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Hyderabad, September 12, 2017
Osmania University has been accorded the A+ Grade by National Assessment and Accreditation Council in the 3rd Cycle of Assessment done last month.The A plus status is one notch higher than the “A” grade status it enjoyed till recently.
The University, celebrating its centenary, is the only educational institution from Telangana to be conferred this status in the third cycle of evaluation.
Osmania University Vice Chancellor, Prof Ramachandram, while congratulating the entire Faculty, non-teaching staff, students and research scholars for their cooperation and concerted efforts expressed happiness over the announcement. The grading now enhances the academic prestige of the University nationally and globally, he said. He attributed the positive outcome of the NAAC visit to the robust systems and practices which have been in place in the University.
OU Registrar, Ch Gopal Reddy, stated that the long wait for getting NAAC accreditation has ended and hoped that the UGC and other funding bodies will take note of it.
IQAC Director, Prof. SriramVenkatesh, who coordinated the long drawn preparations for the NAAC said the credit goes to each staff member for their due diligence and commitment. University officials feel that the A + grading would refurbish the varsity’s image which was dented due to the agitation for a separate statehood. Osmania has always been known for its citation rate and inclusivity and the grading has been on expected lines, a couple of them point out.
The grading, comes close on the heels of the Times Higher Education World Rankings- 2018, where Osmania was one of the 30 Indian Universities to have made it to the top 1000 Universities. It is one among the eight State Government funded Universities in India to figure in the rankings despite facing a fund crunch and staff shortage.
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Prof. Kinshuk, Dean of Information, and his colleague, Peter Vermeulen, Director of International Recruitment, University of North Texas, Denton, TX visited Osmania University and met Prof. S. Ramachandram, the Vice Chancellor of Osmania University to discuss on the possibility for collaboration in the area of student mobility.
They also apprised that in addition to the traditional student mobility options such as a Summer Research Experience and a semester or year-long Study Abroad option, the University of North Texas (UNT) is introducing the opportunity for students from a few select partner institutions abroad to participate in the International Accelerated Degree Program (3+2) which allows students to gain their Bachelor’s Degree from their home institution abroad and their Master’s Degree from the University of North Texas in just 5 years, or join their PhD program (3+1+1).
The team expressed their interest in entering into MoUs with Osmania University for Exchange of Students and Research Collaboration. They also considered the possible routes for students, where collaboration with University of North Texas can significantly benefit the students. Prof. Ramachandram assured them that the university would extend the necessary cooperation in the field of higher education more particularly in the engineering stream.
Prof. Sameen Fathima, Principal, University College of Engineering, Vice-Principal, Prof. Krishniah and Prof. Shyamala, Head, Department of Computer Science and Engineering were present at the meeting.
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‘Department completely changed my life’
Like many students who take Journalism course in Osmania University, a certain Vijay Joshi in the mid-1980s also saw the APSRTC student bus pass as the immediate benefit. As it turned out, the course became a pass for him to live and work across half the globe.
For 27 years, Mr Joshi worked in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Egypt, Iraq and other countries across the East and West Asia as a foreign correspondent for American news agency, the Associated Press.
He returned to India in February this year to take over as editor-in-chief of Press Trust of India.
Joshi credits his time in the Department of Journalism for the turn his life took from being an M.Sc. (Geology) graduate to an accidental journalist to, finally, an accomplished one.
“The first day I entered the Department, I fell in love with it. For the first time, I felt I was getting the education I deserved. Earlier, I always felt forced into something. Here, one could imbibe and absorb so many things about life, about country. The Department completely shaped me,” he said in a freewheeling interaction with students on Friday.
After the Bachelor of Communication & Journalism (BCJ), he joined Indian Express as a sub-editor, went on to complete MCJ and landed a job at the PTI. “And there was no looking back.”
Joshi said being a foreign correspondent was so much fun that it felt as if he was paid to have a good time. Although most of the countries he reported from were not known for press freedom, he said sticking to facts, covering all sides, and providing proper background helped.
Living abroad provided him a glimpse of cultural similarities and connections among countries to the west and east of India. Mr Joshi also narrated instances that showed how cultured and polite other societies were in comparison to India.
Coming to the Indian media scene, he listed credibility crisis, missing ethical integrity, and laziness as the challenges before media.
“Mainstream media is no longer seen as credible. Some of this criticism is justified because media have not been as true to the profession as they ought to be, be it in the form of bending rules, deliberately putting out certain stories.”
Indian journalism is as good as the best in the world, Joshi said, adding: “Of late, we are slipping due to laziness. For example, taking allegations and publishing them as it is without due diligence.”
He pointed out that this problem is not unique to India, and cited the case of U.S. media “treating Donald Trump as an entertainment figure” during the pre-election phase. “We need to guard against laziness and double-check and cross-check information.”
Answering questions from students, Mr Joshi said editors need to be trusted when it comes to decisions about whether to carry or drop a story. “If that trust between reporters and the editors is missing, then maybe it is better to move on to some other organisation.”
He advised students to read History as “it is the best guide to the future.”