PUNE: Fuelled by the uncertainties during the Covid-19 pandemic and online schooling, more students have joined government schools in Maharashtra in three years since 2018. The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2021, facilitated and released by NGO Pratham on Wednesday, put this rise at over 9%. The enrolment in government schools in rural India crossed 70%, even higher than pre-Covid days. Educators said since schools went online, parents have preferred to enrol their children at the entry-level in government schools closest to their homes which boosted the rise in enrolment. The increase in students turning to public education in rural India, while temporary, was driven by financial distress and migrations, the report said. The report also found that the percentage of students who took tuitions has increased from 2018 to 2021. Currently, almost 20% of enrolled students from all grades took paid tuitions. The percentage was 40% when compared to the all-India level. Opting for tuitions had increased across almost all the states, a natural response to the prolonged school closure, the report said. The study also pointed out that economic disruptions had moved children out of private schools to public schools, but parents accessed tuition classes where they had to pay fees. In three years, 9% rise in students in govt schoolsThe report explained, âThis may be due to the fact that tuition classes were a local phenomenon where payment may adjust flexibly and quickly based on demand and supply negotiated between the tutor and the family.â Former director of education Vasant Kalpande said the rise in enrolment in government schools is an effect of Covid-19 and the trend absolutely does not translate into improvement in quality of education. âI do not think this will continue. The parents who migrated back to their native places during Covid-19 have decided to take admission in the nearest possible school which the survey reflects,â he said. On the increase in private tuitions, Kalpande said that Maharashtraâs average is much lower than many other states and the all-India figures. He said the state had always followed this trend in comparison with the other states. Founder and CEO of Leadership for Equity, Madhukar Banuri said the real challenge will also be to look into the absolute numbers once schools reopen completely and account for students too. âThe effect of inter-district and inter-state migration will play a role, and there is a serious lack of tracking children once they move out of the school or village. All indicators are pointing to a greater number of children dropping out or being pushed into child marriages. Actual figures from schools will give us a better estimate of the damage caused by Covid-19, in terms of access and equity for learning and well-being of children,â Banuri said. Compared to the all-India numbers, children in tuitions could be lower in Maharashtra, but the increase is not surprising since many need support, especially those in secondary school leading to board examinations.
Pune: In three years since 2018, fuelled by the uncertainties during the Covid-19 pandemic and online schooling, more students have joined government schools in Maharashtra. The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2021, facilitated and released by NGO Pratham on Wednesday, put this rise at over 9%. The enrolment in government schools in rural India crossed 70%, even higher than even pre-Covid days. Educators said since schools went online, parents have preferred to enrol their children at the entry-level in government schools closest to their homes which boosted the rise in enrolment. The increase in students turning to public education in rural India, while temporary, was driven by financial distress and migrations, the report said. The report also found that the percentage of students who took tuitions has increased from 2018 to 2021. Currently, almost 20% of enrolled students from all grades took paid tuitions. The percentage was 40% when compared to the all-India level. Opting for tuitions had increased across almost all states, a natural response to the prolonged school closure, the report said. The study also pointed out that economic disruptions had moved children out of private schools to public schools, but parents accessed tuition classes where they had to pay fees. “This may be due to the fact that tuition classes were a local phenomenon where payment may adjust flexibly and quickly based on demand and supply negotiated between the tutor and the family,” the report explained. Former director of education Vasant Kalpande said the rise in enrolment in government schools is an effect of Covid-19, and the trend absolutely does not translate into improvement in quality of education. “I do not think this will continue. The parents who migrated back to their native places during Covid-19 have decided to take admission in the nearest possible school which the survey reflects,” he said. On the increase in private tuitions, Kalpande said Maharashtra’s average is much lower than many other states and the all-India figures. Founder and CEO of Leadership for Equity, Madhukar Banuri, said the real challenge will also be to look into the absolute numbers once schools reopen completely and account for the existing students too. “The effect of inter-district and inter-state migration will play a role, and there is lack of tracking children once they move out of the school or village. All indicators are pointing to a greater number of children dropping out or being pushed into child marriages. The actual figures from schools in the next few months will give us a better estimate of the damage caused by Covid-19, in terms of access and equity for learning and well-being of children,” Banuri said.
MUMBAI: With a steady drop in Covid-19 cases, the state school education and health departments have green-signalled resumption of physical classes for standards 5-7 in urban areas and 1-4 in rural areas across the state after a meeting with the paediatric Covid task force on Tuesday. âIt is nearly 10 days since Diwali and the Covid-19 curve is still going downhill. Given the current situation, it looks safe to reopen schools,â said state health minister Rajesh Tope. A final decision is expected after the proposal is placed before chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, who is recuperating after cervical spine surgery last Friday. Sources said in a meeting chaired by deputy CM Ajit Pawar on Tuesday, it was decided that physical classes for the remaining standards should be reopened in the next 15 days. A member of the paediatric task force said it is now safe to bring children back to schools. Physical classes for standards 8 to 12 reopened in urban areas on October 4. In rural areas, students from standards 5 to 12 are going to schools. Education department officers in Mumbai have begun collecting data of students in cases 5 to7. âWe have been told to share our preparedness to accommodate more students in classrooms,â said the principal of a school in Chembur. At the moment, schools are shut for Diwali vacation and will start the second academic semester from November 22. As Covid cases drop, many experts are calling for children to return to schools and colleges. Principals and teachers are insisting that the state make physical schools mandatory and not insist on consent from parents. New SOPs for schools likelyThe response to physical classes in urban areas has been poor till Diwali vacation as parents prefer to continue online learning. In Mumbai, while 85% of schools had reopened last month, but studentsâ attendance was below 35%. Teachers and principals said hybrid learningâoffline and onlineâis not working as students have already suffered major learning losses. The state is likely to revise its standard operating procedures for schools. As of now, schools function for three hours and students are not allowed a snack break.
PUNE: The much-awaited teacher recruitment in aided colleges in Maharashtra will start from 2022-23 academic year for filling up posts of 370 principals and 2,088 teachers. The recruitment was on hold for several months and many aspirants had been waiting for government orders. A statement issued by the state education department said that a committee appointed to study the vacant posts had suggested filling up 4,737 posts, of which 1,697 posts were filled two years ago. The payment for recruited candidates will start from the 2022-23 academic year, an education department notification issued on Monday stated. Dattatraya Kahar, state department of higher and technical education department official, said, âTeachers who were considered âextraâ will be accommodated in these vacant posts on priority. There are no additional posts of assistant teachers. Hence, the joint directorates in the state can immediately issue an advertisement for recruitment in their respective divisions.â The selected candidates will be appointed for 2022-23 academic year. The joint director must mention this in their recruitment advertisement as well, he said. Kahar said that the unaided non-agricultural universities also have vacancies for teaching and non-teaching staff. However, the vacant posts and their structure have still not been decided by the designated committee due to some technical issues. It will be resolved soon.â The distribution of vacant posts has been done by the education department considering affiliation of the institute with the universities and accreditation and reaccreditation limits. The joint directorates have been informed by the education department to strictly follow the university rules and regulations during recruitment. The colleges will have to submit the monthly report on the recruitment process and thereafter to the education department.
IT WAS a confusing day for most Class 3 students, who returned to classrooms to write assessment tests, nearly two years after schools shut down physical classesdue to the pandemic. On Friday, the National Assessment Survey (NAS) took place across the country with more than 87 schools from Pune city participating in the same, where students from Class 3, 5, 8 and 10 were given assessment tests to gauge the learning outcomes and loss due to the online schooling induced by the pandemic.The eight-year-olds, who were in Class I when they last visited the school, were excited to be back in school, even if for a day, but the ‘tough’ questions had them stumped. Many found it difficult to read questions and some even struggled to write their names on the assessment sheets.“We had online classes during the pandemic but not even 50 per cent of the class would join. Parents would tell us they had no internet, single phones which the elder kid was using and that kids are reluctant. Today, we are seeing the outcome of it all. Many of the kids cannot read the questions, we are reading them out to them. They can answer the questions after we read, maybe they have got used to that way since we had oral exams only so far. Also, the writing practice is gone, so many kids are struggling to write,” said Asiya Mushrif, in-charge principal, New English School, Mohammedwadi.Since the tests were OMR sheet based, invigilators appointed by the state education department were asked to fill the sheets instead of students.“The sheet can get rejected if there is any mistake, hence during training we had asked the invigilators to fill the sheets based on students’ responses,” confirmed Vikas Garad, Deputy Director, Maharashtra State Council of Education, Research and Training.For higher classes, principals did not report such hiccups.Sanjeev Yadav, Principal, Shree Haribhau Balavantrao Girme Vidyalaya, said that two batches of Class 8 and 10 wrote the tests.“We had prepared the students in advance by conducting a mock drill, letting them know exactly what to expect so we faced no hiccups. About 218 of 550 students from Class 8 and 10 were present. The numbers would have been higher but many students had gone to villages for Diwali vacations and since a transport strike is going on, they couldn’t return. The students, who wrote the tests said they did well except a few tough questions,” he said.Shilpakala Randhave, Project Officer, Sarva Shikshan Abhiyan said figures for attendance were still being compiled. “About 65 schools have sent their data from Pune, the rest are yet filling online forms. So far, it looks like the attendance was nearly 80 per cent of the figure we had expected.”While the final attendance figures were being compiled even late on Friday night, initial data from 12 districts shared by the MSCERT showed that attendance wasn’t poor. Overall, the attendance was over 90 per cent in most districts barring a few exceptions for younger students.In the Class 3 segment, the Gondiya district witnessed student turnout at 76 per cent of the expected numbers, while the Beed district saw over 95 per cent turnout. Beed saw only 85 per cent attendance from students in Class 5, and Akola recorded 89 per cent attendance in Class 8.Ahmednagar district saw one of the highest turnouts in higher classes as 100 per cent of Class 5 students took the test while 98.87 per cent of Class 8 took the assessment. The overall turnout from the district stood at 98.81 per cent of the expected turnout.
Schools in Maharashtra are slated to reopen for physical classes from Thursday, with as many as 2.34 lakh students from classes III, V, VIII and X across 7,330 schools selected for the National Achievement Survey to be held on Friday.Vikas Garad, deputy director, Maharashtra State Council of Education, Research and Training, said schools have been selected through a random sampling method and all selected schools have been notified. “Teachers have already received the required training and they have been asked to contact students in advance since the survey is just after the Diwali break. As far as younger students are concerned, in the selected schools they have been given instructions to call students of the concerned classes on the day of the survey only,” he said.However, school administrators are worried that younger children are returning to school after one-and-a-half years and the fact that the survey is going to be conducted just a day after the Diwali break might pose some challenges. The National Achievement Survey (NAS) is a nationally representative large-scale survey of students’ learning undertaken by the Ministry of Education.Schools in Maharashtra were closed for the Diwali break and scheduled to reopen on November 11 as per the instructions of the state government. The Diwali break was initially until November 20 but the date was revised after the state education department realised it was overlapping with the date for the NAS.Currently, schools will reopen for classes V to VIII in rural areas and classes VIII to X in urban areas. The state education department has not yet given permission to resume physical classes for primary school students, posing a challenge to the smooth conduct of NAS, which requires students to be present in classrooms for the 90-120 minute OMR-based survey.However, school administrators say many parents are still wary about sending children to school in large numbers, which might pose another challenge to the smooth conduct of NAS.“As far as training is concerned, the education department sent detailed videos on WhatsApp explaining NAS, how it will be conducted, its purpose. The instructions to schools on preparations are also very clear and accordingly, schools have conducted training programmes. But students have to come to the schools for the survey, which is also dependent on parents’ wishes, so it remains to be seen how successfully it will be done,” said Harishchandra Gaikwad, president of the Pune District Principals Association.
PUNE: There is approval for over 386 teaching posts at the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU), but only 176 have been filled up. The domino effect is affecting the quality of education, and to some extent denting the universityâs stature. The state governmentâs ban on recruitment of teaching posts has stopped the varsity from filling up the remaining approved posts. The varsity has contracted 100 teachers through its funds to fill the gaps in some departments. The vacant posts constitute nearly 55% of those that have got the approval. Registrar of SPPU, Prafulla Pawar, said, âThe university has to allocate a part of its funds for contractual staff in order to lessen the burden on the present staff with the large amount of vacancies.â Annually, the SPPU spends Rs 3.5 crore for their salaries. About 100 teachers have been appointed on contractual basis through the university funds burdening the universityâs annual budget. The geography and chemistry departments have the highest number of vacancies. For instance, in the chemistry department, posts for professor, associate professor, assistant professor as well as the post of assistant librarian are vacant. Member of the management committee of SPPU, Rajesh Pande, said that the state universities, association of university teachers and professors and also some experts in education field have constantly been demanding that the vacant posts be filled up. âWe have communicated this to the state ministry of higher and technical education. However, the state government has only been making promises, without any action. Against this background, the recruitment of university staff must begin immediately. A proposal to this effect has been sent to the state government,â he added. In January 2020, state minister of higher and technical Education, Uday Samant had announced that 111 vacant teaching posts in SPPU, would soon be filled as there is a shortage of teaching staff. âSPPU has been expanding, enrolment of students has increased, and several professors have retired. Hence, the university has outsourced professors to run the varsity smoothly. But this cannot be a long-term solution,â Samant had then said. Better research quality without duplicity, impetus to industrial and social problems, interdisciplinary approach in undergraduate courses, re-imagining courses with help from industry experts were suggestions from academicians and industry experts for the universityâs post-pandemic plan for the next 10 years.
The Muthoot Group, on the occasion of the birth anniversary of its former chairman the late M G George Muthoot, launched a set of initiatives in the areas of sustainable energy generation, medical emergency, healthcare facilities and education.November 2 marked the 72nd birth anniversary of George Muthoot.As a part of its initiative, the Muthoot Group stated in a press release that it had set up a health van for free testing of patients suffering from renal diseases in Sangli, Pune. The Group further said that it has also sponsored an ambulance for cancer patients in a shelter home in Mumbai.The Group said it has donated 39 special wheelchairs to Wheelchair Cricket Association for supporting differently abled players in New Delhi. Moreover, it has distributed 25 tricycle carts and 10 cycle rickshaws to underprivileged people in New Delhi, it added. It also said that it has distributed 20 four-wheel wooden pushcarts and weighing scales to small-scale street vendors in Bangalore.It said that it has distributed scholarships to 50 students at government schools in Mumbai. Moreover, it has instituted the Muthoot M George Higher Education Scholarship 2021 for meritorious students of MBBS, BTech and nursing courses, it added. In all, 150 students from across Delhi, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Kerala and Telangana will benefit from the scheme.The Muthoot Group further stated that it has installed solar power backup at the National Association of Blind in New Delhi, distributed food among over 5,000 underprivileged people across the country and handed over houses to flood-hit people.
As the third oldest institution of higher education in India, Deccan College Post Graduate and Research Institute completed 200 years last month and remains a unique centre offering courses in applied archaeology and linguistics.Here is an excerpt from an interview with Prof Pramod Pandey, vice-chancellor of the institute, who shared the newest plans and courses and scope of jobs in linguistics and archaeology.How has the Covid-19 pandemic changed the manner in which archaeology, linguistics and other courses are taught at Deccan College?The past 1.5 years taught us to be more resilient. The practical part has certainly suffered but one has to cope with it. Loss of field visits have also happened but over time, we have become more familiar with the online mode of teaching, including the practical portion.When the offline classes resume, we will find the faculty equipped with more resources and hence can continue conducting classes while being away from the campus for any reason. In the long run, we can also approach subject experts from other institutes and cities to conduct online classes for our students, as conducting physical classes by such experts may at times have limitations. In that sense, we will be more equipped and stronger, which is the positive side of such a situation. Likewise, internal assessments can be managed well online but for the final tests, we would like to have it offline, another aspect that suffered due to the pandemic. We feel the offline assessment is much better than the online assessment.200 years ago, the college was set up as a centre for Sanskrit teaching, what are the future plans and visions?The general opinion has been that Deccan College should host an institution or centre of Contemporary Philosophy and its relevance to present times. A proposal was discussed both at the College’s board of management and the academic council. Now, we are awaiting the full formal proposal from the stakeholders and then it will be re-examined. This will be finally reviewed by the board of management again before submitting it to the Maharashtra government. We are considering talking to scholars working on Indian culture.Besides, we have been thinking about establishing a department on Medieval Archaeology and Maratha History. The innovation here will be that students will be able to pursue courses in archaeology, tourism, history and languages. The college will approach the industry concerned as an effort to make the students’ employability higher. We want to approach the state government, first for the youths in Maharashtra, and increase their employability.Compared to engineering, IT and similar professional courses, how employable are students with degrees in archaeology or linguistics?The employability of students pursuing courses here is quite good and the degrees we offer are usable. Linguistics is in demand in the IT sector, where language-technology programmes like machine translations cannot be performed without trained linguists and linguistic inputs. Having both the departments of Linguistics and Sanskrit, we want to work in making Sanskrit more relevant for theoretical and experimental linguistics.What are the proposed courses announced to mark the college’s bicentenary year?The four new subject courses, as full-time Master of Science and Master of Arts, would be Computational Linguistics, Heritage Site Management and Scientific Conservation, Museology and Environment Archaeology.After receiving approvals from the college’s board of management and academic council, now the Maharashtra State government has verbally approved them, as they are to be offered in the self-financed manner. It is now for the University Grants Commission (UGC) to consider the introduction of these courses. UGC will constitute a committee for evaluation. So, we are at the last stage and by July 2022, we should be able to offer the new courses.With the Centre announcing museums at Rakhigarhi and Dholavira and UNESCO giving the World Heritage Site tag to the latter, do you see better days for archaeology and its study in India?Deccan College continues to receive objects for analysis from the Archaeological Survey of India and other institutions. The college has the required expertise to carry out scientific analysis. The Government of India should turn its attention to the multiple Harappan-era sites in Haryana, Gujarat, Rajasthan and places like Daimabad in Ahmednagar district in Maharashtra, again, known to date back to the Harappan period. There is so much material available to study and it is good that the government is recognising their importance.Over the past several years, financial crunch has been plaguing Deccan College, hampering many of its ambitious projects and basic-upkeep. What is your appeal to the governments, corporates and industries?Deccan College belongs to Pune, Maharashtra and India and it is run by a trust. It is entirely a property of Pune and its people. Being an institute of unique kind, it needs to be preserved and developed. The corporate world, which takes interest in education and realises the importance of education in society, and the government should take pride in the presence of such an institution in the state. All of them need to consider its importance and donate generously for its development.As we begin to roll out new programmes, we would like to invite the corporate world to exchange views and ideas and get to learn their needs. For example, there could be interest among people on different religious monuments, historical places and sites. Corporates keen on academic study of cultural heritage, in spiritual, religious and language technology can contact us. We already offer a course on Buddhist archaeology that now has many students from China enrolling in the online mode of learning. We need help and at the same time, will be able to respond to industry requirements.The Mumbai film industry comes regularly for film shootings and they recognise the importance of the building structure at Deccan College. In spite of being a small institute, there are ten Padma awardees from the institute and the college has done very well. We have all the potential but only if the government turns its attention to the role, contribution and importance of this institution can we offer good programmes. From my teaching career spanning 40 years outside Deccan College, I can say that the contribution made by this college is incomparable.
Google Doodle today: Google on Monday dedicated a doodle to Indian cell biologist Dr. Kamal Ranadive to mark her 104th birth anniversary. Ranadive is best known for her groundbreaking cancer research and devotion to creating a more equitable society through science and education.The doodle, illustrated by India-based artist Ibrahim Rayintakath, shows Dr. Ranadive looking at a microscope.Kamal Samarath, better known as Kamal Ranadive, was born in 1917 in Pune, India. Her father encouraged her to pursue a medical education, but Ranadive found her calling in biology instead. In 1949, she received a doctorate in cytology, the study of cells, while working as a researcher in the Indian Cancer Research Center (ICRC). After a fellowship at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, she returned to Mumbai (then Bombay) and the ICRC, where she established the country’s first tissue culture laboratory.As the director of the ICRC and a pioneer in animal modeling of cancer development, Ranadive was among the first researchers in India to propose a link between breast cancer and heredity and to identify the links among cancers and certain viruses. Ranadive studied Mycobacterium leprae, the bacterium that causes leprosy, and aided in developing a vaccine. In 1973, Dr. Ranadive and 11 colleagues founded the Indian Women Scientists’ Association (IWSA) to support women in scientific fields.“Ranadive also encouraged students and Indian scholars abroad to return to India and put their knowledge to work for their communities. After retiring in 1989, Dr. Ranadive worked in rural communities in Maharashtra, training women as healthcare workers and providing health and nutrition education. The IWSA now has 11 chapters in India and provides scholarships and childcare options for women in science,” Google wrote in a statement.
The Gujarat government on Friday announced that Class 10 students who have passed with grace marks can seek admission for diploma courses at polytechnic institutes.Notably, a rule framed by the state Education Department in 2016 had barred students passed with grace marks from seeking admission to polytechnic diploma courses in the state. Speaking to reporters in Gandhinagar, state Education Minister Jitubhai Vaghani said the state government has decided to do away with the rule from this year onwards to help such students pursue diploma courses.“Around 30,000 seats in various polytechnics are currently vacant, and an equal number of SSC students have passed with grace marks this year. To ensure that these students also get an opportunity to build their career, we have decided to allow them seek admission to diploma courses,” Vaghani said.The Class 10 board exams in Gujarat were cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and students were given mass promotion. “We have also extended the date for accepting admission forms. Students with grace marks were considered ineligible for diploma courses since 2016. Now, they will be considered eligible. I urge such students to take advantage of this announcement and fill the admission forms in time,” the minister said.When asked about the reopening of primary schools for students from Classes 1 to 5, Vaghani said the final decision will be taken “very soon” after consulting experts.
MUMBAI: With Diwali vacations curtailed for an all-India national survey of school students on November 12, the state school education department has said that the balance holidays can be taken after the survey or adjusted in the Christmas or summer vacations. The state curtailed the Diwali vacations till November 10, instead of the earlier November 21. Schools have to reopen on November 11. The NAS test is for students of classes 3,5,8 and 10. The survey is being carried out by the centre to study the impact of online education. As selected schools have to ready their students for the survey, all schools have been told to reopen.
MUMBAI: City-based Sarhadi Gandhi Memorial Society, a think-tank committed to promoting communal harmony and national integration, has planned a series of programmes to commemorate freedom fighters and patriots. The Societyâs founding chairman Syed Jalaluddin said that, as part of the series, a national seminar is being held on freedom fighters and Indiaâs first Education Minister Maulana Abul Kalam Azad on his birth anniversary on November 11 and another seminar on the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on November 13, a day ahead of his birth anniversary. A three-day function will be held to commemorate Mahatma Gandhiâs martyrdom in the last week of January, 2022.
National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) results, the gateway to undergraduate medical seats in colleges across India, were announced late evening on Monday by the National Testing Agency (NTA).The results were delayed due to a stay by the Bombay High Court based on a petition by two students for a retest. The Supreme Court, however, lifted the stay on October 28, ending the long wait of over 16 lakh aspirants who took the exam on September 12.NEET-UG is the qualifying test for aspirants of MBBS, BDS, Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery, Bachelor of Siddha Medicine and Surgery, Bachelor of Unani Medicine and Surgery, Bachelor of Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery, and BSc (Nursing) courses.NEET replaced the All India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT) and other entrances that were previously conducted at the centre and state levels, including the qualifying test that used to be held separately by the country’s most prestigious medical institution AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences).A total of 8,70,074 candidates have cleared the exam for admission to undergraduate medical courses, out of 1,544,275 who took the exam, as against 1,614,777 registered candidates. Compared to 2020, 1.77 lakh more candidates took the exam this year. Also, more candidates registered this year compared to 2019 and 2020, when 1,519,375 and 1,597,435 candidates had registered respectively. The result of 15 candidates has been cancelled for adopting unfair means.Keeping with the past trend, more women candidates qualified NEET as against men. Of the total qualified candidates, women account for 56.8 per cent, up from last year’s 55.46 per cent. The share of women among successful candidates was 57.11 per cent in 2019. Among the top 20 candidates there are two women – Karthika G Nair and Vaishnavi Sarda from Maharashtra. Category-wise break-ups of the qualifying candidates show that 13.12 per cent are SCs, 45.6 per cent OBCs and 4.61 per cent STs, as against last year’s 12.8 per cent, 46.59 per cent and 4.38 per cent respectively.The NTA has not yet released the detailed state-wise break ups. However, a look at the top 20 candidates show that three each come from Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, two each from Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Delhi, and one each from Kerala, West Bengal, Bihar, Haryana, Punjab and Gujarat. The exam was held in 13 languages across 3,858 centres, including in foreign centres Kuwait and Dubai for the first time. As many as 883 foreign candidates qualified, as against last year’s 878 and 687 in 2019.Three candidates who share the top rank — Mrinal Kutteri (Telangana), Tanmay Gupta (Delhi) and Karthika G Nair (Maharashtra) — scored perfect 720 each. The overall qualifying marks, however, showed a dip this year, compared to 2020. Cut-off scores in general category is 138 this year, compared to 147 in 2020. In ST, SC and OBC categories, the cut-off is 108, as against last year’s 113.The cut offs for general/EWS PwD has been fixed at 122 against 129 in 2020.The National Testing Agency, which comes under the Ministry of Education, clarified that its mandate is limited to conduct the examination and declare the results. The Directorate General of Health Services will now conduct the counselling for 15 per centall India quota seats, deemed Universities, central Universities, and seats of BHU and AMU among others. The details and schedule of counselling would be available on the websites of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Medical Education Directorates of States.In the case of state quota seats, and other seats falling under the ambit of states, candidates will have to apply to their domicile states and merit list as per state rules. The counselling for private medical colleges will also be conducted by the concerned state counselling authorities.Newsletter | Click to get the day’s best explainers in your inbox
A total of 8,70,074 candidates have cleared NEET-UG 2021 exam for admission to undergraduate medical courses, with women making up 56.8 per cent successful candidates, the results declared Monday by the National Testing Agency (NTA) show.Three students — Mrinal Kutteri (Telangana), Tanmay Gupta (Delhi) and Karthika G Nair (Maharashtra) — secured the top rank, scoring 720 marks each.There are two women among the top 20 candidates from 11 states and one Union Territory.In a statement, NEET (UG) senior director Dr Sadhana Parashar said out of 15,44,275 candidates, 8,70,074 have cleared the exam, held on September 12. This shows an improvement over last year, when 13,66,945 candidates took the exam and 7,71,500 cleared it.Last year, 55.46 per cent qualifying candidates were women.The top-20 candidates this year include three from Uttar Pradesh, and two each from Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Delhi. The examination was held in 13 languages across 3,858 centres, including in Kuwait and Dubai. As many as 883 foreign candidates qualified.The category-wise break-up of the qualifying candidates shows that 13.12 per cent are from Scheduled Caste (SC) background, 45.6 per cent from OBC, and 4.61per cent STs, as against last year’s 12.8 per cent, 46.59 per cent and 4.38 per cent, respectively.Cut-off scores in general category is 138 this year, compared to 147 in 2020. In ST, SC and OBC categories, the cut-off is 108, as against last year’s 113.The NTA statement said the DGHS will conduct counselling for 15 per cent all-India quota seats, deemed universities, central universities, and seats of BHU and AMU, among others.“The details and schedule of counselling will be available on websites of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Medical Education Directorates of States,” it said.In case of state quota seats, and other seats under the ambit of states, candidates “may apply to their domicile states and merit list as per State rules…The counselling for Private Medical Colleges will also be conducted by.. State Counselling Authority,” it said.
Former Deputy Chief of the Integrated Defence Staff, Lt Gen (retd) Madhuri Kanitkar on Monday took charge as the Vice-Chancellor of Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS), Nashik. She succeeds Dr Deelip Mhaisekar, whose term ended in February this year. “I feel extremely proud to have been given this responsibility. It is a mission that I have been working on to align medical education and research for patient care and bring in technology to keep student at the centre of activity and this is the best canvas I have got,” Lt Gen Kanitkar told The Indian Express. She retired as the deputy chief of Integrated Defence Staff on October 31.The Vice-Chancellor of Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) Dr Nitin Karmalkar had held additional charge as acting V-C of MUHS.Lt GenKanitkar said work would be different in terms of heading a civilian institution as opposed to a defence-oriented one. “However, the aims and objectives are similar. I have taken pride in being a doctor, soldier and teacher. A vice-chancellor is a doctor and a teacher so both those roles are the same. As a soldier, it would help me bring values like discipline and putting the nation and organisation first,” said Lt Gen Kanitkar, who was also the former Dean of Armed Forces Medical College in Pune.In an interview to The Indian Express, she said a university’s soul lies in post-graduation and post-doctoral research. “In spite of Covid and nearly 75,000 students, the Controller of Examination at MUHS under the guidance of Dr Karmalkar conducted all examinations on time and in a transparent manner. MUHS already has a strong foundation as an affiliating university. “There is a strong management committee and senate that guides functioning of the university,” said the MUHS V-C, who believes in a multi-disciplinary approach.“With a little bit of automation, we can declare results at the earliest after exams are over. However, what we need to do is push post-graduation and research, while the second thrust is on integrating different systems of medicines. Holistic care requires an integrated approach,” she said, while stating that they would try to develop new courses and encourage research that would bring out the strength of different streams of medicine.The MUHS V-C held several meetings with officials and is in the process of finalising a vision document. This vision roadmap, however, will require inputs from the state on what it needs to improve in the health sector. “I am very excited about this vision roadmap as we have listed several deliverables within a time period. Covid-19 brought out a lot of general things, so we want to understand which are the lacunae that are felt and how better training programmes can be planned for future preparedness,” Lt Gen Kanitkar said.She said an important aspect would be to increase skill-based modules for MBBS students and healthcare workers so as to focus on what society needs. This will be done through the six regional centres of MUHS located in Pune, Mumbai, Latur, Kolhapur, Aurangabad and Nagpur. For instance, at Nagpur the aim will be to look at tribal health and focus on some community health programme, at Mumbai short courses in dentistry and infectious diseases can be introduced. At Kolhapur, emphasis would be laid on setting up outreach programmes on non-communicable diseases.“Doctors of tomorrow have to use digital technology. We learned several things online and so we can consolidate those gains made during Covid and make education equitable…This could eventually also help a student in a remote college get updated by enrolling for short online modules,” she said. For Lt Gen Kanitkar, though, the need is to focus on post-graduate training at district hospitals so that each patient bed becomes a teaching bed. “Doctors are learning and patients are benefiting with more doctors there,” she added.Meets Chemistry teacher after 44 yearsLt Gen (retd) Kanitkar was elated as she met her chemistry teacher, Dr Ajay Gon, after 44 years on Monday. At a function in which she took charge as the V-C, Lt Gen Kanitkar recalled that Gon had distributed laddoos when she was declared national topper in chemistry in Class XI. “It was a small Kendriya Vidyalaya in Lucknow where I studied Class IX, X and XI. It was not a proper school building and classes were held across small rooms. I still remember Dr Gon was so thrilled that I was declared a national topper in chemistry that he distributed laddoos,” she recalled. Gon now lives in Nashik and Lt Gen Kanitkar personally requested him to attend the function when she took charge as V-C so that she could take his blessings.
TRICHY: A 31-year-old woman YouTuber along with her 12-year-old nephew has launched a bicycle ride from Tamil Nadu to Nepal to promote awareness on educating the girl children. The bicycle expedition of the duo commenced from Trichy on Sunday and is likely to be completed in a month. The journey was flagged off by school education minister Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi. The participants were Santhi Flora, 31, a resident of Trichy city, and her nephew Santhosh Raja, 12, a class 7 student. The 2,400-km journey of the two bicyclists will pass through Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. âAffluent people can fund the education expense of girl children from below poverty line families. Our bicycle ride highlights the measures needed to be taken for empowering girl children,â Santhi said. The duo has planned to cycle at least 60-100 km per day utilising the daylight between 6am and 4pm. Throughout their journey, they have planned to talk about the importance of educating girl children.
New Delhi: The Maharashtra government Minister of State for higher education, Prajakt Tanpure, visited two government schools on Friday to understand the education model of Delhi government. During his visit to Sarvodaya Bal Vidyalaya, West Vinod Nagar and School of Excellence, Khichripur, Tanpure interacted with students and discussed the happiness and deshbhakti curriculum and the model of the School of Specialised Excellence. He said he was impressed with the children and has decided to adopt the education model in Maharashtra schools. Accompanying Tanpure, deputy CM and education minister Manish Sisodia said Delhi government was ready to assist the Maharashtra government to improve the education system. âLearning from each other and working together in this way can bring a revolution in public education system in the country,â said Sisodia.
Arch-political enemies Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Union minister Narayan Rane on Saturday shared the dais at the inauguration of an airport at Chipi in the Sindhudurg district, and took swipes at each other.This was probably for the first time the two came together on stage after Rane parted ways with the Shiv Sena -- now headed by Thackeray -- on a bitter note sixteen years ago.The occasion also had a backdrop of Rane's arrest in August this year for a remark against the chief minister.Rane, who hails from Sindhudurg, in his speech listed the work done by him since he was elected as MLA from this picturesque region of coastal Maharashtra for the first time in 1990.He was given the charge of the district on the instructions of Shiv Sena founder (and Uddhav Thackeray's father) late Bal Thackeray, and there were no proper roads, water or education facilities in the region then, he said.After the Shiv Sena-BJP combine came to power in the state in 1995, he requested then chief minister Manohar Joshi to declare Sindhudurg as a "tourism district", Rane claimed.“After that the work for basic amenities like roads, power, education, water, and healthcare was carried out. The existing infrastructure is because of Narayan Rane. Nobody can match it,” he said.“People know who works. Uddhav-ji, I learnt everything from Saheb (Bal Thackeray),” Rane added.The BJP leader also said even today there is no water or electricity infrastructure near Chipi, nor is there a proper road to the airport.In a barely veiled attack on the chief minister, Rane said the late Bal Thackeray disliked lying, and did not care for those who lie.In his speech, chief minister Thackeray hit back, saying, "Balasaheb did not like lying. Hence, many times such people (who lied) were kicked out of the Shiv Sena. (Bal Thackeray would say) Even if the truth is bitter, please speak it."In another dig at Rane, he said, "As per my knowledge, the Sindhudurg fort was built by (Shivaji) Maharaj...otherwise someone might say `I built it'."He also said it must be pondered why it took so long for this airport to be built. "Some people said Konkan will be transformed into California, but why has it not happened yet," Thackeray added.Then he took a dig at Rane's portfolio at the Centre, namely, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME)."You (Rane) are a minister. So what if it is `micro and small', it is still an important department and (we are sure) you will use it for the benefit of Maharashtra," the CM said.There should also be a heliport at Chipi which can be used for tourism, he said.The chief minister also said he never mixed politics and work, and when Rane called him up for the grant of approval for a medical college in the Sindhudurg district, he immediately cleared the proposal.Since his exit from the Sena in 2005, for which he blamed Uddhav Thackeray, Rane has often targeted the latter.Soon after he was inducted into the Union cabinet, Rane was arrested by the Maharashtra police in August over his comments against Thackeray. He was granted bail by the court the same day.Meanwhile, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said on this occasion that thanks to the new airport, the distance of 530 km between Mumbai and Chipi can now be covered in 50 minutes.There are also plans to connect Chipi with Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata and other major cities and 20-25 flights to Chipi will be started in the next five years, he said.Maharashtra now has 14 airports, Scindia noted.Tourism minister Aaditya Thackeray, who also handles environment portfolio, said all efforts will be made to promote tourism in Konkan while conserving its ecology.The Sindhudurg Airport, also known as Chipi Airport, is spread over 275 hectares. The length of its runway is 2,500 metres, and it can accommodate narrow-body aircraft like Airbus A-320 and Boeing B-737.The airport terminal building has the capacity to handle 200 departing and 200 arriving passengers during peak hours.Union minister Ramdas Athawale and Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar were also among those present on the occasion.