Union HRD Minister Launches E-Pathshala, Saransh, Shaala Siddhi Portals/ Mobile APPS

Union HRD Minister Launches E-Pathshala, Saransh, Shaala Siddhi Portals/ Mobile APPS

Ministry of HRD Organizes National Conference on ICT in School Education 
The Union HRD Minister Smt Smriti Irani while speaking at the edNEXT, - National Conference on ICT in School Education at New Delhi today said that use of ICT will strengthen school education system. She also said that Education Ministers of certain States are working to reduce burden of exams on students. 

Earlier the Minister appreciated the efforts put in by all the State Education Ministers in achieving hundred per cent result in constructing separate toilet for boys and girls in schools during a period of one year. This she said was the outcome of the announcement made by the Prime Minister of India on August 15 last year. The HRD Minister also felicitated all state education ministers for their efforts in fulfilling Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of having toilets in each government school under Swachh Bharat Swachh Vidyalaya campaign.

The Minister also elaborated upon the paradigm shift where the stake holders were also asked to participate in the use of mobile apps tools and to find out the utility of these apps. Further, keeping in view the need to recognise the ICT initiatives being taken in the education sector, the HRD Minister made a clarion call to every citizen to come forward and contribute towards technology innovation for the benefit of school education. She called upon the States to look into the issue of nutritional value of mid-day meal and prepare their own menu for Mid Day Meal keeping in mind the local climate and conditions.

Prof. Ram Shankar Katheria, Minister of State for HRD said that Prime Minister Shri Modi’s new initiative of Digital India will go a long way in ameliorating the prevailing poor conditions of our villages. He said that concerted efforts of people across the country can find solution to varied problems. He stressed upon the need of digitalisation in school education.

The event showcased various ICT based initiatives in School Education. During the Conference, e-Pathshala, Saaransh, and National Programme on School Standards and Evaluation Framework (Shala Siddhi) were launched. All these are web portal/ mobile app. Further, Shala Darpan, MDM-IVRS and Ekta project from Alwar, Rajasthan were also show-cased. Students at the event shared their excitement about these apps which promise to make learning more interesting, school bags lighter and books available on the go.

E-Pathshala, a web portal which hosts educational resources for Students, Teachers, Parents, researchers and educators, is available through especially developed mobile app interface on Android, IOS and windows platforms for wider access and contains textbooks and other e-books as E-Pub 3.0 and Flipbooks in English, Hindi and Urdu.

Shaala Siddhi is a comprehensive instrument for school evaluation which enables the schools to evaluate their performance in more focused and strategic manner to facilitate them to make professional judgement for continuous improvement. The web-portal of the framework will help all schools to assess themselves and the results can be seen by all enabling them to provide feedback. The initiative has already been successfully piloted in four districts of Tamil Nadu.

Saransh is a tool which allows the schools to identify areas of improvement in students, teachers and curriculum to facilitate and implement change. The platform is presently available for classes 9th to 12th and provides a comprehensive overview of standard 10th performance since 2007 and standard 12th performance since 2009 till the current academic session. Presently, results of CBSE are available on this portal/app.

The event also showcased other ICT initiatives including the IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system to monitor the daily implementation of Mid Day Meal scheme and Shaala Darpan, an integrated platform to address all academic and administrative requirements of schools, teachers, parents and students.

The Conference was also attended by Secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy, Shri Subhash Chand Khuntia, Additional Secretary and other senior officers of Ministry of HRD, State Education Ministers, Education Secretaries, and teachers and students from various schools. 

Committee of Eminent Persons (CEP) Constituted by the IIT council submits its report to the Government 
The Committee of Eminent Persons (CEP) constituted by the IIT Council under the Chairmanship of Prof Ashok Misra submitted its report to the Government of India on 5th November 2015. The Committee made the following recommendations:

1. Major changes in the structure of JEE shall be effected from 2017 onwards:

• A National Testing Service shall be set up by early 2016, mandated to conduct an Aptitude Test, which should test the scientific aptitude and innovative thinking ability. The Aptitude test may be offered 2 or more times in a year and would be an online test. The testing shall test the scientific thinking and cannot be gamed through coaching.

• Based on this performance, about 4 lakh candidates shall be short-listedfor taking the JEE.

• The JEE itself will be on the lines of the current JEE (Advanced) and designed to test the knowledge in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics; and will be conducted by the IITs.

• From this, ranks will be issued to 40,000+ students who can seek admission in IITs and NITs based on a common counselling.

• The IITs be requested to set up a system for developing mock JEE examinations which will help students prepare for the JEE significantly and wean them away from the coaching industry. The possibility of using the MOOCS platform can also be explored.

• MHRD may take measures for the improvement of school education and the method of examination of the Boards, so that students with the Science aptitude are well prepared in the concepts by the time they reach 12th grade, without dependence on coaching institutions.

2. Till such time, that is for 2016 and 2017, the practice of two tier JEE examination shall be continued.

• The top 200,000 students from JEE (Main) shall be allowed to appear in JEE (Advanced).

• More than 40,000 ranks will be issued in JEE (Advanced) for developing a better system for selection of candidates.

• Joint counselling for IITs and NITs shall be continued as was done last year.

3. Board marks shall not to be counted for giving rankings this year for NITs, CFTIs etc.

The Government has decided to place the recommendations of the Report in the public domain for widespread consultation with the stakeholders.

Since this process would take some time, it was decided that the JEE 2016 shall be conducted in the same manner as 2015, with an enhanced intake from 1.5 lakh to two lakh into the JEE (Advanced) stage. The weightage given to Board marks in JEE (Main) would continue for the year 2016. 

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