EDUCATION TRIBUNE

Into a deeper net
Dr Parveen Kataria

If anything can rightly demonstrate the declining standards of education in the country, it is that column on the Union Public Service Commission result sheet where “none found eligible” is written instead of the name of the selected candidates. Despite fulfilling the eligibility conditions, the candidates fail to come up to the expectations of the recruiting agency.

Muddled, meddled world of teaching
Kanwalpreet

Abhimanyu, a student of Class IV, topper and favourite of all teachers, came across as a shy, introvert child who spoke in a measured tone. I found it odd when his eyes threw longing glances at the other children who were playing. On observing him, I found him at his best when left to himself. 

Extend deadline,  VC urged
NAWANSHAHR:
Students who were placed in compartment but have now cleared their supplementary examination conducted by the Punjab School Education Board, Mohali, in July, have been facing difficulty in getting admission to the higher classes in the colleges, as the last date of admission with the special permission of the Vice-Chancellor, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, expired before the declaration of the result.

Conference concludes
NAWANSHAHR:
A two-day national conference on “Recent Advances in Mechanical Engineering” (NCRAME-2006) was organised at Rayat Institute of Engineering and Information Technology, Rail Mazra (Nawanshahr) on September 8 and 9. While Dr D. S. Bedi, former Professor, PEC, Chandigarh, and Principal, BBSBEC, Fatehgarh Sahib, inaugurated the conference, Dr R. C. Bahl, Principal, IEET, Baddi, presided over the concluding session.

CAMPUS NOTE
GND University, Amritsar
Prof becomes trust member

Prof Subodh Kumar of the Department of Chemistry of Guru Nanak Dev University has been appointed Council Member of the National Organic Symposium Trust (NOST) for four years from 2007. The NOST is one of the richest trusts in India working for the promotion of organic chemistry. Prof Kumar is the second teacher after Prof Harjit Singh to get this honour.
— Contributed by P. K. Jaiswar

ADMISSION DEADLINE 

  • Engineering

  • Environment & Forestry

  • Finance


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Into a deeper net
Dr Parveen Kataria

If anything can rightly demonstrate the declining standards of education in the country, it is that column on the Union Public Service Commission result sheet where “none found eligible” is written instead of the name of the selected candidates. Despite fulfilling the eligibility conditions, the candidates fail to come up to the expectations of the recruiting agency.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has further contributed to this decline by bailing out M.Phil and Ph.D students from the National Eligibility Test (NET). This change in the eligibility criteria for lectureship will not only affect the quality of research, but also promote nepotism, red tape and corruption.

Recently, the UGC has made changes in the eligibility criteria for college/university lectureship on the recommendation of the Mungekar Committee, which was set up to review utility, effectiveness and continuity of the National Eligibility Test (NET). Acting on the interim report of the committee, the UGC announced that M.Phil and Ph.D candidates would be exempted from appearing in the National Eligibility Test (NET). While M.Phil candidates will be eligible for teaching at the undergraduate level, Ph.D candidates will be eligible for postgraduate teaching. The country was not prepared for this.

Earlier, to become a college/university lecturer, one had to qualify clear the NET. Candidates who had done M.Phill before December 31, 1993, or submitted their Ph.D thesis before this date were also eligible. The criterion was the same for undergraduate and postgraduate teaching.

For one segment, the announcement came as a lottery. M.Phil and Ph.D candidates became eligible for lectureship. Some of these candidates were taking shots at the NET for many years but were not getting through. Some of them were going to be declared ineligible this year because they would be overage.

Yet another segment thinks that the NET is as tough as the Civil Services Examination. Persons from this segment can easily spend five years as research scholar, but cannot clear the test. They now they have the option to become eligible for undergraduate teaching at least in just one year after doing M.Phil. They can keep doing the Ph.D and taking shots at the NET.

Now a candidate will do anything to become eligible for job in the shortest possible time. The deans will help their dear ones finish research quickly. The NET, on the other hand, was a transparent and fair process, which is why a mere 5 per cent of more than 1 lakh candidates cleared it.

Influential candidates, who do not have teaching aptitude, may also come in the picture. To complete M.Phil and research, one does not require teaching skills. On the other hand, the NET Paper-I (Teaching and Research Aptitude) judged you for that and one had to clear it or paper II and III would not be checked. The NET ensures that candidates with teaching and research aptitude alone get to teach.

Teachers who came through NET are going to have an air of supremacy. After this announcement, the NET is going to get more importance. Most of the colleges have either introduced postgraduate courses or planned for it. The colleges/universities would prefer NET/Ph.D candidates to M.Phils even for undergraduate classes, so that the same set of teachers could also teach postgraduate students.

A teacher who has come through NET has gone through rigorous tests, which certifies his or her general/teaching and subject skills. Having Ph.D teachers helps colleges get good grades in the NAAC audit etc. Thus, even though M.Phil candidates would be eligible for jobs, they would not be strong candidates.

If you want a better chance of selection, qualify through NET and pursue Ph.D at the same time. Candidates should not go for M.Phil alone just to become eligible for lectureship at the earliest. Anyway, check the NAAC accreditation of the university before enrolling yourself in an M.Phil course.

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Muddled, meddled world of teaching
Kanwalpreet

Abhimanyu, a student of Class IV, topper and favourite of all teachers, came across as a shy, introvert child who spoke in a measured tone. I found it odd when his eyes threw longing glances at the other children who were playing. On observing him, I found him at his best when left to himself. His parents expected the best grades and best behaviour from him and he delivered his best. I then forgot about Abhimanyu until I heard that the little lad had lately been getting poor grades repetitively. The parents were shattered. What had happened to the little, composed gentleman?

Aastha, a Class III student, emotionally blackmailed her parents to get good grades. Most of her friends studied because they got goodies in return. As they grew older, no amount of persuasion, threat or temptation worked. They took studies lightly and laughed away the pressure of grades. The pleas of the parents were brushed aside. That set me thinking. Children always like to test boundaries. They are greedy and eager to get more. They need lessons in leadership. The parents and the teachers have to be role models.

How involved are we in their growing up? Do we have any plan regarding their education? What is the role of parents and that of modern-day teachers?

Ankit, a school going student, told me that the personal bond between the teachers and the students is missing in the majority of the cases. Son of an Army officer, he had changed many schools and he found a number of teachers taking school as just another “job”. Most of the times, the students could see a lack of drive in the teacher.

The pressure on the teachers is tremendous, for they have to finish the syllabi in the stipulated time. If concepts like Republic Day, ordinal numbers and spellings of electrician and architect have to be taught to students of classes I and II, teaching sure becomes complicated. Concepts are not made clear; lessons are over in a jiffy and no individual reading is done in the classes. You have a system where the pressure is tremendous on both teachers and students. For the parents, it is grades that matter, even if the child is made a scapegoat.

Naina, a friend, was tears, for she did not know how to explain the term “Republic Day” to her 6-year-old child. How could she explain related terms like “the Constitution” and “Purna Swaraj” to her child and the significance of the day, January 26? Her son’s tirade of questions would not stop and she did not know how to put the idea across.

The education that our schools offer has only confused our young ones. The syllabus is divided into terms and tests are taken accordingly. Once the unit tests are over, children just forget the concepts. With the next term, new concepts are introduced, without revising the previous ones.

In school, up to a certain class, the parents can coax the child to learn, but what happens when the child gets ready for life. So exhausted are they after the marathon studies in school that they end up exploiting their liberty.

With so many interesting things happening outside, classroom studies are the last thing on the mind of the students. We, as responsible adults, just blame them for ruining their lives.

Naina should have gone to the school and let the authorities concerned know the problem. If you feel that the child is being unnecessary burdened, put it across. The teachers should be sensitive to such feedback The teachers want your feedback. They should be advised to take it positively. Do not pressurise the child to an extent that, at a certain point, he renounces all. Our education system should be such that it makes the child inquisitive and alert to his surroundings. Let’s not try to push the ward towards school; rather let the school attract him every single day.

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Extend deadline, VC urged

NAWANSHAHR: Students who were placed in compartment but have now cleared their supplementary examination conducted by the Punjab School Education Board, Mohali, in July, have been facing difficulty in getting admission to the higher classes in the colleges, as the last date of admission with the special permission of the Vice-Chancellor, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, expired before the declaration of the result.

The affected students and their parents said the university had admitted compartment candidates in the first year of the three-year undergraduate course in arts on the condition that they would have to pass the supplementary examination. The students seeking admission to science, commerce and computer science courses were denied this opportunity.

The Principals of the colleges falling under the university had also urged the VC to extend the last date of admission, keeping in view the interest of students, said Dr Jaspal Singh Randhwa, general secretary, Principals’ Association (GND Univeristy, Amritsar, jurisdiction).— OC

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Conference concludes

NAWANSHAHR: A two-day national conference on “Recent Advances in Mechanical Engineering” (NCRAME-2006) was organised at Rayat Institute of Engineering and Information Technology, Rail Mazra (Nawanshahr) on September 8 and 9. While Dr D. S. Bedi, former Professor, PEC, Chandigarh, and Principal, BBSBEC, Fatehgarh Sahib, inaugurated the conference, Dr R. C. Bahl, Principal, IEET, Baddi, presided over the concluding session. Delegates from various reputed engineering colleges, industrial houses and eminent personalities in the field of technical education and research laboratories attended the conference, where new technologies, research and innovation in the field of mechanical engineering were discussed. Dr S.K. Mohapatra, Head of the Mechanical Engineering Department, TIET, Patiala; and Dr Vinod Kappoor presented their paper on the latest trends in different aspects of mechanical engineering. Mr Nirmal Singh Rayat, Mr Gurvinder Singh Bahra, Dr R. P. Singh Sukerchakia, Prof C. M. Bahl and Prof S. K. Gandhi, coordinator, NCRAME-2006, among others, also addressed the conference. —OC

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ADMISSION DEADLINE 

Engineering
National Institute of Technology, Rourkela 769008 (Oris)
www.nitrkl.ac.in

MTech (Research)
PhD Programme with Institute Fellowship (Chemical / Civil / Electrical / Computer Science / Electronics & Communication (including Instrumentation) / Mechanical / Metallurgical & Materials / Mining Engg & Physics / Ceramic / Physics / Chemistry / Maths / Humanities (English / Psychology / Economics / Sociology)

Application Form & Details: Website
Application Deadline: 3 October 2006

Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur 208016 (UP) 
www.iitk.ac.in/gate / http://gate.iisc.ernet.in / www.iitb.ac.in/gate / www.iitd.ac.in/gate / www.iitg.ac.in/gate / www.iitkgp.ac.in/gate / www.iitm.ac.in/gate / www.iitr.ac.in/gate
Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) – 2007
For admission to PG courses (with MHRD & Government Scholarships / Assistantships in Engg / Technology / Architecture / Pharmacy / Science).
Eligibility:
BE / BTech / BArch / BPharm Or Master’s degree in Science / Maths / Statistics / Computer Application Or Post BSc Tech courses (2nd year) Or Integrated Masters degree programme and Dual degree programme (3rd year) Or AMIE & other professional courses.
Exam:
11 February ‘07
Application Form:
Send Rs. 1,000/- by DD with a request letter and 2 self-addressed slips to the Chairman, GATE of the corresponding zonal GATE office by 19 October ‘06. Also available at specified SBI / Canara Banks / download from concerned IIT’s or IISc website by 27 October ’06.
Details: Websites
Application Deadline: 30 October 2006

Environment & Forestry

National Institute of Disaster Management, IIPA Campus, IP Estate, Ring Road, New Delhi 110002 (M/o Home Affairs) 
www.nidm.net
Online Training Course on Comprehensive Disaster Risk Management Framework
(In collaboration with World Bank Institute, Washington)
Duration: 9 October – 17 November 2006
Eligibility: Development practitioners.
Application Form & Details: Website.
Application Deadline: 30 September 2006

Finance

Indian Institute of Finance, Plot 4, Community Centre II, Ashok Vihar II, Delhi 110052. 
www.iif.edu
1) Management of Business Finance (MBF, 2-year)
2) Fellow Programme in Finance (3-year)
3) Distance Learning Programs (Basic Business Finance (1-year) / Mgmt of Business Finance (2-year) / PG Diploma in Business Finance (3-year)
Eligibility: For 1: Bachelors degree (60%)
For 2: Masters degree (60%). For 3: Bachelors degree (60%) with 3-year work experience
Selection: For 1: XAT / MAT / GMAT scores / GD & Interview
Details: Website.
Application Deadline: For 1 & 2: 30 December 2006 For 3: 20 October 2006 (November session) / 20 April 2007 (May session)

— Pervin Malhotra, www.careerguidanceindia.com

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