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Has Technology Rendered Teachers Redundant? 

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Advances in technology offer the potential to expand access to education, but will online learning ever replace the need for teachers? The fate of teachers in the era of emerging e-class rooms and  online teaching took centre-stage as students from India and abroad engaged in a debate over it.

The Participants

Students from three prominent high schools from UK, Singapore and the US, and some elite institutions from India took part in the near three-hour long debate at the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. NPS International School (Singapore) and Model Westminster (UK) were the other two foreign participants in the debate. Besides St Xavier’s Collegiate School, the Indian contingent included Mayo College (Ajmer), The Heritage School, and DPS Newtown.

What Students Argued

One of the debaters, representing St Xavier’s Collegiate School, said, “Technology has not made teachers redundant. And teachers are not being replaced by technology. But technology has made the task of students easier.” The debate later ended with the resolution that teachers cannot be replaced by any emerging technology and can only make better use of new medium.

“This is incredible to think that despite hailing from different countries, we can understand each other and share different views,” said Timothy Joseph, a student from Boston College High School.

S Ramalingam, on behalf of the organisers ‘Calcutta Debating Circle’, said the three foreign teams came from nations which are more developed than India, and hence, their arguments partly differed.

Dylan Patrick, another participant from Boston College High School said, “It was amazing how we became friends hailing from different parts of world… and debated passionately.”

The teachers, too, were happy with the way the workshop shaped up. They were made to narrate small stories from their lives and the others had to guess the morals that could be learned from them.

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CAT 2017 Results ARE OUT -How To Download Score Card

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IIM Lucknow has released the score card for candidates who appeared in the Common Admission Test (CAT) 2017. Candidates would need their login id and password to login to their account and download their score card. CAT result is declared in the form of percentile score with 100 percentile being the maximum.

How to check CAT 2017 Result?

Step one: Go to official CAT 2017 website: www.iimcat.ac.in

Step two: Click on the link for CAT 2017 Score Card.

Step three: Enter your login id and password.

Step four: Click on Submit.

Step five: View and download your score card.

Many students may find that the website is still displaying the link for CAT 2016 Score Card. In that case, candidates are advised to clear their cache or open the website in incognito mode and access the result link for CAT 2017.

Last year, 20 students had scored 100 percentile in CAT 2016. The number of 100 percentile scorers this year remains to be seen.

WHAT NEXT..

Now, the IIMs will begin the shortlisting process for selection rounds. The ensuing selection process comprises Academic Writing Test (AWT) and Personal Interview (PI). Candidates are selected for selection rounds primarily on the basis of their CAT percentile and academic performance.

WHAT IS CAT

CAT is conducted by IIMs for admission to post graduate management programmes at 20 IIMs. CAT scores are also used by non-IIM institutes such as MDI Gurgaon, SPJIMR Mumbai, JBIMS Mumbai, FMS Delhi etc. CAT scores are valid for one year and can be downloaded from the website within a period of one year.

 

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Parliamentary Panel For Statutory Status To NCVT 

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A parliamentary panel has recommended to accord statutory powers to the National Council for vocational training (NCVT). This is being done so that NCVT could play the role of a regulator for skill education, on the lines of bodies like the UGC and the AICTE.

The panel chaired by Kirit Somaiya is of the view that the NCVT should be further empowered by bringing its powers under the ambit of law since this would help it to perform better regulatory functions and oversight over the industrial training institutes (ITIs) in India. At present, there are nearly 14,000 ITIs in the country, both public as well as private, and their numbers are on the rise.

THE RECOMMENDATIONS

— the star rating system should not be left to be voluntarily adopted by ITIs but made applicable on all of them to improve the quality of skill training.

— an alternative approach while dealing with ITIs who fail to comply with norms related to infrastructure facilities and faculties for training instead of de-affiliation by the Directorate General of Training. This being suggested since the de-affiliation adversely impacts the trainees enrolled in such institutes.

GRADING OF INSTITUTES

The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship began grading the industrial training institutes across the country by giving them star ratings based on their facilities, performance and placement record last year. The government’s vocational training programmes are administered by ITIs, which cater to about 36 per cent of the 7 million people enrolled in various training programmes in India.

GRADING-THE METHOD+ BENEFITS

The evaluation is done in two phases, a self-appraisal followed by an in-depth assessment by the Directorate General of Training, the umbrella body overseeing the functioning of ITIs and other training institutes.

The grading of ITIs helps the students to choose from the best institutes, and employers by providing them the formal governmental recognition for the level of quality of training and facilities provided at the institutes.

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Jamia Polls won’t violate HC order: JAC

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A Joint Action Committee (JAC) of students, formed to reinstate students’ union elections at Jamia Millia Islamia, has submitted the legal opinion of Supreme Court lawyer Sanjay Hegde to the university administration. They have also asked the university to announce the date of elections.

WHAT JAC REPORT SAYS

In the communication, Hegde has said:

— Elections in the institute would not violate any High Court order

— Students’ union polls at Jamia have been banned since 2006, allegedly because students had started interfering in administrative matters

— The university has cited a 2012 writ petition filed in the Delhi High Court

— University argues that they cannot hold elections till the petitioner withdraws the petition

LAWYER HEGDE ARGUES…

Hegde has said, “There is nothing on record to suggest that conducting student elections would violate any order of the honorable court. To the contrary, they would only be in furtherance of the assurances given to the court by JMI, in its affidavit dated July 20… for more than six years after filing of this affidavit, the matter appears not to have proceeded further in the court. Unless there is a specified direction of the court to stop the process, the university must endeavour to fulfil the general directive towards conduct of fair and free elections.”

Meeran Haider, a JAC member, who, along with others, had gone on a hunger strike for seven days over the issue, said the legal opinion had been submitted to Dean of Student Welfare. Jamia media coordinator Saima Saeed said the matter would be looked into when the university reopens on January 16.

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