New Delhi, December 3. The civil engineering faculties of 18 IITs, 26 NITs and 190 other reputed engineering colleges countrywide have signed collaboration agreements with the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI). Under the terms of these agreements, each institution will be permitted to ‘adopt’ a stretch of a national highway to enable its faculty, research scholars and students to make them subjects of study, said education ministry officials addressing a press conference.
The partner institutes will offer safety, maintenance, riding comfort, congestion removal and new technologies usage suggestions to NHAI for consideration. NHAI will provide two-month internships to 20 undergrad and 20 postgrad students of these institutions every year. They will be paid monthly stipends of Rs.8,000 and Rs.15,000 respectively.
Career guidance portal
Bhubaneswar, December 25. In collaboration with the UN International Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef), the state government has launched an Odia language mobile phone-friendly career guidance portal for secondary and higher secondary students statewide. The portal provides information on college, vocational institute scholarships, entrance exams and career pathways.
“This portal is a significant medium for equipping secondary and higher secondary students in the state to navigate a smooth transition from school to work through higher education,” said Monika Nielsen, chief of field office, Unicef, speaking on the occasion.
Textbook revision order
Bengaluru, December 18. The Karnataka Textbook Society has been directed to remove specified content from a class VI social science textbook, after the Brahmin Development Board complained that the content was “insulting” to their community.
The impugned content highlighted by the minister included sentences such as “Sanskrit was the language of priests and the common man could not understand it” and “food scarcity was caused by Brahmanic religious rituals offering large quantities of foodgrains, milk, ghee and other material” and “sacrificing animals that were helpful to farmers in cultivation” contributed towards food scarcities.
In a note to the society, the primary and secondary education minister S. Suresh Kumar highlighted controversial content in the textbook and recommended constitution of an expert committee to examine the content of all class I-X social science and language textbooks.
Awakened Citizens Programme
Gurugram, December 20. A Vivekananda Institute of Values (VIV) with an estimated project cost of Rs.22 crore is under construction in Gurugram. VIV will serve as a training hub for the values education-related Awakened CitizensProgramme (ACP) introduced by former HRD minister Smriti Irani in 2015 in 5,000 schools countrywide, said Ramakrishna Mission secretary Swami Shantatmananda at a press conference.
A collaboration agreement between the mission and the Delhi-based Central Board of Secondary Education was signed in 2014 to implement ACP in all CBSE schools. Since then, the programme has impacted over 100,000 students and trained 41,000 teachers in 5,000 schools including Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas and Kendriya Vidyalayas in Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan.
Status upgrade appeal
Tirupati, December 9. Y.V. Subba Reddy, chairman of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTDs), has requested Union education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ to upgrade the government-promoted Sri Venkateswara Vedic University (estb.2006) in the temple town to the status of a Central university.
“The Centre has recently given national (Central) status to three educational institutions. In the same manner, I request the Union government to accord national status to SV Vedic University which will be the first of its type in the country,” Reddy urged the minister during a recent visit to the national capital.
Primary schools lockdown
Bhopal, December 5. Following a recent review meeting of the state’s education ministry, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced that classes I-VIII in all 150,000 primary/elementary schools in the state — including private schools — will remain shuttered until March 31, \to protect primary school children against the Coronavirus.
The chief minister added that no exams will be conducted for students of these classes this year. Instead, they will be evaluated on the basis of their project work, said Chouhan, addressing the media.
“Schools will open shortly for students of classes X and XII to enable them to prepare for board exams. But social distancing and other norms must be fully observed in the classrooms to prevent spread of the pandemic,” he said.