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Showing posts with label Education. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Education. Show all posts

Thursday, 21 October 2021

Preference for English, Upper Caste Candidates: How UPSC 'Biases' Impact Civil Services Exam

 

Many aspirants have been voicing concerns about the lack of transparency in the functioning of UPSC ever since the syllabus and pattern of the Civil Services examination were first changed in 2011.

Saturday, 2 October 2021

Uttarakhand HC Dismisses CJM’s Order to File Second FIR in IIT Roorkee Embezzlement Case

 

The IIT administration had lodged an FIR against junior superintendent Dheeraj Upadhyay in December 2020 for his alleged involvement in an embezzlement case

Saturday, 25 September 2021

Exam Centres in China, UP: Yet Another Maha Govt Recruitment Drive Runs Into Controversy

 

Though the government tried to downplay the issue as a 'minor technical snag', pressure from aspirants meant it had to be cancelled at the last minute.

Saturday, 18 September 2021

National Commission for Minorities takes cognizance of a complaint regarding not allowing a candidate to wear Karah in NEET 2021 examination.

 National Commission for Minorities 

The National Commission for Minorities (NCM) has taken cognizance of a complaint  from Shri Bhupinder Singh regarding not allowing his son to wear Karah in NEET 2021 examination in Government Model School, Sector 19-D, Chandigarh, whereas other students wearing silver Karah were allowed with tape fixing.

The NCM in a Press Note in New Delhi today said, since the incident involves persons belonging to minority community, the Commission has called for a factual report in the matter from Chandigarh  Administration and National Testing Agency who conducted the NEET 2021 examination.

The Press Note stated that the NCM formed under NCM Act, 1992, has been, inter-alia, entrusted with the responsibility to look into specific complaints regarding deprivation of rights and safeguards of Minorities and take up such matters with the appropriate authorities.

Source link  


Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Engineering Students in Madhya Pradesh Will Now Learn About the Ram Setu

 

The state education minister falsely claimed that "It has been proved by a NASA study that Ram Setu was a man-made bridge built millions of years ago."

Saturday, 11 September 2021

New HC Complex and Law School Foundation to be laid by President today

 President Ram Nath Kovind gives approval to UAPA Bill.jpg, pic by google 

On Saturday, President of India Ram Nath Kovind is all set to visit Prayagraj (earlier known as Allahabad) in Uttar Pradesh to lay the foundation stones of the Uttar Pradesh National Law University & the new building complex of the High Court of Allahabad, according to an itinerary issued by the Rashtrapati Bhavan. He will also lay the foundation stones for a multi-level parking facility, an advocate chamber library, & an auditorium.

The new complex of the High Court of Allahabad will have around 2,600 chambers for the Advocates of the Court, according to the UP Govt, which has released 6,000 million rupees for the entire project. The President is also slated to visit the library hall of the HC Bar Association this time, according to a statement.

The Uttar Pradesh National Law University is being constructed in the Jhalwa area of Prayagraj. Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana, along with other senior judges, is also expected to grace the foundation-stone laying ceremony today with his presence. Union law minister Kiren Rijiju, UP governor Anandiben Patel, & chief minister Yogi Adityanath are also likely to be present at the occasion, reports said.

Confirming the President’s visit, ADM City, AK Kanaujia, said earlier this week, “Although we have yet not received the minute-to-minute protocol pertaining to President’s visit, all the preparations needed for the visit are being put in place.”

This is the second time in 2 weeks that the President is making a visit to the state of Uttar Pradesh. President Kovind had earlier on August 26 gone on a four-day visit to the state by a special train, inaugurating multiple projects in the process. In late June, he had visited his ancestral village of Paraukh in the Kanpur Dehat district of Uttar Pradesh & interacted with old friends from his school days & his early days of social service.

 Source Link 

Thursday, 9 September 2021

सिर्फ़ आठ प्रतिशत ग्रामीण बच्चे नियमित ऑनलाइन क्लास ले पा रहे हैं: रिपोर्टसिर्फ़ आठ प्रतिशत ग्रामीण बच्चे नियमित ऑनलाइन क्लास ले पा रहे हैं: रिपोर्ट

 

देश के 15 राज्यों में लगभग 1400 बच्चों के बीच कराए गए एक सर्वे से पता चला है कि ग्रामीण क्षेत्रों के 37 फ़ीसदी बच्चे बिल्कुल भी नहीं पढ़ पा रहे हैं. रिपोर्ट में कहा गया कि वे न केवल पढ़ने के अधिकार बल्कि स्कूल जाने से मिलने वाले दूसरे फ़ायदों जैसे कि सुरक्षित माहौल, बढ़िया पोषण और स्वस्थ सामाजिक जीवन से भी वंचित हो गए.

 

कर्नाटक के शिवमोगा जिले के सागर तालुका में एक पहाड़ी ऑनलाइन क्लास अटेंड करते छात्र-छात्राएं. आवासीय क्षेत्र में खराब नेटवर्क के कारण छात्र-छात्राओं को अक्सर कक्षा में उपस्थित होने के लिए उपयुक्त स्थान की तलाश में 2 से 3 किलोमीटर पैदल चलना पड़ता है. (फाइल फोटो: पीटीआई)

नई दिल्ली: कोरोना महामारी के बीच लंबे अरसे तक स्कूल बंद करने के संबंध में किए गए एक सर्वे से पता चला है कि ग्रामीण इलाकों के सिर्फ आठ फीसदी बच्चे नियमित रूप से ऑनलाइन पढ़ाई कर रहे हैं और 37 फीसदी बिल्कुल भी नहीं पढ़ पा रहे हैं.

रिपोर्ट के मुताबिक, प्राथमिक और माध्यमिक स्कूल पूरे 17 महीने यानी कि 500 से भी ज्यादा दिनों से बंद हैं. इस दौरान बहुत कम सुविधा संपन्न बच्चे अपने घरों के सुखद और सुरक्षित माहौल में ऑनलाइन पढ़ाई कर पाए.

लेकिन स्कूल की तालेबंदी की वजह से बाकी बच्चों के लिए कोई चारा नहीं बचा. कुछ ने ऑनलाइन या ऑफलाइन पढ़ाई जारी रखने के लिए संघर्ष किया. कई दूसरे बच्चों ने हार मान ली और काम-धंधा न होने के चलते गांव या बस्ती में समय काटने लगे.

रिपोर्ट में कहा गया, ‘वे न केवल पढ़ने के अधिकार बल्कि स्कूल जाने से मिलने वाले दूसरे फायदों जैसे कि सुरक्षित माहौल, बढ़िया पोषण और स्वस्थ सामाजिक जीवन से भी वंचित हो गए.’

स्कूल चिल्ड्रेंस ऑनलाइन एंड ऑफलाइन लर्निंग (स्कूल) नामक इस रिपोर्ट को कोऑर्डिनेशन टीम (निराली बाखला, अर्थशास्त्री ज्यां द्रेज़ और रीतिका खेड़ा तथा रिसर्चर विपुल पैकरा) ने तैयार की है.

यह स्कूल सर्वे अगस्त 2021 में 15 राज्यों (असम, बिहार, चंडीगढ़, दिल्ली, गुजरात, हरियाणा, झारखंड, कर्नाटक, मध्य प्रदेश, महाराष्ट्र, ओडिशा, पंजाब, तमिलनाडु, उत्तर प्रदेश और पश्चिम बंगाल) के करीब 1400 बच्चों के बीच कराया गया है.

सर्वे में शामिल करीब आधे बच्चे कुछ ही शब्द पढ़ पाए. ज्यादातर अभिभावकों का मानना है कि लॉकडाउन के दौरान उनके बच्चों की पढ़ने-लिखने की क्षमता कम हो गई.

रिपोर्ट के मुताबिक ग्रामीण क्षेत्रों में सिर्फ 28 फीसदी बच्चे ही नियमित रूप से पढ़ाई कर रहे हैं. वहीं सिर्फ 35 बच्चे कभी-कभी पढ़ रहे हैं. सर्वे में शामिल करीब 60 फीसदी परिवार ग्रामीण इलाकों में रहते हैं और करीब 60 फीसदी दलित या आदिवासी समुदायों के हैं.

इसके साथ ही रिपोर्ट में यह भी बताया गया है कि सर्वे में शामिल अधिकतर परिवारों के पास स्मार्टफोन नहीं था. जिन परिवारों के पास स्मार्टफोन है, उनमें भी नियमित रूप से ऑनलाइन पढ़ाई करने वाले बच्चों का अनुपात शहरी इलाकों में महज 31 फीसदी और ग्रामीण इलाकों में 15 फीसदी है.

खासकर ग्रामीण इलाकों में एक और बड़ी बाधा यह है कि स्कूल ऑनलाइन सामग्री नहीं भेज रहा है या अगर भेज भी रहा है तो अभिवावकों को उसकी जानकारी नहीं है.

रिपोर्ट के मुताबिक, इस सर्वे के 30 दिन पहले तक ज्यादातर बच्चों की अपने शिक्षक से भेंट नहीं हुई थी. कुछ ही अभिभावकों ने बताया कि पिछले तीन महीने के दौरान कोई शिक्षक घर पर नहीं आया या पढ़ाई में उनके बच्चे की कोई मदद नहीं की.

उन्होंने कहा, ‘गाहे-बगाहे उनमें से कुछेक को वॉट्सऐप के जरिये यूट्यूब लिंक फॉरवर्ड करने जैसे सांकेतिक ऑनलाइन इंटरैक्शन को छोड़कर ज्यादातर शिक्षक अपने छात्रों से बेखबर लगते हैं.’

इस सर्वे से एक और चिंताजनक बात सामने आई है कि स्कूल बंद होने के साथ-साथ सर्वे वाले क्षेत्रों में मिड-डे मील भी बंद कर दिया गया है.

सरकारी स्कूल में पढ़ने वाले बच्चों के अभिभावकों में से करीब 80 फीसदी ने बताया कि पिछले तीन महीने के दौरान उनके बच्चों को मिड-डे मील के बदले कुछ अनाज (मुख्यत: चावल या आटा) मिला था. लेकिन बहुत कम लोगों को कोई नकद मिला और काफी लोगों को उस दौरान कुछ भी नहीं मिला.

रिपोर्ट में कहा गया, ‘कुल मिलाकर मिड-डे मील के विकल्पों का वितरण काफी छिट-पुट और बेतरतीब मालूम होता है.’

सर्वे के दौरान ज्यादातर अभिभावकों का मानना था कि लॉकडाउन के दौरान उनके बच्चों की पढ़ने-लिखने की क्षमता कम हो गई है. यहां तक कि शहरी अभिभावकों के बीच भी ऐसा मानने वालों का अनुपात 65 फीसदी था, जो कि बड़ी संख्या है.

 

कुल मिलाकर केवल चार फीसदी अभिभावकों का मानना था कि लॉकडाउन के दौरान उनके बच्चे की पढ़ने-लिखने की क्षमता सुधरी है.

मार्च 2020 में जब लॉकडाउन शुरू हुआ था, तब करीब 20 फीसदी स्कूली बच्चों ने किसी प्राइवेट स्कूल में दाखिला ले रखा था. लॉकडाउन के दौरान कई प्राइवेट स्कूलों ने ऑनलाइन शिक्षा अपनाकर उबरने का प्रयास किया और पुरानी फीस लेना जारी रखा.

लेकिन ऑनलाइन शिक्षा में आने वाले अतिरिक्त खर्चों के चलते कई बच्चों ने प्राइवेट स्कूल छोड़कर सरकारी स्कूल में एडमिशन ले लिया. रिपोर्ट के मुताबिक करीब 26 फीसदी बच्चों को ऐसा करना पड़ा है. 

SOURCE ; THE WIRE

 सोशल मीडिया बोल्ड है। सोशल मीडिया युवा है। सोशल मीडिया सवाल उठाता है। सोशल मीडिया एक जवाब से संतुष्ट नहीं है। सोशल मीडिया बड़ी तस्वीर देखता है। सोशल मीडिया हर विवरण में रुचि रखता है। सोशल मीडिया उत्सुक है। सोशल मीडिया फ्री है। सोशल मीडिया अपूरणीय है। लेकिन कभी अप्रासंगिक नहीं। सोशल मीडिया तुम हो। (समाचार एजेंसी की भाषा से इनपुट के साथ) अगर आपको यह कहानी अच्छी लगी हो तो इसे एक दोस्त के साथ शेयर करें! हम एक गैर-लाभकारी संगठन हैं हमारी पत्रकारिता को सरकार और कॉर्पोरेट दबाव से मुक्त रखने के लिए आर्थिक रूप से हमारी मदद करें 

Monday, 6 September 2021

Candidate who succeeded in cracking NEET and getting admission in Medical College by impersonation denied Bail by Special CBI Court

 CLAT Examination 

Bail Petition

An Anticipatory Bail Application was moved by accused Abhishek under Section 438 Cr.P.C for offences u/s 120-B/511/420 IPC before Surinder S Rathi, Special Judge, CBI, New Delhi.

Brief Facts

Brief case of the prosecution is that FIR was registered upon receipt of a written complaint of Director, NEET, Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) dated 06.05.2018 to the effect that CBSE was scheduled to conduct NEET-UG Examination-2018 on 06.05.2018 itself and that the Board came to know that one Mohit Kumar @ Mohit Chaudhary is active and working as a Tout by conspiring to help interested students in clearing the NEET Medical Exam. Accused had reportedly conspired with Arti Tomar and Ashwani Tomar of West Patel Nagar, New Delhi and one Manoj Kumar Sikka of Ludhiana as also with some unknown candidates and private persons who wish to qualify in the NEET exam by unfair means.

Upon registration of FIR, investigation was carried out by the CBI which revealed that accused Mohit Chaudhary arranged a dummy candidate namely Rajiv Kumar who impersonated and appeared in place of and as applicant/accused Sh.Abhishek in the NEET-UG/2018 Exam. As a direct beneficiary of this criminal act, the applicant/accused Abhishek got admission in the BDS course in Buddha Dental College, Patna, Bihar.

 It is reported that the impersonator co-accused Rajiv Kumar who appeared for and as applicant/accused Abhishek was arrested on 28.07.2021 and is in Jail. The main conspirator Mohit Chaudhary was also arrested during the course of investigation, but was granted regular bail.

 

Accused’s Submissions

Counsel for the applicant/accused claimed that his client had joined the investigation on 7-8 occasions from 11.12.2018 to 04.08.2021. It is argued that his client is aged 24 years with clean antecedents and that he may be granted Anticipatory Bail. However, Counsel accepted that his client did get admission in BDS course in Buddha Dental College, Patna, Bihar as alleged by CBI. 

CBI’s Submissions ;

 

The application is opposed by PP for CBI with a plea that the accused is the direct beneficiary of the conspiracy, whereby prestigious NEET-UG/2018 exam was cracked by adoption of illegal means, cheating and impersonation. It was argued that the applicant/accused do not deserve any leniency or sympathy of the Court in so far as he succeeded in grabbing a medical post meant for rightful meritorious student and maligned the reputed NEET Medical Exam.

Court’s Observations

Read also : High Court says no to EWS reservation for Medical Colleges

Court found that there was concealment of material facts on the part of the accused in so far as anticipatory bail was sought only for offences u/s 120B/511/420 IPC, even though additional offences of Section 468 and 471 IPC were also added during the investigation. As the Counsel and Accused were fully aware of this fact a strong objection was taken on this conduct of approaching the Court for relief of anticipatory bail with unclear hands by concealing the material facts. 

Counsel for the accused stated at bar that his client Abhishek had lastly joined the investigation on 04.08.2021 whereas on cross checking this plea with the IO and the case diary, it was found that it was a false statement. Counsel accepted that he had made an incorrect statement. The factum of being beneficiary of securing admission in Medical Entrance Exam through impersonation is not denied and clearly admitted. It is not the case of the applicant that he had himself appeared in the NEET Exam. 

Case Laws Relied

Read also : Need Supreme Court approval for 10% EWS quota in Medical Colleges: High Court

Hon’ble Supreme Court in Ram Saran vs. IG of Police, CRPF & Ors., (2006) 2 SCC 541, observed thus:

A person who seeks equity must come with clean hands. He, who comes to the court with false claims, cannot plead equity nor would the court be justified to exercise equity jurisdiction in his favour. A person who seeks equity must act in a fair and equitable manner. ………..

Celebrated judgment of Sushila Aggarwal & Ors. vs. State (NCT of Delhi),2018 Latest Caselaw 381 SC (2020) 5 SCC 1, Five Judges Constitution Bench of Hon’ble Supreme Court, has observed as under:-

“ The larger interest of the public and State demand that serious cases like economic offences involving blatant corruption at the higher rungs of the executive and political power, the discretion under Section 438 of the Code should not be exercised."

Hon’ble Supreme Court in Siddharam Satlingappa Mhethre Vs. State of Maharashtra & Ors., 2010 Latest Caselaw 909 SC, (2011) 1 Supreme Court Cases 694, laid down the criteria for taking into consideration of an anticipatory bail. Relevant parts are reproduced as under:-


“112. The following factors and parameters can be taken into consideration while dealing with the anticipatory bail:
i. The nature and gravity of the accusation and the exact role of the accused must be properly comprehended before arrest is made;
ii. The antecedents of the applicant including the facts as to whether the accused has previously undergone imprisonment on conviction by a court in respect of any cognizable offence;
iii. The possibility of the applicant to flee from justice;
iv. The possibility of the accused’s likelihood to repeat similar or other offences.
v. Where the accusations have been made only with the object of injuring or humiliating the applicant by arresting him or her;
vi. Impact of grant of anticipatory bail particularly in cases of large magnitude affecting a very large number of people; 
vii. The courts must evaluate the entire available material against the accused very carefully. The court must also clearly comprehend the exact role of the accused in the case. The cases in which the accused is implicated with the help of Sections 34 and 149 of the Penal Code, 1860 the court should consider with even greater care and caution because over implication in the cases is a matter of common knowledge and concern;
viii. While considering the prayer for grant of anticipatory bail, a balance has to be struck between two factors, namely, no prejudice should be caused to the free, fair and full investigation and there should be prevention of harassment, humiliation and unjustified detention of the accused;
ix. The court to consider reasonable apprehension of tampering of the witness or apprehension of threat to the complainant; 
x. Frivolity in prosecution should always be considered and it is only the element of genuineness that shall have to be considered in the matter of grant of bail and in the event of there being some doubt as to the genuineness of the prosecution, in the normal course of events, the accused is entitled to an order of bail.
113. Arrest should be the last option and it should be restricted to those exceptional cases where arresting the accused is imperative. In the facts and circumstances of that case. The court must carefully examine the entire available record and particularly the allegations which have been directly attributed to the accused and these allegations are corroborated by other material and circumstances on record.”

Conclusion

While concluding the matter Surinder S Rathi, Special Judge, CBI, New Delhi observed:

‘The modus operandi adopted by the accused in conspiring with other two accused persons is very dangerous and alarming. Not only the allegation indicates a concerted conspiracy to pollute the pure stream of education, but the fact that the Entrance Exam was for a Medical College, it has the capacity to not only snatch away the right of a meritorious candidate, but also have a devastating effect on the already crumbling medical infrastructure of the country. Such instances whereby non deserving people try to become medical professionals, needs to be dealt with sternly. Considering the same in the light of material concealments anticipatory bail to the accused is dismissed’.

Read Order Here:

 

 

SOURCE ;  /www.latestlaws.com 

Saturday, 4 September 2021

NEET 2021: SC adjourns plea to reschedule CBSE 12th Offline Exam, gives next hearing date

 Medical College 

On Friday, the Supreme Court adjourned a plea seeking directions to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to change dates of the Class 12 Private, Patrachar and Compartment exams. CBSE offline exams are clashing with competitive exams, including the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) 2021.

The plea is now to be heard on 6th Sept, Monday.

The plea also sought directions to ensure that colleges and universities admit students who were to appear for the Private Patrachar exams and 2nd Compartment exams on a provisional basis and not reject their applications due to the delayed results.

The court on Friday discussed private, compartment students’ results and undergraduate admissions.

The Supreme Court bench directed the petitioner to serve an advanced copy to the All India Council For Technical Education (AICTE). AICTE is the top technical education regulator in the country.


Advocate Anjaneya Mishra, appearing on behalf of the petitioner, requested the top court’s direction to the University Grants Commission (UGC) that colleges do not take admissions until CBSE private candidates’ results are out.

Advocate Approv Kurup, appearing for the UGC, said there is enough time for admissions if the CBSE gives a firm date.

Advocate Rupesh Kumar, appearing for CBSE, said “ [The] last date for exam is September 16 and results will be declared by September 30...The schedule was approved by this court.”

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The CBSE board offline improvement started on August 25 and will continue till September 15, 2021.

A section of students is demanding to postpone NEET 2021, saying the exam is close to other competitive exams and CBSE offline exams.

On September 13, a day after NEET 2021, CBSE students will take the Maths paper. The Biology exam is scheduled for September 6 and Physics for September 9.


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Education Minister asks Central Universities to fill-up 6000 vacant posts by October 2021


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Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has asked Central Universities to work on mission-mode to fill-up the six thousand vacant posts by October this year. Mr Pradhan held a meeting with Vice Chancellors of Central Universities through video conferencing yesterday. He urged them to create a framework for alumni endowment.

Mr Pradhan said that our universities are cradles of creativity, innovation and opportunities. He said, the New Education Policy will play a crucial role in placing India at the top of the emerging new world order. He stressed on making education a lot more vibrant and holistic and establishing India as a knowledge superpower through New Education Policy. The Minister appealed that universities should popularise and promote learning in Indian languages and cultural heritage of India. During the meeting, the Vice Chancellors were also requested to encourage Sports in their Universities. The Vice Chancellors were encouraged to make their students Job Creators by promoting innovation and research in their campuses.

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Thursday, 2 September 2021

Jindal Global Law School achieves Record Placements in 2022 with 48 Offers in leading Law Firms

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As many young graduating law students across the nation still face high levels of uncertainty in the midst of the ongoing pandemic, the graduating students of the batch of 2022 of Jindal Global Law School (JGLS), India’s leading law school, have already secured a record 48 accepted offers from some of India’s most prestigious law firms on Day Zero and Day One of the placement process.

Despite the turbulence of the global pandemic, this year’s tally of 48 surged well past last year’s record of 36 accepted offers. This includes 6 pre-placement offers (PPOs) and 7 Day-One offers.

The largest recruiter across the board was Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas with 15 accepted offers including 1 PPO, followed by AZB & Partners (Mumbai) and Trilegal with 7 accepted offers each. Indus Law extended 4 offers, while AZB & Partners (Delhi) and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. hired 2 students each. Argus Partners recruited 1 student. HCL, one of India’s most prestigious IT services and consulting organizations, recruited 5 students for its general counsel practice.

Also, while Veritas Legal extended 2 pre-placement offers, Khaitan & Co., J. Sagar Associates and Sarvada Legal also extended pre-placement offers to 1 student each.  The Zero Day Placement for the Graduating Batch of 2022 was held on August 4-5, 2021, followed by Day One Placements.

Commenting on the achievements of the students of JGLS, Professor (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar, Founding Vice-Chancellor, O.P. Jindal Global University and the Founding Dean, Jindal Global Law School said, “Jindal Global Law School has moved from strength to strength despite the trying times. With the second wave in full force, the Office of the Career Services and our students had to not only work within the overly competitive environment, but also work against an adverse economic landscape. The Zero Day results are the outcome of many years of sustained efforts on part of the students, faculty and the office of career services. JGLS students demonstrated exceptional resilience by committing to multiple learning and professional experiences. The Office of Career Services at JGU proactively organized several interactive sessions with senior professionals to acquaint the students with the culture and hiring process at these top-notch firms. I am extremely grateful to the recruiting partners for placing their resolute trust in Jindal Global Law School.


Recognizing the contributions of multiple stakeholders for achieving this milestone, Professor (Dr.) Sreejith S.G., Executive Dean, JGLS, said, “This remarkable achievement of JGLS is an outcome of remarkable collaborative efforts of the Office of Career Services and the JGLS academic fraternity as a whole.  The brilliant students of JGLS also deserve a special mention for their dedication and hard work which resulted in JGLS accomplishing this feat. Given their commitment and perseverance, I am sure they will contribute immensely to the organizations they have been placed in, and will act as instruments of change in the world of law, and beyond.”

To have achieved this for the students barely at the start of their graduating year is only representative of the rigor in JGLS’ placement process in the days to come. With an entire year to go, JGLS continues to maintain a high level of momentum and focus in the placement process which will now proceed to its next stage. This truly demonstrates the commitment of JGLS, which was also ranked as India’s Number One Law School by QS World University Rankings by subject in 2021.

 

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Schools reopen in several States and Union Territories

 Schools reopen in several states and union territories after many months amid


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Schools, colleges and coaching centres in Delhi have been reopened today. Delhi Disaster Management Authority has directed that the classes to function at 50 per cent capacity to maintain social distancing as per Covid protocol. Classes 9 to 12 opened today while those for standards 6 to 8 are expected to restart from 8th of September. However, in the morning and evening shifts, there will be a gap of at least one hour between the two shifts.

Delhi government has said that no student will be forced to attend the school and the consent of parents is mandatory. Students, teachers and employees living in containment zones will not be allowed. Heads of schools and institutes have been advised to regularly sanitize class rooms, common areas and entry gates. Children have been asked not to share their food, books and other stationery items. According to Delhi government, 98 per cent of teachers and staff in government schools have received their first dose of vaccination.
 
Schools and Colleges in Tamil Nadu re opened this morning. The educational institutions opened their gates at 9 in the morning and are expected to close by 3 pm. Government has prescribed Covid 19 standard operating procedures. Reports say that students were eager to get back to schools after several months of staying away from campuses. 

Vaccination camps are also held at Colleges to enable students to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

Students came to schools and colleges after quite a long break. The educational institutions will function six days a week. Classes are conducted in batches of not more than 20 students per class room. Online classes are also continuing as an alternate mode of teaching.

The Government has asked the managements of educational institutions to prepare health profile of students.
 
After more than five months, all educational institutes in Meghalaya opened their doors for students. The decision to re-open schools and colleges was taken as the overall situation of the COVID 19 has improved in the State.

According to the Government’s decision, in urban areas, classes 1 to 5 will continue in online mode; classes 6 to 8 will entail only school visits while classes 9 to 12 will be open for regular offline classes. In rural areas, classes 1 to 5 will involve school visits while 6 to 12 will be open for regular classes. A section of the parents are apprehensive about sending their children to schools while others have welcomed reopening.

Many of the schools who have reopened today have made their micro containment plans for the safety of students. All protocols such as thermal screening, using of hand sanitizer and maintaining of physical distancing would be followed according to the SOPs issued by the Government.
 

AIR correspondent reports that regarding the reopening of schools and colleges, Meghalaya Education Minister Lahkmen Rymbui had stated that the resumption of regular classes is crucial since the students have not been able to attend schools for the past year and a half. The Minister said many teachers have welcomed the decision since it will benefit students. The teachers, parents, and students should understand that online classes cannot cater to all students, especially those who come from poor backgrounds, the Minister stated. 
 
All schools for Classes 1 to 5 in Uttar Pradesh reopen today keeping in mind the necessary Covid norms. Guidelines in this regard have already been issued to all District Basic Education Officers in the state. AIR correspondent reports that school administration will be responsible for the strict adherence of the covid guidelines. At the entry gate of every school, thermal screening of children will be done to check for Covid symptoms. Sanitizers will be arranged in classrooms and teaching will be conducted in two shifts.

However, it is mandatory for students to get the permission of their parents for attending physical classes. Children who do not wish to attend offline classes will be allowed to join classes online. Schools in state had already opened for classes 9 to12 from August 16, and for Classes 6 to 8 for studies from August 23. However, attendance for students has not been made compulsory. 

 

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Wednesday, 18 August 2021

Atal Innovation Mission in collaboration with Dassault Systemes launch Student Entrepreneurship Program 3.0

NITI Aayog  

Program designed to push school students to become future innovators and entrepreneurs 


Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) NITI Aayog in collaboration with La Fondation Dassault Systemes in India Monday launched the third series of the ‘Student Entrepreneurship Program’ (SEP 3.0) for the young innovators of Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL).

The theme of SEP 3.0 is based on the ‘Made in 3D - Seed the Future Entrepreneurs Program’, conceptualized and rolled out in France by La Main à la Pate Foundation and La Fondation Dassault Systèmes Europe in 2017.

As part of this program, a team from each school (6 students and a teacher) will be allocated seed funding towards creating their own start-up, design and prototype their innovation using 3D printing, prepare marketing campaign, define product pricing and create expansion strategy. With this they will receive real feel of ‘How a startup works!’. At the end of the program, each school’s startup will participate in a playful competition and present their marketing campaign in front of experts from industry and academia.

Keeping the essence of the program in mind, SEP3.0 will allow student innovators to work closely with Dassault volunteers and gain - Mentor support, Prototyping and testing support, End-User feedback, Intellectual Property registration and Patentingof ideas/processes/products, Manufacturing support, and launch of the product in the market.

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A total of 50 teams from 26 states are selected for the SEP 3.0. Top 20 teams of ATL Marathon 2019, 10 teams selected by Dassault, 10 teams from Aspirational Districts and 10 teams from Jammu, Kashmir, Ladakh and North east regions are selected.

One of the interesting parts of the program will be interaction opportunities for students and teachers, between French and Indian schools. In addition to the development of Innovation mindset and exposure to start-up culture, school students and teachers will have a unique opportunity to interact and collaborate with French schools and French students for cultural and technical interactions.

Mission Director, AIM, NITI Aayog Dr. Chintan Vaishnav while congratulating and complimenting top students of ATL Marathon 2019 said that SEP is a life changing opportunity for the young innovators to reach new heights.

“All the students who participated in this program must know that they have climbed the third range of mountains in terms of growing in the field of entrepreneurship having already worked on problem and innovation. I have no doubt in saying that these students are going to excel. SEP is not only about bringing solutions to table, but knowing how crucial the solution is for all of us,” he said.

Chairman, Dassault Systemes Foundation India Sudarshan Mogasale, while sharing his viewssaid, “With the second edition, we worked with Atal Innovation Mission to assist our future generation of students become Future Innovators.”

He further added that the programme seeks to provide opportunity to school children to develop an entrepreneurial and inventive mind set, as well as suitable exposure through activities-based learning, exploration and challenges. School students and teachers will have a unique opportunity to connect and interact with French schools and students for cultural and technical knowledge sharing.

Speaking during the virtual launch of SEP, Mission Director, Aspirational District Program NITI Aayog, Dr. Rakesh Ranjan said that SEP falls in line with the vision and mission of aspirational district program and that it has given a new hope to students who were looking forward for such opportunities.

“There is no dearth of talent in the aspirational districts of India so I am sure SEP is going to be a huge success going forward,” he added.

In his address, Attaché for Scientific and Academic Cooperation for Western Region at French Embassy in Mumbai, Dr Olivier FUDYM, said “Students learning for this pedagogy of hands-on learning is going to be a change from conventional learning.”

Moreover,AIM and La Fondation Dassault Systemes in Indiaannounced launch of the SEP 3.0 in the presence of AIM’s Mission DirectorDr. Chintan Vaishnav, Chairman, Dassault Systemes FoundationSudarshan Mogasale,Mission Director, Aspirational District Program, NITI Aayog Dr. Rakesh Ranjan and Attaché for Scientific and Academic Cooperation for Western Region at French Embassy in MumbaiDr Olivier FUDYM.

The Top teams of SEP 3.0 are selected through the ATL Marathon, a nationwide contest where students identify community challenges and create grassroot innovations and solutions within their ATL lab.

Industry partnerships like these are critical to nurture the inventiveness of young students, and will enable them to create our planet a better place.

SOURCE ; PIB

 

 
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Tuesday, 17 August 2021

Children from BPL families receive quality education at army-run school in J-K's Poonch

 

The Indian Army unit of Krishana Ghati Brigade has set up a school in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch district near the Line of Control (LoC) border for the students of Below Poverty Line (BPL) families to provide them free education.

 Children from BPL families receive quality education at army-run school in J-K's Poonch   
Visuals from Baba Garib Dass Academy School. Image Credit: ANI
 
 

The Indian Army unit of Krishana Ghati Brigade has set up a school in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch district near the Line of Control (LoC) border for the students of Below Poverty Line (BPL) families to provide them free education. At Baba Garib Dass Academy School, students from BPL families are getting free education, uniform, books, and other related materials.

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The students of this school are thankful to the Army for providing them free education with all facilities. Speaking to ANI Jasleen Singh, a student from Baba Garib Dass Academy School said, "This academy is situated near LOC border in Krishana Ghati sector and this is run by Indian Army. The Army is helping us as we all belong to poor families. They also provide us bags, uniforms, books and other materials." 

Another student, Shabnam Chowdery said Indian Army is helping us by providing free education to the poor children of the border areas. Iqbal Singh, a teacher said that around 150-200 students study at the school and most of them belong to BPL families.

"The academy was set up in 2007 by the Indian Army. This school is near to LoC border and most of the students who come to study here are from remote areas and BPL families. Around 150-200 students study here at this school. The army is providing free education to these children. Before this academy, there was no school in this area. This has helped a lot to the children of remote areas," Singh told ANI. He further said that till date five-six students of this school have joined Indian Army and many are preparing for National Defence Academy (NDA).

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Commanding Officer Nikhil said earlier this school was till class 5 but now it is upgraded to class 8 and we are planning to upgrade it to class 10. For that, we have received the fund. "We try our best to provide the best education to these children. Indian Army is taking care of everything from infrastructure to teachers' fees to uniform to smart classes," said Commanding Officer. (ANI)

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Saturday, 14 August 2021

Shikho: A startup revolutionising digital education in Bangladesh

 

The Dhaka-based edtech company harnesses technology to make learning more accessible, affordable, and fun.

When it comes to primary education, Bangladesh has made remarkable strides. Progress on universal access, enrolment rates, gender equity, and high competition levels have made it a success story among its peers in the developing world.

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Yet that success has not quite translated into secondary and higher education. In urban cities, most students traditionally rely on pricey after-school coaching centres or private tutors to help them with test preparation and further study assistance.

That’s where Bangladeshi startup Shikho steps in, harnessing the power of technology to democratise education and make it more affordable and fun.

“We want to be a Spotify for learning,” declares Shahir Chowdhury, Shikho’s co-founder and CEO.

Now approaching 100,000 downloads on Google Play Store, users can sign up to the Shikho app to receive video lessons that use high-quality animation that enhances their learning experience through exciting gamification techniques.

Thanks to extensive smartphone penetration in Bangladesh, its coverage has spread across the country, with users from the remote Sundarbans delta on the app.

This kind of accessibility coupled with a revolutionary digital learning formula is what Shikho hopes will eventually lead to mass adoption.

For Chowdhury, it forms the basis of Shikho’s value proposition. “We wanted to produce videos that are high quality and structured on-demand so you can access them anytime through the convenience of a mobile phone,” he tells TRT World.

Shikho's video lessons use high quality animation to enhance the learning experience and help explain complex concepts visually by placing the student in real life settings.
Shikho's video lessons use high quality animation to enhance the learning experience and help explain complex concepts visually by placing the student in real life settings. (Shikho)

And the company’s vision has been compelling enough to catch the attention of global and regional investors.

At the end of July, Shikho closed a $1.3 million seed funding round, backed by prominent Silicon Valley-based edtech investor Learn Capital, and Anchorless Bangladesh, a New York-based fund focused on startups in the country. Early-stage venture capital firm Wavemaker Partners and CEO Ankur Nagpal of online course platform Teachable rounded out the sponsoring quartet.

Genesis

Before Shikho’s launch in April 2019, Chowdhury and co-founder/COO Zeeshan Zakaria – who both grew up in Dhaka – had been bootstrapping the project over the years while working in the financial services industry in London.

But the UK was only meant to be a stopgap and before long, Bangladesh beckoned. “I wanted to go back and launch a socially impactful business using technology,” Chowdhury says.

With a career in finance, he naturally gravitated towards fintech. But there were already a handful of players specialising in financial inclusion back home led by bKash, a popular mobile services solution backed by Chinese tech giant Ali Baba.

Instilled with a life-long interest in learning, education appeared the logical next option; Chowdhury’s father was a retired professor and his mother a teacher. Coming across a research report in 2018 that detailed the rise of Chinese and Indian edtech startups like Toppr and Byju motivated him to dig deeper and finally enter the space.

Initially, he observed comparable market dynamics between Bangladesh and India – the cultural importance imbued upon education, not to mention its impact on social mobility.

However, there was one big difference. “Risk capital has been sparse in Bangladesh, and never enough to support long-term edtech projects,” he says.

Venture capital funding in India is more mature compared to its eastern neighbour, evidenced in a per capita spending disparity of $49 to $0.70. By 2020, India had pulled in a total of $2.9 billion in edtech funding, while Bangladeshi firms historically had raised a meagre $1.2 million combined (excluding Shikho’s latest round).

While investment was a missing ingredient that prevented long-term projects from taking root, Chowdhury turned to what market opportunities could be tapped into.

Last year, Bangladesh surpassed India in terms of GDP per capita and its economy has experienced at least six percent growth since 2009. With it has come a growing middle class with disposable income willing to spend more on their children’s education.

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There was also a population dividend. “Out of 165 million people, half of that is under 25 and effectively learning in some shape or form,” Chowdhury says. He was confident demand for an education product existed, only there was no infrastructural capability to upskill enough teachers to meet it.

Shikho's founders, CEO Shahir Chowdhury, left, and COO Zeeshan Zakaria. The two friends launched the company in 2019 after working in the financial services in the UK.
Shikho's founders, CEO Shahir Chowdhury, left, and COO Zeeshan Zakaria. The two friends launched the company in 2019 after working in the financial services in the UK. (Shikho)

How Shikho works

The goal at first was to come up with an engaging way to teach students the syllabus from the Bangladesh National Curriculum. The idea was to incorporate lessons into an on-demand video experience that would deliver a new way of learning.

“We realised our pedagogical style needed to be more visual, which the traditional learning experience lacked,” Chowdhury explains. “You can visualise examples in a real-life context that helps kids retain information long-term. That’s the conceptual underpinning for what we’re building.”

Since rolling out the pilot app in November 2020, the company offers a mathematics course for grades 9-10, containing more than 120 video lectures, 4,000 mock questions with solutions, and over 1,000 diagrams.

Following the pilot, Shikho plans to launch more courses and subjects like biology, chemistry and physics and expand to grades 9-12.

Each video course is seventeen chapters, which are broken into five-minute-long lessons. Digital resources called “smart notes” are supplemented with each video lesson.

Retaining attention spans was a crucial component to the app’s creative design, and Shikho settled on gamification features to enhance user experience: every time a student logs in, does a test or watches a video, points are accrued. Additionally, they’re awarded special badges for accomplishments like completing a test quickly and correctly.

Chowdhury explains how the foundation of the app is a data-driven architecture. A historical blueprint of each student’s progress is tracked, allowing for a personalised recommendation engine that pushes videos from lessons they might be underperforming in.

“As we collect more data, that’s where the real power of technology comes in. Users get predicted grades based on how you’re doing and tell you ‘we think you’re going to hit a B in this, so to up your game you need to do x, y and z’”.

With almost 10,000 downloads on Google Play Store, the app keeps students engaged using gamification techniques, like points, leaderboards and virtual awards to keep them motivated to learn.
With almost 10,000 downloads on Google Play Store, the app keeps students engaged using gamification techniques, like points, leaderboards and virtual awards to keep them motivated to learn. (Shikho)

When users sign up to the app, they get a free three-day trial before it hits a paywall. Each subject is priced at $15 for annual access, and Chowdhury expects more freemium content to be added soon along with bundle deals. One issue has been figuring out how to make digital payments more intuitive.

He says that users currently spend around 40-50 minutes daily on the app. “Right now, there is only one subject but once we release more, engagement will increase.”

What’s next?

While all video content is pre-recorded, Shikho aims to launch a live-class function and web portal before the end of 2021. It also plans to scale up content production, including an app which links parents with students to give them a greater insight into their children’s learning experience.

“It’s a fine balance. We don’t want it to be a monitoring tool!”

To achieve mass adoption, he understands a requisite cultural-behavioural shift won’t happen overnight. “Digital learning is still in its infancy. It will take time.”

For now, the pandemic has been a mixed bag for the business. Being an online learning platform, Covid-19 has been a boon for edtech in general. “It’s given us some time to refocus on product build-up and content creation rather than adoption,” Chowdhury adds.

However, the health crisis has meant that schools are still closed, board exam dates moved around, and students don’t have a target to study for.

EKTA Many Geos

It’s also stifled the company’s marketing ability in a country like Bangladesh, where getting the word out and demonstrating the value of a product still hinges on face-to-face interaction.

While the pandemic lingers, he wants to direct resources from the latest funding round on building up a “superstar team” to complement Shikho’s current headcount of 180 full-time and contractual employees.

Moving forward, the company sees new opportunities to foster strategic partnerships and build upon its vision of using technology to implement social change.

Chowdhury is optimistic about the government’s “Digital Bangladesh” initiative, which looks to nurture a domestic startup ecosystem, and the company has been open to discussions with NGOs and the public sector to see where future collaboration might exist.

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From a strategic standpoint, the latest funding round has given Shikho concrete support that can allow it to execute plans that are more long-term oriented.

“If you don’t have investors who buy into your vision, you end up becoming more short-term minded, which isn’t the way to build a company based on principled social values,” says Chowdhury.

“We are really focused on building something that’s great for Bangladesh.”

Source: TRT World 

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