Union human resource development (HRD) minister Prakash Javadekar on Saturday made big-ticket announcements in Kolkata that will affect the fortunes of lakhs of students appearing in joint entrance examinations in medicine and engineering countrywide.
Allaying fears of thousands of students appearing for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) -the all-India examination for entrance to medical colleges -in regional languages, Javadekar said the vernacular question papers of the examination will be a mere translation of the question paper in English. This year, the CBSE had set different sets of questions for students appearing for the exam in different languages, with students complaining that vernacular papers, including the one in Bengali, were much tougher than the English and Hindi papers.
When asked by the HRD ministry why different sets of questions had been set, CBSE -the exam conducting body -cited security problems given the large number of candidates and languages involved if it resorted to translations.
The HRD ministry appears to have shot down CBSE's argument. “From next year, there will be mere translation of papers so that such problems do not arise,“ Javadekar said. He was speaking at a symposium here.
This year's NEET was held in 10 languages. Altogether 56,079 candidates appeared for the exam in Bengal, of whom 40,000 took the exam in Bengali. The controversy over the mismatch in question papers had led to delay in the announcement of the NEET results with the Madras high court ordering a stay after a group of students in Tamil Nadu filed a petition alleging discrimination.
The HRD minister also set to rest speculations on the introduction of a common engineering examination on the lines of NEET from next year. “We are waiting to see the final result of NEET. The One Nation One Test in Engi neering is at a discussion stage now,“ he said. Bengal and Tamil Nadu had opposed the proposal, citing central over-reach in education, which is a state subject.
Govt to bring detention policy in classes 5 and 8:
HRD minister Prakash Javadekar said the Centre will soon introduce a detention policy for students in classes 5 and 8 with support from states. “In a proposed bill to be passed in Parliament, power has been given to the states to have exams for students at fifth and eighth standards in March. If students fail, they will be given one last chance to appear in an exam in May .“
If a student fails in both attempts, heshe would be detained, Javadekar said 25 states have already given consent to the move.
Javadekar vows more IIM autonomy
Kolkata: The Narendra Modi government is finally set to table the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bill, 2017, that has been pending since the erstwhile Manmohan Singh government proposed it more than five years ago. The bill aims to grant greater autonomy to the IIMs to manage finance, prepare curricula, introduce variable pay for teachers and hire faculty.
They will also be able to confer a degree instead of diploma to students. Union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar on Saturday said the country's premier B-schools will be granted complete financial autonomy after completing seven years. Of the 20 IIMs, 10 are over seven years old. Three others will complete seven years this year. The autonomy will enable the institutes to introduce full-time visiting faculty and offer variable pay packs.