But, it's not about students, is it?

But, it's not about students, is it?

As far as education is concerned, 2010 has been quite an eventful year. Be it the scrapping of the 76-year-old Medical Council of India (MCI) or the implementation of the Right to Education (RTE) Bill, the education sector has seen it all. Here’s a quick look at some important developments that took place in the field of education in 2010:

*National Commission for Higher Education and Research (NCHER) will replace UGC, All India Council for Technical Education and National Council for Teachers’ Education. Once NCHER comes into existence, all higher educational institutions will have to seek authorisation as per norms laid out by the new body. As per the draft, all universities will, for the first time, be brought under the ambit of the Right to Information Act on the ground that they are public institutions.

*The prestigious Common Admission Test (CAT) 2010 was conducted smoothly, unlike last year, when technical glitches marked the exams. Over 2 lakh candidates across the country appeared for CAT.

*Karnataka Government hiked the fee for all engineering courses by Rs 5,000.

*Tentative dates for CET 2011 have been announced as April 27 and 28.

*Bangalore University has made provisions for transgenders in its post-graduate application forms. Unfortunately, the university has not even got a single student. The National Law School of India University (NLSIU) is also contemplating on making similar provisions for transgenders in the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) 2011.

*The Human Resources Development (HRD) Ministry has derecognised 44 deemed universities, spelling uncertainty for nearly two lakh students who are enrolled with them. The ministry's decision amounts to an acknow-ledgement of irregularities in conferring the “deemed” tag to these institutions under the first UPA Government.

*HRD Ministry is planning to create a national database of academic qualifications in the electronic format to authenticate and reissue certificates.

*The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) will redesign curriculum for students of Class 1 to 10 wherein various areas such as body, food, nutrition, social life, sports, health, hygiene, emotional and psychological factors will be covered.

*The Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE) has taken a huge step towards offering equal opportunity to all children seeking education, including those with “special needs”. The Board has reminded its schools that admission cannot be denied on the ground that students are differently abled.

*The Union Cabinet cleared the Foreign Educational Institutions (Regulation of Entry and Operation) Bill, which aims to allow foreign universities to set up campuses in India.

*The much-delayed Bill that will allow Karnataka to set up its first private university was cleared. The university will train teaching and non-teaching staff in imparting quality education to students from primary to high school. It will also offer degrees and diplomas in subjects such as education management, education policy, elementary education, technology education, etc.

*The Union Cabinet has cleared the long-pending Right To Education Bill, which provides for free and compulsory education to children in the 6-14 years age group.

*CBSE plans to set up health and wellness clubs in all its schools across the country to promote safe sanitation practices.

*The decision to give 15 minutes extra time to students appearing for SSLC exams was taken to give students sufficient time to read the question paper carefully and revise their answer scripts.

*The Karnataka Secondary Education Examination Board (KSEEB) revised the exam paper pattern. The focus shifted to more essay-type questions after there were complaints from various quarters that objective-type questions hampered students’ writing skills.

*Union Minister Jairam Ramesh, at a convocation ceremony of the Indian Institute of Forest Manage-ment, Bhopal, ripped off the convocation gown he was wearing and described it as a “barbaric colonial legacy”. He also ridiculed the custom of young graduates tossing their hats up in the air.

*The State Government changed the school timings for the academic year 2010-11. Following requests from parents and teachers, the government decided to begin school at 9.30 am and close at 3.30 pm.

*Tainted with charges of corruption, the 76-year-old Medical Council of India was dissolved and replaced by a six-member panel of eminent doctors to carry out its duties.

An ordinance dissolving the all-powerful body, formed to regulate medical education in the country, was signed by President Pratibha Patil and notified by the Law Ministry. The six-member panel is headed by eminent doctors.

*In the largest act of philanthropy by an Indian, Wipro chairman Azim Premji will give about Rs 8,846 crore ($2 billion) to improve school education in India.

*The CBSE-conducted engineering and medical entrance examinations could be redesigned and held online if the premier education board has its way. The Centre for Assessment, Evaluation and Research, which CBSE has planned to set up with a partner organisation on public-private partnership mode to carry forward reforms in education, will have a core group which would go through this entire exercise. The group will fall under the Centre’s Department of Research and Assessment and assume responsibility for developing SAT-equivalent assessments.

*The Karnataka State Council for Higher Education will soon release a common academic calender with information on admission dates of various universities and when the results would be announced. A decision has also been taken to prepare a perspective plan for higher education in the state within the next six months.

*Nearly 20,000 seats have gone abegging this year, leaving empty classrooms across 187 colleges in Karnataka. The speed at which engineering colleges were opened in the state has not kept pace with demand for BE courses. This year, only six colleges have filled up all their seats.

*Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) Vice-Chancellor H Maheshappa landed in trouble for allegedly submitting false and misleading information at the time of his appointment.

*The Medical Education Department has given its nod to add 930 MBBS seats in nine colleges across the state.

*Bangalore University has come out with another shocker after the recent decision to collect admission fee every year from students. Now, the varsity plans to nearly double the fee for distance education courses.

*The prestigious National Law School of India University (NLSIU) could take the lead among L-schools by setting up an offshore centre in Dubai for its distance education programmes.

*Brand IIM finally goes overseas. With the HRD Ministry giving the IIMs the green signal to open centres abroad, IIM-Bangalore will launch its first long-duration executive education programme in Muscat (Oman) in January.

*The government has made it clear that both children and parents should not be subjected to testing and interviews during admissions.

*Bruhat Bangalore Maha nagara Palike (BBMP) has decided to introduce CBSE syllabus in its schools. In wake of this, BBMP schools, which have poor infrastructural facilities and moderate academic records, might get a revamped look. The pilot project will be taken up at Srirampura School to facilitate quality education to children from the marginalised sections of society.

*Australia’s once-booming education sector is now bracing for tougher times with tighter immigration rules and attacks on Indian students resulting in falling enrolments, prompting experts to question the government's policies.

*The Bar Council of India (BCI) has decided to derecognise more than 30 law colleges while 20 others have been sent notices to improve infra structure. In addition, unlike in the previous years, the BCI has decided to approve only 20 of the 70 applications for the setting up of new law colleges.

*The Karnataka Government will soon set up a Pre-University Examination Board to iron out glitches in the career-critical second PU exams. The PU Exam Board will kick off in 2011 and will handle only exam-related activities.

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