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They offer water and education to passersby

April 17, 2010 in Change Agents, Uncategorized

April 17 (IANS) In a state parched for water and literacy, it’s a novel idea. The teachers of a government-run school in Alwar town offer to quench the thirst of passersby and then speak to them about enrolling their children.

The Pratap Senior Secondary School has opened a ‘piyao’ or water serving kiosk near the school premises where the teachers and other staff members, while offering water to passersby, inform them about educational and other facilities provided there.

School principal Chankya Lal Sharma, the man behind the idea, also sits at the kiosk to interact with people.

‘This entire exercise is aimed at increasing enrolment in the school. We at present have only 52 students and my idea is to take the strength to at least 200 by the start of the next academic session,’ Sharma told IANS.

During the ‘piyao counselling’ session, they inform people that the school, besides providing education, tries to get children involved in socially useful productive work (SUPW) and the National Cadet Corps (NCC).

They are also taken on educational tours and girl students are provided uniforms, cycles and course books free of cost, the school staff tell people.

The school also helps students coming from far away places to get bus passes.

In the last academic session, the institute had a only 40 students and 28 staff members.

‘We persuade people to bring a child even if he/she has failed in an examination or is not good in studies. We tell their parents that we would organise special classes for them,’ Sharma said.

‘We have a 100 percent result in this year’s Class 8 examination in spite of the fact that not all of our students were bright in studies,’ he added.

Sharma said that from May 1, his colleagues would identify the school dropouts and try to link them with education.

‘Every teacher has been asked to enrol at least 10 children,’ he said.

The school has 22 teachers.

‘We are also planning to put banners like private schools do to attract students,’ Sharma said.

As per the last census in 2001, Rajasthan’s literacy rate of 60.41 percent was lower than the national average of 64.84 percent.

And to make things worse, the high school dropout rate in Rajasthan is high; it has a 50 percent dropout rate from the primary to the upper primary stage and the percentage of out-of-school (OOS) children in the state has gone up from 6.9 percent to 8.21 percent in the recent past.

(Anil Sharma can be contacted at anil.s@ians.in)

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CS (Main) 2009 Exam Interviews on April 14 as Scheduled

April 17, 2010 in Uncategorized

The Government have declared 14th April, 2010 as a Closed Holiday on account of the birthday of Dr. B.R.Ambedkar, for all Central Government Offices. It is for the information of candidates short-listed for the Personality Test for Civil Services (Main) Examination, 2009 that there is no change in the scheduled programme for the Personality Test. The Personality Test shall be conducted by the UPSC on 14th April, 2010 as per the schedule, which has already been sent individually.

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Civil services test in for a revamp

April 17, 2010 in Uncategorized

Civil Services Aptitude Test is being mooted at the preliminary level from 2011 and the UPSC is expected to push for changes in the Main examination too.

Those aspiring to be civil servants must have not only the required skills and knowledge, but also the right values which would include integrity, commitment to public service and above all, commitment to the ideals and philosophy embodied in the Constitution.

So a number of committees and commissions were setup to make recommendations on various aspects of recruitment. The first committee was the Macaulay committee of 1854. This committee established the principle of ‘transferability of academic talent to administration.’ The Macaulay system continued till three decades after Independence.

In 1976, the Kothari committee recommended a sequential system of examination based on the dictum that “the average quality would get richer as the stream proceeds from one ‘stage to the next’. Accordingly the examination was designed as a sequential three stage process – an objective type Preliminary examination comprising one Optional and General Studies, a Main examination which would comprise 9 written papers and finally a Personality Test.

In 1989, Satish Chandra Committee was appointed to suggest reforms and it recommended minor changes to Kothari model. Accordingly, an ‘Essay’ paper was introduced and the marks for the Interview were enhanced. Presently, the Civil Services Examination is conducted on an annual basis on this pattern.

The new millennium demanded excellence at every level of governance which required almost total re-shaping, re-structuring of the economic as well as the administrative apparatus of the government. Responding to this need, the Y.K. Alagh Committee, in 2001, recommended significant changes.

At the Preliminary level, it suggested that the ‘optional’ subject should be continued but the General Studies paper should be recast to that of a Civil Services Aptitude Test comprising questions on basic awareness’, ‘problem solving and analytical abilities’ ( situation from the civil services arena to be taken to test reasoning and understanding of problems ) and ‘data analysis ability’.

In order to establish a level playing field it recommended that the optionals at the Main examination be replaced by four compulsory papers – Sustainable Development and Social justice, Science and Technology in Society, Democratic governance, Public Systems and Human Rights. The Second Administrative Reforms (Veerappa Moily) Commission in its report in 2008 upheld the recommendations of the Alagh Committee and made a few more significant suggestions.

The first step in this direction is its proposal to introduce a Civil Services Aptitude Test at the Preliminary level from the year 2011.

The Preliminary examination is expected to be re-modelled in either of the following formats:

Format-I : In this format, following the Alagh committee recommendations the Preliminary examination may comprise the following two objective type papers – the Optional Subject (300 marks) and Civil Services Aptitude Test (200 marks).

Format-II : In this format, following the recommendations of ‘P.S. Bhatnagar’ the Preliminary examination may comprise the following two objective type papers – Civil Services Aptitude Test (300 marks) and General Studies (300 marks).

The Union Public Service Commission may choose any of the above formats and a notification may be expected by May-June this year. Whatever the format, the Civil Services Aptitude Test appears to be on the anvil.

Likely pattern of a Civil Services Aptitude Test

It would comprise questions which would test the ‘problem solving’, ‘analytical’, ‘logical reasoning’ and ‘decision-making skills’ of the aspirant. To ensure that these questions are relevant they would necessarily be from the arena of civil services with an underlying essence of Public Administration in practice.

The UPSC is expected to push for changes at the level of the Main examination too. It is seriously examining the proposal of including compulsory papers exclusively from the domain of humanities based on the French Model of examination. The compulsory papers that are expected to be introduced are : ? Sustainable Development and Social Justice; ?Democratic Governance, Public Systems and Human Rights; ? Indian Constitution with an emphasis on Indian Legal System including Administrative Law; ? Economic Theory and Indian Economic System; ?Administrative Theories and Organisational Behaviour and ? Indian Administrative System. However, these changes are not expected in the near future.

Changes

The news of any change is an unnerving moment for any long term serious aspirant. However, if one is mentally prepared, the transition becomes easier. Given below are a few broad guidelines to help the prospective aspirant to prepare for the examination :

1. First and foremost, there is only a proposal for a change in ‘principle’. The change is to be debated and accepted. The UPSC has to formally declare the new pattern. Till then, all aspirants should continue with the old pattern.

2. As the questions would be from the arena of the civil services, all aspirants irrespective of their background should try to understand the philosophy behind the Constitution, its ideals, its principles and its focus on development. Having understood the constitutional framework they should comprehend the position of the civil services in the relevant context.

3. Having acquired basic knowledge within the given parameters, the next step would be to understand the logic behind every provision. Till now, what was tested was the ‘what’, now what would be tested will be the ‘why’.

4. The mode of preparation should change from the ‘descriptive’ mode to the ‘explanatory’ mode.

Having established a base for developing reasoning and problem solving skills, the prospective aspirant can ‘hone’ them at the appropriate juncture.

The writer is Director, Brain Tree.

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UPSC NDA Admit Card For NDA & NA Exam (I) 2010

April 17, 2010 in Uncategorized

New Delhi: Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has issued admit cards for the NDA & NA Exam (I) 2010, scheduled to be held in April 18, 2010. Those who have applied for the exam, if they have not received the admit card, they can check their venue information from the UPSC official website: http://www.upsc.gov.in/
 
In addition, the link for checking the venue information for UPSC NDA exam is given below. One can check the venue information by entering the form no. or roll no. NDA Exam Venue Information: http://upsc.gov.in/Query/nda-i/nda1_venue_query.htm). 

For more details about the venue information about the NDA Exam, one can visit the above mentioned link. One can also contact the following telephone numbers to know about the relevant information related to the exam from the office of Union Public Service Commission or over the telephone Nos :011- 23098543 or 011-23385271 or 23381125, from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm.

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4.7 lakh students sit for IIT-JEE

April 16, 2010 in Uncategorized

NEW DELHI: Nearly 4.7 lakh students today appeared in the IIT-Joint Entrance Examination for admission to prestigious 15 IITs, ISM Dhanbad and IT-BHU.

The number of candidates has gone up to 4.72 lakh this year against four lakh candidates last year, Prof T S Natarajan, Organising Chairman, JEE 2010, said.

The students qualifying the test will be eligible for admission into B.Tech programmes in these institutes offering over 10,000 seats.

About 90,000 candidates from National Capital Region have registered for the test. The results will be announced on May 26.

The IITs have decided to conduct on-line counselling for general category students this year. This will give relief to students who earlier used to go to different counselling centres for securing a seat for themselves.

However, the OBC candidates will have to go to the exam centres for counselling where their certificates will be examined.

The test comprises two sessions. The first session started at 9 am and will continue till 12 while the second session will start from 2 pm. The papers had questions on Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics.

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