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Ministry of Human Resource Development making education Available, Accessible, Affordable and Accountable.

In pursuance to Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision for ‘Transforming India’, Ministry of Human Resource Development took a leap forward in transforming education sector with the motto of “सबको शिक्षा, अच्छी शिक्षा ” (Education for All, Quality Education).

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In pursuance to Hon'ble Prime Minister's vision for ‘Transforming India’, Ministry of Human Resource Development took a leap forward in transforming education sector with the motto of सबको शिक्षाअच्छी शिक्षा ” (Education for All, Quality Education).

Year 2017 has been a yet another landmark year in the field of education as 'Education For All & Quality Education' guided policy actions and decisions enabling transformation, that emphasized upon making education Available, Accessible, Affordable and Accountable.

Learning Outcomes

A frequent criticism against the RTE Act was that it did not adequately focus on issues promoting quality education in schools. Therefore, in a landmark step, the Rules to the RTE Act were amended in February 2017 to include, for the first time, the class wise, subject wise Learning Outcomes till Class VIII, thereby emphasizing the importance of quality education.

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In this regard, Learning Outcomes for each class in Languages (Hindi, English and Urdu), Mathematics, Environmental Studies, Science and Social Science up to the elementary stage have been developed. These are the basic levels of learning that children should arrive at the end of each class.

Subsequently, 21 States and UTs, including Jammu and Kashmir, have incorporated the Learning Outcomes in their State Rules, while the remaining States have initiated the process, it is expected that this will be completed by the end of this year.

All the States and UTs have translated the Learning Outcomes document in their regional languages, and they are circulating these to all the teachers, and also providing them with the requisite training. Posters for display of Learning Outcomes on the schools along with leaflets on Learning Outcomes for reference of parents have been developed and circulated to all States and UTs. An amount of Rs. 91.20 crore has been released by the MHRD to all States and UTs for printing the Learning Outcomes documents, the Posters and the leaflets in regional languages, and for their distribution.

 

National Achievement Survey 2017-18

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National Achievement Survey (NAS) which was earlier based on textbook content is now a competency based evaluation. As compared to only 4.43 lakh students who were earlier tested across Classes 3, 5 and 8, this time around 22 lakh students from around 1,10,000 schools across 700 districts of India (including rural and urban) were assessed in the year 2017-18 (November 13, 2017) making it one of the largest sample surveys of student learning achievement.

 

This survey is an improvement over the previous cycles of NAS as it will be completed in the one full academic year. It will reflect the scores of the students and will be able to suggest academic intervention in the same academic year. District wise Result will be generated within 2 months of test conduction. NAS Reporting will show if the students’ learning levels are as per the learning outcomes of a particular grade. It will also look for association of school, teacher and students’ background variables with students’ achievements while analysing the data.

Through NAS 2017-18, it will be for the first time that the teachers will have a tool to understand what exactly the child should be learning in various classes, how to teach this through activities and how to measure and ensure that children have reached the required level. This will also help agencies at the District, State, and National level to conduct achievement surveys and assess the health of the system to improve upon the policy directives. Adding to this, for the first time there will be detailed district-specific report cards for all the districts in the country. 

 

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Teacher Education

Major Reforms:

  • Introduction of four year B.Ed. integrated programme with multiple pathways- with specialization for pre-primary, elementary, secondary and senior secondary teachers for enabling regulatory framework and orientation of all existing Teacher Education Institutions will be introduced from the academic session 2019-2020.

 

  • Guideline on Strengthening of District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs): As per the National Policy on Education (NPE), 1986, DIETs were envisaged for In-service as well as pre-service education. However, over the years, the focus had gradually shifted to pre-service education. Moreover, currently, there is no nodal agency with expertise in in-service training and thus to address this challenge, the Ministry of Human Resource Development has recently developed Guidelines on-strengthening of DIETs. Accordingly, States have been encouraged to do a district wise analysis before considering a reconceptualization of DIETs as per the models proposed in the MHRD Guideline on DIETs. This will also allow flexibility of getting more expertise into in-service teacher training.

 

  • DIKSHA (Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing): DIKSHA was launched on 5th September, 2017 by the Hon’ble Vice President of India, Shri. M. Venkaiah Naidu.

 

 

DIKSHA will accelerate and amplify solutions, experiments and innovations that are underway, and is being attempted in the areas of teacher training and professional development. States and TEIs have the autonomy and choice to repurpose and extend DIKSHA to suit their own needs and purposes. DIKSHA is for the benefit of Teachers in Schools, Teacher Educators and Student Teachers in Teacher Education Institutes (TEIs).

 

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  • Amendment of the RTE Act for Training of In-service Untrained Teachers:

In another landmark achievement, the Amendment to the Section 23(2) of the RTE Act to extend the period for training of untrained in-service elementary teachers to 31st March, 2019 has been passed by both the houses of Parliament on 1st August, 2017. The same was notified in Gazette of India on 10th August, 2017. As per the above amendment all untrained in-service elementary teachers working in Government, Government aided, and Private unaided schools should acquire minimum qualification as laid down by an academic authority, authorized by the Central Government, by 31st March, 2019.

This would ensure an improvement in the overall quality of teachers and teaching processes, and consequently learning outcomes of children. Further, it reinforces the Government's emphasis on improvement of quality of elementary education.

 

The training for untrained teachers is being conducted through Online Mode by National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS). The online D.El.Ed. Course has already been started from 3rd October, 2017. A unique feature of this initiative is that the study material for the course prepared by NIOS in self-instructional mode, is uploaded on the SWAYAM platform in four quadrants i.e. (1) Audio/Video lecture, (2) specially prepared reading material that can be downloaded/printed (3) self-assessment tests through tests and quizzes and (4) an online discussion forum for clearing the doubts. Three courses i.e., 501, 502 and 503 have already been uploaded on the SWAYAM Portal in 4 quadrants. The D.El.Ed. programme video lectures are also broadcast on SWAYAM PRABHA (DTH Channel no. 32).

 

A total of 14,02,962 in-service untrained teachers from Govt., Govt. Aided and Private Schools have registered on the NIOS portal and 13,58,000 admissions have been confirmed so far.

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Distribution of tablets in Kendriya Vidyalayas

Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan has initiated a pilot project for connecting students and their teachers through tablets preloaded with relevant e content to facilitate easy classroom transaction, creation of genuine interest among students and effective learning of the students.

 

The students of class VIII in 25 Kendriya Vidyalayas (one KV from each Region) shall be provided with good quality Tablets on pilot basis. Every child shall be given a tablet with pre-loaded content in Maths & Science. About 5000 students and teachers shall be involved in this project. Along with the students, their teachers of Maths and Science also shall be provided with tablets for transacting the subjects.

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Introduction of e-material/courses for Principals/HMs, teachers and students –

 

The Department is placing a lot of emphasis on the development and provision of e-content for students and also training of teachers, head masters and Principals.

            The CIET-NCERT is developing e-materials and online courses for teachers and students. So far 4524 e-materials (audios, videos, interactives, images, documents, maps etc.) have been developed.  They are regularly being validated and uploaded on the NROER portal and e-Pathshala portal. 

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NUEPA has established the National Centre for School Leadership (NCSL), which is conceptualizing and designing the Online Programme on School Leadership and Management using Moodle platform for School Heads. This e-learning course is envisioned as a Basic course and in the years to come NCSL would be designing Moderate and Advanced courses.

 

Two Days’ National Workshop – Chintan Shivir

This was organized by the Department of School Education and Literacy on 06-07 November, 2017.  More than 350 participants from various NGOs, Private organizations, individual experts, State officials etc. participated.

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Deliberations were on six themes – Digital Education for Students, Digital Education for Teachers, Value Education, Physical Education, Lifestyle Education and Experiential Education.

Presentations were made on these 6 themes to the Hon’ble Human Resource Development Minister by the participants. The recommendations are being reviewed and a detailed road map has also been prepared.

 

Ek Bharat Shresth Bharat – National Level Camp

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A Social Science Exhibition cum National Integration Camp was organized by the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi from 31st October to 2nd November, 2017, to celebrate Ek Bharat Shresth Bharat.  A total number of 1250 students of Kendriya Vidyalayas participated in this National level camp from all the 25 regions.

 

 

Enhanced allocation of funds under SSA for components promoting quality education

The allocation of SSA funds to States and UTs was revised and in 2016, 10% of the funds were allocated for components related to entitlements and promoting quality education in schools. In 2017 this was enhanced to 30%. It is expected this will further increase to around 40% by April, 2018. This is a huge departure from previous years when the funds were left untied and were utilised by States and UTs primarily for civil works and paying teacher’s salaries.

Annual grading of all States and UTs based on their achievements under the SSA and specific decisions taken during reviews by Hon’ble PM

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The SHAGUN portal was launched in January 2017 to enable real time monitoring of the SSA components and various decisions on elementary education taken during the reviews by Hon’ble Prime Minister. The Online Grading of States and UTs, which measures their performance, was introduced in September/October 2017, and it will be expanded and refined further so that it is a valuable tool enabling States and UTs to assess and improve their performance.

NCERT to distribute over 6 crore textbooks

NCERT launched a portal in August, 2017 to facilitate individuals, schools, States and UTs to directly purchase textbooks. By 11th December 2017, NCERT has received orders from 3524 schools for 1.56 crore copies through this portal. Apart from this NCERT has received direct orders from NVS and other states/UTs for about 1.55 crore copies. Thus, so far (by 11.12. 2017) NCERT has received orders for about 3.11 crore copies. It is expected that NCERT will be printing and distributing over 6 crore textbooks by June, 2018.

 

Textbooks will be distributed through four Regional Production-cum-Distribution Centres already established at Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Guwahati and Kolkata apart from Delhi HQ. NCERT has also empanelled 905 vendors across the country for distribution of textbooks.

Awarding cleanest schools under Swachh Vidyalaya

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During June 2016, DoSE&L launched the Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar to recognize, inspire and celebrate excellence in sanitation & hygiene practice in Government Schools in the areas of water, sanitation, hand washing with soap, operations and maintenance, behavior change and capacity building.

 

 

A total of 2, 68,402 schools applied online through web portal/Mobile App for the Puraskar. The schools were selected at the district, state and national level. 643 schools were evaluated at the national level and National awards were given to 172 schools on 1st September 2017 including elementary and secondary schools in both urban and rural areas.

 For 2018 the Puraskar has been extended to aided and private schools also and till 2nd week of November, 5.33 lakh Government, Aided and Private schools have submitted their applications for the Puraskar.

All schools to rollout the Automated Monitoring System at the school level under MDM

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This department has put in place an automated system of data collection for real time monitoring of Mid Day Meal Scheme.  Such data is being captured from schools with no cost to school Head Master/ Teacher.

Under the automated monitoring system, States/UTs have set up a suitable system of data collection (i.e. Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS)/SMS/Mobile Application/Web Application) from schools on a daily basis and using it for purpose of monitoring and timely follow up action. 

All the States/UTs are pushing data on specific field in a predefined format on a real time basis to the Central Server maintained by NIC.  Based on the data collected, various drill down reports are made available for real time monitoring of the scheme at National/State/District/Block level.

Improving universal access, gender parity and quality improvement in secondary education in 3479 Educationally Backward Blocks

An Innovation Fund has been set up under RMSA in order to encourage local innovative interventions for ensuring universal access, gender parity and quality improvement in secondary education in 3479 Educationally Backward Blocks. The fund is likely to be operationalised by December, 2017 and its impact should be visible by December, 2018.

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So far, proposals from 23 States have been received under the project and a Video Conference with the concerned States/UTs Governments has been held under the Chairmanship of Secretary (SE&L) on 08.12.2017 in which the proposals have been considered.

Capturing Aadhaar based data of all 25 crore school students and creation of a Students Data Management and Information System (SDMIS) –

The Department is creating a database of all students in the country along with their Aadhaar details, which will help in reducing drop outs, duplicate enrolments, improve planning process and ensure efficient utilisation of resources.

Till date, data of nearly 21 crore students has been captured. By April, 2018, it is likely that the SDMIS will have captured data of all the 25 crore students, which will be updated on an annual basis thereafter.

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Providing gender segregated toilets in all schools

The Prime Minister of India on 15th August 2014 announced that all government schools in the country should have toilets with separate toilets for girls within one year. The Department of School Education and Literacy launched “Swachh Bharat: Swachh Vidyalaya” campaign as a collaborative effort of the Central Government which provided funding through Centrally sponsored schemes of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan, Swachh Bharat Kosh, and the States/Union Territories with Public Sector Undertakings and Private Corporates.

 

Under this initiative, 4, 17,796 toilets were constructed/made functional in 2, 61,400 schools in a period of one year up to 15th August 2015. With this, India achieved the target of providing 100% access to functional toilets in all government schools across the country.

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The provision of toilet facilities in all schools has enhanced sanitation standards in schools leading to better health and hygiene among the children. ‘Swachh Vidyalaya’ was also recognized as one of the priority programmes for Prime Minister’s Excellence Award for 2016.

 

Scholarship:

  • National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship Scheme (NMMSS)
  • 3.80 lakh scholarships have been sanctioned for the last three years from 2014-15 to 2016-17.
  • 3.59 lakh scholarships have been sanctioned for the current year 2017-18 as on 8.12.2017.

 

  • National Scheme of Incentive to Girls for Secondary Scholarship (NSIGSE)
  • 9.71 lakh incentive to girls have been sanctioned for the last three years from 2014-15 to 2016-17.
  • 7.12 lakh incentives to girls have been sanctioned for the current year 2017-18 as on 8.12.2017.
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Other achievements of the Department of SE&L

  • A Bill for amending the no-detention provision under the RTE Act and allowing States to detain a student at Classes 5 and 8 has been introduced in the Lok Sabha.
  • Board examinations made mandatory for 10th in all CBSE Schools.
  • Mid Day Meal scheme offers food every day to 9.78 crore students in 11.40 lakh schools and 25.38 lakh cooks are employed in preparing it.
  • 3 Crore illiterates became literate and passed the literacy test in adult literacy campaign.
  • 93 Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs) started during last 3 years and 19 KVs are to be started shortly.
  • 62 new Navodaya Vidyalas sanctioned.

 

NEW EDUCATION POLICY (NEP)

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In view of the vastly transformed landscape of education in India in terms of coverage, content and delivery systems, a New Education Policy is being formulated after nearly 30 years.  

 

MHRD has embarked on an unprecedented collaborative, multi- stakeholder and multi-pronged consultation process. The consultative process has reached out to individuals across the country through more than 2.75 lakh direct consultations while also taking online inputs. The online consultation process was undertaken on www.MyGov.in portal from 26th January, 2015 to 31st October, 2015 and nearly 29000 suggestions were received on the 33 identified themes.

 

Over 200 thematic national workshops were held with a youth survey by the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace, Sustainable Development.  With regard to School Education, 1, 10,623 villages, 3250 Blocks, 725 Urban Local Bodies from 340 districts of 19 States have uploaded their Grassroots Consultation Reports on www.MyGov.in  portal.

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Similarly, 2741 Blocks, 962 Urban Local Bodies from 406 districts in 20 States have done the same with regard to Higher Education.  A Committee for Evolution of the New Education Policy has been constituted to examine the outcome documents, recommendations & suggestions received and formulate a draft National Education Policy as well as a Framework for Action.

 

National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF)

It was launched on 29th September 2015, ranks institutions based on objective and verifiable criteria. It has been made available separately for Engineering, Management, Pharmaceutical, Architecture, Humanities, Law and for Universities.

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The first ranks were declared on 4th April 2016. More than 3,500 institutions have participated in the exercise, making it the highest participated ranking exercise in the World. The second India Rankings were released in April 2017. 

 

SWAYAM (Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds)

The Ministry of HRD, has embarked on a major and new initiative called ‘Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds’ (SWAYAM), which will provide one integrated platform and portal for online courses, using information and communication technology (ICT) and covering all higher education subjects and skill sector courses to ensure that every student in the country has access to the best quality higher education at affordable cost.

The SWAYAM IT platform is indigenously developed that facilitates hosting of courses, taught in classrooms from 9th class till post-graduation in a number of disciplines that can be accessed by anyone, anywhere at any time. The three cardinal principles of Education Policy viz., access, equity and quality shall be achieved by providing high quality e-content to all learners in the country through SWAYAM.

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Courses delivered through SWAYAM are available free of cost to the learners and are delivered by best of the teaching fraternity. Hon’ble President of India had officially launched   SWAYAM, on July 9th, 2017. At present about 750 MOOCs (Massive open online courses) courses are listed on SWAYAM and about 330 MOOCs are running, wherein about 6 Lakhs (5, 92,178) students have registered for these courses.

 

 

(On the auspicious occasion of “Guru Purnima” on 9th July, 2017, the Hon’ble President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee launched the SWAYAM)

 

SWAYAM PRABHA

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It is an initiative to provide 32 high quality educational channels through DTH (Direct to Home) across the length and breadth of the country on 24X7 basis. This would enable to deliver e-education in a most cost effective manner.  

The Department of Space has allotted two Transponders of GSAT-15 for the same. The subscribers of free DTH service of Doordarshan (Free dish) would be able to view these Educational channels using the same set Top Box and TV. No additional investment would be required. 

These educational programmes delivered over DTH shall also be made available at YouTube as archival data. The information related to channel schedules; subject, archival link etc are available on SWAYAM Prabha portal (https://swayamprabha.gov.in/) which is developed by INFLIBNET Gandhinagar.

 

 

(Launch Of “Swayam”, “Swayam Prabha DTH Channels” & “National Academic Depository” By Hon’ble President Of India During “National Convention On Digital Initiatives” organized By MHRD From 8th July to 10th July 2017 At Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi).

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National Academic Depository (NAD)

The Government of India is committed towards bringing administrative and academic reforms using technology for delivery of efficient services to all stakeholders. A step in this direction is the initiative of digital depository of academic awards known as National Academic Depository (NAD).  

 

The NAD has been launched by Hon’ble President of India on 9th July, 2017. NAD is an online store house of academic awards (degrees, diplomas, certificates, mark-sheets etc) lodged by the academic institutions / school boards / eligibility assessment bodies in a digital format.

 

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NAD is on 24X7 online mode for making available academic awards and help in validating their authenticity, their safe storage and easy retrieval. As on 24th November, 2017, 74.81 lakh records have been uploaded on the NAD Portal

 

National Digital Library (NDL)

Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) is establishing the National Digital Library (NDL) under the National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT) with the objective to host a national repository of existing e-content available across educational institutions in the country and e-content developed under NMEICT. IIT Kharagpur has been entrusted to host, coordinate and set-up National Digital Library (NDL) of India towards building a national asset.

 

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The objective of the project is to integrate all the existing digitized and digital contents across educational and cultural institutions/bodies to provide a single-window access to different groups of users ranging across the entire population. 

 

NDL Portal (https: //ndl.iitkgp. ac.in) went live in February 2016 with users from selected CFTIs (Centrally Funded Technical Institutes), opened to all in February 2017 (with release of Mobile App), with daily website hits: ~30K. User base – Registered: 17+ Lakhs, Active: 7+ Lakhs, Content items, 72 Lakhs, Sources: 142 and IDR Sources: 85. Mobile App (Android): Launched in January, 2017, 3.5 Lakhs download and daily Android hits: ~20K. Training & awareness development IDR workshops: 19 and user workshops.

 

Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA)

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            The Cabinet considered and approved the proposal of establishment of HEFA in its meeting dated 12th September 2016. In order to give a big push for building up robust higher educational institutions, the Cabinet has approved creation of the Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) with Government equity of Rs. 1,000 Cr.

 

            The creation of HEFA will enable major investments for creation of high quality infrastructure in premier educational institutions. The HEFA would be formed as an SPV within a PSU Bank/Government-owned-NBFC (Promoter). It would leverage the equity to raise up to Rs. 20,000 Cr for funding projects for infrastructure and development of world class Labs in IITs/IIMs/NITs and such other institutions.

 

The HEFA would finance the academic and research infrastructure projects through a 10-yr loan. The principal portion of the loan will be repaid through the ‘internal accruals’ of the institutions. The Government would service the interest portion through the regular grant assistance.

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            All the Centrally Funded Higher Educational Institutions would be eligible for joining as members of the HEFA. For joining as members, the Institution should agree to escrow a specific amount from their internal accruals to HEFA for a period of 10 years. This secured future flows would be securitised by the HEFA for mobilising the funds from the market. Each member institution would be eligible for a credit limit as decided by HEFA based on the amount agreed to be escrowed from the internal accruals.

The HEFA would be jointly promoted by the identified Joint Promoter, Canara Bank  and the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) with an authorized capital of Rs.2,000 crore. The Government equity would be Rs.1, 000 crore.

 

The HEFA would also mobilize CSR funds from PSUs/Corporates, which would in turn be released for promoting research and innovation in these institutions on grant basis. 

Canara Bank was identified and appointed as Joint Venture partner on 29.12.2016 for establishment of Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) to manage the financing agency incorporated under the Companies Act, 2013 and also registered with RBI as NBFC. An MOU was signed on 9th February, 2017 between MHRD and Canara Bank for the same. Later, Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) was also signed between MHRD and Canara Bank on 16th March, 2017.

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The investment in the equity of the JVC by MHRD, GOI and Canara Bank shall be in the following proportion:

 

S. No.

Party

Contribution (in Rs.)

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Shareholding Percentage

1.       

GoI

Rs. 1000,00,00,000/-

90.91

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2.       

Canara Bank

Rs.   100,00,00,000/-

9.09

 

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HEFA has now been incorporated as Section 8 Company under the Companies Act, 2013 on 31.5.2017. The following subscription of equity has so far been made to HEFA by MHRD and Canara Bank:

 

Name of the Subscriber

Amount (Rs. In Crores)

GoI, MHRD, Department of Higher Education

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250

Canara Bank

50

Total

300

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The first and second meeting of the Board of Directors of HEFA was held on 12-06-2017 and 11-8-2017 respectively. HEFA is now functional and institutes have accordingly been informed along with format of application to take the benefit of HEFA on 16 -8-2017.

 

The third meeting of the Board of Directors of HEFA was held on 29-11-2017 in which following loan applications to HEFA were considered:

 

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S. No.

Name of the Institution

Proposed Loan amount (Rs. in Crore)

1

IIT – Kanpur 

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391

2

IIT – Delhi

200

3

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IIT – Kharagpur

500

4

IIT- Madras

300

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5

IIT- Bombay

521

6

NIT – Surathkal

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80

 

Total

1992

 

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 INDIA SURVEY ON HIGHER EDUCATION

All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) was initiated in 2011 in which data for the year 2010-11 were collected. The survey was utmost necessary as none of the sources of data on Higher education gave a complete picture of higher education in the country. Also, there were many important parameters on which data were required for policy making but either no data was available or incomplete data was available.

For the first time all the major Stakeholders in Higher Education such as Medical Council of India, University Grants Commissions, All India Council for Technical Education as well as State Governments have participated in for the data collection exercise. The entire survey was conducted through electronic mode and a dedicated portal www.aishe.gov.in was developed for this purpose, thus making the exercise completely paperless.

The survey covers all the Institutions in the country engaged in imparting higher education. Data are being collected on several parameters such as teachers, student enrolment, programmes, examination results, education finance, infrastructure etc. Indicators of education development such as Institution Density, Gross Enrolment Ratio, Pupil-teacher ratio, Gender Parity Index etc. are calculated from the data collected through AISHE. These are useful in making informed policy decisions and research for development of education sector.

During AISHE 2016-17, 96.6% University, 92.1% Colleges and 72.4% Stand-Alone Institutions uploaded the data on the portal. Final report for the AISHE 2010-11 to 2015-16 are available on MHRD website. Survey for the year 2016-17 has been completed & Survey for the year 2017-18 will soon be launched.

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SWACHHTA PAKHWADA

An exercise called ‘Swachhta Rankings” of Higher Educational Institutions were held on 14th September 2017. More than 3000 institutions participated in the online submission of their levels of campus cleanliness based on some key parameters like toilet adequacy, water purity & supply, hostel kitchen facilities & cleanliness, campus greenery, method of waste disposal, garbage cleaning systems etc. The best institutions in 5 categories were awarded.

 

 

To coincide with the Swachhta Pakhwada of the Department, under the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan programme, District Collectors were asked to complete Open defecation free (ODF) with facility for solid and liquid waste management in at least 1 village adopted by the educational institution in their district. 5 Collectors of Ajmer, Warangal, Telangana, Jhabua & Indore were the top 5 Collectors who completed the task in time and were awarded at the function on 14th September 2017. More than 1400 families in the villages benefited from this campaign.

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RESEARCH PARKS

Five new Research Parks at IIT Delhi, IIT Guwahati, IIT Kanpur, IIT Hyderabad, and IISc Bangalore at a total cost of Rs.75.00 crore each have been approved by the Government.  Approval has also been accorded for continuation of two already approved Research Parks at IIT Bombay and IIT Kharagpur at a cost of Rs.100 crore each.

The Research Park at IIT Gandhinagar at a total cost of Rs.90 crore is being funded by the Department of Science & Technology

 

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IMPRINT INDIA   

IMPRINT India is an effort to direct research in the premier institutions into areas of social relevance.  Under this, 10 domains have been identified which could substantially impact the living standards of the rural areas: (1) health care technology, (2) energy security, (3) rural urban housing design, (4) Nano technology, (5) water/river system, (6) advanced materials, (7) computer science and ICT, (8) manufacturing technology, (9) advanced security and (10) environment/climate change. Each of these domains is coordinated by one IIT.

 

More than 2,600 research proposals have been submitted by scientists in the priority areas of these domains. These have been examined by eminent scientists and 259 proposals for Rs. 595.89 crore have been approved for implementation. 142 research projects costing Rs. 323.17 crore with joint funding by MHRD and various participating Ministries / departments are currently under execution under IMPRINT – I. IMPRINT-II is under process for approval.

 

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UCHCHTAR AAVISHKAR ABHIYAAN

The scheme was launched to promote industry-specific need-based research so as to keep up the competitiveness of the Indian industry in the global market. All the IITs have been encouraged to work with the industry to identify areas where innovation is required and come up with solutions that could be brought up to the commercialization level. 

 

Under the UAY, it is proposed to invest Rs. 250 crores every year on identified projects proposed by IITs, provided the Industry contributes 25% of the project cost. For the year 2016-17, (92) projects for Rs. 285.15 crore have been approved for implementation.

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IIT Madras is the National Coordinator of the scheme. (160) proposals have been received of which industry has agreed to contribute Rs. 156 Cr, making this one of the biggest ever industry-academia partnership. These research projects are expected to result in registration of patents.

 

Other Initiatives

  • Improving Gender Balance in IITs: For improving Gender Balance in IITs, the IIT Council in its 51st meeting held on 28.04.2017, on the basis of the recommendations of a JAB Sub Committee, and decided to increase female enrolment in B.Tech. programmes of IITs from the current 8% to 14% in 2018-19, 17% in 2019-20 and 20% in 2020-21 by creating supernumerary seats.
  • Premier Testing Facility: The Union Cabinet in its meeting held on 10.11.2017 approved creation of the National Testing Agency (NTA) as an autonomous and self-sustained premier testing organization to conduct all entrance examinations for higher education institutions in the country.
  • Several welfare measures viz. Anti-Ragging Cell, Anti-discrimination Cell, Gender Sensitization Cell, Internal Complaints Committee for prevention of Sexual Harassment & Barrier Free access for specially abled students in all places have been introduced.
  • Six new IITs at Jammu, Bhilai, Goa, Dharwad, Tirupati and Palakkad were established and operationalized at a total cost of Rs.1411 crore.
  • The proposal for construction of permanent campuses of these IITs was approved by the Union Cabinet in November, 2017 at a total cost of Rs.7002.42 crore for Phase-A.
  • Global Initiative for Academics Network (GIAN)The GIAN programme brings together foreign and Indian faculties to teach an academic course that provides the credit to participating students selected from the world’s leading academic institutions. Under this Scheme, foreign schemes are coming and conducting courses, out of which 802 courses have been completed. In 2017-18, a total of 156 courses have been conducted till now.
  • Smart India Hackathon 2017First time India organized Smart India Hackathon 2017 with participation of more than 42,000 engineering students working on 600 problem statement to all digital solutions from 30 ministries. Second Smart India Hackathon 2018 has been announced and about one lakh engineering students are expected to participate.
  • Wi-Fi under implementation in 38 Central Universities.
  • University Grants Commission (Open and Distance Learning) Regulations, 2017 have been recently notified in the month of June, 2017 keeping in view the urgent need of appropriate regulations for monitoring of higher education through the open and distance mode. The open and distance learning system in India has emerged as an important mode for providing education to diverse sections of society.  These regulations provide clear directions and instructions for HEIs proposing to offer UG and PG courses through the ODL mode, along with the mechanism of approvals, assessment and monitoring.
  • UGC (Institutions of Eminence Deemed to be Universities) Regulations, 2017 have been notified to create a distinct category of Deemed to be Universities, called Institutions of Eminence Deemed to be Universities, which would be regulated differently from other Deemed to be Universities so as to evolve into Institutions of world class in reasonable time period. Also, in order to assist Indian Higher Education Institutions to get a rank within the top 100 in globally renowned rankings, UGC has invited applications under the Institutions of eminence schemewherein 10 institutions from the government and 10 institutions from the private sector are to be selected.   Government Institutions will get financial assistance of 1000 crores over a period of five years in addition to the grant already being received.   The institutions selected from the private sector will have complete autonomy to promote innovation and creativity expected to result in producing competent graduates for the development of the country.

 

Major Legislative Reforms

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  • IIT Public Private Partnership Bill – Lok Sabha passed the Indian Institute of Information Technology Public Private Partnership Bill 2017, on 26th July 2017, that seeks to allow 15 IIITs established on a PPP model to grant degrees
  • The IIIT Bill 2014 was notified in the Gazette on 05.01.2015. The Bill which was approved by the Cabinet in August, 2012 and introduced during the Budget Session had lapsed with the dissolution of the Lok Sabha. The Bill, provides independent statutory status to the four existing IIITs in Allahabad, Gwalior, Jabalpur and Kancheepuram, which are funded by the Central Government, as also to declare them to be institutions of National Importance.
  • National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) which was launched on 29th September 2015, ranks institutions based on objective and verifiable criteria. It has been made available separately for Engineering, Management, Pharmaceutical, Architecture, Humanities, Law and for Universities as a whole. The first ranks were declared on 4th April 2016. More than 3,500 institutions have participated in the exercise, making it the highest participated ranking exercise in the WorldThe second India Rankings were released in April 2017. 
  • Passing of IIM Bill, 2017 by Lok Sabha Indian Institutes of Management are the country’s premier institutions imparting best quality education in management on globally benchmarked processes of education and training in management. IIMs are recognized as world-class management Institutions and Centers of Excellence and have brought laurels to the country.  All IIMs are separate autonomous bodies registered under the Societies Act.

 

Being societies, IIMs are not authorized to award degrees and, hence, they have been awarding Post Graduate Diploma and Fellow Programme in Management.    While these awards are treated as equivalent to MBAs and Ph.D, respectively, the equivalence is not universally acceptable, especially for the Fellow Programme.    Therefore, after approval of the Cabinet, IIM Bill, 2017 was introduced in the Lok Sabha, under which the IIMs would be declared as Institutions of National Importance and which will enable them to grant degrees to their students.  Bill has been passed in both the Houses of Parliament.

 

Salient Features of IIM Bill

Apart from authority to grant degrees, the Bill provides for complete autonomy to the Institutions, combined with adequate accountability. Management of these Institutions would be Board driven, with the Chairperson and Director of an Institution to be selected by the Board. A greater participation of experts and alumni in the Board is another of the important features in the Bill. Provision has also been made for presence of women and members from Scheduled Castes/Tribes in the Board. The Bill also provides for periodic review of the performance of Institutions by independent agencies, and placing the results of the same on public domain. The Annual Report of the Institutions will be placed in the Parliament and CAG will be auditing their accounts. There is also a provision of a Coordination Forum of IIMs, chaired by an eminent person, as an advisory body.

 

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Important Achievements of NCERT

  • Inclusive Education: The Council has developed the Tactile Map Book in Geography for students with visual impairments, Barkha Reading Series for All consisting of 40 booklets with additional features to aid early reading in inclusive settings has been developed in print and digital forms.
  • Performance Indicators: NCERT has developed a Framework for Performance Indicators (PINDICS) for elementary school teachers and shared with States/UTs. NCERT has made PINDICs on-line.
  • Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan (RAA): NCERT has developed Guidelines for the creation of State Resource Group for RAA. This has been shared with the states/UTs.
  • Textual Material on Yoga: The Textual Materials on Yoga for students of Upper Primary and Secondary stages in English, Hindi and Urdu have been developed by NCERT. 
  • Veer Gatha: NCERT has developed “Veer Gatha” highlighting the sacrifices and patriotism of the war heroes of the country.
  • NCERT has brought out publications on Sanitation, Cleanliness, Hygiene and Environmental Protection for students and teachers.
  • North East India-People, History and Culture- a publication has been brought out by the NCERT.
  • Publication and Dissemination Textbooks- More than 4.25 million copies of various NCERT publications in English, Hindi and Urdu have been brought out.
  • Vocational Education: Under NSQF, the NCERT has developed students’ workbooks and modules for various job roles in different sectors such as Construction, Organic farming, Floriculturist, Micro Irrigation, Junior Software Developer, Marketing and Sales Management, etc.  The NCERT is also in the process of developing curricula and student’ workbooks for another 100 job roles. 
  • Contribution in Pre-service Teacher Education: NCERT’s innovative and integrated pre-service teacher education courses i.e., B.Sc. B.Ed. (four year), B.A. B.Ed.(four year) and B.Ed. (two year) have now been replicated across the country since 2015.
  • NCERT has conducted Yoga Olympiad and also National Role Play, Folk Dance Competition and Youth Festival for promoting health, yoga and life skills. In these programmes students and teachers from most of the states/UTs took part.
  • The Council organized 44th Jawaharlal Nehru National Science, Mathematics and Environment Exhibition (JNNSMEE) at Bhopal from 10 to 16 November 2017.
  • Kala Utsav: It is being organized in January, 2018 at Bhopal

 

Specific Targets to be achieved period up to March 2018

  • Implementation of learning outcomes across the States/UTs.
  • Development of e-content and digital books in all the subject areas for all the classes.
  • Conducting school achievement survey for class X.
  • Conducting researches related to school education and teacher education.
  • Offering pre-service teacher education programmes in all regions.
  • Organising need based in-service teacher professional development programmes in different subject areas across the country.
  • Organization of Audio-video Festival and ICT Mela.
  • Establishment of a Centre for Popularisation of Science.
  • Enhancing International Educational Cooperation.
  • Organising activities for promoting innovative practices.
  • Organising National Outreach Programme Workshop on Practices of Inclusion.

 

Initiatives taken by Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan

  • Union HRD Minister launches Swasth Bachche-Swasth Bharat Programme of KVS – Union Minister for HRD, Prakash Javadekar inaugurated the “Swasth Bachche Swasth Bharat” programme of Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan at KV NAD, Aluva (Kochi) on 21st August 2017. The Minister unveiled the Physical Health and Fitness Profile card for more than 12 lakh students of KVS. The KVS had already done a pilot in Patna and Chandigarh Region during the academic year 2016-17. Looking at the positive results on health and fitness of School going children, the KVS decided to implement it in all the KVs of the country. Activities under this ambitious programme are selected to measure various components of physical fitness of all the students in the age group of 5 to 8 years and 9 to 19 Years. Balanced emphasis is laid down on- Diet, Personal Hygiene and Clean Environment, Suggested Daily Routine and Yoga for Peace & Harmony.

 

 

 

 

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  • Sh. Prakash Javadekar laid foundation stone of K.V. Shahdara – Hon’ble HRD Minister Sh. Prakash Javadekar laid the foundation stone of Kendriya Vidyalaya, GT Road Shahdara in North East Delhi on 23rd February 2017. This is the first K.V. in this area. Hon’ble Minister formally laid the foundation of the school and unveiled the plaque before the huge gathering. Hon’ble M.P. of North East Delhi Sh. Manoj Tiwari, Commissioner, K.V.S.  Sh. Santosh Kumar Mall were the guests of honour on this occasion. KVS Additional Commissioner (Admin) Sh. G.K. Srivastava and Additional Commissioner (Acad) Sh. U.N. Khaware were present as the special guests on the dais.

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Swiss Learning’s interactive showcase on global learning concludes in Mumbai

The interactive showcase themed ‘Discover the World of Swiss Education’

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Swiss Learning, a Switzerland-based educational organization, organized an interactive showcase on global learning on February 3. The interactive showcase themed ‘Discover the World of Swiss Education’ was held at The St. Regis Mumbai.
According to a press release issued by Swiss Learning, the interactive showcase was attended by various dignitaries from Switzerland, including the Consulate General and the Founder & Director of Swiss Learning, Christophe Clivaz along with parents, students, and 11 of the top boarding and hospitality schools of Switzerland.

Sharing his thoughts on the event, Christophe Clivaz, Founder & Director at Swiss Learning said, “Switzerland has emerged as a prime location for research, education, and innovation. Students traveling to Switzerland are also exposed to a variety of a-graded programs in different languages. Every year, we see 50-100 Indian students traveling to Switzerland in pursuit of the country’s educational excellence and world-class boarding facilities.”

The event hosted in partnership with Zista Events started with a Leadership Masterclass hosted by Stuart Alan White, Principal, Collège Alpin Beau Soleil. Next was interactive networking which explored the virtues of time management, emotional intelligence, decision-making, problem-solving, and creativity.

Further, Alumni from 2 Swiss boarding schools, namely Aiglon College and Institut Le Rosey, hosted a panel discussion with Mr. Clivaz and discussed how a Swiss education has made a lasting impact on their lives, both personally and professionally, as per the press release.

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PARAKH becomes the First National Assignment Regulator

NCERT selects ETS for establishing national assessment regulator PARAKH

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Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development (PARAKH) will act as a top body for setting norms, standards, and guidelines for student assessment and evaluation for school education boards.

Educational Testing Service (ETS) on Tuesday announced that they have been selected by the National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT) for establishing PARAKH, the country’s first national assessment regulator.

Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development (PARAKH) will act as a top body for setting norms, standards, and guidelines for student assessment and evaluation for all recognized school education boards in the country.

Announcing ETS as a technical partner for PARAKH, Professor Indrani Bhaduri, head of the Educational Survey Division at NCERT, said, “NCERT on behalf of the Ministry of Education, Govt. of India, is in the process of setting up PARAKH, as mandated by the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 and is delighted to have ETS as the technical partner in this endeavor.”

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“Their understanding of global best practices in curriculum and assessment will be a great asset in standardizing these aspects across the various school boards in the country….”

Amit Sevak, CEO of ETS, said, “ETS is honored to work alongside NCERT in building the future of learning through innovation and quality assessment expertise to measure what matters most as India becomes a powerhouse in global education.”

NCERT has launched PARAKH intending to remove disparities in scores of students enrolled in different state boards.

It is in line with NEP 2020 which envisaged a standard-setting body to advise school boards regarding new assessment patterns and the latest research, and promote collaborations between them.

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Oxford University Press India releases early-year solutions aligned with National Curriculum Framework for Foundational Stages (NCF-FS) and NEP 2020

The flagship OUP titles My Learning Train (pre-primary and primary), Oxford Advantage Little Champ (blended product for beginners and levels 1&2) and New Enjoying Mathematics (grades 1,2) emphasise interactivity-oriented approach conforming to the National Curriculum Framework for Foundational Stages 2022.

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Oxford University Press India (OUP), a department of the prestigious University of Oxford, has released its early-year range of blended solutions conforming to the National Curriculum Framework 2022 for Foundational Stages (NCF-FS) based on the recommendations of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.  A leader in the K-8 education segment in India, OUP is one of the first solution providers to launch NCF-FS aligned series of schoolbooks, workbooks and blended products.

The newly designed series of blended products are based on the recommendations of NCF-FS for a seamless developmental continuum for children between the age groups of 3-8 covering Early Childhood Care and Education of the first three years and classes 1 and 2, with teachers as torch bearer of this change. Transitioning to the new curricular and pedagogical structure, the products are available in print and digital (blended) formats to be deployed by the partner schools in the upcoming academic session 2023-24.

Releasing India’s first series of NCF-FS aligned solutions, Sumanta Datta, Managing Director, Oxford University Press India, said, “OUP has been instrumental in providing research and pedagogy based high-quality content to the learners. In the last eleven decades of our presence in India, OUP has been trusted for providing meaningful content, learning resources and for extending support to school teachers and parents to offer holistic learning. We welcome the National Curriculum Framework for the Foundational Stage (NCF-FS) and assure that our products would empower teachers and educators to implement the objectives of NEP2020 while incorporating 21st century skills of communication, critical thinking, creativity and collaboration through many of its features.”

About the newly released blended solutions:

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  1. Oxford Advantage Little Champ is a blended product, available both in print and digital formats.  It follows theme-based approach to help children achieve foundational literacy and numeracy and build general awareness about their surroundings.  For beginners, and levels 1 and 2, Little Champ uses age-appropriate text and illustrations for visual appeal, audio-visuals and storytelling to introduce letters in a fun way, number rhymes for numeral recognition, augment-reality enabled colouring sheets, visual arts and more. Following NCF’s five steps learning process Panchaadi, OUP’s Little Champ is mapped to the five domains of physical development, socio-emotional and ethical development, cognitive development, language and literacy development.
  2. The interactive training series My Learning Train introduces teachers to Kinolearn and Kinophonics activity-based methodologies developed in India by the author Sonia Relia.  Using easily accessible resources across different regions, this series brings treasure bogies of activities, resource books, workbooks, stories, rhymes, folk tools, rhythms and music, art, games, templates, extended story banks with bilingual stories, flashcards, boardgames, worksheets, finger puppets, posters and much more that help children to comprehend and develop skills across all learning domains and learning styles. It focuses on inherent skill development and learning-by-doing and uses activities to introduce concepts and reinforce learning.
  3. OUP also recently revised its bestselling Mathematics series New Enjoying Mathematics to cover all five levels of the Foundational Stage (3 years of pre-primary, along with grades 1 and 2). The series covers all maths-specific competencies listed in the NCF for the foundational stage.  The series author Aashalata Badami deploys ELPS method (E-experience with concrete objects, L-language, P-picture, S-symbol) for concept-building and incorporates an activity-oriented approach, which aims to remove maths phobia from the minds of young learners. The series emphasises on the cognitive, creative, and physical development of children, using a variety of tools to connect ideas with their immediate world and interests.

The National Curriculum Framework for Foundational Stage (NCF-FS), released in October 2022 marks a paradigm shift in our understanding of education.  It sets clear guidelines towards play and activity-based learning rooted in Indian ethos. NCF-FS recommends a seamless developmental continuum for children between the age groups of 3-8 covering early childhood care and education for the first three years and classes 1 and 2, with teachers as torchbearers of this change.

***

About Oxford University Press

Oxford University Press (OUP) is a department of the University of Oxford. It further affirms the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. OUP is the world’s largest university press with the widest global presence. It publishes in many countries, in more than 40 languages, and in a variety of formats – print and digital. OUP products cover an extremely broad academic and educational spectrum, and it aims to make content available to users in a format that suits them best.

OUP celebrates 110 years of its presence in India. Branching out from publishing – OUP India has emerged as an integrated education services provider.  OUP products cover an extremely broad academic and educational spectrum; publishing for all audiences – from pre-school to secondary level schoolchildren; students to academics; general readers to researchers; individuals to institutions.

Learn more about OUP at www.india.oup.com

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Budget 2023: Education Ministry gets a highest-ever allocation of ₹1.12 lakh cr

This is also the highest-ever budget allocated to the ministry.

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Education Ministry’s Department of School Education and Literacy has been allocated ₹68,804.85 crores, while the Higher Education Department has been allocated ₹44,094.62 crores.

In the 2023-24 financial year, the central government plans to spend over ₹1.12 lakh crore in the education sector. An outlay of the Ministry of Education for the next financial year is ₹1,12,898.97 crore, which is a significant increase from revised estimates of the current financial year.

This is also the highest-ever budget allocated to the ministry.

Education Ministry’s Department of School Education and Literacy has been allocated ₹68,804.85 crores, while the Higher Education Department has been allocated ₹44,094.62 crores.

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As per revised estimates for the 2022-23 financial year shown in budget documents, the Higher Education budget for the current financial year stands at ₹40,828.35. The School Education Department got ₹59,052.78.

Education Budget 2023: Key Highlights

In the school education budget, the government has allocated ₹364.1 crore for Central Sector Schemes/Projects, which include National Award to Teachers, Pradhan Mantri Innovative Learning Programme (DHRUV), and the National Means cum Merit Scholarship Scheme.

Expenditure of autonomous bodies for 2023-24 is at ₹14,391.36 crores. This includes ₹8,363.98 crores for Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS); ₹5,486.50 crores for Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti and ₹518.50 allocated to the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT).

A large chunk of the school education budget has been allocated to Samagra Shiksha. The government has announced ₹37,453.47 crores for the country’s biggest school education scheme.

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The government plans to spend ₹11,600 crore under Pradhan Mantri Poshan Shakti Nirman (PM POSHAN). PM Poshan is a replacement for the mid-day meal scheme.

In the Higher Education budget, the center has allocated ₹1,554 crores for PM Uchchatar Shiksha Protsahan (PM-USP) Yojna and ₹400 crores for PM Research Fellowship.

For Digital India e-learning, the government has allocated ₹420 crores, just 5 crores more than revised estimates for 2022-23.

The total expenditure budget for Research and Innovation is ₹210.61 crore.

Statutory bodies University Grants Commission (UGC) and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) have been allocated ₹5,360 crores and ₹420 crores, respectively.

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Support to Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) is at ₹9,661.50 crore and support to NITs and IIEST is at ₹4,620 crores.

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Cambridge International co-ed School, Jalandhar hosts The New India Education Summit – Edition 2.0

To set a path towards a New India, NIES is focused on discussion, deliberation, and action.

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The New India Education Summit edition 2.0 was held on 4th February 2023 at Cambridge International co-ed School, Jalandhar, Punjab. To set a path towards a New India, NIES is focused on discussion, deliberation, and action. Over 100 educators from Ludhiana, Amritsar, Mohali, Patiala, and Jalandhar gathered to discuss the theme – ‘Enabling New India’s Aspirations with the NCF’.

After the morning coffee and registrations, educators gathered in the Plenary Hall and were addressed by Harleen Mohanty, Principal, of Cambridge International Co-Ed School. This was followed by a welcome note from Ravi Santlani, CEO, ScooNews. Anand Krishnaswamy, Innovator, Strategist and Educationist delivered a brief introduction to begin the conference.

A digital note was delivered by Dr. Swati Popat Vats, President, the Early Childhood Association (ECA) & Association for Primary Education and Research (APER) on the Crux of NCF-ECCE. Following this, Mihir Gupta, Co-Founder, and CEO, of Teachmint, delivered a presentation on Integrated Curriculum. Leena Singh, Director, Content Solutions, Burlington English, spoke about the how, when, and why of The White Paper.

Ravi Santlani proceeded to introduce Maj Gen SS Nair AVSM (Retd), Director, Birla Education Trust, Pilani, Urvashi Warman, Principal, The Palace School, Jaipur, and Anand Krishnaswamy, Innovator, Strategist & Educationist, mentors for the focused discussion groups.

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After a quick tea break, the school leaders were divided into groups in three separate breakout rooms for discussion. The first group was mentored by Urvashi Warman on NCF-ECCE. The second breakout room was mentored by Anand Krishnaswamy on the topic NCF-School Education. The third breakout room was mentored by Maj Gen SS Nair AVSM (Retd) on NCF-Teacher Education.

Post-lunch, the leaders assembled back to Plenary Hall where Urvashi Warman led an open house quiz on NCF ECCE. Following this, each group shared the findings on their respective topics led by their mentors. Ravi Santlani and Harleen Mohanty delivered the thank you note. Educators gathered for a group photo after the conference and the evening concluded over tea and snacks.

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Seth Anandram Jaipuria Group of Schools Announces New Leadership

Dr. Neeta Bali has been appointed as the ‘Director – Schools’  of Seth Anandram Jaipuria Group of Schools as an outcome of an extensive search. 

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Dr. Neeta Bali has been appointed as the ‘Director – Schools’  of Seth Anandram Jaipuria Group of Schools as an outcome of an extensive search. Through her wide educational experience and professional development, Dr. Bali impressed the selection committee as the candidate to lead the group schools forward and the continuation of the roadmap for SAJS Group School’s progress.

Dr. Neeta Bali has over 39 years of experience as an educator. She started her career as the Head of English department at Mater Dei School in Delhi, where she worked for 18 years. Then she served as Vice-Principal at Apeejay School in NOIDA for 6 years. From 2008 to 2014, she was the Principal and Head of School at G D Goenka World School. Afterwards, she led Kasiga School in Dehradun and then headed Podar International School in Powai, Mumbai. She made a shift to SAJS Group from G.D Goenka World School in Gurgaon-Sohna Road, India as its Director-Principal.

Dr. Bali is a sought-after speaker and trainer, and has been invited to speak at numerous educational conferences. She has expertise in various curricula such as ICSE, CBSE, Cambridge, and IBO programs. She has also worked with British Council and authored English language books and a book of essays. Her specialties are English language teaching, teaching of psychology, career counseling, and psychological counseling.

Shishir Jaipuria, Chairperson, Seth Anandram Jaipuria Group of Educational Institutions shared “We are happy and excited to have Dr Neeta Bali on board as the Director – Schools. Dr Bali comes with a rich experience and her views on education are in line with the progressive vision of the Jaipuria Group. We are confident that under her leadership our schools will continue to deliver quality education by adopting innovative practices, new-age pedagogy, tech integration and personalisation in student learning. Dr Bali will also guide the expansion of the network of the group’s partner schools in tier 2 and tier 3 cities. We look forward to her productive association with the group.”

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Dr. Bali has accepted the Board’s offer of appointment and joined Seth Anandram Jaipuria Group of Schools on the 1st of February 2023.

About SAJS Group

Seth Anandram Jaipuria Group of Educational Institutions under the leadership of Shishir Jaipuria, is a leading conglomerate of 16 K-12 schools, 5 preschools, 2 management institutes and a premier teachers’ training academy in north and central India. The group has a legacy of 77 years in the field of education and presently has the strength of 20,000 students, 15,000 alumni, and 800 educators.

 

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How One Small School in Goa is Winning Top Awards Across India

As long as we get the learning outcomes, we don’t dictate what goes on in the classroom. Teaching is not prescribed, it’s discovered.

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Paradise School Goa, a SOLE Cambridge International School from Grades 1 to 12, is making a mark in the world of education by winning major national awards. Three of its learners have recently received prestigious awards from Cambridge Assessment International Education to acknowledge their outstanding performance in the June 2022 Cambridge examination series.

The ‘Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards’ programme celebrates the success of learners taking Cambridge examinations in over 40 countries around the world. The awards ceremony took place in Hyderabad on 21st January. Ram Huyssen from Paradise School won Best in India for Enterprise IGCSE (10th). Anishka Tewari won High Achievement for her AS Level in Digital Media and Design (11th). Ula Huyssen has won High Achievement for Marine Science A Level(12th). Last year, Paradise School was recognised as one of the top sixteen ‘Exceptional Schools of India’ at the Scoonews Global Educators Festival. This was for demonstrating ‘high quality collaborative and progressive practices across the domains of learning, teaching and leadership’. Basically innovating on every level.

So how has a boutique school of less than 150 children founded in 2016 managed to win national accolades in such a short space of time? For a start, its unique pedagogy and choice of subjects. Paradise School has taken on board the most progressive and exciting subjects available from the Cambridge curriculum and combined them with SOLE, Dr Sugata Mitra’s method of Self-Organised Learning.

Enterprise, Environmental Management, Global Perspectives, Digital Media and Design, Computer Sciences, Psychology, Sociology, Marine Sciences to name but a few are offered at the IGCSE and AS and A Level (10th and 12th). These are internationally recognised qualifications which gain access to universities and colleges in India and all over the world including the USA, UK and Australia.

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Founder and Director Shilpa Mehta says, ‘we pride ourselves on keeping up-to-speed with Cambridge and their latest educational thinking. They are right on point when it comes to making curriculum more relevant and pertinent to this day and age and for our young learners’. Added to which, Paradise School has a predominantly young faculty who are given the freedom to teach using their own methods and vision.

‘As long as we get the learning outcomes, we don’t dictate what goes on in the classroom. Teaching is not prescribed, it’s discovered’, says Head of School Harmeett Saini. This is what keeps young learners engaged. A vibrant modern culture, a centralised and shared powerbase rather than top-heavy management and a willingness to push the boat out is what makes Paradise unique.

Meaningful collaboration is the engine of the school borne from the SOLE method of learning. ‘Our school might be small, but we are punching way above our weight. We never set out to win awards. We just wanted to break the mould of traditional education and empower our learners. Give them wings, not anchors’, says Shilpa. And judging by these results, this adventure in educational possibility seems to be paying off.

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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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