Thursday, May 24, 2018

Personality Of The Day : Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit

Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit (/ˈfærənˌhaɪt/; German: [ˈfaːʀənhait]; 24 May 1686 – 16 September 1736) was a Polish/Dutch physicist,engineer, and glass blower who is best known for inventing the mercury-in-glass thermometer (1714), and for developing atemperature scale now named after him.

Fahrenheit  Scale :
According to Fahrenheit's 1724 article, he determined his scale by reference to three fixed points of temperature. The lowest temperature was achieved by preparing a frigorific mixture of ice, water, and ammonium chloride (a salt), and waiting for it to reach equilibrium. The thermometer then was placed into the mixture and the liquid in the thermometer allowed to descend to its lowest point. The thermometer's reading there was taken as 0 °F. The second reference point was selected as the reading of the thermometer when it was placed in still water when ice was just forming on the surface This was assigned as 32 °F. The third calibration point, taken as 96 °F, was selected as the thermometer's reading when the instrument was placed under the arm or in the mouth.
Fahrenheit came up with the idea that mercury boils around 300 degrees on this temperature scale. Work by others showed that water boils about 180 degrees above its freezing point. The Fahrenheit scale later was redefined to make the freezing-to-boiling interval exactly 180 degrees, a convenient value as 180 is a highly composite number, meaning that it is evenly divisible into many fractions. It is because of the scale's redefinition that normal body temperature today is taken as 98.2 degrees whereas it was 96 degrees on Fahrenheit's original scale.
The Fahrenheit scale was the primary temperature standard for climatic, industrial and medical purposes in English-speaking countries until the 1960s.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Nagpur engineering Talib Ilmu Ka karnama

Users own and control their data, says Zuckerberg

Facebook may offer subscription service without ads Users own and control the data they share on Facebook, its founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg repeatedly told American lawmakers, who remained skeptical of this argument through two Congressional hearings on the company’s privacy policy on Tuesday and Wednesday. Assurance on India Facebook is committed to ensuring the integrity of elections in countries like India, Pakistan and the U.S., Mr. Zuckerberg told the hearings, attended by at least 42 Senators. Personalised advertisement driven by data analytics will remain the mainstay of Facebook’s business model, though the company might offer a subscription model that will shield users from advertisements and offer more protection for their data, Mr. Zuckerberg said. “We think offering an ad-supported service is the most aligned with our mission of trying to help connect everyone in the world, because we want to offer a free service that everyone can afford.” Facebook is committed to ensuring the integrity of elections in countries like India, Pakistan and the U.S., Mr. Zuckerberg told the hearing. He was questioned for nearly five hours by senators over the Cambridge Analytica scandal that has shaken the social media giant. The hearing, attended by at least 42 Senators, had many light moments but the 33-year-old CEO largely appeared strained, trying to explain the company’s technology and business model, without admitting to charges of inadequate data protection. Mr. Zuckerberg sidestepped several questions that are at the heart of the privacy debate. Senator Kamala Harris from California, where the company is headquartered, catalogued them, four hours into the hearing.

Monday, May 07, 2018


Vaibhav Vats on why skills are being given prominence over academic achievements and multiple degrees

Choose a path you love’, ‘follow your heart’ – these are the most hackneyed lines, which have been repeated so many times that they have lost their relevance. While students are always advised to do what they love the most, it changes as soon as they grow up and have to make choices. Not many youngsters including their parents muster the courage to do what they love. Indian youngsters rarely think beyond acquiring a degree that makes them employable.
In today’s world, multiple qualifications sometimes do not fetch you a dream job, but skill-based courses can. However, the dilemma over skills versus degrees happens all over the world. This is because there is a huge risk involved in making life-changing decisions about the career. Even if a person has a strong belief in one’s abilities, it is not easy to convert the passion into a career choice. We come across many engineers passionate about music, who nurture an angst in their heart all their life for not being able to take the right decision at the right time.
Lately, however, we have seen a growing trend among the youngsters, who decide to choose vocations that utilise their existing skills instead of the degrees with which they walk out of academic institutions. But this has been brought about by the increasing number of alternatives and available information over the internet, opening up avenues for people with talent in various skills to build an audience or a target customer base. From digital marketing to cooking, acting to event planning, there is an appreciation of high-level skill set in any profession.
Our current curriculum is 70% theory and 30% practical, thus obliterating any scope for skill development. For instance, we have automobile engineers who can explain in 15 steps on paper how to change a car tyre, but may have never done it physically. In fact, one of the biggest problems MNCs face while recruiting in our country is the lack of necessary industry-relevant skill set in professionals, even among those with high academic merit. The government wants to tackle this scenario with initiatives, such as Skill India and organisations, such as the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), with an aim of making around 78 million Indians skilled in various vocations, in the next 10 years.
By 2020, India will become the youngest country in the world, with an average age of 29. As the unemployment scenario worsens, the Indian youth need to gradually try and identify skills that distinguish them from the crowd. It is important to create a niche of their own, rather than hinging their entire future on a piece of a paper, owned by several other youngsters. With the threat of automation also looming large, it is time to shine a spotlight on faculties, such as singing, dancing, acting, art, sculpture and other nonmechanisable skills. Also, focussing more on digital world and learning its tropes by pursuing courses, such as digital marketing, new media communication, graphic designing etc. is extremely important in the current day and age.
Youngsters today have information overload and have millions of mentoring sources to guide them towards their chosen path. An honest selfintrospection to identify the skills, devise a blueprint to follow a particular path in the most efficient manner and identify the best category or niche wherein one can rise to the top – is much needed. This is better than just lingering on an average threshold. Even ace tennis player Leander Paes, after winning an Olympics singles’ bronze medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, opted to play doubles in the future. He identified a better possibility of him becoming one of the best doubles and mixed doubles player of all times than remaining on the periphery of greatness in the singles circuit. Identification of skills, persistence in practice, smart choices and grabbing the right opportunities – all of these factors together contribute to success, but it all begins with knowing the ‘gift’ you have.

Source: Times of India | 7th May 2018

Open book exam part of reforms

AICTE says that open book exams for engineering courses, if approved, will only be used to test few competencies

The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) last week submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Human Resources (MHRD) to include open book examinations as a part of its Exam Reform Policy for various engineering courses.
The proposal, if approved, will only be used to test some competencies of the engineering students. “This is an evolving process and will be a part of the exam reform policy of the model curriculum. We have just introduced the idea and will take time to implement it,” says Rajive Kumar, Advisor –I(P&- AP), AICTE. He adds the AICTE has, other than the open book exam, introduced Bloom’s taxonomy framework to set question papers. Bloom’s taxonomy is a set of three hierarchical models used to classify educational learning objectives into levels of complexity and specificity. The three lists cover the learning objectives in cognitive, affective and sensory domains.


An open book examination is an assessment method designed in a way that allows students to refer to either notes or summaries, textbooks, or other approved material while answering the questions. An open book exam can also mean that students are provided with exam questions prior to sitting the formal exam

Kumar says, “A need was felt to revise the curriculum as students were studying the syllabus that had not been revised for 10-15 years. Irrelevant courses have been removed and new technologies have been introduced.”  

Friday, May 04, 2018

Govt pharmacists all over India want mandatory revision of recruitment norms to make B Pharm basic qualification for pharmacist post

Peethaambaran Kunnathoor, Chennai
Thursday, May 3, 2018, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]
Taking the recruitment reforms implemented by the state government of Punjab as a role model, the healthcare pharmacists working under various state governments want respective authorities to raise the minimum educational qualification for direct appointment of pharmacists to degree level all over the country.

This will enable the working pharmacists in the healthcare sector to avail more promotional avenues and status, as well as to increase the efficiency in work for more quality service, they observe.

Currently D Pharm is the minimum qualification for becoming a pharmacist in government service all over India, except in Punjab. The only state in the country where a state government notified the minimum educational qualification for pharmacist post as Bachelor of Pharmacy is Punjab.  In addition to Punjab, the Directorate of Medical Education & Research under the health ministry of Haryana has also mandated B Pharm as the basic qualification for pharmacist posts in the medical education institutions under the directorate.

Government of Punjab revised the rules and notified B Pharm qualification for pharmacist post on November 2, 2016, and it was published in the government gazette on November 9.

The pharmacists all over India argue that the basic qualification for medical profession is bachelor in medical science (MBBS) and for a staff nurse in a government hospital it is bachelor in nursing. Similarly, for the profession of pharmacy, B Pharm should be mandated as the minimum qualification for pharmacy profession.

“All over the world basic qualification for pharmacist is bachelor of pharmacy, in some countries it is Pharm D. But in our country, even after 70 years have passed after the Pharmacy Act was implemented, the basic qualification is still Diploma in Pharmacy except in the state of Punjab. If the qualification is raised from diploma to degree, it will help the pharmacists to do his duties more efficiently and in a more commendable manner because he will have better information regarding over-doses, incompatibility and contra-indications than a diploma holder generally has. Higher qualification of the pharmacist will ultimately help the patients also”, said Gajendra Kumar Pathak, pharmacist at the Health Sub-Centre at Almora in Uttarakhand. Pathak was the former organizing secretary of the Diploma Pharmacist Association of Uttarakhand.

Pawan Pandey, secretary of the government pharmacists association in Uttarakhand said it is high time for all the state governments introduced the bridge course introduced by the Pharmacy Council of India to upgrade the qualification of working pharmacists. He said his association has submitted a memorandum to the government of Uttarakhand to take steps to conduct bridge course for diploma pharmacists.

N Rajnath, president of Bihar government pharmacists association said the two-year diploma course in pharmacy should be stopped and B Pharm qualification should be made the basic qualification for pharmacists all over India. His association has taken up this demand with the state government.

Nabam Yahing, president of Arunachal Pradesh Registered Pharmacist Association commented that a pharmacist with a degree in pharmacy usually learns three years theories in pharmacy and one year practice before he becomes a working pharmacist. He is able to give advice to the patients on how to use the drugs and its reactions. She said B Pharm should be made the basic qualification for pharmacists.

For the inventory management of a pharmacy and for good dispensing, a pharmacy graduate is more efficient than a diploma holder. If the basic qualification is B Pharm, the pharmacists will get more promotion and salary, said Paban Chandra Das, senior pharmacist at the state dispensary, Guwahati in Assam. Das is the president of Assam Pharmacist Services Association.

Meanwhile, Prasanna Kumar Sarma, former regulatory officer and ex-registrar of Assam Pharmacy Council has opined that all the state governments should close down the diploma colleges and set up degree colleges in place.  Presently the working pharmacists with D Pharm qualification should be given hospital pharmacy training and B Pharm should be given industrial training.

Tamil Venden, president of Tamil Nadu Pharmacists Welfare Association said it will be a major development in the profession of pharmacy if degree is made the basic qualification for pharmacist post. But the existing diploma holders should be helped to do the bridge course and get a degree.

S Thankachan, president of Kerala government pharmacist association said in the coming fifth national conference of All India State Governments Pharmacists Association, he will present a resolution demanding the union government to direct all state governments for measures to upgrade the minimum level educational qualification of pharmacists.

Prof. Lahlen Mawia, head of department of pharmacy in the government pharmacy college at Aizwal in Mizoram, said upgrading the qualification of pharmacists is important as we need higher qualifications to work and practice pharmacy profession. Though D Pharm qualification cannot be neglected, for better practice the subjects covered in diploma course are not enough. The pharmacists need to study further, so it is necessary to upgrade the qualification to degree level.

Dr. Suvakanta Dash, head of pharmacy at the government college of pharmacy at Agartala in Tripura said degree qualification for pharmacists is necessary because B Pharm qualified candidates are professionally more sound in clinical pharmacology, patho-physiology and drug information.

Commenting on the issue, Pushpraj Swarnakar, chairman of Odisha branch of the National Federation of Pharmacy Students (NFPS) said, “Yes it is a great step for the pharmacy profession. It should be made mandatory that B.Pharm degree should be the minimum qualification for pharmacy profession because D. Pharm students get only basic knowledge about the medicines and their use. So, B Pharm should be made as the basic qualification for pharmacy profession”.


Plagiarism in research papers will be punished: AICTE Chairman reminds us about recent UGC rules

he UGC recently rolled out new rules for conducting research in India and now, research members and faculty indulging in plagiarism will be punished, All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) Chairman Anil Sahasrabudhe said yesterday.
The move was carried out to better the research conditions in the country and to ensure that India can put out credible and quality research papers in future.
"As per new UGC (University Grants Commission) regulations, the faculty and researchers indulging in plagiarism will be punished which is a positive development in our higher education system as it will bring more credibility to the research in the country," Sahasrabudhe said while addressing a gathering at the 'Academic & Research Integrity Conclave 2018'.

'Technology should be used for holistic academic solutions'

While speaking at the conclave organised by Turinitin, a commercial, internet-based plagiarism-detection service launched in 1997, the AICTE Chairman pointed out that technology can help in promoting academic integrity but they can be used best when they assist bigger cultural commitment at an institution.
"Technology might assist in discovering academic misconduct through plagiarism and authorship. But, when technology tools are weaved into holistic academic integrity solution, they have the power to help promote cultural change, "said Marc Daubach of Turnitin.
In India, more than 400 institutions subscribe to Turnitin's services, including leading institutions, such as IISc, IITs and IIMs.
The UGC (Promotion of Academic Integrity and Prevention of Plagiarism in Higher Education Institutions) regulations 2018 were approved in its meeting held on March 20.

Here are the recent rules by UGC directing plagiarism in research to be punished:

  • According to this regulation, students and teachers who plagiarise will lose their registrations
  • The law in this draft regulation prescribes graded punishment for plagiarism
  • Students may have to submit a revised research paper if found plagiarised in between 10 per cent and 40 per cent. The duration given for re-submission will be six months
  • If plagiarism is between 40 to 60 per cent, students will be deprived of submitting the revised paper for the duration of one year
  • The student's registration for a programme will be cancelled if the research paper found plagiarised beyond 60 per cent
  • Teachers in academics, if found with 10 to 40 per cent of plagiarism in their research work, will be asked to withdraw the manuscript
  • If the plagiarism is between 40-60 per cent, the teachers will be debarred from supervising Master's/PhD or MPhil students for two years and will be denied a single annual increment
  • Over 60 per cent of plagiarism will lead the teachers' suspension and dismissal
"I am all for checking plagiarism which is indeed a problem in India within academia. We have very lax standards on this count and that is what seems to have prompted government to propose such a law. It would have been better if universities had strong internal mechanisms as in so many other countries," the former vice-chancellor of Delhi University, Dinesh Singh, had said, HT reported.

Previous plagiarism charges which got the limelight in India

India has been witness to several plagiarism charges against central university vice-chancellors and teachers in the past few years. Pondicherry University VC Chandra Krishnamurthy quit in 2016 after a prolonged stand-off with the HRD ministry, following allegations that she plagiarized large parts of a book mentioned in her resume.
The most popular case of plagiarism in India is that of BS Rajput, the VC of Kumaon University, a serial plagiarist, in which seven Stanford University professors wrote to about him to the then President APJ Abdul Kalam, as reported by HT.

All higher education institutions need to develop policy on plagiarism

According to UGC, all higher educational institutions will have to develop a policy on plagiarism and get it approved by relevant statutory bodies and display it on their websites. In September last year, UGC formed a committee and sought public feedback on a proposed plagiarism policy.


Faculty, researchers indulging in plagiarism will be punished: AICTE chair

NEW DELHI: The faculty members and researchers in the country indulging in plagiarism will be punished as per new norms of the UGC, All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) chairman Anil Sahasrabudhe said on Wednesday.

"As per new UGC (University Grants Commission) regulations, the faculty and researchers indulging in plagiarism will be punished which is a positive development in our higher education system as it will bring more credibility to the research in the country," Sahasrabudhe said while addressing a gathering at the "Academic & Research Integrity Conclave 2018".

The conclave was organised by 'Turinitin' which is a commercial, internet-based plagiarism-detection service launched in 1997.

Technology tools can assist in promoting academic integrity, but they are not complete solutions. The best scenario is when technology assists bigger cultural commitment at an institution, he said. "Technology might assist in discovering academic misconduct through plagiarism and authorship. But, when technology tools are weaved into holistic academic integrity solution, they have the power to help promote cultural change, "said Marc Daubach of Turnitin.

In India, more than 400 institutions subscribe to Turnitin's services, including leading institutions, such as IISc, IITs and IIMs.


Journals Removed from UGC - Approved List of Journals

The UGC has received complaints about inclusion of poor quality or questionable journals from faculty, researchers, other members of academic community as well as from press and media representatives.  Considering these complaints, the Standing Committee on Notification of Journals re-evaluated every journal title recommended by universities as well as those indexed by Indian Citation Index on filtering criteria defined by the Standing Committee. Based on careful scrutiny and analysis, 4305 journals are removed from the current UGC Approved List of Journals because of poor quality / incorrect / insufficient information/ false claims. The list of journals removed from approved list is available at

In addition to these journals, 191 titles covered in Indian Citation Index are pending for evaluation by the Standing Committee on Notification of Journals. The list of 191 journals pending for evaluation is available at

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Inviting Public comments on Draft National Digital Communications Policy–2018

The job of a national policy on digital communications is to prepare the country and its citizens for the future. Achieving these goals would  require that the key stakeholders namely the Centre, the States, local governments, Telecom Service Providers, Internet  Service Providers, handset and equipment manufacturers, the academic community, the
innovators and start ups come together to forge a coalition to deliver this national policy and missions.

The draft of the National Digital Communications Policy-2018 is uploaded here for public comments. The stakeholders and public are requested to kindly go through the draft policy and give their comments / inputs to make the National Digital Communications Policy-2018 a robust document and an enabler for achieving the desired goals.

Detailed process for receiving the comments / inputs shall be uploaded shortly.

AICTE-regulated engineering, technical colleges may soon conduct open-book exams, pending HRD ministry review

An All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) instituted committee on examination reforms has recommended “open book examination” for engineering programmes. The report is being examined by the Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry. If accepted, open book exams will allow students to take notes, textbooks and resource material into an exam of any engineering and technical institute regulated by the AICTE.
Representational Image. Getty Images
The panel, formed in January, said the open book system was being proposed as the traditional pattern of examination often led to rote learning. These reforms are part of the systemic changes the apex regulator of technical education is undertaking, including curriculum changes it had undertaken recently. According to the report, the academic quality of examinations and question papers in the Indian engineering education system had been a matter of concern for a long time.
According to a report in the Times of India, the changes suggested by the committee include the introduction of educational experiences to teach and assess professional outcomes including open-ended experiments in laboratories and project-based learning modules and internship experiences, among others. “A wide range of assessment methods (term papers, open-ended problem-solving assignments, course/lab project rubrics, portfolios) need to be employed to ensure that assessment methods match with learning outcomes,” the report said.
The committee was of the view that open book system was especially useful in testing skills in application, analysis and evaluation. “Open book examination is similar to time constrained written examination but designed in a way that allows students to refer to either class notes, textbooks or other approved material while answering questions so they are less demanding on memory and hence less stressful, questions can emphasise on problem-solving, and higher order thinking,” it said.
Apart from an open book exam, the committee also recommended varying difficulty levels of question papers according to the capabilities of students, testing their different cognitive skills. The committee has recommended the use of the so-called Bloom’s taxonomy framework to set examination papers that are well balanced, testing the different cognitive skills of students without the papers being perceived as either tough or easy.
Experts welcomed the move but cautioned that such reforms need to be implemented with care. “Exam reforms cannot be done in isolation; it has to go with teaching reforms,” said Pradipta Banerji, a professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai told the Hindustan Times.


Cleric's initiative helps 137 students clear JEE Main

MUMBAI: Continuing its performance, 'Rahmani 30' has once again tasted success with 137 of its students clearing this year's JEE (Main) and qualifying for the JEE (Advanced), for admissions to IITs.

Rahmani 30, an initiative of senior cleric Maulana Wali Rahmani, began providing free coaching to Muslim aspirants for studying at the prestigious IITs. "We began in 2008 and till 2017 we have sent 213 students to the IITs. This year's JEE (Main) results are very encouraging as our overall success rate, including Patna, Hyderabad and Aurangabad centres, is 75% while the Patna centre's result is 100% (23 out of 23 students)," said Fahad Rahmani, CEO of Rahmani Programme of Excellence, the umbrella initiative which runs free residential-cum-coaching programmes for JEE (Main), JEE (Advanced), NEET, chartered accountancy and law entrance exams.

Rahmani 30, in association with Anjuman-I-Islam and with financial support of Memon Chamber of Commerce, carried coaching for two batches of JEE aspirants in Mumbai. But they had to close down the Mumbai facility at the Anjuman-I-Islam last year due to lack of finance. The centre was moved to Aurangabad. This year, 17 students from the Aurangabad centre have qualified for JEE (Advanced) exams. The Mumbai centre's closure has disappointed many in the city with activists saying Muslim philanthropists and businessmen must ensure that a centre in the city is opened. "Why can't the city's Muslims finance a programme which is giving such excellent results?" said activist Shadaab Patel.

| TNN | Updated: May 2, 2018, 05:02 IST]