4 lakh youths to get employment opportunities in Haryana

4 lakh youths to get employment opportunities in Haryana: Khattar
Haryana government has started programmes for skill development of the youths.
AMBALA: Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar today said that “four lakh youths would be given employment opportunities” under the state’s Enterprises Promotion Policy-2015.

On the lines of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Skill India’ drive, Haryana government has started similar programmes for skill development of the youths, he said.

Stating that commercialisation of education would not be tolerated, the chief minister said, emphasis would be laid on opening ‘Sanskar Kendras’ for education in the state.

“Even after 68 years of Independence, we are still unable to provide right direction to the youth, whose only goal is to obtain certificates as per the education system introduced by Lord Macaulay,” Khattar was quoted as saying by a Haryana government release.

The chief minister said this at the inaugural function of the three-day Zonal Youth Festival organised by Kurukshetra University at Gandhi Memorial National (GMN) College, Ambala Cantonment.

Every youth has hidden talent and platforms like youth festivals enable them to showcase it, Khattar said.

Sports and uouth affairs minister, Anil Vij who presided over the function said, the Youth Policy would be framed within next two months.

Meanwhile, presiding over a meeting of District Public Relations and Grievances Redressal Committee here today, the Chief Minister said a police would soon be framed for public grievances that come up before the District Public Relations and Grievances Redressal Committee.

The kind of grievances that can be raised in the meeting should be specified in the policy. It should also be specified that those grievances on which both parties have already reached an agreement may not be raised, he said.

In view of grievances regarding non-distribution of ration, a biometric system would soon be started to prevent bungling in public distribution system, Khattar said.

Thirteen grievances were raised in today’s meeting, of which most were disposed of by the Chief Minister on the spot, the government release said.

25 % IIT seats grabbed by students from rural areas in 2015

25 % IIT seats grabbed by students from rural areas in 2015
The future of 325 IIT aspirants belonging to backward sections of minorities appears to be in a limbo in wake of Andhra HC striking down 4.5% sub-quota to minorities.

KOTA: Twenty-five per cent of the seats of the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology across the country were grabbed by students from rural areas this year, as compared to only 10 per cent seats last year.

According to a report JEE Advance 2015 by IIT Mumbai, 25 per cent of the seats, this year, were secured by students, from rural areas who have completed their upper primary schooling in Hindi medium as compared to 90 per cent seats which were secured by students from urban areas last year.

A considerable number of students from low earning families have also earned seats in the 18 IITs this time with over 1600 students coming from families where the father’s annual income is less than Rs one lakh.

Meanwhile, 1500 students come from families where the annual income of fathers is over Rs 8 lakh.

As for the educational background of parents, the study said fathers of about 1100 qualifying students are only matric pass (Class X) while fathers of about 250 are illiterate.

The mothers of nearly 900 students are illiterate.

Girls, this year, secured 900 out of 9974 seats in IITs, a share of 9.03 per cent as compared to 8 per cent of the seats secured in 2014.

The report also said Rajasthan topped the list of states in cracking the IIT entrance exam this year, with 19.7 per cent students, who gained admission to the IITs, belonging to the state.

1965 students from Rajasthan secured IIT seats.

Uttar Pradesh has secured second position in the list with 1259 qualifying students, while Andhra Pradesh which topped last time, has 776 students.

770 students from Telangana secured seats this year.

The detailed report also said the fathers of 888 qualifying students practiced agriculture whereas fathers of 232 students were doctors and of 466 students were engineers.

The fathers of 1548 qualifying students were involved in business while mothers of 6690 selected students were housewives with a modest level of education.

The fathers of 479 students were teachers while of 2989 qualifying students were government employees.

The report also mentioned that every fifth of the qualifying students had prepared for the exam in Kota.

Kolhapur civic body faces uphill task to improve school infrastructure

KOLHAPUR: With the civic body deciding to develop seven of its 61 ailing schools through private entities, it now faces a tough task to improve the quality of education provided to the students belonging to economically weaker sections.

The proposal to develop these schools was approved two months ago even as there were delays in the acceptance of the policy since the last three years.

The Kolhapur Municipal Corporation (KMC) took the decision after it failed to restart these schools through its own funds.

Besides funds worth Rs 28 crore sanctioned through the budgets for the salaries and maintenance, the school board gets additional grant of just Rs 25 lakh every year to undertake miscellaneous works such as colouring the buildings and construction of compound walls.

As per the new policy, the private parties need to repair these defunct schools and operate them for 20 years. To ensure that poor students get admissions, the private entities will have to reserve 25% seats for those residing in the periphery of the schools.

Mahesh Jadhav, NCP corporator and chairman of the school board, said, “The finalisation of the proposal to rent out schools to private organisations is a historical decision. The initiative will help us provide quality education to poor students as well as help us rake in revenue from the premium charged for using the building structure and the open spaces near it. The funds generated will be utilised to strengthen the schools governed directly by the KMC.”

There was tremendous disappointment among the teachers, parents and students during the first three years of the Congress-NCP regime, as senior civic authorities or corporators hardly paid attention to their demands.

However, genuine efforts by the officials and teachers in the last two years have helped increase the student count from 8,000 to 10,400 in the KMC-run schools. Moreover, 150 more students will also join these schools soon.

The leaders claimed that they spent around Rs 84 lakh for strengthening the school infrastructure. However, the initiatives such as e-learning are yet to be operational in each of these 54 schools.

The district planning and development council (DPDC) had sanctioned Rs 34 lakhs to install projectors with a computer and internet facility in these schools.

However, the contractor assigned for the work failed to supply the equipment on time and the council had to withdraw the funds.

There were allegations that the corporators forced the officials to accept the tender of an incompetent contractor for the work, which deprived the students of modern learning methods.

Meanwhile, experts believe that the KMC and the government should infuse funds in these schools to make them as good as the private ones. Since the last few decades, these schools have remained an avenue for poor students, who cannot afford the fees of private schools.

Education expert Sudhakar Sawant said, “The teachers have to plead several times to the civic authorities and corporators for particular facilities needed for schools. No full-time administrative officer has been appointed despite being mandatory for the civic bodies. This has led to trust deficit between the teachers and the civic administration. The KMC needs to take special efforts to address sanitation concerns in these schools to make them student and teacher-friendly.”

While welcoming the decision to develop seven schools, Sawant gave a word of caution considering the lethargy of the officials in implementing policies. “There’s no doubt that the private parties developing these schools will help deliver modern techniques of schooling. However, the initiative will fail to provide affordable education to poor students. Moreover, after these schools are transferred back to the KMC, the doubts over effective management may come to the fore considering the financial position of the civic body,” he added.

* Schools till 4th grade: 6

* Schools till 7th grade: 47

* Urdu medium school: 1

* Senior college: 1

* No. of students: 10,400

* No. of teachers: 320

PPP mode of developing schools:

* Private institutions can develop schools, provide education through skilled teachers and adopt modern methods

* Institutions have to pay yearly premium for using school building and open spaces

* 25% admissions reserved for students residing near schools

* Operate school for 20 years and transfer back to the KMC

Schools to be developed through PPP mode:

*Annabhau Sathe Vidyalay (Rajarampuri)

*Rangrao Salunkhe Vidyalay (Susar Baug)

*Maharani Tarabai Vidyalay (Mangalwar Peth)

*Girl’s School No. 5 (Shahupuri),

*Padmaraje Vidyalay Girls’ High school

*Padmaraje Vidyalay Boys’ High school

*Nehru Girls High school

Current regime and its impact:

* Increase in students count

* Dropout rate brought to zero

* Workshop for teachers to improve teaching skills

* Eight-day residential camp for 200 students every year for personality development

* Regular health check-up of girls and boys

IIT tweaks JEE norms to also allow those with 75% in Class XII

Providing relief to those seeking admission to the Indian Institutes of Technology, the IIT Council has decided to change eligibility norms to include students who secure 75 per cent marks and above in their Class 12 board exams. Currently, only those who are in the top-20 percentile are eligible for admission, provided they clear the JEE Main and JEE Advanced exams. “In addition to the top-20 percentile condition, we decided to include the marks secured in the board exams,” confirmed HRD Secretary Ashok Thakur. The decision was taken at the IIT Council meeting held in Chennai on Monday, chaired by HRD Minister Smriti Irani. As per the new rule, OBC and general category candidates should either be in the top-20 percentile or secure at least 75 per cent marks — whichever is lower — in their Class 12 board exams. Those belonging to SC, ST and disabled sections should secure at least 70 per cent marks. Meanwhile, a committee under the chairmanship of Secretary, Higher Education, has been set up to resolve the stand-off with the UGC over the IITs’ course structure. The heads of the IITs in Chennai and Kanpur have also been given the responsibility of preparing a framework for a new India-centric ranking system for institutions of higher learning.

Bring back exams, more weight on learning, teachers

During Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje’s “sarkar apke dwar” programme, parents suggested that a complete ban on exams till Class 8 was not in the best interest of the child.During Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje’s “sarkar apke dwar” programme, parents suggested that a complete ban on exams till Class 8 was not in the best interest of the child.

The Rajasthan government is planning two significant amendments to the Right to Education (RTE) Act: reintroducing exams in at least three classes from Class I to 8, and giving more weightage to “learning outcomes” than to physical infrastructure of schools while deciding on their recognition or registration.

A senior Rajasthan government official told The Indian Express that during Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje’s “sarkar apke dwar” programme, parents suggested that a complete ban on exams till Class 8 was not in the best interest of the child. “A child must acquire class-appropriate learning skills, and not just be present in a brick-and-mortar classroom,” the official said. Accordingly, the state is considering evaluations in Classes 3, 5 and 8.

The second important amendment relates to focusing more on “learning outcomes” of schools than on hardware such as school buildings, playgrounds etc. Here, the Rajasthan government has taken note of the closure of a large number of private schools in several other states because they could not manage the RTE-mandated physical infrastructure requirement.

The National Independent Schools Alliance (NISA), an association of budget private schools, estimates that 4,331 schools have shut down, affecting about 8.66 lakh students, and another 15,083 schools were facing threat of closure as on March 18, 2014. The Centre for Civil Society, on the other hand, estimates that at least 34.94 lakh children have been affected with 19,414 schools across 17 states having been closed or issued notice for closure for not fulfilling the norms related to infrastructure and teacher salaries.

“We are confusing ‘building schools’ with school buildings. The state plans to restrict the weightage on infrastructure and other inputs to 30 per cent or less, and instead focus on absolute, relative (compared with previous year) and scholastic learning outcomes,” the state government official said.

These are not the only two changes the Rajasthan government is considering. It is planning to allow teachers to conduct tuitions after school hours to boost their incomes, and also let private school managements decide teachers’ salaries instead of taking directions from the government on the issue.

It also plans to hand over education vouchers to parents, instead of the government paying the schools directly, so that the child does not get shamed by schools if the payment from the state does not reach in time. The state will also make government schools as accountable as their private counterparts to ensure equality.

Significantly, realising the aspiration levels of the poor, the state plans to do away with the “neighbourhood” criteria while admitting poor children in private schools. This will help the brighter children among the poor join the best private schools, even if they are not in their neighbourhood.

According to senior government officials, these amendments are being discussed internally, and will be presented to the Chief Minister soon. “Once these are approved by the Chief Minister, these will follow the same legislative route as labour law amendments. A fresh Bill will be placed before the Assembly, and once cleared, sent to the President for his assent,” the official said.


Top Indian,Aus varsities to offer new scholarship programme

M_Id_438385_StudentTop Indian universities including IIT Kanpur and IIT Madras have now partnered with University of Melbourne in Australia to offer a new joint PhD scholarship programme from 2014.

The multimillion-dollar scholarship programme was launched in India on Monday to provide the next generation of researchers,innovators and entrepreneurs in Melbourne and India with world-leading academic supervision and support.

According to an official statement,the Melbourne-India Postgraduate Programme (MIPP) will link the University of Melbourne with some of the leading research institutes in India,the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore (IISc),the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IIT-K) and the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M).

A joint initiative of the four institutions is an AUD 3 million programme which will provide 16 PhD scholarships and associated support for research exchanges over the next three years.

Speaking ahead of the launch,Melbourne University Vice-Chancellor Glyn Davis said the new programme was a valuable addition to Melbourne’s already extensive scholarship offerings.

“By enabling students from India and Australia to undertake jointly developed research of the highest quality,we’re confident the programme will address shared global challenges in areas of environmental,societal and technological need.”

“We’re excited that the program will give students the opportunity to contribute to the development of education,cultural and industry links between both countries,” Davis said.

The programme will officially commence in 2014 and will be open to PhD students enrolled at the University Of Melbourne,to be co-supervised by staff at IIT-K,IIT-M or IISC.

Alternatively,students enrolled in one of the three Indian institutions will have access to co-supervision with Melbourne academics.

IIT-K Director Professor Indranil Manna said the initiative would bring leading institutions together.

“Australian and Indian communities hold immense respect for each other and this is yet another opportunity that would contribute to the strengthening of cultural ties between the two great nations,” he said.

Nitish Kumar flays Modi Govt for announcing rail hike before budget

Former Railway Minister and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar. (Source: PTI)Former Railway Minister and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar. (Source: PTI)

Former Railway Minister and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar on Friday criticised Narendra Modi government for promoting a “bad tradition” of announcing hike in Railway fare and freight before presentation of Railway budget in Parliament.

“They are promising the country that ‘Achye deen aa gaye hain’ (good days have come) and promoting bad tradition,” Kumar told reporters.

His reaction came in the wake of Narendra Modi government increasing railway passenger fare by 14.2 per cent in all classes and freight by 6.5 per cent with effect from today.

Kumar, who served as Railway minister in the NDA government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, said, “I presented five Railway budget and always followed tradition of announcing roadmap of railway including proposal for increasing fare and freight in Parliament through budget.”

“When UPA government in the recent past had announced increase in Railway fare and freight before presentation of Railway budget it was the same BJP which had made hue and cry….Now they are doing the same and promoting a bad tradition,” he said, taking a potshots at BJP-led government at the Centre.

Kumar described 14.2 per cent hike in fare and 6.5 per cent in freight as a “big increase” which he said would further lift prices of essential commodities.

– See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/education/nitish-kumar-flays-modi-govt-for-announcing-rail-hike-before-budget/#sthash.ljZbr1ik.dpuf

Digital dependence 'eroding human memory'

People using the internet
Image captionPeople are relying on digital devices rather than memorising information

An over-reliance on using computers and search engines is weakening people’s memories, according to a study.

It showed many people use computers instead of memorising information.

Many adults who could still recall their phone numbers from childhood could not remember their current work number or numbers of family members.

Maria Wimber from the University of Birmingham said the trend of looking up information “prevents the build-up of long-term memories”.

The study, examining the memory habits of 6,000 adults in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, found more than a third would turn first to computers to recall information.

The UK had the highest level, with more than half “searching online for the answer first”.

Outsourcing memory

But the survey suggests relying on a computer in this way has a long-term impact on the development of memories, because such push-button information can often be immediately forgotten.

“Our brain appears to strengthen a memory each time we recall it, and at the same time forget irrelevant memories that are distracting us,” said Dr Wimber.

Photographing a car
Image captionDoes the digital recording of events change how they are remembered?

She says that the process of recalling information is a “very efficient way to create a permanent memory”.

“In contrast, passively repeating information, such as repeatedly looking it up on the internet, does not create a solid, lasting memory trace in the same way.”

Among adults surveyed in the UK, 45% could recall their home phone number from the age of 10, while 29% could remember their own children’s phone numbers and 43% could remember their work number.

The ability to remember a partner’s number was lower in the UK than anywhere else in the European survey. There were 51% in the UK who knew their partner’s phone number, compared with almost 80% in Italy.

The study from Kaspersky Lab, a cybersecurity firm, says that people have become accustomed to using computer devices as an “extension” of their own brain.

It describes the rise of what it calls “digital amnesia”, in which people are ready to forget important information in the belief that it can be immediately retrieved from a digital device.

The study highlights how, as well as storing factual information, there is a trend to keep personal memories in digital form. Photographs of important moments might only exist on a smartphone, with the risk of their loss if the device is lost or stolen.

“There also seems to be a risk that the constant recording of information on digital devices makes us less likely to commit this information to long-term memory, and might even distract us from properly encoding an event as it happens,” said Dr Wimber.

Five bizarre 'lessons' in Indian textbooks

In 2012 the country passed the Right to Education act which guarantees free and compulsory education for all children until the age of 14.

However, some of the “facts” that have been found in textbooks around the country have given rise to speculation over what exactly passes for “education” in India.

Glaring mistakes, downright lies and embellishments in textbooks are often featured in local media. A trend that is all the more worrying, given that India’s education system promotes rote learning at the cost of analytical thinking.

The BBC’s Ayeshea Perera looks at five of the most outrageous excerpts from Indian textbooks that have made headlines in recent times:

Women steal jobs

Cartoon of teacher saying women cause unemployment
Image captionUnemployment in India? Blame the women

A teacher in the central Indian state of Chhatisgarh recently complained about a textbook for 15-year-olds in the state, which said that unemployment levels had risen post independence because women have begun working in various sectors.

When contacted by the Times of India newspaper, the director of the state council for educational research and training told the newspaper: “It’s a matter of debate. It was a writer’s view out of his experience. Now, it is the teacher’s job how they explain things to the students and ask the students for their view whether they agreed to it or not.”

Never trust a meat eater

Cartoon: Teacher asks 'lying?', student says,
Image captionPeople who eat meat turn to violence and commit sex crimes, said a textbook for 11-year-olds

A national textbook for 11-year-old students created uproar in 2012 when it was discovered that it said that people who eat meat “easily cheat, tell lies, forget promises, are dishonest and tell bad words, steal, fight and turn to violence and commit sex crimes”.

Later, the director of the Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE) told the NDTV news channel that school books used across the country are not monitored for content.

‘Donkey’ wives

Cartoon of man leading donkey
Image captionDonkeys are like housewives? Actually, said a textbook, they are a shade better

In 2006, it was discovered that a textbook for 14-year-olds in the northern Indian state of Rajasthan compared housewives to donkeys.

“A donkey is like a housewife. It has to toil all day and, like her, may even have to give up food and water. In fact, the donkey is a shade better, for while the housewife may sometimes complain and walk off to her parents’ home, you’ll never catch the donkey being disloyal to his master,” the Times of India quoted the Hindi language textbook as saying.

An official told the newspaper that the comparison had been made in “good humour”.

Japan did what in World War Two?

Cartoon of teacher holding book titled 'New Modified and Twisted history'
Image captionOne textbook in Gujarat got its nuclear history a little mixed up

In what can only be described as a complete distortion of history, a social science textbook believed to have been taught to 50,000 students in the western Indian state of Gujarat declared that Japan had launched a nuclear attack on the US during World War Two.

Officials said the textbooks, which also got the date of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination wrong, would be corrected. However, officials had also said that the textbooks currently in circulation would not be recalled.

‘Sewage’ Canal

Cartoon of student envisaging a sewage canal
Image captionThe “Sewage canal” is a shipping lane?

Don’t be too shocked if you find students from the west Indian state of Maharashtra telling you that the “Sewage Canal” is one of the most important shipping lanes in the world. That is how the Suez Canal has been spelled in an English language textbook in the state.

The book, meant for 15-year-olds also spelled “Gandhi” as “Gandi”, and got a number of important Indian historical dates completely wrong. The NDTV website which reported the errors said that it had not been able to contact the officials responsible for the textbooks.

HRD Ministry unveils ranking framework for colleges and universities

college rankings, university rankings, higher study institution rankings, hrd, hrd ministry, smriti irani, ranking guidelines, college ranking guidelines, top colleges in india, top universities in india, india news, latest newsThe Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry Tuesday unveiled a first-of-its-kind indigenous ranking framework for higher education institutions, in response to global rankings in which Indian universities and colleges usually do not fare too well.

The framework is different from global rankings in that it will judge institutions based on country-specific parameters.

HRD Minister Smriti Irani said the new ranking framework has been drafted to provide “an Indian context to educational aspirations and needs”. This will, she added, help institutions that conduct research in languages other than English and are focused on inclusive education, two factors that are overlooked by international agencies.

The government aims to come out with the first round of ranking before the next academic year. The initiative is open to both private and public institutions across all disciplines and is not mandatory. However, VS Oberoi, secretary, higher education, said that all 122 centrally-funded institutions — including all central universities, IITs and IIMs —will participate in the first round of ranking which will be unveiled by April next year. The framework is primarily divided into two categories: Category A will cover institutions with academic autonomy and greater focus on research and category B will comprise colleges and centres affiliated to a university and more focused on teaching. An institution can volunteer to be ranked in both categories. Justifying the division of the framework into two categories, Professor Surendra Prasad, chairman of the National Board of Accreditation, said this would enable “an apple-to-apple comparison”. – See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/education/hrd-ministry-unveils-ranking-framework-for-colleges-and-universities/#sthash.BjjT1UeB.dpuf