Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Monday urged schools to reflect how inclusive our leading schools are and what more can be done towards ensuring that every child in the country gets the best education. Pradhan said this in his virtual address during the 82nd Indian Public Schools’ Conference (IPSC) Principals’ Conclave organized by the Doon School. He said “National Education Policy (2020) focuses on equitable and inclusive education with special emphasis given on socially and economically disadvantaged groups.
An inclusive classroom benefits everyone from myriad experiences and viewpoints and understands the various challenges facing this country. I urge all schools attending the conclave to reflect how inclusive our leading schools are and what more can be done towards ensuring that every child in the country gets the best education.” The minister stated that a knowledgeable individual is the building block of a good society, a just society, and a progressive society.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate 11 new government medical colleges across Tamil Nadu and the new campus of Central Institute of Classical Tamil in Chennai on Wednesday via video conferencing, his office said. The new medical colleges are being established at an estimated cost of about Rs 4,000 crore, of which around Rs 2,145 crore has been provided by the Union government and the rest by the Tamil Nadu government, as per a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.
The establishment of these medical colleges is in line with the prime minister’s constant endeavour to promote affordable medical education and improve health infrastructure in all parts of the country. The new medical colleges, with a cumulative capacity of 1,450 seats, are being established under the centrally-sponsored scheme of ‘Establishing of New Medical Colleges attached with existing district/referral hospital’. Under the scheme, medical colleges are established in districts, which do not have either a government or private medical college, the statement said.
Collecting annual fees from students for the next year in advance when the previous year’s studies have not been completed by an institution would amount to “profiteering”, the Kerala High Court has held and restrained private medical colleges in the state from collecting fees for any academic year other than the one which was being taught. The high court, however, made it clear that its directions were to operate only in the peculiar situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic when instructions being imparted for a particular year in medical colleges could not be completed in the specified time due to the virus outbreak.
A bench of Justices A K Jayasankaran Nambiar and Mohammed Nias C P said that conceptually fees were payment for a service rendered and if it is collected for a future period, it would be a payment for services yet to be rendered and in such a situation, ‘the educational institutions would then be resorting to profiteering”. “The COVID pandemic, without doubt, brought about an unusual or exceptional situation fraught with financial implications. The exceptional situation, however, affected not only the educational institutions but also the student community and their financier guardians,” the court said.
“We feel it would be unreasonable on the part of the private medical educational institutions concerned to demand the determined fees, unmindful of the difficulties faced by the students,” the bench said.
The Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University (AKTU) will conduct classes in the university and its affiliated colleges in online mode till January 16 in view of the surge in active Covid cases. The university in a social media post also has confirmed that the ongoing and pre-scheduled exams in offline mode will be held as per the date sheet announced earlier.
“Instructions have been given to conduct all classes in online mode from January 10 to 16, 2022 in all the institutes affiliated to the university,” the social media post of the university said. It further added: “The pre-scheduled and currently in motion examinations will continue to be conducted as usual.” The students of the university were however earlier demanding online exams amid the ongoing Covid situation and the threat of the Omicron variant of coronavirus. AKTU has been holding the regular and carry over-exams of the odd semester for the undergraduate and postgraduate students now.
A few days after the Supreme Court of India’s approval of 27 per cent OBC reservation in undergraduate and postgraduate medical seats, the All India OBC Students’ Association has demanded that the reservation scheme be implemented at National Law Universities (NLUs) as well. Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) 2022 admission process should be put on hold till it is done, the students’ body said.
The AIOBCSA has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “strictly implement OBC reservations in the all India quota seats of LLB and LLM courses” at the NLUs. “Currently, some NLUs neither provide seats in AIQ nor implement reservations in AIQ. There shall be a uniform process for applying reservation policy in the seats allotted for the all India quota. Some NLUs have not even followed SC and ST reservations in AIQs,” the students’ association said.
The association said institutes have implemented 10 per cent EWs reservation but not 27 per cent OBC reservation in LLM and LLB courses. AIOBCSA said the issue was represented before the National Commission for Other Backward Classes last August.
The Supreme Court on Monday directed the UGC to ensure that guidelines for the ease of access to students with disabilities in universities and colleges across the country are formulated in eight weeks. A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and A S Bopanna noted the submission of the UGC’s counsel that a committee has been constituted following a direction of the court. It would look into formulation of guidelines for accessibility of students with disabilities in universities and colleges.
Advocate Manoj Ranjan Sinha, appearing for the UGC, said at the outset that an updated status report has been filed and it would take another eight weeks to frame the guidelines given the current Covid situation. The bench then posted the matter for further hearing on March 14. In 2017, the top court had said that for “Guidelines for Accessibility for Students with Disabilities in Universities/Colleges”, the UGC shall consider the feasibility of constituting a committee.
The top court had said “In this Committee, the UGC would be free to include persons from amongst Central Advisory Board, State Advisory Boards, Chief Commissioner or State Commissioners appointed under the Disabilities Act. This Committee shall undertake a detailed study for making provisions in respect of accessibility as well as pedagogy and would also suggest the modalities for implementing those suggestions, their funding and monitoring, etc”. It added that the committee shall also lay down the time limit within which such suggestions could be implemented.
Authorities on Monday sealed several coaching centres in Bandipora district of Jammu and Kashmir for allegedly violating COVID-19 norms, officials said. A joint team of officers led by tehsildar Bandipora Sheikh Tariq inspected several coaching centres in the town to review the implementation of Covid appropriate behaviour, an official spokesman said. He said the team comprising officers of education and health departments sealed several coaching centres that were operating in violation of the government orders. Sheikh said in-person teaching has been banned till further orders to safeguard the lives by preventing the further spread of COVID-19.
Bandipora Deputy Commissioner Owais Ahmad has urged people to follow Covid protocol in letter and spirit. He said as the graph of the virus is going up in the country, people need to be extra cautious to avoid the third wave. The deputy commissioner said the administration will not tolerate any violation of Covid protocol and action shall be taken against the violators.
Allegations of tampering of NEET-UG OMR sheets made by six candidates in the Supreme Court turned out to be a damp squib with the top court on Monday dismissing the petition finding no reason to doubt the National Testing Agency (NTA) of any wrongdoing.
A bench of justices Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud and AS Bopanna dismissed the petition filed by Prabhnoor Singh and five others after being convinced by the response filed by NTA that the OMR sheets were not tampered with as it is signed by the candidate and counter-signed by the invigilator. The NTA informed that before approaching the Court, five of the petitioners were shown the original OMR sheets with their signatures in the presence of their parents, who verified it to be true.
This happened on November 8 while the petition was filed in the top court on November 24. Terming the allegations made against NTA to be “false, baseless and without merit”, the NTA affidavit filed through advocate Rupesh Kumar said, “On perusal of the original OMR answer sheet of petition 1 and scanned copy of the OMR forwarded to him through email on October 14 would show that the copy of OMR claimed to have been provided by respondent (NTA) which has been filed by the petitioner and the screenshot of the email filed are forged and fabricated.” However, the Court refused to order enquiry into the allegation of fabrication.