Ghaziabad (up), March 1. Shripad Yesso Naik, minister of state in the Union AYUSH ministry, laid the foundation stone of a proposed National Institute of Unani Medicine (NIUM) to be constructed on a 10-acre site at a projected cost of Rs.300 crore. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2021.
NIUM will be equipped with an outpatient department, a 200-bed hospital and pharmacy, said the minister speaking on the occasion. The project is part of the ministry’s commitment towards provision and promotion of quality education, research and healthcare services through Unani and other traditional forms of Indian medicine, he added.
TIFR funds crunch
Mumbai, March 7. The Central government-funded Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR, estb.1945), a deemed university since 2002, cited shortage of funds for paying its 3,000 employees, students and post-doctoral fellows in Mumbai and other centres only half their salary/stipends for the month of February. However, the management paid the remaining amount after this news went viral.
In a letter addressed to TIFR employees, Wg. Commander (Retd.) George Antony, registrar, said: “Due to insufficient funds, staff members and students and post-doctoral fellows of TIFR, its centres and field stations will be paid 50 percent of net salary for the month of February. The remaining part of the salary will be paid when sufficient funds are available.”
However, after this letter went viral, the TIFR management credited the remaining salary/stipend of employees, students and fellows into their bank accounts. Comments eminent historian Ramachandra Guha who took to Twitter: “The financial state of one of India’s finest scientific research institutes is perilous.”
Two OSDA initiatives
Bhubaneswar, March 2. The Odisha Skill Development Authority (OSDA) signed Memoranda of Understanding with the Tata Community Initiative Trust and Cisco Systems India Pvt. Ltd, a subsidiary of the San Jose (USA)-based multinational technology conglomerate, to boost the state’s skills eco-system.
Under the agreement, together with Tata’s community trust, OSDA’s Nano Unicorn initiative to skill youth to transform into small-scale entrepreneurs and future employers, will be scaled up. The trust will identify youth with entrepreneurial drive and devise training programmes for them.
Under the second agreement, Cisco will support skills, IT education and workforce development for youth undergoing training in the state’s Industrial Training Institutes and polytechnics.
Civil service scholarships
Imphal, march 7. Chief minister N. Biren Singh announced a Rs.1 crore chief minister’s scholarship scheme in partnership with the Delhi-based Alternative Learning System-IAS Institute (ALS-IASI), for 450 meritorious civil service aspirants. The selected students will receive test-prep coaching at authorised centres of ALS-IASI.
Many deserving students from socio-economically underprivileged backgrounds who aspire for careers in the civil services are discouraged because of high costs of test-prep coaching and living in big cities, the chief minister said.
Notun Disha programme
Agartala, March 3. The state government has resolved to distribute free-of-charge laptops to a select group of 800 government school teachers after they are given skills training under its Notun Disha (new direction) initiative aimed at improving the learning outcomes of class III-VIII students.
The state cabinet has sanctioned Rs.28 crore for the month-long teacher training project to be conducted in collaboration with several NGOs and education institutions, Ratan Lal Nath, the state’s education minister, informed the media.
Earlier in February, the government conducted a comprehensive baseline survey to assess the learning outcomes of class III-VIII students in government schools. The report revealed dismal reading and numeracy skills among students surveyed. “The state government is committed to upgrade the education system,” says a notification issued by the department of school education.
Pulwama martyrs memorials
Jaipur, march 7. Govind Singh Dotasara, education minister of the newly elected state government, has renamed 15 government primary-secondaries after security forces personnel martyred in the Pulwama (Kashmir) terrorist attack on February 14. This is a tribute to “real life heroes” and to promote nationalism among students, he explained.
In an official statement, the minister said three schools in Churu, Nagaur and Jhunjhunu districts, two in Alwar and Sikar, and one each in Jaisalmer and Jodhpur districts have been renamed. “We salute the martyrdom of our soldiers,” said the minister.