Scared to go to US: Indian students worry about physical safety, says survey

Washington Indian students have a “high level of concern” about potential study in the US and a large number of them worry about their physical safety and about the feeling of being welcomed, says a new survey.

The Institute of International Education (IIE) suggested that the final outcome of the US Supreme Court order in June that temporarily upheld President Donald Trump’s executive order to restrict entry of nationals from six Muslim majority countries to America weighs on their mind.

With over a million international students pursuing higher education in the US and contributing more than $36 billion to the American economy, the stakes are high, it said.

Image result for Scared to go to US: Indian students worry about physical safety, says survey

Founded in 1919, the IIE is a US-based not-for-profit working to build peaceful and equitable societies by advancing scholarship, building economies and promoting access to opportunity. It focuses on International student exchange and aid, foreign affairs, and international peace and security.

The IIE said that the survey results indicate the highest level of institutional concern regarding enrolment of students from the Middle East, followed by India.

Thirty-one per cent of institutions are very concerned that Middle Eastern students who have accepted offers of admissions may not arrive on campus in the fall, and 20% are very concerned that Indian students may not arrive on campus, it said.

“This uncertainty raises valid concerns as to whether students from the Middle East may be deterred from US study,” it said.

“Securing and maintaining a visa is reported as the top concern among these students and was reported by 46 % of institutions, while feeling welcome in the United States was an almost equal concern, with 41% of institutions noting so from their conversations with students,” it added.

According to the IIE, survey findings suggest that Indian students “have a high level of concern about potential study in the United States, 80% of institutions responded that physical safety was the most pronounced concern for Indian students, while 31% of institutions indicated that feeling welcome was also a concern.”

“Although application totals appear to largely remain stable, yield rates and a concern about personal safety suggest the possibility that Indian students may not continue to grow as the second largest international group in US higher education,” IIE said.

“Their concerns may lead some Indian students to accept admissions offers from other leading host countries, especially from those that issue student visas more quickly.”

The IIE, however, said despite widespread concerns that international student interest in the US might be flagging, the evidence from this survey suggests that “this is not the case.”

It said that interest among international students in the US remains steady overall despite the current environment.

According to the study, modest drops in yield – the percentage of students that attend a college or university after having been offered admission – at some institutions may be offset by steady or increased yield at other schools.

Among the 112 colleges that provided data there was a 2% decline in the expected yield rate this year compared to last year.

Overall, international undergraduate yield has dipped slightly from 26 to 24% from fall 2016 to fall 2017.

The two percentage point decline is comparable to shifts in the domestic (US) student yield reported by institutional respondents, which fell from 30 to 28% over the same time period, it said.

According to the study, there is however little concern about students from Europe and Canada arriving on campus in the fall and only modest concern about students’ arrival from China and Latin America.

NEET admissions: 3 cases of students submitting fake marksheets raise alarm

Ahead of the online allotment of MBBS and BDS seats in NEET counselling on July 21, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, has issued an advisory to colleges to ensure that result marksheets that candidates submit are checked against the original document available on the CBSE website.

The move comes after the varsity detected three fake forged marksheets submitted to it with marks inflated on Tuesday. The varsity has uploaded the merit list and students who had forged the NEET were foolhardy enough to approach the varsity claiming that the merit list had mistakes, a senior official with the varsity said.

“A female candidate who scored 477 marks in NEET approached us on Tuesday with a forged marksheet that recorded her marks at 577. She created a scene in the admission office, claiming that the merit list was wrong. On verification, the marksheet was found to be fabricated. When confronted, she fled. Students must refrain from such tricks,” the official added. Two similar cases were also reported on Tuesday.

HT Representative Image

Now, the BFUHS has issued strict instructions to colleges to verify the NEET-2017 marks of candidates and not rely on the hand out results submitted by the students.

“NEET-2017 marks of the candidates should be verified by original login on computer from the website cbse.neet.nic.in. This should be minutely matched and verified with the result card of the exam that candidates submit,” the university’s note adds.

BFUHS V-C Dr Raj Bahadur said, “Before allotting a seat, the eligibility of each candidate shall be verified. In case, somebody submits a forged certificate, he/she will be in trouble as the documents will be again verified. We will report the cases to the police and seek the registration of a FIR.”

Meanwhile, of 9,200 students who applied for admission, 3,000 had submitted their online preferences of colleges till Tuesday.

Officials said students should consider the seats matrix uploaded at the website of the university as that will help them to decide their preference of college.

A fresh coat of paint, better plumbing and drinking water: How 5 teachers gave a Rajasthan school, and its students, a new life

When she joined the Girls’ Upper Primary School (GUPS) in Alwar’s Shivaji Park in December 2016, Hemlata Sharma, 47, had been teaching for 27 years. This was her first posting as head teacher and never before had she been so appalled by the condition of the school.

Classrooms leaked in the rain, plaster peeled off the wall. The entire building was in a state of disrepair and housed just 100 students from classes 1 to 8.

Sharma took up a challenge to bring the school back to life before the next academic session in July and roped in four other teachers for support.

Pleasing seating areas, space for interaction: The old school now is all bright and cheerful (HT Photo)

Within four months, things changed – the walls were painted in bright colours, the classrooms spruced up and a lawn laid out in front. An underground rainwater recharge tank, an RO plant for drinking water, and new furniture in all classrooms were also added. Leakages were plugged.

Just 15 days after schools opened, enrolment went up to 202. Some admissions were pending clearance for lack of Aadhaar and birth certificates.

Sharma was also determined to do something about Rajasthan’s high school dropout rate. The 2016 Annual Status of Education Report survey of schooling and learning levels in rural India ranks the state among the top three with the highest dropout rates in children aged 11 to 14 (5% among all-India average of 3.5%). To get more children to her school, she turned to her family for donation to start repairs.

A garden has been laid out for the children to play in. (HT Photo)

“I asked my sisters, brother and father for money and collected Rs 40,000 from them. After that I went to my teachers,” said Sharma, who added Rs 11,000 from her savings into the school renovation kitty.

Manju Rani Sharma, who retired on May 31, donated Rs 21,000 as a parting gift to the school. Three other teachers – Sanika Sharma, Sashi Singhal and Kavita Sharma – also donated to take the teachers’ contribution Rs 51,000.

After collecting about Rs 1 lakh, the teachers began work. For changing the infrastructure, Sharma met district Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan officials, who, impressed by her efforts, sanctioned Rs 2 lakh more.

Sanika Sharma, who will retire in June next year, said they approached philanthropists in town for furniture in classrooms and free uniforms for students.

On June 8 this year, the teachers distributed among 170 students a new uniform set and a pair of shoes and socks.

Clean water, waste disposal – the school has now got new, upgraded facilities. (HT Photo)

“It was on that day that I proposed to my colleagues that teachers should wear uniform to school to enforce discipline – and the teachers agreed,” said Sharma.

Now the students wear brown trousers and skirts and light brown shirts, and the teachers wear off-white salwar and dupatta and maroon kurta.

Two teenagers who passed Class 12 recently come in regularly to teach junior school students to make up for shortage of teachers. “Parul and Priyanka, twin daughters of school management committee president Kusum Rohilla, are coming to school since June 22 after two of the five teachers got transferred out,” the head teacher said.

The two girls are in the first year of college.

Recently, Imran Khan from Alwar, who was lauded by PM Narendra Modi at London’s Wembley Stadium in 2015 for creating apps for the benefit of students, got the school four computers and a printer.

Delhi Police, college students and authorities brace for day one of Delhi University

The new academic session at Delhi University (DU) begins on July 20. And freshers have mixed feelings — nervousness about whether they’ll ‘fit in’ and excitement to step into a more chilled-out phase of their lives. Some even fear being bullied. But here’s what: From the various college authorities and societies to student political parties and even the Delhi Police, everyone is working towards ensuring a smooth run for the anxious fuchchas.

“We’ll welcome the freshers with chocolates and roses, and brief them about the syllabus and course details, as there are minor changes in the syllabus every year that freshers don’t usually know of,” says Shauryaveer Singh, a student of Campus Law Centre and a member of National Students’ Union of India (NSUI).

Picture for representational purpose only.

For safety and a ragging-free campus, the student political wing has made a list of locations where CCTV cameras are required. “University is planning to install cameras in the campus premises and have asked for recommendations as to where they should be installed. We have noted down 23 locations to ensure security, especially for the girls,” adds Singh.

Some drama always helps! So, besides orientation programmes, fuchchas can expect anti-ragging plays on campus. Dr Rama, principal of Hans Raj College, shares, “The seniors students will stage plays on the anti-ragging theme. A committee of teachers will also monitor the college premises.” She adds, “No one will be able to bully anyone and if any student faces any issue, they can contact me without any hesitation.”

Above all, Delhi Police plans to tighten vigilance. “We will deploy more female officers, dressed in casuals, in the campus. Women helpdesks will be established at Arts Faculty, Miranda House, Ramjas College, Kirori Mal College and Hans Raj College. We will coordinate with the anti-ragging committees of each college and department,” says Jatin Narwal, Deputy Commissioner of Police (North).

More so, “the Delhi Metro has been requested to make announcements in trains and stations about DU being intolerant towards ragging,” reads a release issued by the varsity.

HC to hear plea seeking ‘priority admission’ for Delhi students in DU

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court (HC) will continue hearing a plea on Monday seeking priority in admission criteria for Delhi domiciled students in Delhi University (DU).

Response on this matter has already been sought from the DU vice chancellor (VC).

The HC on May 24 had issued a notice to the Centre, the Delhi government and DU on a plea seeking preference in admission to DU students who were Delhi domiciled.

The HC on May 24 had issued a notice to the Centre, the Delhi government and DU on a plea seeking preference in admission to DU students who were Delhi domiciled.

Member of Parliament from Delhi Parvesh Verma and Delhi assembly member Manjinder Singh Sirsa had met DU VC Yogesh Tyagi on May 17 and informed him about Delhi students being forced to pay large sums of money for admission to private universities as they were unable to join DU .

The two political leaders urged Tyagi to fix a 70 % quota for Delhi students or give at least 3 to 5% grace marks to Delhi students as it was “their constitutional right to be able to have access to higher education at a reasonable cost.”

Earlier even AAP had urged the VC to look into a similar proposal, but it was then rejected by the university.

Sirsa, a newly elected Rajouri Garden MLA, had earlier in a statement had said that students from neighbouring states were getting seats in Delhi colleges solely ‘due to the liberal markings’ while their Delhi counterparts were unable to do so ‘due to the strict marking system’.

Toppers flunk: 50% Class­-10 merit students in Punjab fail talent test

Barely two months after chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh expressed his displeasure at just 57% pass percentage in Class-10 exams in the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB), questions are being raised on the quality of toppers as well.

Sample this: Only around half (50%) of Class-10 toppers (students with a score of 80% and above) who applied for a seat at 10 government-run Meritorious Schools in the state have cleared the entrance test for admission to Class-11 this year.

The government spends Rs 40 crore a year on Meritorious Schools in the state.

WHAT ARE MERITORIOUS SCHOOLS
  • A brainchild of former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, these schools were started in 2014 on the lines of Bihar’s famed ‘Super-30’. Only students scoring 80% and above in the PSEB are eligible to take the entrance test.
  • There are 10 schools, affiliated to the PSEB, offering admission in Class 11. The aim is to place deserving students in professional colleges at the national level and train them, free of cost.
  • The schools, that offer 4,100 seats, are located in Amritsar, Bhatinda, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Patiala, Mohali, Ferozepur and Sangrur.

A brainchild of former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, these schools were started in 2014 on the lines of Bihar’s famed ‘Super-30’. The schools aim to nurture bright matriculates from government schools and prepare them for admission to professional colleges after Class 12, free of cost.

The government spends Rs 40 crore a year on these schools that offer 4,100 seats. This year, only 2,700 students have qualified.

In the entrance test, most of the 5,000 students who took the test could not answer questions like ‘What is the plural of fish’; ‘Name the biggest planet in the Universe’ and so on. The passing marks at the entrance test were 33%. The test comprises 50-mark papers each, in English, maths and science.

The authorities will now conduct a re-test on August 2 ‘only to accommodate the less competent students’, sources said. The test was re-conducted last year as well, with 1,400 seats going vacant.

An officer of the society that runs Meritorious Schools told HT that even of 2,700 students who have qualified, most have scored less than 70 marks on 150.

Ludhiana produced the largest number of students with 80% or more, but also has the largest failure rate.

‘PURPOSE DEFEATED’

“The idea was to groom backward and poor, but deserving students and to train them to gain entry to professional courses. However, many undeserving students are getting in, defeating the purpose of setting up of these schools,” said former vice-chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU) Prof Ajaib Singh Brar. Brar had suggested the concept to Badal.

MASS COPYING A REASON?

A search for reasons and several conversations with teachers revealed that mass copying and the policy of no-detention policy (now in the process of being phased out) till Class-8 has led to the situation.

“You cannot fail students till Class 8. Many schools are short off staff and where the teachers strength is good they are deployed in non-teaching work like elections, population surveys etc,” a teacher from Hoshirpur district said.

She added, “On top of this, you have a system where the ACR of a teacher is based on the results. Mass copying then results,” she claimed

DGSE SHOWS CONCERN

Director general, school education, Punjab Parshant Kumar Goyal said, “We are concerned. I have ordered officers to check if the question paper in the entrance was tough or is the students’ performance poor.”

No students in this school: Sanskrit institute with four teachers in dire straits

From a distance, this government-run Sanskrit school in Sikar district of Rajasthan appears like any other run-down school with the building in need of paint. But once you enter the premises, it becomes clear that something else is amiss. The school is erringly quiet – there are no children on the small playground or, for that matter, in the classrooms.

The Government Upper Primary Sanskrit School in Pratappura village has six classrooms, four teachers — but not a single student. The teachers report for work at about 8am, water the plants, read newspaper, chat among themselves and leave after 2pm. They get their salary on time, but are not happy about the state of affairs.

“We feel ashamed to be sitting idle the whole day. It was once a thriving school with more than 50 students, but things changed a few years ago,” Sanwarmal, the school’s head teacher, told HT.

The school, which was established in 1998 attracted children from the neighbouring villages. In 2005, the student strength peaked to 55 and then gradually began to decline. In 2015-16 academic session, only four students were left and their parents also withdrew them last year.

(From left) Sanwarmal, Krishna Verma and Prabhudayal Sharma- teachers of Upper Primary Sanskrit School in Pratappura.

“A few years ago, the neighbouring villages did not have schools so the children used to come to Pratappura. Now, there are three middle schools within 1-2 km range, and so this school has been deserted,” village sarpanch, Balram Verma, said.

Pratappura has a population of about 300, and in most households the head of the family are employed in other towns and only the elders have stayed back to look after the ancestral home.

“The village has only six to seven students from class 1-8 who now study in other schools in the neighbouring villages,” Sanwarmal said.

All the teachers are now sick with boredom. “There is nothing to do here. We even encourage the village elders to come and chat with us so that we are able to pass the time,” Krishna Verma, who is the sole female teacher, said.

A retired army man, Kashiram and a farmer, Ghanshyam Singh, are regular visitors.

The teachers have approached the education department in Jaipur to shift them on deputation to other nearby schools where there is vacancy for Sanskrit teachers. “We gave a written request many months ago, but no action has been taken in this regard. We were told that deputations have been stopped for now,” Sanwarmal said.

The school has a glorious past, said Prabhudayal Sharma, who joined as a teacher in 2003.

“Some of the students have become doctors and engineers and one of them is a senior police official. But now there is little hope. The chances of the school’s revival are very slim,” he said.

As if to emphasise his point, a stray dog wanders inside the premises to be quickly shooed away by one of the teachers.

Scared to go to US: Indian students worry about physical safety, says survey

Washington Indian students have a “high level of concern” about potential study in the US and a large number of them worry about their physical safety and about the feeling of being welcomed, says a new survey.

The Institute of International Education (IIE) suggested that the final outcome of the US Supreme Court order in June that temporarily upheld President Donald Trump’s executive order to restrict entry of nationals from six Muslim majority countries to America weighs on their mind.

With over a million international students pursuing higher education in the US and contributing more than $36 billion to the American economy, the stakes are high, it said.

Founded in 1919, the IIE is a US-based not-for-profit working to build peaceful and equitable societies by advancing scholarship, building economies and promoting access to opportunity. It focuses on International student exchange and aid, foreign affairs, and international peace and security.

The IIE said that the survey results indicate the highest level of institutional concern regarding enrolment of students from the Middle East, followed by India.

Thirty-one per cent of institutions surveyed in the US are concerned that Middle Eastern students who have accepted offers of admissions may not arrive on campus in the fall, and 20% are very concerned that Indian students may not arrive on campus, a survey has revealed.

Thirty-one per cent of institutions are very concerned that Middle Eastern students who have accepted offers of admissions may not arrive on campus in the fall, and 20% are very concerned that Indian students may not arrive on campus, it said.

“This uncertainty raises valid concerns as to whether students from the Middle East may be deterred from US study,” it said.

“Securing and maintaining a visa is reported as the top concern among these students and was reported by 46 % of institutions, while feeling welcome in the United States was an almost equal concern, with 41% of institutions noting so from their conversations with students,” it added.

According to the IIE, survey findings suggest that Indian students “have a high level of concern about potential study in the United States, 80% of institutions responded that physical safety was the most pronounced concern for Indian students, while 31% of institutions indicated that feeling welcome was also a concern.”

“Although application totals appear to largely remain stable, yield rates and a concern about personal safety suggest the possibility that Indian students may not continue to grow as the second largest international group in US higher education,” IIE said.

“Their concerns may lead some Indian students to accept admissions offers from other leading host countries, especially from those that issue student visas more quickly.”

The IIE, however, said despite widespread concerns that international student interest in the US might be flagging, the evidence from this survey suggests that “this is not the case.”

It said that interest among international students in the US remains steady overall despite the current environment.

According to the study, modest drops in yield – the percentage of students that attend a college or university after having been offered admission – at some institutions may be offset by steady or increased yield at other schools.

Among the 112 colleges that provided data there was a 2% decline in the expected yield rate this year compared to last year.

Overall, international undergraduate yield has dipped slightly from 26 to 24% from fall 2016 to fall 2017.

The two percentage point decline is comparable to shifts in the domestic (US) student yield reported by institutional respondents, which fell from 30 to 28% over the same time period, it said.

According to the study, there is however little concern about students from Europe and Canada arriving on campus in the fall and only modest concern about students’ arrival from China and Latin America.

IIT-KGP to help eastern India students learn more about free online courses

Kolkata The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur will approach institutes of higher education in eastern India to familiarise students and teachers with free online courses offered by National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL).

NPTEL, a joint initiative of the IITs and Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, offers 160 courses in various categories like agriculture, computer science, management studies, mathematics and basic science, engineering and humanities.

While over five5 lakh students had enrolled for NPTEL courses this year, only about 7% of them were from Eastern India.

“The biggest problem for NPTEL courses is that not only the students from eastern India, but also the colleges and universities in the region are not aware of it,” Anupam Basu, coordinator of NPTEL at IIT-KGP, said.

Students from eastern India will be familiarised with free online courses offered by the National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL).

“We are sure if people get to know about the facility and that it is encouraged by AICTE and UGC, there will be many takers,” said Basu, also professor of computer science and engineering.

Too boost enrolments from the region, IIT-KGP is talking to various institutes of West Bengal, Odisha and northeastern states to offer credit transfers to the students, an IIT-KGP spokesperson said.

For West Bengal, IIG-KGP would approach the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology (formerly West Bengal University of Technology), while talks are on with general degree colleges like Vidyasagar College and Gokhale Memorial Girls’ College of Kolkata.

Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST), Jadavpur University and and Presidency University would also be approached, the spokesperson said.

IIT-KGP has also approached most of the private engineering colleges in Bengal.

A workshop with over 100 teachers from various private engineering colleges was held at IIT-KGP recently. PTI SUS NN SBN

MSBSHSE new evaluation pattern: Class IX students will not have oral tests in languages

Class IX students will no longer have to take oral examinations in languages and write internal assessments in social sciences, according to the new evaluation pattern announced by the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE).

In a circular issued on Thursday, the MSBSHSE announced the new evaluation pattern for Class IX students as per the new curriculum.

The circular states that students will have to attempt a theory examination for all three languages and social sciences for 100 marks. Currently, the subjects have 20 marks allotted to orals/assignments and 80 marks for theory.

MSBSHSE, MSBSHSE new evaluation pattern, mumbai exam pattern, mumbai oral test, indian express news, india news, education news

“Oral exams for languages and the 20 marks-assignments in social sciences have been scrapped. We came across instances of schools inflating internal marks for their students to increase their overall score. The move is aimed to stop this practice,” said an official from the education department.

The new pattern would come into effect from the 2017-18 academic year.

The official said that from the next academic year, the same marking pattern will be implemented for Class X.