‘Professor Yash Pal made science easy for the children’

Pal was also honoured with Indira Gandhi Prize for Popularisation of Science in 2000 and The Meghnad Saha Medal in 2006.

Professor Yash Pal is someone who brought science to the children. He became a household name through his TV show “Tuning Point” where he simplified even the most intricate scientific phenomena.

His focus was on simplifying learning that made him immensely popular as a teacher. He took an active interest in the education of children. I’m aware he took personal interest in the education of his employees’ children, often picking and dropping them to school.

He had a knack for presenting complex ideas in a simple way. It is this quality that helped him translate the vision of University Education Commission (1948-49) into reality by way of establishing high-end common research facilities for university teachers. During his tenure as the UGC chairman in the 80s, he set up the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics in Pune, Consortium for Educational Communication, Delhi and Inter-University consortium for Department of Atomic Energy facilities at Indore and INFLIBNET, Ahmedabad. He had an unassuming personality and he was able to lighten up even during testing situations. His recommendations to lessen the burden of the school bags and shift from rote learning to more engaging learning techniques are still relevant.

His another contribution was in the form of a report on Renovation and Rejuvenation of Higher Education wherein he reiterated some of the recommendations of Kothari panel which were not implemented but they are as relevant then as they were in 1964

Hi-tech university: Health science institute in Punjab to issue digital degrees, certificates to students

The varsity, avoiding the use of paper, will now issue digital certificates to students.

Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of digital India, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS) has created a special cell for issuing digital certificates/degrees to its students.

The varsity, avoiding the use of paper, will now issue digital certificates to students. These certificates will be preserved digitally under the National Academic Depository (NAD).

“NAD is a commendable initiative of the central government. It is kind of a bank where students will have digital accounts for procuring and preserving their digital documents issued by the university to them,” said a senior official of the varsity.

“If a student requires a transcription of his/her certificate anywhere around the globe, he/she can simply access the documents from his digital account with NAD. Unlike the present scenario, students will not have to visit the university in emergency situations to get their certificates. They will also not have to pay any fee to the university for getting certificates.”

“NAD will provide free services to users for first two years and after that it will charge a nominal fee for preserving documents. There will be full transparency and no risk of fake degrees or certificates involved as students will be identified by their respective Aadhaar number,” said the officer.

Pertinently, NAD was recently launched in New Delhi by former President of India Pranab Mukherjee. Vice-chancellors of around 700 universities across country were part of the event, where the human resource development minister Prakash Javadekar directed them to adopt the practice at the earliest.

BFUHS vice-chancellor Dr Raj Bahadur, confirming the report said, “Following the conference of the VCs regarding digital initiatives in higher education, one thing which is very useful for students is the preservation of their degrees and detailed marks with NAD. BFUHS has created a cell for the same purpose.”

“We have appointed a nodal officer too adhering with the instructions of the concerned ministry. This initiative of the government is a great step in bringing absolute transparency in the education system,” said the VC.

Indian university rankings confirm Indian Institute of Science is best: President

Bengaluru The Indian Institute of Science (IISc), often in the top 200 global university rankings, was praised by president Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday for advancing research in science and technology.

“Alumni and faculty of IISc have played and continue to play a strong role in leading national science and technology institutions and in various advisory or administrative roles in the government,” said Mukherjee, the IISc’s Visitor, at its annual convocation here .

Noting that IISc maintained its reputation of being a premier institute of higher education and research, he said its academic stature as the country’s best university was confirmed by the National Institutional Rankings Framework.

“Over the century-old institute has laid emphasis on the pursuit of basic knowledge in science and engineering, as well as on the application of its research findings for industrial and social benefit,” said Mukherjee in his convocation address.

The institute was set up in 1909 through a private-partnership between Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata, the Maharaja of Mysore and the government.

Deviating from the speech text, the president told the graduating students and the faculty that he was happy to be at the institute that made the country proud.

“One of my inspirations when I entered the teaching profession was the institute’s director JC Ghosh in the 1940s, who later became the first director of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) at Khargapur in West Bengal,” he recalled.

The institute is recognised globally and ranked among the world’s top 200 universities.



Observing that the country had 760 universities and 38,500 colleges across the country, the President said the massive expansion of the higher education sector had led to resource constraints and dearth of quality teachers.

“If our institutions have to become world-class, they will have to adopt best practices in academic management and excel in whatever they do, as the spheres of intervention are many,” he said.

Mukherjee also urged the institutions to provide best amenities to the academic community, as state-of-the-art laboratories would enable quality experiments.

He honoured 677 students, including post-doctoral research scholars, post-graduates and graduates passing out from the institute with awards and medals at the ceremony, held at the JN Tata Auditorium on campus.

Karnataka governor Vajubhai R Vala and chief minister Siddaramaiah were present on the occasion with other dignitaries and invitees.