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Niraj Pandit
Articles by Niraj Pandit

218 city schools without RTE approval to face action

218 private English medium schools in Mumbai operating without Right to Education (RTE) approval for over 5 years may face action from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). The schools have failed to secure RTE approval despite reminders, leading to inspections and potential cancellation of recognition. Some schools argue that current norms are unrealistic for them. Concerned for the students' future, a complaint has been filed and a Public Interest Litigation may be filed in February.

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Updated on Jan 25, 2024 08:18 AM IST

Midday meals: Red dot for eggs, green for banana

The government's decision to use red and green dots on students' ID cards to indicate their choice of eggs or bananas for midday meals has sparked debate among teachers about potential discrimination. Critics argue that food choices should not be made public and that teachers should handle meal distribution sensitively. Education experts also question provisions in the government resolution, such as the requirement for alternative meals if a percentage of students refuse eggs. They call for a revised circular to avoid introducing caste and religion into the school menu.

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Updated on Jan 25, 2024 08:14 AM IST

Principals grapple with classes as 50% teachers out on survey duty

Around 50% of teachers from government and government-aided schools in Mumbai have been assigned to conduct surveys for the Maratha reservation, causing disruptions in managing classes. Over 1 lakh teachers have been deployed for the enumeration, which aims to establish the 'backwardness' of the Maratha community to grant reservation. Principals have expressed concerns about the limited time given for the survey and the impact on academic activities. Teachers have also complained about falling behind schedule with their teaching work.

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Updated on Jan 24, 2024 08:48 AM IST

State edu department proposes cluster schools, Raigad district first in line

The Maharashtra education department is planning to establish cluster schools, starting with the merger of 82 schools into 33 in the Raigad district. The proposal aims to address the issue of schools with only one student and improve facilities and access to quality education. The proposal is now under review and has been submitted to the government for consideration. The Bombay High Court has also taken notice of the decision and directed the government to respond. Concerns have been raised about the potential closure of around 15,000 schools in the state.

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Updated on Jan 22, 2024 07:14 AM IST

‘Sakhi Savitri’ committee to set up in schools across state

Maharashtra Commission for Protection of Child Rights chairperson, Susieben Shah, has expressed concerns over the non-compliance with the directive to establish 'Sakhi Savitri' committees in schools. Shah has called for urgent formation of the committees to ensure student safety. The committees would include representatives from school management, teachers, parents, doctors, and students, and would be responsible for monthly CCTV scrutiny and reporting any objectionable findings. Shah also advocated renaming the committee as 'Jyotiba-Savitri'. The committee's responsibilities include training staff, handling abuse complaints, and providing counseling support.

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Updated on Jan 20, 2024 08:08 AM IST

Only 46% of primary teachers in state have required teaching qualification: Report

Only 46% of primary school teachers in Mumbai have the appropriate qualifications, according to a report by the Centre for Excellence in Teacher Education (CETE). The report also highlights discrepancies in subject qualifications, with a significant number of teachers lacking mathematics qualifications. The report calls for increased government funding to improve teacher quality.

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Updated on Jan 19, 2024 08:08 AM IST

45.7% adolescents in Nanded struggle to read English sentences, finds survey

Around 65.6% of adolescents in Nanded district struggle with basic division, 45.7% have difficulties reading English sentences, and 22.7% cannot read class 2-level English text, according to the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2023. The report also highlights gender differences in smartphone ownership and usage, as well as a lack of awareness of online safety settings. The findings underscore the need for targeted interventions and the implementation of the New Education Policy in rural areas.

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Updated on Jan 18, 2024 07:14 AM IST
By, Mumbai

BMC shuts down 32 vernacular schools over the past decade

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has closed down 32 civic body-run vernacular schools in the last ten years, predominantly impacting Marathi and Urdu medium institutions. This information was revealed through a Right to Information (RTI) application by activist Godfrey Pimenta. The closures have raised concerns about access to education for marginalized and economically disadvantaged sections of society.

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Updated on Jan 14, 2024 06:08 AM IST

BSc statistics students face unexpected low scores, demand re-evaluation

Students of BSc Statistics at the University of Mumbai are demanding a re-evaluation of their answer sheets after receiving unexpectedly low scores due to a technical error in the examination software. The students have expressed concerns about the accuracy of the marking system and have sought the support of university officials in reviewing the grading process. They have also sought the intervention of Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray. The university has acknowledged the error and promised a timely response.

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Updated on Jan 10, 2024 08:24 AM IST

Bond served in BMC hospitals through parallel counselling null and void: DMER

The one-year mandatory bond served by senior resident doctors in Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation-run medical colleges will be considered null and void. This decision aims to prevent the BMC from giving preference to their students, leaving other students from the state at a disadvantage. The move has been welcomed by the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors, but the BMC MARD opposes it and threatens to go on mass leave from January 15. The centralised state-level counselling conducted by the Directorate of Medical Education and Research is seen as more transparent and merit-based.

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Updated on Jan 09, 2024 07:46 AM IST

MUHS launches mental well-being programme for resident doctors

The Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS) has proposed a mental well-being programme with the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) to address the mental health issues of resident doctors in the state. The decision was made during a townhall meeting held at the university's headquarters in Nashik. This is the first time MUHS has held a townhall with resident doctors in response to conflicts between professors and resident doctors, along with allegations of mental harassment. MUHS has also suggested introducing scientific and hobby clubs to help doctors with stress.

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Updated on Jan 08, 2024 08:10 AM IST

TISS students stand united against CUET-PG implementation, other policies

Six student organizations at TISS Mumbai unite to address concerns over non-implementation of entrance test, restrictions on financially disadvantaged students, and ban on events. They argue that these issues align with a government agenda aimed at centralised control over education. The coalition demands dialogue with the administration to address these concerns and calls for larger changes in favor of students' rights and equal opportunities for education at TISS. TISS officials state that outstanding fee amounts have reached crores due to non-payment.

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Updated on Jan 08, 2024 07:48 AM IST

Govt school uniforms could be delayed again in logjam over stitching charges

Government school students in Maharashtra may face a delay in receiving their uniforms as the stitching process has not yet started. The responsibility for stitching the uniforms has been shifted to the Mahila Arthik Vikas Mahamandal (MAVIM), which is reluctant to undertake the task at the allocated rate. Discussions between the school education department and MAVIM are still ongoing. Small uniform-stitching units in Solapur have been impacted and many have closed down. Women self-help groups attached to MAVIM lack the infrastructure to fulfill the large order.

Updated on Jan 08, 2024 07:32 AM IST

State govt launches ‘NEP Connect’ campaign to boost GER

In a bid to enhance the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) and create awareness about the National Education Policy (NEP), the state government has initiated a 15-day outreach initiative called ‘NEP Connect’ in junior colleges

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Updated on Jan 07, 2024 07:40 AM IST

State to launch ‘MAHASWAYAM’ portal for online higher education courses

The state government of Maharashtra is set to launch 'MAHASWAYAM', a portal dedicated to higher education courses, similar to the central government's SWAYAM portal. The aim is to provide a comprehensive platform for online courses and adapt to the changing landscape of education. The portal will be designed in collaboration with state universities and will focus on courses related to Indian Knowledge Systems. The government also plans to leverage social media for information dissemination and ensure regular updates through a Twitter handle for the Higher and Technical Education Department.

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Updated on Jan 06, 2024 08:10 AM IST

Parity in stipends, paid leaves in new PG medical regulations

The National Medical Commission (NMC) has introduced reforms in postgraduate medical education, including equal stipends for PG students at private and state-run colleges, minimum casual leave, and residential accommodation. The regulations also outline penalties for non-compliance and address seat reservations and the establishment of academic cells. The NMC has postponed the National Exit Test (NExT) until further notice. PG students in private medical colleges have long complained about lower stipends compared to government medical colleges.

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Updated on Jan 05, 2024 07:18 AM IST

MU rectifies technical error in MA semester four results

The Mumbai University had to revoke and revise semester four MA results for around 1,900 students due to a technical error in the conversion of marks into SGPA.

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Updated on Jan 04, 2024 08:02 AM IST

Somaiya students’ amateur radio satellite takes to the skies

An amateur radio satellite created by students and named ‘Somaiya Beliefsat-0’ was successfully launched on New Year’s Eve at 9.10 am from Sriharikota’s premier launch pad. The satellite serves as a payload on the PSLV-C58 mission’s PSLV Orbital Experimental Module (POEM) platform

Somaiya students’ amateur radio satellite takes to the skies
Updated on Jan 02, 2024 07:50 AM IST

BMC Aarey school’s new timings upset parents

The decision comes in response to concerns raised by BMC officials about the traffic congestion on the narrow roads of Aarey during peak hours. The officials cited the unique geographical challenge, as the school is situated in a forest area where leopards roam freely

BMC Aarey school’s new timings upset parents
Updated on Dec 31, 2023 08:06 AM IST

MU approves new curriculum for over 100 subjects in preparation for four-year degree courses

The University of Mumbai has approved new curricula for over 100 subjects in BA, BSc, and BCom, as it moves towards implementing four-year degree courses by 2024-25. The move aligns with the New Education Policy and aims to offer flexible and employment-oriented educational opportunities. The university has already granted this privilege to autonomous colleges and will extend it to non-autonomous colleges. The curriculum and credit scheme received approval from the academic council, and the implementation will be carried out in a step-by-step manner. The university has formed clusters of colleges to decentralize the implementation process and promote a multidisciplinary approach to learning.

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Updated on Dec 31, 2023 06:56 AM IST

ISRO chairman urges IITians to join India’s space programs

Somanath elaborated on ISRO’s ambitious goals, including the launch of the ‘Bharat Antriksh Station’ (Indian Space Station) by 2035, with the initial phase set for 2028. He highlighted the aim to land a human on the moon by 2040 through the Gaganyan mission and underscored the need for research collaborations in areas such as material science and robotics

Shreedhara panicker Somanatjh Chairman of the Indian space research organization attending For Lecture a three-day Techfest festival of Technology at Mumbai IIT,Techfest IIT Bombay is Asia's Largest Science and Technology festival on Thursday. ( Praful Gangurde / HT Photo )
Updated on Dec 29, 2023 07:08 AM IST

Temp lecturers have not been paid since 6 months

Around 42% teaching positions in aided colleges in Maharashtra remain vacant, leading to the appointment of temporary lecturers on a clock hour basis. However, these lecturers have not been paid for the last six months due to a delay in paperwork, causing financial strain for many. The College Accreditation Department is allegedly operating slowly, leading to further delays in salary disbursement. Despite a large number of vacancies, 3,580 positions announced by the government in November 2018 remain unfilled.

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Updated on Dec 26, 2023 07:26 AM IST

Marathi theatre producers to boycott Shivaji Mandir Natyagruh

Marathi theatre producers are boycotting the renowned Shivaji Mandir Natyagruh in Mumbai due to dissatisfaction with new management practices, including an increase in rent and issues related to show dates. The boycott will result in the cancellation of 23 highly anticipated plays, causing disappointment among theatre enthusiasts. The producers are calling for a collaborative effort with the theatre management to find a solution. The officials from the Shree Chhatrapati Shivaji Smarak Mandal (Trust) have not yet commented on the situation.

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Updated on Dec 25, 2023 07:14 AM IST

Univ inks pact with Oxford, to offer temple management courses

The department of Sanskrit and the Centre for Hindu Studies at the University of Mumbai will contribute to the Bhagavata Purana master project of the Oxford Center for Hindu Studies

**EDS: IMAGE VIA @ashokgehlot51**Shirdi: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot at the Sai Baba temple, in Shirdi, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (PTI Photo) (PTI09_23_2022_000182B) (PTI)
Updated on Dec 23, 2023 07:42 AM IST

Govt to review egg prices for midday meals

The state government in Maharashtra, India, has committed to reviewing the price of eggs every month in order to ensure a steady supply for midday meals in schools. This comes after the fluctuating prices of eggs caused difficulties for school managements and teachers' organisations tasked with implementing a government resolution to enhance protein intake for school children. The evaluation of prices will be based on rates fixed by the National Egg Coordination Committee. School management committees have also called for assistance in establishing a reliable supply-chain channel.

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Updated on Dec 22, 2023 07:00 AM IST

Backlash over new semester registration policy at TISS

According to a notice from the TISS administration, semester registration is now contingent upon clearance all previous fee dues and available only after payment of such dues and the semester fee

Backlash over new semester registration policy at TISS
Updated on Dec 21, 2023 07:08 AM IST

State plans to establish cluster schools across 163 locations

The state education department in Mumbai plans to establish cluster schools in 163 locations to enhance education quality, by merging nearby schools that have less than 20 students enrolled. These cluster schools aim to offer improved facilities, access to high-quality teachers, and a more diverse peer group. The proposal is currently being reviewed for feasibility before being forwarded to the state government.

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Updated on Dec 17, 2023 08:10 AM IST

JJ hospital resident doctors allege harassment by HOD, threaten mass leave from Monday

Resident doctors at JJ Hospital in Mumbai have accused the head of the dermatology department of harassment and creating a hostile work environment. They have demanded his immediate removal and threatened to go on leave if their demands are not addressed. Other faculty members have also expressed support for the residents. A committee has been formed to investigate the allegations.

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Updated on Dec 17, 2023 07:52 AM IST

Ande ka funda: Schools ask for hike in budget for eggs in meals

The rising price of eggs in Mumbai is making it difficult for schools to follow a government mandate to serve eggs to children as part of their meals. Schools are requesting an increase in funds to provide the essential nutrition.

Updated on Dec 16, 2023 08:30 AM IST

State orders eviction of IAS aspirants from govt-run training centre

The 100 students, who were selected through a rigorous process, were shocked to receive an eviction notice on December 11, barely a week after commencing classes

As per the letter received by the institute from the Public Works Department (PWD), the institute premises will now be developed and privatised under the BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) principle. (Bhushan Koyande/HT Photo)
Updated on Dec 14, 2023 06:58 AM IST
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