India news

India launches National Teachers' Portal

A national portal for teachers was launched by Smt. Pratibha Patil at Rashtrapati Bhavan on the occasion of Teachers' Day.  The portal developed by Azim Premji Foundation with the support from the National Knowledge Commission, aims to act as a medium to improve the quality of education in schools and will also improve the teacher-student interaction in class.

Over the next few months the portal will offer content in several languages as well as provide access to other communities such as students, parents, teacher educators, etc. This includes the uploading of material created by and for teachers in five languages (Hindi, English, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada).

Central university in each state by 2012

The University Grants Commission (UGC) is formulating the National University Act for the establishment of 30 central universities across the country. The move comes following the government proposal as mentioned in the 11th five-year plan (2007-12) to establish one central university in each state and provide assistance for establishing one college in each district with a low gross enrolment ratio in higher education.

The proposed universities will be modeled on the lines of the New Delhi-based Jawaharlal Nehru University and the financial requirement is estimated at INR 4,800 crore. The cities identified are Pune, Kolkata, Coimbatore, Mysore, Vishakhapatnam, Gandhinagar, Jaipur, Patna, Bhopal, Kochi, Amritsar, Bhubneshwar, Greater Noida, and Guwahati.

World Bank funds INR 2,400 crores for SSA

India has signed an agreement for second elementary education project under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan with the World Bank for a total assistance of INR 2,400 crore. The project aims to significantly increase the number of 6-14 year old children, especially from special focus groups, enrolled, regularly attending and completing elementary education and demonstrating basic learning levels.

The World Bank funding is part of the Rs 4,000 crore, external assistance towards the second phase of the SSA. In this phase, the focus of the programme will be on quality improvement, augmentation of upper primary classes as well as completing the residual agenda of equity and retention. The two other agencies that will contribute to the INR 4,000 crore under external assistance are UK's Department for International Development (DFID) and the European Commission. DFID has committed INR 1200 crore and European Commission has agreed for INR 400 crore for SSA.

India towards Integrated Knowledge Network

The government is putting in place an integrated 'National Knowledge Network' that would have nodes in all major institutions of higher education.  Interconnecting of all knowledge institutions in the country through digital broadband network is aimed to boost research and development activities in India and keep pace with research happening in other countries.

The national network was one of the recommendations of the National Knowledge Commission, and is expected to encourage sharing of resources and boost collaborative research and develop inter-disciplinary dialogue. Prime Minister has stressed the need for facilitating creative public-private partnerships in education. He said many eminent educational institutions all over the world were partnering with industry to set up collaborative 'knowledge partnerships' on campuses. The knowledge industry is driven by innovation and that innovation is incubated in institutions of higher learning and research.

The 11th Five-Year Plan was basically a knowledge investment plan and his government's effort was to create the next big wave of investment in higher education. Finance Minister P Chidambaram has proposed to provide Rs 100 crore to the Ministry of Information Technology for the project. In higher education, we are building eight new IITs, seven new IIMs, 16 central universities, 14 world-class universities and five new Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research.

Technology Centre to assist differently-abled learners

The Centre for Assistive Technology was inaugurated for education and life skill training of differently-able persons, in Bangalore. There are presently 15 students with learning disability enrolled at the Centre for Assistance Technology for Education and Self Help Skill Training (CATELST) at the Spastics Society of Karnataka.

The Centre will develop and promote innovative technologies to address learning disabilities. An initiative of the Spastics Society of Karnataka in association with US-based Pacer and IBM, will provide innovative technology to aid the children. The centre is equipped with assistive technology software and other material to aid differently abled persons in communicating and learning exercises. It will be open to public from January 2009, for assessment and consultation on technology-based solutions.

AIIMS collaborates with TCIL for pan Africa e-Network

The All India Institute of Medical Sciences has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Telecom-munication Consultant of India Limited, which is implementing tele-medicine network and the pan-African e-Network being implemented by the Centre.

The pan-African e-Network, envisioned by the former President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam would involve giving tele-consultation and tele-education by the Institute to 53 countries of the African Union. The project is being funded by the Centre and the External Affairs Ministry has been designated as the nodal agency. TCIL would design the network, procure and install the equipment, provide support for five years after commissioning the network and provide consultancy to the External Affairs Minister on all matters related to the project.

CIET to collaborate with ASI for outreach of digital learning material

Central Institute of Educational Technology (CIET) is in talks to join hands with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to reach out to the children outside historical monuments and other heritage sites in the city.The move comes as the promotional activity to increase the awareness and outreach of learning materials to students.

The CDs contain the digital version of programmes aired by CIET throughout the country to train teachers in different chapters as well as provide learning material for students. From nursery rhymes for tiny tots and mind games for teenagers to learning material on different chapters and live lab experiments for the students of classes X and XII. CIET is also planning to upload the learning material on NCERT's website

CII to train around 50,000 people for skill development

CII in collaboration with industry, government and the National Skills Development Mission is gearing up to