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Union HRD Minister Communicate With Students Via Webinars Around The Country

Union HRD Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal has been engaging with students throughout the country through a webinar. During the one-hour interaction, the Minister responded to the students’ various concerns and queries regarding school exams, entrance exams, academic calendar, online education, fees, student mental health, international students, fellowships, among others.

Speaking on the occasion the Minister said India’s Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is very concerned about the country’s students’ well-being and academic activities. In view of this Ministry is taking all measures to address the students’ concerns promptly and immediately. Shri Pokhriyal appreciated HRD Minister of State Shri Sanjay Dhotre for his praiseworthy work in securing safety and quality education for students.

During the meeting, the Minister of Union HRD declared the dates of pending entry exams. He told that on July 26, 2020, the NEET will take place. He also announced that JEE MAIN will take place on July 18, 20, 21 , 22 and 23, 2020. He added that in August JEE(Advance) could be held. He said the date would be declared soon for UGC NET 2020 and CBSE 12th Board exams.

While engaging with students on the mental health issue, the ShriRameshPokhriyal said students must remain calm and concentrate on their study course. Students should develop their study schedule and take small breaks in between. The minister said it’s important to know the syllabus and exam pattern to excell in the entrance examination. He appealed to students not to be anxious and stay safe, eat healthy.

ShriPokhriyal asked students studying for the entrance exam to access physics , chemistry, maths and biology lectures on the National Testing Agency’s official website at the link: https:/nta.ac.in/LecturesContent. He added that MHRD can use various platforms to prepare for the entrance examinations. Which include the Swayamprabha DTH platform, SWAMPRABHA IIT PAL, DIKSHA, E pathshala, SWAYAM, e-PG Pathshala, Shodhganga, e-ShodhSindhu, e-Yantra, Spoken Tutorial and Virtual Labs.The minister was pleased to inform students that since the lockdown, the number of hits on main online higher education portals such as SWAYAM, SWAYAM Prabha, Virtual Labs, FOSSEE, E / Yantra and Spoken Tutorial has increased up to five times.

In a question concerning students belonging to the village area with network failures, the minister replied that MHRD had connected to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to air SWAYAM PRABHA channels on the Tata Sky and Airtel DTH operators’ DTH networks, DD-DTH, Dish TV and Jio TV App. He said that SWAYAM PRABHA is a network of 32 DTH channels providing high-quality educational curriculum-based course material covering diverse disciplines such as arts , science, business, performing arts, subjects of the social sciences and humanities, engineering , technology, law, medicine , agriculture, etc. to all teachers, students and people interested in lifelong learning across the world.The channel number in the various DTH service providers is as follows: in Airtel TV: channel # 437, channel # 438 & channel # 439, in vmVideocon: channel # 475, channel # 476, channel # 477, in Tata sky: channel # 756 that pops up window for Swayamprabha DTH channels and in Dish TV: channel # 946, channel # 947, channel # 949, channel # 950. The minister emphasized that the ministry is attempting to explore the All India Radio, Doordarshan alternative and use 2 G network to transact the curriculum to students.

Regarding the migration of NavodayaVidyalaya students to their respective states and home, the minister told that the migration process is being followed for all schools and has momentum with a letter from MHRD to the chief secretaries of state. He told that out of 173 schools, the process was initiated by more than 62 schools. Both schools where there are migrated students are routinely monitored. Sanitizers, masks, small soaps and eatables such as snacks made from JNV mess are given to students on move. He added that all traveling JNVs support these students with food, stay, snacks and healthcare.

In answering questions, ShriPokhriyal informed that MHRD is planning to bridge the academic gap created by the outbreak of COVID. Through various e-learning resources and digital platforms for both school and higher education, MHRD has encouraged students to continue learning and support learning. ShriPokhriyal informed students that the Alternative Calendar has also been released for primary, upper primary , and secondary. This Calendar provides teachers with guidelines on the use of various technological tools and social media tools available to deliver education in fun-filled, interesting ways that can be used even at home by learners, parents , and teachers.

Regarding the concerns posed by students with regard to board exams, the Minister clarified that the board will conduct examinations for only major subjects that will be necessary for promotion and perhaps crucial for admissions to higher education institutions. He confirmed that a CBSE press release of 01.4.2020 elaborates on the 29 topics and other information that can be accessed on the website of the Board, i.e. http:/cbse.nic.in/. He informed that 10th-class exams are over for the entire country except North East Delhi and all stakeholders will be given adequate time of 10 days before the examinations begin.The Minister also clarified to North East Delhi students that if you have already appeared, there is no need to reappear in those exams. For those few students who could not participate in these exams on the scheduled date due to the effect of law and order problems on them, these exams will be carried out again. Students can also refer to the Frequently Asked Questions that CBSE uploads to their web site.

Regarding the examination at universities, UGC has issued the guidelines in consultation with MHRD. You can access the guidelines on the UGCs website. Major recommendations in relation to exams are as follows –

Maintaining the holiness of academic standards and the dignity of the examination process, universities that adopt alternative and simpler methods and examination methods to complete the test in a shorter timeframe in accordance with UGC’s CBCS requirements.

UGC has released the guidance regarding the test at universities in collaboration with MHRD. The instructions can be found on the UGCs website. The main recommendations about the exams are as follows –

Maintaining the holiness of academic standards and the dignity of the examination process, universities that adopt alternative and simpler methods and exam methods to complete the test in a shorter timeframe, in accordance with UGC’s CBCS requirements.

If the student wishes to improve the grades, he / she will appear during the next semester on special examinations for these subjects.
Timeline of tests-Conduct of tests:
I Semester / Year Terminal – 01.07.2020-15.07.2020
(ii) Semester / Year – 16.07.2020 to 31.07.2020

The minister stressed that the admissions for the 2020-21 session to the UG and PG programs could be completed by 31.08.2020. If need arises, provisional admissions may also be made and relevant qualification examination documents may be accepted until 30.09.2020. The 2020-21 academic session can begin for old students from 01.8.2020 and for fresh students from 01.09.2020. For more details , please visit the UGC website.

The minister shared his happiness at engaging with the students. He appealed not to panic amongst the students. He said the Ministry is committed to ensuring the students’ safety and academic welfare. He also informed that the latest information on exams, academic calendar, etc. will be available from time to time on the Ministry ‘s website and on its autonomous institutions.

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