The heads of the departments at the University of Delhi have prepared the new syllabus which is in sync with the Undergraduate Curriculum Framework (UGCF), 2022. The main focus of this, in addition to earning degrees, is to make students job-ready through skill enhancement courses. In February, the DU’s Executive Council (EC) passed the draft UGCF in order to meet the objectives as laid down in the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. The dean of faculties would have to submit the syllabus to the standing committee of the university. Post the approval from the standing committee, the syllabus would be presented to the Academic Council (AC) and EC.
Ajay Kumar Singh, Head, Department of Commerce, Delhi School of Economics (DSE), DU, says, “Syllabus that has been designed for all the eight semesters of Commerce is in sync with the objectives of UGCF, 2022 that would be implemented in the university from 2022-23. As per UGCF 2022, students would receive a certificate if they leave after completing one year, diploma after two years, BCom (Hons) after three years and a BCom (Hons) degree with research after four years. While preparing the syllabus, we have made sure that the students become employable even if they decide to leave after one year. In every course, we have introduced practical exercises which are mapped with the Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) which lead towards the attainment of Programme Outcomes (POs). DU has changed the nomenclature of the course on ‘Indian Economy’ to ‘The Economy of Bharat’ in which we have included the contribution of India to the global trade in the past and the Indian Knowledge System (IKS) of that time in the first unit. In the last unit, we have also incorporated the concept of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which are the global standards set by UN for the survival of the world.” He also said, “The traditional component of the Indian Economy is included in the form of Agriculture, Industry and Service sectors. We have added one paper called the ‘Business Analytics’ and made it part of the core syllabus. Employability oriented courses have been added prominently and added to this, we have also introduced several electives. Some of the electives that have been added are; Mind Management, Yoga & Happiness, Consumer Affairs and Sovereignty, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). These changes will take the higher education in India closer to global education standards.”
In a bid to promote and foster trans-disciplinary research in diverse disciplines, Banaras Hindu University has launched a new scheme that will help in bringing its faculty members together to work on new areas of study and research. The scheme called “Promotion of Trans-Disciplinary Research” will help establish a network of faculty members of humanities and social sciences including the arts, Indian languages, culture, law, and knowledge systems with the sciences and engineering disciplines.
The university offers several disciplines in various streams ranging from those related to ancient Indian knowledge systems to modern sciences and technology. Vice-Chancellor Professor Sudhir K Jain has also reiterated that BHU is the most suitable place in terms of interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary research, given the diversity of disciplines available to the varsity. Given the need for greater academic interaction between faculty members, researchers, and students from various disciplines, the Institution of Eminence – BHU Governing Body under the chairmanship of Vice-Chancellor Professor Sudhir K Jain approved the scheme. The scheme will provide funding to the joint projects of faculty members from more than one faculty, that aim to create new conceptual and methodological innovations beyond discipline-specific approaches.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday inaugurated a residential school in Kalahandi district’s Bhawanipatna which was established by the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) that aims to provide quality education to poor and underprivileged children. The Odisha CM went on to appreciate the efforts made by KISS to set up schools in all districts to improve education, particularly to promote education among tribal children. He also said that Kalahandi is moving ahead in the education sector and universities while adding that government engineering colleges have made a new identity for the district. He further remarked that education is the most powerful means of transformation while adding, “The state government has given the utmost priority to education and so far around 4000 schools have been transformed, under the Government’s 5T School Transformation programme.” Stating that 129 schools have been transformed in the district in two phases, he said, “It has created a strong sense of interest, enthusiasm, and future for children.”
United Nations Children’s Fund UNICEF has partnered with the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism (MCJ), Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), for a two-day workshop for Effective Reporting on Child Health. Over 120 students of journalism and mass communication from MANUU, Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) and Himachal Pradesh University and health journalists learnt the importance of evidence-based reporting and fact-checking in health journalism through UNICEF’s Critical Appraisal Skills (CAS) programme.
The workshop brought together practitioners of CAS, journalism students and subject experts to discuss the importance of evidence-based journalism in areas that impact children, such as Routine Immunization, Covid-19 and vaccines, antibiotics, mother and child health and primary healthcare.
The CAS programme that was developed in 2014 by UNICEF, in association with Oxford University, Thomson Reuters and IIMC for working with health journalists and students of journalism and mass communication, was later adapted as an elective module in their curriculum by IIMC and MANUU.
Speaking at the inauguration of the workshop, Prof. Syed Ainul Hasan, Vice-Chancellor, MANUU, said, “The recent pandemic has driven the world’s attention towards the importance of health communication. The media can play a vital role in creating the demand for immunization. However, as many of our journalists come from a non-medical background, the introduction of CAS at the academic level helps train journalists in health journalism and encourages a scientific mindset among the masses.”
Survey by NIMHANS reveals one out of five adolescents in India suffers from some level of mental morbidity
A study conducted by NIMHANS, Bengaluru, has revealed that almost one out of five adolescents in India suffers from some level of mental morbidity. Adolescents today show signs of risky behavior such as substance abuse and speed driving. Students have also been facing the repercussions of ‘performance pressure’ which has been driving them to take extreme steps including suicide. NCRB data shows that of the total 1,53,052 persons who died by suicide in 2020, 12,526 were students. Students today have come to be caught up in a never-ending ‘rat race’, where they have been increasingly distanced from the values of self-confidence, compassion, optimism, and even joy. The physical state of students today isn’t any better either. As per a recent study conducted by ICMR, India has recorded nearly 95,600 cases of Type 1 diabetes among children below the age of 14 years. All these data points are a clear indication of how we are moving towards an unsustainable society, one which is nurturing debilitated and dispirited youth.
One of the reasons for such a state of being can be attributed to the increased focus by schools on academic learning, than on fundamental values, or the physical and mental wellbeing of the students. There is an urgent need to revamp the school system and align it with values that help one build resilience and focus. One of the ways of achieving this objective, according to experts, can be by integrating the values of ‘Ayush’ with the schooling system. Yoga, for instance, is a great way to ensure the physical and mental well-being of students. Encouraging students to practice yoga early on in life, won’t just help them build immunity, but will also help them build strong focus. Researchers suggest that yoga greatly affects the neural patterns in the brain, which can improve one’s ability to concentrate. Children today also suffer from ADHD, a cognitive disorder, which often results in unnerving anxiety, chronic stress, and sleep problems. Such disorders also have a far-reaching impact on the relationship between the parent and child. Practicing yoga helps in increased levels of dopamine and serotonin, which helps one relax.
Keeping in mind the benefits of the practice, the Government of Haryana has introduced yoga as a part of government schools’ curriculum for classes I to X. The Government of Uttar Pradesh is also planning to include yoga and sports as a part of their school curriculum. To foster the interest of youth, yoga asanas have been declared a competitive sport by the Government of India. More than 1000 Universities, 30,000 colleges, and 24,000 CBSE-affiliated schools have been sensitized about Common Yoga Protocol (CYP) and its benefits for the youth.
With the New Education Policy focusing on building an education system that promotes market-relevant skills among the youth, we must also focus on fostering an enabling environment for students which take care of their mental and physical well-being. While a system of yoga is being adopted by government schools, private schools must also focus on building a curriculum around the fundamental values of yoga for humanity. The evolution of the school system around the world has been focused on enhancing the learning ability of students and making them smarter, more competitive, and cognizant citizens. Although the intention of the education system today is very noble and applaudable, it has been fraught with certain hard-hitting realities which are hard to ignore.
Amidst widespread protests against the government’s Agnipath scheme, Union education and skill development minister Dharmendra Pradhan has said that Agniveers will form a highly trained precious community for the country. Addressing the controversy over rationalization of school syllabus, Pradhan said a curriculum should be dynamic. He said that DU and Jamia Millia Islamia are doing excellent work and global rankings are not the sole indicator of quality institutions. NCERT is the government’s intellectual thinktank with strong history, heritage and it has competent people. Such debate and discussions regarding the curriculum is not happening for the first time. No curriculum is static and priorities change with time, he said.
He further said that due to the pandemic, not only NCERT but almost all states have reshuffled the syllabus and rationalized it based on their priority. Therefore, this should not be looked through ideological lenses. Unlike earlier, when armed force needed a lot of manpower, today’s warfare is technology driven. Pradhan believes we need to make our armed forces young and committed and we need to create a big base. Agnipath is making the base big, which is why 75:25 is being envisaged after four years. Till then they will be part of armed forces. As far as exit is concerned, if they have joined at the age of 17 or 18 after completing class X, he will automatically come out as a higher secondary pass student. Also the entry-level training and on-job training of the Agniveers, can be converted to credit points like in general education. They will be mapped under credit framework and lead to degree equivalence. So a class XII pass student in these four years can come out with a degree. So when they come out they’ll have a skill certificate, adegree and a service fund.