Sibal to release teacher training curriculum today

New Delhi: Five years after the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) for schools stressed on bringing the teacher education programme at par with that of the change in pedagogy, Human Resource Development (HRD) minister Kapil Sibal will finally release a new curriculum for teachers today.

Prepared by the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE), the National Curriculum for Teacher Education takes into account the importance on quality of teachers in the Right to Education Act, 2009.

It ensures that the syllabus is more child-oriented so that she can grasp various concepts through outdoor activities while exploring the surroundings.

Gender perspectives, equitable development, role of community knowledge and Information and Communication Technology finds an important place in the curriculum.

The National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT), in the absence of a new curriculum for teacher education, undertook the initiative to conduct workshops and train the teachers which is how the NCF-2005 came into being, leading to new NCERT textbooks.

Now even state governments have adopted these books


Common entrance for varsities

Vijayawada: In a move to strengthen and to avoid inconvenience as well as confusion to the students seeking admission to the post-graduate course in various universities in Andhra University region, the Andhra Pradesh State Council of Higher Education, Hyderabad, recently gave direction to all five universities — Acharya Nagarjuna University (ANU) Guntur, Adikavi Nannayya University (AKNU) Rajamundry, Andhra University (AU) Visakhapatnam, Dr B.R. Ambedkar University (BRAU) Srikakulam and Krishna University (KU), Machilipatnam, to conduct common entrance test for the academic year 2010-2011.

The test is named as Andhra University Region Post-Graduation Common Entrance Test-2010 (AURPGCET-2010) and it will be conducted by Andhra University.

In a statement on Wednesday, the registrar of Krishna University, Prof. D. Suryachandra Rao said the directorate of admissions, And-hra University, Visakhapatnam, invited applications for admission to various Science, Arts, Commerce and Law courses through AURPGCET-2010 for the academic year 2010-11.

He said the applications can be obtained from March 18, 2010 either in person or on payment of cash Rs 275 at the sales counters or by post by paying Rs 325 through Demand Draft drawn in any nationalised bank in favour of The Convener, AURPGCET, Directorate of admissions, payble at Visakhapatnam before April 10, 2010.
Mr Suryachandra Rao said that cash, cheques, challans, money orders, postal orders etc will not be accepted.

He said the application forms with information of brochures can be had from AU Study Centre, Prabhas College, Vijayawada, office of the directorate of admissions at ANU, Guntur, Andhra University Study Centre, AC College, Guntur, ANUPG Centre, Nuzvid, Krishna
University, Machilipatnam and ANUPG Centre in Ongole in Krishna, Guntur and Prakasam districts.

The registrar informed that the filled application should reach the Convener, AURPGCET-2010 to the directorate of admissions, Visakhapatnam either by registered post or in person before 5 pm on April 4, 2010 without fine.

Mr Suryachandra Rao said further information can be had from the respective centres.

IIIT entry form to cost Rs 250

Hyderabad: The state government has devised a new admission policy for IIITs from this year to do away with “everything for free” tag attached with IIITs.

Admission will not be given “by invitation” this year, but rather, students will have to apply to seek seats in the IIITs after SSC.

The government has decided to collect Rs 250 from each student who applies for application forms. For the last two years, the government has been selecting students for IIITs mandal-wise, on its own, based on the merit secured in SSC without collecting any application fee.

However, “financial constraint” have forced the government to seek registration charges from this year.

The Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies, which runs the three IIITs in Idupulapaya, Nuzividu and Basar, will issue a fresh admission notification on March 26 with the revised admission norms.

Known to be the “dream project” of then chief minister, Dr Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy, the three IIITs were launched during the 2008-09 academic year with an intake of 2,000 seats in each.

The concept became an instant success as there was no entrance exam and admissions were given purely on merit secured in SSC exam with free hostel and mess facilities.

The government has been incurring an expenditure of Rs 1 lakh on each student every year (after this year’s admission, the number of students will rise to 36,000).

The government allotted Rs 1,200 crore in the first year, which came down to Rs 900 crore in the second year. The present financial constraints has forced the government to allot just Rs 600 crore this year.

In this backdrop, the government realised that the “everything for free” tag has to be changed.

The government is expected to levy some more charges on students before the commencement of new academic year.

British universities cool to India campus plans

Buffeted by major funding cuts, major British universities have noted the Indian Cabinet’s approval this week of a bill allowing foreign universities to set up campuses in India, but have no immediate plans to do so.

The Manmohan Singh government approved Foreign Educational Institution (Regulation of Entry and Operation) Bill, 2010, that is expected to raise the quality and quantity of higher education to meet India’s growing demands for skilled manpower.

Forced by a gnawing budget deficit amidst recession, the Gordon Brown government recently announced major funding cuts to British universities, forcing the closure of several subject departments and job losses in the near future.

The universities have become increasingly reliant on the income generated by high fee-paying of international students from India and other countries outside the European Union. It is not yet clear if setting up campuses in India will hit this major income stream.

Spokespersons of the universities of Cambridge, Oxford and Imperial College, London, told PTI that they did not have immediate plans to set up campuses in India, but would continue to build on their existing collaboration and others links with Indian institutions.

British universities have a large number of agents in India and have long standing research and teaching links with Indian institutions. However, the initial reaction to the Bill’s approval has been cautious.

The University of Nottingham is one of the few British universities with campuses in China and Malaysia.

Many other universities offer degrees abroad through collaborative links with local institutions, but are reluctant to open full campuses abroad to avoid risk to reputation and lack of quality control.

An Oxford spokesman said: “Oxford University has no plans in the foreseeable future to offer full degree courses anywhere other than Oxford itself and so has no plans to establish an overseas campus. However, Oxford conducts research and some non-degree teaching in many countries of the world, and India is a very important country for us. We have many links with India already and are keen to continue to develop our involvement in the country.”

There are 300 Indian students currently enrolled at Imperial College, London, which has several ‘fruitful’ collaboration links with Indian institutions. Some reports suggested that Imperial College would be one of the first foreign institutions to set up a campus in India, but spokeswoman Abigail Smith said: “In January we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Indian Institute of Technology Ropar, in the presence of Kapil Sibal, Minister for Human Resources Development, and Lord Mandelson.”

“Imperial is keen to explore opportunities for further research and teaching links with India in the future,” Ms. Smith said.

A Cambridge university spokesman said: “The Government of India is developing and implementing a major strategy dramatically to increase the scope, depth and capacity of Indian higher education. It is thus timely for the university to take stock and to consider how to build on these foundations to develop new ways in which we work with Indian counterparts in academia, industry and government to develop and strengthen the country’s higher education provision, research capacity and impact.”

He added: “The pattern of India’s development, its demography, its industrial structure, its projections for economic growth and its agenda for community development place a spotlight on the pivotal position of higher education.

“While there are no immediate plans to open up a Cambridge University campus in India, we note the alignment between Cambridge’s multi-disciplinary strengths and Indian academia and we are exploring appropriate ways to scale up our collaborations and partnership, for that will be the basis of anything we do.”

CBSE set to become international board from next session

After deciding to make Class X board exam optional, India’s premier school board CBSE is set to go global by introducing a new syllabus for international students and would affiliate any school from any country from the next academic session.

The Central Board of Secondary Education would introduce a new syllabus to make it on par with international boards like International Baccalaureate (IB).

The new syllabus will be only meant for international students and will be taught in the interested affiliated schools from abroad.

“From next session, the CBSE will introduce a separate curriculum for international students. This will help the board to become an international board like IB,” a HRD Ministry official told PTI.

However, CBSE will continue its existing curriculum for domestic students.

The new curriculum will be of international standards and give a global perspective to the subjects of study.

Citing an example, the official said while the subject of history in the existing syllabus mainly deals with Indian history, the new syllabus will focus on world history.

Similarly, the syllabus of all subjects would be made keeping in view the curriculum of international boards.

The CBSE would introduce the new syllabus in Class I and Class IX in the next session. Then every year, the new syllabus would be introduced in a new class.

“Over a few years, CBSE will have international standard syllabus for all classes,” he said.

The board at present has affiliated schools in a number of Gulf countries and Singapore. However, such schools are mainly started by the Indian diaspora there.

The new curriculum will help even other schools in any country to opt for the CBSE system and get affiliated to it.

“CBSE, in the process, will be an alternative to any international school boards,” the official said.

This will help the students of those schools better compete at international level. It will be easier for them to study anywhere in the world.

The new curriculum will give more importance to activity-based teaching. More project works and practical experiences will be the thrust, the official said.

CBSE has set up a committee which is working on the new syllabus. The syllabus will be ready within a month.

EAMCET forms through Andhra Bank

HYDERABAD: The sale of EAMCET applications this year will be through branches of Andhra Bank.

The bank was chosen after the postal department had refused to sell the applications this year.

EAMCET Committee Chairman D.N. Reddy said the postal department insisted on payment of Rs. 20 per application as commission while it was Rs. 10 last year.

Prof. Reddy said Andhra Bank has agreed to sell the application forms in 110 branches. .
 Two new centres for EAMCET

HYDERABAD: The EAMCET Committee-2010 has decided to add two additional centres – Medak and Vikarabad from this year taking the total to 25 regional centres across the State. JNTU Vice Chancellor and EAMCET committee chairman D.N. Reddy said that Ranga Reddy and Medak districts were not represented earlier and these new centres will ease pressure on students from these two districts right from sale of applications, submission, and till the conduct of examination.

The Government Polytechnic for Women in Medak will be the centre in Medak district while the SAP College in Vikarabad will be the centre for Ranga Reddy district.

Prof. Reddy said from this year an effort is being made to get the data of students appearing from rural and urban areas and for this a new column has been incorporated in the OMR sheet where students need to mention whether their education was in rural areas or urban centres.

“This will help in studying whether rural students had benefitted from the 25 per cent Intermediate weightage marks introduced last year,” he said.

EAMCET-2010 convenor N.V. Ramana Rao said ranks of 62 per cent students saw improvement after weightage marks were included last year when compared to ranks based on only EAMCET marks.

He said there is a likelihood of 10 per cent increase in applications this time. Last year 3,78,448 applications were sold while 3,77,388 candidates registered.

Prof. Reddy said key would be released within a week and the results within three weeks. He said efforts would be made to give final ranks before July 1.

Students can take home EAMCET question booklet

The EAMCET Committee-2010 accepted the demand in order to bring in transparency

Persons of Indian origin and those holding OIC cards abroad will be allowed to write EAMCET

HYDERABAD: Students can take home the question booklet of EAMCET from this year. But they will not be allowed inside the hall even if they are late by a minute.

The EAMCET Committee-2010 that met here on Monday, accepted this long pending demand in order to bring in transparency.

Sale of applications

Andhra Pradesh State Council of Higher Education (APSCHE) Chairman, K.C. Reddy said gates would be opened 45 minutes before the examination to ensure that students got enough time. He advised students and parents to be at the exam venue an hour before the test commences.

He said the sale of applications would begin on February 22 at designated post offices and eSeva centres and continue till April 5. The same would be sold at the Convenor’s office from April 6 to May 27.

The last date for submission of applications is April 3, while the same can be submitted by April 9 with a fine of Rs.500 or by April 15 with a fine of Rs.1000.

At the same time, students can submit the forms with a late fee of Rs.5,000 till May 10 and with a fine of Rs.10,000 till May 27 at the Convenor’s office only. Hall-tickets would be issued from April 30 to May 6.

Prof. Reddy said that Persons of Indian origin and those holding OIC cards abroad would be allowed to write the EAMCET from this year. This would help students of Telugu parents residing abroad.

Their admission criteria would be decided by a committee.