12:04 pm Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has called upon universities and institutions to constantly reform the system and ensure that higher education institutions deliver high-quality education. Addressing the 9th Annual Convocation of VELS Institute of Science, Technology and Advanced Studies (VISTAS), in Chennai, Naidu referred to the transient nature of technology in a fast-evolving world and advised the students to regularly update their knowledge and skills to carve a niche in their chosen fields. Stressing that quality higher education was necessary for accelerating the progress and development of our country, the Vice President wanted institutions of higher learning to open new horizons of knowledge and research at their institutions. Observing that one must not ignore rural India in our quest to scale new heights of growth, he called for an inclusive and all around the development. Stating that technology was a great democratic leveller, Naidu asked students and the youth to take care of the technological needs of our villages, agriculture and allied industry. He called for leveraging technology's potential for rural development and bridging the rural-urban divide. The Vice President said that the technology must provide solutions to the issues of rural life and economy. He further said that India lives in its villages and the development of our country depends on rural India. You have a promising faculty in Pharmacy your institute should think of starting programs in Agriculture, Horticulture and Veterinary Science, he added. Naidu asked the students and the youth to not to fall prey to the distractions of modern lifestyle and he advised them to shun junk food to stay healthy. While expressing concern over the prevalence of non-communicable diseases, he advised everybody to change their lifestyles and food habits.
04:03 pm DUBAI: Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, has launched a new programme in India to support its Early Childhood Education, ECE. The new initiative comes after the successful completion of Dubai Cares' education programme launched in 2013 in partnership with Pratham, Indian charitable trust. To witness the conclusion of the education programme, a delegation of the organisation led by Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer, recently visited India. The education programme focused on enhancing literacy and numeracy skills, as well as Early Childhood Education, ECE, services. In recognition of the successes and impact of this programme, the visit also saw the launch of a new ECE programme that aims to tackle the challenges and gaps in ECE in the country. Dubai Cares had previously launched a 3-year AED19,637,348 (US$5,345,678) programme, out of which AED3,122,475 (US$850,000) was a contribution from Al Ansari Exchange. Titled "Improving Quality of Learning in India", the programme included 3 components: Read India III campaign, Urban Early Childhood Education Programme and the Central Resource Group, which have collectively benefited 608,830 children with early literacy and numeracy and school readiness support. The first component helped improve the language and math learning levels among children in rural government schools in 6 states, thus achieving a 53 per cent increase in the number of children who could read at a standard 2 level. The second component helped foster school readiness in preschool-aged children and improve literacy and numeracy in early grades in 12 cities, including Mumbai, Delhi, and cities in Maharashtra and Gujarat. The third component helped develop teaching and learning content and training for Pratham staff and government school-teachers. Al Gurg commented, "I am glad to witness the success of Dubai Cares’ Literacy and Numeracy programme in India. The government of India has been extremely attentive to communities that require education support; however, the lack of resources required to deliver quality education to children still exists. We are proud that Dubai Cares has played a key role to bridge the gap in this area, in-line with the government strategy. We are also pleased with the positive results the programme has achieved in general, and more specifically in terms of enhancing the learning levels among children at the ECE level. Pratham India has been an invaluable partner to us, and I am gratified by how many lives we were able to transform during that short period of time." Dr. Ahmad Abdul Rahman Al Banna, the UAE Ambassador to India, said, "We are proud of Dubai Cares’ efforts towards supporting education in India in partnership with Pratham. The success, which both organisations have achieved so far is commendable. These efforts support the UAE’s strategy for foreign aid and help further strengthen the ties between the two countries. We wish them best of luck for their future endeavour and assure the embassy's support for this noble cause." Navdeep Suri, Indian Ambassador to the UAE, said, "I am deeply impressed by the impact that Dubai Cares is making in the field of primary education. Their collaboration with a highly regarded NGO like Pratham is not just helping large numbers of children in India; it is also producing best practice templates for Early Childhood Education that other countries are starting to emulate."
10:01 am The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has called for revisiting education system with emphasis on history, heritage, culture, traditions, values and ethos of India. He said that the stories of sacrifice, valour and contributions made by the freedom fighters and other leaders should become an important component of our education system. Addressing the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations of Pannalal Girdharlal Dayanand Anglo-Vedic College, the Vice President said that educational institutions must become temples of learning and wisdom. They should become sanctuaries of peace and harmony, growth and development, he added. Naidu said that emphasized that the atmosphere in university campuses should not be vitiated by conducting events which are not connected with education. He said that character-building should become the essential dharma of education. The Vice President said that said that serving in organizations like the Scouts and Guides or NCC should be made mandatory for students to inculcate discipline and a sense of empathy to serve the needy. Naidu said that education must focus on developing a holistic personality of the individual. Apart from learning and acquiring knowledge, students must also learn to practice yoga and participate in sporting activities as it was essential to develop a sense of equilibrium in the stress-filled world of today. He called upon educational institutions to impart spiritual values as well, he added.
01:01 pm Union HRD Minister, Prakash Javadekar while addressing a press conference in New Delhi, informed that in a landmark decision, the Government has decided that from the academic year 2019-20 itself, 10 percent Economically Weaker Section (EWS) quota will be implemented across 40, 000 colleges and 900 Universities in the country. This 10 percent quota for EWS will be over and above the existing quotas for SCs, STs and OBCs and General seats. Adequate additional seats will be created in these colleges and universities to implement the quota for EWS. The UGC and AICTE will be provided with the operational mandate within a week to implement the quota. In another major announcement, Javadekar informed that the Government has approved proposal to extend the 7th CPC to the teachers and other academic staff of the State Govt. / Govt. aided degree level technical institutions in the country, which will have additional Central Government liability of Rs.1241.78 crore. He said that the Central Government will reimburse 50% of the total additional expenditure (from 1.1.2016 to 31.3.2019) to be incurred by these institutes for payment of arrears on account of 7th CPC implementation. This will directly benefit a total of 29,264 teachers and other academic staff of State Government funded institutes. Besides, about 3.5 lakh teachers and other academic staff of private colleges/ institutions within the purview of AICTE will also benefit from the approval given today, he added. The Minister said that the implementation of pay commission recommendation in State Government Aided / funded AICTE approved technical institutes will help them in attracting and retaining the faculty of high academic standards.
11:01 am Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be interacting with a cross section of Students, Teachers and Parents for another exciting edition - Pariksha Pe Charcha 2.0 at Talkatora Stadium, New Delhi on 29th January’19. Salient features of “Pariksha Pe Charcha 2.0”- It is a unique interaction where students, parents, teachers and Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi will come together to discuss issues relating to exam life and stress connected with that. An online competition has been organized from 7th January to 17th January, 2019, for students of classes 9 to 12, graduate and undergraduate college students, their parents and their teachers, in which they can participate through www.mygov.in website.
11:01 am The Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said that a stint of service in National Cadet Corps (NCC) has to be made compulsory in all educational institutions. He was addressing the cadets of the National Cadet Corps at the inaugural ceremony of the Republic Day camp in New Delhi. Naidu congratulated the cadets for their enthusiasm and energy, for their outstanding drill and their confidence. He observed that the Camp, which would foster feelings of unity and patriotism, would serve as a memorable and motivating learning experience. The Vice President urged the cadets to make the best possible use of the camp by participating in all activities conducted at the Camp with sincerity and commitment. Naidu said that the training provided by NCC since its inception has played a vital role in inculcating the qualities of discipline, leadership, camaraderie, team spirit, adventure and national integration, thereby leading to the holistic development of the Nation’s youth and assuring a better future. He added that the camp would be a unique opportunity not only to understand the country better, but also to widen one’s horizons and foster lasting friendship with fellow cadets from other nations.
06:01 am The Union Minister of Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar has said that only the research work in various fields can pave way for innovations in the country. Addressing a valedictory session of the 8th Women Science Congress during the ongoing the 106th Indian Science Congress at the Lovely Professional University Jalandhar, he said that research and development are the most important prerequisites for the nation building. He said that it is the research only which helps countries to overcome problems of any type in any field and that’s why the research work is being strengthened and given top priority by the union government. Prakash Javadekar said that the union government has chalked out a programme to strengthen research and development in India. Talking about the slogan of “Jai Anusandhan” given by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in the inaugural session of the 106th Indian Science Congress, he said, “This shows the commitment of the Centre towards the research and innovations. The NDA government had carved out a fund of Rs 200 Crore this year for the innovative solutions and 1000 colleges across the country are being equipped with innovation hubs.” He also called upon the Universities and other educational institutions to set up such innovation clubs on their own level, too. Prakash Javadekar also mentioned the problems faced by the country and gave clarion call to the women to come forward and join science stream to resolve social and economic problems. He said union government had set up a fund under Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) to provide assistance to the research laboratories. This year ministry is spending nearly Rs 33,000 Crore for this purpose while to encourage social science research Rs 250 Crore has been earmarked. He said the major project of the government is SPARK which was launched to assist and encourage students to carry on their ambitious research projects within India instead of going abroad. In this regard the ministry has also planned to provide scholarship of Rs 1 Lakh per student per month for research and innovation work. He said the government is bringing together the students, teachers and industrialists in innovation and research work. The initiatives taken by the government had not only stopped brain drain but replaced it with brain gain. He said inculcation of scientific temper of the mind to understand the things in proper perspective is essential.
12:01 pm The Sharjah Publishing City, SPC, the world’s first publishing and printing free zone, will be participating in the 48th edition of the New Delhi World Book Fair NDWBF, slated from 5th to 13th January, 2019. The NDWBF is India's oldest book fair after the Kolkata Book Fair and has honoured the Emirate of Sharjah to be their guest of honour. The SPC, a subsidiary of Sharjah Book Authority, SBA, will be hosting a series of networking meetings with Indian publishers, publishing experts and the business community from the subcontinent. These meetings are planned to attract Indian investments into the emirate of Sharjah, by offering them a world-class base and operating facilities at the SPC Free Zone. Sharjah’s business-friendly environment, strategic location and several business advantages such as the first dual trading licence that SPC has launched recently, which allow businesses based in the SPC Free Zone to also operate on the UAE mainland, are all expected to strengthen collaborations and boost the presence of Indian publishers in the UAE and Gulf. Salim Omar Salim, Director of SPC said, "The UAE and India have enjoyed a great friendship since historical times, which is reflected in growing bilateral trade, and political and cultural relations even before the formation of the UAE in 1971. While the economic aspect of India–UAE relations are of great importance to both parties, the intercultural exchange between us has gained unrivalled significance, especially in recent years." "India is one of the fastest growing book markets, internationally. It is the world’s sixth largest book publishing country, and the third largest in the production of English language books, after the United Kingdom and the United States. Each year, more than 80,000 titles in 24 of India’s local languages are published by 160,000 publishers. Through our participation at the NDWBF, we look forward to showcasing leading investment opportunities in the UAE and the region, which can be leveraged by publishers in India and the subcontinent through the SPC," he added. Since its inception in 2017, the SPC has been keen to participate in international book fairs to introduce publishers from around the world to its attractive environment and highlight its efforts aimed at enhancing investment and ensuring the prosperity of the publishing and printing sectors in the UAE and the world.
11:01 am The UAE’s culture will take centre-stage at the upcoming New Delhi World Book Fair, NDWBF 2019. As a guest of honour at the 27th edition of the fair, which will take place from 5th to 13th January, Sharjah is set to take visitors on a spectacular cultural journey. The emirate’s various literary and cultural entities have curated a rich programme of seminars, poetry evenings, and a host of other engagements, which will reflect its 40 years of steady efforts in the cultural field, which have popularised the UAE’s and Arab cultural heritage globally. Sheikh Fahim bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Executive Chairman of the Department of Government Relations, and Head of the Sharjah delegation at NDWBF 2019, underscored that culture is the cornerstone of advancement, given that it is one of the most creative and humane ways to build bridges between nations. He noted that Sharjah’s selection as the guest of honour is a clear indication of the cultural status the emirate enjoys regionally and globally. Visitors to the book fair are expected to take part in a series of literary and artistic activities organised by Sharjah and will witness traditional Emirati performances by the Sharjah National Band. Sheikh Fahim said, "Sharjah’s cultural prominence has not been built overnight, but illustrates the fruition of persistent efforts for over four decades. Today, Sharjah is a hub of sciences, knowledge and culture, and home to a plethora of annual cultural events that brings together renowned writers and intellectuals from around the world. "These feats reflect the realisation of the vision of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, who believes that a strong cultural movement contributes to development in all fields." "The UAE and India have enjoyed strong relations for several decades, and our geographic proximity coupled with our rich cultural legacies offered both nations a unique platform to establish free-flowing communication and strong understanding," he added. At the Sharjah pavilion, Emirati authors and literati will share a wealth of information and insight into the Arab world and the diversity and history it holds, in addition to addressing industry challenges with their peers and international counterparts. The emirate has also translated 57 Arabic language works to Hindi that will be available for Indian readers. Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of Sharjah Book Authority, said, "Sharjah’s selection to be New Delhi World Book Fair’s guest of honour is a recognition for its instrumental role in successfully acquainting the world with Emirati and Arab cultures, under the guidance and vision of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi." "Sharjah is on a mission to introduce, highlight and represent Arab and Emirati culture at every international participation, and book fairs offer us an unrivalled opportunity to do so. At NDWBF 2019, we will also be showcasing Sharjah’s world-class services and diverse offerings to publishers worldwide, and offer our expert consultation on how to capitalise on opportunities in Arab markets," he added.
11:12 am The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its in-principle approval for setting up of Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRSs) in every block with more than 50% ST population and at least 20,000 tribal persons.To begin with, the CCEA has approved a financial cost of Rs. 2242.03 crore during 2018-19 and 2019-20 for rolling out the revamped scheme. The CCEA has further approved the following: There will be an Autonomous Society under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs similar to NavodayaVidyalayaSamiti to run the EMRSs. Upgradation of already sanctioned EMRSs on need basis with unit cost subject to a maximum of Rs. 5 crore per school. Setting up sports facilities in 163 tribal dominated districts at a unit cost of Rs. 5 crore each to be constructed by the year 2022. Financial provisions for 15 sports facilities during 2018-19 and 2019-20 has been agreed to. Enhancing the grants for maintenance which are admissible every five years from Rs 10 lakh to Rs.20 Lakh.