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India calling

HE Open Doors Survey 2009 reveals that while India remains the leading country, for the eighth consecutive year, to contribute the largest chunk of international students to the US there has also been a sharp increase in the number of American students going to study in other countries and India is among them. The survey is conducted annually by the International Institute of Education (IIE) with the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Pointing out the reasons behind the heightened influx of US students to India, Allan Goodman, president and CEO, IIE, says, “India is the world’s largest democracy but probably one which is least understood by Americans. Five to 10 years ago 70,000 Indian students were studying in the US while a mere 700 American students studied in India. Today the number of American students in India has scaled up to 3,000. But this is far from enough. We need more American students and universities to go to India in order to have a better understanding of the country.” The recent survey, which is based on international students enrolment in approximately 3,000 US higher education institutions, shows that Indian students constitute 15.4% of the total international student population in the US. Read More >>

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A Very English affair

Dinesh Kumar, a migrant from Vaishali district in Bihar, is an electrician in Delhi. Though making ends meet is a challenge, he is not willing to
send his two children to a Hindi medium government school where education is free.

The school fees and related expenditure exceed Rs 2,000 per month and form a quarter of the roughly Rs 8,000 that Kumar earns each month. But he is happy to foot the expense. “I want my kids to study in an English medium school. If they don’t know English, what future will they have?” asks Kumar. It is such reasoning that helps explain the huge increase in enrolment in English medium schools, making it now the second largest medium of instruction in schools across the country.

According to estimates, just over 10 per cent of the Indian population speaks English. But, it is a growing number and the rate of growth outpaces most vernacular languages. The big exception is Hindi, which, of course, is in a different league with 41 per cent of the country’s population speaking in that tongue. Read More >>

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Many bridges to cross for children in Krishnagiri

In the village of Mundrampatti, in Krishnagiri district, a couple of 17-year-olds are preparing to lobby their village panchayat leader. When I meet them it’s almost 8 pm on a Wednesday and the two teens are consulting with the trainers from the Child Friendly Village project of the district administration and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). N Priya and R Renugopal want their panchayat leader to take up on an urgent footing the need to improve bus services to their village.

Priya has just completed her class XII but has dropped out of higher education. From her village – a couple of kilometres from the state Highway at Mittapally – Priya will have to travel either to Krishnagiri or to Thiruvannamalai. Daughter of agricultural workers, Priya says her parents cannot afford to admit her to private colleges nearby. But with just two bus services, one each early morning and late evening – Priya cannot attend the affordable government colleges either at Hosur, Krishnagiri or Thiruvannamalai. Read More >>

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Only one in four state grads is employable

Only 25 to 30% graduates passing out from all universities in the state are employable. This shocking revelation was made by principal secretary of higher education, government of Maharashtra, J S Saharia. He presented the figures, obtained from a survey conducted by NASSCOM, to governor SC Jamir at a meeting convened at Raj Bhavan in Mumbai on Saturday to review the higher, technical and vocational education in the state.

Chief minister Ashok Chavan, minister for higher and technical education Rajesh Tope, minister of state Varsha Gaikwad, chairman of the Shikshan Shulka Samiti Justice (retd) P S Patankar were also present in the meeting. Seemingly taking a cue from Union HRD minister Kapil Sibal on education reforms, Saharia stressed on the need to take effective measures to enhance quality of education across all spheres. Sibal had talked and even initiated such reforms to overhaul entire school education to bring it at par with global standards. “The figures are disturbing. There is an urgent need to improve quality of education. We have already directed the universities to revamp their curricula across all faculties,” Saharia told TOI adding that improving quality was the only way to make students from state become globally competitive. Read More>>

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Four of listed 53 students to be treated under SSA

Your Education Is Our World

Only four out of a list of 53 students suffering from cancer or heart problem in the state could be treated under Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan (SSA) as health department has confirmed only these four. Other students are still waiting because of some discrepancies in the forms sent. A special meeting has been called by the Director General School Education (DGSE) to verify the cases and facts.

Under Inclusive education for disabled, a project of SSA, students suffering from various diseases are treated free of cost, students are identified by organizing various camps and students suffering from ear, eyes or orthopaedic problem have already been treated under the programme. Further in the programme only, a list of 53 students have been identified but only four students from the state could be treated so far and rest of the students are still waiting for the treatment. Read More>>

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75% Indian engineering students unemployable: Report

Your Education is our World

Discussing a report by software industry group Nasscom which says that 75 percent engineering students in India are unemployable, education experts here on Saturday said that the Indian higher education system must give skill building and practical training equal importance as academics to give them an edge.

A.D. Sahasrabudhu, director of the College of Engineering, Pune said that one of the major reasons why engineers, even from reputed institutes, are not easily employed because they lack hands-on skill.

“The focus in most institutes here is always on academics and theory. Thus a mechanical engineer may actually not know how to change a part of a machine. Therefore even if a high scoring student gets placed in a good company, eventually that lack of practical knowledge catches up,” Sahasrabudhu said during a panel discussion at the sixth Higher Education Summit organised by Federation of of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).  Read More >>

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Panel reports on colleges to go online

Your Education is our World

Rattled by several higher educational institutions with appalling infrastructural and academic facilities being granted university status (including deemed universities), the Union ministry of human resources development (MHRD) has directed the University Grants Commission (UGC) to make public inspection reports submitted by expert committees.

According to a communication issued by MHRD joint secretary Sunil Kumar, the UGC will have to place the reports of its expert committees which inspect universities or institutions on its website. The order covers both central/state universities and deemed universities.

The ministry has in its communication admitted that while the central government respects the academic autonomy of the university system, it is at the same time “concerned about certain practices adopted that could damage the creditability of the entire university system.”  Read More >>

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