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GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION - December 2023

Dec 2023

Apr 23, 2024

Centre Releases Curriculum Framework for Three to Six-year-Olds

  • For the first time ever, the Central government released curriculum advisable to be taught to children aged three to six-years-old, thus giving an impetus to pre-school learning in 14 lakh anganwadis across the country.
  • The Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) released the National Curriculum for Early Childhood Care and Education 2024 titled 'Aadharshila,' on the lines of the National Education Policy 2020 and the National Curriculum Framework. 
  • Aadharshila (translated as foundation stone) is a detailed 48-week curriculum meant for learning in the age-group of three to six-year-olds in anganwadis.

AMU Gets Its First Woman V-C: Naima Khatoon

  • Naima Khatoon Gulrez, the principal of Aligarh Muslim University's Women's College since 2014, was appointed as the university's first woman Vice-Chancellor. 
  • The AMU Court had shortlisted three candidates for the post and forwarded the names to President Droupadi Murmu for final selection in November 2023.
  • Professor Muzaffar Uruj Rabbani, former Dean, Faculty of Medicine, AMU, and Professor Faizan Mustafa, V-C, Chanakya National Law University, Patna, were the other frontrunners for the post.
  • Gulrez's appointment was cleared by the Election Commission (EC) with the condition that it would not be publicised and no political mileage would be drawn from it.

Students with 4-year Bachelor's Degrees, 75% can Directly Pursue PhD: UGC Chief

  • Students with four-year undergraduate degrees can now directly appear for NET and pursue PhD, according to University Grants Commission (UGC) Chairman Jagadesh Kumar. To pursue a PhD with or without a Junior Research Fellowship (JRF), the candidates will require a minimum of 75 per cent marks or equivalent grades in their four-year undergraduate course.
  • So far, a candidate for the National Eligibility Test (NET) needed a master's degree with a minimum of 55 percent marks. The exam this year will be conducted in offline mode instead of a Computer-Based Test.

Apr 20, 2024

West Bengal: WBCHSE Introduces Semester System in State-run Schools

  • The West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education (WBCHSE) announced the implementation of a semester system for class 11 from the current academic session (2024-25) and for class 12 from the 2025-26 academic session in all state-run and state-aided schools.
  • The new system will encompass the entire higher secondary or 10+2 education into four parts such as semester 1, semester 2, semester 3 and semester 4, where class 11 will be divided into semester 1 and 2 and class 12 will be redesigned as semester 3 and 4 from the academic session 2024-25 and 2025-26, respectively.
  • This change aligns with the new state education policy that was disclosed in August. The policy encourages schools to provide opportunities and guidance to students for engaging in challenging coursework, extracurricular activities, and summer projects with higher educational institutions.

Universities Need Not Take AICTE Approval to Start ODL, Online Courses: UGC

  • The University Grants Commission (UGC) notified all central, state and private universities no longer need to take prior approval from the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE).
  • As per the latest notification, universities do not require prior approval/recommendation/ NOC from AICTE for offering Undergraduate, Postgraduate and Postgraduate diploma programmes under the disciplines of Management, Computer Application and Travel and Tourism in ODL and/or online mode.
  • However, Deemed to be Universities shall continue to require prior approval/recommendation/ NOC of AICTE for offering of such programmes in ODL and/or online mode, before submitting their application to the Commission.
  • UGC also stated that programmes under the domain of AICTE mentioned in provision 2(z) of UGC (ODL Programmes and Online Programmes) Regulations, 2020, shall remain prohibited, until the receipt of approval/ recommendation/ NOC from AICTE for the consideration of the Commission.

Apr 19, 2024

IIT Madras Launches India's First Mobile Medical Devices Calibration Facility

  • The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras launched the first mobile medical device calibration facility in India. This innovative project has been developed as part of the 'Anaivarukkum IITM' (IITM for All) initiative. It was inaugurated by Prof. V. Kamakoti, the Director of IIT Madras. 
  • This initiative boosts the United National Sustainable Development Goal 3, which calls for Health and well-being for all. The launch event was held on the campus with key figures such as Prof. R. Sarathi, Dean (Planning), Prof. M. Anbarasu, Head of CEC, and Prof. S. Ramakrishnan in attendance, alongside faculty and students.
  • This mobile facility is designed to deliver consistent quality healthcare across India, regardless of geographical constraints. It will facilitate the testing and maintenance of medical devices used in various hospitals, including those in remote villages, right at their doorsteps. The infrastructure available in this mobile unit includes state-of-the-art equipment to test the safety of medical devices and their functionalities as per international standards.

Indian Girls Shine at 13th European Girls' Mathematical Olympiad 2024

  • The 13th edition of the prestigious European Girls' Mathematical Olympiad (EGMO) took place in the picturesque city of Tskaltubo, Georgia, from April 11 to 17, 2024. Amidst fierce competition, the Indian contingent emerged victorious, showcasing their remarkable mathematical prowess and securing a coveted haul of medals.
  • The 4-member Indian team clinched a total of four medals, including two silver and two bronze, in the 13th EGMO 2024. The illustrious medal winners are: Gunjan Agarwal (Gurgaon, Haryana) -Silver Medal; Sanjana Philo Chacko (Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala) - Silver Medal; Larissa (Hisar, Haryana) - Bronze Medal; and Saee Vitthal Patil (Pune, Maharashtra) - Bronze Medal.
  • The Indian team's success can be attributed to the unwavering guidance and support provided by the esteemed mentors, Sahil Mhaskar (Head), Ms. Aditi Muthkhode (Deputy Head), and Ms. Ananya Ranade (Supervisor) from the Chennai Mathematical Institute. Their mentorship has been instrumental in shaping the team's exceptional performance.

IIT-Kanpur, BHU, Guwahati, Dhanbad, Jodhpur, Goa Get New Directors

  • The Union Ministry of Education appointed new directors to six IITs across the country. Manindra Agrawal, Sukumar Mishra, Avinash Agarwal, Dr. Devendra Jalihal, Dhirendra S. Katti and Amit Patra will take up the position of directors at IIT-Kanpur, Dhanbad, Jodhpur, Guwahati, Goa and IIT-BHU, respectively.
  • Agrawal, the new IIT-Kanpur Director, has been a professor at department of computer science and engineering at the same institute since 1996.
  • Mishra, who was appointed as director, IIT-Dhanbad, was a professor in the department of electrical engineering at IIT-Delhi.
  • Avinash Agarwal, who was appointed to IIT-Jodhpur, one of the new generation IITs, was serving as a professor at the department of mechanical engineering in IIT-Kanpur.
  • Jalihal, new IIT-Guwahati director, was serving as a professor at IIT-Madras in the department of electrical engineering. As per his profile, his research interests include signal processing and wireless communication. He has been at IIT-Madras since 2006.
  • Katti was a professor at IIT-Kanpur's biological sciences and bioengineering department; he will now serve as Director at IIT-Goa.
  • Patra, who was serving as the Deputy Director at IIT Kharagpur was appointed as Director at IIT BHU.

Anil Kumar Tripathi New Director of IISER Mohali

  • Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Mohali appointed Prof. Anil Kumar Tripathi as the Director for a tenure of five years. He has over 40 years of research and teaching experience.
  • He has been teaching in BHU since 1990 and has also served as a professor at the DDU Gorakhpur University from 2002-2004. Prof. Tripathi was also the Director of the Institute of Science, BHU, from February 2019 to January 2024.
  • Prof. Tripathi has a number of publications in leading national and international research journals, to his credit. His areas of expertise are bacterial genetics, functional genomics, systems biology and synthetic biology.

Apr 18, 2024

International Master's Course on Water Security and Global Change by IIT Madras

  • IIT Madras launched a new joint Master's Programme (JMP) on 'Water Security and Global Change' in partnership with two German universities – RWTH Aachen (RWTH), and TU Dresden (TUD) and in association with AIT, Bangkok, and UNU-FLORES.
  • Indian as well as international students with specified engineering backgrounds are eligible to apply for this master's programme.

Punjab Agricultural University Re-starts Fashion Design Course

  • Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), under the Department of Apparel and Textile Science, restarted the honors course on fashion design in the new academic session. Interested candidates who have passed their intermediate (class 12) in any stream are eligible to take admission to this course through their board exam results.
  • The scope of students after completing their degrees is quite varied and includes positions such as designers, merchandiser, production supervisors, quality analysts, fashion forecasters, supply chain managers, etc.

Apr 17, 2024

Nigeria Becomes First Country to Roll out New Meningitis Vaccine, WHO Says

  • Nigeria became the first country in the world to roll out the revolutionary new Men5CV vaccine against meningitis, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.
  • Nigeria is one of the hotspots of the deadly disease in Africa. Last year (2023), a 50% rise in annual cases was reported across 26 African countries regarded as meningitis hyperendemic countries, according to the WHO.
  • The new vaccine is reported to protect against the five major strains of the disease that are prevalent in Nigeria, unlike the initial vaccine that works against only one strain.

ISB Reviews its Curriculum for a more Customised PG Programme

  • The Indian School of Business (ISB) launched a comprehensive curriculum review for its Post Graduate Programme in Management (PGP) in response to the ever-changing business landscape.
  • According to ISB, the new curriculum has a three-pronged focus, which includes a move towards a more customised and flexible programme structure, given the diverse needs of the students, who come from backgrounds varying from engineering to the armed forces to art or sports.
  • With it, learnability is the second pillar, as the school will now use more activity-based methods that build the ability to constantly learn. The third key point is a built-in system of renewal in the curriculum so as to respond to future needs proactively.
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