Current Affairs – 10-01-2018

1. NATIONAL ANTHEM IN CINEMA HALLS IS NO LONGER COMPULSORY

It is no longer mandatory for cinema halls to play the national anthem before screening a film.

  • The Apex court modified the November 30, 2016 order which had made the playing of national anthem in cinema halls mandatory. Under the modified order, it will now be up to cinema hall owners whether or not to play the national anthem. However, the movie-goers will have to show respect to the anthem in case it is played, and they will have to stand.
  • This came a day after the Centre, in an affidavit to the Supreme Court, asked it to reconsider its order making it mandatory for cinema halls to play the national anthem before screening of films. The Centre said an inter-ministerial committee was being asked to look into the matter and the government would take a call once the committee submitted its recommendations in six months.

2. UGC NOD TO REGULATIONS GIVING INSTITUTIONS GREATER AUTONOMY

The UGC approved new regulations, including one on freeing top-ranking institutions from the regulator’s control. The ‘UGC (Categorization of niversities for Grant of Graded Autonomy)Regulations aims to provide greater autonomy to institutions based on their NAAC accreditation score.

  • Universities either accredited by NAAC with a score of at least 3.5 or ranked in the top 50 institutions of National Institutions Ranking Framework (NIRF) for two consecutive years will be parked in ‘Category I’. Universities in this category will be free to start a new course, department and school without UGC’s approval. They will also be exempt from UGC’s regular inspections and can collaborate with foreign educational institutions without the regulator’s permission. Their performance will be reviewed based on self-reporting.
  • To be eligible for ‘Category II’, universities should either have been accredited by NAAC with a score between 3.01 and 3.49 or ranked between 51 and 100 in the NIRF ranking. Although such universities will also be exempt from UGC’s regular inspections, they will be subject to stricter
    control in comparison to ‘Category I’ institutions. So, ‘Category II’ universities will need the UGC’s permission to sign MoUs with foreign universities. Their performance will be reviewed by a peer group.
  • Institutions categorised as ‘Category III’ will be the most regulated universities. They will not enjoy any of the exemptions granted to their counterparts in ‘Category I & II’. On Tuesday, the commission also approved a regulation that permits third-party agencies other than NAAC to
    accredit higher education institutions.
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