IIT scientists are using ‘Jamuns’ to create solar cells in India

Comments from the research team:

While commenting on the research, other members of the research team, Nipun Sawhney and Anubhav Ragaz in a recent report said they are very optimistic that this process could be used for a mass production of solar cells in India.

What the lead researcher said:

“The dark colour of jamun and abundance of jamun trees in IIT campus clicked the idea that it might be useful as a dye in the typical Dye Sensitized Solar Cells (DSSC),” lead researcher Soumitra Satapathi, assistant professor at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee in Uttarakhand, said.

28 Kashmiri youngsters crack IIT-JEE Mains through Indian Army’s Kashmir Super 40

Over 11.8 lakh students had appeared for the examination for admission to various IITs and engineering colleges, out of whom, around 2.2 lakhs have qualified for the second and final round — the JEE (Advanced). After this, interviews are conducted at various colleges in J&K from April to May.

Also, from now on, the army will provide coaching to 50 students, out of whom, five will be girls.

Source: PTI

No cheats: Universities, other institutes to be penalized for duping students of distance learning

Under new regulations to be notified soon, universities and institutions offering courses through the open and distance learning (ODL) mode will have to seek fresh approval from the University Grants Commission. The regulations will cover government and private institutions.

“Qualifications acquired through the ODL mode from a non-recognized institution of higher learning will neither be recognized for the purpose of employment in government service nor for pursuing higher education,” a senior official said.

On an average close to 40 lakh students get enrolled in distance universities every year. Under the new regulations, degrees of educational institutes offering courses not approved by the regulator or not taking new approvals once the new regulations kick in will not be considered valid. Sources said currently there were no clear guidelines in place for ODL courses.

“The UGC had been given the charge of open and distance learning from the Distance Education Council. However, there were no clear guidelines for ODL. One major issue was that while the courses were being regulated, the universities were left out. Now they will also be regulated. The new regulations will also keep a check on dubious and bogus institutes,” said Ravindra Kumar, VC, of the Indira Gandhi National Open University.

Institutions will also be penalized they do not check the violations or continue cheating the students. “If in spite of the penalties, the higher educational institution is found continuing the violations/cheating the students, an FIR may be lodged against the officials/management of the errant higher educational institution,” reads the draft regulation.

To improve the quality of courses offered through open and distance mode, proposals have also been made for adequate faculty for which information has to be provided before getting approval.

“The new regulations are aimed at improving the quality of programmes offered through the distance mode. Institutions will have to seek approval for the courses from their statutory bodies such as UGC, Bar council of India among others. Institutions have not been given permission to offer courses through online mode so far,” said a senior official.

Currently there are over 140 universities/higher educational institutions which are given approval by the UGC under its distance education bureau to offer courses through ODL mode.

Source: PTI

‘Wall of heroes’ coming soon in Indian universities to promote nationalism

Moreover, the HRD is all set to launch a ‘Vidya, Veerta Abhiyan’ to encourage varsities to display portraits of Param Veer Chakra-decorated soldiers.

The first set of portraits would be given to VCs from various universities such as JNU, DU, Jamia, Kerala University, Mumbai University and those in Jammu and Arunachal Pradesh.

Further, there would be a display of photographs of 21 Param Vir Chakra awardees.

This move has been taken to inspire students and inculcate feelings of nationalism.

“Further, a campaign is being launched to have a ‘Wall of Heroes’ in various educational institutions depicting the portraits of war warriors decorated with Param Veer Chakra for showing extraordinary courage and bravery to defend the motherland,” he said.

As reported, this idea to have a dedicated wall of martyrs in universities and institutes was first proposed by a group of ex-servicemen.

In 2016, the ex-serviceman approached JNU Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar, saying portraits of martyrs and tanks used in wars should be put on display in the campus to instill a sense of “nationalism” and “patriotism” among students.

Source: PTI

Ensure migration of students in ‘reverse direction’: President

Delivering a convocation address at a private university in Phagwara (Punjab), he said many students go to countries such as Australia and New Zealand for higher studies.

“I suggest let there be a reverse direction,” he said. Mukherjee said India had provided leadership in higher education for centuries as he pitched for efforts to reclaim that status. He said India’s diversity is the product of “our civilization and history”.

He appealed to the students to work toward progress and peace. At the event, Punjab Governor VP Singh Bandore exhorted the students to lead a life of purpose and do good work.

Source: PTI

CBSE tells affiliated schools not to sell books, uniforms inside campuses

A bench of acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Anu Malhotra said, “We are disposing of the writ petition with direction to the CBSE to ensure that its circular is strictly complied with, in accordance with law, by the institutions”.

The bench gave the order after the board’s counsel submitted that another circular was issued on April 19 on the same matter.

The petition was filed by social worker Sunil Pokhriyal who sought direction to restrain the schools in Delhi from using their buildings to run commercial activities.

The petition was opposed by the authorities, including CBSE, which said the plea was not in public interest but instead, it catered to the petitioner’s interest.

The court brushed aside their contentions and observed that the petitioner may have own interest, “but we are of the view that it is in public interest, especially for school-going children and their parents”.

On April 19, the CBSE had issued a circular and told the schools affiliated to it that educational institutions are not commercial establishments and sale of books, uniforms and stationery by them is in while violation of the norm.

The petition had alleged that the shops inside schools are being run by the people known to the school management and the institutions made “willful gain” from these businesses.

“A pair of shoes, that is available at around Rs. 500 in the market, costs Rs. 1,200-1,500 when sold through the school’s store,” the plea had alleged.

Source: PTI

NEET PG admissions: Punjab to move Supreme Court against High Court order on re-casting of merit

Confirming the decision, state medical education secretary Vikas Partap told that the department would be filing a special leave petition (SLC) in the apex court.

The HC orders came at a time when most PG seats in state medical colleges were already filled by Faridkot based Baba Farid University of Health Sciences in its first admission counseling from April 13 to 15.

The panic is palpable with many students fearing losing their recently allotted seats in light of high court orders.

A parent from Jalandhar, Puneet Goyal said her daughter gave up her all India quota seat to take admission in Punjab under state quota.

“Her rank is likely to go far behind the merit list in case the court orders are implemented. We are really worried for her future,” he added.

Under state admission rules, while 50% of the total seats in government colleges were filled through All India level, the remaining 50% state quota seats were reserved to state domicile students and in-service Punjab civil medical service (PCMS) government doctors, who were granted 30% incentive by the state at time of admission on their NEET score. There was no special privilege for PCMS doctors in private colleges.

The logic behind incentive to government doctors, was to make sure that they work in rural areas for six years and further work as specialist in government hospitals for 10 years after completion of their PG degrees, said an official.

The order came after the rural medical officers (RMOs) appointed in subsidiary heath centers run by zilla parishads in rural areas filed a petition in the high court seeking similar incentive on the lines of PCMS doctors, which the court granted and asked state government to recast the merit list. Along with it, the court also extended the privilege to private medical institutions also.

The worst affected are the open category students who are not in government service as they will now have to compete with highly incentivized PCMS and RMOs in order to get PG seats under state quota at a time when PG seats are already limited.

Dr. Akhil Sareen, member of PCMS association said that they will definitely become party to the case along with affected students once the state government moves the Supreme Court.

Source: PTI

TERI Society- SSC Results 2017

Telangana Residential Educational Institutions- TERI Society, Hyderabad, informs that it has presented 47 TS Residential Schools for SSC-2017 Public Examinations. Out of 47 Schools, 16 Schools secured 100% Passes. Out of 1821 candidates, 1704 are passed with 93.6% of Passes.

Performance of Category wise Schools in SSC-2017:

Sno

Category of Schools

Appeared

Passed

Failed

% of Passes

1

GENERAL SCHOOLS( 35)

1439

1359

80

94.4

2

MINORITY SCHOOLS( 12)

382

345

37

90.3

TOTAL ( 47)

1821

1704

117

93.6

PG Medical admissions: Madras High Court gives split verdict on incentive marks for government doctors

While one judge of the bench held the state’s methodology for giving incentive marks to the in-service candidates as ‘not in conflict’ with the MCI’s, the other judge quashed some of the state government norms on the issue terming them as “inconsistent and repugnant” to the MCI 2000 regulations.

Justice KK Sasidharan of the bench said the state government’s policy of reserving seats for its in-service doctors and awarding incentive marks to them were not in consonance with the Medical Council of India regulations.

He, however, added that the methodology adopted by the state for giving weightage marks to the in-service candidates was not in conflict with the method evolved by the MCI.

The other judge on the bench, Justice SM Subramanian, however, in a separate order quashed some of the clauses of the admission prospectus issued by the state government, terming them as “inconsistent, repugnant to ‘Regulation of the Post Graduate Medical Regulation rules 2000” issued by MCI.’

Observing that the prayer in the petition could be moulded and the government may be asked to sync its admission policy with that of the MCI, Justice Subramanian directed the state government to formulate the procedure for admission process in accordance with the MCI 9 and 9(IV) regulations.

Noting that there was no unanimity of views between them, the judges said the matter should be placed before the chief justice for appropriate orders.

As per the procedure, the case will now be referred to a third judge, whose view will decide the date of the cases.

As per the state norms, all doctors in the government service were eligible for one mark per year of the service with a cap of 10 marks, while those employed in four notified difficult and remote or hilly areas were eligible for two marks per year of the service.

But the MCI regulations earmarked 10% of an in-service candidate’s National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) PG mark as incentive per year of service with a maximum of 30%.

The government had submitted that the award of the incentive marks to the in-service candidates was being made for the past 35 years to encourage doctors to serve people in remote, hilly and difficult areas and was not violative of the MCI norms.

If this was withdrawn, it would be difficult to run the government hospitals and primary health centers, it had said.

It had submitted that the state prospectus was approved by the MCI and the Central government and they can’t take a U-turn now and say it was not as per the MCI regulations

IIM-A training principals of Delhi government schools

The first training programme for principals began on April 30 and will continue for seven days.

Professor Neharika Vohra, faculty of organizational behaviour at IIM-A, who has been conducting the programme, said, “Right now, 50 principals are participating in the first batch. All the will be covered in the training programme, which will continue for around one year. This is a one-week programme and will have 50 participants in each batch.”

The Delhi government approached IIM-A to conduct the programme a year ago. “We (IIM-A faculty and Delhi government) have been in discussion for over a year to plan and design the programme.”

“It is leadership training, where various aspects of leadership at schools will be discussed. This include how to work with parents, how to work with the school management committee, how to have more innovations among teachers, how to develop teachers and how to work with data. It is all about school management and leadership,” she added. Vohra said that training for schools will vary according to their requirements. The next such programme will be at the end of this month.

The IIM-A faculty member also visited five to seven schools in Delhi and spoke to a focus group of 40 principals to know about government schools.

In the last 18 years, Vohra had earlier conducted leadership programmes for schools under the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Gujarat government and all Navodaya Vidayalays.

Vohra said the programme for the Delhi government is the first time an entire system is being covered.

Source: PTI