The National Strategic Plan prepared by the University of Jayawardenepura to modernize the entire public university system presented to COPE.
Secretary to the Ministry of Education instructed to appoint a task force within two weeks and give a report in this regard.
COPE disclose that there are 50% of university lecturer vacancies.The University of Sri Jayewardenepura was called before the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) which met on Aug. 22 under the Chairmanship of Prof. Ranjith Bandara, Member of Parliament.
According to a recommendation given by COPE at the Committee meeting held on March 24th, 2023, the National Strategic Plan prepared by University of Sri Jayewardenepura to modernize the entire public university system had to be presented to the Committee.
Mr. Nihal Ranasingha, Secretary to the Ministry of Education, Senior Professor Sampath Amaratunga, Chairman of University Grants Commission, Vice Chancellor of the Sri Jayawardenepura University, Senior Prof. M. M. Pathmalal and others were called before this Committee.
National strategic plan, report in 2 weeks
The Committee Chair stated that the responsibility of preparing a national strategic plan to modernize the state university system was handed over to University of Sri Jayewardenepura because it had a prestigious name for management and it should be considered as an honor given to that university by Parliament. The Committee Chair further stated that he would like to express his special thanks to the Ministry of Education, the Vice Chancellor of the Sri Jayawardenepura University, the University Grants Commission and the team led by Senior Professor Disa Bandara.
Senior Professor Disa Bandara pointed out that since each university has its own unique circumstances, it is possible to work according to this draft by paying attention to all those things. The Committee informed the Secretary to the Ministry of Education to appoint a task force within two weeks and give a report in this regard, in the background where the university system in this country is at risk of collapsing. The COPE Chair also pointed out that small groups of students should not be allowed to bring down the entire universal system. Moreover, the COPE Chair said that the University Grants Commission also has a responsibility to maintain the quality of the universities.
50% of uni. lecturer posts, vacant
Furthermore, Hon. (Prof.) Ranjith Bandara pointed out that about 50% of the universities in this country should become research universities.
Although there should be 12,992 university professors, currently, only 6,548 professors are employed, the Chairman of the University Grants Commission said. He also pointed out that since the same situation can be seen in the non-academic staff, it should be resolved. With the economic crisis in the country, it has become a problem for professors to leave the country and at least 1000 professors should be recruited Chairman of the University Grants Commission further said.
State Ministers – Jagath Pushpakumara and Shantha Bandara as well as MPs Dayasiri Jayasekara, Eran Wickramaratne, Upul Mahendra Rajapaksha, Madhura Withanage and Prof. Charitha Herath were present at the Committee meeting held.
Female murdered in hotel room in Bandarawela
A female has been murdered inside a hotel in the Bandarawela area.
Police say that evidence of an assault as well as a poisoning could be observed.
The deceased is said to be a 40-year old from the Atampitiya area.
She had been brought to the hotel this morning (24) by another hotel guest, a 50-year old man who is a resident of the Gonawala area in Kelaniya. He had arrived at the hotel the night before (23).
The man had left the hotel in a hurry which had raised suspicions and staff who had opened his room had found the dead body.
Police have also found a letter in the room, which is thought to be written by the suspect.
Bandarawela police are conducting further investigations to arrest the suspect.
(Source : Aruna)
Golden Jackal population in SL on the decline
Ongoing research have revealed of a significant decrease in golden jackal population in Sri Lanka over the past two- decades.
Uthpala Jayaweera, a researcher in Carnivore Ecology, revealed that the study, overseen by Professor Sampath Seneviratne, a Zoology expert at the University of Colombo, and conducted in collaboration with Chandika Jayaratne, aimed to assess the present distribution and conservation situation of the Sri Lankan jackal species.
The research revealed that habitat degradation followed by erosion of food webs were the leading causes of the decline in jackal numbers. The study also highlighted that expanding road networks posed a major threat to the decreasing population of Jackals in the island.
Further the use of pesticides, road accidents as well as diseases such as canine distemper and rabies spread through unvaccinated dogs had contributed to the declining jackal numbers.
Ms Jayaweera pointed out that the Sri Lankan golden Jackal Canis aureus naria was one of the 13 sub-species of Golden jackal to be found in southern parts of India and Sri Lanka.
“Golden Jackals are more prominently found in the dry zone compared to the wet zone and their very rare in areas of high elevation. More numbers of Jackals are found inside the national park network in Sri Lanka such as Yala, Udawalawa, Wilpattu ,Kumana and Wasgamuwa National Parks,” she said.
Adding that the research team had carried out the first vocalization related study on Jackals.
The study which commenced last year revealed that the Golden Jackals are the most vocal carnivore in Sri Lanka.
With the species being synonymous for five vocal types such as bark, whine, and whimper, howl and group howl. It is said that Jackals use group howls for long distance communication.
Professor in Zoology at the University of Colombo, Sampath Seneviratne, said that Jackals are one of the top predators which contribute to keeping the balance of the ecosystem.
He elaborated that the carnivores such as jackals remove weak animals and reduce animals from contracting diseases and keep the ecosystem healthy.
Prof Seneviratne added that the Sri Lankan golden Jackal is one of the most vocal mammals in Sri Lanka and has many types of calls including deep howl which they use to communicate among a pack of two or a large pack of 13 to 15 jackals.
Public urged not to have undue fears about meningococcal outbreak
The Epidemiology Unit has emphasized that the general public should not have undue fears about the meningococcal meningitis bacterial disease condition.
Director of the Epidemiology Unit – Dr. Samitha Ginige mentioned that patients suffering from the same illness are reported in Sri Lanka every year, adding that it is not an uncommon occurrence.
“This is not an undiagnosed condition. This disease can spread through close association of the infected individuals”, he added.
The spread of the disease at the prison has no effect on the community, Dr. Ginige further said.