Govt proposes to replace UGC with new commission

The new Higher Education Commission of India Act is likely to be tabled in Parliament during the monsoon session. Photo: Mint

The new Higher Education Commission of India Act is likely to be tabled in Parliament during the monsoon session. Photo: Mint

New Delhi: The Union government on Wednesday unveiled the draft of a bill to replace higher education regulator University Grants Commission (UGC) with a Higher Education Commission.

The new commission to be established through an Act will not have grant-making authority, will promote reduced inspection system and will focus more on quality outcome at universities and colleges.

Human resource development (HRD) minister Prakash Javadekar, who claimed this is a key education reform, said the new body will be more representational. Its board will have senior bureaucrats from the ministries of HRD, skills and entrepreneurship, and science and technology, in a way ending the monopoly of HRD ministry in regulating higher education.

“The draft Act is in accordance with the commitment of the government for reforming the regulatory systems that provide more autonomy to higher educational institutes to promote excellence and facilitate holistic growth of the education system,” Javadekar said in a tweet.

He said the new Act will separate grant-making functions, end inspection raj, focus on academic quality and empower the new commission to enforce quality issues.

According to the draft bill, university and college managements found wanting and violating penalty imposed by the commission “shall be liable for prosecution as per procedure laid down under the Criminal Procedure Code and may be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend up to three years”.

The new body will specify learning outcomes for colleges and universities, prescribe teaching, assessment, research standards.

UGC reform was part of the BJP’s general election manifesto in 2014. To be sure, a similar restructuring was discussed and promoted by the previous United Progressive Alliance government but could not become a law due to lack of support from the parliament.

Over the last four years, the HRD ministry has deliberated on several models like a single regulator for higher education by merging UGC, National Council of Teacher Education (NCTE) and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE); however, the plans were not taken forward.

“This Act provides for establishing the Higher Education Commission of India repealing the University Grants Commission Act, 1956,” said the draft bill which is open for public feedback till 7 July.

“Whereas for promoting uniform development of quality of education in higher educational institutions, there is a need for creation of a Body that lays down uniform standards, and ensures maintenance of the same through systematic monitoring and promotion, Whereas the existing regulatory structure as reflected by the mandate given to University Grants Commission required redefinition based on the changing priorities of higher education and allow its growth,” underlines the draft bill on need for a change.

The new commission shall consist of a chairperson, vice chairperson and 12 members to be appointed by the central government. The secretary of the commission will act as the member-secretary. Of the 12 members, three members will represent union government namely: secretary of higher education, secretary of ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship and secretary, department of science and technology. Besides, there will be an “industry doyen” among the board members.

Google Play’s New Subscription Center Starts Rolling Out, Lets Users Easily Manage Their Subscriptions

Google Play's New Subscription Center Starts Rolling Out, Lets Users Easily Manage Their Subscriptions

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Google Play is rolling out the new Subscription Center
  • The new center opens each of subscriptions in a full page
  • Developers will get a chance to add deep links

Google Play has started widely rolling out the new Subscription Center that was announced at I/O 2018earlier this year. The newest development is designed to make it easier for Android users to manage their recurring payments from apps and services. Notably, the new hub comes as a one-stop shop to manage subscriptions on Google Play. The search giant is also adding a list of tools to uplift the app listing experience for developers. These are heading to developers using the Google Play Billing Library that received an updated version at I/O.

Among other developments, Google Play has added the redesigned Subscription Center that lets Android users easily view all their subscriptions, including the subscriptions of apps and services, and see their details and status. Each subscription in the main list comes with a larger icon, and the text listed on the Subscription Center is clearer over what was available in the past. Subscriptions listed on the new center also show their monthly/ yearly rate and their next renewal dates.

Unlike the previous version that was overlaying a menu to manage subscriptions, the redesigned Subscription Center opens each of the subscriptions in a new page once tapped. The fresh full page view includes options to let users easily update their primary payment method and add a back up of their existing payment method. Similarly, there is a larger Cancel Subscription button over the original Cancel button. Google has also added a cancellation survey that emerges once a user cancels a subscription. This survey will give developers feedback as to why the user is cancelling the subscription.google play subscription center Google Play Subscription Center

The new Subscription Center also has a “Get Started” link for all those users who are yet to begin with the subscriptions on Google Play. Once tapping the link, the screen shows apps and services through curated and localised collections. Google has also added deep links to direct users to manage their subscriptions directly from the app, over email or via the Web.

For developers, there is an enhanced billing experience through which the deep link can be added as a button or link from anywhere within their app. Google Play Console will also soon receive the ability to let developers easily ask users to accept a price change without having to set up a completely new SKU. Users will be notified about the change via emails, push notifications, and in-app messaging. Google also at the I/O revealed that there will be the ability to upgrade a subscription without changing the user’s expiration date. Additionally, developers will be able to issue a partial refund from the Play Console or refund specific subscription renewals instead of refunding just the one. Developers will also get the option to use their order IDs with the server-side API and use the Refund API with the Google Play Developer API. These features require the Google Play Billing Library version 1.1.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

New Gears Of War Game Announced, And It’s Funko

Image result for New Gears Of War Game Announced, And It's Funko

Now Playing: New Gears Of War Game Announcements At Xbox E3 2018

Microsoft unveiled a trio of new Gears of War titles during its E3 2018 press conference, including the next proper installment in the series–Gears 5–and a strategy spin-off titled Gears Tactics. In addition to those, the company announced a Gears game for mobile devices, but it’s radically different from anything else in the series.

Dubbed Gears Pop, the game is described as a “mobile Gears experience with an official Funko Pop twist.” Few details about the title were revealed, but it’s slated to launch on iOS and Android in 2019 and features Gears of War characters who resemble Funko Pop figures. You can take a look at an image of them below.

No Caption Provided

While Gears Pop may not be the direction fans were hoping to see the franchise take, the next mainline entry, Gears 5, is also slated to launch in 2019 and features the series’ trademark brutal action. Gears Tactics, meanwhile, is described as a “true PC strategy game where brutal action meets turn-based tactics.”

[“Source-gamespot”]

Microsoft’s new workplace mixed reality apps pop up in the Store

Microsoft's new workplace mixed reality app previews pop up in the Store

During its Build 2018 developer conference last week, Microsoft introduced two new mixed reality apps designed for the workplace. At their reveal, Microsoft said the apps would be available in a limited-time preview starting on May 22. However, both apps have now been spotted by noted Microsoft watcher WalkingCat in the Microsoft Store a little earlier than expected.

The first app, Microsoft Remote Assist Preview, is available only for HoloLens users and is intended as a way for workers to remotely collaborate with experts on their Microsoft Teams contact list. Within the app, workers can take advantage of video calling, image sharing, and mixed reality annotations. Combined, the features are meant to enable workers to keep their hands free while being guided through a task.

The next app, Microsoft Layout, is a design app for mixed reality. Users can use Layout to view 3D models in a room at real-world scale, allowing them to see how a room will look in the physical space around them or in a virtual space. The layouts can then be shared and edited with others in real time. We briefly tried out Microsoft Layout with a Windows Mixed Reality headset and it works as advertised, though it’s slightly buggy in its preview form.

Both apps represent Microsoft’s determination to make HoloLens and mixed reality apps a reality in the workplace. That’s something we’ve already seen with companies deploying HoloLens to help out in everything from operating rooms to automobile design studios. However, there’s quite a bit of room left to expand as the mixed reality space continues to grow.

If you have a HoloLens or Windows Mixed Reality headset, both apps are listed in the Microsoft Store now.

[“Source-“windowscentral]