Companies & Sectors
Jet gets board nod to issue 27.26 million shares to Etihad

The 27.26 million equity shares allotted to Etihad represents nearly 32% of the Jet’s share capital

Jet Airways on Wednesday said its board of directors has approved issue of over 27.26 million equity shares to Etihad Airways at Rs754.73 a piece.


The number of shares allotted to Etihad represents nearly 32% of the Jet's share capital.


In a filing with the stock exchanges, Jet said its board of directors at a meeting today approved preferential allotment of “27,263,372 equity shares of the face value of Rs10 to Etihad Airways PJSC at a price of not less than Rs754.7361607 (including premium of Rs744.7361607 per share) per equity share”.


The preferential allotment is subject to various conditions precedent including regulatory approvals.


RTI Judgement Series: Display info about councillors fund on sign-boards in each ward office

Acting on a complaint, the CIC directed the MCD to display information on sign-boards about funds allotted to councillors and update the details of expenditure every six months. This is the 79th in a series of important judgements given by former Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi that can be used or quoted in an RTI application

The Central Information Commission (CIC), while allowing a complaint, directed the chief engineer of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to ensure that the directions given by the Commission (to have sign-boards in the Hindi language displayed prominently) are complied with and send a compliance report.


While giving this judgement on 13 April 2012, Shailesh Gandhi, the then Central Information Commissioner said, “...the Commission had given an order which was to be implemented over a year back. It is unfortunate that subsequently citizens went about monitoring this simple activity and found that the order had not been complied with properly. All government officers must feel ashamed if they are found wanting in simple activity of this nature.”


New Delhi resident Anjali Bhardwaj, along with 317 other citizens, filed a complaint to the Commission under Section 18 of the RTI Act.


The complaint stated that details of funds spent by the respective councillors of MCD should be available suo moto for the knowledge of citizens of the respective areas or wards.


Ms Bhardwaj stated that the 272 councillors of the MCD were allocated certain amount of funds each year, Rs2 crore in 2008-09, Rs50 lakh in 2009-10 and that Section 4 of the Right to Information (RTI) Act envisages that such information should be available in the public domain. She acknowledged that this information was available in English on the website of the GNCTD, however it cannot be accepted that the common man or a person of limited means has the resources or the knowledge of operating or availing such information through the website.


Furthermore, from 2007 till 2010 the department spent about Rs875 crore through the Councillor Funds, Ms Bhardwaj said.


The Right to Information is a fundamental right of the citizens, which has been codified by the RTI Act, No22 of 2005. The Act envisions that all citizens shall receive information primarily by suo moto disclosures by various public authorities as prescribed by Section 4 of the Act. It further envisages that citizens would be required to specifically ask for information under Section 6 only in a few cases. However, when public authorities do not fulfil their obligations under Section 4, citizens have no way but to seek information under Section 6, which in turn becomes a cost for the citizens as well as the government. Obligations under the Section were to be fulfilled by 12 October 2005 and five years have already lapsed since then, Mr Gandhi, the then CIC, noted.


While allowing the complaint on 10 February 2011, the Commission directed the commissioner of MCD to install a sign-board of appropriate dimension, mentioning details of expenditure of the current as well as previous year of the councillor funds for that particular ward. The CIC also directed the MCD commissioner to send a compliance report by 25 March 2011.


On 27 May 2011, the CIC received a compliance report from the then chief engineer (QC) of MCD. In the meantime, the Commission also received several letters from citizens pointing out that the CIC's order was not complied by the MCD.


The Commission then initiated an inquiry in the matter. After conducting an inspection on 20 March 2012 and 23 March 2012, of various zones of the MCD, the CIC found that the concerned officers have failed to comply with its order.


Mr Gandhi, the then CIC, then issued a show-cause notice to assistant commissioners of all concerned zones and the chief engineer (QC). The Commission also asked them to appear before it along with the concerned officers, who were responsible for the non-compliance of its order.


During the hearing on 13 April 2012, several officers from the MCD admitted that there have been some shortfalls in putting up the boards. Mr Gandhi then pointed out that its order should have been implemented a year ago. The then chief engineer Ram Prakash submitted a letter to the CIC assuring that the order had been complied with. And yet it was found that the CIC order was not implemented in many wards.


Mr Gandhi while appreciating the efforts by officers like VP Dahiya, and Roshan Lal, noted that the boards in Ward no201, 203 and 204 at Central Zone, ward nos. 174, 176 and 171 South Zone, Ward no189 Chirag Delhi, ward no171 Vasant Kunj and ward no172 Kishan Garh were found to have been done well and meeting the promise made to citizens.


All officers present during the hearing then assured the Commission that all wards will have boards in the Hindi language displayed prominently where citizens can see them and that citizens will have no cause for complain on these.


They also committed to the Commission that the boards will be there in all 272 wards of Delhi before 1 May 2012. They have also agreed that in case they do not install the boards it would be reasonable for the Commission to impose penalties on the defaulting officers.


Mr Gandhi, then directed the chief engineer Ramesh Chand to ensure that the directions as given above are complied with before 1 May 2012 and send a compliance report to the Commission before 10 May 2012. 




Decision No. CIC/SG/C/2010/001291/11403Adjunct

Complaint No. CIC/SG/C/2010/001291


Complainant                                                : Anjali Bhardwaj & 317 other Citizens,

                                                                            Delhi - 110 17


Respondent                                                 : The Commissioner,

                                                                          Municipal Corporation of Delhi,                      

                                                                          Civic Centre, Minto Road,

                                                                           Delhi - 110 001



P M Ravindran

4 years ago

While Information Commissioners are often found soft pedalling on these kind of issues and dismissing appellants stating that the PIO can provide only available information in an as is where is form, this particular instance shows how the ICs can been assertive and tweek the ears of the public authorities.

The admission arms race: Six ways colleges game their numbers

Prospective students have long looked to low acceptance rates, high number of applications and other factors to determine how prestigious a college is and whether they should apply. However, colleges have found ways to make their institutions seem more appealing

As college-bound students weigh their options, they often look to the various statistics that universities trumpet — things like the high number of applications, high test scores, and low acceptance rate.
But students may want to consider yet another piece of info: the ways in which schools can pump up their stats.
"There's no question about it," said David Kalsbeek, senior vice president for enrollment management and marketing at DePaul University. "There are ways of inflating a metric to improve perceived measures of quality."
Some of these tweaks — such as a more streamlined application — can actually benefit students. Others serve to make the admissions process more confusing. Here's a rundown.
1) Quickie, often pre-filled out applications 
Express applications — sometimes known as "fast apps," "snap apps," "V.I.P. applications" or "priority applications" — are often pre-filled with some student information and require little if anything in the way of essays. And especially when they're accompanied with an application-fee waiver, what's a student got to lose? Not much, fans of fast apps argue.
The school, meanwhile, has a lot to gain. The tactic, designed to broaden the pool of applicants, can help super-charge application numbers. Drexel University and St. John's University — the only two private colleges among the top 10 for most applied-to colleges in 2011 — both market broadly and use fast apps.
Both schools received roughly 50,000 applications in the fall of 2011, according to U.S. News data. Both schools enroll roughly 3,000 freshmen.
Getting in more applications can also boost the appearance of selectivity. Critics contend that some schools use fast apps specifically for this purpose — luring students in to apply to institutions they hadn't heard of and ultimately rejecting a portion of them. Neither school, when contacted, responded to requests for comment.
2) Shorter applications, Common Applications, and shorter Common Applications 
Another way to get more applications is to adopt the Common Application, as nearly 500 colleges have since its inception in 1975. The form, which lets students apply to multiple schools at once, has fueled the long-term rise in applications. And as more colleges have adopted it, other schools have felt pressure to start using it too.
Many schools have long required that students submitting a Common Application include additional answers or essays. Dropping the extra requirements can result in a spike in applications. That's what happened for Skidmore College, which saw a 42 percent jump in applications this cycle after it stopped requiring supplemental essays to the Common App. (Skidmore College's dean of admissions did not respond to a request for an interview.)
3) Dipping into early application pools 
Another statistic schools often try to control is their "yield" — that's admissions parlance for the percentage of students offered admission that choose to attend.
Though it's no longer statistically factored into U.S. News & World Report's ubiquitous rankings, yield rates are still a data point made available to prospective students. They're also inextricably tied to acceptance rates because schools use previous yields to calculate how many students they should admit to fill a class. Schools with low yields must extend lots of acceptances, knowing many accepted students will go elsewhere.
One way to increase yields is to draw heavily from the pool of applicants who chose to apply through early action, or to encourage early decision, which is binding. At the University of Pennsylvania, for instance, nearly half of the spots in the freshman class are filled through the university's binding early decision process.
Penn is hardly alone in leaning heavily on early decision. Many schools accept early decision applicants at a higher rate than students who apply later. American University, for instance, accepts about 75 percent of early decision applicants, though its overall acceptance rate is far lower.
One other thing to note: Because early decision involves committing before any financial aid is offered, it generally attracts wealthier families. Students who need financial aid or want to be able to make cost comparisons between different schools are typically advised not to apply early — which can hurt their chances.
4) Rejecting good students universities think are just using them as a backup 
While opening up early decision and early action programs is a way for colleges to force students to demonstrate that they're their top choice, schools use a variety of ways to divine the same information from regular decision students as well. This is perhaps the most common — and in some ways, common sense — method used by colleges to improve yield: simply to admit only those students who they perceive as likely to enroll.
"There are so many silent electronic footprints they're leaving nowadays," said Sundar Kumarasamy, vice president for enrollment management and marketing at the University of Dayton.
Kumarasamy said that his institution tracks many of these subtle signals of interest from applicants: They can tell whether individual applicants clicked to open email communications, logged into the system to check the status of an application, and not only whether they called the school, but how long that phone call lasted. If the school gets the sense that an applicant isn't interested, that's factored in. Kumarasamy calls it "recruiting for fit."
The interest — or lack thereof — can ultimately mean that the school rejects some candidates who on paper are more than qualified but failed to demonstrate interest.
5) Making tests optional 
One admissions trend within the past decade has been the test-optional movement. Colleges that have stopped requiring standardized test scores often cite equity and diversity as reasons to make the move, noting the strong correlation between socioeconomic status and test scores.
But going test-optional can also help universities' stats. Critics note that in addition to attracting more applicants, the move ultimately skews the average test scores that institutions report: Lower-scoring applicants are the most likely to withhold their scores and higher-scoring applicants are the most likely to submit them.
6) Making stuff up 
Some colleges actually cross the line with their creative number-crunching. Since the start of last year, five colleges have acknowledged overstating their admissions statistics: Bucknell University, Claremont McKenna College, Emory University, George Washington University, and Tulane University's business school.
Admissions data is self-reported and no outside party is responsible for verifying it. The recent scandals involving falsified data have only come to light after colleges disclosed the problems themselves.
U.S. News' Robert Morse has said there is "no reason to believe that the misreporting is widespread." But a survey by Inside Higher Ed last fall suggests that even admissions directors are skeptical of the reporting, with 91 percent of those surveyed saying believe they believe there's more misreporting than has been identified.
Of course, some colleges resist the pressure to pump up admissions numbers. Doing so is unusual enough that it attracts notice and media write-ups.
Boston College made "a strategic decision" this cycle to raise the admissions bar by adding an essay. It got the expected drop in applications — and a recent write-up in the New York Times. A handful of others, including Ursinus College, have done the same. In addition to requiring essays again, they dropped the fast app.
But for many other colleges, what's been called the admissions "arms race" is on — with these strategically achieved statistics as the scoreboard.




4 years ago

The American university "business" is far more mature than the Indian education "industry". It's just a matter of time before our own Indian institutions start copying (and improving!) these tactics.


P M Ravindran

In Reply to jaykayess 4 years ago

While american universities just look at the business prospects of education in India there is more to it than meets the eye. Ask A K Antony, our present Defence Minister, why he renegaded on his promise, as the CM of Kerala, of 50 pc seats in self financing professional colleges to be filled up as per norms of govt colleges.

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