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CABE recommends revocation of no-detention policy

Irani has asked states to reply on the issue within a month
BB Yadav
Class 10 board examinations may be back from next academic session. Members of Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) on Wednesday reached consensus on revoking the ‘no detention’ policy at school level and re-introducing compulsory board examination in the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) affiliated schools. Ever since coming to power at the Centre, the BJP government has been mulling the idea of reintroducing class 10 board examination. In the 63rd CABE meeting and the first one called by the BJP government, the states unanimously agreed to re-introduce the board system.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>“In the report tabled, it has been submitted that the ‘no detention’ policy should be revoked. Nineteen state education ministers present in the meeting were of the same view,” said Union human resource development minister Smriti Irani.The HRD ministry has, however, asked all the states to give in their written submission on the issue within a month, so that the ministry can take a firm view on the matter. Under RTE Act, as part of the ‘no detention’ policy, no student can be held back in a class for having failed to secure a passing grade. The policy was applicable up to class 8.The HRD ministry is of the view that ‘no detention’ policy and re-introducing boards cannot be dealt with in isolation. Consequently, appearing for class 10, board examination was also made optional.However, with dissent voices from stake holders including parents and teachers, the idea of re-introducing boards has been in discussion.Since no detention policy is a part of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, revoking the clause would mean amending the RTE. If issues meet the deadlines and the RTE Act is amended by Parliament, the HRD ministry will be able to re-introduce the board examination from next academic session.In the day-long meeting, the issue of skill development and technical training was also discussed at length. A CABE sub-committee headed by minister of state in the HRD ministry Ram Shankar Katheria has been constituted to study the ways to improve and enhance skills and technical education at school and higher levels. The sub-committee is to submit its report in one year.The committee has also reached consensus on bringing National Cadet Corps and National Service Scheme to form a core of a series of activities. “The proposal was discussed. The issue remains underconsideration. Appropriate structures will be created so that these voluntary schemes could be an integral part of learning,” said a CABE member.Two other sub-committees to improve infrastructure and learning outcomes and to bring back the out of school children into the mainstream education system have also been constituted.

Coming next: Mandatory NCC training in schools

Perceived as elementary military training, experts view it as forced conscription via back door

For representation purpose only

National Cadet Corps (NCC) training in education institutions may become mandatory and part of mainstream education curriculum from the next academic session. NCC drills have so far remained unattractive in schools and colleges, thanks to lack of incentive and credits attached to it. Massive education burden and voluminous syllabus also drew students away from these extra-curricular activities. In the Central advisory board of education (CABE) meeting of the Human Resource Development ministry scheduled on Wednesday, the board is likely to discuss and decide on making NCC training mandatory, by including it as part of the elementary curriculum.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Perceived as elementary military training, experts are of the view that making NCC training mandatory among students will be seen as a forced conscription from the back door. Currently, only 17 schools and 12 colleges have introduced NCC as an elective subject. With education being a subject on concurrent list, introducing it on a large scale – keeping in view the need for trained personnel in combating internal as well as external threats faced by the country – remains a discretion of the states. The idea of introducing compulsory NCC and NSS in schools and colleges was first mooted by UPA government. In the CABE meeting of 2013, the committee had agreed to introducing NCC and NSS as an elective subjects in classes 11 and 12 in schools. The University Grants Commission (UGC) had also introduced the subject in 30 autonomous colleges from 2013 academic session. Two years down the line, the government is of the view that restricting these schemes to voluntary practices has failed in making them attractive for students. With schools and colleges giving greater thrust on core subjects, NCC and NSS schemes do not find much takers. The HRD ministry has observed that since NCC and NSS are elective courses, even the managements remain disinterested in promoting these subjects. “These training help in character building and teach discipline and leadership qualities to youth. We want more students to enroll in these courses. Bringing NCC and NSS from extra curricular to main stream disciplines will make more students take up these courses,” said a senior officer.

HRD ministry sets up panel to probe misappropriation charge against Teesta Setalvad

New Delhi: The HRD Ministry has set up a committee to probe alleged misappropriation of funds received under the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan by an NGO run by activist Teesta Setalvad, who is facing heat along with her husband in a separate case of embezzlement.

Teesta Setalvad. AFP

Teesta Setalvad. AFP

The three-member committee is to be headed by Supreme Court lawyer Abhijit Bhattacharjee and comprise Gujarat Central University Vice Chancellor SA Bari and senior HR Ministry official Gaya Prasad as its members.

The panel will look into allegations against the NGO Sabrang Trust based on a complaint received by the ministry about “mis-utilisation” of funds by it, officials in the HRD Ministry said, confirming the setting up of the committee.

The two members of the committee, however, said they were yet to receive any communication in this regard.

Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand are also involved in the Gulbarg society embezzlement case.

Supreme Court recently directed Gujarat Police not to arrest the duo in the case while asking them to cooperate in the probe.

The case pertains to funds for a museum in Ahmedabad’s Gulbarg Society, which was devastated in the 2002 riots.

Meanwhile, sources in the ministry said that Setalvad could also be dropped from the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE), which is being reconstituted after NDA government came to power.

CABE is the highest decision-making body on education in the country.