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Adidas and KidZania India announce the winners for the #adidasbyme contest

adidas, the world’s leading sportswear innovator and KidZania, a global Indoor theme park, came together earlier this year to ignite creativity among younger minds with the #adidasbyme initiative. The #adidasbyme contest helped children unleash their creativity by designing their own shoe.

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adidas, the world’s leading sportswear innovator and KidZania, a global Indoor theme park, came together earlier this year to ignite creativity among younger minds with the #adidasbyme initiative. The #adidasbyme contest helped children unleash their creativity by designing their own shoe.

Kids could visit KidZania in Noida or Mumbai and role-play as Chief Shoe Designer for adidas. As part of their role, they got to create their own adidas shoe by designing their own patterns, choosing colours and even customizing the shoe with their name. With this unique initiative adidas and KidZania, could truly bring in realism and were able to connect the activity with the real world.

The activity was successfully carried out at both KidZanias’ as well as online and received over 12,000 entries. The top 3 winners of this contest were announced today on the occasion of Children’s Day and were rewarded by having their shoe designs turned into reality. Miss Navya Singh (13 yrs, Noida), Miss Priyanshi Seth (11 yrs, Ghaziabad) & Miss Khushi Nahar (12 yrs, Pune) were ecstatic seeing their designs come alive when they were presented with the actual shoe.

These shoes will also be on display at KidZania Delhi NCR. The Top 10 winners have also won vouchers from adidas and KidZania.

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adidas India Sr. Marketing Director, Sean van Wyk said “adidas is the brand for creator’s and the #adidasbyme initiative at Kidzania is a perfect example of true open source which enthused young athletes to unleash their creativity. We are delighted with the overwhelming response from over 12,000 extremely talented kids with remarkable design sensibilities.  adidas is excited that we have been able to create shoes for three of these creators who will receive their personalized shoe today.”

Speaking on the occasion, Viraj Jit Singh – Chief Marketing Officer, KidZania India said, “KidZania empowers children with life skills through real-life role-plays experiences that introduces them to different industries and the world of work. We worked together with adidas to connect the experience to the real world by manufacturing the shoe design for the winners. This contest at KidZania ignited curiosity and imagination amongst kids. And, I would like to congratulate all the kids for participating in the contest with their incredible designs’

Khushi Nahar, a winner from Pune said, “I love designing and the contest immediately caught my attention when I went to KidZania earlier this year. I am so excited to have won the competition and cannot wait to see my polka dotted shoe!”

Renu Singh, mother of winner Navya Singh from Noida said, “Navya is a multitalented girl and as parents we are extremely grateful to adidas for coming up with an initiative like #ADIDASBYME to promote young talent in India. We have always encouraged our daughter to express her creativity and her win makes us feel proud of her. We hope she continues to pursue her creative thinking.”

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UNESCO dedicates International Education Day to Afghanistan girls

UNESCO is dedicating this year to girls and women in Afghanistan who have been deprived of their right to education.

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International Education Day is celebrated on January 24th to raise awareness about the importance of education as a fundamental human right and a tool for personal, social, and economic development. It was first celebrated in 2018 by the United Nations to acknowledge that education is a key driver of sustainable development and peace and to encourage the sharing of good practices and policies in the field of education.

This year marks the fifth year of celebration, with the theme ‘to invest in people, prioritize education’.
The event will be celebrated on January 25 at the UNESCO headquarters in New York. “International Day of Education 2023 will be a global platform to sustain political mobilization, take forward national commitments and global initiatives, and step-up public engagement in favor of education as the path to peace, sustainable development, and individual and collective well-being,” the UN release mentioned.

UNESCO is dedicating this year to girls and women in Afghanistan who have been deprived of their right to education. It calls for the immediate lifting of the ban restricting their access to education.
According to UNESCO, as many as 244 million children and youth are out of school, and 771 million adults are illiterate worldwide.

On December 3, 2018, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted a resolution co-authored by Nigeria and 58 other member states, demonstrating the “unwavering political will to support transformative actions for inclusive, equitable, and quality education for all.”

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ASER2022 – The ‘Asar (impact)’ of the Pandemic

The ASER report shows the ‘asar (impact)’ of the pandemic and years of neglect of early years education.

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The ASER a very comprehensive report on education outcomes in government schools is out and as usual, the press is lamenting the fact of how children of grade 4 cannot do division or how children of grade 2 cannot read!

Well, what most journalists, parents, and policymakers do not understand is that till the foundation is weak, the building will always have cracks and be structurally unsound!

And that is exactly what is the problem with education in our country, which hopefully will now be rectified with NEP 2020 and NCF 2022.

Of course, children in grade 4 cannot do division, because these children were not taught numeracy skills in their early years. Of course, they cannot read in grade 2 because they were not given foundational literacy in their early years.

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But let’s focus on the positives in the report, page 27 talks about the early years, it states the following-

  1.   The new education policy and its foundational stage emphasis– The impetus for integrating preschool and school education took another giant step forward with the release of the National Education Policy, or NEP, in 2020. This new policy did three things simultaneously: it acknowledged the vital importance of early childhood education, elevated it to the status of school education, and integrated it into the continuum of educational opportunities offered to children. It did this by envisioning age 3-8 as a single integrated ‘foundational’ stage in a child’s education, consisting of 3 years of pre-primary education and the first two years of primary school. This stage would offer a continuum of access, to be provided by expanding and strengthening the existing network of standalone AWCs, co-located AWCs, and pre-primary classes in schools; as well as a continuum of learning opportunities, to be achieved by developing a new curricular and pedagogical framework for the foundational stage.
  2.   Enrolment of 3- and 4-year-olds increased – Many observers expected that after remaining closed for such a long period, children and their families would find it difficult to return to school, resulting in higher dropout rates and lower enrolments in educational institutions. An important finding that emerges for all age groups, including the youngest learners, is that this is far from the case.
  3.   Shift from private to government, especially in early years-ASER 2022 enrolment data shows a shift from private to government institutions at all levels of schooling, unsurprising given the loss of livelihoods and financial distress experienced by households during the pandemic as well as the reported closure of many low-cost private schools. This pattern is visible among young children as well.
  4.   Stress on the appropriate age of entry to grade 1-Major national policy documents – the Right to Education Act (2009), the Early Childhood Care and Education policy (2013), and the National Education Policy (2020) all reiterate that children should enter Std I of primary school at age 6. However, on the ground, institutional guidelines for what 5-year-olds can do vary both by the state as well as by type of institution. For example, ICDS Anganwadis offer preschool education to children in the 3-6 age group, while many state governments allow children to enter Std I at age 5. These ambiguities have resulted in 5-year-old children being enrolled in many different forms and levels of educational provision

It is clear from the above that if the focus, as defined in the NEP 2020, is given on the early years, 3-6 years then the learning foundation will be strengthened, and to do that all states need to do the following-

  1. Uniform age of entry to grade 1 and nursery– Ensure that the age of entry to grade 1 is 6 and above and not 5. Sadly most of the states take children at age 5 in grade 1 and that robs them of a strong foundation in ECE and Foundational Literacy and Numeracy.
  2. Ensure that Anganwadis are linked with the schools, so that transition is smoother both in settling and curriculum, this is clearly envisioned, planned, and detailed in the NEP 2020 with Balvatika and the new 5+3+3+4 age breakup, where 3 years of preprimary and 2 years of primary are clubbed together. But only 23 states have accepted the NEP 2020!
  3. Train the teachers– Presently the Anganwadi teachers do not get training about ECE, they are involved in care, nutrition, health, election, and many other duties. The NEP 2020 has given a plan for teacher training too and it will soon be implemented. With trained teachers, children will learn in developmentally appropriate ways and then the ASER report would have more positives to celebrate.

ASER is always a wake-up call to our governments, SCERT, and policy makers, it’s time that we wake up and implement the right age, curriculum, and teacher training in the early years to become a country that invests in its littlest citizens.

The author is Dr. Swati Popat Vats, a child rights activist with over 33 years of experience in early years education and research. She serves as President of Early Childhood Association and Association for Primary Education and Research. She leads over 500 preschools of Podar Education Network that are completely in line with NCF 2022 and FLN goals.

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School fee paid during Covid lockdown to be returned rules Allahabad High Court

According to court orders, 15 percent of the fees must be calculated and adjusted in the next academic session.

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In a relief to parents, Allahabad High Court today ruled that ordered private schools to waive 15 percent of the fees collected during the Covid-19 period. The decision stands for all the schools in Uttar Pradesh for the academic session 2020-2021.

According to court orders, 15 percent of the fees must be calculated and adjusted in the next academic session. In the case of students who have dropped out or left school, the Court has ordered that the amount be calculated and returned to them. This exercise must be completed within two months.
Parents’ bodies have been demanding some relief from the Allahabad High Court in terms of slashing school fees in view of the Covid-19 pandemic situation. The High Court heard all the petitions on January 6, 2022. A bench of Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice JJ Munir has given this order on 16 January, Monday. The decision was made after considering that there was a lockdown during the session 2020-21, but the schools demanded full fees from the parents, even though the classes were only being conducted online.

Petitioners appealed that private schools did not provide any service except tuition fees during that session. Petitioners also reminded the court of the recent order passed by the Supreme Court in the case of Indian School, Jodhpur vs State of Rajasthan. The Supreme Court had said in its order that demanding fees without providing facilities is like commercialization and profiteering of education.
According to the court orders, the school will waive 15 percent of the total fees during the session 2020-21. The excess amount should be utilized for the next academic year or will be returned to them in case the student has dropped out.

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Road safety to be included in UP curriculum

The state government is also organising Road Safety Month from January 5 to February 4.

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All departments related to education will make joint efforts to create awareness about road safety to save a precious life, state higher education minister Yogendra Upadhyay said while chairing a combined meeting of higher, secondary, basic, technical, and vocational education departments at Vidhan Bhavan, on Monday.

He directed that the topic of road safety should also be included in the Run for G-20 program to be organized on January 21.

He said that the higher education department will soon include road safety in the college curriculum, and chapters related to road safety at the secondary and primary level or in the book of moral education will be beneficial.

“Essay competition on road safety should be organized in all schools and colleges together on the same day and an oath for road safety should be administered in the assembly held in the schools/colleges,” the minister said. He said that efforts will be more effective if these programs are organized simultaneously in all institutes.

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Upadhyay said that road safety is a sensitive subject in the present context. It’s time to spread awareness among the masses. The state government is organizing Road Safety Month from January 5 to February 4, he said.

“To avoid loss of life and property in road accidents, it is necessary for citizens to follow traffic rules, and it is the responsibility of the education department to develop traffic rules among students,” he said.

In the meeting, technical education minister Ashish Patel said that to make the campaign more effective, students of technical colleges will be given traffic-related work as projects. In this, students will suggest ways to streamline the busiest traffic intersections of their city. He said that hoardings/posters related to road safety awareness should also be put up in all educational institutions.

In the meeting, the minister of state for secondary education (independent charge) Gulab Devi said that the department of secondary education will also ensure participation in making the road safety campaign a success. Awareness programs will be organized in schools and students will make people aware of traffic rules.

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No ‘sir’ or ‘madam’ in Kerala schools anymore?

The Kerala child rights panel considered a plea filed by a person seeking to end gender discrimination.

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In a move to promote gender-neutral terms in educational institutions, the Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KSCPCR) has directed the schools in the state to address school teachers as ‘teacher’ instead of honorifics like ‘sir’ or ‘madam’. The directive came after the child rights panel considered a plea filed by a person seeking to end the discrimination while addressing teachers ‘sir’ and ‘madam’ as per their gender.

‘Teacher’ is a more gender-neutral term than honorifics like ‘sir’ or ‘madam’ to address them, the Kerala Child Rights panel directed.

A Bench, comprising panel chairperson K V Manoj Kumar and member C Vijayakumar, on Wednesday directed the General Education Department to give instructions to use the term ‘teacher’ in all schools in the State. The Commission opined that calling out “teacher” instead of sir or madam can help in maintaining equality among the children of all schools and will also increase their attachment to the teachers.

In 2021, a similar decision was taken by a local village panchayat in Kerala to ban usual salutations like ‘sir’ or ‘madam’ in its office premises with an aim to bridge the barrier between common people. The Mathur village panchayat in this north Kerala district became the first civic body in the country to ban the usage of salutations like this, setting a unique reformation model for other civic bodies.

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PM Modi launches masterclass for students

The Pariksha Pe Charcha 2023 event will be conducted on January 27.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched a masterclass ahead of Pariksha Pe Charcha 2023 event. The masterclass for exam warriors introduced by the Prime Minister is a part of PPC 2023 scheduled to be held on January 27, 2023.

PM Modi took to his official Twitter handle to make the announcement. The tweet reads, “It is exam season, and as our #ExamWarriors are immersed in exam preparations, sharing an interesting repository of Mantras and activities that will help ease exam stress and also help celebrate exams.”

This masterclass will bring together all the important themes that the Prime Minister has touched upon in his interactions. Many questions that a young person may have about the topics of exams and life would be found here, along with the answers.

The newly launched class is hosted by Narendra Modi’s website where videos of the Prime Minister having question and answers is posted in it along with a text summary of the concepts and graphics that capture the message.

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The registration for PPC 2023 can be done till January 27, 2023. The event will also take place on January 27 at Talkatora Indoor stadium where the Prime Minister will share tips with students to overcome exam stress and answers their questions related to education and career.

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50 bicycles were given away to girl students in Haryana

The distribution event was held at girls’ government schools in Mattan to encourage female education.

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To carry forward the cause of education for female students and to enable girl children from rural areas to attend school, uninterruptedly, WeCycle, a campaign started by Jivya Lamba student of Modern School Vasant Vihar of grade 11 organized the first-of-its-kind distribution of geo-tracking bicycles free of cost, in Haryana. A total of 50 bicycles were given away to girl students in the region. The campaign was conducted in 3 phase manner which was started in November 2022 and culminated on 31st December 2022. The activity was aimed to stress the issues related to the security of female students and encourage them to access education from their local schools, without any fear.

The distribution event was held at girls’ government schools in Mattan in its last phase, initial two phases were conducted in the Rewari Khera and Kharman villages of Jhajjar district in Haryana.

The geo-tracking devices fitted in the bicycles are provided by Bhartiya Urban Pvt Ltd, and bicycles are provided by Highway Industries Ltd and Wembley Paints and Chemicals. Jivya Lamba has also developed literature in regional language to spread awareness about Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), which has been compiled into a book by Wembley.

The idea is to begin the new year on a positive note and spread smiles on the faces of the young girls who would benefit from this activity. WeCycle identified the issues that exist in the rural areas surrounding school education of girl children and how some parents do not find public transport safe for their children and offered a solution for the same. The geo-tracking cycles are designed to make the families of such students aware of their current location which can be tracked in real-time.

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Talking about the event Jivya Lamba said, “Girls in the rural areas of our country are constantly discouraged to avail education. The reasons are many while security is the major cause why girls are not allowed to travel to educational institutes after as soon as they start their periods. WeCycle is a step forward in the direction of free mobility for our young female students, athletes, and future-generation mothers. I am committed to making lives easy for these girls and my heart goes out to them.”

Jivya Lamba has been consistently involved in social welfare activities for underprivileged communities since July 2020. Through her social movement organization WeCycle, she is taking a step forward to raise awareness about issues that impact women in society, including women’s health, security, rights, and menstrual hygiene.

It is a common trend in our nation, especially in rural areas, where education is considered a need of the male child, and girls are usually discouraged from going to school. Their security while traveling to and from school is a major cause of why this trend prevails. The event organized by WeCycle is a step forward toward providing a safe commute for girls.

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PM addresses the 108th Indian Science Congress via video conference

“Abundant availability of data and technology in 21st-century India will help science”

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The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressed the 108th Indian Science Congress (ISC) via video conferencing today. The focal theme of this year’s ISC is “Science and Technology for Sustainable Development with Women Empowerment” which will witness discussions on issues of sustainable development, women empowerment, and the role of science & technology in achieving this.

Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister highlighted the role of India’s scientific strength in India’s story of development over the next 25 years. “When the spirit of national service gets infused in Science along with passion, results are unprecedented. I am sure, India’s scientific community will ensure a place for our country of which it was always deserving”, he said.

Pointing out that observation is the root of science, and it is by such observation that scientists follow patterns and arrive at required results, the Prime Minister mentioned the importance of gathering data and analyzing results. He highlighted the abundant availability of data and technology in 21st-century India and said that it has the potential to take Indian Science to new heights. He also informed me that the field of data analysis is moving forward at a meteoric pace which is of great help in converting information into insight and analysis into actionable knowledge. “Be it traditional knowledge or modern technology, each one plays a crucial role in scientific discovery”, the Prime Minister remarked. He also emphasized the need to strengthen the scientific processes by applying various techniques of research-led development. 

Speaking about the result of India’s tryst with the scientific approach, the Prime Minister said that India is being counted among the top countries of the world as India moved to 40th place in the Global Innovation Index in 2022 from 81st place in 2015. India is among the top three nations in the world in terms of the number of PhDs and startup ecosystems.

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Expressing happiness about the theme of the Science Congress this year which combines sustainable development with women empowerment, the Prime Minister emphasized the complementarity between the two areas. However, he stressed, “Our thinking is not just that we should empower women via science but also empowering science by the contribution of women.” 

Informing that India has been enshrined the opportunity to preside over G-20, the Prime Minister pointed out that women-led development is one of the high-priority subjects taken up by the chair. He informed that in the last 8 years, India has taken up extraordinary tasks ranging from governance to society to economy which is being discussed all over the world today. Highlighting the women who showcase their strength to the world, be it in a partnership in small industries and businesses or leadership in the start-up world, the Prime Minister gave the example of Mudra Yojna which has been instrumental in empowering women of India. He also pointed out the doubling of women’s participation in the field of extramural research and development. “The increasing participation of women is proof that women and science are both progressing in the nation”, Shri Modi said.

Talking about the scientists’ challenge of turning knowledge into actionable and helpful products the Prime Minister said, “Efforts of science can turn into great achievements only when they come out of the lab and reach the land, and their impact reaches from global to grassroots, when its ambit is from journal to jameen (land, everyday life) and when change is visible from research to real life.” He said when science’s achievements complete the distance between experiments to people’s experiences, it gives an important message and impresses the young generation who get convinced of the role of science. To help such youth, the Prime Minister emphasized the need for an institutional framework. He called upon the gathering to work on developing such an enabling institutional framework. He gave examples of Talent Hunt and Hackathons through which children with scientific temper could be discovered. The Prime Minister talked about India’s stride in the field of sports and attributed the success to the emerging robust institutional mechanism and guru-shishya parampara. The Prime Minister suggested that this tradition can be the mantra of success in the field of science.

Pointing out issues that will pave the way for the development of science in the nation, the Prime Minister remarked that fulfilling India’s requirements should be the root of all inspiration for the entire scientific community. “Science in India should make the country atmanirbhar”, the Prime Minister remarked as he noted that 17-18 percent of the human population resides in India and such scientific developments should benefit the entire population. He emphasized the need to work on subjects that are of importance to the entire humanity. To address the growing energy needs of the country, the Prime Minister informed that India is working on a National Hydrogen Mission and stressed the need to manufacture critical equipment like electrolyzers in India to make it a success.

The Prime Minister also emphasized the role of the scientific community in developing ways of dealing with emerging diseases and the need for encouraging research in developing new vaccines. He talked about integrated disease surveillance for the timely detection of diseases. For this, he stressed the need for coordinated efforts of all the ministries. Similarly, LiFE i.e Lifestyle for Environment movement may greatly be helped by the scientists.

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The Prime Minister noted that it is a matter of pride for every citizen that on India’s call, the United Nations has declared the year 2023 as the International Year of Millets. He pointed out that work can be done to improve India’s millets and their use while effective steps can be taken by the scientific community to reduce post-harvest losses with the help of biotechnology.

The Prime Minister underlined the role of science in waste management as municipal solid waste, electronic waste, bio-medical waste, and agricultural waste are expanding and the government is promoting a circular economy.

The Prime Minister acknowledged the role of low-cost satellite launch vehicles in the booming space sector of India and mentioned that the world will come forward to take our services. The Prime Minister highlighted the opportunities for private companies and startups by associating with R&D labs and academic institutions. He also pointed out quantum computing and how India is making its mark in the world as a quantum frontier. “India is moving fast in the direction of quantum computers, chemistry, communication, sensors, cryptography, and new materials”, the Prime Minister said as he urged young researchers and scientists to gain expertise in the quantum field and become leaders.

Shri Modi stressed the need to focus on futuristic ideas and areas where no work is happening anywhere. He asked for keeping AI, AR, and VR as priorities. He exhorted the scientific community to come up with innovations in semiconductor chips and asked them to think about keeping the semiconductor push future ready from now on. “If the country takes initiative in these areas we will be in a position to lead Industry 4.0”, he said.

Concluding the address, the Prime Minister expressed the belief that a clear roadmap for the future will be prepared on various constructive points during this session of the Indian Science Congress. “In Amrit Kaal, we have to make India the most advanced laboratory of modern science”, Shri Modi concluded.

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Background

The focal theme of this year’s ISC is “Science and Technology for Sustainable Development with Women Empowerment”. It will witness discussions on issues of sustainable development, women empowerment, and the role of science & technology in achieving this. The participants will discuss and deliberate on ways to increase the number of women in higher echelons of teaching, research, and industry, along with trying to find ways to provide women with equal access to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) education, research opportunities, and economic participation. A special program to showcase the contribution of women in science and technology will also be held, which will also witness lectures by renowned women scientists.

Several other programs will also be organized alongside ISC. Children’s Science Congress will also be organized to help stimulate scientific interest and temperament among children. Farmer’s Science Congress will provide a platform to improve the bio-economy and attract youth to agriculture. Tribal Science Congress will also be held, which will be a platform for the scientific display of indigenous ancient knowledge systems and practices, along with focusing on the empowerment of tribal women.

The first session of the Indian Science Congress was held in 1914. The 108th annual session of ISC will be held at Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University, which is also celebrating its centenary this year.

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India is preparing for futuristic education system: PM Modi

The new generation will get their education in a new system that will make for ideal citizens of the country.

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On the 75th Amrut Mahotsav of Shree Swaminarayan Gurukul Rajkot Sansthan via video-conferencing, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the crowd. He said that with the New Educational Policy, India is preparing an educational system that is futuristic. He added that the new generation will get their education in a new system that will make for ideal citizens of the country.
The Prime Minister congratulated everyone associated with the Sansthan on the completion of its 75 years and noted the coincidence of the auspicious event with the period of Amrit Kaal.

He said when other parts of the world were identified with their ruling dynasties, Indian identity was linked with its gurukuls, referring to the Indian tradition of treating knowledge as the highest pursuit of life. “Our Gurukuls have been representing equity, equality, care, and a sense of service for centuries,” he said.

PM Modi lamented the neglect of education and the duty to revive the glory of the ancient Indian education system in the immediate aftermath of independence. Where earlier governments faltered, the Prime Minister said, nationals saints and Acharyas took up the challenge. “Swaminarayan Gurukul is the live example of this ‘Suyog’” he said. This institution was developed on the foundation of the ideals of the freedom movement.

“Spreading true knowledge is the most important task, and this has been India’s devotion towards knowledge and education in the world which has established the roots of Indian civilization,” PM Modi remarked.

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The Prime Minister informed that even though the Gurukul Vidya Pratishthanam began with only seven students in Rajkot, it has forty branches worldwide today which attracts thousands of students from all over the world. He further added that in the last 75 years, Gurukul has developed the minds and hearts of the students with good thoughts and values, so that their overall development can be done.

“From dedicated students in the field of spirituality to scientists in ISRO and BARC, the tradition of Gurukul has nourished every field of the country”, he said. The Prime Minister highlighted the practice of Gurukul where a fee of only one rupee is charged to poor students thereby making it easier for them to get an education.

He remembered Nalanda and Takshshila as synonyms for India’s ancient glory. “Discovery and research were an integral part of the Indian lifestyle. From self-discovery to divinity, ayurveda to aadhyatm (spirituality), social science to solar science, from Math to metallurgy, and from zero to infinity, research, and new conclusions was drawn in every field…India, in that dark age, gave humanity rays of light that paved the way for the world’s journey of modern science.”
The Prime Minister also highlighted the gender equality and sensitivity of the Indian ancient gurukul system and lauded Swaminarayan Gurukul for starting ‘Kanya Gurukul’.

PM Modi emphasized the role of the education system and educational institutions in shaping the bright future of India and said that the country is moving at a fast pace to develop the education infrastructure and policies in the country at every level in the Azadi Ka Amrit Kaal.
The Prime Minister informed that the country has seen an increase in the number of IITs, IIITs, IIMs, and AIIMSs in the country and the number of medical colleges saw an increase of 65% when compared to the time before 2014.

PM Modi emphasized the importance of the saints in the journey of the next 25 years. “Today India’s resolutions are new and also the efforts to realize them. Today the country is moving with a vision of Digital India, Aatmnirbhar Bharat, Vocal for Local, 75 Amrit Sarovars in every district, and Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat. ‘Sabka Prayas’ (everyone’s effort) in these projects of social transformation and social reform will impact the lives of crores of people.”

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Karnataka may expand special nutrition scheme to high school

The special nutrition food (SNF) has received positive responses from students.

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Karnataka’s school education department has proposed that the state government consider expanding the distribution of eggs, bananas, and chikkis under the PM Poshan scheme to the students of government high schools also.

According to sources in the department, the special nutrition food (SNF) has received positive responses from students between the 6-14 age group, or those studying in classes 1-8. In addition, officials also believe that the malnutrition problem is also a huge concern among high school students. “We have given a proposal to the state government to consider expanding SNF to government high school students to address the malnutrition issue among those students. The proposal is under consideration and is likely to come up in the pre-budget session of the legislature,” a department official said.

According to the officials, the expansion of SNF to high school students is expected to benefit around 9-12 lakh students and cost around Rs 32 crore annually. Initially, the central government distributed eggs as part of the midday meal scheme in seven districts of the Kalyan Karnataka region suffering from malnutrition. However, the state government formally unveiled plans to expand the distribution of eggs/bananas/chikkis to all districts in July. But the plans were implemented across all divisions — Bengaluru, Mysore, Kalaburgi, and Belagavi — only in October.

According to data provided by the department, as on December 14, 38.37 lahks of the total 47.97 lakh students across the four divisions preferred eggs, followed by 3.37 lakh students who chose bananas and 2.27 lakh students who opted for chikkis.

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While the distribution of SNF was also aimed at improving attendance in schools, the department is yet to conduct a full assessment.

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