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Architecture & Polytechnic Bid Adieu

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Within less than a month after losing the fort of Architecture Education to the Urban Development Ministry, the HRD Ministry faced another bouncer. It was asked to hand over reins of four schemes that fund to the Ministry of Skill Development. This decision was communicated to HRD Ministry through an order dispatched by the Cabinet Secretariat last month. Initially the HRD Ministry headed by Prakash Javadekar was hesitant in handing over the four schemes — ‘Setting Up of New Polytechnics In Unserved & Underserved Districts’; ‘Scheme of Community Development Through Polytechnics’; ‘Construction of Women’s Hostels In Polytechnics’ and ‘Upgradation of Polytechnics’ — to the Ministry of Skill Development headed by Rajiv Pratap Rudy by April. Later on it gave in to the demand.

Setting up of polytechnics comes under the purview of the state governments and the Centre assists them financially through the four schemes covered under the ‘Sub-mission on Polytechnics’ started under the 11th Five Year Plan. If setting up of a new polytechnic is to take place in Unserved & Underserved Districts’, the HRD Ministry invests Rs. 12.3 crore in each set up across 300 districts. Similarly, the Centre also provides a financial aid of Rs. 500 crore to state governments under the ‘Construction of Women’s Hostels in Polytechnics’ scheme.

After Architecture Giving A Slip, HRD Ministry Loses Polytechnic

architecture and polytechnic bid adieu

At present the country has over 4,000 polytechnics where skilled manpower is produced to aid the organized, unorganized and service sectors after a three-year diploma course in conventional disciplines such as civil, electrical and mechanical engineering. Since the last 2 decades, have ventured into other emerging streams, such as electronics, computer science and medical lab technology to offer value added courses.

Currently, the running of polytechnics is handled by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) which sets minimum standards of education to be imparted by them. Still it has not been made clear that the handing over of polytechnic schemes also means that these institutions will now be regulated by the National Council for Vocational Training under the Ministry of Skill Development.

After an interaction with The Sunday Express, K P Krishnan, Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development, confirmed of receiving the transfer order of the four schemes. He said that the order is being looked into before its implementation. The Education Secretary K K Sharma did not revert to the questions emailed on Friday. Once the change has been formally notified, HRD Ministry will lose the authority to regulate architecture education through an amendment to the Allocation of Business Rules 1961, which enlists responsibilities of each ministry under the union government.

The transfer of the four schemes has been done on the grounds that polytechnics will be provided the best of services by the concerned ministry which has that subject under its belt. The decision to take the Council of Architecture out of the HRD Ministry’s purview and hand it over to the Urban Development Ministry was also made on the same grounds.

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IIT Roorkee Signs MoU With ISRO For Space Technology Cell

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IIT Roorkee

IIT Roorkee Director A K Chaturvedi said a memorandum of understanding was signed with the ISRO to launch a space technology cell at the institute.

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee in Uttarakhand on Friday said it tied up with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to set up a Space Technology Cell at its campus.

“The ISRO-IIT Roorkee Space Technology Cell shall pursue advanced research in the areas of relevance to the future technological and programmatic needs of the Indian space programme,” a statement from IIT Roorkee said.

The cell shall ensure to maximize the use of research potential, infrastructure, expertise and experience that exist in ISRO and IIT Roorkee, the statement said.

The institute will be providing the infrastructure and administrative support in setting up the cell.

The research facility will consist of faculty members, visiting scientists, experts, research personnel, technical, administrative and support staff.

Bengaluru-based ISRO has been undertaking several student outreach programmes over the past few months in order to develop scientific temper among the country’s youth.

(Source NDTV)

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IIT Kharagpur To Adopt Amazon Web Services Educate Programme

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As part of AWS Educate, the students will gain access to 12 Cloud Career Pathways covering topics that are in demand by employers, such as machine learning, cybersecurity, and software development, each with over 30 hours of content.

The Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur will adopt Amazon Web Services (AWS) Educate programme to help students gain cloud computing skills including hands-on experience in Artificial Intelligence (AI), a top official of the institute has said. “We are happy to introduce AWS Educate programme to provide AWS Cloud Computing experience and AI-enablement for all our students, irrespective of their branch of study. We look forward to some really innovative solution ideas coming out of this,” Director IIT Kharagpur Professor P P Chakrabarti said on Friday.

The AWS Educate programme is Amazon’s global initiative to provide students and educators with resources needed to accelerate cloud-related learning and to help power the workforce of tomorrow. The programme offers a robust set of no-cost tools, resources and AWS Promotional Credits for students and educators to boost their cloud skills and experience, an official statement said.

“AWS Educate is designed to impart skill to students with the latest advancements in cloud computing technology and provide them with an environment to experiment on AWS Cloud, without making them worried about cost or access challenges,” the statement quoted Amazon Internet Services Private Limited, president, Rahul Sharma as saying.

“We are pleased to work with IIT Kharagpur in their journey of higher learning, and to help them nurture new talent for a cloud-ready workforce,” he was quoted in the statement.

As part of AWS Educate, the students will gain access to 12 Cloud Career Pathways covering topics that are in demand by employers, such as machine learning, cybersecurity, and software development, each with over 30 hours of content.

Upon completion, learners are eligible to receive an AWS Educate Certificate of Completion or an AWS Educate Badge.

(Source NDTV)

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Artificial Intelligence, Yoga Among New Subjects For CBSE Students

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Artificial Intelligence, Yoga

CBSE has approved inclusion of Artificial Intelligence (AI) as an optional sixth subject for class 9 students.

CBSE students will now be introduced to the rapidly rising world of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The central education board has approved inclusion of Artificial Intelligence as an optional sixth subject for class 9 students from the upcoming academic session which starts in April 2019. Apart from Artificial Intelligence (AI), CBSE has also introduced Early Childhood Care Education, and Yoga as new subjects.

Recognizing the ‘geo-strategic’ importance of AI, CBSE has decided to offer AI as a sixth optional subject to students of class 9 onwards. Schools can also start a module on AI learning for class 8 students.

The CBSE circular says, “To enhance the multidisciplinary approach in teaching learning and also to sensitize the new generation, it was decided that School may start AI “Inspire module” of 12 hours at Class VIII itself.”

Yoga and Early Childhood Care Education will be introduced at Senior Secondary Level from this academic session.

CBSE is also offering class 10 students the choice to opt for a sixth Skill paper along with the existing five compulsory papers. If a student fails in any one of the three elective subjects (i.e. Science, Mathematics and Social Science), then it can be replaced by the Skill subject (offered as a 6th subject) and the result of Class X will be computed based on best five subjects. However, if a candidate wishes to reappear in the failed subject, they may appear along with the compartment examination.

CBSE has also asked schools affiliated with the Board to offer at least one Skill subject at Senior Secondary level.

Schools need to send the application for starting Skill subjects from 2019-20 session to CBSE latest by March 31, 2019.

(Source – NDTV)

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