100 Days of Modi Sarkar – Day 88
A few days back Rajnath Singh had stated that after coming to power the BJP will be looking at the issue of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and sending the illegal immigrants back to where they came from. Now both India and Bangladesh have pledged to fight terrorism together.
India and Bangladesh agree to combat insurgency
Recently there was an incident at Meherpur where a Bangladeshi national was killed by a Border Security Force (BSF) soldier. It is in the context of such an unfortunate incident that the governments of both countries have opted to come together and fight against such incidents repeating themselves at the international border.
On what was the initial day of a conference on border coordination organized by the Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) and the BSF there was discussion regarding acts of crime being perpetrated in the border areas such as smuggling of fake notes and drugs and similar narcotic contraband. They also talked about the action that needed to be taken against insurgent groups targeting India and operating from the soil of Bangladesh. Plans for destroying their hideouts were also discussed.
The border patrol agencies of both Bangladesh and India have stated that they would be collaborating in order to stop human trafficking as well as illegal migration from Bangladesh. They will also look for ways to ensure that the Coordinated Border Management Plan (CBMP) is implemented properly with the aim of preventing crime in the border areas. The border shared with Bangladesh is the largest India has and so it is important that these events are used properly so that effective measures for countering the various problems can be found as soon as possible.
UGC’s directive irks IIT Kharagpur
One of the many aims of Narendra Modi is to modernise education in India. However, he has not made any special provisions or allotments for the said sector in the Union budget 2014-15, which leaves one wondering how that ambition will attain its proper fruition. Now the University Grants Commission (UGC) has given directions to the universities and the IITs that in case an IIT wants to initiate a degree programme it will have to seek the UGC’s permission. This procedure shall also be applicable in case the IITs wish to decide the length for which a particular course will be offered.
IIT Kharagpur has protested against this dictum of what is regarded as the leading education regulator in the country. The UGC has sent across a letter in this regard to each of the 16 IITs. It had also given a gazette notification on July 5 in which all the courses, that have its consent, have been mentioned.
This follows a similar incident in the recent past involving the Delhi University regarding the latter’s unilateral decision to convert three-year undergraduate courses to four-year degree courses. This order means that if the IIT wants to initiate a new course at the similar level it will have to seek the approval of the UGC.
It needs to be noted in this context that IIT Kanpur is already offering a new course. Certain IITs have expressed their disenchantment with the circular and conveyed their feelings to the human resources development ministry. The circular has stated that if a university wants to provide a programme that has not been mentioned by the UGC or is of a different duration then it will have to ask the UGC for the permission necessary to offer the said course. This needs to be done 6 months before the programme starts off.
However, IIT Kharagpur has stated that since the IITs had been created as per a parliamentary Act they are not under the aegis of the UGC and thus they do not need its permission to start a new course. It is expected that the IITs will take up this issue with the President, Pranab Mukherjee on August 22. It is expected that Smriti Irani, the Union Human Resource Development Minister will be present at the meeting along with other senior officers. This meeting is supposed to focus on ways in which the IITs can make a decisive contribution to India’s development by way of various community programmes.
One of the major problems in India in the higher education sector is the lack of sufficient programmes that can provide opportunities for ones willing to do their higher studies in scientific disciplines in India. Now that the educational institutes are trying their best to resolve this issue, the supposed apex educational body, instead of encouraging them is trapping them in bureaucratic procedures. The institutes are worried at the consent procedure and justifiably so because India is infamous for its bureaucratic red-tapism. Not much has been done for the sector in terms of financial assistance – perhaps the Modi administration would now do well to not act as a hindrance to the new programmes meant to help the students.
Plan to provide round-the-clock electricity supply to all
The new Government is making efforts to provide round-the-clock electricity supply to each and every household in the country. As per Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the major beneficiaries of this programme would be the economically depressed classes of India as well as the villages that traditionally do not have access to electricity. In this context Modi has pointed out, and rightly so, that the citizens who already have the facility, should make it their duty to conserve electricity. He has stated that saved electricity also benefits people by way of reducing their expenses.
What the Prime Minister has stated is true indeed. After all, if resources are used in a responsible manner by ones who are lucky enough to enjoy it, then the question of shortage may never arise in the first place. One, however, does wonder if and when this highly ambitious project shall come through. Will will happen if the project is not completed during Modi’s term? Then, how far will it actually cover? After all, India is a huge country and it would need much more than a herculean effort to just set up the infrastructure that would make this possible. The actual question of how well it would perform is a completely different one.