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1225 Premier Institution Graduates Placed in Backward Areas

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The Ministry of Human Resource Development has recruited more than 1200 highly qualified and motivated graduates from including IITs and NITs to teach in Engineering Colleges in States/UTs like Andaman & Nicobar, Assam, Bihar, Jammu & Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Tripura, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand etc. This is the first time that such a measure has been taken to improve the quality of education.

While addressing a press conference Union Minister for Human Resource Development Shri Prakash Javadekar said that these bright minds will bring with them the openness to innovation, new methods of teaching and enthusiasm to serve and act as agents of change.

He further said that this initiative will help meet the aspirations of youth in the backward areas and fulfil the vision of Prime Minister. He hoped that these teachers would contribute to the entire educational eco-system of the backward areas, apart from promoting a start-up culture among students.

A public appeal was given to the MTech and PhD students from the premier institutions to express interest to work in these backward areas and serve the nation. There was an overwhelming response to the call, and more than 5000 highly qualified persons applied. The interviews were conducted in 20 NITs by constituting expert teams.

The entire process of giving a call and selection has been completed through a competitive and rigorous process of selection done through NITs in a record two-month period. Finally, 1225 candidates were selected and they have joined 53 colleges in these states. The new faculty will train the youngsters in a host of technical institutions for the next 3-years.

Each of the new faculty will be paid Rs. 70,000 per month and the Government is planning to spend about Rs. 375 Cr in a three-year period on this initiative. With this measure, more than 1 lakh engineering students in the most backward areas would be benefited with better quality education.

The reason for backwardness was essentially because of lack of quality teachers in these areas. In many of these institutions have vacancies of teaching faculty (some of them have 40% vacancies), The States have requested Ministry of HRD to help to find teaching support.

TEQIP project:

MHRD started the Technical Education Quality Improvement Project (TEQIP-III) for improving the quality of engineering graduates at a cost of Rs. 2,300 Cr to be implemented in 3-year period till 2020. The focus is on the most-backward states like Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, North-East, Rajasthan, MP etc.

Under this project, all the Government engineering colleges are selected for direct intervention, and all private engineering colleges are selected for indirect intervention.

The measures include:

  • Institution-based: accreditation of the courses through NBA, governance reforms, improving the processes, digital initiatives, securing autonomy for the colleges.
  • Student-based: improving the quality of teaching, teacher training, equipping the classrooms, revision of syllabus, industry interaction, compulsory internships for students, training the students in industry-relevant skills, preparing them for the GATE exam etc.

High-quality teachers selected: 

It is to be noted that 86% of the teachers are from premier institutions like IITs, NITs, IISERs, IIITs etc. Nearly a fourth of them are PhDs (in most of these institutions, so far, there are NO PhD teachers)

Due to PAN India selection, the selected faculty are coming from 369 districts of 26 states, bringing an All India character to these backward colleges.

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Jaipur’s Gandhi Nagar Becomes India’s First All-Women Main Line Railway Statione

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Gandhi Nagar of Jaipur became country’s first all-women railway station in the Main Line category of the Indian Railways on February 19. Gandhi Nagar railway station has a footfall of nearly 7,000 passengers per day and of the 50 trains which pass by, 25 trains halt here.

From station master Angella Stella, ticket collector Vandana Sharma to virtually every single post including station superintendent, head ticket collector, point woman, RPF constable, station master, ticket reservation clerk and enquiry clerk has a woman employee at the Gandhi Nagar station are women.

They looked visibly happy in the glory of being on duty at the country’s first all-women railway station and were congratulated by TP Singh, general manager, NWR on the inaugural function on Monday afternoon.

Singh told the media that Gandhi Nagar is now first all-women railway station in the Main Line category of the Indian railways. “Matunga railway station of Mumbai is also managed by women and it is in the sub-urban category while our station is first in the Main Line category,” he added.

Station Master Angela Stella, who completed one year in the Indian railways was excited and happy with the new responsibility. “I have never thought I would be handling a station which would be all-women within one year of my job. I will abide by all the safety norms and apply standard operating practice while working,” Stella said.

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India’s Forest and Tree Cover Rises by Over 8,000 Sq Km

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Photo: PIB

The latest India State of Forest Report released on Monday says India has now come to occupy the 10th spot in the world where expansion of forest and tree cover is concerned.

Compared to 2015, India has increased its forest and tree cover by 8,021 square kilometres.

The green credentials of the country have risen in a commendable manner.

The India State of Forest Report 2017 has reported an increasing trend in the forest and tree cover, in comparison to the global trend of decreasing forest cover during the last decade.

Now, India ranks among the top ten countries in the world in terms of forest area.

The report states that there is an increase of 8, 021 sq km in the total forest and tree cover of the country, compared to the previous assessment in 2015.

Much of the increase in the forest cover has been observed in Very Dense Forest which is an encouraging sign as the Very Dense Forest absorbs maximum carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

With an impressive statistic of 2141 sq km, Andhra Pradesh tops the list of states that have shown the maximum increase in forest cover.

Karnataka is second after adding 1101 sq km while another southern state of Kerala came in close third after adding 1043 sq km to the forest cover.

Odisha is at fourth place with adding 885 sq km while Telangana grabs the fifth position with 565 sq km of increase in forest area.

While the states where forest cover has decreased are Mizoram (531 sq km), Nagaland (450 sq km), Arunachal Pradesh (190 sq km), Tripura (164 sq km) and Meghalaya (116 sq km).

In the North Eastern region, the total forest cover is very high i.e. more than 70% in each state.

Madhya Pradesh remains the state with the largest forest cover of 77,414 sq km, followed by Arunachal Pradesh with 66,964 sq km and Chhattisgarh with 55,547 sq km.

Forests play a vital role in water conservation and improve the water regime in the area.

As per the latest assessment, water bodies inside forest cover have increased by 2,647 sq kms during the last decade. Mangrove forests have increased by 181 sq km.

Mangrove ecosystems are rich in biodiversity and play a major role in protecting coastal areas from erosion, tidal storms and Tsunamis.

India is striving towards achieving its goal of creating additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3.0 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030

The information given in the report will serve as an important tool to monitor the country’s forest resources and plan suitable scientific and policy interventions for its management.

The India State of Forest Report 2017 is 15th such report in the series.

Forest Survey of India has been assessing the forest and tree resources of our country on a biennial basis since 1987.

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India’s Rivers are Being Cleaned up by These Newly Designed Boats

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