Claiming there has been a substantial hike in budget allocation for higher and school education, HRD ministry on Friday said proposals to establish Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) and turning 10 public and private institutions into world class educational institutions could be a game changer.
In yet another case of suspected suicide due to academic pressure, a 19-year-old student of one of Kota’s IIT coaching institutes was found hanging in his rented room, on Thursday night. Seventeen coaching students had committed suicide in Kotalast year. Arvind Kushwah, a resident of Bhind in Madhya Pradesh, stayed as a paying guest in Indra Colony, part of Kota’s Vigyan Nagar area. Although police did not recover a suicide note, they have not ruled out the possibility of him taking the extreme step under academic pressure.
Students studying in various Kota coaching centers were in for a pleasant surprise on Saturday morning. Reason: Special yoga sessions had been organised for them. The district administration, in association with Isha Foundation, had organised these classes for over 2,000 students and 1,000 teachers at a private coaching institute and UIT auditorium in Kota.
The move was initiated by the Kota district collector Ravi Kumar Surpur to evoke spiritual intelligence among students and teachers to counter stress due to the heavy pressure of studies and excelling in different subjects. This was also done to control the suicides by students who come here for coaching, the number has been quite high in the past few months.
While Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal expresses solidarity with dissenting students in JNU and elsewhere, there is a problem in his own backyard. Section of students protesting against fee hike over the past week in a Delhi government-run university have alleged that they have been threatened by private colleges affiliated to the university.
Speaking with ET, students of the Delhi government-run Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University claimed their private colleges have threatened them with rustication, filing of defamation cases, ruining of careers, for participating in protests against fee hike. The issue relates with an order of fee hike issued by the Delhi government last month, which provoked several localised protests at the college level by students who called it “arbitrary” and “unfair”.
Some of these protests were organised by the RSS-backed Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). While Kejriwal announced a withdrawal of fee hike after protests on Sunday, it appears colleges have been threatening protesting students for over the past week.
At least one of the colleges continued to threaten students on Monday for taking their woes to the chief minister. Teachers in some colleges have issued warnings in open classrooms against joining protests, claim protesting students and ABVP activists.
“Smart Class” in government schools is being introduced in a phased manner, Jharkhand education minister Neera Yadav told the state assembly on Tuesday.
Yadav was replying to ruling BJP MLA Biranchi Narayan’s short notice question whether the government has any plan to bring the standard of education between government and private schools on par.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a plea by the association of Maharashtra’s private medical colleges to be allowed to conduct its own common entrance test (CET) for medical and dental college admissions.
The government on Thursday denied that the names of historic western intellectuals like Nicolaus Copernicus and Pythagoras had been removed from school textbooks, terming reports on the issue as “factually incorrect”.
It also made it clear that there was no proposal under consideration for “cleansing” the textbooks from foreign influence.
“There were newspaper reports in February 2016 about new Rajasthan textbooks having dropped western writers. However, the state government has denied this and stated that on the contrary, there are certain chapters where the western intellectuals find expression in the new textbooks,” HRD minister Smriti Irani said in a written reply.
Replying to supplementary queries, she said the reports are “factually incorrect”.
“This is an answer I have based on communication from the state government. Let me categorically state that the subjects like mathematics and science are universal in nature. And to say that Thomas Edison can be divorced from subject like this would be a great anomaly,” she said.
She further said that in area like social sciences, historians and intellectuals like Megasthenes and Copernicus — all find a mention in the social science books.
“Infact, for Class VIII standard English book, we do have, according to Rajasthan government, even the extracts from Robert Frost’s poem ‘Stopping by the woods’,” she added.
Ritabrata Banerjee (CPM) asked if the government has excluded Pythagorean Theorem from mathematics textbooks, to which Irani said: “I recognize that the learned friend has political compulsions to reiterate a falsification.”
“I have said this in my answer that mathematics cannot be devoid of theorems like Pythagorus theorem. …I am reiterating that the theorem cannot be divorced from teaching of mathematics from any classroom, let alone the state of Rajasthan,” he added.
Banerjee asked if the government also plans to cleanse the textbooks from foreign influences, Irani said in written reply, “There is no such proposal under consideration of the government.”
Anil Kumar Sahani of JD(U) asked if names of gurus has been taken out, to which Irani said the state governments have the power to decide their curriculum.
He also sought to know if chapters on MS Golwalker and Veer Savarkar would be added in textbooks.
HRD ministry has shelved its plan to reform the Joint Entrance Examination by introducing an aptitude test that would filter students for a single entrance test for admission to IITs/NITs and engineering institutions.
Idea of having a National Authority for Testing also has been put on hold. One IIT director said, “It is a misconception that students from rural background would have lagged behind in aptitude test. They are not so good in language but superior to urban students.” “It is unfortunate that it has been shelved even without trying once.”
Mumbai: They were supposed to go to school with everyone else. But the move towards equal education has been marred by contorted reasons and handicaps like slow admission process and lack of awareness among families. Schools too have often been unwelcoming in accepting students from all pin codes into one class. At the close of the 2015 admission season, of the 22.9 lakh seats available under the 25% quota for socially and economically disadvantaged children, only 3.46 lakh (15%) were filled.
India and the US have launched the Fulbright-Kalam Climate Fellowship, in a new initiative to advance bilateral cooperation on climate change, that will enable Indian research scholars to work with American institutions in the field.
The fellowship will be operated by the binational US-India Educational Foundation (USIEF) under the umbrella of the prestigious Fulbright programme.