Saturday, October 31, 2015

Universities can revive learning in Muslim world: Study

Universities in the Muslim world must become meritocracies with greater autonomy and aspire for true scientific excellence rather than playing for temporary gains in numbers or rankings, a new report says.

The recommendations came from a task force of international experts, formed by the Muslim World Science Initiative on the state of science at universities of the Muslim world.

To assess the state of science at the universities, the task force reviewed the rankings of Muslim-world's universities globally, scientific production (number of papers published and citations), the level of spending on research and development (R&D), female participation in the scientific workforce, and other indicators.

The results were compared to those of countries deemed comparable in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, e.g. Brazil, Israel, Spain, South Africa, and South Korea.

The study found that science education in most Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member countries was extremely narrow in focus and did little to enable students to think critically, especially beyond their respective domains of specialty.

The task force has called for broad liberal education for scientists and engineers to enable them to function effectively in addressing complex multi-disciplinary challenges that the world faces today.

It called for the introduction and systematic study of philosophy of science and history of the sciences of the Muslim 'Golden Age' and beyond for students to navigate and develop a perspective on these difficult disciplinary boundaries and overlaps.

The language of instruction also created significant challenges.

Faculty members were also ill-trained to teach using cutting-edge methods such as inquiry-based science education and had little autonomy to innovate.

Director of the project Athar Osama noted that "the purpose of Muslim World Science Initiative is to jumpstart a dialogue within the society on critical issues at the intersection of science, society, and Islam."

A commentary on the findings and recommendations appeared in the science journal Nature.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Distance Education Bureau

About Distance Education

The open and distance learning system in India has emerged as an important mode for providing education to diverse sections of society. Besides, the changing dynamics of the ODL system in the last six decades have been encouraging. With the proliferation in the ICT, the boundaries of classroom or campus are becoming blurred. As it is said, the temporal and spatial boundaries have disappeared ( Kulandaiswamy, 2011). The impressive number of ODL institutions in the country bear testimony to the fact. Single-mode open universities have increased from four in number during the 8th Plan period to 14 in the 10th Plan period. The number of dual mode universities offering programmes through the distance mode (DEIs) has risen to more than 200. This is due to the fact that the growth in the infrastructure for face-to-face instruction is unable to match the educational demands of the ever-increasing number of aspiring students. At present nearly 25% students of higher education in the country are enrolled in the ODL system. 

In the last six decades the ODL system has registered a phenoimenal growth in the context of expansion and diversification of higher education. From a single institution in 1962 ( Delhi University) the number of ODL institutions has reached approximately 250 including Central, State, Deemed to be and Private Universities along with many stand alone institutions.

National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language


The National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language (NCPUL) is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD), Department of Secondary and Higher Education, Government of India. Set up to promote, develop and propagate Urdu language, Council started its operation in Delhi on April 1, 1996. In its capacity as the National Nodal Agency for the promotion of the Urdu language NCPUL is the principal coordinating and monitoring authority for promotion of Urdu language and Urdu education

The main objectives for which the Council has been established are:

  • To promote, develop and propagate Urdu language.
  • To take action for making available in Urdu language the knowledge of scientific and technological development as well as knowledge of ideas evolved in the modern context.
  • To advise the Government of India on issues connected with Urdu language and having bearing on education as may be referred to it.
  • To undertake other projects for the promotion of Urdu language as may be deemed fit by the Council.