The University Grants Commission (UGC) will soon announce the first batch of mentor institutions under its ‘Paramarsh’ scheme, an official said on Wednesday.As part of the scheme that aims to improve the quality standards in higher education system, top institutions will mentor five non-accredited institutes to secure the National Assessment and Accreditation (NAAC) grade certification.”The UGC has received 167 proposals from the higher educational institutions that have expressed their interest to mentor non-accredited ones to secure the NAAC grade. Apart from these, we have received applications from over 700 higher educational institutions that want to be mentored,” a UGC official here told IANS.The proposals will now be assessed by a committee formed by the UGC and the first batch of mentors will be announced in a week.”Once the proposals are accepted by the UGC, the institutes can start the mentoring programme,” the official added.Details of Paramarsh scheme The scheme mandates that the mentor institutions should have secured a NAAC score of 3.26 out of 4.Under the ‘Paramarsh’ scheme, leading institutions will provide regular mentoring to help colleges to get accredited by the NAAC.The official said the UGC will also assess the performance of the institutions that have been mentored to gauge the success of the scheme.”Assessment will be beneficial to know the extent to which the mentorship would be beneficial for the non-accredited institutes to get accredited,” he said.Top universities can mentor open universities now The official noted that since securing NAAC accreditation has been made mandatory for the open universities too, the top institutions can also mentor such universities applying for NAAC grade for the first time.advertisementThe mentor institutions can be provided financial assistance of up to Rs. 30 lakh. There is also an option of appointing an expert, who can be paid a fellowship amount of Rs. 31,000 per month.The scheme aims to improve the global rankings of Indian higher educational institutions.”The scheme will lead to enhancement of the mentee institutions’ quality and its profile as a result of improved quality of research, teaching and learning methodologies. The mentee institution will also have increased exposure and speedier adaptation to best practices,” the UGC official added.The NAAC is an autonomous body that assesses and accredits higher education institutions in the country.Read: UGC allows Maharaja Bhupinder Singh Sports varsity to award degreesRead: UGC issues notice to universities and other educational institutions to hire faculty
That dispute, along with another between Germany and Turkey over the Bogazkoy Sphinx currently in a Berlin museum, tops the agenda of a meeting that gets underway tomorrow at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris of the agency’s Intergovernmental Committee for Promoting the Return of Cultural Property to its Countries of Origin or its Restitution in Case of Illicit Appropriation.The Committee comprises 22 countries and meets every two years to consider cases brought to its attention. During its 12th session, representatives will discuss principles recently formulated to facilitate the solution of differences over cultural properties displaced during World War II, as well as progress made towards identifying and preserving properties illegally taken out of Afghanistan, so that they can be returned.The Committee will also consider preventive measures to limit illicit trafficking in cultural properties, with one important measure concerning the introduction of inventory forms to standardize the description of art objects and antiquities. Setting up databases which will include information about UNESCO Member States’ national legislation on cultural property, will also be discussed.Since the Committee last met in March 2001, Albania, Barbados, Bhutan, Japan, Rwanda and the United Kingdom have become States Parties to the 1970 Convention concerning the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, brining to 97 the number of States Parties. Denmark, Morocco, Sweden and Switzerland have announced they will ratify the Convention or are in the process of doing so.Meanwhile, Argentina, Cambodia, Norway, Portugal and Spain have ratified the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects, raising its total to 18. This convention, which covers private law, complements the UNESCO treaty.The UNESCO Committee, set up in 1980, has no jurisdictional power to rule in disputes between parties. But as a consultative organ, it can offer its good offices to facilitate bilateral negotiations for the restitution or return of cultural properties to their countries of origin. It also encourages the establishing or strengthening of museums in developing countries and the training of scientific and technical staff.