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Cambridge University May Scrap Written Exams! 

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UK’s prestigious Cambridge University is considering scrapping an over 800-year-old practice of handwritten exams. And the reason cited has been the deterioration in students’ handwriting.

“A growing reliance on laptops has led to students’ writing becoming increasingly illegible,” academics said.

Cambridge University has now launched a consultation on the topic as part of its “digital education strategy”, having already piloted an exam typing scheme in the History and Classics faculties earlier this year, The Telegraph reported.

WHAT ACADEMICIANS SAY

Dr Sarah Pearsall is a senior lecturer at Cambridge’s History Faculty who was involved with the pilot earlier this year. He informed that handwriting is becoming a “lost art” among the current generation of students. “As a faculty, we have been concerned for years about the declining handwriting problem. There has definitely been a downward trend. It is difficult for both the students and the examiners as it is harder and harder to read these scripts,” she said. Further adding she said it is “extraordinarily commendable” that the University is considering reforms to its examination practises.

NOT ALL ARE HAPPY 

Yes, not everybody seems to be happy with such a move. Some have voiced fears that the “handwritten word (could) become a matter of nostalgia”.

Tracey Trussell, a handwriting expert at the British Institute of Graphologists, urged Cambridge to “make sure that students continue to write by hand, particularly in lectures”. “Certainly with social media, iPads, and all the rest of it, people do clearly use keyboards much more than they would hand write,” she said.

WHAT CAMBRIDGE SAYS

A spokesman for Cambridge University was quoted as saying that their review of exam procedures was “prompted by students raising concerns that they rarely handwrite during their studies”. “The consultation is ongoing and will be used to inform future decision-making on the issue,” the spokesperson said.

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IIT Roorkee Signs MoU With ISRO For Space Technology Cell

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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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