthening cooperation between health professionals and improves coordination.
It can also improve the quality of healthcare and reduce costs and unnecessary travel for patients. For example, our Device Connection Platform, which runs solutions that simplifies insulin-treated diabetes by gathering and sharing data between patient and healthcare professional through a unified connected device.
In telecoms circles, we have started talking about 5G and the impact it will have on our society. In fact, healthcare is one of the top areas that 5G can add immense value to. The introduction of 5G with ultra-low latency of a few milliseconds and multi gigabit bandwidth will enable reliable communication that has the ability to perform mission critical procedures.
Let’s take remote surgery - to operate safely a surgeon needs to be able to react to physical and visual stimuli in under 10 milliseconds. When operating remotely, these stimuli will need to be delivered over a network, but the time required to compress and decompress video content vastly exceeds the safe reaction time. With 5G supporting the solution, these problems are neatly sidestepped. 5G connectivity enables much greater bandwidth usage, while intelligent network slicing separates and prioritizes mission-critical functions, such as machine communication, which is required for the surgery. Most importantly, the low-latency attributes of 5G means the haptic feedback is felt in near real-time through the surgeon’s gloves.
Addressing education through technology
ICT can also transform education. While the literacy rate in the country may have gone up to 74.4%, it is uneven. Another big challenge has been to keep students at school and improve their learning outcomes. As per the last survey by the National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO), an average of 326 out of 1,000 students in rural areas are dropping out, while the same number stands at 383 per 1,000 in urban areas. In addition, many students who are enrolled in formal education are not acquiring the skills and competencies they need to succeed in knowledge based economies. Education should enable young people to improve and enhance their employability skills.
There are twofold benefits that technology can enable in India as far as learning and education are concerned – make education more accessible and make learning more impactful. Concepts like remote learning and digital classrooms have been instrumental in taking education to the remotest corners of the country; these concepts continue to evolve. Moreover, falling smartphone prices and easy access to internet have brought about a sea change in the way students interact with subjects.
Evidence indicates that basic computer training programmes, retail management skills and proficiency in spoken and written English can substantially improve the chances of young people finding a job. Girls and boys get a foothold in their journey of lifelong learning by being enrolled in simple programmes which expose them to technology. We're using Connect To Learn (CTL) for imparting basic training in computers, soft skills and personality development, retail and management skills, along with proficiency in spoken and written English to young people. This project aims to increase employment opportunities for this core group through ICT training, job-oriented skills and placement assistance. The project has trained 14669 students and about 52% of those trained have been placed in jobs.
Girls, in particular, face more barriers to education and this leaves them vulnerable. With quality education, girls have a much greater chance to earn a decent living, raise a healthy family, and improve their quality of life. In fact, a World Bank study found that for every year of secondary school education a girl completes, her future earning power increases by 18%. In India, we work with several organizations with the goal of increasing self-development opportunities for 15,000 girls aged 15-25, providing tutorial support on subjects like math, science, and English. We try to reach girls and young women within their own communities to avoid the challenge of limited mobility, and also work to raise awareness among girls on issues related to their safety and security.
As technology continues to transform society, those responsible for our current systems of healthcare as well as education are facing overwhelming pressure to adapt. By embracing the power of ICT we can enhance our education and healthcare services to make a difference in our country.
BENGALURU: The state government has recently decided to provide free education for girls in the state up to post-graduation even in private educational institutions. Currently the girls are given free education in government schools and colleges up to undergraduate level. Now it will be extended to private institutions and also up to post-graduation from the next academic year. Confirming this, Higher Education Minister Basavaraja Rayareddi said, “From the next academic year, it is completely free education for girls in the state.”
Rayareddi was speaking at an event organised by Bangalore University at Central College premises on Thursday to inaugurate newly constructed buildings. “The mode of payment for private institutions towards the girl children fee is yet to be finalised. Once it is placed before the Cabinet and gets clearance, the departments concerned will work out the modalities,” said a senior official from the Higher Education Department.
According to officials, first priority before the government is to reimburse the fee paid by the students in the form of scholarship. “To avoid confusion or misuse of the scheme, it would be better to reimburse the beneficiaries. This is what we are doing with the fee education scheme announced for children of farmers who committed suicide. They have to join the institute by paying the required fee and later submit the receipt to the department concerned. The fee paid by them will be reimbursed to their bank accounts,” an official said.
The World Bank will support the government in improving the quality, equity and governance of higher education institutes in the Indian state of Odisha.
The $119 million Odisha Higher Education Program for Excellence and Equity Project, approved by the World Bank Board of Executive Directors today, will help the state improve access to quality higher education for students from all backgrounds, particularly from scheduled tribes (ST) and other disadvantaged groups, strengthen the overall governance and management of these institutes by developing a tool to score their performance and support the higher education department to improve the functioning of the governing boards of government-aided non-autonomous colleges.
Government, government-aided, and block grant colleges that have an accreditation from the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) are eligible to apply for grants under the project. Their Institutional Development Plan (IDP) will be evaluated by a committee comprising eminent academics from inside and outside the state. The first round of selection has already begun and the committee has selected 70 colleges and six state universities based on their IDPs. Another 70 will be selected in the second round which will commence after 12 to 18 months. The remaining about 660 colleges that do not receive the institutional grant will directly benefit from a faculty development program and the anticipated governance reforms.
In all, about 630,000 higher education students and about 21,000 faculty staff and 11,000 administrative staff at the colleges and universities will benefit from the project.
The Indian government has developed an ambitious plan to transform India into a competitive, high-growth, and productive middle-income country with a strong emphasis on increasing the supply of skilled workers to drive the economy,
The institutional development grants under the project will assist affiliated colleges in achieving autonomous status, improve the examination system, establish support centers for affiliated colleges in tribal-dominated districts, and help modernize university and college infrastructure. Initiatives such as short term trainings for faculty, online student feedback system on faculty performance, and certain skill development courses will be undertaken at the state level to improve the quality of teaching and learning in the colleges.
Colleges in the state face a series of governance challenges beyond the issue of limited autonomy for colleges. A standardized benchmarking tool will help them score their performance; monitor their progress against other institutes; and assess their governance practices. Online systems for financial management of colleges as well as for issuing licensing guidelines for new and expanding colleges will help enhance transparency in these institutes.
“Odisha is making efforts to tackle some of the systemic challenges facing its higher education system,” said Kurt Larsen and Sangeeta Dey, Senior Education Specialists and World Bank’s Task Team Leaders for the project. “This project will work with the Higher Education Department in Odisha and take on board issues of quality and relevance, address inequalities of access and outcomes, and put into practice more decentralized and flexible government structures and management practices.”
The $119 million loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), has a 5.5-year grace period, and a maturity of 18 years.
KOLKATA: India and the UK are working on protecting the security of the cyber space with regard to personal data, British High Commissioner to India Sir Domic Asquith said today.
"India has a vast repository of data, which is personal data that need to be protected. We are going to work, to collaborate with Indians for the next year or two on that area," Asquith told reporters to a question.
"Cyber security is very important if you have to develop digital economy. We are going to collaborate with Indians to make sure that security of the cyber space is protected. We have been working on that with Indians," Asquith said when asked about his response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of digital India.
Earlier at an interactive session at the 'Heritage Group of Institutions' here, he said
"The UK and India have a long-standing relationship and we are looking towards partnering India in future, particularly in education, skills and entrepreneurship."
"The target action areas of UK include improvements in business environment, skill development, employment generation, energy security and developing smarter cities as engines of growth."
He said that four top universities in the world are based in Britain. "We urge the students from your country to opt for our institutions as a British education offers excellent value for money. British degree courses are more intense than many other countries, with students receiving top quality education in a shorter period which incurs far less expense than other destinations like the US."
The UK India Education and Research Initiative had in its first two phases supported over 1000 new education and research partnerships and facilitated exchange of thousands of academicians, researchers and students, the diplomat added.
President Pranab Mukherjee today said that the spread of technology, telecom penetration and Internet has offered an opportunity to bridge the divide in education in terms of access and quality.
Technology, internet can bridge gap in education, President Mukherjee said
The spread of technology, telecom penetration and Internet has offered an opportunity to bridge the divide in education in terms of access and quality which must be seized, President Pranab Mukherjee said today. Mukherjee was speaking at the inauguration of three digital initiatives in the education sector - 'Swayam', 'Swayam Prabha' and National Academic Depository by ministry of human resource development.
"Digital technology enables good teachers to directly teach large number of students who are not physically present in classes. ICT solutions offer an interactive learning experience through which students in remote parts of the country can benefit from lectures of the top teachers," he said.
Swayam and Swayam Prabha are digital classrooms the contents of which can be accessed either through Internet or direct-to-home service respectively.
National Academic Depository will have education certificates of every student in digital form which will ease the process of verification and also do away with the chances of forgery.
Through Swayam, courses will be offered through digital classrooms with study material available online in videos. It will be available free of cost, however students wanting certifications shall be registered, shall be offered a certificate on successful completion of the course, with a small fee, the Swayam website states.
The student will have opportunity to ask questions which will be answered in real time. Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian has also prepared a series of lectures on the Indian economy for Swayam and Swayam Prabha.
The students will be assessed through proctored examination and the marks and grades secured in this exam could be transferred to the academic record of the students, according to the website.
Swayam Prabha will tap into the potential of Direct- to-Home Service wherein a person can install the dish antenna for about Rs 1,500 and have access to 32 digital educational channels run by the HRD ministry.
Everyday, there will be new content for at least four hours which would be repeated five more times in a day, allowing the students to choose the time of their convenience, Additional Secretary in UGC Pankaj Mittal said.
The course content will cover almost every aspect of education in various fields from class nine onwards and preparatory courses for institutes like IITs.
"The quality of teaching and learning process is the heart of higher education. We have seen huge difference in the quality of attainment levels in higher education between the urban and rural areas, between the states and between institutions within a state," he said.
Mukherjee said there are large numbers of students who study in vernacular languages whereas most of the knowledge is still in English.
"I call upon you all - being the leaders of the higher education system - to make concerted efforts to bridge this gap," he said
The Information and Broadcasting Ministry is planning to work towards establishing
a Communications University which would function as an umbrella body that will
deal with education in sectors related to media, films and animation.
The I&B Ministry has given itself a target of three years for the creation of such
a university, sources said.
"The new entity once established can standardise the education system in sectors
like journalism, media, films, animation and visual effects. Right now the education
in these areas is often provided by private institutions and not standardised ,"
The institution would be created in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision
for this sector, the sources said.
The Ministry has also planned several intiatives in the short and medium term.
Another initiative that the Ministry is focussing on will be to set up a long-awaited
mechanism to provide a single window clearance mechanism for film shootings in India.
The Ministry is also hoping that another mechanism to provide online certification of
films will be in place in some years, officials said.
Kerala is all set to introduce multi-media "Digital Collaborative Textbooks" (DCT),
the first of its kind in the country, in government schools.
This digital textbook will comprise information contributed by persons around the globe
in audio or video formats, besides the scanned soft-copy of normal textbooks.
The state government has decided to launch the DCTs in government schools on an experimental
basis from next academic year starting in June,
A Shahjahan, Secretary, Department of General Education told PTI.
Students and teachers can access the DCTs with the support of tablets
and e-learning centres set up at schools.
IT@School, under the state General Education Department,is planning to
formally launch the "digital collaborative textbooks" early next month.
"The digital collaborative textbooks is definitely a significant step in the
education sector of the country. We are planning to formally launch the DCTs
next month," Shahjahan said.
A senior official of IT@School said Kerala is the first state to
introduce this kind of multi-media textbooks.
"At the normal level, the DCTs are e-books in which ordinary textbooks are
scanned and uploaded. But, a plethora of information, contributed by
different people including experts in different subjects make them unique,"
IT@School Executive Director K P Noufal told PTI.
He said over 3.7 million students and about more than two lakh teachers
in the state-run schools are expected to benefit from the the ambitious project.
The department was also ready to share digital textbook model with private
schools also which follow state syllabus. But, they should provide
hardware and other supporting facilities to get the access.
This is according to a paper published jointly last week by the Council of Professors
and Heads of Computing and (ISC)2, the International Information Systems Security
“Twenty years ago very few courses paid any significant attention to security, and
the situation has started to change, albeit slowly,” says “Perspectives: Integrating
Cybersecurity into Computer Science Curricula”.
This is despite “a growing voice from industry that cybersecurity knowledge should
be core to the disciplines of computing and information technology”, meaning such
skills should therefore be “a key element of the computing and computer science
curriculum, particularly at the undergraduate level”.
Currently most institutions offer computer science courses in which there is one
module or unit – approximately 5 per cent of the total credits – dedicated to cybersecurity
in a three-year degree, the paper claims.
It also notes that graduates find it difficult to enter the cybersecurity industry
because “the supervisory cost of placements is very high for companies to take on
many graduates of any kind in cybersecurity roles”.
“Academia must look at its curricula and accreditation requirements,” said Liz Bacon,
president of the Chartered Institute for IT, adding it was also incumbent on industry
to accept more trainees and placement students.
She said that more sandwich placements needed to be made available, and that lecturers
could not single-handedly boost interest in cybersecurity among students, and that
“talks from external speakers” and “war stories” from industry were more likely
to excite students.
“It is not enough to integrate technical cybersecurity subjects into computing degrees
as cybersecurity is an increasingly a diverse discipline, requiring a mix of business
savvy, soft skills and technical skills for varied roles,” added Adrian Davis, managing
director (Europe, the Middle East and America) of (ISC)2.
“Universities have a real opportunity to include and make explicit reference to
cybersecurity topics within many degrees.”
In August, the first GCHQ-certified master’s courses were unveiled, with Edinburgh
Napier University, Lancaster University, the University of Oxford and Royal Holloway,
University of London, among those accredited.
Many exciting career opportunities will become available to science graduates from
India as the country aims to become the sixth largest scientific power-house, according
to a leading Sydney academic on November 7.
Professor Bruce Milthorpe, dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of Technology,
Sydney (UTS) in Australia, visited India to highlight the range of careers in science.
“It’s clear that graduates in engineering and IT are already in high demand right
now, but Indian students should also be excited about the government’s plans for
2017 to create more than 100,000 additional positions for researchers and scientists,”
Prof. Milthorpe said.
“Studying science can lead to careers that will help the world solve challenging
problems and contribute to India’s future. With areas such as energy, water, food
production, healthcare, waste management, computing and communications being major
issues in countries with large and growing populations, we will all look to scientists
to help find the answers.”
“I’ve been a scientist for more than 30 years and I have never ceased to be amazed
and excited by the innovations and knowledge discovered through science. If you
are a student who is intelligent, curious, creative and have an aptitude for mathematics,
choosing science may be the most exciting and rewarding thing you can do,” he said.
Today, scientists are employed all around the world, with 40 per cent of Indian
science graduates working internationally, but the demand locally is predicted to
rise. Professor Milthorpe suggests students prepare for an international career
by becoming a higher education, undergraduate or postgraduate student in Australia.
“Sydney is a desirable destination for students to gain a quality, international
education while studying in a very safe and enjoyable city,” he said.
Prof. Milthorpe advises Indian students aiming for a career in science, technology,
engineering or mathematics to consider studying at UTS to capitalise on the growing
scientific links between Australia and India.
“Austrade has been expanding the connections in research and development, technology
transfer and commercialisation between the two countries, demonstrated by last month’s
Australian Innovation Showcase in India,” he said.
“These events highlighted scientific and business collaboration between Australia
and India in areas as diverse as nano-biotechnology research, biofuel, solar research,
automotive components and food production improvements. The skills gained in studying
science, such as analysis, critical thinking, communication and project management
will ensure Indian science graduates are well regarded by employers throughout their
careers, whether seeking a role in research, government, education, business or
creating entrepreneurial endeavours,” said Prof. Milthorpe.
Many international students choose to go to UTS by enrolling in the premium pathway
college at UTS: INSEARCH in Sydney. Over the past five years, more than 300 students
from India have commenced their studies this way, studying the UTS Foundation Studies
program, or a diploma which qualify them to enter UTS courses in architecture, business,
communications, design, engineering, IT, science and health science.
The Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIM Bangalore) has retained the top
position amongst all business schools (B-schools) in Central Asia.
This has happened for the seventh year in a row, according to Eduniversal Business
School Ratings and Rankings 2014.
IIM Bangalore has been selected from over 120 B-schools based in 60 countries that
took part in the rankings.
IIM Bangalore has also acquired the 53rd position among the top 70 B-schools offering
Open Executive Education Programmes in accordance to another ranking organisation.
Moreover, in a research conducted by the Stanford University's Graduate School of
Business on the topic of Business and Management segment of a study on Indian social
science research, IIM-B was rated as the top business school wherein the study rated
Indian institutes and universities on the basis of their output in the field of
social science research.
Eduniversal is one of the top global ranking organisations that rank institutions
providing higher education which is assessed by the French consulting and rating
agency SMBG. These rankings offer as a useful tool to students across the globe
to know the ratings of the B-schools located in Eduniversal's nine geographical
zones in the five continents.
As per the Eduniversal Evaluation System (EES), IIM Bangalore continues to be in
the Eduniversal top category of schools in the "5 Palmes League of Excellence" -
universal business schools that have made a strong presence internationally. The
evaluation method is managed by a global scientific committee consisting of nine
independent experts, in each of the nine geographical regions.
As per 2014's Eduniversal ranking, the title of 'The Best Business School in the
World' was given to the Copenhagen Business School, Denmark and from amongst the
other business schools based in Central Asia, IIM Ahmedabad and IIM Calcutta have
obtained the second and third positions respectively.
In the process of evaluation for this ranking the vote of a dean is a major component,
under which deans/directors of the top 1,000 B-schools from around the world offer
their recommendation for each school belonging to the 154 countries.
The total number of recommendations received by a business school decides the rating
of the schools in each country as well as Palme league.
IIT-Madras signed a memorandum of understanding with Purdue University in the US
to enable joint supervision of doctoral candidates between the two institutions.
Representatives of the two institutions hoped the partnership will lead to a joint
PhD programme later.
The agreement allows Purdue faculty to co-advise doctoral students at IIT-Madras
and vice versa. "This will help foster international experience for students at
the two universities, with student visits to the other university. There will be
a co-adviser from another country," Purdue University president Mitch Daniels said.
Purdue University is the third most prominent STEM (science, technology, engineering
and mathematics) university in the US, and is ranked highly among world universities
in The Times Higher Education World University rankings and the US News and World
Report rankings of undergraduate programmes.
More than a dozen faculty members from seven departments at IIT-M are involved in
collaborative research with their counterparts at Purdue, which has 1,500 students
The heads of the two institutions spoke about reforms brought in to keep pace with
the way students learn and the requirements of the job market. Daniels said they
were looking to transform at least one of the university's colleges to a project-based
mode to allow students to move through the course according to their potential.
Competency-based degrees will be awarded to students based on demonstrated mastery
of concepts and skills rather than performance measured only at fixed calendar intervals
of classroom time.
The institutions have also been dabbling in hybrid modes of teaching, like flip
classrooms and embedded learning that do not insist on "seat time", or how much
time a student spend in class or taking notes, but in project-based learning and
interactive exchanges and to find out which student is struggling with which concepts.
IIT-M Director Mr. Bhaskar Ramamurthi said the institute gives students flexibility
to learn on their own and go to faculty on a needs only basis. We are forming clubs
that are challenge-based, like on water, education, transportation or healthcare,
because disruptive solutions are multi-disciplinary, he said. "We realise that business
as usual is going to leave us out of business," he said.
Taking cue from Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University (BBAU), Lucknow University
will provide opportunities to students to earn money while they study. Students
will be involved in various administrative and departmental jobs for which they
will be paid on hourly basis.
Under the university's 'Earn While You Learn' scheme, students will have around
100 jobs to do on the campus. Dean students' welfare and in-charge of the scheme
Anil Shukla said, "We have no one for administrative work related to our hostels.
Students can help maintain records including names, numbers, and photographs. They
can also work in the library arranging books and taking care of manuscripts.'' Besides,
students can make money while helping deans and heads operate their computer system.
The objective is to help students earn money while they study. According to Shukla,
there are a large number of economically weak students in the university and jobs
will assist them sustain life on campus.
So what will be the modus operandi? Students interested in working will have to
fill a form and attach their income certificate. They should have academic inclination.
The departmental head will recommend the names which will be shortlisted by a committee.
The move comes after National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) that visited
in March found university administration not very student-friendly. Enhancing non-academic
activities, vice-chancellor recently announced the 'Earn While You Learn' scheme.
According to officials, this scheme is presently running in many foreign universities
and some institutions in Madhya Pradesh. In UP, students of Dr Shakuntala Mishra
Rehabilitation University get Rs 100 per hour for different jobs they are engaged
in. In LU, remuneration has yet to be fixed. To begin with, university will use
money available in the poor boys fund.
The fourth edition of the All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE), which aims
to collect data on the status of higher education in the country, was launched here
Held annually since 2010-11, the survey is a web-based, pan-India exercise which
covers all the higher educational institutions in the country.
Higher Education Secretary Satya Narayan Mohanty launched the survey for the year
2014-15. The Human Resource Development Ministry has so far released the final reports
for AISHE 2011-12 along with the provisional reports for the 2012-13 survey.
The survey collects data on teachers, student enrolment, programmes, examination
results, education finance, infrastructure, etc.
The parameters and the data collected under these come in handy for making informed
policy decisions and conducting research in educational development, according to
an official statement here.
The survey is aimed at building a sound database which is updated annually as per
the information submitted by the institutions covered under it. The data collected
as part of the survey is uploaded on the AISHE portal -- http://aishe.Gov.In.