Maharashtra Education News

# Politics | Sidelined M M Joshi acknowledged by BJP, Modi on birthday: ‘Contribution monumental’
The Indian Express | 3 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
3 weeks ago | |

BJP leaders extended their wishes to veteran party leader, erstwhile party president and former Union Minister Murli Manohar Joshi on his birthday Thursday and said his role in strengthening the party was “monumental”.Taking to Twitter, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “A fine scholar and distinguished statesman, his passion towards service, education and preserving Indian culture is exemplary. His role in strengthening BJP is monumental. Praying for his long and healthy life.”Birthday wishes to Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi Ji. A fine scholar and distinguished statesman, his passion towards service, education and preserving Indian culture is exemplary. His role in strengthening BJP is monumental. Praying for his long and healthy life. @drmmjoshibjp— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 5, 2023Wishing Joshi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted in Hindi, “His struggle to strengthen the party and his selfless and dedicated work in bringing education revolution while being the education minister are unforgettable. I pray to God for his good health and long life.”वरिष्ठ भाजपा नेता आदरणीय @drmmjoshibjp जी को जन्मदिन की शुभकामनाएं। पार्टी को मजबूत बनाने के लिए उनका संघर्ष व शिक्षा मंत्री रहते हुए शिक्षा क्रांति लाने में उनके निस्वार्थ व समर्पित भाव से किए कार्य अविस्मरणीय हैं। ईश्वर से उनके उत्तम स्वास्थ्य व दीर्घायु की कामना करता हूँ।— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) January 5, 2023Party president JP Nadda said, “Hearty birthday greetings and best wishes to senior BJP leader, former Union Minister, Padma Vibhushan respected Shri Murli Manohar Joshi ji. As a dedicated politician, your contribution to nation building is exemplary. I pray to Lord Shri Ram for your good health and long life.”भाजपा के वरिष्ठ नेता, पूर्व केंद्रीय मंत्री, पद्मविभूषण आदरणीय श्री मुरली मनोहर जोशी जी को जन्मदिवस की हार्दिक बधाई व शुभकामनाएं।समर्पित राजनेता के रुप में राष्ट्र निर्माण में आपका योगदान अनुकरणीय है।प्रभु श्रीराम से आपके उत्तम स्वास्थ्य व सुदीर्घ जीवन की प्रार्थना करता हूँ।— Jagat Prakash Nadda (@JPNadda) January 5, 2023Calling Joshi “a guide”, Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari tweeted: “ I wish to god that you be healthy and live long.”भारतीय जनता पार्टी के पूर्व राष्ट्रीय अध्यक्ष, हमारे मार्गदर्शक आदरणीय श्री @drmmjoshibjp जी को जन्मदिन की हार्दिक शुभकामनाएं। आप स्वस्थ और दीर्घायु रहें, ईश्वर से यही कामना करता हूं।— Nitin Gadkari (@nitin_gadkari) January 5, 2023Union commerce minister Piyush Goyal said Joshi’s “selfless service towards the nation always inspires us to build a self-reliant India.”Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said, “Happy Birthday to Educationist, Senior Politician, Former Union Minister Shri Murli Manohar Joshi. I pray that God bless you with good health and peace.”Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath said, “Heartfelt birthday greetings to popular mass leader, inspiration to innumerable workers, senior member of BJP family.”लोकप्रिय जननेता, असंख्य कार्यकर्ताओं के प्रेरणास्रोत, भाजपा परिवार के वरिष्ठ सदस्य, ‘पद्म विभूषण’ आदरणीय श्री मुरली मनोहर जोशी जी को जन्मदिन की हृदयतल से बधाई।प्रभु श्री राम से आपके सुदीर्घ एवं आरोग्यतापूर्ण जीवन की प्रार्थना है।@drmmjoshibjp— Yogi Adityanath (@myogiadityanath) January 5, 2023Extending his wishes, Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan said, “May Lord Shriram’s blessings shower on you continuously; May you always be healthy, live long and may your blessings remain like this on all of us, this is what I pray.”In 2020, Modi had met Joshi at his residence on the day and said the BJP veteran has been unwavering when it comes to safeguarding national interests and furthering national progress. He also prayed for Joshi’s long and healthy life.Modi said he is fortunate to have got the opportunity to work with Joshi for many years. “Like me, several karyakartas (workers) learnt so much from him. His role in strengthening the party is extremely valuable,” Modi added.A prominent leader named in the Babri Masjid demolition — he was acquitted in September 2020 — Joshi held several high-profile posts in the BJP, including as HRD Minister in the A B Vajpayee government.In August 2014, citing age as a reason, the BJP dropped Joshi among with veterans L K Advani and Vajpayee from the party’s parliamentary board, its highest decision making body. The trio had occupied the top rung of its leadership since the formation of the party in 1980. Joshi was subsequently made part of the Margdarshak Mandal along with other senior leaders “to guide the party”.In 2015, when the BJP had lost the Assembly elections in Bihar, senior leaders of the party, including Joshi had criticised the debacle and said the party had not learnt from the Delhi polls held months prior, when the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP had come to power. The Indian Express noted at the time, “He (Joshi) got the short shrift under the present leadership, which forced him to vacate his constituency, Varanasi, and contest from Kanpur. He was later included in the party’s Margdarshak Mandal. At present, he has little moral authority or political clout in the party, not even in his home state where he was once a towering figure. While today’s statement will create strong ripples in the party, his individual outburst may not have made much impact.”

# Politics | Sidelined M M Joshi acknowledged by BJP, Modi on birthday: ‘Contribution monumental’
  • Sidelined MM Joshi acknowledged by BJP, Modi on birthday: 'Contribution monumental'
  • The Indian Express

    BJP leaders extended their wishes to veteran party leader, erstwhile party president and former Union Minister Murli Manohar Joshi on his birthday Thursday and said his role in strengthening the party was “monumental”.Taking to Twitter, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “A fine scholar and distinguished statesman, his passion towards service, education and preserving Indian culture is exemplary. His role in strengthening BJP is monumental. Praying for his long and healthy life.”Birthday wishes to Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi Ji. A fine scholar and distinguished statesman, his passion towards service, education and preserving Indian culture is exemplary. His role in strengthening BJP is monumental. Praying for his long and healthy life. @drmmjoshibjp— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 5, 2023Wishing Joshi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted in Hindi, “His struggle to strengthen the party and his selfless and dedicated work in bringing education revolution while being the education minister are unforgettable. I pray to God for his good health and long life.”वरिष्ठ भाजपा नेता आदरणीय @drmmjoshibjp जी को जन्मदिन की शुभकामनाएं। पार्टी को मजबूत बनाने के लिए उनका संघर्ष व शिक्षा मंत्री रहते हुए शिक्षा क्रांति लाने में उनके निस्वार्थ व समर्पित भाव से किए कार्य अविस्मरणीय हैं। ईश्वर से उनके उत्तम स्वास्थ्य व दीर्घायु की कामना करता हूँ।— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) January 5, 2023Party president JP Nadda said, “Hearty birthday greetings and best wishes to senior BJP leader, former Union Minister, Padma Vibhushan respected Shri Murli Manohar Joshi ji. As a dedicated politician, your contribution to nation building is exemplary. I pray to Lord Shri Ram for your good health and long life.”भाजपा के वरिष्ठ नेता, पूर्व केंद्रीय मंत्री, पद्मविभूषण आदरणीय श्री मुरली मनोहर जोशी जी को जन्मदिवस की हार्दिक बधाई व शुभकामनाएं।समर्पित राजनेता के रुप में राष्ट्र निर्माण में आपका योगदान अनुकरणीय है।प्रभु श्रीराम से आपके उत्तम स्वास्थ्य व सुदीर्घ जीवन की प्रार्थना करता हूँ।— Jagat Prakash Nadda (@JPNadda) January 5, 2023Calling Joshi “a guide”, Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari tweeted: “ I wish to god that you be healthy and live long.”भारतीय जनता पार्टी के पूर्व राष्ट्रीय अध्यक्ष, हमारे मार्गदर्शक आदरणीय श्री @drmmjoshibjp जी को जन्मदिन की हार्दिक शुभकामनाएं। आप स्वस्थ और दीर्घायु रहें, ईश्वर से यही कामना करता हूं।— Nitin Gadkari (@nitin_gadkari) January 5, 2023Union commerce minister Piyush Goyal said Joshi’s “selfless service towards the nation always inspires us to build a self-reliant India.”Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said, “Happy Birthday to Educationist, Senior Politician, Former Union Minister Shri Murli Manohar Joshi. I pray that God bless you with good health and peace.”Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath said, “Heartfelt birthday greetings to popular mass leader, inspiration to innumerable workers, senior member of BJP family.”लोकप्रिय जननेता, असंख्य कार्यकर्ताओं के प्रेरणास्रोत, भाजपा परिवार के वरिष्ठ सदस्य, ‘पद्म विभूषण’ आदरणीय श्री मुरली मनोहर जोशी जी को जन्मदिन की हृदयतल से बधाई।प्रभु श्री राम से आपके सुदीर्घ एवं आरोग्यतापूर्ण जीवन की प्रार्थना है।@drmmjoshibjp— Yogi Adityanath (@myogiadityanath) January 5, 2023Extending his wishes, Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan said, “May Lord Shriram’s blessings shower on you continuously; May you always be healthy, live long and may your blessings remain like this on all of us, this is what I pray.”In 2020, Modi had met Joshi at his residence on the day and said the BJP veteran has been unwavering when it comes to safeguarding national interests and furthering national progress. He also prayed for Joshi’s long and healthy life.Modi said he is fortunate to have got the opportunity to work with Joshi for many years. “Like me, several karyakartas (workers) learnt so much from him. His role in strengthening the party is extremely valuable,” Modi added.A prominent leader named in the Babri Masjid demolition — he was acquitted in September 2020 — Joshi held several high-profile posts in the BJP, including as HRD Minister in the A B Vajpayee government.In August 2014, citing age as a reason, the BJP dropped Joshi among with veterans L K Advani and Vajpayee from the party’s parliamentary board, its highest decision making body. The trio had occupied the top rung of its leadership since the formation of the party in 1980. Joshi was subsequently made part of the Margdarshak Mandal along with other senior leaders “to guide the party”.In 2015, when the BJP had lost the Assembly elections in Bihar, senior leaders of the party, including Joshi had criticised the debacle and said the party had not learnt from the Delhi polls held months prior, when the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP had come to power. The Indian Express noted at the time, “He (Joshi) got the short shrift under the present leadership, which forced him to vacate his constituency, Varanasi, and contest from Kanpur. He was later included in the party’s Margdarshak Mandal. At present, he has little moral authority or political clout in the party, not even in his home state where he was once a towering figure. While today’s statement will create strong ripples in the party, his individual outburst may not have made much impact.”

Pariksha Pe Charcha 2023: PM Modi to interact with students on January 27
The Indian Express | 4 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
4 weeks ago | |

Pariksha Pe Charcha 2023: The Ministry of Education today announced that the sixth edition of Pariksha Pe Charcha (PPC) will be held on January 27. This year, PPC 2023 will be held in a town hall format at the Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi.#ParikshaPeCharcha2023 Date Announced!The wait is over! #PPC2023 is going to be held on 27th January 2023 at Talkatora Indoor Stadium, New Delhi. Hon’ble PM Shri @narendramodi will interact with students, parents, and teachers. Stay Tuned! #ExamWarriors pic.twitter.com/9DVFiReEaQ— Ministry of Education (@EduMinOfIndia) January 3, 2023Students who wish to participate in Pariksha Pe Charcha were given time till December 30 to register on innovateindia.mygov.in/ppc-2023 and take part in the creative writing competition on based on the following themes:– Know your freedom fighters– Our culture is our pride– My book my inspiration– Save Environment for future generations– My life, my health– My startup dream– STEM education/ education without boundaries– Toys and Games for Learning in SchoolsThe competition is for students belonging to classes 9 to 12. Additionally, teachers and parents were also given the chance of participating in the same. There are five themes for teachers and three themes for parents. Themes for parents are: My Child, My Teacher;  Adult Education- Making Everyone Literate;  Learning and Growing Together. Themes for teachers are: Our Heritage; Enabling Learning; Environment; Education for Skilling; Lesser Curricular Load and No fear for exams; Future Educational Challenges.Around 2050 students, teachers and parents selected through competitions on MyGov will be gifted with PPC Kits and a certificate of appreciation from the director of NCERT. Also, selected questions which will be shortlisted by NCERT might feature in the programme. Those participants who have asked those questions may get an opportunity to interact with the media.

Pariksha Pe Charcha 2023: PM Modi to interact with students on January 27
Karnataka forest dept reaches out to schoolkids to spread literacy on man-animal conflict around Bandipur Tiger Reserve
The Indian Express | 4 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
4 weeks ago | |

In a bid to reach out to the schoolchildren residing in villages abutting Bandipur Tiger Reserve, the Karnataka Forest Department has launched a three-year programme called Bandipur Yuva Yatra on January 2. It envisages to provide an opportunity for the underprivileged students to explore, understand, experience and learn more about the tiger reserve and its wildlife in the context of their immediate surroundings.The programme promotes learning by exploring approaches through field visits and curriculum transactions related to forest, wildlife, forest ecosystem services and its conservation importance. The students attending the programme will be issued an ID card and they will be inducted as an eco-volunteer. The department aims that through this workshop, students would be able to communicate to the villagers about the human-animal conflict and the need to protect wildlife.“The reserve is surrounded by 136 fringe villages within a distance of one km from the Tiger Reserve boundary. Historically, a close association existed between the Bandipur Tiger Reserve and the people residing in these fringe villages. But, after Bandipur was declared as the National Park (initial notification in the year 1974 & final notification in the year 2001) and Tiger Reserve (in the year 1973), there was a strict protection and people were restricted from entering the tiger reserve and given limited access for the use of forest resources,” an official from the tiger reserve said. “Further, due to various forms of Human-wildlife conflict and wildlife straying out in the farmers’ field the relationship strained. This Nature Education Program to local school students will create awareness about wildlife,” the official added.“Therefore, students attending this Nature Education Program will volunteer for the Bandipur Tiger Reserve in creating positive park-people relations. They will convince the local people about the human-wildlife conflict and create awareness about the dos and don’ts, when the animals stray out,” he said.There are over 800 government schools and 30 colleges in the taluks and villages abutting the reserve. “This programme aims to create close coordination among different stakeholders like the Forest department, education department, social welfare department, District Mineral Fund, United Nations Developed Programme (UNDP), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP),” the official added.

Karnataka forest dept reaches out to schoolkids to spread literacy on man-animal conflict around Bandipur Tiger Reserve
NExT: Govt to set up new NMC board for new exam, the existing body to be dissolved
The Indian Express | 4 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
4 weeks ago | |

The draft National Medical Commission bill 2022 seeks to introduce a fifth autonomous body under the country’s apex medical education regulator to conduct the National Exit Test – a two-part examination that will act as a qualifying exam for granting registration to doctors as well as the basis for post-graduate admissions. Called the ‘Board of Examinations in Medical Sciences’, it will take over the functions of the National Board of Examinations that currently conducts the entrance tests for all post-graduation and super-speciality courses.The National Board of Examinations also conducts the screening test for foreign medical graduates, which will also be replaced by the new NExT examination.In addition to conducting the NExT tests, the new board will also accredit institutions for diploma, diplomat, postgraduate fellowship, and super-speciality fellowships. It will determine the minimum requirements for conducting these courses and grant them.The draft bill also goes on to state that the existing National Board of Examinations will be dissolved, however, all the orders or accreditation provided by the body will continue to exist till the date of expiry. The officials will be given the option to be “subsumed under the NMC” as per the draft bill.This will be the fifth autonomous board under NMC after Under-Graduate Medical Education Board (sets norms for undergraduate courses), Post-Graduate Medical Education Board (sets norms for post-graduate courses), Medical Assessment and Rating Board (inspects and rates the medical education institutes), and Ethics and Medical Registration Board (regulates professional conduct of the doctors and registers them).Dr Sunil Kumar, former director general of health services, said, “On a similar note ‘Board of Counsellors or Counselling’ should be constituted under NMC. Such a move will streamline and fast track admissions and eliminate confusion which arose recently, leading to wastage of seats due to poor work ethics, lack of coordination, and disparate bodies doing disparate components of the same job.” At present, the counselling is conducted by the Medical Counselling Committee independent of NMC.The UG entrance is conducted by the National Testing Agency and no changes have been suggested to that in the new bill.After several delays in conducting the PG examinations for the years 2021 and 2022 due to the pandemic, court cases, and other procedural delays, resident doctors’ associations asked the government to set up such a body to streamline the process.In a list of demands submitted to the union health minister, the Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association (FORDA) this year they had demanded “an apex body controlling every facet of medical education such that there are no discrepancies of decision making between NMC, NBE, and MCC (Medical Counselling Committee that conducts the counselling after the qualifying tests), which has been the root cause of many procedural delays.”The counselling was repeatedly delayed in 2021 due to the pandemic and a set of cases in the courts regarding the newly introduced quota for economically weaker sections. It finally started in February 2022. Resident doctors had taken to the streets in December 2021 demanding that the counselling be expedited as the medical college hospitals, where the PG students work as junior residents, were short staffed.While the 2022 examinations were conducted just days after the 2021 counselling ended – leading to protests by students attempting a second time – the counselling again started months later and there were delays a couple of times because of procedural issues.The draft bill also proposes a section in the parent act stating that any cases against the commission by medical colleges or institutions will lie under the jurisdiction of the Delhi high court. This is significant given that the order of the NMC for regulation of fee at private medical colleges and deemed universities was first challenged in Kerala, with the court ruling in favour of the institution stating that the order will not be applicable in the state. The NMC order was to reduce the fee for 50% of the seats to the levels of government medical colleges in the state and decide fees for the rest based on a specific set of criteria.The draft also makes provision for patients and their relatives to appeal with the Ethics and Medical Registration board or the National Medical Commission against decisions of the state medical council in cases of medical negligence.

NExT: Govt to set up new NMC board for new exam, the existing body to be dissolved
A look at the life of Savitribai Phule, India's first woman teacher
The Indian Express | 4 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
4 weeks ago | |

“Be self-reliant, be industriousWork, gather wisdom and riches,All gets lost without knowledgeWe become animal without wisdom,Sit idle no more, go, get educationEnd misery of the oppressed and forsaken,You’ve got a golden chance to learnSo learn and break the chains of caste.Throw away the Brahman’s scriptures fast.”– Savitribai Phule (Kavya Phule, 1854)A pioneer who challenged oppressive social norms in her quest for women’s education, equality and justice, Savitribai Phule is formally recognised as India’s first woman teacher. The above poem titled Go, Get Education, is among the many Phule wrote to make a clarion call to the downtrodden to pursue education, and break free from the shackles of the caste system.A Dalit woman from the Mali community, Savitribai was born on January 3, 1831, in Maharashtra’s Naigaon village. Married off at the tender age of 10, her husband Jyotirao Phule is said to have educated her at home. Later, Jyotirao admitted Savitribai to a teachers’ training institution in Pune. Throughout their life, the couple supported each other and in doing so, broke many social barriers.At a time when it was considered unacceptable for women to even attain education, the couple went on to open a school for girls in Bhidewada, Pune, in 1848. This became the country’s first girls’ school.The Phules opened more such schools for girls, Shudras and Ati-Shudras (the backward castes and Dalits, respectively) in Pune, leading to discontent among Indian nationalists like Bal Gangadhar Tilak. They opposed the setting up of schools for girls and non-Brahmins, citing a “loss of nationality”, and believing not following the caste rules would mean a loss of nationality itself.The opposition to the couple was so hostile that eventually Jyotirao’s father Govindrao was forced to kick them out of his house.Savitribai herself faced great animosity from the upper castes, including instances of physical violence.When serving as the headmistress of the first school in Bhide Wada, upper-caste men often pelted stones and threw mud and cow dung on her. It is said that Savitribai would have to carry two saris when she went to school. She would change out of the soiled sari once she reached the school, which would again be soiled on her way back.But this would not deter the work and the schools came to be hailed as a success. One report from 1852 in The Poona Observer states, “The number of girl students in Jotirao’s school is ten times more than the number of boys studying in the government schools. This is because the system for teaching girls is far superior to what is available for boys in government schools… If the Government Education Board does not do something about this soon, seeing these women outshine the men will make us hang our heads in shame.”According to the memoirs written by Balwant Sakharam Kolhe, Savitribai was undeterred by these attacks and would say to her harassers, “As I do the sacred task of teaching my fellow sisters, the stones or cow dung that you throw seem like flowers to me. May God bless you!”Along with Jyotirao, Savitribai started the Balhatya Pratibandhak Griha (‘Home for the Prevention of Infanticide’) for pregnant widows facing discrimination. This was inspired by a turn of events wherein a young Brahmin widow was sentenced to life imprisonment in the Andamans after she killed her newborn child. The man who had raped the illiterate widow refused to take up any responsibility for the child, driving the widow to infanticide.Savitribai Phule also advocated inter-caste marriages, widow remarriage, and eradication of child marriage, sati and dowry systems, among other social issues. The Phules also adopted Yashwantrao, the child of a widow, whom they educated to become a doctor.In 1873, the Phules set up the Satyashodhak Samaj (‘Truth-seekers’ society’), a platform open to all, irrespective of their caste, religion or class hierarchies, with the sole aim of bringing social equity. As an extension, they started ‘Satyashodhak Marriage’ – a rejection of Brahmanical rituals where the marrying couple takes a pledge to promote education and equality.The couple also set up ‘Balyata Pratibandak Gruha’, a childcare centre for the protection of pregnant widows and rape victims. Urging women to break free of caste barriers, Savitribai encouraged them to sit together at her meetings.At her husband’s funeral procession on November 28, 1890, Savitribai again defied convention and carried the titve (earthen pot). Walking ahead of the procession, Savitribai was the one who consigned his body to the flames, a ritual which is still predominantly carried out by men.Setting an extraordinary example of living a life of compassion, service and courage, Savitribai became involved in relief work during the 1896 famine in Maharashtra and the 1897 Bubonic plague. She herself contracted the disease while taking a sick child to the hospital, and breathed her last on March 10, 1897.Savitribai Phule published her first collection of poems, called Kavya Phule (‘Poetry’s Blossoms’), at the age of 23 in 1854. She published Bavan Kashi Subodh Ratnakar (‘The Ocean of Pure Gems’), in 1892.Besides these works, Matushri Savitribai Phlenchi Bhashane va Gaani (S’avitribai Phule’s speeches and songs’), and her letters to her husband have also been published.Her poems also pointed out the necessity of learning English, as one reads:“Make self-reliance your occupation,Exert yourself to gather the wealth of knowledge,Without knowledge animals remained dumb,Don’t rest! Strive to educate yourself.The opportunity is here,For the Shudras and Ati Shudras,To learn EnglishTo dispel all woes.Throw away the authorityOf the Brahmin and his teachings,Break the shackles of caste,By learning English.”Calling out to the oppressed and the downtrodden to fight for justice, she says:“Weak and oppressed! Rise my brotherCome out of living in slavery…”“Awake, arise and educateSmash traditions-liberate!We’ll come together and learnPolicy-righteousness-religion,Slumber not but blow the trumpetO Brahman, dare not you upset.Give a war cry, rise fastRise, to learn and act.”

A look at the life of Savitribai Phule, India's first woman teacher
‘Personifies spirit of Nari Shakti’: On Savitribai Phule’s 192nd birth anniversary, tributes pour in
The Indian Express | 4 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
4 weeks ago | |

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday paid homage to social reformer Savitribai Phule on her 192nd birth anniversary, and said that “she personified the indomitable spirit of our Nari Shakti.”I pay homage to the inspiring Savitribai Phule Ji on her birth anniversary. She personifies the indomitable spirit of our Nari Shakti. Hers was a life devoted to educating and empowering women. Equally inspiring is her focus on social reform and community service.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 3, 2023Known as the first woman educator of India, Savitribai was a social reformer, an educationalist and poetess from the state of Maharashtra, who was vocal about inhuman and unjust practices that persecuted women and young girls. She played a pivotal role in women’s empowerment with the support of her husband, Jyotirao Phule.Paying his tributes to Savitribai Phule, Union Minister for Education, Dharmendra Pradhan said that “she will always be remembered for her efforts to end social evils like untouchability and initiatives to educate women in independent India”.शोषित वर्ग व महिलाओं की शिक्षा और सशक्तिकरण को समर्पित महानायिका, सावित्रीबाई फुले जी की जयंती पर उन्हें कोटि-कोटि नमन।आजाद भारत में महिलाओं को शिक्षित बनाने की पहल व अस्पृश्यता जैसी सामाजिक कुरीतियों को समाप्त करने के प्रयासों के लिए उन्हें सदैव याद किया जाएगा। pic.twitter.com/B65KhmyTck— Dharmendra Pradhan (@dpradhanbjp) January 3, 2023“Savitribai Phule has made an incomparable contribution in the field of women’s rights and education. Hundreds of salutes to such a great social worker who dedicated her life for women empowerment on her birth anniversary,” Union Minister for Women and Child Development, Smriti Irani, tweeted.स्त्री अधिकारों एवं शिक्षा के क्षेत्र में सावित्रीबाई फुले जी ने अतुलनीय योगदान दिया है। बेटियों की शिक्षा के लिए उन्होंने देश में पहले बालिका विद्यालय की स्थापना की थी।महिला सशक्तिकरण के लिए अपना जीवन समर्पित करने वाली ऐसी महान समाजसेविका की जयंती पर उन्हें शत्-शत् नमन। pic.twitter.com/tHOi8NQDXH— Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) January 3, 2023“She will be remembered as a trailblazer in providing education for girls & for ostracized portions of society (sic),” the Congress party posted on it’s official twitter page.On her birth anniversary, we pay tribute to the pioneer of the Indian feminist movement, the first female teacher in India & a great social reformer, Savitribai Phule.She will be remembered as a trailblazer in providing education for girls & for ostracized portions of society. pic.twitter.com/POOALyyG0w— Congress (@INCIndia) January 3, 2023Remembered for her work against caste and gender injustice, Savitribai Phule is also known as the mother of Indian feminism. Her birthday is known as ‘Balika Din’ in Maharashtra, and is celebrated in many girls’ schools.“Salutations to the great social reformer and the first female teacher who overcame many difficulties and started the first school for girls…” Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde wrote on twitter, paying his tributes.अनेक अडचणींवर मात करत मुलींसाठी पहिली शाळा सुरु करणाऱ्या थोर समाज सुधारक आणि पहिल्या शिक्षिका #ज्ञानज्योती #सावित्रीबाई_फुले यांना जयंतीनिमित्त शत् शत् प्रणाम…#महिला_शिक्षण_दिन pic.twitter.com/dtq49Fe8le— Eknath Shinde – एकनाथ शिंदे (@mieknathshinde) January 3, 2023“Savitrimai blazed the trail for women’s empowerment by offering education to Indian women who were stuck in traditions. Greetings to Savitrimai Phule, the pioneer of women’s education who fought against untouchability, oppressive social practices on her birth anniversary!” the NCP tweeted on its official page.रुढी-परंपरांमध्ये गुरफटलेल्या भारतीय स्त्रियांना शिक्षणाची वाट दाखवत सावित्रीमाईंनी महिलांच्या सबलीकरणाचा मार्ग प्रकाशमान केला. अस्पृश्यता निवारण, जाचक सामाजिक प्रथांविरोधात लढा देणाऱ्या स्त्री शिक्षणाच्या प्रणेत्या सावित्रीमाई फुले यांना जयंती दिनी विनम्र अभिवादन ! pic.twitter.com/rQMAMNeQHQ— NCP (@NCPspeaks) January 3, 2023Paying his tributes to ‘Krantijyoti Savitrimai Phule’ on her birth anniversary, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said that she kept the flame of women’s education burning and continued Mahatma Jotiba’s social work of removing untouchabilityअनंत अडचणींवर मात करत सावित्रीमाईंनी स्त्री शिक्षणाची ज्योत अखंड तेवत ठेवली. महात्मा जोतिबा यांचे अस्पृश्यता निवारण व समाजातील दुर्बल घटकांना मुख्य प्रवाहात आणण्याचे सामाजिक कार्य त्यांनी निरंतर सुरू ठेवले. क्रांतिज्योती सावित्रीमाई फुले यांना जयंती दिनी विनम्र अभिवादन! pic.twitter.com/0H7iMJywCX— Sharad Pawar (@PawarSpeaks) January 3, 2023“Greetings to the first woman teacher in the country, Gnyanjyoti, Krantijyoti Savitribai Phule, who laid the foundation of women’s education, on the occasion of her birth!” NCP leader Ajit Pawar wrote on Twitter.स्त्रीशिक्षणाचा पाया रचणाऱ्या देशातील पहिल्या महिला शिक्षिका ज्ञानज्योती,क्रांतीज्योती सावित्रीबाई फुले यांना जयंतीनिमित्त विनम्र अभिवादन!विद्येची जननी सावित्रीबाई यांचं सामाजिक-शैक्षणिक कार्य अमूल्य असून त्यांचे विचार कायम प्रेरक ठरतील.महिला शिक्षण दिनाच्या मनःपूर्वक शुभेच्छा! pic.twitter.com/o6ymN2S2cL— Ajit Pawar (@AjitPawarSpeaks) January 3, 2023NCP MP Supriya Sule praised Savitribai for empowering women by giving them the power of education and dedicating her life for social reform.शिक्षणाचं बळ देऊन महिलांना सक्षम करणारी माऊली क्रांतिज्योती सावित्रीबाई फुले.त्यांनी समाजसुधारणेसाठी आपले आयुष्य वेचले. त्यांची आज जयंती,यानिमित्ताने सावित्रीमाईंच्या स्मृतींना विनम्र अभिवादन. pic.twitter.com/anXfwuulqK— Supriya Sule (@supriya_sule) January 3, 2023“Despite various difficulties, the life of Savitri Bai, who fought for women’s education and the dignity of women in the society and their rights, will always be a source of inspiration for all of us,” Delhi’s education minister Manish Sisodia wrote on twitter.स्त्री शिक्षा की प्रणेता व देश की पहली महिला शिक्षिका सावित्री बाई फुले जी की जयंती पर कोटि कोटि नमन।विभिन्न कठिनाइयों के बावजूद नारी शिक्षा व समाज में महिलाओं की अस्मिता और उनके हक़ की लड़ाई लड़ने वाली सावित्री बाई का जीवन सदैव हम सभी के लिए प्रेरणा स्रोत रहेगा। pic.twitter.com/9OkilpaJOE— Manish Sisodia (@msisodia) January 3, 2023

‘Personifies spirit of Nari Shakti’: On Savitribai Phule’s 192nd birth anniversary, tributes pour in
Wave of worry as minors commit serious offences in Pune
Times of India | 4 weeks ago | |
Times of India
4 weeks ago | |

Pune: Incredulity, anger and fear have gripped residents of Sus-Baner-Pashan areas following the incident where three minors were involved in the chopping off of the hand of an advanced computing student in front of an eatery on Sus Road after he refused to give them Rs 100. Crimes involving minors are not only rising, but also increasing in frequency. Many are caught in a circle of criminal offences and unable to leave it. They spiral towards it due to poverty, circumstances, lack of education and for empty bravado. On December 25, Sinhagad Road police arrested a 21-year-old man from Sinhagad Road and detained his 17-year-old accomplice, a junior college student, for threatening a sweets shop owner. They wanted a kg of ‘Kaju Katli’ for free and when denied, the duo attempted to shoot him dead. In June, this year, the Dattawadi police detained nine minors for damaging 11 vehicles parked on a public road in Janata Vasahat.Activists, psychologists and police personnel TOI spoke to said they find an increasing number of minors taking to crime and if not checked it could lead to serious problems.Social activist Mandar Shinde who works for Terre des Hommes Germany for child rights, protection, and development said that his team has been interacting since 2021 with children in conflict with law and has found that most minors involved in crime come from broken families and are witness to domestic violence since a young age which has ‘normalized’ to violence or beating up people, or seeing someone bleed.“Most children involved in crime drop out after Std VII or VIII and then starts the real problem because there is nothing engaging them. They loiter around, and this is when they get into gangs. Most of the time, adult criminals are behind the curtains and lure these minors with power and money and make them commit a crime on their behalf. We counsel and rehabilitate the children referred to us by the Juvenile Justice Board and the police,” Shinde said.Sandesh Borde, who works for both at-risk children and those who have already committed a crime and are in children’s homes said that lack of affection, proper relationships with their family members, lack of safe spaces in the family lead them to finding all of this in a group of friends. “However, even if one of their friends is a criminal then for the sake of so-called friendship, they are ready to avenge whoever has supposedly insulted this friend by beating them up, threatening them, or even killing them,” he said.Under The Wings Of Preying AdultsOlder criminals treat them like younger brothers, they give them pocket money, buy cakes on their birthdays or other occasions, give them vehicles to roam around and thus keep them indebted. When the time comes, they expect to be paid back and it is usually by committing a crime on their behalf.The third kind is the one who gets them out on bail or out of children’s homes. The children start feeling indebted to such people and they start working for them. The fourth kind gets influenced by movies and feels this is the only ‘career’ that will earn them money, fame and respect from peers. They watch local hoodlums commanding fear and want the same, Borde said.He engages children through sports because he feels not everyone wants to acquire a skill and through sports, they start caring for their bodies, stay away from drugs and alcohol and get jobs as gym trainers and bouncers.Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ramnath Pokale said incidents of juveniles committing crimes in Pune city are increasing and some reasons include the influence of films, poverty and illiterate parents.“A majority of such minors are from the slums like Warje, Janata Vasahat, Yerawada, Ambegaon Pathar and other areas. When we question the detained minors, they tell us that their role models are goons based in their own slums. In many cases, minors execute crimes for a few rupees or just make a ‘name’ in their area,” Pokale added.Sonali Kale, a psychologist at Muktangan De-addiction Centre, said that the education system needs an overhaul where the emotional quotient in students plays an important part. “We see children unable to manage their emotions responsibly across all sections. When you counsel the children, they tell us that they have no clue why they did what they did at that time. Children in good homes need a safe space to share their emotions. All children go to school till at least Std VIII, so we can actually help children manage their emotions by making emotional management a big part of the curriculum and make schools a safe space for them with teachers as their role models,” Kale said.Police, Helpline Blame Screen Addictions Pokale said that the police department organizes regular counselling through the Bharosa Cell. But, sometimes, they find minors in crime who have already attended these sessions. “We again conduct counselling for them. In 2021, 760 minors underwent counselling sessions, and this year, 209 juveniles have attended. We will also increase the number of sessions for these children so that we can avert crimes and future criminals,” he said.Anuradha Sahasrabuddhe, executive director of Dnyan Devi Childline, said that they have been receiving more cases where minors are involved in crimes. “Two things which we have observed are addictions to the internet and films. Youngsters remain glued to the screens of their cellphones and they watched violent films and play violent video games. They do not hesitate to commit crimes. Secondly, minors belonging to disturbed family backgrounds are taking to the crimes. We are conducting counselling sessions for these children and their parents,” she added.

Wave of worry as minors commit serious offences in Pune
States may push for debate on central schemes, cesses
The Indian Express | 4 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
4 weeks ago | |

A focus on a higher share of funds to states, a review of centrally sponsored schemes, and a clamour to prune cesses for increasing the divisible pool of revenues are likely to be at the heart of a fiscal federalism debate as state representatives gather for a conference with officials from the central government for a three-day conference here later this week.Ahead of the the Union Budget 2023-24 next month, the discussions are expected to see states raising the issue of higher control by the Centre in many of the welfare schemes, especially coming in the backdrop of the discontinuation of the free foodgrains scheme beyond December.“The increasing share of cesses in overall revenues is a concern for states. Many states, including BJP-ruled states, are pressing for higher fiscal autonomy by asking for a review of the levy of cesses and surcharges,” a state government official said.A demand for higher borrowing limits to increase fiscal space available to states, enhancement of funds under the scheme for special assistance for capital investment and limiting the scope of centrally sponsored schemes are also expected to be raised by states. The second National Chief Secretaries Conference will be held in Delhi between January 5-7. Various sectoral groups across ministries and different states are working on broad themes to be taken up for discussion, including issues about MSMEs, employment creation, education, agriculture and urban governance, officials said. Infrastructure projects pipeline through PM Gatishakti, and National Infrastructure Pipeline will also be discussed. Some states believe that the recent discontinuation of the free foodgrains scheme is also expected to help the Centre gain political capital ahead of general elections next year, with states being left short-changed with less fiscal autonomy and lesser grain available for eligible people under the scheme. “Earlier in Kerala, the ration was being given free. In addition, the PMGKAY was providing food grains at higher prices. Now, people will lose this component. It will be a big body blow for a food deficit state like Kerala because you are getting, at a higher price, 5 more kilos of rice/wheat. That will not be stopped. It will not have much impact for other surplus states but for Kerala, it will be a big blow because the availability of grains will be coming down,” former Kerala Finance Minister TM Thomas Isaac said.The scheme provided 5 kg of food grains per month to about 81.35 crore people free of cost over and above their National Food Security Act (NFSA) entitlement of 5 kg per person per month at Rs 2-3/kg. While discontinuing PMGKAY, the government has decided to make available the 5 kg/person/month grains under NFSA free of cost for one year from January 2023.In November pre-Budget meeting, many states raised issues linked to the fiscal autonomy of states. Tamil Nadu and Bihar had called for limiting centrally sponsored schemes, stating that states end up shelling out more funds and Centre should increase its share of transfers to reduce states’ burden. Chhattisgarh had sought funds for implementing the Old Pension Scheme.The government levies several cesses, including health and education, and additional excise duties on fuel, road and infrastructure, which do not form part of the divisible pool. The share of cesses and surcharges has increased from 8.16 per cent of gross tax revenue in 2011-12 to 25.1 per cent in 2020-21 and 28.1 per cent of gross tax revenue in 2021-22.“A major reason is the imposition of GST Compensation Cess, which is entirely used for payment of compensation and flows to states as Grants-in-Aid, in their Receipts Budget. Resources from the other cesses are allocated to different schemes and programmes in the Budget, which are implemented by states and other agencies,” Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary said in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha in December.

States may push for debate on central schemes, cesses
Madrasas to offer admissions to pre-primary classes on lines of English-medium schools
The Indian Express | 4 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
4 weeks ago | |

The Uttar Pradesh Board of Madarsa Education will offer admissions to pre-primary classes at madrasas from April this year on the lines of primary and English-medium private schools in the state. In primary schools, children have had to attend nursery, Lower Kindergarten (LKG) and Upper Kindergarten (UKG) classes to get admission in class I.According to officials, the decision to offer admission to pre-primary classes in madrasas was taken after teachers complained of problems while directly teaching students from class I.“After teachers and parents raised the demand, we decided to offer pre-primary classes in which students would be imparted modern-cum-religious education. Uttar Pradesh would be the first state to run pre-primary classes in madrasas,” said Dr Iftikhar Ahmed Javed, chairman of Uttar Pradesh Board of Madarsa Education.“The idea behind starting pre-primary classes was to ensure that children studying in madrasas don’t feel any less confident than students of any other school. The pre-primary classes would be conducted as per the rules and regulation laid down by the state government,” he added.Javed said the syllabi of these classes would be released in March. “The pre-primary classes at madrasas would be of three years and the names of these classes are yet to be decided.”When asked about teachers, the board chairman said, “If needed, private teachers would be hired to run these pre-primary classes.” During a survey conducted in 2022 on the directions of the state government, around 8,500 madrasas were found functioning without any recognition from the Uttar Pradesh Board of Madarsa Education in the state. The survey was conducted in all 75 districts of the state and its report was submitted to the government in November last year. The district with the highest number of unrecognised madrasas was Moradabad (550), followed by Siddharth Nagar (525) and Bahraich (500). The Uttar Pradesh Board of Madrasa Education was formed by the UP government in 2017 to check alleged “irregularities” in madrasas.

Madrasas to offer admissions to pre-primary classes on lines of English-medium schools
Affordable education: Study BTech in Canada under Rs 20 lakh
The Indian Express | 4 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
4 weeks ago | |

(From this year, The Indian Express will bring to you foreign countries and universities which provide affordable education. Experts will guide us on how to choose the right institute, the scholarships available, housing costs and post visa permits.)Ashish FernandoStudying abroad can burn a hole in a student’s pocket, and with rising inflation and universities increasing tuition fees, the gap may grow much wider. However, aspirants must not be deterred by the cost of studying abroad and should put affordable destinations on their radar. Pursuing higher education on a budget, especially courses like BTech, is possible.Canada is one of the most preferred countries among Indian students planning to study at a foreign university. Home to 20 top-ranking universities, on average, the tuition fees for an undergraduate course in Canada range from Rs 5 lakh to 15 lakh per year. In addition to this, student accommodation can vary from Rs 1.4 lakh to 5 lakh a year. This makes Canada one of the most pocket-friendly destinations, offering excellent education quality.While Canada offers affordable education to international students, planning the process can be difficult, especially if students have limited information about studying abroad. Here are a few points students must know to plan their higher education in Canada.Choosing the right university that aligns with your future goals is the first step when planning to study abroad. While affordability can be the defining factor for many considering the financial constraint, students must not compromise on the quality of education. Fortunately, a few of Canada’s top universities excel on several of these crucial parameters.Additionally, when searching for universities to study in Canada, students need not restrict themselves to one location and can customise their search to several locations. Canada has many territories, and the cost of higher education may vary accordingly. Hence, students must always look out for universities geographically.Some of the top universities in Canada that offer BTech on a budget are1. Simon Fraser University – 9.10 lakhs/year; 14990 CAD per year.2. University of Alberta- 13.67 lakhs/year; 22503 CAD per year.3. McMaster University- 15.96 lakhs/year; 26285 CAD per year.4. University of Windsor – 14.96 lakhs/year; 24730 CAD per year.Location-wise, Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, and British Columbia are the most affordable and popular cities for higher education in Canada.Scholarships make studying abroad much easier for those looking for higher education on a budget as the overall cost further decreases. The Canadian Government has special scholarships for international students studying in the country.A few financial aids that students planning to pursue B Tech in Canada can apply to are — Euclid scholarship, Bursaries, CCS profiles, Merit-based and Need-based scholarships, Student Awards, and Financial Aid (SAFA). However, students must meet the respective eligibility criteria to get the scholarships.Students must apply for a study permit along with a student visa to study in Canada. A study permit is mandatory to pursue higher studies in the country. It is important to know that when checking for the courses, students should also check if the course offers a co-op program (aprogram where they can work in an industry related to their field of study). If it does, students must apply for a co-op permit along with the study permit. If the course is a non-co-op one, the study permit should suffice. Being on a student visa, a student is allowed to work 20 hrs/week and 40 hrs/week during vacation, on-campus or off-campus.Canada allows students graduating from their universities to work in the country. Once students graduate from the university, they will have 90 days to apply for their post-study work permit VISA. This permit is valid for 1-3 years, depending on the duration of the course. While applying for the post-study work permit VISA, students must confirm:– They have attended and completed the program.– The name of the program.– The duration of the program.To evidence the above, students need to submit the following documents –– The degree completion certificate– The transcript of the student– An official letter from the student’s university.The work experience that students gain while working in Canada may help them qualify for permanent residency. Studying abroad is a life-changing experience, although the initial phase of planning might feel intimidating, especially for students on a budget. However, with proper planning and assistance from experts, students can navigate the seemingly arduous process smoothly.Lastly, accommodation greatly determines the overall cost of higher education, irrespective of the destination. There are on-campus and off-campus accommodations available for international students. While they may have priority access to on-campus stays, the cost may be slightly higher than the off-campus ones. On average, on-campus housing in Canada costs around 2870 CAD/year, while off-campus ones cost around 1500 CAD/year. So while applying for universities, students must check their fees for accommodation so that they can take a call accordingly.Apart from these, students must always check for additional discounts on transportation, food, flight tickets, internet, libraries, etc, while studying abroad. That said, part-time jobs and paid internships also help students manage their finances.Studying abroad is a life-changing experience, although the initial phase of planning might feel intimidating, especially for students on a budget. However, with proper planning and assistance from experts, students can navigate the seemingly arduous process smoothly.The author is Founder and CEO, iSchoolConnect.

Affordable education: Study BTech in Canada under Rs 20 lakh
Sanjana Tiwari, dost tumhari: Transwoman who works to uplift lives of others like her
The Indian Express | 4 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
4 weeks ago | |

SANJANA TIWARI, dost hai tumhari, she says introducing herself to gay men and transwomen at risk of contracting HIV just like she once was. Having borne the stigma of being a transgender and once assumed to be a carrier of HIV as a sex worker, Sanjana, an autorickshaw driver in Northwest Delhi, is now a crusader against AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.As a volunteer at an NGO, she is committed to helping trans people be what they are: human beings who can bring value to society regardless of their sexuality. From a young age, Sanjana, now in her 40s, knew she was different. Born a boy, the eldest of five siblings, she liked dressing up like a woman. She liked boys from her neighbourhood. But scared of what her estranged father and neighbours would say, she never revealed her gender identity.Sanjana loved to dance like a girl but her family would frighten her, saying if she danced like kinnars, they would take her away. But she presented herself as a boy well into her teens till poverty forced her into sex work. “Our father did not support us. Mother did her best working at a quilt shop, a job she had difficulty keeping because she was asthmatic. So, I started working at a nuts-and-bolts factory at 12,” says Sanjana.At the factory, the owner sodomised Sanjana. “I was scared that if I stopped him, he would fire me. That’s when I thought that once I had been violated and there was no way out, why shouldn’t I do sex work for money?”She kept her life hidden, but her feminine behaviour was derided by her family. “My father, uncle and my grandmother abused me often. Yet none of them stepped up to help us meet the expenses of living,” says Sanjana. It was the scare of HIV and AIDS that changed the course of her life after 16 years.“When I started sex work, none of us really knew about HIV. When Deepshikha, the NGO I volunteer at now, reached out to me and explained about HIV, I was scared for my life. I had been working without a condom for 16 years and was sure I had the infection,” says Sanjana. She got herself tested at Baba Saheb Ambedkar hospital in Rohini and the results were negative.That’s when she decided to give a shot at living life meaningfully and on her terms. “I quit the profession and started working with Deepshikha. They helped me become an autorickshaw driver. They also helped me explore my creative interests; I now do street plays to raise awareness about HIV,” she said.Her efforts have yielded results as over the years, she has seen how most male and trans sex workers use condoms. There are now free diagnostics and medicines available at government centres for those who test positive but Sanjana says there is a need for oversight.“Those who are positive get discriminated against even at government facilities. Once I took a young HIV-positive boy to one of the government hospitals to get tested for TB (those with HIV frequently have TB co-infections because of a weakened immune system. Interventions are targeted towards them under the government’s HIV and TB programmes). But they did not do the test. I had to take him to a private clinic. This should not happen to anyone,” argues Sanjana.She also emphasises the need for ensuring education for LGBTQ children so that they do not get into sex work. “It is usually the poor who, not knowing how to earn, turn to sex work. The problem is that the effeminate students get sexually exploited by their classmates, teachers and staff in schools, so they leave their education midway. There has to be a way to ensure they get complete schooling without fear. Then they should get mainstream jobs that help them run their lives like anybody else,” says Sanjana.Now campaigning for sexual and digital literacy among LGBTQ youth, Sanjana feels all children should get a sex education so that they can protect themselves.

Sanjana Tiwari, dost tumhari: Transwoman who works to uplift lives of others like her
In 6 years, special loans for higher education at 1/3rd of target
The Indian Express | 4 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
4 weeks ago | |

The Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA), which was set up by the Centre in 2017 to upgrade the education infrastructure in the country to global best standards, has sanctioned 144 loans worth Rs 35,000 crore so far, falling short of the government’s target of mobilising Rs 1 lakh crore by 2022, according to information obtained by The Indian Express through an RTI application.HEFA, which was set up as a non-profit Non-Banking Financing Company (NBFC), is a joint venture between the Union Ministry of Education and the Canara Bank to finance infrastructure development in educational institutions through long-term loans.In an official statement shared with The Indian Express, the Union Ministry of Education attributed the shortfall to Covid-19, which broke out in 2020, and a revision in the funding pattern during the same year.During the launch of the RISE scheme on July 5, 2018, then Union Education Minister Prakash Javadekar had announced that HEFA has set projected investments of Rs 22,000 crore in 2018-19, Rs 36,000 crore in 2019-20, Rs 32,300 crore in 2020-21 and Rs 9,500 crore in 2021-22.In the RTI response, the HEFA said it sanctioned eight loans amounting to Rs 1,804 crore in 2017-18, its inception year.In 2018-19, as many as 48 loans worth Rs 15,572.56 crore were sanctioned, thereby missing the first annual target.In the next year i.e., 2019-20 too, 48 loans were sanctioned, but the quantum of investment dropped to Rs 11,193.66 crore. With the onset of the pandemic, the numbers dipped further in 2020-21 when Rs 2,843 crore for 19 loans were sanctioned. In 2021-22, Rs 2,072 crore for 13 loans were sanctioned, while in 2022-23, till October 31, an amount of Rs 1,551 crore was sanctioned for eight loans.In total, between 2017-18 and 2022-23, 144 loans worth Rs 35,038 crore have been sanctioned by the HEFA. While the modes of repayment differ from one institution to another, the agency said “till date no institution has defaulted in repaying HEFA loans”.Responding to questions, the Union Ministry of Education said HEFA was set up to substantially augment funding for creating quality education infrastructure in higher education institutions under the Government of India.“In order to address the requirements of various categories of institutions, five financial windows were created under HEFA. A projection of Rs 1,00,000 crore of investment was made considering all types of institutions falling under various HEFA windows. There was a huge increase in sanction of loan from Rs 1,804.25 crore in 2017-18 to Rs 15,572.56 crore in 2018-19. However, the outbreak of COVID-19, dampened the momentum, as the educational institutions were almost closed for almost two years. Construction activities were closed and educational institutions were not in a position to undertake new projects,” it said.According to functionaries of central universities and technical institutes, the fact that HEFA fell short of the projections even before the pandemic indicates that institutes are wary of taking loans due to pre-existing weak state of finances. Earlier this year, the IIT Bombay administration had to clarify it was forced to resort to a fee hike – which triggered student protests – to repay HEFA loans, among other reasons. It also tried to placate students by reducing the quantum of increase in fees.“Higher educational institutes now need to take a loan to pay the cost of all new hostel and academic building construction, which is to be repaid in 10 instalments, with interest paid by the Ministry of Education. Given the sharp increase in the number of students, IITs need to build more hostels and academic buildings,” it had said in a statement.The government had expanded the scope of HEFA in 2018 under the Revitalizing Infrastructure and Systems in Education or RISE by 2022 initiative, bringing schools and medical colleges under its ambit, and making it the nodal body in infrastructure financing in the education sector.The ministry said that in September 2020, the Department of Expenditure under the Union Ministry of Finance reviewed the funding pattern of HEFA. Till that time, there were broadly five different funding patterns, three of which remain.One, technical Institutions more than 10 years old are expected to repay the whole principal portion from internally generated budgetary resources. Two, those set up between 2008 and 2014, are to repay 25 per cent of the principal portion from internal resources, and receive government grants for the remaining principal amount.Three, central universities established before 2014 are expected to repay 10 per cent of the principal amount from internal resources and the remaining using government grants.The fourth and fifth options, under which institutes that started after 2014 as well as newly set up AIIMS, Kendriya Vidyalayas and Navodaya Vidyalayas with little scope for fee revision or internal resource generation, could rely on the government for complete servicing of the loans, have been scrapped.“It was advised to fund such institutions through budgetary grants. Since then, institutions falling under windows- IV & V are funded through budgetary grants, without compromising their infrastructure requirements. Thus, because of restructuring HEFA windows from five to three, the scope of HEFA financing has been reduced and the gap is met through budgetary grants,” the ministry said.

In 6 years, special loans for higher education at 1/3rd of target
Scholarships available by Government of India for Indian students planning to study abroad
The Indian Express | 4 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
4 weeks ago | |

For those who wish to study abroad, the Ministry of Education provides financial aid to Indian students for higher studies. To apply for these scholarships, aspirants can check the Ministry’s official website — education.gov.in. The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment provides several scholarship programmes such as the National Overseas Scholarship Scheme for Scheduled Castes, denotified, nomadic and semi nomadic tribes, landless agricultural labourers and traditional artisans, Scheduled Castes and traditional artisans category.Scholarships are provided to candidates of the above-mentioned categories to help them obtain higher education viz., Masters’ degree or PhD courses by studying abroad with the aim that this will help them improve their economic and social status.To apply, candidates will have to visit the official website — nosmsje.gov.in – and then fill in all the required details such as personal details, name of course and foreign university, previous employment details, and several documents for proof. The minimum percentage of marks required is 60 per cent.Under the scheme, following assistance is provided:— Tuition fees— Maintenance allowance (US $15,400 annually except UK. GBP 9,900 annually in UK)— Contingency allowance (US $1500 annually except UK. GBP 1,100 annually in UK)— Visa fees— Equipment allowance— Tuition fee only and medical insurance premium— Air Passage by economy class as per scheme guidelines— Incidental journey allowance and equipment allowance (US $20 for each or its equivalent in INR)The Ministry of Tribal Affairs offers scholarship programmes like the National Overseas Scholarship Scheme for Scheduled Tribe Students. Candidates can check their official website to apply online — overseas.tribal.gov.in.This is a Central Sector Scheme of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and every year 20 fresh ST students are given scholarships for pursuing Master’s degree, PhD, Post-doctoral courses from abroad.The Ministry of Science and Technology provides the Overseas Visiting Doctoral Fellowship Programme.The objective of the programme is to build national capacity in frontier areas of Science and Engineering, which are of interest to India by providing research training to PhD students admitted to Indian institutions in overseas universities/institutions of repute. It aims to provide performing Indian research students an opportunity to gain exposure and access to state-of-the-art research facilities in academia and labs in certain overseas universities.This would also build long-term Research and Design linkages and collaborations with scientists and technologists from around the world. And use the gained expertise to strengthen national programmes.The scheme is open to Indian nationals only. The applicant should have registered for a full-time PhD degree in any of the recognised institutes in India in STEM disciplines. Part-time students or the ones who have submitted their thesis are not eligible to apply.Candidates can check their official website for more details — serbonline.inThe Ministry of Minority Affairs offers Padho Pardesh (interest subvention scheme for minority community students). Candidates can check their official website for more details — minorityaffairs.gov.inUnder this, the interest subsidy will be granted for the period of moratorium (i.e. course period, plus one year or six months after getting a job, whichever is earlier) as prescribed under the education loan scheme of the Indian Banks Association (IBA).In this, the Ministry will reimburse a 100 per cent interest component of the educational loan availed by a student from the bank up to the moratorium period.For this, students have to submit the documents as per the requirement of lending bank for availing the educational loan. The Ministry will provide reimbursement of interest accrued on educational loans up to the moratorium period.

Scholarships available by Government of India for Indian students planning to study abroad
  • Many students can’t utilise state scholarship in Maharashtra
  • Times of India

    MUMBAI: Several beneficiaries of a state-sponsored scholarship scheme for foreign education from other and special backward classes have not been able to utilise it this year. The state notification with the list of beneficiaries came in October, when the deadline for most foreign universities closed in September. It also introduced a cap on the scholarship amount, which was not known to students at the time of application. As their fees exceed the amount fixed by the state, many beneficiaries are in a dilemma. Since many are on the verge of losing a year, they are worried about going through the same tedious application process again next year.In October, the scholarship scheme was extended to 50 students, instead of 10, according to a government resolution issued by the other backward Bahujan welfare department, which covers OBC, SBC, VJ and NT categories. The students, however, claimed that on one hand the state increased the beneficiaries but reduced the scholarship amount. A similar scheme for SC, ST students, does not impose any cap on fees, they said."Till last year, foreign education under this scheme was fully funded. The limit of Rs30 lakh per annum for Masters' students and Rs40 lakh per annum for PhDs was introduced at the eleventh hour this year. My course fee is much higher than the limit. Even after losing a year, I am not sure how to raise the remaining fees when I apply again next year," said Ashirwad Wakade, who had secured admission for a Master's in public policy at the University of Chicago. He said that the estimated expenses he had submitted to the government early this year was Rs1.3 crore for the entire course, when the government will pay only Rs60 lakh. He added that the decision was arbitrary.Another beneficiary, Namita Dadgal, who secured admission for a master's in minimally invasive dentistry at University of London, said her per annum fees goes up to Rs48 lakh. "I requested the university for a deferral, but this course does not allow it. I am already losing a year. I will again have to apply to universities next year and we are not sure if our selection for the scholarship will be carried forward next year."

The story of how world’s first self-learning Braille device ‘Annie’ was made
The Indian Express | 4 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
4 weeks ago | |

A conversation that started at a breakfast table between Aman Srivastava and three of his friends from BITS Pilani, Goa, soon took the shape of a research project. It eventually led to a prototype far from the friends’ realm to imagine. That’s how Bengaluru-based Tinkerbell Labs developed “Annie,” the world’s first self-learning device for teaching Braille to visually impaired kids.Although there has been a global push towards inclusive education, Srivastava, 28, saw a gap between teachers not adequately trained and the lack of the right tools needed to provide early education for the visually impaired. “When you teach your child ABC, the child doesn’t learn ABC just because of your teaching. It is constantly shown the letters and alphabets everywhere, in every book, every signboard and that was completely missing in case of teaching children with visual impairments,” he explains.Srivastava says when he and his team started working on Annie in 2016, they found that the traditional teaching method for visually impaired students required one-to-one hand-holding, which could be extensive in nature. “We realised that we could build something that amplifies the effectiveness of a special educator by developing a solution designed to cater to not one but multiple students at the same time. What would that world look like?” he told indianexpress.com in an interview.Srivastava describes Annie as a literacy tool, a Wi-Fi-enabled electronic Braille device that helps a child with low vision to read, write and type. It has been designed around the concept of audio-tactile, which makes learning more interactive for a child with visual impairments. The device teaches Braille—an embossed reading system which allows blind or visually impaired students to read using their fingers—in English, Hindi or whichever local language they are comfortable in. The idea is to cover all the basic aspects of language first and once a child becomes literate, they use that knowledge of literacy to learn other things like vocabulary, sentences, comprehension, etc.The design of Annie has gone through multiple iterations, which Srivastava says is a common practice in designing a product from the ground up. In the early versions of Annie developed in-house, the device had only one large Braille cell with audio but later it was decided to add a few standard cells. “The design has evolved based on functional requirements, which is if you have to educate from classes 1 to 8, what all do you need hardware-wise?” Srivastava says.Srivastava recalls the team built 50 to 60 prototypes across five to six versions before commercially starting deploying Annie in 2018. Early prototypes of Annie were completely white and the vibe was exactly the same as a washing machine from IFB. But during the design process, Srivastava and the team wanted Annie to go beyond that white colour. “We really wanted Annie to have a playful, colourful, console-type design. We were inspired by Xbox and Nintendo consoles of the past and the design worked for Annie,” he adds. In fact, Annie’s middle portion, where the typing module is, mimics a video game console. “Most assistive gadgets have been boring, but we wanted to change that with Annie,” says Srivastava.Srivastava sees Annie as a full-fledged computer which can be updated just like a smartphone. The device controls the tactile display that children can touch and feel which then shows words, alphabets and letters to them. There are different buttons for different tasks, similar to how a laptop works. Annie is a connected device and can be remotely enabled—it is possible to keep track of students’ performance.But Annie isn’t just a hardware device, clarifies Srivastava. In fact, Annie has a hardware layer, a content layer, and a software layer to it. Srivastava and team worked with the UK’s Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) as well as India’s National Institute for the Empowerment of Persons with Visual Disabilities to develop the content which is as per different grades of Braille that works on Annie. The content, which consists of alphabet learning, listening to sentences and games, is fully digitised and made interactive in nature. “We had to design a new system where if a child goes wrong, Annie can correct them instantaneously in real-time and then the progress is recorded and that can be given to a teacher, parent or school authority as and when required,” he says.The perception towards assistive tech is changing quickly and more people, especially investors, are rooting for accessible platforms and hardware. “People [Investors] want to invest in hardware, they now want to look at tangible things,” Srivastava says. “When we initially started, everyone would ask to replicate the concept of [Annie] on a mobile phone app but the things functionally required for a child to learn can’t be put on a smartphone because a phone is not tactile in nature.”“In tech, inclusion has to come to tech. It should be seen as yet another customer problem and solving leads to value creation and eventually business,” he says.For Srivastava, the acceptance of Annie—sold as Polly in the US—has opened new opportunities for the young startup in the west. TIME Magazine recently named Polly one of the best inventions in 2022. The hardware of Annie and Polly are the same—the only difference comes when it comes to the software and content designed keeping the US curricula in mind.Since its launch, as many as 400 units of Annie are up and running across schools. Just recently, Srivastava’s company signed a deal with the American Printing House for the Blind, a non-profit organisation, where Tinkerbell Labs will provide 700 units of Annie every year for three years. Rather than selling the hardware individually, Srivastava makes money by deploying Annie on the basis project. “It’s exactly like supplying and setting up computers in school labs,” he says. “One Annie project costs around 7.5 to 9 lakh depending on a school, how many students are there, how many teachers have to be trained and how many devices have to be deployed,” he adds.Srivastava and his team are currently working on a few new versions of Annie with more content. There are also plans to expand the regional language support on Annie, including Malayalam, Oriya, Gujarati, and Punjabi.

The story of how world’s first self-learning Braille device ‘Annie’ was made
School Education dept, TISS join hands to encourage vocational education
The Indian Express | 1 month ago | |
The Indian Express
1 month ago | |

In a bid to encourage vocational education in line with the new National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, Maharashtra’s School Education department under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) has collaborated with the School of Vocational Education (SVE) at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS). In the first year of collaboration, SSA plans to connect 15,000 students from government schools to various Bachelor of Vocational (BVoc) courses offered at the SVE.In times when most students think of traditional Arts, Commerce or Science degrees after Class XII, the idea is to divert them toward BVoc courses which are more employment-oriented. Awareness will be created at secondary school level as students will be eligible for these courses after passing Class XII. Plan is to increase the total number of students taking admission to these courses, each passing year. Under the collaboration, awareness will be created in government-run schools and students will get to take admission to various courses offered by the SVE at TISS.State Project Director Kailas Pagare said, “Several students looking forward to working soon tend to join Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) or diploma courses after Class X. But these are no degrees. The BVoc courses on the other hand are degrees, having multiple entry-exits which not only guarantee employment, but also provide students with earn-and-learn opportunities as these courses run in collaboration with industry partners. With official degrees in skills of their choice, our students will have better chances in the job market in future.”Pagare shared that SSA is working in tandem with the vision of NEP 2020 which aims at taking vocational education to 25 per cent of students until year 2025. “The collaboration with the SVE at TISS is to not only help create awareness but also provide a direct channel for our students to enroll in these courses. These courses can run anywhere as long as a batch of required number of students is formed in one location where an industry player too is ready to collaborate,” added Pagare.Professor Madhushree Sekher, Dean at SVE, said, “We have over 30 different types of BVoc courses in sectors as varied as agriculture, automotive, banking and finance, child or healthcare, logistics, retail, tourism & hospitality, among others. All these courses run with industry partners as the course module has 60 per cent of practical training components. In many cases, students also receive a stipend as they learn on the job which helps them for payments of fees for the course.”Talking about the importance of such a collaboration, Professor Sekher said, “The BVoc degrees are available at different institutes but there is no aspirational value among students to pursue these courses, as they are not widely recognised or mentioned as required eligibility to apply for any kind of job. This will educate school-children about the benefits of pursuing a BVoc degree.”The SSA also plans to bring aspirational value to BVoc degrees.

School Education dept, TISS join hands to encourage vocational education
‘The Teacher’ shows that when it comes to gender justice, Kerala’s reality is not as progressive as its image
The Indian Express | 1 month ago | |
The Indian Express
1 month ago | |

The Teacher (2022), directed by Vivek, which was released this month, shows a Kerala that has always, despite its claims of being a progressive state, fared poorly when it comes to issues around gender. Unquestionably, the state has come a long way in recognising women’s power, but how freely women can make choices and live their lives without being under constant scrutiny is still determined by the obstacles presented by political parties, conservative court judgments and other structural issues.The Teacher is about a strong-willed woman, a PT teacher, who is gang-raped, and who then plots her revenge. After the video of the rape is circulated widely, she defies society, her family and even her husband, to take on the perpetrators with brute physical force. The survivor has many women in her corner throughout the movie, including her mother, sister and mother-in-law. On the other hand, the men, including her husband, are weak, and more worried about what society thinks than about her well-being. Her husband confides in a friend who then advises him to “control” his woman and keep her “within limits”. He suggests that she has “too much freedom” because she teaches physical education, that modern-day kids can behave in unexpected ways (the perpetrators are boys who study in her school), and that she is the one who should have been more careful.It’s evident that Kerala, in many ways, remains a deeply patriarchal state. In August this year, in a hearing for anticipatory bail in a sexual harassment case, a Kerala court made observations, later expunged, that effectively blamed the complainant for her ordeal. This prompted the state government to move the high court against the lower court’s verdict. Using a woman’s clothing choices as admissible evidence in a place where people come seeking justice is deplorable. It highlights the urgency with which we need to address such discrimination, especially in state bodies. The court’s observation was in bad taste even as the Pinarayi Vijayan-led government was attempting to introduce gender-sensitive policies in state schools.The topic of gender sensitisation has been a part of public conversations in Kerala for the past few months with the education department’s plan to introduce gender-neutral school uniforms — trousers and shirts — for both boys and girls in schools. However, the government was forced to backtrack in the wake of vehement protests from certain religious and political outfits, who saw the move as an attack on religion. Another educational reform aimed at gender justice and sensitisation — mixed seating in schools — also had to be rolled back. The Indian Union Muslim League called it a “Left tactic”. Political alliances have often diluted progressive moves in Kerala. Pro-CPI(M) Muslim scholar Kanthapuram A P Aboobacker Musliyar also expressed his displeasure over the gender sensitisation moves. In another instance, an oath administered to the volunteers of Kudumbashree (a community organisation of women initiated under the State Poverty Eradication Mission of the Government of Kerala) irked a religious scholar. The offending part of the pledge stated that a woman should have equal property rights over her father’s property. The scholar objected to this on the grounds that it violates the fundamental right of religious freedom.It is clear that attaining gender equality and gender inclusivity is a distant dream in Kerala. Pushing back against moves that damage gender justice is the need of the hour. Reform is crucial and will have to find its way despite religious and political resistance.sheji.edathara@indianexpress.com

‘The Teacher’ shows that when it comes to gender justice, Kerala’s reality is not as progressive as its image
How CUET changed admission process in 2022
The Indian Express | 1 month ago | |
The Indian Express
1 month ago | |

The admission process and teaching at universities and colleges in the national capital underwent a radical overhaul this year with the introduction of a common entrance test and the adoption of the new national education policy. Relinquishing the old practices of admitting students, universities either partially or wholly adopted the Common University Entrance Test from the 2022-23 academic session.While the Delhi University (DU) used to admit students based on their Class 12 marks, the Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) and the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) used to have separate entrance tests for admissions to undergraduate courses.The CUET has become the second-largest entrance test in the country, after the Joint Entrance Examination-Mains (JEE) for engineering colleges, with over 14.9 lakh aspirants taking it.Conducted for the first time this year by the National Testing Agency, the CUET had its share of criticism with last-minute changes in exam centres, mass cancellation and postponement of exams, and delayed schedules putting candidates in a tight spot.The Delhi University through the new admission process admitted students in 79 undergraduate programmes across 67 of its colleges, departments and centres. In September, it had also launched an online platform for those seeking admission through the common seat allocation system.Through the CUET, JNU conducted admissions to 10 undergraduate courses, a majority being in its bachelor of arts (honours) courses in foreign languages.However, some varsities, including JMI, partially adopted the CUET process. JMI through the common test admitted students in 10 courses while admission to other programmes was done through an exam conducted by the varsity.These 10 courses included: bachelor of arts with honours in Turkish Language and Literature, Sanskrit, French and Francophone Studies, Spanish and Latin American Studies, History, Hindi and Economics, bachelor of science in biotechnology and physics, and bachelor of vocation in solar energy.From this academic session, universities implemented the National Education Policy-2020 (NEP) that proposes reforms in school as well as higher education, including technical education, with stress on promoting multilingualism and Indian languages, holistic and multidisciplinary education with multiple entry and exit options.The new policy replaces the 1986 National Policy on Education (NPE) and aims at universalisation of education from the pre-school to the secondary level with a 100 per cent gross enrolment ratio by 2030. It also targets to raise the ratio in higher education to 50 per cent by 2025.The Delhi University became the first central university to adopt the four-year undergraduate curriculum prescribed by the NEP-2020. JMI and JNU are also implementing the policy.During the beginning of the year, as the Covid situation improved across the country, calls for reopening universities grew louder.Students’ bodies held protests in Delhi demanding that major universities move from online mode to offline teaching.They had claimed as campuses had been closed for almost two years and teaching was online, the “standard of education had gone down”, and that students from lower-income groups and rural areas did not have access to devices for virtual learning. In February, DU, JNU and JMI were among the varsities in the national capital that started classes in the physical mode for undergraduate and postgraduate courses.The CUET coupled with the pandemic also delayed the academic calendar in varsities, including that of Delhi University, drawing criticism.In this year, JNU got its first women vice chancellor with Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit, a political science professor and an alumna of the university, appointed to the post. The 59-year-old had completed her M.Phil as well as Ph.D in international relations from JNU.Pandit began her teaching career at the Goa University in 1988 and moved to the Pune University in 1993. She has held administrative position in various academic bodies and also been a member of the University Grants Commission, the Indian Council of Social Science Research and visitor’s nominee to central universities.The premier institute was under the spotlight for a clash between students in April and later in December, after walls of one of its buildings were defaced with “anti-Brahmin” slogans.In April, clashes broke out at one of its hostels after the JNU Students’ Union — led by Left-backed All India Students’ Association — alleged that members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) had stopped residents from eating non-vegetarian food. The ABVP was also accused of assaulting the mess secretary of the Kaveri Hostel.The ABVP had denied the charges and claimed that “Leftists” obstructed a puja programme organised at the hostel on Ram Navami. Both sides accused each other of pelting stones and injuring their members.In December, several walls of a JNU building had “anti-Brahmin” slogans written on them, the photos of which were widely shared on social media.The year also witnessed a tussle between the Delhi University and its constituent college St Stephen’s over its interview process for admissions.While the college refused to do away with the interview, DU had said it is “firm” on its decision to declare “null and void” all admissions made by the college in violation of CUET guidelines.In letters exchanged between the college and the varsity, St Stephen’s said it will accord 85 per cent weightage to the CUET score and 15 per cent to physical interviews for “all categories of candidates”.The matter went to the Delhi High Court which in September ordered St Stephen’s to follow the admission policy of the university. The college knocked on the doors of the Supreme Court then which refused to stay on the high court’s order, bringing the tussle to an end.This year, ad-hoc teachers also demanded that they be absorbed through one-time regulation. 

How CUET changed admission process in 2022
Chhattisgarh Cabinet decides to provide benefits of old pension scheme
The Indian Express | 1 month ago | |
The Indian Express
1 month ago | |

In a cabinet meeting chaired by Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel at his residence in Raipur Friday, it was decided to provide the benefits of the old pension scheme.Several other important decisions were taken related to environment, education, infrastructure, attracting investors, implementation of government schemes and drafts for laws related to gambling, vehicle tax and unauthorised development.Speaking about the decision of providing the benefits of the old pension scheme, a government official privy to the cabinet’s decision said, “The decision has been taken despite central government’s refusal to refund the amount of National Pension System (NPS) to the officers and employees of the state.”As per the aforementioned decision, the government employees will be considered as the members of the Chhattisgarh General Provident Fund from April 1, 2022 and the employee contribution deposited in the NPS account from November 1, 2004 or after that to March 31, 2022, and the dividend earned thereon, will be payable to the government employee under the NPS rules.Employees will be eligible for the old pension scheme, only after depositing the contribution of the state government and the dividend earned thereon. For this, the government employees will have to select the option of either continuing under NPS or receiving the benefits of the old pension scheme in a notarised affidavit. This option will be final and irrevocable.The share deposited by the government in the NPS account from November 1, 2004 to March 31, 2022 and the dividend received thereon will have to be deposited in the government’s account if the government employee opts for the old pension scheme.The state government employees appointed on and after April 1, 2022 will compulsorily be members of the old pension scheme.To attract investors in Nava Raipur Atal Nagar, the infrastructure development fee has been revised to determine the lease premium of plots on the basis of area category within the sector. The Cabinet has decided to reduce the present infrastructure development fee from Rs 500 per square metre to Rs 100 per square metre for plot area of more than 50 acre.Keeping environmental issues in mind, measures are being taken to increase commercial tree plantation and to boost the income of the farmers. For this, the cabinet will start the Mukhyamantri Vriksha Sampada Yojana in the state where a target has been set to plant 15 crore saplings of clonal Eucalyptus, tissue culture teak and bamboo, Millia Dubia as well as the saplings of other economically beneficial species on nearly one lakh 80 thousand acre in a duration of five years at the rate of 36 thousand acre per year.All government, semi-government, autonomous institutions of the government, private educational institutions, private trusts, non-government institutions, panchayats and lease land holders who want to do plantation on their land will be able to take advantage of this scheme.The cabinet also discussed matters related to implementation of the Millet Mission programme in the state. Joint initiative will be taken by the departments of agriculture, forest, cooperative, panchayat and rural development, school education, scheduled caste and tribe development, food, women and child development and Gramodyog, industries, culture, commerce and industry, tourism, public relations, home and jail, commercial tax and health and family welfare.The Cabinet decided to distribute fortified rice in all the districts of the state to the ration card holders (except APL) under the state scheme. An amount of Rs 26.42 crore will be spent on this work. It also decided to distribute free food grains on Antyodaya and priority ration cards issued under the Chhattisgarh Food and Nutrition Security Act 2012, similar to the distribution of free food grains from the month of January 2023 to December 2023 on the ration cards issued under the National Food Security Act 2013.Four drafts were approved. These are the Chhattisgarh Regularization of Unauthorized Development (Amendment) Bill-2022 and the Chhattisgarh Gambling (Prohibition) Bill-2022, amendment draft of Chhattisgarh Motor Vehicle Taxation Act 1991 for levy of lifetime tax from ambulance category vehicles, amendment in the Chhattisgarh Motor Vehicle Taxation Act 1991 and Rules 1991 was approved to increase the temporary registration tax on vehicles and amendment in Chhattisgarh Industrial Land and Management Rules 2015.It was decided to constitute district-level agglomeration and district-level committees in the five new districts for monitoring the cluster level implementation of the central and state-sponsored schemes related to inter-departmental and inter-body.It has been decided to start a special scheme for the renovation of school buildings. Under this scheme, a total of Rs 780 crore will be spent on the renovation of schools.A decision was also taken on valuation of assets under Chhattisgarh Chandulal Chandrakar Memorial Medical College Durg (Acquisition) Act 2021.The report of the judicial inquiry into the incident of the death of MLA Bhima Mandavi of the Dantewada Assembly Constituency was presented to the Chief Minister.

Chhattisgarh Cabinet decides to provide benefits of old pension scheme
What is triple test survey, which UP is to carry out for OBC quota in urban local bodies
The Indian Express | 1 month ago | |
The Indian Express
1 month ago | |

After the Allahabad High Court ordered the Uttar Pradesh government to hold urban local body elections without reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) because the ‘triple test’ requirement for the quota had not been fulfilled, the state Wednesday set up a commission for this purpose.The five-member commission will conduct a survey to ensure that the OBCs are provided reservation on the basis of the triple test, as mandated by the Supreme Court.This is the first time that the triple test exercise will be carried out in Uttar Pradesh. Sources said the law department and the urban development department will lay down the guidelines to be adopted for the process.The triple test requires the government to complete three tasks for finalisation of reservation to OBCs in the local bodies. These include:a) To set up a dedicated commission to conduct a rigorous empirical inquiry into the nature and implications of the backwardness in local bodies;b) To specify the proportion of reservation required in local bodies in light of recommendations of the commission, so as not to fall foul of overbreadth;c) To ensure reservation for SCs/STs/OBCs taken together does not exceed an aggregate of 50 per cent of the total seats.These triple test/conditions were outlined by the Supreme Court in the case of Vikas Kishanrao Gawali vs. State of Maharashtra and others, decided on March 4, 2021.What procedure was UP following before this?The Urban Development Department of the UP government had on April 7, 2017 issued orders to conduct a rapid survey for determining the population of OBCs. Based on such a rapid survey in each constituency of a municipality, seats were reserved in proportion to the population of the backward class of citizens in the constituency/ward concerned.The BJP government on Wednesday said that all previous governments since 1994 had used the same rapid survey, for the polls held in 1995, 2000, 2006, 2012 and 2017.The arrangement for reservation of backward classes in local bodies was made in the UP Municipalities Act, 1916 in 1994.Why triple test instead of rapid survey?The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court on Tuesday said that any inquiry or study into the nature and implications of the backwardness with respect to local bodies involves ascertainment of representation in such bodies. The court said such an exercise cannot be confined to counting of heads alone, as is being done through the rapid survey.The court said simply granting reservation on the basis of population misses a very crucial factor for determination of backwardness, and that factor is political representation of the class or group concerned.The High Court quoted the Supreme Court’s observation in the K Krishna Murthy case, which pointed out that the nature of disadvantages which restrict access to education and employment cannot be readily equated with disadvantages in the realm of political representation.“Further observation made by Hon’ble Supreme Court in this regard is that the backwardness in the social and economic sense does not necessarily imply political backwardness. Elaborating the difference between the nature of reservation provided under Article 243-D and under Article 15(4) and 16(4), the Supreme Court in K Krishna Murthy also observed that there is an inherent difference between the nature of benefits that accrue from access to education and employment on one hand and political representation at the grassroots level on the other hand,” the HC said.This inherent difference is that while access to higher education and public employment increases the likelihood of the socioeconomic upliftment of the individual beneficiaries, participation in local self-government is intended as a more immediate measure of empowerment for the community to which the elected representative belongs, the court said.

What is triple test survey, which UP is to carry out for OBC quota in urban local bodies
As Maharashtra proposes renaming Ahmednagar to Ahilyadevi Nagar, a look at Malik Ahmed and Ahilyabai Holkar
The Indian Express | 1 month ago | |
The Indian Express
1 month ago | |

Maharashtra Education Minister Deepak Kesarkar told the Legislative Council that he has sought a proposal from the district administration to rename the Western Maharashtra city of Ahmednagar as ‘Punyashlok Ahilyadevi Nagar’, after the 18th century Malwa queen, Ahilyabai Holkar.Replying to a question raised in the State Legislative Council, Kesarkar said the decision will be taken after receiving the proposal from the district administration and after following the due procedure, including approval from the Centre.In August this year, the Maharashtra Assembly unanimously passed two separate resolutions to send a proposal to rename Aurangabad as Chhatrapati Sambhaji Nagar and rename Osmanabad as Dharashiv. Writing to then Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in June, BJP leader Gopichand Padalkar had demanded the renaming, saying as Holkar was born in Choundi village of Ahmednagar and had “an Ahmednagar connection”, her name would be appropriate.NCP leader Amol Mitkari, however, has criticised the move. “Instead of demanding changes in names, it would be better if BJP and MNS leaders seek measures like reduction in rising fuel prices and rising inflation. They should urge the central government to take steps to resolve grievances of farmers and the poor. But this is not happening. Non-issues like change in name are being pushed,” Mitkari had said.Ahmednagar lies in the Western region of Maharashtra. According to the district’s official website, it has been a part of some prominent kingdoms, starting from 240B.C., “when the vicinity is mentioned in the reference to the Mauryan Emperor Ashok”.The Rashtrakuta Dynasty, the Western Chalukyas, and then the Delhi Sultanate ruled over the region in the Medieval period. In the last case, the rule was not direct, and a revolt by Afghan soldier Alladin Hasan Gangu led to the establishment of the Bahmani kingdom in the Deccan. After some time, Ahmednagar (then known as Nizamshahi) became one of the five independent kingdoms to emerge from that empire.In 1486, Malik Ahmad Nizam Shah became the Bahmani Sultanate’s Prime Minister. He fought back an attempt by the king to dislodge him from power, and defeated the army of the Bahamani kingdom near Ahmednagar in May 1490. Finally, in 1494 he laid the foundation of a city close to where he defeated the army, on the left bank of Sina river, and named it after himself: Ahmednagar.Nizam Shah also later captured the fort of Daulatabad and stationed his army there. “By his kindness, peaceful demeanour & efficiency, he could win the loyalty of the local and foreign Muslims and also of the Maratha peasants and worriers. Since his origin was Hindu, he found no difficulty in winning over the confidence of Brahmins, who were highly regarded by the Hindus,” says the website.Jawaharlal Nehru, in his book A Discovery of India (1946), wrote, “Ahmad Nizam Shah, the founder of Ahmadnagar in 1490, was the son of Nizam-ul-Mulk Bhairi, a minister of the Bahmani kings. This Nizam-ul-Mulk was the son of a Brahmin accountant named Bhairu…Thus the Ahmednagar dynasty was of indigenous origin.”Born in Chondi village of Ahmednagar to the village head Mankoji Shinde, on May 31, 1725, Ahilyabai was one of the few women rulers of Medieval India. While the education of girls and women was rare at that time, Mankoji insisted on it for his daughter.When she was eight years old, Malhar Rao Holkar, the army commander to Peshwa Bajirao, is believed to have spotted her at a temple service in Chondi. Impressed by her character, he decided to get his son, Khande Rao, married to her.Ahilyabai took control of Malwa after her husband’s death in the Battle of Kumbher against the king of Bharatpur in 1754. She excelled at administrative and military strategies under the guidance of her father-in-law, who believed she should be the one to lead her people rather than die by Sati after Khande Rao passed away. She then petitioned the Peshwa to become the ruler, backed by her army.Nehru described Holkar’s rule, which lasted for thirty years (1765-1795), as “almost legendary as a period during which perfect order and good government prevailed and the people prospered. She was a very able ruler and organizer, highly respected during her lifetime.” Similarly glowing accounts are found elsewhere.According to an article in Google’s Arts and Culture platform, “During her reign, Malwa was never once attacked, when at that time the whole of Central India was facing a power struggle, with battles being fought for the throne. Under her rule, Malwa remained an oasis of stability and peace.”It adds that under Holkar, the city of Maheshwar became a literary, musical, artistic and industrial centre, and she helped establish a textile industry there, which is now home to the famous Maheshwari saris.Her role in the restoration of Hindu temples is often emphasised. In 1780, she had the Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi rebuilt, nearly a century after Mughal king Aurangzeb ordered its destruction. Apart from holy sites like Badrinath, Dwarka, Omkareshwari, Gaya, and Rameswaram, Holkar also supported the construction of resting lodges for travellers, and of public ghats.When Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Samudra Darshan Path and the Somnath Exhibition Gallery (which exhibits ruins of ancient Somnath, the temple built by Holkar in 1783) in 2021, he said, “When anyone in the world looks at this grand structure today, he doesn’t merely see a temple. He sees an existence which, for hundreds, thousands of years, has been inspiring, expounding human values; a place which was called by our seers the place of light, meaning knowledge, thousands of years ago; and a place that even today is proclaiming to the world that truth can’t be defeated by untruth, that faith can’t be trampled over by terror.”

As Maharashtra proposes renaming Ahmednagar to Ahilyadevi Nagar, a look at Malik Ahmed and Ahilyabai Holkar
  • Border row with Karnataka: Will not give up single inch of land in 865 villages, says Eknath Shinde
  • The Indian Express

    A day after passing a resolution to ‘legally pursue’ the inclusion of 865 Karnataka villages with Marathi-speaking population, the Maharashtra Legislature on Wednesday condemned the statement by Karnataka Law Minister J C Madhuswamy, who had said Mumbai qualifies to be an union territory. Speaking in the Legislative Council, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde condemned the statement and reiterated that Maharashtra will not give up a single inch of land in the 865 villages. He also said that if required, the state will approach the central government and Supreme Court and will firmly support the people in border areas.“The border area where Marathi people live is an integral part of Maharashtra and we will not give up a single inch of land in the 865 villages, including Belgaum, Nipani, Karwar, Bidar and Bhalki. Karnataka should not challenge us. We will do whatever it takes to fight this out in a legal way and give justice to the people living in the border area. If needed, we will approach the SC or the Union government,” said Shinde.“Despite the meeting with Union Home Minister, a statement has come… I condemn the statement (the demand to make Mumbai an union territory). Mumbai belongs to only Maharashtra and its people, and not to anyone else. We have got it after sacrificing 105 martyrs. No one should make such a statement. The government and I condemn the statement made by them (Karnataka minister),” said Shinde.While speaking in the Council, Shinde also listed various new schemes for the border areas, and said that the state and the government will firmly stand with the people living there. “We will do everything to ensure that no injustice is done to the Marathi-speaking people and we will help them in any way we can,” he said.Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis also spoke in the Assembly and said Karnataka ministers and leaders are making such statements despite the assurances given in front of Union Home Minister Amit Shah to not make any new claims.Leader of opposition Ajit Pawar also raised the comment by the Karnataka law minister in the state Assembly. “The state government must condemn Karnataka ministers and MLAs who are making provocative statements and even demanding that Mumbai be made an union territory. The state government must take a serious note of it as Karnataka is openly violating directions given by the Union Home Minister,” said Pawar. He demanded that the state government must write a stern letter condemning the Karnataka government. Meanwhile, speaking in the Legislative Council on the border dispute, Congress MLC Shashikant Shinde took a jibe at state Excise Minister Shambhuraj Desai by asking him to visit Belagavi, and “not return midway”.“Go and visit Belagavi and meet the Marathi-speaking people there. But do not return midway,” said Shinde. Shinde also alleged that 1,500 acres of land of Marathi-speaking farmers in border areas of Karnataka was acquired by the Karnataka government for a highway, and Kannada-speakers were allotted parts of this land. The opposition leaders in the Legislative Council, including Shinde, also demanded that the disputed border area be declared an union territory.

  • Maharashtra moves to name Ahmednagar city after Ahilyabai Holkar
  • The Indian Express

    After renaming Aurangabad and Osmanabad to Chhatrapati Sambhaji Nagar and Dharashiv, respectively, the government is now contemplating renaming Ahmednagar in Western Maharashtra to ‘Punyashlok Ahilyadevi Nagar’ (after Ahilyabai Holkar).Replying to a question on the renaming of the city, raised in the Legislative Council, Education Minister Deepak Kesarkar said that following ‘requests’ from public representatives the government has sought a proposal from the district administration to rename Ahmednagar as ‘Punyashlok Ahilyadevi Nagar’.The question was tabled by MLC Gopichand Padalkar, Ramesh Karad and Ramrao Patil to Chief Minister Eknath Shinde in the council.Kesarkar said the decision will be taken after receiving the proposal from the district administration and after following the due procedure, including approval from the Centre.The city derived its name Ahmednagar from its 15th-century ruler Ahmed Nizam Shah I.In August, the Maharashtra assembly unanimously passed two separate resolutions to send a proposal to rename Aurangabad as Chhatrapati Sambhaji Nagar and rename Osmanabad as Dharashiv.

  • "Karnataka Should Not Challenge Us As...": Eknath Shinde On Border Row
  • Ndtv

    We will seek the intervention of the Supreme Court and the central government," he said.Nagpur: Amid the latest flashpoint over the border dispute with Karnataka, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde today told the state's Legislative Council that not an inch of the land from the disputed 865 villages will be ceded to the neighbouring state and his government will pursue all legal avenues to prevent injustice against the Marathi speaking people.The Chief Minister's statement comes a day after Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, on Tuesday, proclaimed that his state won't give an inch of the disputed territory to Maharashtra.Addressing the Legislative Council on Wednesday, Mr Shinde said, "Karnataka should not challenge us as we will not give up an inch of the land in the 865 (disputed) villages, including Belgavi, Nipani, Karwar, Bidar and Bhalki. We will pursue whatever legal recourse that is available to us. We will seek the intervention of the Supreme Court and the central government and do everything in our power to prevent injustice to our Marathi-speaking people."Earlier, on Tuesday, the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly unanimously passed a resolution on the dispute with Karnataka over border areas saying the state will legally pursue the inclusion of 865 Marathi-speaking villages that are in Karnataka.In an apparent reaction to the move, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said "not an inch of land will be ceded to Maharashtra" and that the state is confident of getting justice, as the states were carved out on the basis of the States Reorganisation Act 1956.Amid the row, Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray demanded that the 'disputed areas' should be declared a Union Territory.Chief minister Eknath Shinde on Tuesday tabled the resolution in the Assembly on the border row.The resolution, which was passed unanimously, says Maharashtra will fight the pending case in the Supreme Court with full strength for the inclusion of each and every inch of the 865 villages that it lays claim to. They include Belgavi, Karwar, Nipani, and Bidar Bhalki in Maharashtra. The resolution also condemned the Karnataka administration for 'its anti-Marathi stand' in the border areas.The resolution further said the Maharashtra government will stand with the Marathi-speaking people in border areas and will go for a legal fight in the Supreme Court to ensure that these areas become a part of the state.The central government should urge the Karnataka government to implement the decision taken in the meeting with the Union Home Minister and the government should be given an understanding that would guarantee the safety of the Marathi people in the border areas, the resolution said.The Maharashtra assembly resolution came days after Karnataka Assembly passed a unanimous resolution last week over the Karnataka-Maharashtra border issue and condemned statements made by some Maha ministers on the issue. The resolution said that legal action will be taken against any minister if they continue to make statements over the issue.Uddhav Thackeray, who spoke to the reporters on Tuesday in Nagpur, demanded that the 'disputed areas' be declared a Union Territory.He said the party supported the resolution in the Maharashtra Assembly. "Whatever happens in favour of Maharashtra, we will support it. But there are some questions. For over two years, people (living in border areas) have been demanding that their areas be included in Maharashtra. What are we doing about that?" Thakeray asked.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com"Today government replied that the disputed area cannot be declared as a Union Territory as said by Supreme Court in 2008. However, the situation is not the same now. The Karnataka government is not following it. They are doing an Assembly session there and has renamed Belagavi. So we should go to Supreme Court and urge it to declare it as UT," he said.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)Featured Video Of The DayExclusive: Ministry Can't Regulate Airline Tariffs, Says Jyotiraditya Scindia

  • Maharashtra Seeks Proposal To Rename Ahmednagar As 'Ahilyadevi Nagar'
  • Ndtv

    The government has also written to the commissioner of the Ahmednagar municipal corporation.Nagpur: The Maharashtra government has asked the district administration to submit a proposal to rename Ahmednagar as 'Punyashlok Ahilyadevi Nagar', it told the Legislative Council in Nagpur on Wednesday.Education Minister Deepak Kesarkar made the statement in reply to a question during Question Hour.He, however, did not specify whether the government intended to rename the city of Ahmednagar in central Maharashtra or the district of which it is the headquarters, or both.The name Ahmednagar is derived from its 15th-century ruler Ahmed Nizam Shah I.The directives were issued on September 7 to Ahmednagar district collector as well as the concerned divisional commissioner, Kesarkar said.The government has also written to the commissioner of the Ahmednagar municipal corporation, divisional railway manager, senior post master and tehsildar for sending such proposals, the minister said.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comAfter receiving the proposal, it will be tabled before the state cabinet for approval and later forwarded to the Union government for final decision, Kesarkar added.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)Featured Video Of The DayDelhi Cop Loses 46 Kilos In 8 Months, Sets An Example

  • "Stop Insulting Savarkar": Devendra Fadnavis To Maharashtra Opposition
  • Ndtv

    Devendra Fadnavis slammed Opposition leaders in the state Legislative Council over Savarkar's "insult".Nagpur: Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday lashed out at the Opposition leaders in the state Legislative Council over Veer Savarkar's "insult", and said that even if the freedom fighter doesn't get Bharat Ratna, the leaders should "stop insulting him".This comes amid a big uproar in the Legislative Council over the issue of offensive remarks by some leaders on various great men.Thackeray Group MLA Anil Parab raised the issue of contempt of great men in the Legislative Council. On this, he targeted the ruling BJP and the Shinde group.In response, Mr Fadnavis also submitted a statement on the same issue.Reading out the offensive statements made by the opposition party leaders about great men, he asked why Mr Parab did not mention anything about insulting Savarkar in his statement."Parab saheb, in your speech you never once gave the example of freedom fighter V D Savarkar. Rahul Gandhi calls freedom hero Savarkar an apologist and self-proclaimed Hindutvawadi. No one talks about it. I mean, even if Savarkar doesn't get the Bharat Ratna, at least stop insulting him," Mr Fadnavis said.Mr Fadnavis read out the statements made by various leaders of Maha Vikas Aghadi about great men. "You are not saying anything on this, you are silent on this," he added.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comThe Council was later adjourned till Wednesday.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)Featured Video Of The DayChina Lifts Covid Curbs, India Takes Stock: How Prepared Are We?

Govt: Allocated Rs 200 crore for RTE admissions; schools say not enough
The Indian Express | 1 month ago | |
The Indian Express
1 month ago | |

A total budgetary allocation of Rs 200 crore has been made to reimburse schools for admissions under the Right To Education (RTE) Act and Rs 84 crore has already been disbursed, state School Education Minister Deepak Kesarkar said in the ongoing Assembly session on Wednesday. The statement has irked private unaided schools across Maharashtra, which complained that the required amount was much higher and the government was deliberately hiding the data.Under RTE admissions, a total of 25 per cent seats are reserved in private schools for children from socio-economically backward classes and the government pays their fee as reimbursements to schools. Kesarkar shared the information after questions were raised about the financial crisis faced by several private unaided schools, which are waiting for reimbursements from the government for RTE admissions.However, according to various associations of private unaided schools across Maharashtra, the information was “incorrect” as the government’s budgetary allocation, they claimed, has never matched the required amount to be disbursed each year.S C Kedia, honorary secretary of the Unaided Schools’ Forum, said, “There is definitely over Rs 1,000 crore pending with the government. The government is misleading the public by hiding the information. The budgetary allocations are shared but not the exact requirement.”Kedia said the budgetary allocation only states how much of the available funds will be allocated for RTE reimbursement.  “When compared with the sheer number of admissions under RTE each year, the number is really high, which the government does not accept. The government should share information about how many students are given admissions under RTE to provide a clear picture of the pending amount,” said Rajendra Singh, state secretary of the Independent English Schools Association (IESA), adding that over 3.5 lakh students were studying in schools under RTE in the year 2018-19, which has increased every year with new admissions.Mahesh Pol, founder president of the English Medium Schools Association in Kolhapur, shared that information gathered under RTI shows more than Rs 16 crore as pending amount of RTE reimbursement only for Kolhapur. “They are saying that Rs 84 crore has been disbursed. But when the requirement is so huge, what comes to a school is minimal. And the pending amount keeps increasing with every passing year.”Rajendra Chorge, from IESA Kolhapur, said many schools are writing to the government about being financially incapable to continue with RTE admissions.

Govt: Allocated Rs 200 crore for RTE admissions; schools say not enough