Tuesday, December 9, 2014

JEE MAINS 2015 Forms Filling

The JEE MAINS 2015 shall be organized by CBSE and shall be held in 2 formats viz. Pen-Paper format (on 4th April, 2015) and Computer-based Online format (on 10th & 11th April, 2015). Students have a choice whether to give in either of the 2 formats. However, the process of form filling has to be compulsorily done through Online mode at www.jeemain.nic.in between 7th November & 18th December 2014.  The following points during form filling are to be noted :

  1. The candidate must fill all necessary details like name, address, date of birth, percentage of marks etc. carefully in the Online form.
  2. Latest photograph with light background needs to be uploaded. The photograph must contain name and date of birth at the bottom.
  3. Candidates are advised to upload the photograph, signature and thumb impression in a proper specified format given below :
·Photograph : JPEG format with 3.5 cm (W) X 4.5 cm (H) size. File size must be between 4kb and 40kb only.
·Signature : Signature with dark black or blue ink is accepted on A4 size plain paper. Image dimension should be 3.5 cm (W) X 1.5 cm (H). Save the file in JPEG format with 1 to 30 Kb file size.
·Thumb impression : Thumb impression also must be taken on A4 size paper. For boys, left thumb is accepted and for girls, right thumb is accepted. Image should be in JPEG format and must be between 3.5 cm (W) and 1.5 cm (H). File size : 1 to 30 Kb.
  1. Candidates have to specify whether they are applying for JEE MAIN Paper -1 which is for Engineering aspirants OR/AND for JEE MAIN Paper – 2 which is for Architecture & Town Planning aspirants.
  2. Candidates need to specify whether will appear for Computer-based or Pen-paper format as well. Both options are fine but the Computer-based option has the small risk of power outages at the authorized center. Otherwise, it is completely the choice of the candidate.
  3. Choice of JEE MAINS exams center can be made by the candidate. Candidates have to select any four examination centers of their choice. List is mentioned.
  4. The candidates are advised to carefully fill their personal details, academic details, guardian details as per the rules and regulations specified by CBSE.
  5. After filling all the necessary details and uploading the photographs, the candidates are advised to check all the information they have entered and edit them in case of any mistake before proceeding to fees payment. After payment of fees, the candidates are not permitted to make any kind of changes.
  6. The candidates can pay the fees (around Rs.1000 for boys and Rs.500 for girls per paper for General & OBC) by using e-challan of ICICI bank / Canara bank / Syndicate bank or net banking or credit / debit card. Additional processing charge (0.75 – 1.2 %) will have to be paid in case of debit / credit card payment method.
  7. After payment, the candidate can save the confirmation page or take the print out for future use.
ELIGIBILITY for appearing in JEE MAIN 2015 :

       The following points regarding eligibility must be noted :
 
1) Date of Birth :  Candidates whose date of birth falls on or after October 1, 1990 are eligible to appear for JEE MAIN. For SC/ST & PD candidates however, the cut-off date is October 1, 1985.
2) Year of XII Boards :  Candidates who passed the XII Boards exam in 2013, 2014 in first attempt or are appearing in 2015 are eligible to appear in JEE MAIN 2015.
3) Number of Subjects in XII Boards : Candidates must have passed atleast 5 subjects in XII Boards.
4) Number of Attempts : Maximum 3 consecutive attempts are allowed for JEE.

The results of JEE MAINS shall be declared in terms of marks scored out of 360 marks with subject-wise marks details on 27th April, 2015.  Please note that admission to all Engineering colleges at Maharashtra State level are based on 50% weightage to JEE MAINS percentile scores. The percentile scores is related to the marks scored. (100 marks means over 90 percentile score and 50 marks in 45 percentile score as per JEE MAIN 2014 statistics). The cut-off for eligibility for JEE ADVANCED 2015 can be known only on 27th April, 2015. However, for past 2 years the cut-off is around 115 marks.       

It should also be noted by the candidate that the elaborate 60-40 normalisation procedure explained in the Information bulletin does NOT apply for Maharashtra college admissions and that procedure may be relevant only for NIT admissions.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Happy Teachers Day to all 21st century Teachers

"A successful 21st century teacher must have the 3 crucial elements of compassion, passion and dispassion. Compassion because the teacher needs to empathize with the student and tune up to the level of the student. Passion because only a flame ignites another flame. Passion for the subject is highly infectious - a desirable attribute of the teacher. And finally Dispassion is needed so that the teacher can learn from students feedback / criticism as well. A lack of one of these 3 crucial elements will manifest as an obstacle to enjoy the teaching process. A genuine teacher not just builds expertise in a student in a certain subject but also builds "learnability" which is invaluable for the student. I hope that in future years more of the dynamic educated youth in India take up teaching on a part-time or full-time basis and contribute to India's ascent to be a superpower by capitalising on the historic demographic dividend opportunity that India has today. I am optimistic that the new Union Govt takes bold steps to revamp our education system and facilitate willing citizens to contribute to teaching in a big way. With abundant technological tools available, we are on the cusp of an e-edu-revolution. Happy Teachers Day to all 21st century teachers."

- Prof. Durgesh C. Mangeshkar

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

EDUCATIONAL SCENARIO IN INDIA : PART-1


This is the first part of a series of articles on the above subject.

The education sector of India is in a state of disrepair. Over 6 decades of utter neglect from successive Union & State Governments and education regulators has allowed mediocrity or worse to flourish in a sector which can make or break India’s potential fortunes. India has the youngest population with 65% of Indian population below the age of 35 years and if we have to reap the benefits of this huge demographic dividend and emerge as a superpower within the next decade, this young population has to be provided education which focuses on skills, innovation, research and entrepreneurship. Else, India shall plunge into chaos and the likely consequences are not desirable for anyone who loves India.

To place things in perspective, India 2014 has over 1.2 million schools, about 12000 junior colleges, about 9500 undergraduate colleges and about 650 Universities affiliated to UGC.  Every year about 2.5 crore students start their school education by securing admission in Std.1 but hardly 1.3 crore students appear in Std.10. About 72 lakh students complete Std.12 but only about 14 lakh students enrol themselves in various undergraduate programs like BE, MBBS, BSc, BCom, BA, B.Ed., BCS, BBA, Law etc.  Thus, the gross enrollment ratio of the country is a dismal 19%.   

The stated figures reveal that only 50% of students who join school reach till Std.10. Again, only hardly 50% of those who study till Std.10 secure admission in junior colleges. The most disturbing trend is that out of all those who complete junior college education till Std.12 only 19% of them join senior undergraduate college to pursue a degree.
So, the first serious challenge is to get more and more students to complete their education. This is the first challenge in education sector in India which experts call as the problem of access. The Government can play a major role in solving this problem by simplifying rules for starting and running an educational institution and making the entire process of inspection, accreditation, affiliation and evaluation fair, transparent and simple. Today, the rules are hazy and discourage private players without political contacts or financial muscle to start educational institutions. If rules are simplified, it shall encourage many corporate and private players without political blessings to start and run educational institutions. 

The second challenge is the deficiency in quality of education in most schools and colleges in India. Quality in education is a profound and comprehensive concept and its context changes as per the specific stage (primary school / secondary school / college etc.), the field of education and of course the broad philosophy of education adopted. India still lacks a credible system of grading / ranking of educational institutions and hence students take admission to schools and colleges based on word-of-mouth or blatant marketing initiatives by educational institutions. There is no credible system of grading and ranking of educational institutions in India yet. Teaching systems adopted in all schools and colleges are teacher-centric and not student-centric. No feedback is taken about teachers with professional ramifications and hence teachers take their jobs as granted. Due to poor quality of education in schools and colleges, a parallel system of private education called Coaching Classes & Tutorials has emerged which has become a whopping 1.5 lakh crore ($ 24 Billion) industry as per ASSOCHAM estimates. The biggest proof of the pathetic quality of Indian schools and colleges is the exponential growth of coaching classes and tutorials throughout India.

To put things in perspective again, there are hardly 2-3 Indian colleges (usually the IITs) which figure in the Top 500 Global College Ranking published by reputed independent agencies. As per a KPMG report, the number of researchers in India per million is estimated to be about 119 as against 663 in China and 4484 in US and above 3000 in each of US, France & Germany. Though over a lakh of Indian students each year obtain a degree in Computer Science or IT or a certificate in programming / software from private institutes, hardly 40 students each year get Ph.Ds in Computers Science & Engineering. Only 15-20% of colleges offering professional courses like Engineering, Medicine, Law, Architecture etc. are known unofficially amongst students as A-grade colleges wherein placements for job + further studies are satisfactory. Rest of the colleges provide sub-standard education and have dismal records of job and further studies placements.
If India has to churn out top-notch professionals from its colleges, it is imperative that the central issue of quality has to be adequately addressed by the Union + State Governments as well as education providers across India. One of the most powerful tools towards achieving universal quality education across India is to harness the power of the internet and tablet / smartphone technology to its fullest by broadcasting recorded lectures of eminent teachers in any particular subject free of charge. These lectures should be accessible free for anyone across the nation – all that is needed is an internet connection and a device. So, if the Government provides high-speed broadband connectivity to every nook and corner of the country and subsidizes the costs of tablets and smartphones, even poor and rural students can benefit from lectures of the best teachers across the country in any field from KG to PG.   
The third issue in education is lack of equity. The cost of education in schools and colleges is quite high and hence only a select group of Indian citizens can afford education to all levels. The biggest reason why so many students drop out of schools, colleges and university education is identified as lack of financial strength amongst parents to pay the fees of educational institutions. Problems of equity are further complicated by unscrupulous politicians of the country from all hues and colors by attributing inequity to social backwardness identifiable by caste and not to economic compulsions identifiable by income groups.  Thus, the instrument of Reservations has been used and abused in the field of education by narrow-minded politicians to appease their constituencies and have muddied the waters. However, beaming video lectures across the internet as suggested above can play a significant role in resolving the problems of equity.  The second mechanism which can be suggested is incentivise the educational loans market via banks, NBFCs and other Govt. agencies. The third mechanism is to fix the higher limit of fees in  schools and colleges for various courses and making capitation fees as a punishable offence by law. 

It is hoped that the new Union Government under PM Narendra Modi is seized of these triple concerns in the field of education viz. Access, quality & equity and shall take the necessary steps to make education a field where India shall reclaim its lost glory of being the epicenter of quality education. It is time that we aim for universal quality education and not just chant buzzwords like IITs, IIMs only when we talk of education in the Indian context.