Education Notes

Haryana: 31 new women’s colleges

CHANDIGARH, MAY 10. The state government formally inaugurated 31 undergraduate colleges for women students which will be completed in the academic year 2018-19, said Ram Bilas Sharma, education minister, speaking at a function in the city.

“Till the time their construction is complete, the colleges will function from vacant buildings of government schools or other organisations starting July 2018,” the minister said. This is in consonance with the  government’s strong drive to promote the education of girl children statewide. 


UGC plastics ban directive

NEW DELHI, MAY 19. The University Grants Commission (UGC) has directed all varsities and higher education institutions countrywide to ban plastic cups, lunch packets, straws, bottles and bags on their campuses. UGC’s directive follows a Union environment ministry’s advisory stating that India will host this year’s UN-led World Environment Day (June 5) celebrations, based on the theme ‘Beat plastic pollution’.

“Hosting this prestigious event is a step towards our commitment to undertake global leadership in addressing all forms of pollution, reducing emissions and investing in sustainable development efforts. This is an opportunity for collective efforts to reduce the use of plastic and the HRD (human resource development) ministry has desired that students be encouraged to refuse, reduce, and re-use plastic products in their daily use,” says the advisory.
In its communique to all universities under its jurisdiction, UGC has asked them to launch mass awareness campaigns on disposal of plastic and initiate cleanliness drives under the Swachh Bharat Mission. 

Sleeves snipping initiative

PATNA, MAY 13. Women candidates writing the nursing entrance exam of the Bihar Combined Entrance Competitive Examination Board in a school in Muzaffarpur district received a rude shock when invigilators snipped off long sleeves of their dresses “in full public view” as a disciplinary measure, a government spokesperson said.

Video footage showing invigilators at the examination centre using scissors and blades to snip long sleeves of candidates’ attire was flashed on regional news channels, sparking outrage among locals and parents of the examinees.

According to Lalan Prasad Singh, district education officer (DEO), candidates who registered for the exam had been warned against wearing long-sleeved attire. “The intention of the exercise was not questionable and women invigilators performed the snipping operation. The problem was that the operation was performed in full public view,” said the DEO. The state’s education ministry conducted an inquiry into the incident and disqualified the school as a public examinations centre. 

Tilak designated

JAIPUR, MAY 11. A class VIII reference book prescribed by the Rajasthan Board of Secondary Education for private English-medium affiliated schools describes nationalist leader and freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak (1856-1920) as the “father of terrorism”.

“Tilak demonstrated a path towards a national movement, therefore, he is called the father of terrorism,” reads page 267 of the textbook. “Tilak clearly believed that we cannot achieve anything just by pleading with British officers. Through Shivaji and Ganpati festivals, Tilak aroused unique awareness in the country. He instilled the mantra of freedom among the masses, due to which he became a thorn in the eyes (sic) of the British,” says the reference text translated from an approved Hindi language textbook.

Rajpal Singh, a spokesperson of the Mathura (UP)-based Student Advisor Publications Pvt. Ltd, says the mistake has been rectified in the revised edition. “The translators made the mistake. It had come to our notice and has since been corrected in the revised edition of April. The first edition was published last year.” 
Comments Dr. R.S. Khangarot, professor of history at Agrawal PG College Jaipur: “Such a mistake is unacceptable, even if it was an error in translation.”

Jammu & Kashmir 
Teacher absenteeism enquiry

JAMMU, MAY 12. State government officials in Kishtwar district withheld the salaries of five teachers of the Government Middle School, Kiyar and Government High School, Changer village, following complaints of poor attendance, and ordered an inquiry against them.

Taking serious note of the complaints, Angrez Singh Rana, district development commissioner, directed the chief education officer to conduct an inquiry into the complaints and recommend stern action against defaulters, under Article 128 of the Civil Service Rules. The rule reads that unauthorised absence of a government employee could lead to dismissal. 

Paromita Sengupta with bureau inputs