‘So lucky, you know… I will be first engineering graduate from my tribe’

There is a spring in C Kalyani’s step as she walks out of the girls’ hostel on the sprawling, leafy campus of Jawaharlal NehruTechnology University (JNTU) at Sulthanpur in Telangana. It is her first day in college. The diminutive girl is the first from her vanishing community, the Primitive Tribal Group (PTG) Thoti, to go to an engineering college.

“I cannot believe that I am here on this huge and beautiful campus and such a great college. I am so lucky, you know? It is a dream come true,” she says. She arrived at the campus earlier this month to complete the formalities for joining. “This is the first time I am staying so far away from home. It is a six-hour drive to my home from here,” says Kalyani, who belongs to Dubarpet in Adilabad district.

“I am happier because my roommate happens to be a friend from the tribal coaching centre,” she says. Her roommate, R Soumika, is from the Lambada community and has joined electronics and communications engineering. Kalyani, who aims to become a scientist, has opted for material science and nanotechnology engineering. She is eagerly waiting for classes to start.

“Especially maths, I love it,” she says. “I like the regimen here. Breakfast is at 8 am at the dining hall, then it’s back to room to get ready to go to classes at 10. At 1:30 we will break for lunch and go back at 2 and study again till 4:30. Then, back to the room. I am loving it already.” Fighting against various odds including poverty in their communities,Kalyani and Soumika made it up to Intermediate, then were selected for coaching for JEE and Engineering Agricultural Medical Common Entrance Test (Eamcet) along with 28 other tribal students at Telangana’s tribal students’ welfare residential schools in Adilabad district under a special coaching programme called Star-30. The tribal students cracked JEE Main, JEE Advanced (for IITs) or Eamcet to secure admission to top engineering colleges.

Jawaharlal Nehru Technology University, JNTU Telangana, JNTU Sulthanpur, Education News, Latest Education News, Indian Express, Indian Express NewsKalyani says her father C Krishna, a labourer, struggled to send her to school. “He wept for joy when I told him I had made it to engineering college. No girl in my tribe has studied beyond class V. Boys drop out after X. But I insisted I want to study and my father struggled hard to pay school fees and buy books,” she says. “I will be the first engineering graduate from my community. My brother is in second year Intermediate and sister is in VII. I did not get much time to prepare for JEE but I passed Eamcet. I am lucky to get admission to a top college like JNTU.’’

At a time when populations of forest-dwelling tribal communities are dwindling across the country, seven boys and girls from three primitive and vanishing tribes of Telangana created history this year by becoming the first from their communities to join engineering colleges – Pujari Adharsh, Pudari Srinivas, P Pavan Kalyan, M Pushpalatha from the PTG Manne community, and K Ramatha and A Parmeshwar from PTG Kolam, besides Kalyani from PTG Thoti. Counselling ended last fortnight. In another first, two boys from the Lambada community got admissions in IIT Varanasi and VNIT Nagpur.

Mancherial district collector R V Karnan, Adilabad DC Dr Jyothi Buddha Prakash, and in-charge Anura Jayanthi were given Telangana Excellence Awards on Independence Day for the project Star-30. Less than 2,000 people each of the three PTG groups live in Telangana. Most of them live in tribal hamlets on the periphery of forests in Adilabad and Karimnagar districts. Literacy levels are very low and most of them work as farm labour.

Last Tuesday, Adharsh joined JNTU at Karimnagar, opting for information technology. He ranked 2594th in JEE in the ST category. Hailing from Ippalaguda, a tribal settlement in Kouthala mandal of the newly created Komaram Bheem Asifabad district, Adharsh made it through extreme poverty. His father P Buchaiah, who used to work as a farm labourer, was paralysed three years ago and remains bedridden now while his mother Sharada now works for daily wages.

NEET ordinance by Tamil Nadu not good in law, says A-G

In what may come as a jolt for the newfound bonhomie between Centre and Tamil Nadu after the AIADMK merger, the attorney general has, in his opinion to the health ministry on the state government’s ordinance exempting TN students from appearing in the common medical entrance examination, said that the ordinance is not good in law.

This is the second time that the ordinance that was sent by the Tamil Nadu government more than a week back to the home ministry, was referred to attorney general KK Venugopal.

Earlier when it had been referred by the law ministry the officer had approved it as being good as per the provisions of the Constitution of India. Subsequently, the ordinance was cleared by both the law and the HRD ministries.

However, when it came to the health ministry, it was referred back to the A-G with some additional facts and past judgements of the apex court on the issue. It was in response to these additional facts that the A-G has revised his opinion, say top government sources.

The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to all medical colleges in the country both government and private has seen a long legal battle since it was first attempted in 2013. The examination that year was stayed with a clutch of petitions in the Supreme Court from deemed universities, minority institutions and some state governments. It was finally started in 2016, much to the chagrin of states like Tamil Nadu.

Tamil Nadu has argued that the test favours CBSE students and those studying in state boards schools lose out because they have been used to admissions based on their class XII results. It is also discriminatory, the state has argued as students in districts far-flung from the capital and belonging to weaker sections, would tend to lose out.

NEET exemption has been a very sensitive topic in Tamil Nadu with former CM J Jayalalithaa having written multiple letters first to PM Manmohan Singh and then to PM Narendra Modi demanding that the state be treated separately.

Attorney General K K Venugopal, trust vote in the Tamil Nadu assembly, Tamil Nadu Trust vote case, E K Palaniswami, former chief minister O Panneerselvam, India news, National news,In the present case, a team from the Tamil Nadu government had been camping in Delhi for the ordinance to be speedily cleared. It was widely expected to make the cut after Union ministers like Nirmala Sitharaman put their weight behind it. Health Minister J P Nadda also told the Rajya Sabha that Tamil Nadu’s concerns about NEET would be looked into.

On Monday soon after the AIADMK merger was announced prime minister Narendra Modi tweeted: “Centre assures all possible support to CM Thiru Edappadi K. Palaniswami & Dy CM Thiru O Panneerselvam for the growth of TN. @OfficeOfOPS”. That promise may have started off with a stumble given the A-G’s negative opinion on the ordinance that is very important for the state.

The health ministry’s contention on NEET is that if Tamil Nadu’s demand for exemption is acceded to, similar demands may flow for other states too thus causing this most important reform of medical education to collapse even as others are trying to emulate it; there is a common entrance for engineering courses too on the anvil. There are already reports of Gujarat examining the TN ordinance to seek similar treatment for students from Gujarati-medium schools.

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu government has asked the Medical Council of India to sanction 2,700 more medical seats in the state in order to allay concerns of the Supreme Court about the fate of students from the state who have already cleared NEET. The demand is unlikely to be viewed favourably by the council as increasing seats is a function of many other factors including availability of faculty and infrastructure.

HC issues notice to Centre, Delhi Police on NEET investigation plea

High Court Monday issued notices to the Centre and Delhi Police on a plea seeking a court-monitored CBI/SIT probe into alleged illegalities in the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) held in 2016 for admitting students in postgraduate medical courses.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar also issued notice to the National Board of Examination (NBE), Medical Council of India, Prometrics Private Ltd and the CBI on a plea that sought to hand over the case to the probe agency. The court will take up the matter on September 10.

Prometrics had sub-contracted CMS IT Services Private Ltd to hire engineers, site supervisors and other staff to prepare exam labs for conducting NEET PG examination at 43 centres across the country.

In the plea filed by Dr Anand Rai, it was alleged Delhi Police had “not interrogated the candidates who have been named as beneficiaries as well as officers of M/s Prometrics and the National Board of Examinations”.

delhi schools, delhi school fees, Delhi high court, delhi HC, delhi news“In fact, even statements and evidence mentioned in the chargesheet have not been filed with the chargesheet in court. Such conduct in such a serious matter brings apprehensions of subversion of the course of justice whether with or without intent. Under these circumstances, court monitoring of such an investigation, preferably by a specially appointed SIT, becomes essential,” the plea states.

Seeking a court-monitored probe, the plea states that the Delhi Police chargesheet “falls short of explaining or investigating into the alleged tampering of the computer systems”. “The Respondent No. 7 (Delhi Police) has not seized any of the computer systems used in the conduct NEET-PG, 2017 much less having the same forensically examined,” the plea states.

The plea also points out that one Rameshwar Mishra, who was interrogated by the police and mentioned as “the main conspirator”, has not been made an accused or a witness in the case.

17 schools refunded excess fee: Delhi Government

Even as the Delhi government’s proposal to take over 449 private unaided schools “as a last resort” got the official nod by L-G Anil Baijal, government officials said at least 17 schools had already “refunded excess fee charged from parents despite government orders”. Officials maintained that the proposal would allow the schools to initially respond to the showcause notice within “two weeks” as to why “they should not be taken over the government”.

The official added, “The L-G office has also cautioned the government to ensure that studies in the present term are not impacted.” In doing so, the L-G office echoed the concerns raised by the Delhi HC, which said that “our paramount interest is to ensure that students don’t suffer”. Last week, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said, “The schools will not be allowed to loot students like they used to do under previous governments due to political collusion. But if they don’t implement, we will take them over as a last resort. I hope we don’t have to take over.”

Delhi Schools, Delhi Schools Excess Fees, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Arvind Kejriwal, India News, Indian Express, Indian Express NewsAccording to a government official, the amount collectively owed by the schools amounted to around Rs 300 crore. S K Bhattacharya, president of Action Committee Unaided Recognised Private Schools, said schools would respond to the showcause notices. “There are two types of schools — a large number of schools have grievances and are not satisfied with the order, and want to challenge it. Then there are some who have excess money, which they will refund,” he said.

“But government cannot take over schools unless and until there is substantial proof against them… This is not a simple matter,” he added. DPS Mathura Road Principal Manohar Lal said he is yet to receive the order from the L-G’s office. “A writ petition in the matter would have been filed in the High Court today, or it will be filed tomorrow. We are ready to obey whatever the court says,” he said.

CSIR UGC NET 2017: Application process begins, check eligibility and important dates here

Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Examination Unit will activate the online application link for the National Eligibility Test (NET) on August 23, 2017. The authority will conduct the exam in December. The last date to submit the application form is September 15.

Candidates can check the notification on the official website — csirhrdg.res.in. The examination is held to test the eligibility of the aspirants for the award of Junior Research Fellowships (JRF) NET. Also, through UGC NET, the eligibility for appointment of Lecturers (NET) in certain subject areas is determined.

Exam pattern: The exam will be a single paper to be held in morning and evening session. Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) will be asked. The exam is conducted for life science, Earth science, Mathematical science, Chemical science, and Physical science.

Eligibility:

Education: Candidate should hold a M.Sc or equivalent degree/ Integrated BS-MS/BS-4 years/BE/BTech/BPharma/MBBS with at least 55 per cent marks. For reserved category, it is 50 per cent.

B.Sc(Hons) or equivalent degree holders or students enrolled in Integrated MS-PhD program with at least 55 per cent marks can apply too.

Age: For JRF NET, The maximum age of applicant should be 28 years as on July 1, 2017. There is upper age limit relaxation up to five years in case of SC/ST/Persons with Disability (PwD)/female applicants and three years in case of OBC(non-creamy layer) candidates.

There is no upper age limit for LS NET.

ugc net, csir net, CSIR UGC NET 2017CSIR UGC NET 2017: Important dates

Online application process begins: August 23
Application fees deposit: September 15
Last date to submit online application form: September 16
Last date of receipt of hard copy of the application form at the exam unit (except remote areas): September 23
Last date of receipt of hard copy of the application form at the Examination Unit in remote areas: October 3
Tentative date of publication of list of registered candidates: November 17
Issue of hall tickets: First week of December

No exemption from NEET for Tamil Nadu, Supreme Court directs government to start counselling process

In a major blow to the Tamil Nadu government, the Supreme Court today asked the state to follow National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) after the Centre said the state cannot be exempted. The apex court also directed the Tamil Nadu government to start counselling process immediately and finish it by September 4.

A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra was hearing a plea filed by six students seeking a direction to the state government to conduct counselling for the medical seats solely on the basis of the merit list prepared on the basis of NEET marks.

As The Indian Express reported yesterday, the attorney general has said that the ordinance, sent by the Tamil Nadu government on the exemption of NEET, is not good in law.

NEET, Tamil Nadu NEET, NEET TN exemption, NEET SC, NEET news, India news, Indian ExpressTamil Nadu has been against the implementation of NEET – common medical exam as it argued that the test favours CBSE students over other state boards. Also, students from rural parts and belonging to weaker sections would lose seats in the medical colleges. You can read here what the AG said about NEET ordinance

The health ministry’s contended that if Tamil Nadu’s demand for exemption would be accepted then other states will have similar demands too.

The Tamil Nadu government has twice sent the ordinance to get an exemption. The ordinance was cleared by both the law and the Human Resource Development ministries. However, when it came to the health ministry, it was referred back to the attorney general KK Venugopal with some additional facts and past judgements of the apex court on the issue. It was in response to these additional facts that the A-G has revised his opinion, say top government sources.

NEET was made mandatory last year for admission in medical and dental colleges across India.

CBSE school fees should follow state govt’s norms: Chairman

Fees charged by the schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education should be as per the norms fixed by the state government, CBSE chairman R K Chaturvedi said today. “Our affiliation by-laws say the fee should be commensurate with infrastructure and facilities offered by the school. The quantum of fee should be on par with the (respective) state government’s norms,” Chaturvedi said, speaking to reporters at the Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India here.

Chaturvedi’s statement comes even as CBSE schools have moved the Gujarat High Court against the state government’s decision to regulate fees of all private schools, including the CBSE-affiliated ones, through the Gujarat Self-Financed Schools (Regulation of Fees) Act, 2017.

“(Information about) Fee should be put in the public domain….logical explanation should be given as to on what basis the fee is charged,” he said.

The CBSE is thinking of giving “accreditation” to its affiliated schools, he said.

rajasthan result, RBSE class 10 results 2017, rajeduboard.rajasthan.gov.in, rajasthan board, rajasthan 10th result, rajasthan 10th result 2017, education news, rajasthan news, indian express,“We are discussing norms for accreditation. It will decide where the school stands in terms of quality, through a third-party evaluation. It will be then easy for parents to decide how one school is better than the other,” he said.

“Results, quality of education, parents’ and teachers’ satisfaction, retention of teachers, index of happiness, infrastructure, fee, sports, all these parameters will form the basis to evaluate schools. We will begin the process from this academic year and implement it by next year,” he said.

Chaturvedi was here to meet representatives of CBSE schools from Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra and discuss with them the Board’s decision to do away with school-based examination in Class X, and addition of applied entrepreneurship as a vocational subject for Classes XI-XII.

“We want to associate ourselves with EDII in this regard (additional course)…The concept has been accepted, and details are being worked out,” he said.

Over 10 lakh students appear for exam on RSS, BJP ideologues

Over 10 lakh students in the state Saturday appeared in a general knowledge examination on topics related to RSS and BJP ideologues and initiatives taken by Narendra Modi government to mark the birth centenary year of Deendayal Upadhyaya. Organised by ‘Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Janm Shatabdi Samaroh Samiti’ comprising BJP members, the exam was held for Class IX and X students, and had total 100 questions which were to be answered within 90 minutes.

Subhash Yaduvansh, BJP state secretary and in-charge of the examination, said there were around 12.5 lakh student registrations in the state out of which around 10 lakh appeared in the exam from nearly 11,000 schools at 9,500 centers across the state.

“The exam could not be conducted in eight districts each from eastern and western UP due to flood and imposition of Section 144 after violence due to conviction of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, respectively,” he said, adding that now the exam in these districts would be conducted on September 7 with an alternate paper, and the result which was earlier to be declared on September 5 has been postponed to September 15.

J Nandakumar, RSS on Kerala political violence, RSS’s Vishwa Samvad Kendra, Kerala RSS worker killed, Kerala CPM, Communist Party, indian express newsOther topics covered in the examination were from Indian mythology, Indian Constitution, history, geography and on personalities like Deendayal Upadhyaya, Lal Bahadur Shashtri, M M Malviya, B R Ambedkar and Subash Chandra Bose.

Some of the questions included — which scheme was launched by the central government to make India an electronic economy? Where is the only temple of Lord Brahma situated? Name the pilgrimage where an ice Shivling is formed every year. Name the great personality who established RSS. When was RSS established?, among others.

“There are volunteer teachers in every district who will check the answer sheets manually without any payment,” BJP state secretary Yaduvansh added. “On September 25, the top ten students of every district will be given medals and all students with more than 60 per cent marks will get certificates,” Chandra Mohan, member of the samiti, said.

NIOS: Aadhaar to be mandatory for open school examination

After making Aadhaar card mandatory in JEE, NEET and UGC NET examination, the government has not made it compulsory for students appearing for open school exams to ensure there are no proxy candidates appearing on others’ behalf.

Following approval from the HRD Ministry, the National Institute of Open Learning (NIOS) has decided to make Aadhaar mandatory for candidates appearing for the next examination, a senior NIOS official said. “During the exams held in March, the inspection teams had found proxy candidates who were appearing on other students’ behalf. To check this practice, Aadhaar has been made mandatory.

aadhaar card, nios, nios exam date“There will also be scanner machines at examination centres and only those students whose thumb prints match with the existing data be allowed to give exams,” the official said.

NIOS, which was set up in 1989, is providing a number of vocational, life enrichment and community oriented courses besides general and academic courses at secondary and senior secondary level.

It also offers elementary level courses through its Open Basic Education Programmes (OBE). The NIOS has also decided that those schools where CCTV facility is not available will not be made examination centres. “This has been decided to ensure that videography of the entire examination process is possible and the footage can be checked in future if need be,” the official added.

Second round of FCFS admissions today: Students with 60% marks too stand a chance

From 478 out of 500 which was the cut-off for the First Year Junior College (FYJC) admissions last year to 300 out of 500 in the second round of the first come first serve (FCFS) admissions taking place today (Wednesday), it is going to be a huge climbdown for the Laxmanrao Apte Prashala, the college with the highest cut-off marks for Class XI admissions in Pune.

But this situation is now not confined to the Laxmanrao Apte Prashala as the vacancy list for second round of the first-ever FCFS round by the Centralised Admission Process (CAP) shows vacant seats at most of the top colleges in the city. According to the rules of this round, the seat will now go to the first student who clicks on the online link where college availability is displayed. Since students scoring 60 per cent and above are eligible for this round, any student with scores above 300 will now be able to take these seats, most of whose cut-offs are 85-90 per cent and above.

A closer look at the list shows that the vacancies are highest in the Science faculty while seats in Arts and Commerce faculties are fewer in numbers, indicating the decreasing popularity of Science courses. At Fergusson College, no seats are available in the Arts English course while for Science, a total of 38 seats (aided and unaided) are available. Nowrosjee Wadia that had only 30 vacant seats in category I of FCFS for Science faculty admissions, now has 32 seats in Round II, thanks to cancellation of students. SP college has no seats in Arts English course but for Science faculty, a whopping 51 seats are available.

FCFS admissions, Maharashtra education news, Education news, Maharashtra news, Pune news, National news, India news“It is probably the first time that we stand a real chance of getting students who have scored as less as 60 per cent marks. As a college, it doesn’t really matter as all students are welcome and can study here. But when one thinks of the bright students, who might have lost out on admissions for merely one per cent and took admission in a college they did not desire or as compromise, then one does feel bad. It is unfair to them,” said Teresa David, principal of L Apte Prashala.

College principals strongly feel the entire process is not doing justice to bright students who took admissions in previous rounds of CAP process. “The competition to get into the top colleges is so tough that many students lose out on just one or two marks. Imagine someone with higher percentage couldn’t get admission in earlier rounds due to a couple of marks and took admission elsewhere and now learns a student with at least 50 marks less is getting a seat here, is it fair to them? In a way, we are giving advantage to the students who created uncertainty till last round,” said Dilip Sheth, principal of SP College.

Meanwhile, as per the CAP schedule, Round II of FCFS will be conducted Wednesday in which any student with more than 60 per cent marks can participate.

Students have to log into the online CAP website and check vacancy at choice colleges. Once a student clicks on Apply Now, a seat will be allotted and he or she will have to pay fees on same day to confirm admissions.