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Odisha: IIIT-B’s reskilling initiative

The state government-funded International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT)-Bhubaneswar is set to offer specially designed industry-oriented skilling programmes for unemployed graduate engineers domiciled in Odisha, from this month (July) onwards. 

“With a skilling and training timeframe of 150 hours spread over two months, the programme is designed to equip graduate engineers with quantitative, qualitative and soft skills,” said A.P. Padhi, chief secretary of the Odisha government, addressing the media in Bhubaneswar on June 27.

IIIT-B’s employability programme is priced at Rs.6,000, of which the state government will contribute Rs.3,000.


Uttar Pradesh

Curbing proxy teachers drive

The state education ministry has issued a circular directing government primary schools statewide to display photographs of their teachers on notice boards from the start of the new academic year (July).

“According to government sources, the (June 16) circular has been prompted by complaints of teachers sending proxies to take classes,” said Sanjay Kushwaha, basic shiksha adhikari. “The photographs will make children’s guardians aware of the identity of their children’s class teachers. Now, parents will be better positioned to raise an alarm if a teacher plays truant,” he said.

Last year, the Union human resource development ministry had issued a circular to several state governments, including Uttar Pradesh, to take stringent measures to curb teacher truancy.


Siblings disrobing atrocity

The principal and a teacher of the privately promoted B.R. Education Academy in Sikraula village of Begusarai district were arrested for allegedly disrobing two sisters — class I-II students of the school — of their uniforms for which their parents had failed to pay on time. 

Addressing the media in Begusarai on June 17, sub-divisional police officer Rajesh Kumar said Chunchun Saha, father of the siblings, had complained that when he went to pick up his daughters after school, a lady teacher asked him to deposit the price of their uniforms at that very instant. When the complainant pleaded for more time, the teacher disrobed his daughters in full public view and evicted them from the school. Based on the complaint, the police registered an FIR (first information report).

According to Saha, when he complained to the school principal, she denied any such incident. The state’s education minister Ashok Choudhary has described the incident as “insensitive” and promised stern action against the school principal and teacher.


Jammu & Kashmir
Teachers’ pay protest

Primary school teachers implementing the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan (SSA, ‘education for all’) programme in the state, staged a protest before Srinagar’s Press Enclave on June 5 against the state government’s delay in disbursing salaries. 

“On the floor of the house, the finance minister Haseeb Drabu had promised that disbursement of salaries for SSA teachers would be delinked from the Central pool and will be released by the state government on a monthly basis from April this year. But these promises have fallen flat as we have not received our salaries for the past five months,” said a spokesperson for the protesting teachers.


New Delhi
Sexist analogy row

An undergraduate textbook titled Basic Business Communication published by S. Chand & Sons for B.Com (Hons) students, has provoked outrage on social media.

The textbook authored by Prof. C.B. Gupta, opines that “email messages should be like skirts — short enough to be interesting and long enough to cover all the vital points”. This analogy was widely denounced by academics and feminists as “sexist” and “unacceptable”.

Expressing regret for hurting public sentiment, Prof. Gupta said the analogy was sourced from a foreign book. “I have deleted the statement from my book. I will also advise the publishers to do so before they publish the latest edition,” Gupta informed media in Delhi on June 7.


Teacher recruitment scandal

Show cause notices were issued to 23 contract teachers after gross irregularities in the selection process of several constituent colleges of Punjabi University were discovered. The notices were issued after an enquiry conducted by a high-powered committee, said Anurag Verma, secretary (higher education) of the state government and officiating vice chancellor of the university, on June 7.

The enquiry report revealed wide divergences in the marks awarded in the academic record and research performance (ARRP), and interview to the 17 contract teachers. 

“They were unjustifiably awarded more marks in the interview than the ARRP,” said Verma.

Paromita Sengupta with bureau inputs 

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