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UGC slams Telangana, AP varsities over lack of digitization

Education News Repeated reminders from the UGC to the 28 varsities, 15 from Andhra Pradesh and 13 from Telangana, have revealed that the varsities have not yet submitted their report on penetration of technology on campus. The UGC sought information on optical fibre connectivity, LAN facility and Wi-Fi facility in all campuses last year.

Under the ‘Digital India Initiative’, UGC plans to have e-governance and e-content in the education sector so that every varsity is well-connected across the country. The programme aims to provide universal digital literacy by 2018, among various other issues totally costing about Rs 1 lakh Crore.

The UGC sent reminders in December 2014 and followed it up with two more reminders in January and February of 2015, which have been ignored by most varsities.

“We have been sending reminders to varsities across the country, including many in AP and Telangana,” said a top UGC official. “The initiative is being worked upon very seriously. Only after getting the data from all universities, the government will decide on how to improvise the penetration in the varsities,” the official added.

The notice from UGC went to Osmania University, Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University – Hyderabad, National Institute of Technology – Warangal, Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology – Hyderabad, Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies, Andhra Pradesh, Andhra University, Acharya Nagarjuna University – Andhra Pradesh, Acharya Nagarjuna University and Rayalseema University among others.

While the initiative is being monitored by the Centre, several varsities are still unaware of its importance. “We have several patients every day and so there is no time to check UGC’s website for such notices. However, we will take a look into the Digital India Initiative soon,” said L Narendranath, director of Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences. On the other hand, Uma Maheswarao, registrar of Andhra University claimed to have sent the reports on February 13. Other officials were either not available for comment or they said they would look into it.

Experts in the industry say lack of resources could be a reason for the inordinate delay. “There are still many universities in both the states which are running without vice-chancellors. There is no leadership when it comes to improving amenities,” said G Haragopal, national fellow at Tata Institute of Social Sciences. “In a situation where there is power deficit, I am not surprised that these varsities are not sending their reports. Power backup is needed to run any kind of complex technology,” he added.

Source: The Times of India

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