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Prakash Javadekar backs CBSE Class X board exams, says partial implementation unfair

New Delhi: Supporting the CBSE governing body’s move to make the Class X Board exams compulsory from 2018, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar on Wednesday said it was discriminatory to allow seven lakh students to opt out of the board exams when nearly two crore others were taking them.

Interacting with journalists in Delhi, he said the HRD Ministry will take forward the recommendations made by the CBSE governing body.

He said there are around two crore students across the country who complete their Class X education every year. Out of these, 1.93 crore students take the exams conducted by different boards, whereas seven lakhs opt out of it. This kind of discrimination is not proper, Javadekar said.

File image of Union Minister Prakash Javadekar. ReutersFile image of Union Minister Prakash Javadekar. Reuters

File image of Union Minister Prakash Javadekar. Reuters

He said that there had been popular demand from many schools, parents and education bodies to have a system where there is board exams for all.

CBSE students at present have the option to choose between Board exams and school-based exams in Class X, but on Tuesday the CBSE governing body decided to make the Board exams compulsory for all students from academic session 2017-18.

“We will duly consider it and pass it so that from March, 2018 we will have Board examination for all. Because it was an anomaly in a way. You cannot have discrimination like that,” Javadekar said.

He also said that the HRD Ministry had circulated a Cabinet note for inter-ministerial consultations to various ministries on the proposed changes in ‘No Detention’ policy under the Right to Education (RTE) Act.

He said that while it has been decided to introduce exams from Class VI, the HRD Ministry wants a system where the students do not have to waste their entire year.

According to sources, the ministry has proposed that there should be a provision for re-examination in case a student cannot clear the exam in the first attempt so that he or she can be promoted.

Responding to questions on the CBSE’s decision to recommend to the HRD ministry that the three language formula should be extended to Classes IX and X from the current VI to VIII, Javadekar dismissed as baseless apprehensions that the government intends to force students to study any particular language.

The HRD Minister said the ‘Vittiya Saksharta Abhiyan’ of his ministry was getting “a very emphatic response” and that nearly one-and-a-half lakhs volunteers had joined the move to promote digital transactions.

Responding to a question on allegations levelled by Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Javadekar said there is no need to responded to “false and baseless statements made by frustrated leaders”.

Taking a jibe at Rahul, he claimed the rug has actually got pulled off the feet of those leaders who wanted to bring an earthquake.

Javadekar also honoured a team of his ministry officials after his ministry’s website was adjudged as one of the best among government departments

First Published On : Dec 21, 2016 22:21 IST

CBSE brings Class X board exams back, makes three Indian languages compulsory

The dreaded Class X exams are back. The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on Tuesday approved a proposal to reintroduce compulsory Class X board examination from the 2017-18 academic year. And, apart from English and Hindi, students may also have to study another Indian language, according to reports.

The decision was taken during a meeting of the CBSE governing body in New Delhi, sources said, adding that the first exam will be conducted in 2018.

Back to exams

The Class X board examination for CBSE schools was made optional by the Congress government from 2011 under the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) system mandated by the Right to Education Act. The exams were replaced with year-round tests and a grading system to reduce pressure on students. Though students preferred the CCE as school exams are considered easier than the board exams, the schools reportedly were against it as couldn’t be implemented well.

File photo of students giving exams in Chennai.

File photo of students giving exams in Chennai.

“A large group of principals, teachers and parents favour the board exam. The CCE provided a chance identify a student’s talent but that required skilled teachers which many schools could not get,” said Ameeta Mulla Watta, a school principal in New Delhi, told Hindustan Times.

According to sources, in the Class X board exams, 80 percent weightage will be given to the marks scored in the examinations while 20 per cent weightage will be given to school-based evaluation, India Today said.

Earlier, Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar had announced making the CBSE board exams compulsory from the academic session 2017-18.

Three language formulae up to Class X, eligibility tests for principals
In the meeting, the highest governing body of the CBSE also resolved to make it compulsory for all schools affiliated with the board to introduce the three-language formulae up to Class X, a source said. Currently, schools are meant to follow this up from Class VI to Class VIII.

Officials added that the board also favoured sending a recommendation to the Centre that those languages which are listed in schedule VIII of the Constitution should be taught under the ‘three language formula’, while languages which are “purely foreign” should be taught as a “fourth language as an elective subject.”

“The National Education Policy and NCERT’s National Curriculum Framework clearly suggest that the three-language formula should be implemented in secondary education and, hence, the decision is in line with that. Private schools currently offering foreign languages will have to treat it as a fourth language, but the three-language formula has to be followed strictly,” said a member of the governing body told The Indian Express.

However, according to Hindustan Times, schools aren’t very happy with the decision, stating that it’s not in line with the demands of the age of “globalisation” and that “if someone wants to take up a foreign language, that should be allowed too”.

The three language formulae was first implemented in 1968, and reiterated in the 1986 and 2005 education policy. However, most schools continued to ignore the directives. In 2014, it emerged into a major controversy when the HRD ministry-run Kendriya Vidyalayas (KV) discontinued German as a third language, and replaced it with Sanskrit. The decision was taken by the ministry under the leadership of Smriti Irani.

The governing body also introduced an eligibility test for principals of all its schools.

The decision of the governing body will be conveyed to the government for its approval. And after the proposal is cleared by the Ministry of HRD, all schools affiliated with the CBSE will have to carry out the proposals including the Class X exams.

With inputs from agencies

First Published On : Dec 21, 2016 09:39 IST

Class X CBSE Board exams to be mandatory from 2018

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Board exams for Class X are set to become compulsory for all CBSE students from 2018, three language formula could be extended till Class X and foreign language might be treated as fourth and “elective”, according to decisions taken by the CBSE on Tuesday.At the meeting of CBSE’s Governing body, its members “unanimously” agreed that from the academic session 2017-18, compulsory Board exams should be introduced for all students of Class X, sources said.The decision will now have to be approved by the government before it is implemented. Currently, it is optional for CBSE students to choose either the Board exam or a school-based examination.HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar has in the past favoured making Board exam compulsory for CBSE students as is the practice in all state boards.The sources said while there is a view that for the Class X Board exams, 80% weightage will be given to the marks scored in examinations while 20% weightage will be given to school-based evaluation.In another key decision, the CBSE has decided to recommend to the HRD ministry that the three language formula, under which Hindi, English and Indian language are taught, should be extended to class IX and X as well from the current VI to VIII, a source said.Officials added that the Board also favoured sending a recommendation to the Centre that those languages which are listed in schedule VIII of the Constitution should be taught under the ‘Three language formula’ while languages which are “purely foreign” should be taught as a “fourth language as an elective subject.”In the past the HRD ministry run Kendriya Vidyalayas (KV) used to offer German as a third language, but the practice was later discontinued.The final call on these decisions will be taken by the government, a senior official said.

‘Parliament not working is unconstitutional’: Prakash Javadekar questions example being set for students

New Delhi: Expressing displeasure over the ongoing Parliament logjam, Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar on Thursday questioned what will he show to the students of Kendriya Vidyala during their visit to the House.

Javadekar was present at an event to mark the foundation day of the Kendriya Vidyalaya schools.

File photo of Prakash Javadekar. PTI

File photo of Prakash Javadekar. PTI

Criticising the opposition for not letting the parliament function, he said, “Where is the Parliament functioning?” even as he expressed concern over the impact it would make on the school children, who visit Parliament to watch the proceedings.

“I wonder what should I show to the school children from Kendriya Vidyalayas who will come to watch the proceedings. Should I show them what kind of ‘hungama‘ is going on in the Parliament. They come having learnt lessons of discipline but would go back learning indiscipline,” Javadekar said.

“People choose a government after five years and in a Democracy, people’s mandate is above all. And in this way, if the Parliament does not work, this is undemocratic and an insult to the mandate,” he said.

“I think gradually the people’s opinion will create pressure on these people that this won’t do. Everyone has to work and in Parliament you should give your opinion, that is democracy. You should oppose, that too is democracy. But this is no way to not let function an elected government. And my pain is what should I show to the KV students,” Javadekar added.

The HRD minister also announced of a National Conference in education to be held in March and said those who have come up with new innovations and experiments will be felicitated. There will be discussions so that we share best practices, he said.

First Published On : Dec 15, 2016 14:23 IST

Demonetization: HRD campaign to promote digital transactions among students

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the wake of demonetization, the HRD Ministry is planning a month-long campaign, beginning December 12, to spread awareness about digital transactions among university students and teachers across the country.Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar on Thursday held a meeting through video conferencing with nearly 670 Vice Chancellors and senior officials dealing with higher education in states and said that the initiative — Vittiya Saksharta Abhiyan (VISAKA) is getting a very enthusiastic response from students.”In two hours itself there were more than 2,000 registrations and by today evening there will be ten thousand registrations,” Javadekar told reporters after the meeting. He said that various educational institutions are making efforts to ensure a digital campus but it is just a small part of the story.To register volunteers, we are appealing to all college students to become volunteers in this transformation of India campaign of digital financial literacy, the minister said.Javadekar said that as part of the campaign, each student will join digital platform and initiate their family as well as ten others towards cashless transactions.

Demonetization: Bengal govt asks VCs of state universities to skip video conference with Javadekar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Stepping up its attack on the Centre over demonetization, the West Bengal education department has asked Vice Chancellors of state universities not to attend the video conference with Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar on digital economy and cashless transaction.The Vice Chancellors were asked to participate in the video conference with the HRD minister, but state Education Minister Partho Chatterjee today said they would not be able to do so because of the present examination schedule of state universities. “They were asked to attend the video conference, but they won’t be able to attend the programme as exams are on in all state universities. The VCs are busy ensuring smooth functioning of examinations, so they can not attend it,” he told reporters outside the Assembly.On being asked whether it was a “boycott” of a Central government programme by the state, Chatterjee said, “No, it is not a boycott. The examinations are on and they are busy with it.” The development comes after the TMC government’s controversial ‘objection’ to the deployment of Army at toll plazas in the state. Earlier this week, Banerjee had instructed WBCS officers not to act on any directive by the Central government without asking the state government.The video conference was announced following the UGC’s directive asking all universities and colleges across the country to launch a month-long campaign to create awareness about cashless transaction. According to TMC sources, the decision to give the video conference a miss was taken keeping in mind Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s continued protest against Centre’s demonetization drive.

With 95 percent exam attendance, J-K students gave befitting reply to militants’: Javadekar

New Delhi: Students from Jammu and Kashmir have given a befitting reply to terrorists as 95 per cent of them appeared for their class XII board examination in the state, which is in itself is a powerful “surgical strike”, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Tuesday.

“In Kashmir Valley, for the past several months, schools were shut, over 30 had been burnt. But students from J-K, Leh and Ladakh have given a befitting reply to terrorists with a presence of 95 per cent in the board exam held yesterday,” he said.

Emphasising that this was “India’s reply”, Javadekar said the country believed in education and progress and the message was that no design to break the country would succeed.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

“I’m proud of those children and their parents who are the strength of India. Education is the way to progress. They have understood and given this befitting reply. We have seen the surgical strike of the army, but this reply given by students is also a powerful surgical strike,” he said.

Javadekar, who was speaking at an event ‘Kala Utsav’, said all should get a basic level of education that supports them in life but added that unique talents should be brought to the fore as well.

Later speaking on the sidelines of the event, he made it clear that compulsory class X board examinations will be introduced for CBSE students from the next academic session 2017-18.

“There is no confusion, today more than 23 million students appear for tenth board examination over the country through state boards. For CBSE also half the students appear for the exam, while half don’t appear because there was an option available,” Javadekar said.

Now those 2 million who chose the option will also have to take the exam, he said.

The measure, however, he emphasised will be implemented from the next academic year, saying goalposts or rules should not be shifted mid-course. The move will bring about parity with state boards, he said.

First Published On : Nov 15, 2016 14:50 IST

HRD ministry wants the ‘sex’ out of sex education: Let’s solve the problem by ignoring it?

According to a report in The Telegraph India, the NDA government had told an expert panel earlier this year that the words ‘sex’ or ‘sexual’ could not be allowed in its recommendations on adolescent education, which includes sex education for teenagers.

The reason: Words like ‘sex’ or ‘sexual’ could offend some people.

The report says that in its initial draft on education in India, the expert panel — headed by former cabinet secretary TSR Subramanian — had included half a page on adolescent education. The original draft had talked about the need to address “the health of adolescents, particularly the reproductive and sexual health needs”.

school children look at exhibits at 'Antarang' (inner view), India's first ever sex unicorn musuem. Reuters

School children look at exhibits at ‘Antarang’ (inner view), India’s first ever sex unicorn museum. Reuters

It had also talked about how ignorance and myths among adolescents about sex made them vulnerable to drug abuse and HIV/AIDS transmission.

But the HRD ministry, then headed by Smriti Irani, decided that this entire section on adolescent education needed to be reduced to one sentence: “The Adolescent Education Programme and National Population Education Programme need to be extended to all schools as early as possible.”

That’s it. All the problems regarding sex, sexual abuse, sexual frustration, drug abuse and the confusion or ignorance among youth regarding sex can obviously be addressed by that one sentence without mentioning the words ‘sex’ or ‘sexual’ even once, according to the government.

The rest of this article has been written by following the logic of the government, just to give you an idea of the implications of that logic. Therefore, from this point onwards, all the words that ‘some’ people will find offensive (according to the HRD Ministry) in this article have been replaced with less ‘offensive’ words. Here we go:

Let’s talk about sex unicorns. This sentence itself could get you into some trouble in schools in India (maybe), where the taboo associated with unicorns is so strong that the very mention of the word actually does offend a lot of people, much like how the name of Lord Voldemort He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named spread panic in the fictional wizarding world in the Harry Potter books.

In the books though, the characters eventually overcome their fear of the word. The same, unfortunately, is not true in our country.

This is exactly why sex unicorn education is so important for the teenagers in our country. It is very well known that adolescence is a time of raging hormones and some very crucial physiological changes in the body, which leads to a lot of confusion about unicorns among the youth.

But the state of unicorn education and unicorn awareness in India is very bad.

According to this report by Youth Coalition for Sexual Unicorn and Reproductive Rights (YCSRR), between 42 and 52 percent of young students in India felt they do not have adequate knowledge about unicorns.

More disturbingly, the report said that a study by Unicef and NGO Prayas, which interviewed 12,247 children and 2,324 young adults in 13 states in India, concluded that 53 percent of children between the ages of 5 and 12 were victims of sexual abuse.

In cases of child sexual abuse, “In most cases, children do not share it with anyone and even when they complain, the parents do not know where to take them and avoid going to the police stations,” Jaipur Police Commissioner Sanjay Agarwal had told The Indian Express. He added that children were not even aware of the concepts of ‘good touch’ and ‘bad touch’.

A big reason behind the large number of sexual assault cases and the rampant sexism unicornism in a large part of our society is the lack of proper unicorn education.

“A lot of the social issues we see today in India like rape or misogyny can be traced back to the fact that children are consuming the wrong kind of information,” Nilima Achwal, founder and CEO of Iesha Learning (which offers to teach adolescents about unicorns), had told The Hindu.

The YCSRR report also said that a survey conducted by India Today had revealed that in 11 cities in India, half of the youngsters interviewed did not know enough to protect themselves from HIV/AIDS.

Moreover, parents also have incorrect ideas about unicorn education. The YCSRR report added that parents believe that unicorn education in schools will increase “risky behaviour” among adolescents. But a World Health Organisation (WHO) study showed that unicorn education, in fact, delays the start of unicorn activity and encourages safe unicorn activity.

Despite these crucial facts, the central government of India is not even willing to utter the words which matter. Basically, the government’s solution is to solve the problem by not talking about it.

Let’s get real.

The government, or any political party for that matter, tends to act on or talk about issues which fetches them votes. That is why the government was obsessed with not offending anyone. The truth is that the s-word does offend a lot of people in our society.

But the very denial of the presence of our sexual urges to the extent that we shudder if we utter the word ‘sex’ is as ridiculous as the usage of ‘unicorn’ in this article.

And that is the point. Until we get rid of the notion of evil or malice associated with sex, the powers-that-be will keep coming up with ingeniously daft ways to further obfuscate the issue.

HRD grant: Setalvad liable for mixing religion with politics and spreading disharmony

New Delhi: An HRD Ministry panel has claimed that Teesta Setalvad and her Sabrang trust tried to “mix religion with politics” and spread disharmony while creating curricular material for the erstwhile UPA government which had given a grant of about Rs 1.4 crore.

The Committee’s finding that a prima facie case exists against her under section 153A and 153B of IPC for promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion etc and imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration, has found favour with a top law officer.

“The report of the inquiry committee is exhaustive and deals with every aspect of the matter and that action as suggested in the said report may be undertaken in terms of fixing liabilities/lapses, action for inciting disharmony and hatred and also for recovery of the money as is stipulated in the scheme itself,” the opinion of the law officer, stated to have been received by the HRD Ministry, said.

A file photo of Teesta Setalvad. PTIA file photo of Teesta Setalvad. PTI

A file photo of Teesta Setalvad. PTI

He gave the opinion after going through the report of a three-member panel, set up by Ministry of Human Resources Development (HRD), which examined disbursal and utilisation of funds received by Setalvad for her project ‘Khoj’ under the scheme of ‘National Policy on Education’.

The three-member committee comprising Supreme Court lawyer Abhijit Bhattacharjee, Gujarat Central University Vice Chancellor S A Bari and a Ministry official Gaya Prasad set up by the Ministry examined the allegations levelled by Setalvad’s former close aide Rais Khan Pathan.

Pathan in his complaint has alleged that Sabrang Trust’s publications “spread dissatisfaction among the minorities in the country and project India in a poor light” and indulging in anti-national activities.

The finding assumes significance as Setalvad has moved the Supreme Court as an intervenor in ongoing hearing in which the seven-judge constitution bench is revisiting two-decade-old judgement holding that Hindutva is a “way of life” by seeking a direction for de-linking of politics from religion.

Holding that education has never been the agenda of the ‘Sabrang Trust’ in any of its documents, the report said Setalvad and her trust “appear to be trying to mix religion with politics in the classroom of young children most of whom do not appear to be from well-to-do background.

“And there lies the real problem and hurdle pertaining to its eligibility” for receiving the funds.

However, the Committee, which questioned the grant of money to the tune of Rs 2.05 crore, out of which Rs 1.39 crore was released as the trust was unable to utilise 50 per cent of the amount, said that one of the reasons for its ineligibility was that the documents of the trust suggested “brazen contempt of Supreme Court by Setalvad in her writing”.

She has been quoted as saying “we have been in existence today on our annals of judgement from the apex court giving a clean chit to the philosphy of ‘Hindutva’, describing it as a ‘way of life’.

The report said if this is not a fit case for an offence one wonders as to what is?

The committee, which examined the materials and documents submitted by Setalvad as Director of ‘Sabrang Trust’, said that the then officials of the Ministry failed to detect the “false declarations” of the trust as they may be under some sort of “compulsions” to clear the project which had not found favour with the NCERT and suggested action against them also.

The panel, which dissected that “a sizeable portion” of various written materials prepared by Setalvad for the trust/’Khoj’ for teachers for the students of class V and VI contains “explosive literature” which reflects “hatred” and “venom” thereby falling fairly and squarely under section 153A and 153B of the IPC.

The report said that the committee is of firm view that there is a hiatus between the theory and practice of ‘Sabrang Trust’ as it is simply “whipping up identity politics” which is not conducive to the avowed purpose for which the trust has tried to impress upon in the application form.

The committee arrived at this finding by going through various documents of the trust that also clearly showed that the nature of pre-conceived notions on a subject of political agenda and holding Gujarat in low esteem, bordering on political criticism “thereby rendering it ineligible ab-initio (at the outset for funds)”.

It held that the public money given under the scheme of ‘Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan’ to the trust/’Khoj’ was “clearly found to be spreading disharmony, feeling of enmity, hatred and ill will etc.”.

The project ‘Khoj’ was launched by Setalvad’s NGO in some districts of Maharashtra.

CBSE likely to reintroduce Class X board, final decission on 25 October

New Delhi: The CBSE’s Class X board examinations, which were scrapped six years ago in order to reduce pressure on students, are likely to be reintroduced following concerns about academic standards being affected.

The final decision in this regard will be taken on 25 October in a meeting of Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) which will be chaired by Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar.

Representational image. FirstpostRepresentational image. Firstpost

Representational image. Firstpost

“There have been representations from academicians as well as organisations of parents saying that scrapping the exam and with the no-detention policy being in place, the academic standards are being affected,” a senior HRD Ministry official said.

“Also, it is being observed that students are unable to take the pressure of appearing directly for Class XII boards which are an important deciding factor for the career they choose,” the official said, adding, while no consensus has been reached yet on when to reintroduce the system, 2018 is considered to be an approachable target.

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Class X examination was scrapped in 2010 and replaced with the current Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) that provides for tests and grading through the year as a means to reduce pressure on students.

The issue of bringing amendments in the no-detention policy is also on the agenda of the CABE meeting. The policy, which applies to students upto Class X at present, is likely to take into account students till Class V only for no-detention.

If the decision is taken in this regard, states may get an opportunity to devise their mechanism of re-tests for students from Class VI to VIII while beyond Class IX students may be detained if their performance is not up to the mark.

Smriti Irani, Sadananda Gowda dropped from Inter-State Council

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Ministers Smriti Irani and D V Sadananda Gowda have been dropped from Inter-State Council, official sources said on Wednesday. Irani and Gowda were permanent invitees to the council headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Irani and Gowda were divested of their HRD and Law and Justice portfolios respectively in the last Cabinet reshuffle in July. Irani is now Textiles Minister, while Gowda holds Statistics and Programme Implementation portfolio. Both the ministers were dropped from the council which was reconstituted yesterday, according to an official order.HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar has been included in the new council. Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Electronics and Information Technology, who also holds the Law and Justice portfolio, continues to be on the council.The Inter-State Council was established in May 1990 with a mandate to act as a coordinating body between the states and the Centre. It is tasked to inquire into and advising upon disputes which may have arisen between states and also to investigate and discuss subjects in which some or all of the states, or the Union, have a common interest.The Prime Minister had in July chaired the 11th meeting of the council after a gap of nearly ten years. The previous meeting of Inter-State Council was held in December 2006. The council has as its members chief ministers of all states, chief ministers of union territories having a Legislative Assembly and administrators of union territories not having Legislative Assembly, and six union ministers.The ministers who are its members include Rajnath Singh (Home), Sushma Swaraj (External Affairs), Arun Jaitley (Finance and Corporate Affairs), M Venkaiah Naidu (Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation and Information and Broadcasting), Nitin Gadkari (Road Transport & Highways and Shipping) and Manohar Parrikar (Defence). Ten Cabinet Ministers and Ministers of State (Independent Charge) are permanent invitees to the council.Besides Javadekar and Prasad, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ramvilas Paswan, Food Processing Industries Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot are the permanent invitees.

HRD panel finds Teesta Setalvad culpable for ‘spreading hatred’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A committee set up the HRD Ministry has found activist Teesta Setalvad culpable for “hatred-filled, disharmony-spreading, ill-will generating, enmity-creating explosive writings”.The then HRD Minister Smriti Irani had in 2015 formed a three-member panel comprising Supreme Court lawyer Abhijit Bhattacharjee, Gujarat Central University Vice Chancellor S A Bari and a ministry official Gaya Prasad to look into allegations against NGO Sabrang Trust, based on a complaint. The panel has submitted its report to the current HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar.According to sources, the committee has recommended in its report that there is compelling evidence to book Teesta under sections 153-A and 153-B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), both pertaining to hate speeches.Any person booked under the said sections can be punished with jail terms and fine.The panel is also believed to have raised questions over the manner in which the amount was allocated to the trust “Sarva Siksha Abhiyan” by the previous UPA government. It is learnt that the NCERT, which was the appraiser of the particular project, had raised some objections yet the ministry sanctioned Rs 3 crore for the project.Sources said while the committee has not found any misappropriation of the funds, it has blamed the ministry for the manner in which the amount was sanctioned in the previous dispensation and if the panel’s recommendations are accepted, the officials then involved in the process can also face action.Setalvad, when contacted, claimed the allegations of misappropriation of funds could not be proved and to counter that charges of spreading hatred have been levelled. “In typical proto fascist style allegations have covered the infamous misappropriation of funds to now spreading hatred. Creating hatred…against whom? The RSS? The charge of misappropriation obviously could not be proven and so it is now down to this,” she told PTI in an email response.While HRD ministry officials did not comment on the contents of the report, they confirmed its submission.HRD ministry had also sought an opinion from the Law Ministry over the issue and is awaiting a response following which a final decision will be taken by Javadekar in this regard.In June, the Ministry of Home Affairs had cancelled the licence of the NGO under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010.The trust also faces the allegation of using Ford grant to identify and lobby with media persons to “address communalism and caste-based discrimination in India”.

IIM at Jammu: Prakash Javadekar, Omar Abdullah lock horns

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Human Resource and Development (HRD) Minister Prakash Javadekar and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah entered into a twitter spat over the Union Cabinets decision to approve the establishment and operationalisation of Indian Institute of Management (IIM) at Jammu in a transit/temporary campus at Old Government College of Engineering and Technology from the academic year 2016-17. The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister termed the move as ‘blatant partisan politics’. “Jammu gets the IIT & gets the IIM also. Where have all those voices that called for balanced regional development in J-K disappeared?” he tweeted.In response to the allegation, Javadekar tweeted, “Better not to politicise education @abdullah_omar. You know there will be off campus of #IIM in Kashmir Valley,Abdullah responded to the above tweet and wrote, ?You mean an “Out Campus”! Thank you for your tweets but none of them address the inherent imbalance of your decision reg IIT & IIM.”The HRD Minister further said that Omar should have helped streamline the Prime Minister’s scholarship programme which was mismanaged during 2011-2014. Omar responded tweeting, “According to you the whole country was mismanaged from 1947 to 2014 and you are too senior to me in age for me to argue with you. The HRD Minister hit back posing a series of questions to the former chief minister.”U know @abdullah_omar Centre has sanctioned Rs100cr for NIT Srinagar modernisation. U should help academic session begins sooner there. You know @abdullah_omar that Centre has granted Rs 50 cr for 7 Girls hostels in J&K of which 3 will be in the Kashmir Valley and that Tequip III has special focus on J&K, You know @abdullah_omar Centre increased super numerical quota from 2-10 for J&K students this year,? Javadekar said in a series of tweets.The project approved by the Cabinet will involve a cost of Rs. 61.90 crore in temporary campus for the initial four years from 2016 to 2020. The student strength intake for this year in the Post Graduate Diploma Programme (PGDP) in Management is 54 which will progressively go up to a cumulative student strength of 120 in the 4th year. Meanwhile, steps would also be taken up for setting up campus at Jammu and an out-campus in Kashmir region. The Detailed Project Report for the permanent campuses is under preparation and thereafter the process for setting up of the campuses would start. The Cabinet also approved formation of an IIM Jammu Society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. IIM Jammu will be run and managed by the Society with a Board of Governors (BOGs) to be constituted by the government of India, which will administer the Institute and would be responsible for establishment and operationalisation of the Institute. This is a part of Prime Minister?s development package for Jammu and Kashmir. The Institute coupled with opening of IIT at Jammu, modernization of NIT Srinagar and opening of two new AIIMS institutions, one each in Kashmir region and Jammu region, would go a long way in meeting the requirement of high quality living and education in Jammu and Kashmir. At present, there are nineteen IIMs. Out of these, thirteen IIMs are located at Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Lucknow, Indore, Kozhikode, Shillong, Ranchi, Raipur, Rohtak, Kashipur, Trichy, Udaipur. Another six IIMs which have been started in 2015 are located at Amritsar, Sirmaur, Nagpur, Bodhgaya, Sambalpur and Vishakhapatnam.

HRD to take NITI Aayog’s approval before finalising new education policy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister, Prakash Javadekar told DNA, that the ministry is going to take approval from Niti Aayog, before bringing out the final draft of the new education policy. Javadekar added that he will be holding a workshop with all the Members of Parliament cutting across party lines. “We will hold a workshop of all the MPs on November 10 to discuss education related issues and suggestions received. I welcome everyone who has an expertise in the field,” said Javadekar.The idea of holding a workshop with the MPs was originally suggested by Jairam Ramesh during the last discussion on Education Policy, which lasted for about three hours. It was suggested that since everyone has a lot to contribute in the issue, the duration of discussion should be longer. The ministry is also in touch with Niti Aayog for discussions on the policy. “We are in touch with Niti Aayog and will take a final decision on the education policy only after analysing all the aspects,” Javadekar added.The new education policy,which is aimed at bringing changes in the structure of education in the country from primary to higher education was initiated in the tenure of the previous HRD Minister, Smriti Irani. It however, came under controversy after a number of suggestions made by RSS’s education unit were found to be regressive by educationists. Javadekar, after assuming the charge of education minister started a discussion on the policy once again. The last date of submitting the suggestions was September 30.

HRD to take Niti Ayog’s approval before finalising New Education Policy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister, Prakash Javadekar told DNA, that the Ministry is going to take approval from Niti Ayog, before bringing out the final draft of the New Education Policy.Javadekar added that he will be holding a workshop with all the Members of Parliament cutting across party lines to discuss the suggestions. “We will hold a workshop of all the MPs on November 10 to discuss education related issues and suggestions received. I welcome everyone who has an expertise in the field,” said Javadekar.The idea of holding a workshop with the MPs was originally suggested by Jairam Ramesh during the last discussion on Education Policy, which lasted for about three hours. It was suggested that since everyone has a lot to contribute in the issue, the duration of discussion should be longer.The Ministry is also in touch with Niti Ayog for discussions on the policy. “We are in touch with Niti Ayog and will take a final decision on the education policy only after analysing all the aspects,” Javadekar added.The New Education Policy, which is aimed at bringing changes in the structure of education in the country from primary to higher education was initiated in the tenure of the previous HRD Minister, Smriti Irani. It however, came under controversy after a number of suggestions made by RSS’s education unit were found to be regressive by educationists. Javadekar, after assuming the charge of Education Minister started a discussion on the policy once again by inviting suggestions from various political parties and educationists.The last date of submitting the suggestions was September 30. The Ministry will now go through all the suggestions and a committee headed by educationists will take a final call on it.Further, talking about his engagements with teachers and students, Javadekar said that the dialogue will go on in future as well and he will continue to review various educational institutions from primary level to higher level education. The Minister has visited 17 states and various technical and non-technical education institutes and has held review meets with them in his tenure as an HRD Minister in the last three months.

Centre refuses to make public probe report on Rohith Vemula’s death

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre has declined to make public a panel’s report on the death of research scholar Rohith Vemula in Hyderabad University. Replying to an RTI query, it said that the file concerned is “under submission” and copy of the report cannot be provided. “The file concerned is under submission. Therefore, copy of report cannot be provided at this point of time,” Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry said in reply to the RTI query filed by PTI. It did not cite any provision of the Right to Information (RTI) Act in declining the information. A government department is expected to mention relevant provision of the RTI Act under which information is being withheld. The HRD Ministry had in February appointed a Commission of Inquiry under Justice (retired) Ashok Kumar Roopanwal to look into the events at the University of Hyderabad, culminating in the death of Vemula. It was also tasked with reviewing the existing grievance redressal mechanism for students at the university and to suggest improvements. The Commission was asked to submit its report within three-month time. The panel has submitted its report to the HRD Ministry. Recent media reports have claimed that the Commission has raised questions on Vemula’s Dalit status and attributed his suicide to personal reasons. University authorities too have been absolved of any blame for Vemula’s death as the Commission has held that they were not working under political pressure, the reports said. Vemula’s suicide had triggered a huge political furore with the then HRD Minister Smriti Irani coming under attack along with Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya for having written a letter related to the matter. The Commission in its report is understood to have emphasised upon proper grievance redressal mechanisms and equal opportunity cells so that unfortunate incidents like Vemula’s suicide can be prevented.

Report of Roopanwal Commission aimed at saving Ministers, HCU VC: Rohit Vemula’s brother

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rohith Vemula’s brother on Friday alleged that the report of the commission, constituted by HRD ministry after the Hyderabad university scholar’s death, was aimed at saving BJP Union Ministers, Vice-Chancellor of Hyderabad Central University and ABVP members.”The entire commission report has aimed at saving BJP Union Ministers, Podile Apparao (HCU Vice-Chancellor) and BJP MLC Ramachandra Rao along with ABVP members.”Despite District Magistrate, Guntur’s report, National Commission for Scheduled Castes Report which clearly stated my brother Rohith Vemula as Scheduled Caste, the present government is making all efforts to divert the reports of authenticated bodies,” Raja Vemula said in a Facebook post.The Justice Roopanwal Commission, in its report to the HRD ministry, has given a clean chit to Union Ministers Smriti Irani and Bandaru Dattatreya, sources said.The University authorities too have been absolved of any blame for Vemula’s death as the Commission has held that they were not working under political pressure.”The agenda of the BJP and RSS are clearly manifested in the report of the commission, which does not take in to account the butchering and enslaving of Dalits, raping and murdering Dalit woman, pronouncement of social boycotts in villages and educational institutions, instead attack on the affirmative policies extended through reservations, and demand for a ban on reservations,” he alleged.Raja claimed his mother Radhika Vemula was the one who endured a lot of sacrifices and discrimination.”She lost her son Rohith Vemula on account of the socio-political victimisation he had undergone along with four other dalit research scholars from Ambedkar Students Association,” he said.Raising questions on Vemula’s Dalit status, the Commission has said the material on record did not establish it and attributed his suicide to personal reasons, according to sources.

Material on record does not establish Rohith Vemula’s dalit status: Justice Roopanwal Commission

New Delhi: Raising questions on Rohith Vemula’s dalit status, a commission constituted by HRD ministry after the Hyderabad university scholar’s death has said the material on record did not establish it and attributed his suicide to personal reasons.

File image of Rohith Vemula. Facebook

File image of Rohith Vemula. Facebook

The Justice Roopanwal Commission, in its report to the HRD ministry, has given a clean chit to Union Ministers Smriti Irani and Bandaru Dattatreya, sources said. The University authorities too have been absolved of any blame for Vemula’s death as the Commission has held that they were not working under political pressure.

The Commission is learnt to have raised questions about Vemula’s caste status as a dalit saying that there is no proof that his mother V Radhika belonged to “Mala” community. The Commission in its report noted that Vemula’s mother was not told the names of her biological parents by her foster family, according to the sources.

It is therefore unlikely that she would have been told the caste of her biological parents, the Commission is understood to have said. HRD ministry officials have, however, maintained that ascertaining the caste status of Vemula was not part of the
Terms of Reference of the Commission. Therefore they would only focus on those recommendations which aim at ensuring that such incidents do not happen in the future.

The suicide of Vemula had triggered a huge political furore with the then HRD minister Smriti Irani coming under attack along with Labour minister Bandaru Dattatreya for having written a letter related to the matter. It is learnt that the Commission felt that Vemula have committed sucide because of his “personal frustrations”.

In its recommendation, the Commission has emphasised that there should be a proper counselling mechanism not just for students but also for research scholars. The sources said that in its recommendations, the Commission has also emphasised that there should be proper grievance redressal mechanisms and equal opportunity cells so that unfortunate incidents like Vemula suicide can be prevented.

Rohith Vemula’s death due to ‘personal frustration’, not discrimination, says judiciary panel report

The one-man judicial commission set up to probe the circumstances that lead to Rohith Vemula’s suicide has submitted its report stating that Vemula’s mother “branded” herself a Dalit only to obtain the caste benefits, and that the Hyderabad University’s decision to expel Vemula from hostel was “most reasonable”.

The 41-page-report, accessed by The Indian Expressreportedly puts the varsity authorities in the clear stating that the disciplinary actions taken by the administration were “not politically motivated” and that personal frustration, not discrimination led to Vemula’s suicide. The report further hands out a clean chit to Union ministers Bandaru Dattatreya and Smriti Irani, who it was alleged put undue pressure on the university to act against Vemula, stating that they were “merely discharging their duties as public servants”.

Rohith Vemula. Twitter profileRohith Vemula. Twitter profile

Rohith Vemula. Twitter profile

The one-man committee, constituted 11 days after Vemula’s suicide by the then Human Resource Development minister Smriti Irani to probe Vemula’s death, is based on the deposition of close to 50 people, most of whom are University staff and teachers, according to The Indian Express.

The report compiled and submitted by the former Allahabad High Court judge AK Roopanwal dismissed the allegations that Vemula was driven to suicide or faced any discrimination, according to The Quint. It came to the conclusion citing a five-day-gap between the nine-member proctorial committee’s report advising that strict action be taken against Vemula on ABVP student leader’s complaint and the letter written by Union Minister of Labour and Employment Bandaru Dattatreya to HRD minister Smriti Irani requesting strict action against Vemula.

Who was Rohith Vemula?

Rohith Vemula was a 26-year-old PhD scholar at the Hyderabad University, who committed suicide on 17 January, 2016, after he and four other students were suspended from the college hostel following a disciplinary action initiated by the University administration on the complaint of a ABVP student leader lodged in August. The ABVP student had alleged that Vemula and other members of the the Ambedkar Students Association (ASA) had roughed him up and demanded an apology for posting an ‘angry’ Facebook post, after the ASA protested against the hanging of Yakub Memon. After the ABVP leader’s complaint, the University’s proctorial board launched an enquiry into the matter and recommended strict action against Vemula and others.

The research scholars, following this, were expelled from their hostel in December. They were denied access to hostels and other buildings on the campus, except their classroom, library and conferences and workshops related to their subject of study. They were evicted from their rooms in January and since then they were forced to sleep in a makeshift tent on the campus. It is this committee report that the Roopanwal commission drew from, in assuming that the disciplinary action was recommended five days before Dattatreya wrote a letter to the HRD ministry, hence ruling out the possibility of political interference. The judiciary panel probe report also observes that it is highly unlikely that all nine members of the proctorial committee will come under political pressure when none of them were directly under any of the ministers, according to The Quint.

Why is Vemula’s caste important?

Ever since Vemula committed suicide his caste identity has been mired in mystery and has been at the eye of the storm. One reason for it could be that if it is established that Vemula was a Dalit and was led to suicide due to discrimination, then legal action against all accused, including Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya and Hyderabad university Vice-Chancellor Appa Rao Podile will be taken as per the more stringent SC/ST Atrocities (Prevention) Act.

If found guilty, not only will the quantum of punishment be stringent, but according to the new law, there is a presumption to the offence clause in the act according to which the court may assume that the accused was aware of the victim’s caste identity unless proved otherwise.

Vemula’s caste has been mired in controversy as his father was a Vaddera (OBC) and his mother, who is separated from his father and brought Vemula up considers herself a Mala (SC). According to a report in Hindustan TimesVemula’s mother was apparently a Mala by birth and was adopted into a Vaddera family. She was thereafter married to a Vaddera but after the couple seperated after marriage, she went back to assume her Mala identity.

The report compiled and submitted by the former Allahabad High Court judge AK Roopanwal dismissed the allegations that Vemula was driven to suicide or faced any discrimination

A probe was launched by the HRD ministry into the caste identity of Vemula and contrasting evidence have surfaced thus far. First, a report published in The Hindu on 15 June states that the Guntur district collector heading the enquiry into Vemula’s caste has stated that he was a Dalit. However, later the collector in a U-turn stated that a fresh probe is needed to determine his caste as it is shrouded in ‘ambiguity.’

The Roopanwal commission has however is of the view that Vemula’s mother “branded” herself a Dalit to avail the benefits of reservations. The commission questioned that Vemula’s adoptive grandmother never revealed his mother’s biological parents’ identity so how can she be sure about their caste, according to The Indian Express report.

However, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) Chairman PL Punia on Thursday rejected the reported finding of the Roopanwal Commission that Rohith Vemula did not belong to the SC community as “totally wrong“. NCSC chairman said the statutory body and the district collector have, in separate reports, found that the Hyderabad Central University research scholar belonged to the Dalit community, and not Other Backward Class (OBC).

However, according to a PTI report, HRD ministry sources have earlier said that in its recommendations, the Roopanwal commission has also emphasised that there should be proper grievance redressal mechanisms, equal opportunity cells so that unfortunate incidents like Vemula’s suicide can be prevented.

“The government will focus that those recommendations are implemented that will ensure that proper mechanisms are in place,” a source said.

The government will not go into those aspects of the report which were not in the commission’s terms of reference including determination of Vemula’s caste, sources added.

It is also understood that in the report, the commission has held that Vemula could not be held to be a Dalit. However, sources maintained that the ministry would focus on implementation of recommendations and prefer not go into aspects like determination of Vemula’s caste.

HRD Ministry seeks President’s nod for inquiry into complaints against AMU VC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The HRD ministry has written to the President seeking permission to conduct a ‘visitorial inquiry’ into allegations of irregularities against the Vice-Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).Officials said that a complaint alleging financial and administrative irregularities against AMU VC Lt General (retd) Zameeruddin Shah had been received by the ministry, which it has forwarded to the President. Shah had been appointed by the UPA in 2012 and his term expires next year, sources said.They added that the complaint against Shah contained various allegations of financial and other irregularities which has been forwarded to the President, who is the visitor of all central universities. Officials said that in another case a complaint of irregularities had also been made against the VC of Allahabad University. A proposal seeking an inquiry in this regard has also reportedly been moved for the President’s approval.Meanwhile, Shah denied the allegations against him and said he was “prepared to face any inquiry”.”The allegations of financial and administrative irregularities are untrue and have been designed to sully my image by vested interests”, the AMU VC told PTI. “I am however fully prepared to face any such inquiry if and when it is instituted,” he added.Asked whether he felt the NDA government was targeting him for championing the cause of the university’s minority character, the VC denied it. “The charges against me are being levelled by some vested interests to jeopardise and prejudice the ongoing case against my appointment in the apex court,” he said.

Govt to judge technical and non-technical institutes in one category under NIRF

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Human Resource Development Ministry’s new plan of ranking colleges instead of universities in the top 10, under National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF) is likely to invite controversy as technical and non-technical colleges will be judged in the same category.According to the idea approved by the internal committee of NIRF, institutes like Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) will now fight along with the likes of Loyola College and Presidency College in the race to become the number one college in the country.While stream-wise ranking like Management, Engineering and Pharmacy will be allotted this year as well, the category for best college is likely to invite trouble as all the institutes that have a student strength of more than 1000 students will be put under the same bracket, including technical and non-technical institutes.The criterion on which the colleges will be judged are infrastructure per student, student-wise budget spent, student-teacher ratio apart from faculty and placements.”When we were raking universities, we were looking at the overall infrastructure, budget and other things, now we will have to look at it in terms of per student,” said a source.According to sources, categories like Medical, Law and Humanities and Social Sciences will also be added to the rankings. “The decision to add more categories has been taken because now the rankings will be for particular colleges and not a university as an entity,” the source added.More than 3000 colleges including Loyola College, Presidency College and various Delhi University colleges have already registered for NIRF.The ranking system, a brainchild of the previous HRD Minister Smriti Irani, was introduced for universities this year.Until this year, ranking of institutions was only done by private bodies, however the former HRD minister, Smriti Irani initiated ranking of educational institutions by the government and entries were invited by all institutions towards year end. The rankings will be released every year, by the first week of April.

Women faculty constitutes only 25% in prominent central universities

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as the central government has been talking about encouraging participation of women in academia, the reality in Indian universities shows an altogether different picture.In an analysis of the gender ratio of faculty members in 28 prominent Central universities in India, dna has found that women faculty members constitute to only 1/4th of the total teachers in these universities. Out of the 28 universities analysed, including at least one prominent university from each state, it was found that out of 7,743 teachers, 5,681 are men and 2,062 are women.While Aligarh Muslim University and Central University of Kashmir were the worst in terms of gender ratio, the universities located in the national capital including Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi University, Jamia Millia Islamia and Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) have a balance in terms of the gender ratio. IGNOU, that offers courses in various streams including science, humanities and social sciences in fact had the best gender ratio, with 133 female faculty members against 154 male faculty members.Universities in southern India including Kerala University, University of Karnataka and University of Tamil Nadu also had a balanced gender ratio with 68 and 25, 62 and 20 and 49 and 15 being the ratio of men and women in these universities, respectively.In terms of the departments in these universities, women faculty was mostly seen sticking to traditional departments like education, sociology, social sciences, psychology, social work and literature. In terms of science subjects, most women faculty were seen deployed in life science subjects like zoology, botany and biology.Engineering has also continued to be traditional in terms of participation of women, with almost no faculty members in mechanical engineering and civil engineering departments of universities that offer engineering courses.Medical science subjects also largely seemed traditional, with almost no male faculty in gynaecology department. An increased number of women faculty was, however, seen in cardiology and surgery departments.Human Resource Development (HRD) minister Prakash Javadekar recently in an interaction with students of Jamia Millia Islamia university had spoken about encouraging girls and women and empowering them with education. Former HRD minister Smriti Irani had also offered relaxation in rules to female research scholars, so that more women could pursue with their research.

Autonomy for good institutions, heavy regulation for non-performing ones: Javadekar’s stick-and-carrot policy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre is planning to give autonomy to “good” universities and make them ‘innovation hubs’ while impose heavy regulation on “non-performing” institutes, Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Monday. “Universities that encourage innovation would be given support by the Centre. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s aim is to have innovation hubs across the country,” he said here. “We will support good universities by giving autonomy and reduce regulation, while universities that are not performing well would be heavily regulated. The government would, however, extend support to upgrade those,” Javadekar said.He was speaking after launching ‘OceanNet’, developed by Amrita University, that enables connectivity to fishermen in the sea. It was inaugurated on the eve of the 63th birthday celebrations of spiritual leader Mata Amritanandamayi at Amirtapuri near here. Asserting that the country can make progress only through innovation, Javadekar said the Centre could come up with plans of partnerships between universities and industries to encourage innovations.Praising ‘OceanNet’, the Union HRD minister said, “It is my duty and responsibility to support this type of ventures.” The communication system would provide a permanent solution to several issues faced by fishermen at sea. It would also help them and the Coast Guard to thwart any attempt by terrorist to sneak into the country through sea, he said.Highlighting the need to improve quality of education, Javadekar sought co-operation of all for the purpose, saying, “Education has no political agenda. It is a national agenda and not that of Left or Right.”

IIMs should provide reservation in faculty hiring: HRD

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Clearing the air regarding the debate over Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) providing reservation in hiring faculty members, the Human Resource Development Ministry on Thursday clarified that “all institutions including IIMs will have to provide reservation as per the Constitution.”The ministry had earlier this year asked IIMs if the schools followed Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes (SC/ ST/OBC) quota policy in faculty hiring. To this, some of the institutes had responded saying that they only stressed on merit while hiring faculty members. This triggered a nationwide debate in the academic circle over the government’s reservation policy and its implementation. The Ministry has, however, now put an end to the debate saying that all the institutes including IIMs will have to follow the reservation policy and anything otherwise is beyond question. Reservation for faculty hiring in IIMs has had a controversial history after 2008 when the HRD Minister then, Arjun Singh, directed all centrally funded institutes, including IITs and IIMs, to give quota in faculty hiring. This faced opposition from the institutions who were of the view that quota will impact the quality of teaching. While IITs followed the government orders, IIMs were defiant. Faced with protests, a bill exempting 47 educational institutes from reservation including IITs and IIMs was proposed by Singh. It passed in Rajya Sabha in 2008 but lapsed after the 14th Lok Sabha was dissolved.Meanwhile, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar, who has been visiting various education institutes across the country to take a stock of the situation, announced his meeting with the education ministers and secretaries of BRICS countries on September 30 to discuss the possibilities of involving students from the BRICS nations in India. With this, he said that the government plans to give a push to getting more foreign students in the country.”We are going to discuss the opportunities of educational cooperation between the five nations. We also want to encourage entry of foreign students in India,” Mr. Javadekar told reporters here on Thursday.He also discussed the upcoming meeting of VCs of all Central Universities which is going to be held on October 6 in Banaras Hindu University. “The government’s idea is to analyse the functioning and needs of various education institutes across the country. And as a part of the analysis, I have already met the IIT Council, IIIT Council and the IIM Council.””I am further going to meet with the VCs of all Central Universities to take a stock of the situation in the institutes. The agenda of discussion will be quality of institutes, internal resource generation, student-centric initiatives like CBCS among other things,” he added.

HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar asks IIMs to submit plans to increase intake of students

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The number of seats in the coveted Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) is set to increase substantially as the HRD ministry has asked these business schools to ponder over ways in which their intake capacity can be increased. Union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar on Tuesday held a meeting with heads of various IIMs in New Delhi on Tuesday where measures to cater to the increasing demand of quality education in the country was discussed during the meeting, according to an official statement.”Firstly, IIMs will submit plans for expansion of their intake capacity, so that more students get opportunity to enroll themselves in the best institutes. Directors of IIMs pondered upon the possibility of the extent of increasing the intake capacity in their respective institutes and assured of submitting the proposals at the earliest,” the statement said.Official sources said that presently around 20 IIMs take in nearly 10,000 students every year and HRD ministry is keen that this number be taken close to 20,000.According to the statement, Javadekar also told reporters after the meeting that possibility of expansion of Doctoral programmes was discussed. He expressed that creating more quality PhD programmes will address the issue of shortage of faculties in institutes, the statement said.And for creating more PhDs, the Minister said that, better avenues of fellowship will be offered to willing candidates. He added that in line with the IIT Council, where it has been decided to award PM’s scholarship for PhD programme, government approval will be sought for PM s scholarship for best of PhD scholars in IIMs. Final decision in this regard will be taken with Cabinet approval, the Minister said. Also, it was decided that IIMs will participate in a new initiative of government to make 20 world class institutes.The HRD minister also learnt to have emphasised ensuring that the institutes are socially equitable with regard to admissions and recruitments, a source said.While replying to one of the query of the reporters regarding reservation in education policy, the Minister reiterated that as far as reservations are concerned, it is the constitution which provides for it and the government has no plans to make changes in reservations. He also said that IIMs will actively participate in creating contents for SWAYAM which is an Information Technology platform hosting Open Online Courses and will provide high quality education on various subjects from 9 to Under Graduate and Post Graduate students — covering all disciplines. The Minister also interacted with the students of IIMs.Remembering the great teacher and former President, Late A P J Abdul Kalam, the minister said that there is a need to inculcate the willingness for adopting teaching profession among students as the country requires 10 million good teachers to improve the quality of education from primary to higher education and from higher education to research and innovation. In his interaction, he also appealed to students to ponder upon the need for research and innovation for developing good quality education, the statement said.

HRD’s draft education policy says ‘no detention’ policy has affected academic performance, proposes amendment

Limiting ‘no detention policy’ till class V, an education commission to identify new areas of knowledge, raising investment in education sector to at least 6 per cent of GDP and encouraging top foreign varsities to come to India are among the highlights of a draft New Education Policy (NEP) put forth by HRD ministry in public domain.On No detention policy: In the “Some Inputs for Draft National Education Policy 2016,” which the ministry put on its website seeking feedback, examining extension of Clause 12 (1) (c) of RTE Act to government-aided minority institutions (religious and linguistic) in view of “larger national commitments towards the economically weaker sections” has also been suggested. In the draft, put out by the ministry, it is mentioned that the present provisions of no-detention policy will be amended, as it has seriously affected the academic performance of students.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The no detention policy will be limited up to class V and the system of detention will be restored at the upper primary stage,” the draft inputs paper says. The draft paper also says that all states and UTs, if they so desire, may provide education in schools, upto Class V, in mother tongue, local or regional language as the medium of instruction.It, however, adds that if the medium of instruction upto primary level is the mother tongue or local or regional language, the second language will be English and the choice of the third language (at the upper primary and secondary levels) will be with the individual states and local authorities, in keeping with the Constitutional provisions.More facilities for reading Sanskrit The draft policy paper also adds that facilities for teaching Sanskrit at the school and university stages will be offered on a more liberal scale. For higher education, the policy paper suggest an Education Commission comprising academic experts that will be set up every five years to assist the HRD Ministry in identifying new knowledge areas as well as pedagogic, curricular and assessment reforms at the global level.The paper, released by the ministry also talks of raising investment in education sector to at least 6 per cent of GDP and encouraging top foreign varsities to come to India. Not just foreign Universities in India, the paper also says that Indian institutions will also be allowed to set up campuses abroad, if required, through suitable legislations/ amendments in the relevant Acts or statutes.”A panel under former Cabinet Secretary T S R Subramanian had given its report on drafting a New Education Policy, the policy paper put out today is based on several recommendations of the Subramanian panel,” a senior HRD ministry official said.Common national curriculum suggested: Among other key recommendations, it has been suggested that for science, mathematics and english subjects, a common national curriculum will be designed. For other subjects, such as social sciences, a part of the curricula will be common across the country and the rest will be at the discretion of the states.A framework and guidelines for ensuring school safety and security of children will be developed and will be made a part of the eligibility conditions for a school education institution for recognition and registration, the draft says.It also says that schools will engage trained counsellors to confidentially advise parents and teachers on adolescence problems faced by growing boys and girls.Another suggestion is setting of a task force of experts will be set up to study the recruitment, promotion and retention procedures, followed by internationally renowned universities and institutions and suggest measures to promote intellectual and academic excellence in higher education institutes.A national campaign will be launched to attract young talent into the teaching profession, has also been suggested.The paper, however, does not contain much suggestion to curb politicisation, which was one of the key points in the Subramanian panel report. The panel in its report had even suggested that it should be examined if units of political parties should be allowed on campuses.Suggestion to curb high failure rate in Class X Another key suggestion contained in the HRD ministry draft relates to the high failure rate in class-X examination which is attributed to a large extent to poor performance in three subjects: Mathematics, Science and English. In order to reduce the failure rates, class X examination in Mathematics, Science and English will be at two levels: Part-A at a higher level and Part-B at a lower level. Students who intend to join courses/ programmes for which science, mathematics or English is not a prerequisite or wish to shift to vocational stream after class-X will be able to opt for Part-B level examination, the paper says.At present Central and State Boards of Education conduct examination for class X and XII. It will be mandatory for the students to take class X board examination conducted by the Board to which their school is affiliated, it added.The paper has also suggested that an expert committee will be constituted to study the systems of accreditation in place internationally and will suggest restructuring of NAAC and NAB as well as redefining methodologies, parameters and criteria.

After IITs, NIT hikes fee to Rs 1.25 lakh per annum

After IITs, fees in National Institutes of Technology (NITs) is all set for a hike from Rs 70,000 to Rs 1.25 lakh per annum.The HRD ministry has approved this proposal of the NIT Council and the increased fees will be effective from new admissions. The fee hike will not affect those who have already taken admissions, a senior official told PTI.In a separate decision, the ministry also decided to hike the fees for the Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISER) from Rs 15,000 per semester to Rs 25,000 per semester from “prospective effect”. The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by HRD Minister Smriti Irani on Thursday.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”A decision has been taken to raise the fees at NITs for undergraduate as well as post graduate courses for which Rs 70,000 was charged. Now the students who join NITs will have to pay Rs 1.25 per year for these courses,” the official said.”The fee hike would only for new students who get admission and not for those who are already studying,” the official said.Earlier, this year, the HRD ministry had hiked the fees for IITs from Rs 90,000 to Rs 2 lakh per annum.However, on the lines of the decision taken with regard to IITs, the ministry has decided to give a total fee waiver for the differently-abled, students from SC and ST community and those belonging to families with annual income less than Rs 1 lakh.Students from families with annual income of less than Rs 5 lakh will also be entitled to a fee waiver of two-thirds amount. The officials said the fee hike has been effected with an aim of providing more resources to these institutions so that highest quality education can be provided.

International Yoga Day: Smriti Irani urges parents, teachers to practice yoga with kids

Parents and teachers should spend time with children practising yoga as scientific evidence shows that the ancient exercise form improves motor skills and hand-eye coordination, HRD Minister Smriti Irani said on Tuesday. “If you look at scientific evidence, yoga improves motor skills and also makes hand-eye coordination better,” Irani said as she asked teacher and parents to inculcate this habit in children. The HRD Minister was speaking at the first ‘National Yoga Olympiad’ organised by the NCERT where over 300 students from 21 states, including those who were differently-abled performed various ‘asanas’. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>AYUSH Minister Shripad Naik, who was also present at the event, said there should be an International Yoga Olympiad organised along the lines of the national event. Irani said she hoped that next year, the Olympiad will attract participants from all states of the country. Urging school children to practice yoga, she also said this year six central universities will start full-fledged Yoga Departments and offer courses in this subject. Officials said students from all communities and regions participated in the event.

6 universities to begin yoga departments this year: Smriti Irani

Six central universities will start new or revamped yoga departments from the upcoming academic year and the number would be raised to 20 within a year.HRD minister Smriti Irani declared this at a ‘National Seminar on Yoga’ where she also called upon heads of technological institutions to help in providing empirical evidence on the benefits of yoga. “A decision has been taken that from the year 2016-17, new or revamped yoga departments would be opened,” she said, adding that “in a year’s time this number would be raised to twenty.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University in Uttarakhand, Visva Bharati in Shantiniketan, Central University of Kerala, Indira Gandhi National Tribal University in Amarkantak, Manipur University in Imphal and the Central University of Rajasthan would begin these departments from the next session. The action is in line with recommendations of a panel headed by headed by H R Nagendra, also regarded as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s yoga guru, that had suggested various kind of courses ranging from certificate courses to Bachelor’s, Masters and PhDs for yogic sciences. Nagendra was also present at the seminar.In her speech, Irani said that modern science depends on empirical evidence and asked heads of technological institutions to provide research to back the claims related to the benefits of yoga. “Today I call upon all those professors researchers and academicians who can help us quantify empirical evidence with regard to the benefits of yoga and yogic sciences,” Irani said adding that this would provide a boost to this area.She referred to a paper brought out at IIT Kharagpur on the resonance of the word ‘Om’ through yogic science and its scientific value.In her speech, Irani also said that the UGC is considering including NET exam for yogic sciences to address the issue of finding teachers for this subject. At the event, Secretary Higher Education in the HRD ministry V S Oberoi said that three-day yoga festivals will be held in several institutes and Universities across the country on the occasion of International Day of Yoga.

Smriti Irani’s intolerance kept new education policy draft off public domain?

The secret is finally out! The New Education Policy (NEP) drafted by a committee headed by former cabinet secretary TSR Subramanian is not finding favours with the Union Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry.Reason: Subramanian’s draft says ‘no’ to three-language formula, and objected to HRD ministry under Smriti Irani for using the word ‘tolerance’ towards Indian diversity. Also, the NEP suggested no detention policy till fifth standard.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”How can anyone say that we should tolerate Indian diversity? It should rather be that we ‘accept’ the Indian diversity,” Subramanian pointed out in his final draft to the HRD ministry. The original suggestions submitted by the ministry had elaborated on teaching the Indian diversity at length and had suggested the word ‘tolerant’ over ‘acceptance’. But the committee overruled the ministry’s preference for tolerance.dna finds out the divergences and intentions of the ministry on several key issues. The draft NEP also contradicts ministry’s stand on Right to Education (RTE) Act and University Grant Commission (UGC). These issues in the past two years have invoked controversies.Soon after taking charge, even in the middle of the session, Irani had amended the three-language formula. Her orders forced students to give up learning German and French and instead choose Sanskrit. Subramanian’s report, however, favours teaching a foreign language in schools. But leaves the option for the states and schools, whether they desire to learn any foreign language as third language.”Three language formula exists. But choices will be made keeping in view the aspirations of parents, teachers, schools and the state. If the state wants to teach a foreign language as third language it should not be considered a violation of the three-language formula,” Subramanian told dna.Highlighting that the three-language formula in the existing formula has been a failure so far, Subramanian favours to relook the policy.The formula was introduced in the education policy of 1956, was reiterated in the 1986 and 2005 draft. “The question is, have we been successful in implementing it? No. Which means there is a problem and we need to address it in a more realistic manner,” he said.Subramanian also added that it would be unfair for those sitting in Delhi to decide what languages the students sitting in the states should study.The NEP draft recommends that mother tongue should be the medium of instruction till class 5. However, choice of teaching English along with regional language should be left to the states. It has asked for introducing English from class 6 and the third language from the secondary level. “This third language can be any of the scheduled languages or a foreign language like French, German, Arabic, Russian or any other foreign language,” the draft reads.Against government’s aspirations to accord Sanskrit a prominent language status, the committee has held that it be treated like any other Indian language. Moreover, the focus should be to teach communicative Sanskrit rather than its grammar, to make it more accessible and easy to people.The ministry had also suggested teaching students to be tolerant towards Indian diversity. But, the committee instead has asked for teaching students to have acceptance towards Indian diversity and take pride in the pluralistic Indian heritage and culture.Subramanian’s draft also endorses the former UPA government’s view to set up a single point National Higher Education Authority, to subsume all the bodies like UGC, All India Council for Technical Education and other regulatory body bodies. It has also proposed a New Higher Education Act, putting aside all the existing and archaic laws related to education.The NEP draft committee also does not endorses ministry’s view on the no detention policy. Irani has been lobbying for complete scrapping the no detention policy, Subramanian however recommends capping no detention till class 5. The draft recommends providing enough support to the student to cope up with the curriculum rather than detaining or no detaining the student in the first place.

UGC gives in to protesting teachers demands, amends API criteria again

Bowing to demands of college teachers protesting against changes made in the Academic Performance Index (API) score criteria, the UGC on Wednesday restored the direct teaching hours workload.Higher Education Secretary V S Oberoi told reporters that the direct teaching work load has been restored to 16, 14, 14 hours per week for Assistant Professors, Associate Professors and Professors respectively. This was done through necessary amendments to the UGC norms. He also held out an assurance that there will be no retrenchment of teachers on account of API and workload criteria including those who are teaching ‘ad-hoc’.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Oberoi, who is also a member of the UGC, said the HRD ministry too has decided to approve these recommendations of the University Grants Commission (UGC) which were approved at a Commission meeting on Wednesday. UGC chairman Ved Prakash and Secretary Jaspal S Sandhu were also present at the press conference.Giving details, Oberoi said that it has been decided that direct teaching hours would include tutorials, practicals, field work apart from lectures and project supervision.”Mentoring by Professors and teachers will also be recognised while calculating direct teaching score,” he said.He also said that capping on API was previously introduced through an earlier amendment. Capping has been retained in only one sub category which is that of invited lectures, he said. The provision of student feedback for teachers will still be there, he said.The UGC had recently changed the API criteria which had led to continuous protests by teachers body as it was feared they could lead to retrenchement and were also called not academic friendly.As teachers’ protests continued, the HRD ministry is learnt to have been keen to resolve the issue as it was impacting academic activity, sources said.

‘Dear’ controversy: Bihar’s education minister apologises to Smriti Irani

On Tuesday, Union HRD minister Smriti Irani got into a Twitter battle with Bihar Congress president Dr Ashok Choudhary after she objected to being addressed as ‘dear’. This led Choudhary to reply that professional mails started by addressing the recipient with the honorific dear and she should instead focus on her ministry. This led Irani to point out that Bihar was the only state that didn’t take part in grass root consultations for education policy. Choudhary wasn’t done though as he shared a link of the HRD’s ministry report of Bihar’s consultation on educational policies.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>And turned into a grammar Nazi as well!Smriti Irani’s Twitter battle came a day after Sushma Swaraj trolled a user who wanted help with a refrigerator. Reacting to the incident, Ashok Choudhary apologised for his action. He told ANI: “I had very respectfully asked in a tweet “Dear Smriti ji, when is new Education policy going to come. Don’t know what did she find so offensive in ‘Dear’. Don’t think there is any kind of disrespect in this. But I still apologize to Smriti Irani ji if I have hurt her feelings in any way.”

Yoga Day 2016 diluted: No ‘suryanamaskar’, chanting of ‘Om’ not compulsory

New Delhi: ‘Suryanamaskar asana’ will not be part of this year’s Yoga Day celebrations and chanting of ‘Om’
won’t be compulsory even though Yoga is incomplete without it, Ayush Minister Shripad Naik said about the 21 June event which is expected entail a collective cost of hundreds of crores of rupees.

“The Suryanamaskar asana last year also we had not taken it. It is a complex exercise. It is difficult to do in 45 minutes and for people who are new to the exercise. Therefore we have not kept this one,” Naik, whose ministry is the nodal agency for organising the annual celebrations, told the media.

There has been a controversy over this asana, with Muslim groups saying their faith does not allow such a practice.

The International Yoga Day is celebrated on 21 June since last year, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi taking a lead in this. Modi performed the Yoga at Rajpath in New Delhi last year and this time, he will do so in Chandigarh.

Naik also dismissed the controversy related to chanting of ‘Om’ during the event and it has not been made compulsory.

“There is always some opposition whenever some good work is done. There is no opposition this year to it. We have not made it compulsory. We have made those people who are opposing understand this and it seems they have understood,” he said but added “without OM, yoga cannot be complete.”

Chanting of ‘Om’ has also been a matter of controversy, with Muslim bodies saying members of their faith cannot do so.

There was a controversy recently too over the UGC’s directive asking universities and colleges to follow Ayush ministry’s yoga protocol that begins with chanting of ‘Om’ and some Sanskrit shlokas during Yoga Day celebrations on 21 June.

Yoga Day 2015. PTIYoga Day 2015. PTI

Yoga Day 2015. PTI

The government, however, had insisted that last year’s protocol has been maintained and no changes have been made. “There is no compulsion to chant ‘Om’,” it had earlier said.

About whether a holiday will be declared on 21 June, Naik said, “It is not needed, nobody has demanded that. Last year,
also no such demand came….Yoga’s time is early morning. It will go on around 8 am…There is no need of a holiday.”

However, “if the demand comes, I will request the Prime Minister to do so (declare holiday),” he said. The Yoga Day this year falls on Tuesday while last year it was a Sunday.

Ayush Ministry officials said that yoga has been added in the physical activity sessions in various schools for class six to tenth but it has not been made compulsory.

Naik said that a circular has also been issued by the HRD Minister to all the schools to include yoga and while many schools have adopted it, for others, “work is in progress”.

“HRD minister has sent circular to schools. Work is in progress. All schools have started adopting,” Naik said.

Asked about the budget for the celebrations, Ministry secretary Ajit Sharan said every ministry is spending its own money and Ayush Ministry is not supporting anybody in terms of funds for celebrating this.

“Although if all is taken collectively, it may be hundreds of crores. But from the Ayush Ministry side, the sum is around Rs 15 crore,” he said.

Around 50,000 people, including 500 ‘divyangs’, are expected to take part in Yoga Day events organised by the government. The Ayush Ministry, which has written to various industry bodies like FICCI and CII and other organisations encouraging them to participate in the events, will, however, not focus on creating a world record yet again

“The effort is to take forward the momentum built last year. The celebration organised by the government across the world to mark the first International Yoga Day was a very very grand success.

“The event was able to portray the heritage of India. We have decided to take forward the momentum with greater and more active participation of all sections of the society, particularly the youth,” Naik said.

The main event will be held in Chandigarh’s Capitol Complex where as many as 30,000 participants are likely to be present.

Similar programmes will be organised at 200 other venues where another 20,000 participants will perform yoga. “Last year, the drill was for 35 minutes. This time, it will be for 45. Some asanas have been increased. Shitalapranayam has been added. Some more intermediate asanas has been added,” said Anil Ganeriwala, Joint Secretary of Ayush Ministry.

In the national capital, a mass demonstration has been planned at Connaught Place, which could see 10,000 people participating while diplomats and bureaucrats will take part in events at Nehru Park and Lodhi Garden.

The ministry will also organise a two-day international conference on “Yoga for Body and Beyond” at Vigyan Bhawan on
22 and 23 June and in which eminent experts from across the globe will participate.

A three-day yoga festival is being organised from 10-12 June as a curtain raiser for the big event later this month.

In order to create a buzz around the event, “Moonlit Yoga” and “Yoga flash mobs” will be held, officials said. The Ministry of External Affairs is coordinating with its 173 Missions for organising Yoga Day events.

About 5,000 defence personnel and 2,000 paramilitary personnel will also take part in the events.

“Rickshaw-pullers as well as Self Help Groups have also been roped in,” a senior official told reporters.

A month-long training programme has being conducted from 21 May to 20 June in 675 districts of the country while 100 RWAs in 10 cities have also been provided training in yoga. CBSE and ICSE schools will be mobilising students for events at school-level while 36 lakh NSS volunteers and six lakh NCC cadets are also likely to participate in events across the country.

The University Grants Commission is likely to conduct a 2-3 day “yoga fest” in all universities.

The ministry has asked state governments to encourage use of locally made yoga mats for the events, a move which comes after a controversy started last year over procurement of Chinese-made mats. Naik said the move will help provide employment opportunities to local artisans and entrepreneurs.

May request centre to declare International Yoga Day a public holiday: Ayush Minister Shripad Naik

Ayush ministry may request the Union government to declare the International Yoga Day, which falls on June 21, as a public holiday if such a demand comes, Ayush minister Shripad Naik said today.Speaking ahead of the second IYD celebrations, he said that his ministry would consider such a demand and request Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the interest of promoting a practice with multiple benefits to the masses. “It is not needed, nobody has demanded that. Last year, also no such demand came. But if the demand comes, I will request the Prime Minister to do so. “Yoga’s time is early morning. It will go on around 8 am.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>There is no need of a holiday but if there is a demand for that, we will request the government,” Naik said during National Health Editors’ Conference on the theme – ‘Yoga for Holistic Health Recent Researches’ here.June 21 this year falls on Tuesday while last year, it fell on a Sunday. He also dismissed the controversy related to chanting of Om during the event and it has not been made compulsory.”There is always some opposition whenever some good work is done. There is no opposition this year to it. We have not made it compulsory. Without OM, yoga cannot be complete. We have made those people who are opposing understand this and it seems they have understood,” he said. A fresh controversy had broke out recently over the UGC’s directive asking universities and colleges to follow Ayush ministry’s yoga protocol that begins with chanting of ‘Om’ and some Sanskrit sholakas during Yoga Day celebrations on June 21.Both the government and BJP, however had insisted that last year’s protocol has been maintained and no changes have been made. “There is no compulsion to chant ‘Om’,” the Ministry had earlier said.Asked about the controversy which had erupted over performing of ‘Suryanamaskar asana, the minister said that this particular ‘asana’ had not been kept last year and this year, it will not be performed.”The Surya namashkar asana, last year also we had not taken it. Its a complex exercise. It is difficult to do in 45 minutes and for people who are new to the exercise.Therefore we have not kept this one,” Naik said. Ayush Ministry officials said that yoga has been added in the physical activity sessions in various schools for class six to tenth but it has not been made compulsory. Naik said that a circular has also been issued by the HRD Minister to all the schools to include yoga and while many schools have adopted it, for others, “work is in progress”.”HRD minister has sent circular to schools. Work is in progress. All schools have started adopting,” Naik said. Asked about the total budget of the Ministry for this year’s celebrations, Ministry secretary Ajit Sharan said that every ministry is spending its own money and Ayush Ministry is not supporting anybody in terms of funds for celebrating this.”Although if all is taken collectively, it may be hundreds of crores. But from the AYUSH Ministry side, the sum is around Rs 15 crore,” he said. Naik said that most of the modern day health problems are because of faulty life-style and yoga is an “efficacious” means to overcome these disorders.”The uniqueness of therapeutic benefits of Yoga is that it can work along with any other drug systems of healthcare and this enables the practitioners of other systems of medicine, including modern medicine experts to prescribe Yoga programme to the patients,” he said.He said that multi-faceted benefits of Yoga in physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual well-being of a person and its long term benefits to the people from all walks of life have been established by large number of inter-disciplinary researches in different fields.Naik said that there are a number of research works conducted all over the World on different aspects of Yoga and its utility in the promotion of health, prevention and management of various disorders, besides improvement in the physiological functions of the body

HRD rejects three names suggested for IIM-A Chairman’s post; seeks more new names

The HRD ministry has rejected a panel of three names forwarded by IIM Ahmedabad administration for the position of the institute’s chairman and sought a list of new candidates. Sources said the process of searching for a new person for the post is set to begin.A three-member search committee, headed by former IIM-A chairman and L&T CMD Anil Naik, was learnt to have forwarded the three names to the Union HRD Ministry for the post. The names were chairman of the Board of Directors of Infosys R Seshasayee, HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh, and CMD of Hero MotoCorp Pawan Munjal, it is learnt. The HRD ministry has sought new names for the post, a source said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As per the Memorandum of Association between the IIM-A and HRD ministry, the latter selects from the names suggested by the search committee for the post.The post was lying vacant ever since Naik stepped down as the chairman of the board of governors on December 31 last, two years before the end of his tenure. Cadila Healthcare CMD Pankaj Patel was appointed as interim chairman by the board and search for new chariman was initiated.

Congress says Irani should focus on her ministry, not opponents

New Delhi: Congress on Wednesday reacted sharply to Union minister Smriti Irani’s dig at Rahul Gandhi over the electoral loss in Assam, warning that ego of those in power destroys them.

File image of HRD Minister Smriti Irani. PTI

File image of HRD Minister Smriti Irani. PTI

“Ego is the biggest enemy of those in power… Our earnest request to her (Irani) is that she should focus more on her ministry instead of always targeting the opponents, show them in poor light and ridiculing the opposition,” party’s chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala told reporters.

In a tongue-in-cheek remark, he also said that Irani is very well educated and one does not know from which all universities she has got her qualifications.

In an online ugly spat with Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi, Irani had remarked that losing Assam was Rahul’s forte.

When outsider praises Sanskrit he is praised, when Indian does it he is criticised: Smriti Irani

In an obvious reference to controversies surrounding promotion of Sanskrit language, Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani said when some outsider “praises” the same language he gets applauded, but when it is done by an Indian, he is subjected to criticism. Irani was speaking at the launch of a web portal – ‘Bharatvani’, which focuses on becoming a single point source for multiple language learning.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>She said work was also going on in writing of dictionaries that will bridge the gap between Hindi and 30 tribal languages.Along with the portal, the Bharatavani Multi-lingual App called Bharatavani was also launched which will enable users to search for one language text in another language as well as get meanings in different languages, an official statement said.According to HRD minister, this app is India’s first and largest multilingual dictionary. Currently, the app has 35 multilingual dictionaries and the Education Ministry aims to extend it to 250 dictionaries in an year’s time. More than 130 dictionaries, glossaries and terminology books have been posted on the web portal, the statement said.

Smriti Irani to be given Z cover security

HRD minister Smriti Irani may soon get Z category security cover. According to sources, the intelligence bureau that assesses threat perception to VIPs also has recommended stepping up Irani’s security cover from Y to Z based on inputs of possibility of attack on her by disgruntled youth.The union home ministry that analyses IB’s assessment and takes the final call on upgrading security is soon expected to grant Z category security cover to the minister, sources said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Smirti Irani has been in the thick of controversy on several issues related to various universities and academic institutions like FTII Pune, JNU and Hyderabad University where she often had to face gherao by the angry students’ union.The threat assessment inputs said that the minister could face serious attack during agitations and when she out on a visit to some university or institution.As Z category protectee, Irani will be given 24 fully armed NSG commandos for round the clock protection, including at the residence. Her Z category security cover will have to be maintained by the states as per the norms.

To curb coaching menace, HRD to bring IIT preparation app, says Smriti Irani

Aiming to combat the “menace” of coaching, the HRD ministry is coming up a mobile app and portal containing free lectures from IIT faculty on various subjects and previous years’ question papers of entrance tests to these prestigious engineering institutions. HRD Minister Smriti Irani on Wednesday said it has also been decided that the questions in the IIT-JEE entrance test would conform to class XII syllabus.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Speaking at an event organised by Education Private Society for India (EPSFI), a body comprising private deemed universities, Irani said her ministry aims to resolve the various regulatory issues faced by these bodies while expressing concern over commercialisation of education.Referring to the “menace of the coaching industry”, Irani said one of the biggest pressures on students preparing for IIT entrance exam is to seek outside help in preparation. “That is why the government has decided to dedicate in the forthcoming two months, an IIT-Pal portal and mobile app on which 50 years of IIT (entrance) examination papers will be available free of cost. In all segments of knowledge on the basis of which students take the IIT entrance exam, some of the IIT academicians and faculty members will give lectures available on this app, so that students can have that additional learning,” she added.Keeping in mind the requirements of students who have studied in regional languages, this content will be available in 13 languages. She said in conjunction with IIT council, it has been now ensured that the question papers conform to the Class XII syllabus. Irani said another “reality” which needs to be confronted is about commercialisation of education. “We all know that capitation fee is not allowed. We all know that students cannot be harassed in the middle of the academic year to cough up money for which no disclosure was made,” she said, suggesting that not all institutions in the private sector were following the norms.She asked the EPSFI to to engage with administrators and weed out “wrongdoers who bring a bad name to the sector” like fake universities and added that states have already been asked to take action against such universities.

CBSE Board Results 2016 for Class X, XII to be out on time before May 31: Smriti Irani

HRD Minister Smriti Irani on Tuesday said the results of CBSE Board exams for class X and XII will be declared “on time” before the end of this month and, as per a decision taken earlier, state boards are also expected to declare their results by May 31.In an interaction with students on social media website Facebook, Irani also said her ministry has readied a Cabinet note for upgrading Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad to an IIT.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When a student expressed apprehension that the CBSE results would be late, Irani asked her “not to worry” and assured that “results will be out on time”.In reply to another query, Irani said in October 2015, at a meeting headed by Secretary, School Education, HRD Ministry with all state boards, “a decision was taken that all results across the country will surely be declared by May 31”.She, however, added that since education is on the concurrent list “we at the Centre have to respect the right of state government to engage with students through their board at their administrative convenience”.During the hour-long interaction, Irani was asked over 2000 questions, including several related to NEET exam, to which she replied that the matter fell within the domain of the Health Ministry and it would be unfair for her to comment on the sensitive issue.Irani also said the draft of the new education policy will be submitted by the TSR Subramaniam Committee soon.Replying to a question on the review and updating of the National Curriculum Framework, Irani said, “It can only be revised once the new education policy comes forth”.Responding to a suggestion Irani said celebrations of Constitution Day in schools bore good results as students were really engaged and interested.On a demand for opening varsities in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, Irani said the state already has two central universities and her ministry is looking forward to opening a new IIT.

Smriti Irani makes surprise visit of IIT Delhi hostel

A surprise visit by HRD minister Smriti Irani of IIT Delhi hostels found that students were grappling with peak season heat without proper arrangements after which the institute’s administration allowed coolers in rooms and promised to install air-conditioning in common areas.Senior officials said that Irani had gone to the IIT to inaugurate a new teaching-learning complex after which she proceeded to meet students in the boys as well as girls hostels. “After visiting the hostels and interacting with students, the Minister was quite critical of the fact that there were no proper arrangements for students during the peak of summer season. The Director of the Institute then immediately called a meeting and a package for hostels has been announced,” a senior official told PTI.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the package, it has been decided that air coolers will be allowed in all hostel rules and arrangements will be made for providing cool drinking water in all the wings and blocks. The IIT administration has also promised to centrally air-condition all common areas of the hostel. Another key decision taken is that all future hostels constructed will be centrally air-conditioned, officials added.Sources said that students also complained to Irani about the condition of the dining halls and mess of the hostels after which a package for modernisation of kitchen and dining halls has also been finalised. “These measures may be brought in at IIT Delhi first and then will be applied in other IITs also,” a senior official.

The RSS-BJP attack on campuses: Free thinking discouraged, penalised

Akbar once drew a line and asked Birbal to make it bigger without touching it. Birbal immediately drew a shorter line next to it, making the original bigger in comparison.

Faced with an embarrassing problem of lack of intellectuals in its camp, the right wing in India appears to be following Birbal’s formula: If you can’t rise to the level of others, try and drag them down to yours.

Nowhere is this stratagem more visible than on the Indian campuses, where the RSS-BJP combine is dreaming of breeding a generation of dullards raised on government propaganda, pseudo-nationalism, myth masquerading as science and the drivel of an imagined past. Free thinking, critical enquiry, dissent, debate — almost every practise that led to the growth of human intellect — is being discouraged, even penalised.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Consider the latest directive of the Gujarat government to its scholars. In a global first, the state government has dictated to varsities a list of 82 topics for doctoral theses.

According to The Times of India, the government has directed that each university should ensure doctoral students opt for at least five subjects from this list. These include Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s pet project ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’, Gujarat’s model schemes like Kanya Kelavani, Gunotsav and MA Yojana and several other government projects and initiatives.

Fundamentally, there is nothing wrong if a student decides to research a government scheme. But, in this case, the government has decided to dictate to scholars what they should study for their theses, treating them like intellectual slaves. So, while their counterparts outside the state will have the freedom to research latest developments in science, arts and literature, students in Gujarat would have to study things like how many tonnes of garbage has been lifted from Ahmedabad’s roads, or how many girls have access to PM’s welfare scheme.

Pity a student whose creative and intellectual freedom is constrained by such diktats. The purpose of education is to expand the horizons of mind, explore new ideas and concepts. But the Gujarat government wants to draw a small circle around their intellect.

In 1999, the Wachowaski Brothers introduced us to the world of The Matrix through their Hollywood blockbuster. In the film, machines control the minds of humans by imprisoning them in an artificial reality called the Matrix.

If the RSS-BJP combine has its way, the youth of tomorrow would look eerily like people caught in the Matrix, imprisoned in a world of myths, arcane concepts, dead languages, forced morality and ultra-conservatism. All this through manipulation of the education environment.

A few days ago, HRD minister Smriti Irani directed IITs to introduce the learning of Sanskrit to “facilitate the study of science and technology as reflected in its literature.” It would be interesting to know how many of the current BJP politicians, including the HRD minister, have an iota of knowledge of Sanskrit. But, that is besides the point?

This obsession with a language that died centuries ago makes a mockery of the knowledge dynamics of the world. In today’s competitive environment, age of global economy, the focus is on learning languages that are in wide circulation — English and Mandarin, for instance.

The Sangh and its foot soldiers do not understand a simple fact: if they wish for the students, the outside world to discover the hidden secrets in our Vedic literature, it would be much more beneficial and pragmatic to get them translated in the lingua franca of students. Instead they want to force on students a language that has absolutely no practical use and do not open up employment opportunities. All this to help them to learn bogus ideas like how our ancestors flew Pushpak Vimans, fitted the heads of elephants on decapitated boys and bred children through the simple expedient of Ashwamedha Yajna or invoking gods through mantras.

While an attempt is being made to tinker with the curricula, campuses are being turned into battle grounds against students resisting the BJP-RSS ideology. Recent examples of JNU, Hyderabad Central university show Indian universities are in the grip of an epidemic of competitive sycophancy. A mad race is on to please the BJP-Sangh and do its bidding, manifest in collective cries of VCs for implementing banal decisions like flying the Tricolor on campuses to promote desh bhakti.

A lot has already been said about the JNU sedition case and its management’s decision to suck up to the government by punishing students even when courts are hearing cases against Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and other students. By stoking a dying fire, the government stooges in JNU have given a second wind to Kanhaiya and his comrades, whose rejection of the punishment and resultant agitation is bound to add to the government’s criticism and the administration’s embarrassment.

Instead, consider a recent dossier by right wing “intellectuals” from JNU that indicts students, faculty and staff of debauchery, sex trade and drunken orgies.

“Over one thousand boys and girls (sic) students have been fined from Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000 for consuming alcohol, for indulging in immoral activities in their hostels. On a casual glance at the gates of the hostel one can see hundreds of empty alcohol bottles. Sex workers have been openly employed in hostel messes, where they not only lure JNU girls into their organized racket but also pollute the boys. How come big and high brand cars are moving around the hostels particularly in the night hours. Some security staff is (sic) also involved in this racket. Freshers are particularly inducted in this ring of vice by luring through money, sex, drugs and alcohol, so that they become tied up with the cause of foreign agencies,” says the dossier compiled by 11 JNU teachers considered close to the BJP.

The dossier is a classic example of the intellectual squalor of the right wing. In it sweeping allegations have been made against JNU, but without a shred of evidence. All of it is based on hearsay, imagined reality and slights and based on regressive ideas of morality and value judgments, steeped in misogyny (some women in messes are sex workers).

This demonisation of JNU as a symptom of the burning desire to vilify independent thinkers and ideological opponents of the Sangh. The strategy is simple: defame such institutes so much that sanskari parents would think twice before sending their children to such institutes. Perhaps the right wingers want the next generation to grow up in the stifling, regressive environment of Shakhas.

Controlling the mind of the youth has always been the holy grail of all totalitarian regimes, the fantasy of despots and dictators. The moment a population is deprived of the ability to analyse, question and interpret independently, it turns into a willing victim of propaganda. Intellectual slavery also guarantees that regimes would be not be resisted because opposition would have been wiped out through mental conditioning.

Unfortunately for politicians, the human mind is extremely difficult to control and pacify. Efforts to brainwash the youth and manipulate their intellect often fail, as the fate of Nazi propaganda reminds us. In India too, the RSS-Sangh will never succeed in imposing its agenda on varsities and schools. Had this been possible, their Shakhas would have been overflowing by now with youth willing to imbibe their ideology.

In the Matrix, the creators talk about how humans became restive when the machines conjure a utopia — a perfect world without pain or suffering, based on perennial happiness — for them as an artificial reality. But nobody accepts it.

If the human mind finds it difficult to accept manufactured perfection, what chance does the BJP-RSS have of foisting their imperfect ideologies and suffocating agendas of bigotry, conservatism, misogyny and imagined glory?

It is inevitable that free-think, liberal students would continue to offer bigger, better ideas, making the line drawn by right wingers look extremely small in comparison.

Central forces were deployed at NIT Srinagar after requests: Kiren Rijiju

Under attack over deployment of central forces inside NIT in Srinagar, the government on Tuesday said in Lok Sabha that it was not a suo moto or unilateral decision but it was done following requests from the institute authorities.”It was not our decision, not a suo moto decision. There was a request from the NIT authorities and hence the decision was taken to deploy central forces in the campus. It was not a unilateral decision of the central government,” Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said. Rijiju’s remarks during Question Hour came after Congress chief whip Jyotiraditya Scindia alleged that by deploying the central forces in the NIT campus, the central government had undermined the Jammu and Kashmir Police.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The NIT in Srinagar had witnessed clashes between local and outstation students after India lost to West Indies in World T-20 semi final match on March 31, following which paramilitary forces were deployed at the campus.Scindia accused the Jammu and Kashmir Police of “brutally” attacking the protesting students of NIT, claiming that they resorted to lathicharge on those students who were shouting slogans like ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’.The Congress leader’s comments invited strong protests from treasury benches, particularly from BJP MP and former Union Home Secretary R K Singh, who said Jammu and Kashmir Police is known for its sacrifices for the country’s unity and integrity and such comments are unwarranted.Rijiju said it is a known fact that it is the state police which takes action wherever necessary and the central forces only help the local authorities. He said three companies of paramilitary personnel were deployed inside the NIT campus while outside is being guarded by the Jammu and Kashmir Police. A company of central forces comprises of around 100 personnel. AIMIM member Asaduddin Owaisi also disapproved of Scidia’s comments saying 3,000 personnel of Jammu and Kashmir Police have laid down their lives serving the nation.Owaisi said after deployment of central forces, there was a perception that non-locals can be protected only by central forces, which was not good.”Alienation of youth has been increasing and if we do not take action to stop alienation of youth, there will be problems,” he said. Rijiju said the reports of HRD Ministry’s fact-finding team, Jammu and Kashmir government-appointed Magisterial Inquiry and an internal committee were yet to come and action will be taken as per their recommendations. Intervening in the debate, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said when the non-local students had requested to go home, the state government made all arrangements and many of them now have returned to the campus.Singh said those students who missed their examination will now be given opportunity to appear in the tests between May 26-29. Tension started brewing inside the NIT campus, located on the banks of Dal lake, after some local students burst crackers to celebrate Indian team’s defeat in the T-20 match. This was protested by the outstation students resulting in clashes. During the Zero Hour later, Scindia mocked at the government over the Srinagar NIT row, questioning when it would hoist the national flag there as he referred to the HRD Ministry’s recent directive that central universities will fly the tricolour at 207 feet. The former Union Minister also said that official policy is to have a majority of teachers from outside the place where such institutes are located but in NIT most of the teachers are locals.”I will ask the HRD Minister when will you fly the national flag at the entrance of the NIT? I am sure members sitting in front of me who preach about nationalism will agree with me,” he said, in a jibe at the treasury benches.

‘Declare computer language anti-national’: AAP ridicules Smriti Irani over Sanskrit in IITs

IITs have been asked to teach Sanskrit language for facilitating study of science and technology as reflected in its literature, Lok Sabha was told on Monday.

A panel, chaired by former CEC N Gopalaswami, in its report had suggested that IITs may facilitate study of science and technology as reflected in Sanskrit literature along with inter-disciplinary study of Sanskrit and modern subjects, HRD Minister Smriti Irani said in a written reply.

HRD Minister Smriti Irani. PTI

HRD Minister Smriti Irani. PTI

“Accordingly, IITs have been requested to teach Sanskrit language especially with reference to study of works which contain scientific knowledge,” Irani said.

But the HRD minister’s request has been met by mockery by Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodia. In his tweets, Sisodia took a dig at Irani and the BJP –

According to a report in NDTV, Left parliamentarian D Raja said questioned why only Sanskrit needs to be included in IITs literature saying, “why not Tamil? It’s the RSS agenda and the government is working on it. The government should take Parliament into confidence as this is a policy matter.”

Congress leader Pramod Tiwari said that including Sanskrit in the curriculum stands no ground professionally and that something like this cannot be forced, reported NDTV.

With inputs from PTI

From parliament to poster: BSP hoarding shows Mayawati as Kali holding Smriti Irani’s head

Posters showing former UP CM Mayawati as Hindu goddess Kali holding the head of Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani have surfacted in Hahtras, leading to a controversy. The hoarding also shows Mayawati standing on top of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. The BSP chief is garlanded with skulls and PM Modi is shown begging for forgiveness. It’s believed the posters were put up by BSP workers.BJP state spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak said his party had taken offence and told IANS: ““The BSP in the past has ridiculed Hindu gods and deities so it is not very surprising. But what is very worrying is the fact that through such inflammatory acts, the BSP is trying to trigger casteist clashes.” Mayawati v/s Smriti Irani in parliament Mayawati and Smriti had clashed in parliament during the JNU row. Asserting that she was not ‘satisfied’ with Union Human Resource and Development (HRD) Minister Smriti Irani’s answers on Rohith Vemula’s suicide, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on Friday asked if the former would chop her head off and place it on her feet as promised earlier if her reply would be unsatisfactory.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I request you Mayawati ji, I am ready to give a reply. I have been listening to your demands since the morning. And if you are unsatisfied with my reply then I will cut my head and put it on your feet,” Irani had said in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.Mayawati reminded Irani on Friday that her response to her questions had been most unsatisfactory so if she would stick to her earlier assertion. “She told me that if I am not satisfied by her response then she will chop her head off and place it on my feet. I am not satisfied with her response, so she should give me her head but I am sure that she will not do such a thing,” Mayawati said.Slamming Irani for her ‘Mahishasur’ comment, she added that the HRD Minister had insulted the Adivasi and the Dalit community with her statement and accused the writers of Indian mythology to having portrayed both the communities in a negative light.”Her comment on Mahishasur has insulted the Dalit and the Adivasis of the nation. It was shameful and she put forth a distorted version of the truth and our party condemns it. Those who wrote the Indian mythology have pinned Mahishasur’s faults on the Dalits and the Adivasis and they have been portrayed as people who never respected women, whereas they were those who protected Sita,” Mayawati said.She added that Irani should have stuck to the topic of discussion which was Rohith Vemula and accused her of purposely veering off point in an attempt to shift the focus.”If the government does not want to do anything for these two communities, then at least they should stop insulting them. They should start by sacking VK Singh who called them animals,” she said.Mayawati said that the HRD Minister owed an apology to the nation for trying to mislead them by giving out the wrong facts in the matter of Rohith Vemula. She also alleged that the Gazette formed by the Centre over the probe in the matter was ‘illegal’ as it was formed without taking consent in both Houses.”On February 2nd, the government formed an illegal gazette as both the Houses were not notified about it first. We even present of copy of the document in the Parliament today,” Mayawati said.Earlier on Friday, Mayawati and Irani were seen at loggerheads again over the issue of the late Phd scholar from Hyderabad University. Under fire over the Dalit scholar’s suicide, Irani said in the Rajya Sabha, “It is incorrect that there is no member of SC community in the inquiry committee. Rohith Vemula’s mother asked for a judicial inquiry into child’s death. I assured her justice will be done.”Responding to the HRD Minister’s claims, BSP supremo Mayawati said that she was not satisfied with Irani’s answers and accused her of indulging in drama to cover up the entire episode.”It is incorrect that there is no member of SC community in the inquiry committee. The probe commission has not kept any Dalit member. There is no intention of giving justice to Rohith Vemula,” Mayawati said.Mayawati had earlier accused the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) of suppressing the voice of Dalits with the help of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Government at the Centre.

Now, Smriti Irani asks IITs to teach Sanskrit

IITs have been asked to teach Sanskrit language for facilitating study of science and technology as reflected in its literature, Lok Sabha was told on Monday.A panel, chaired by former CEC N Gopalaswami, in its report had suggested that IITs may facilitate study of science and technology as reflected in Sanskrit literature along with inter-disciplinary study of Sanskrit and modern subjects, HRD Minister Smriti Irani said in a written reply.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Accordingly, IITs have been requested to teach Sanskrit language especially with reference to study of works which contain scientific knowledge,” Irani said.

Smriti Irani announces child tracking system that can monitor children’s progress in class

The HRD ministry is bringing in a child tracking system for over 200 million children across the country which will be used to monitor their progress from one class to another and also identify drop outs.”Introducing a child tracking system for over 200 million children all across the country to track movement class to class, identify drop outs,” HRD minister Smriti Irani said in a series of tweets today on the initiatives taken by her ministry in the field of school education.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In another tweet, Irani said that due to Right to Education, the concept of bridge schools was discontinued “which disabilitated entrance of out of school children into the school system (sic).”Moving to other initiatives of the HRD ministry, Irani said that rather than monitoring the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), the programme for achievement of universalisation of elementary education, annually as was done during the UPA, her ministry would track it online daily.”We did mid-term review online. This year we shall track SSA daily online. Real time data will help engage productively with states,” she said in. Sarva Siksha Abhiyaan under UPA regime was monitored once a year and was not facilitating solutions real time, she added.Irani also announced that her ministry is developing an expenditure portal that centralises various sources of school education data in India. She also mentioned a first of its kind portal for Teacher Education Institutions which will ensure transparency and grading.The HRD minister said her ministry is supporting states to help build composite schools by rationalising stand alone schools with low enrollment and one teacher. “Smaller schools are either mentored by larger schools in same geographical area or are merged in the interest of students,” she tweeted.She also announced that the National Assessment Survey (NAS) which was done once in three years by NCERT, will now be done annually. NAS, henceforth, will be competency based, she said in a tweet adding that states are to do assessment in all schools from classes 1 to 8.”Learning outcome portal being designed by NCERT which will have videos so that outcomes are easily comprehended n tests voluntarily taken,” she tweeted. In another message, Irani mentioned said the Shala Siddhi scheme of her ministry will be extended to all schools. “Under Shaala Siddhi school evaluation was undertaken since November 2015. This year we shall extend it to all schools across the country,” she said.

More grievances less suggestions lead to delay in New Education Policy

Having received public grievances in the name of feedback from countrywide consultations on the New Education Policy (NEP), the five-member draft committee that was to submit its draft report by December 2015, is yet to make a submission.Till three weeks ago, the committee was meeting individual stakeholders seeking opinion on NEP. The committee has so far missed three deadlines and is expected to take a few more months, before finalising the draft.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The human resource development (HRD) ministry had held nationwide consultations on the education policy. The ministry claims that it had reached out to 2.5 lakh gram panchayats across the country seeking feedback. The consultation on NEP was held at blocks, local bodies and district level across the country seeking opinion and suggestions on the education policy. The suggestions received were handed over to the committee.The ministry while handing over the feedback to the committee headed by former cabinet secretary TSR Subramanian had announced, that the draft report will be out by December.However the committee went ahead to conduct five regional consultations and has also been meeting several stake holders and academicians seeking feedback on the new policy.“The kind of suggestions received by the ministry are mostly public grievances coming in from villages and district. These suggestions do not show any way forward for the education sector,” said a source.The suggestions that have been gathered from the grassroots level highlight the need of setting up schools in villages, creating infrastructure, filing in faculty positions and opening colleges in district.To give the policy a concrete shape and to understand the objective of the new policy, the committee had to go ahead inviting academicians individually or in groups.The earlier education policies were formed keeping in view the then needs of the country. The first policy of 1968 focused on equal opportunity and education for all. In the second policy of 1986, need for expansion of higher education was discussed. The policy of 1992 focused on technical and professional courses. “While we discussed the various themes identified by the ministry, but the new policy in its current form lacks focus. So far we do not have a clarity on what is the policy aspiring at,” said a senior academician, who has been part of these consultations.

NIT Srinagar students want PM Modi to hoist tricolour on campus

With the government having ruled out shifting NIT Srinagar following the recent unrest, outstation students on Tuesday demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi or HRD Minister Smriti Irani visit the campus and hoist the tricolour to instill a sense of security.In a letter to Irani, the students have placed a set of 19 demands, including permanent deployment of CRPF on the campus, reshuffle of college administration, formation of Students’ Council, option of outside evaluation of exam marksheets and celebration of national festivals at the institute. The letter was presented to HRD officials today.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We request either the Hon’ble minister of HRD or the Prime Minister of India to come with students to NIT Srinagar and hoist full size Tiranga in the campus at its highest mast. This will end the leave taken by students and also give them a sense of security. This will reiterate the message that Kashmir is an integral part of India and students will have a psychological win over the anti-national elements in the campus as well as outside,” the students wrote in the letter.The students have also demanded an enquiry against “suspects” in the recent incidents of violence on the campus and sought reimbursement of medical bills of injured students by the college authorities.A group of nearly a dozen students’ representatives presented the demands during a nearly 3-hour meeting where NIT Srinagar Director Rajat Gupta and Director in the HRD ministry Sanjeev Sharma were also present. Last week, the students had met HRD minister Smriti Irani, who ruled out shifting of NIT campus but assured support in academic matters.”We have presented our demands and hope that the ministry will take action to create a suitable environment,” said Swayam, a student, who was part of the delegation, after the meeting.NIT Srinagar has been at the centre of a controversy since April 1 when clashes broke out between outstation and local students following India’s defeat to West Indies in the World Cup T20 semi-final.The situation worsened on April 5 when outstation students tried to take out a march outside the campus but were stopped by the police, leading to incidents of violence including vandalism by students and lathicharge by police.Significantly, the students’ call for hoisting the tricolour came after Irani, while rejecting the demand for shifting the campus last week, had said Srinagar was an integral parts of India, it is learnt.Meanwhile, sources in the HRD Ministry said they were favourablly inclined to consider the demand for outside evaluation of students in this particular case and certain other demands like modifications to the grievance cell of the Institute.Asked about the demand to hold enquiries against staff or others, an official said no formal complaint has been made in this regard.The NIT students have also demanded that college administration be reshuffled and restructured by introducing a cadre system. They have sought 50 per cent of administrative posts to be filled up with those from outside and the rest from the state.The students have also sought reimbursement from the institute of expenses incurred on their “circumstantial travel” when they left the campus following tension.NIT Srinagar should have collaboration with leading PSU companies and few core MNCs regarding placements and training, the students have demanded, saying J&K has a disadvantage in this regard. hey have also demanded that a top NIT mentor NIT Srinagar, besides setting up of an online grievance redressal mechanism exclusively for the institute to monitored by HRD Ministry.The students have sought regular visits by HRD officials with regard to fulfilling demands related to infrastructure apart from a high level enquiry into the utilisation of funds since it was upgraded from Regional Engineering College to NIT.

IIT fee hike by 122% not applicable to existing students: HRD Ministry

Amid protests by students of IIT-Kharagpur, the HRD ministry on Wednesday clarified that students who are already enrolled in undergraduate courses have been spared from the 122% fee hike.In a letter written to directors of all IITs, the Human Resource Development Ministry today said, “It is hereby clarified that the revised fee would be applicable for students taking admission starting from academic year 2016-17 onwards.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The students currently studying would continue to pay at the existing rates, it said. The order came a day after IIT-Kharagpur students protested by shouting slogans at the campus against the fee hike.IIT-Kgp director Partha Pratim Chakraborty wrote an open letter to students saying that the protests have left him “very unhappy”.”Unfortunately for me, in this instance, many undergraduate students did not have the basic courtesy to first engage with us before creating a disturbance and made some very unusual remarks on those receiving the waivers,” he said, hoping that better sense would prevail in the future. “In the social media, other than expressing their problems, many students made disparaging comments on those receiving waivers which was completely unwarranted,” Chakraborty said.The government had recently decided to increase the annual fees for undergraduate courses from existing Rs 90,000 to Rs 2 lakh, a rise of 122%, from the upcoming academic session.

As NIT Srinagar crawls towards normalcy, institute holds exams as per schedule

Srinagar/New Delhi: With peace returning to NIT Srinagar, examinations were held at the institute on Monday as per the schedule, but over 1000 outstation students skipped it, deciding to avail of the opportunity of taking the test later.

It is learnt that over 1000 outstation students of the NIT, which has the total student strength of over 2500, have decided to leave in the wake of recent row.

“Already around 500 students have left the campus (in Srinagar) while another 500 students have also decided to leave,” a source said.

However, a substantial number of non-local students have stayed back to take the exams, he said.

The Board of Governors of NIT Srinagar held a meeting in Srinagar during which it was decided that attempts be made to restore normalcy at the earliest and academic activity be brought back on track, official sources said.

NIT Srinagar. Image courtesy: IBNLiveNIT Srinagar. Image courtesy: IBNLive

NIT Srinagar. Image courtesy: IBNLive

The meeting was told that some outstation students had appeared for examinations held today and that students from outside who could not write their papers would be appearing at a later date.

It was suggested that the faculty members should regularly interact with outstation students and also ensure a bonhomie between local and non-local students.

Meanwhile, police thwarted a bid by three men from Delhi to enter the NIT for hoisting the national flag at the campus which has been witnessing clashes and tension since 1 April.

The situation on campus was peaceful with no untoward incident taking place, said an NIT official.

“The examinations started as per schedule with all local students and some outstation students appearing in today’s papers,” the official said in Srinagar.

Outstation students, who did not appear in the examinations today have been given the option by HRD ministry to write them at a later date.

The Board of Governors of NIT Srinagar also met on Monday to discuss various issues about the institute.

“Among other issues, the demand of students that their marksheets be externally evaluated has also been there. Some more consultations can be held and feedback taken in this regard and a policy decision may be taken,” a senior official said.

During the day, three men from Delhi tried to enter the NIT campus for hoisting the national flag.

They were part of a group of about 150 people from Delhi who were intending to go to NIT but were detained in Jammu on Sunday.

The three, who had given a slip to police and reached Srinagar, were detained just outside the main gate of the institute as they pulled out the national flag and tried to enter the campus, a police official said.

He said one of the detained person has been identified as Tejinder Singh Bagga.

NIT Srinagar unrest: HRD ministry rejects demands of outstation students for shifting NIT campus

Srinagar:  HRD Ministry officials have rejected the demand of outstation students of NIT Srinagar for shifting the institute out of Kashmir but assured them of addressing their “genuine” issues.

A group of outstation students of the NIT met Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh and Education Minister Naeem Akhtar along with officials from Union HRD ministry on Friday night to discuss the situation at the institute.

“The demand for shifting the NIT out of Kashmir has been outrightly rejected by the HRD ministry officials. It has been made clear to the students,” official sources said on Saturday.

The sources said the Ministers and HRD officials however assured the students that their genuine demands like better
amenities inside the campus and improving the academic atmosphere will be addressed.

“The Board of Governors of the NITs will be meeting on 11 April where all these issues will be addressed,” the sources said.

A file photo of NIT Srinagar. IBN LiveA file photo of NIT Srinagar. IBN Live

A file photo of NIT Srinagar. IBN Live

They said the ministers told the students that security has never been an issue at the NIT but the state government will ensure that concerns on this front will also be addressed.

“The ministers asserted that students of the institute have been here at the peak of militancy and no one has ever been harmed,” the sources said.

Meanwhile, an official of the NIT said the meeting was a positive development as the situation inside the campus was improving.

The situation is calm but the outstation students are seemingly still on protest, Registrar, NIT Srinagar, Fayaz Ahmad Mir told PTI.

Mir said as there were no protests at the campus this morning.

The students are in their hostels as there was no class work since Saturday and Sunday are off days, he said.

The Registrar said it was a positive point that there was no confrontation between non-local and local students. There have been no group confrontations and that is a positive point, the Registrar said.

He said the administration has been approached by few injured students who want to go home and as per the directions of the Union HRD ministry, arrangements are being made for them.

Remaining students, who want to go, may also submit their details so that necessary action may be taken, he said.

Chairman, Board of Governors, M J Zarabi has appealed the students to help restore normalcy at the campus and help the institute scale great heights.

“I have been very distressed at the recent turn of events at this institute. As chairman board of governors NIT Srinagar, my dream and indeed my endeavour would be to see the institute improve its standard,, excel at least in certain areas and improve its rating further,” Zarabi said in his appeal to the students.

He said Kashmir is known as an abode of saints and it is “my dream that NIT Srinagar grows into an institution that serves as a leading example of amity among people from different regions and faiths.”

AMU VC rejects EC nomination for his successor, falls in line with HRD order

Finding discrepancies in the nomination process, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) Vice Chancellor Lt Gen Zameer Uddin Shah has rejected the university Executive Council’s (EC) nomination for appointment of his successor. Over the past one-and-a-half years, AMU has been at loggerheads with the human resource development (HRD) ministry over issues ranging from allocation of funds to minority status of the institution. To avoid any further confrontation with the ministry,<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shah has rejected the list of members nominated by the council for the post of V-C, for failing to comply with an HRD circular for making the selections.The search committee of AMU’s executive met on April 3 for selecting five members for the post of Vice Chancellorship through a voting process.HRD ministry while laying down the procedure for nomination of Vice Chancellor by a university executive had issued a circular to universities in March last year. The circular reads, “In order toavoid conflict of interest, the Vice Chancellor who is aspiring to be the Vice Chancellor for the second term or any other members of EC who intends to be a candidate for the post of Vice Chancellor, will recuse themselves and will not participate in the meeting of the EC, during the discussion.” However if the desirous member participates in the meeting they are deemed to be disqualified as candidate for the post.Ignoring the HRD circular, AMU pro V-C Brigadier (retd) Syed Ahmad Ali and director of JN Medical College, Professor Tariq Mansoor, who were among the five members nominated, participated in the voting process.Clarifying his position on conflict of interest, Professor Mansoor said, “Executive was not aware of the HRD circular and it was the Executive which decided that nominated members could participate invoting process.”As a practice in the AMU Executive, the nominated members have voted for themselves. “Just as members of parliament and legislative assemblies cast their votes, in the same way, the AMU permits the members to cast their vote,”explained a senior university functionary.The list of the members nominated by university council, goes to the AMU Court, which then selects three members of the five. The list is then sent to the President of India, who is also the Visitor of theUniversity for making the final selection.The university sends the list to the Visitor through the HRD.Complying with the HRD ministry’s circular, V-C has disqualified the two names because of ‘conflict of interest’ for having participated in the voting process. The university has now called for a fresh meeting to draw a fresh panel.The move by the university administration is to avoid opening any new avenue for confrontation with the HRD ministry. “If we do not comply, the ministry will send the nomination back. We will have to start the whole process all over again,” added the official.The AMU Court meeting that was scheduled on April 7, has meanwhile been postponed.

The resurrection of class tests: For schools to improve, the annual filtering of students needs to be restored urgently

Last week, the Union ministry of Human Resources Development (HRD) stated that it was drafting an amendment to the Right to Education (RTE) Act, which will also provide that a student must get two chances if his performance is poor in any examination before detaining him.

Such a move would finally put an end to the disastrous policy of automatic promotions mooted by the existing Act. It may be recalled that the RTE Act has been steered by the former education minister Kapil Sibal. The Act required all students to be compulsorily and automatically promoted till Standard 7; thus, the only stage when they could be detained would be at Standard 9 examinations. The automatic promotions policy was reprehensible on account of several factors.

Need for a filter

It is imperative to have in place a system that weeds out students who do not study well. Typically, not more than five percent of a total population of students would fall into this category. But when five percent of students get weeded out at each higher class level, almost 30 percent of a student population gets filtered out by the time students reach Standard 9.

Representational image. AFPRepresentational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

To have an examination only at Standard 9 level would require a school to detain almost 30 percent of the students in that class. That is a step that principals of most schools are unwilling to take. The number is too large. The resultant outcry would be too great. And the political pressure on school managements to condone the results of some student or the other would be almost unbearable.

Consequently, many school managements had already announced almost five years ago that they would not detain any students in Standard 9. That would put the onus of filtering out the weak students at the SSC/CBSE/ISCE board examinations. Here too, no board was willing to detain over 40 percent of the students. Thus it would promote students who should not have been promoted at all.

That in turn increases the pressure on colleges to admit students, who should not have been admitted to colleges in the first place. It leads to greater politicization of colleges on the one hand. On the other, such students vitiate the classroom atmosphere for other serious students, preventing them to learning. The Sibal doctrine talked about the right of a child to learn; it ignored the right of other children who might want to learn, but could be prevented from learning because of a few bad elements in the class. It forgot that a boisterous class is capable of frightening away some of the best teachers as well.

Without a filter in place, the entire edifice of education can crash.

When grace becomes a disgrace

Ask any teacher who has been an examiner at board or University examinations. You will learn that even after the examiner has corrected the papers, all answer sheets are sent to a local moderator, who then decides to apply the right grace marks to ensure that not too many students fail in the region. The revised mark-sheet is then sent to the district moderator, who then applies the right multiplier to ensure that the passing percentage in his territory is “acceptable”.

The same process is followed at the board level, where the marks are moderated once again. The entire process ensures that many students, some with as little as 15% marks, can get “upped” to score the minimum required 35 percent in a subject. The filters that were in existence even before the Sibal proposals were weak enough. The automatic promotions stipulation made the situation even worse.

Empower teachers

The absence of class tests, and Sibal’s recommendation that unwilling students should be persuaded to learn, may be a good concept under ideal conditions. But talk to the teachers. Most school teachers in good schools ended up begging students to complete their project assignments so that the teachers could then fill up the required forms and inform the education inspector that the students had met the qualifying norms.

The RTE in its present forms puts the onus on the teacher to put in the additional hours that might be required to ensure that all students qualify. Since no detention is allowed, the teacher must either fudge records and say that an inept student is “qualified” for promotion, or must put in additional hours, or plead with the students.
The situation had become unbearable.

Funds for special schools

True, every child is a special case. He or she must be nurtured and taken care of. That is why, the government needs to spend more to identify the special needs of each child and place him or her in the right environment which will make the child blossom.

But without the funds, or the systems which allow for such needs to be met, or such special skills to be honed, don’t expect the existing system to take on this additional responsibility as well. Special needs require special processes and structures. The Sibal approach was to dump these special needs on the present structure. As a result, both the general lot of students as well as students with special needs suffered. It was destined for disaster.

Better late than never

This could be the first sensible educational policy that is being articulated by the present HRD ministry.
In fact, this need was well articulated at a meeting of the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) in August last year. Most states had expressed the need to jettison the the system of continuous and automatic promotions.

HRD minister Smriti Irani had then asked all the states to submit their views in writing. In their feedback, 13 states – including Rajasthan, West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Sikkim, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Puducherry – said they wanted the no-detention policy revoked. Some states, such as Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Telangana backed the existing practice of continuous promotions till Standard 8.

The HRD ministry’s decision takes into account that if schooling is bad, it will mean bad outputs, which become bad inputs for colleges. And no college can be expected to churn out excellent students if the input is bad, or if the ‘wrong’ types of students are clubbed with the ‘right’ types. If one has to improve India’s college education, it must start with schools. And if schools need to improve, the need for annual filtering of students needs to be restored urgently.

NIT Srinagar students can take exams later: HRD ministry

New Delhi: The students at NIT Srinagar campus, which has been gripped by tension following clashes, will have an option to appear for exams later, HRD ministry officials said on Thursday.

The decision comes a day after a three-member team of human resource development (HRD) Ministry visited the campus to take stock of situation and held talks with the agitating students to defuse the tension.
Expressing a sense of insecurity at the campus, the outstation students told the team that they wanted to go home for the time being and appear for exams later. The students also made a slew of demands, including shifting the institute out of Kashmir and action against policemen involved in lathicharge on Monday.

Students of Jammu University shout slogans during a protest rally against the police action on non-Kashmiri students in NIT Srinagar, in Jammu on Wednesday. PTIStudents of Jammu University shout slogans during a protest rally against the police action on non-Kashmiri students in NIT Srinagar, in Jammu on Wednesday. PTI

Students of Jammu University shout slogans during a protest rally against the police action on non-Kashmiri students in NIT Srinagar, in Jammu on Wednesday. PTI

“There are students who want to appear later but a majority of them want to do it as per schedule. So an option will be given to them. Those who want to appear later, re-exams will be scheduled,” officials in the ministry said.

The exams are scheduled to start next week.

“The HRD team which has gone to the campus will stay there till the exams are concluded. The Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti has also assured Union minister Smriti Irani that safety of all students will be ensured,” the officials said.

Irani will also be visiting Srinagar on April 13 for a consultative committee meeting of Members of Parliament but there is no clarity on whether she will be going to NIT campus.
The team which was rushed to Srinagar to look into students’ grievances included Sanjeev Sharma, director (technical education) in the HRD ministry, deputy director finance Fazal Mehmood and chairman of board of governors of NIT M J Zarabi.

Tension started brewing inside the NIT campus, located at the banks of famous Dal lake, last week after India lost to West Indies in semi-final in the T-20 cricket tournament prompting some local students to rejoice and burst crackers. This led to protest by outstation students resulting in clashes.

Since March 31 night, the situation inside the campus has been volatile and the authorities had posted personnel from Seema Suraksha Bal (SSB). The local police was manning the main gate of the institute.
The developments prompted the NIT authorities to close the campus on Saturday but it was reopened on Monday. The outstation students also tried to march out of the campus saying they wanted to return to their homes.

IIT fee hike: Arvind Kejriwal opposes, says it will make the institutions ‘out of reach’ for poor

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday opposed the Centre’s decision to increase annual fees for undergraduate courses in IITs from existing Rs 90,000 to Rs 2 lakh, saying the “steep” hike will make the institutions “out of reach” for the poor.”I strongly oppose steep fee hike in IITs. Pl don’t make IIT out of reach for poor. I couldn’t hv studied at IIT if fee were this high (sic),” Kejriwal tweeted.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The hike in IIT fees is of 122%. The HRD Ministry has also decided to give a total fee waiver to the differently-abled, students from SC and ST communities and those belonging to families with annual income less than Rs 1 lakh, officials in the Ministry said.The HRD Ministry issued an order in this regard this evening, saying the implementation of the decision will happen after ratification by the IIT Council.

IIT course fee doubled from Rs 90,000 to Rs 2 lakh; total waiver for SC/ST, poor, disabled

New Delhi: The annual fees for undergraduate courses in IITs will be hiked from existing Rs 90,000 to Rs two lakh from upcoming academic session and there will be total fee waiver for SCs and STs, the differently-abled and those belonging to economically weaker sections.

Representational image. IBNLiveRepresentational image. IBNLive

Representational image. IBNLive

A decision to hike the fee by over two-fold has been taken by the HRD Ministry following a proposal by an IIT panel, HRD Ministry officials said.

The Ministry has decided to hike the fees for undergraduate courses in IITs from existing Rs 90,000 to Rs two lakh, they said.

Students belonging to families whose annual income is less than Rs 1 lakh will be able to avail 100 per cent fee waiver, along with those belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and the differently-abled.

Last month the Standing Committee of IIT Council (SCIC) had approved a three-fold hike in annual fees.

IIT annual fees for undergraduate courses to be hiked from Rs 90,000 to Rs 2 lakh

The annual fee for the undergraduate courses in Indian Institute of Technology (IITs) will now be hiked two-fold in the upcoming academic session.The fee will be hiked from Rs 90,000 to Rs 2 lakh, reported PTI quoting HRD Ministry officials.Earlier last month, a proposal for a three-fold hike in annual fees of IITs was approved by an IIT panel.Another key recommendation the Standing Committee of IIT Council (SCIC) had made was the proposed new entrance examination designed to test the aptitude conducted by a National Authority of Test (NAT) would be held from 2017 onwards.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>If the recommendations of the SCIC are accepted, even the fees of foreign students would be raised from the current annual USD 4000 to USD 10,000.Meanwhile, Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani has promised to waive off complete fee for Dalit, physically-challenged and Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe students studying in Indian Institute of Technology (IITs) across India.

Smriti Irani promises acche din for SC/STs, Dalits, differently-abled with complete fee waiver at IITs

Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani has promised to waive off complete fee for Dalit, physically challenged and Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe students studying in Indian Institute of Technology (IITs) across India.”Besides a complete fee waiver for these students, those with a family income of less than Rs 5 lakh will be given a 66% concession in the fees,” reported a leading daily, quoting Smriti Irani.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Union Minister, who was in Surat on Wednesday, also said that the move will benefit nearly 50% of the 60,471 students enrolled in IITs.
ALSO READ IIT Madras and IIM Bangalore top the list of best Indian universitiesCurrently, the IITs have a 15% reservation for SCs, 7.5% for STs and 27% for OBCs.Meanwhile, on Monday, the Indian Institute of Technology announced the increase of fees for other students from Rs 90,000 to Rs 2 lakh. Last month, a proposal for a three-fold hike in annual fees of IITs was approved by an IIT panel, and the final decision was awaiting the nod of HRD Minister Smriti Irani.

Telangana BJP pushes for safety of outstation students at NIT Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir

Hyderabad: Noting that the PDP-BJP government in Jammu and Kashmir would take all steps to resolve the ongoing row at NIT in Srinagar, Telangana BJP President G Kishan Reddy on Thursday said parents of outstation students should not worry about the safety of their children.

Representational image. IBNLive

Representational image. IBNLive

Reddy spoke to his Jammu and Kashmir counterpart Sat Sharma and urged him to take steps for the safety of students from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh studying at the engineering institute, which has seen violence and cane-charge by police over the last few days, a BJP release said in Hyderabad.

Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh and BJP MLAs would visit the NIT campus on Thursday and try to instil confidence among the students, it said.

Singh and BJP MLAs would also discuss with NIT officials on the steps to be taken to prevent such incidents in future, it said.

The parents of students hailing from different states and studying at NIT need not worry, the release added.

Tension mounted at the NIT campus on Wednesday as agitating outstation students refused to cooperate with a visiting central team demanding immediate action against some officials of the institute who allegedly indulged in “anti-national” activities.

The team was rushed by the HRD Ministry to take stock of the situation and look into the grievances of the outstation students studying at the NIT, Srinagar.

In Surat, HRD Minister Smriti Irani said she had spoken to Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti who assured her that safety of all students will be ensured.

The agitating students demanded that some of the NIT officials be transferred and face action for their alleged “anti-national” activities. The students also said they be allowed to daily hoist national tricolour at the main gate.

Tension started brewing inside the NIT campus, located at the banks of famous Dal lake, last week after India lost to West Indies in semi-final of World Twenty20 cricket tournament prompting some local students to rejoice and burst crackers.

This was protested by the outstation students resulting in clashes.