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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Union Minister for HRD Prakash Javadekar has said that the government is committed to increase quality education in the country right from primary education to higher education. Mr Javadekar was speaking at the national Conference on ‘Positioning India on the Global Education Map’ in New Delhi. In higher education, we have taken tremendous steps to improve college education, for this we are making accreditation process more scientific and tough. Government wants to increase the strength of NBA and NAAC so that more number of institutions can be accredited, the Minister added.He further said that government is open for other agencies to take the responsibility of accreditation and IITs and IIMs have been asked for the same so that more and more institutions can be accredited from reputed agencies. The Minister said that ranking and rating increase competitiveness among institutions for better performance. He gave the example of National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) and said that because of NIRF every institute has constituted an internal committee to improve the ranking. Students also see institutions ranking before taking admission, he added. The Union Minister said that teacher is the most important component to increase quality educationin the colleges and universities. He said that attendance should increase in the classroom because of teacher’s skills not because of the infrastructure of the college. He further said that we are lacking good teachers in the institutions because good people are not becoming teachers. We have to attract good people for teaching profession and we have to give respect to teachers then only we can create a good learning environment in the institutions. Best teachers attract students to the institution not the best infrastructure, he added. Graded autonomy is another major step of the government to boost quality education in the country, the Minister said. Shri Javadekar explained that the universities will remain within the ambit of UGC but will have the freedom to start new courses, off campus centers, skill development courses, research parks and any other new academic programs. They will also have the freedom to hire foreign faculty, enroll foreign students, give incentive based emoluments to the faculty, enter into academic collaborations and run open distance learning programmes. The Minister said that we are focusing on research and innovation to boost research culture in the country. The Ministry of HRD successfully conducted two Smart India Hackathon in 2017 and 2018 and started process for third installment of Smart India Hackathon- 2019, he said. The Minister further said that to promote innovation culture in India we have started Innovation Cell in AICTE and more than 1000 colleges started Innovation Club in their campuses. The research and innovation culture will make education more relevant and reliable, he added.
The President Ram Nath Kovind, reached Melbourne on the third day of his visit to Australia. He addressed students and members of the academic community at the University of Melbourne. The topic of his address was “Australia and India as Knowledge Partners”. Speaking on the occasion, the President said the India-Australia knowledge partnership rests on two pillars: education cooperation and scientific collaboration. The President said Australia is the second most preferred destination for higher education for Indian students. Today, there are about 85,000 Indian students in various parts of Australia. He noted that “education” has been chosen as the flagship sector for Australia in the “India Economic Strategy” commissioned by the Australian government. He also noted that Australia is among the top five research partner countries for India. The Australia India Strategic Research Fund is Australia’s biggest investment in research collaboration with any single country. Coinciding with the President’s visit, both countries have announced a renewed commitment of Aus$ 10 million each towards the Fund. Earlier the President commenced his engagements in Melbourne with a visit to Government House, where he was received by the Governor of Victoria, Ms Linda Dessau. The Governor hosted a luncheon banquet in honour of the President. Speaking on the occasion, the President praised the government of Victoria’s emphasis on trade and business with India. He appreciated Melbourne and Victoria for being welcoming of the Indian community and the Indian-origin diaspora. He said it was a matter of pride that the Indian diaspora is contributing strongly to the Victorian economy. Subsequently the Leader of the Opposition in Australia, and the leader of the Labor Party, Mr Bill Shorten, called on President Kovind. The President thanked Mr Shorten for the bipartisan support in Australia for good relations with India, and Mr Shorten responded by calling India a priority for Australia. The two leaders also discussed the advance of India’s renewable energy programme and India’s initiative in setting up the International Solar Alliance. There was a proposal that the President visit the Melbourne Cricket Ground and meet the Indian and Australian cricket teams playing the T20 match there, as well as watch a few minutes of play. This engagement was called off due to inclement weather conditions.
The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that all School syllabi in the country should be reduced by fifty percent and Students should learn 50% from their Classrooms and 50% from Playgrounds. He was interacting with the Students of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, in Hyderabad. The Deputy Chief Minister of Telangana, Mohammad Mahmood Ali and other dignitaries were present on the occasion. The Vice President said that Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan has played a pivotal role in the education scenario of this country since its inception in 1938. He further said that the young Students would soon be called upon to be leaders of India’s journey towards development. You should prepare yourself; equip yourself starting today, so that you will be ready when called upon to be leaders of a resurgent India, he added. Saying that it is important to learn from books, the Vice President said that it is good to know facts and understand theories, but it is more important to be able to understand concepts and to gauge their practical applications. It is important to learn to do things, to develop practical and pragmatic wisdom, he added. The Vice President said that whole examinations should be based on measuring the child’s capacity simply to question the things around him or her. This will encourage young people to never be content with the status quo and help to make change a relatively easy process, he said. The Vice President urged the young students to never let their marks define or restrict them in any way. You are much more than the numbers on your report card, he added. The President opined that education imparted should be all encompassing, comprehensive and holistic. He further said that only half the school time should be spent in classrooms learning, the other half should be spent in playgrounds and in nature. Some of life’s crucial lessons are learnt by the children from playgrounds, such as sportsmanship, empathy and teamwork, he added. Along with physical fitness schools should also encourage other extracurricular activities, the Vice President said. Love for the fine arts and interest in literary activities should also be inculcated in children, they teach children the art of living and working together, he added.