The Indian Express | 2 months ago | 16-03-2023 | 12:45 pm
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has stayed an order passed by the Director of School Education, Punjab, on March 9 appointing Deputy District Education Officer (DEO), Patiala as the administrator of Mohindra Kanya Maha Vidyalaya, an aided school in Patiala.The order was passed by Justice Pankaj Jain on a petition filed by the managing committee of Mohindra Kanya Maha Vidyalaya, Nabha Gate, Patiala, through its secretary Preetinder Singh Sidhu. The committee had challenged the appointment alleging it to be illegal, arbitrary, and also against the canon of justice.The counsels of the petitioner, Kapil Kakkar and Shreesh Kakkar, argued before the high court that the director had no authority under any law, statute, regulation, or rule to make such an appointment and as such the order was not without jurisdiction.It was further alleged that the director had passed the order with malafide intention at the behest of the District Education Officer, Patiala, who has been nursing a grudge towards the management for long and the education department authorities were unnecessarily creating hurdles in the functioning of the school.Justice Jain, while issuing the notice of motion for July 9, 2023, said, “It is sad to see that an aided educational institution is being repeatedly forced to spend its resources to save its autonomy and to save the institution from being poached that too at the hands of the public authority.”Sehajbir S Aulakh, assistant advocate general, Punjab, accepted the notice on behalf of the respondents.Meanwhile, the court directed the Director of School Education, Punjab, to file an affidavit explaining the conduct of his office on or before the next date of hearing. The HC held that in the meantime the operation of the order shall remain stayed.
Written by Kairvi PunjChandigarh Bhavan Vidyalaya concluded ‘Maitree 2023,’ a cyclothon meant to mark World Bicycle Day, on June 8, and was welcomed by their school chairman, principal and other staff membersThe cycling contingent of seventeen students and five teachers began the 1,300-km journey from Chandigarh to Kathmandu on May 27. They cycled through Haridwar, Kashipur, Sitarganj, Kapilvastu, Bharatpur, and other locations.The main objective of this Indo-Nepal Cyclothon was to foster India-Nepal ties.Themed ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam,’ the cyclothon was flagged off by R K Saboo, Chairman of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Chandigarh Kendra. Siddhartha English Boarding Secondary School, Butwal, and Daffodil Boarding School, Kathmandu hosted the cycling contingent in Nepal. The students were also invited to interact with the staff of the Indian Embassy in Nepal.Greeting the participants on completion of the trip, Vineeta Arora, Director Education and Senior Principal, appreciated the young cyclists’ passion for taking on this journey.The Bhavan Vidyalaya, Chandigarh, had organised this fifth expedition following their other successful ventures in the past. After the successful culmination of the Maitree 2023 Cyclothon, the students returned to the BVC campus.
Keeping in line with global norms and the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, the country’s higher education regulator is poised to introduce a new range of college degree names, including a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in disciplines like arts, humanities, management and commerce.Currently, the University Grants Commission (UGC) permits universities to offer a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in arts, humanities and social sciences, and the Bachelor of Science (more commonly abbreviated in India as BSc) degree is typically for science subjects.However, with the NEP 2020 advocating a restructuring of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, a committee set up by the UGC to review degree nomenclatures has recommended that the new four-year undergraduate honours (or honours with research) degree programme, irrespective of the discipline, can also be offered as a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree.Similarly, universities can adopt the Master of Science (MS) nomenclature for both the one and two-year postgraduate programmes, even for disciplines such as arts, humanities, management, and commerce.Although the committee has recommended using BS nomenclature for degrees across disciplines, it hasn’t permitted the use of BA and MA for science programmes.The UGC, The Indian Express has learnt, will soon share the five-member committee’s recommendations in the public domain for feedback, following which the Commission will notify the fresh set of degree nomenclatures.The use of BA and BS for undergraduate programmes across disciplines is a prevalent practice abroad, where universities often offer, say, BA and BS degrees in Psychology or Economics. In such a case, the programme curriculum sets the BA degree apart from the BS. While a BS degree gives a student a more specialised education in the subject, a BA degree (in the same subject) provides more flexibility. The latter is designed with a broader choice of courses allowing the student to tailor his/her education to his/her interests.SECTION 22 of the UGC Act empowers the Commission to notify degree nomenclature. The decision, which offers more flexibility to students, is in line with global norms and the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.For instance, Harvard University offers both a BA and BS degree in engineering sciences. The BA engineering student is required to earn fewer credits than the BS student and has greater flexibility to pursue her interests outside of engineering. The BS degree, on the other hand, provides greater technical depth in the chosen engineering area.The committee’s report was discussed during the UGC meeting held in the last week of May. After discussions, the Commission decided to publicly disclose its recommendations for feedback before finalising the new degree names.The formation of the five-member panel was a direct response to the NEP 2020, which proposed the introduction of a four-year undergraduate degree programme offering flexible entry and exit options, along with a one-year master’s degree. Currently, undergraduate programmes, except for professional degrees such as engineering and medicine, typically are of three years, while master’s programmes extend over two years.The committee has also made the following recommendations:* The four-year undergraduate honours degree programme will include ‘Hons’ in brackets, such as BA (Hons), BCom (Hons), or BS (Hons). Additionally, a four-year honours programme with research components will have ‘Hons with Research’ in parentheses, like BA (Hons with Research) and BCom (Hons with Research).* The notification of new degree nomenclatures will be an ongoing process. Universities can propose new degree names that are relevant to contemporary and emerging societal needs to the UGC. Upon approval, the higher education regulator will notify the new degree nomenclature.* The committee recommends discontinuing the nomenclature of the ‘MPhil’ degree, as per the NEP 2020’s recommendation to scrap the MPhil programme.* If a student has earned all the required credits for a programme, she can be considered for the award of a qualification (such as a certificate, diploma or degree) even before the completion of the programme’s duration. For example, if a student has earned all the required credits for a four-year programme in 3.5 years, she should be eligible to receive her degree.However, the committee clarifies that the new degree names will only apply prospectively, and the old degree names will continue to be used even after the introduction of the new terminology. Therefore, the current three-year honours degree programme will continue alongside the four-year honours degree programme.
OVER THE next year, two children from each district in India will be taken to the primary school in Vadnagar, in Gujarat’s Mehsana district, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi received his elementary education, as part of a week-long study tour.Announcing this on Tuesday, the government said the school will be developed as an “inspirational” school called ‘Prerna: The Vernacular School’, where the students will be trained on “how to live a very evolved life”, as part of a joint initiative by the central and state governments.The late 19th century school, which was functional till 2018, has been restored by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) as part of a mega redevelopment plan for Vadnagar, said officials.“There is a school in Vadnagar where our Prime Minister had taken his elementary education. It is a 19th century school… We are developing this school as an inspirational-experiential school,” said a senior official, adding that the school will get its first batch of students this year.Each batch will comprise 30 students who will be given residential training for a week. The cost of accommodation and transport will be borne by the culture ministry. “There are 750 districts in India and two children from each district (will be sent)… we will train a total of 1,500 children in the entire year on how to live a very evolved life…We want the first batch out in the current year itself,” said the senior official.The concept note for the project states: “Great leaders across the world have acknowledged their first school as a catalyst in their inspirational journey to cause change… Based on the vision of the Prime Minister, this first of its kind school redevelopment project ‘Prerna’ is being undertaken to inspire the youth of the county to become catalysts of change… It is envisioned to be a school of the future but with an impetus to education and values, imparted using various techniques and technologies.”While details like the age group of children are still being worked out, sources said it would mostly be for students of Classes 9-10.The selection process will start soon, for which the students’ “intellectual level, creativity and extra-curricular performance will be put to test,” said officials, adding that the training will be based on the concept of “Ek Bharat, Shrestha Bharat”. “It is not teaching. It is all experience,” said a senior official, adding that the training will include exposure to “virtues of life like courage and compassion through the lives and teachings of real-life heroes”.The school, originally called ‘Vadnagar Kumar Shala No 1’, was established in 1888 and was functional till 2018, when its restoration work began, said officials. “While it was being renovated, its students were shifted to the nearby kanya shala,” said a Gujarat education department official.“The old building has been restored using vernacular elements of architecture and by imagining the way the structure may have looked originally,” said a senior official, adding that the renovated school has eight classrooms, a cafe, orientation centre, souvenir shop and a community green space.Besides this, there is an extensive plan for “the overall development of Vadnagar town, funded by the Union government, and executed and overseen by the state government”, said officials. The plan to develop Vadnagar as the cultural centre of Gujarat includes a heritage site museum, being built at a cost of nearly Rs 200 crore.—With inputs from Ritu Sharma in Ahmedabad
New York City recorded an unusually high level of air pollution on Tuesday night, with its air quality index crossing 200 at one point.The poor air quality levels have continued today — as of Wednesday afternoon at 12 pm IST, it has a recorded Air Quality Index (AQI) of 173, with a PM2.5 concentration of 98.3µg/m³, which is 19.7 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value, reported air quality monitoring company IQair.The low quality of air was attributed to the ongoing wildfires in neighbouring Canada, where several provinces have been battling hundreds of fires for the past month. This smoke has been travelling across the border and has resulted in several air quality alerts from US authorities.New York City recorded the worst quality of air of any major metropolitan area Tuesday at 10 pm ET, said a CNN report, quoting data from IQair. New York City was only second to New Delhi in terms of levels of air pollution. Doha in Qatar, Baghdad in Iraq and Lahore in Pakistan were the other cities at the top of the list.As a result of the poor air quality, many schools in the city cancelled outdoor activities and events on Tuesday, said the report.The US Environmental Protection Agency had issued a poor air quality alert for New England, a day after parts of Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota received a similar advisory. Last week, US officials as far south as Maryland, Baltimore, Virginia and Pennsylvania reported being impacted by the wildfires, said an Associated Press report.If you live in a place with high levels of air pollution, authorities suggest the use of facemasks when stepping outside. An air purifier can be used indoor and it is recommended that you spend a minimal amount of time outside for gardening, exercise or other purposes. Close windows, doors etc to minimise exposure to dirty air.
Three years ago, locked in his flat with no cricket and absolutely nothing much to do, Railways top-order batsman Pratham Singh wondered what he could do to kill time. The engineer-turned-cricketer started preparing for GMAT. He passed the test, scoring 700/800, and is currently pursuing MBA from the Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad.“The dream has always been to play cricket. But I think education helps you broaden your horizon. My idea of pursuing MBA is that I feel that it will help me in my cricketing game as well. The cushion will obviously help me play cricket in a better way, because I’ll be more secure now. Also, since we (cricketers) have limited careers, it would really help me know how to use my finances, diversify my funds and help me invest in start-up businesses,” the southpaw told The Indian Express.Pratham, 30, has played cricket all his life. But he has compromised when it comes to the academic front. Just like his exquisite timing with the bat, he has perfected the art of time management and has a degree in engineering as well. “Time management was something which came naturally to me. It’s all about getting up early. I train in the morning, then I have my classes. Then I do my self-study. And there’s an academy in Hyderabad called coaching beyond, I’m training there. And I play games in Delhi whenever I get the opportunity. I’m trying to play in Chennai as well this season.”The southpaw has always dreamt of playing cricket at the highest level, but at the same time he understands the importance of education and believes pursuing MBA would help him manage his finances as well as aid his cricketing career. But the juggle between cricket and study has not been easy, especially for cricketers, for whom education usually takes a backseat.“While doing engineering, I got some special permission from the university’s vice-chancellor. I was given more allowance in terms of the attendance. I used to give exams, study during the exams and play cricket throughout the season. And that is how I completed my engineering,” he said. But while doing MBA he can’t afford to skip classes and won’t get relaxation from the administration either. So when asked how he is managing it, he said: “It’s very, very intense. I am not getting the time to do anything, just training, practising and studying. It’s a very packed schedule. And I think it will help me as well to become stronger because it’s out of my comfort zone. Something which I have never done.”Since making his first-class debut in 2017, Pratham has been a lynchpin of Railways batting. He was also a part of the now-defunct IPL franchise Gujarat Lions in 2017 and after his exploits in the 2021-22 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, he was picked by Kolkata Knight Riders in 2022. In Syed Mushtaq Ali, he scored four consecutive fifties and accumulated 438 runs in 10 matches at an average of 54.75 and a strike rate of 136.02. The two stints with the different IPL franchises have helped Pratham grow as a cricketer. “I got to learn a lot with all the international and domestic legends. It was a good experience because you are sharing shoulders with all these people who were once your idol,” he revealed.Currently, Pratham runs three cricket academies and hopes to share his knowledge and experience with young players. He believes getting an MBA would help him better comprehend the sports business.“It will give me an understanding of how I can give back to athletes who are trying to grow while being able to sustain the whole ecosystem through my education here at ISB. Yeah. So in a way, it’s a win-win because of the academies I can train on my own. I’ll share my experiences of 20 years with the budding cricketers,” he said.