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An Inspirational Journey: Pratibha Devisingh Patil

An Inspirational Journey: Pratibha Devisingh Patil –

The First Woman President of India


Rasika Chaube & Chhaya Mahajan

Library Call No.: 923.154 CHA-I

(Visit the Library to read the Book)

This work is an attempt to understand the life and works of the first President of India. Pratibha Patil’s life has been eventful and surely inspirational.

Breaking the chains that shackled women to homes, Tai, as Pratibha is fondly called, went on to excel in academics, plunged into social work and propelled into politics. Starting her political career as an MLA at the age of 27 Pratibha Patil went on serve in various positions in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly and then later as member of the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha. After a short sabbatical she came back as Governor of Rajasthan and then finally elected as President of India.

In simple language the authors trace Pratibha Patil’s political career and her personal life. The first part of the book is about her rise as political leader and also as a person. It is replete with interesting anecdotes, lesser known snippets like her passion for playing the harmonium and becoming a table tennis champion. Her personal life is also brought out vividly with some heart-warming observations about her husband Dr. Devisingh and her children.

The second part of the book provides a glimpse into her political career covering the debates, arguments, reasoning advocated by her during her stint in the Vidhan Sabha; her decisions and rulings as Rajya Sabha member, questions she raised at the Lok Sabha and the proposals she initiated as Governor.

The foreword by Dr. Manmohan Singh, messages by N. K. P. Salve and Vasant Sathe make interesting reading.

The book is easy to read and has a lavish spread of photographs both from her personal collection and some from her political album. However, a little more attention and imagination should have gone into writing the captions. Some of them like ‘site-seeing in London’ are a let down, while the others are simply boring.

K. P.

Courtesy: The Hindu


Filed under: Book of the week,

Innovating for social development

IDEAS FOR CHANGE: Paul Basil, CEO of Villgro Innovation Foundations, interacting with students at the Young Innovator Programme at IIT Madras. Photo: M. Karunakaran

IDEAS FOR CHANGE: Paul Basil, CEO of Villgro Innovation Foundations, interacting with students at the Young Innovator Programme at IIT Madras. Photo: M. Karunakaran

For these young innovators social entrepreneurship is a tool for change, to bring about a lasting impact in the lives of many.

The success of Grameen Bank in Bangladesh heralded the social entrepreneurship movement. That revolutionary micro-credit system kept poverty out of villages to some extent to catch the imagination of the world. The concept is gaining popularity and momentum in India as the younger generation is keen on the idea and inclusive model.

Social entrepreneurship has captured the attention of many inspired and service-minded youth and with the space for innovation growing by the day, youth are supported and encouraged to bring out their best and rejuvenate rural areas.

Success depends on the cost-effective models and innovative ideas combined with greater reach. Education Plus caught up with young innovators taking the first steps in social entrepreneurship. Passing out of the nation’s prestigious educational institutes, these youngsters are trying to reach out to the commoners.

Hemant Sahal, a biotechnology engineer, has used his technical expertise to come up with a simple strip to indicate the level of water pollution in villages, thousands of which have no access to safe drinking water. Initially, he demonstrated a simple water purification treatment process to be used in villages. And he was selected for the Ashoka Youth Venture. He decided to become a social entrepreneur and bring about a transformation in his own way. Improving on his innovation, he has come up with a water pollution indication strip. The strip when put inside water will indicate the level of pollution (heavy metals only).

Shreya Mishra and Neeraj Jain of IIT-Bombay teamed up with Saurav Poddar of IIT-Kanpur to come up with an innovative education model that has potential to address teacher shortage in primary schools. This core team selected 10 elite schools in Bhopal. Children from Class VII to IX of these city schools would visit 10 anganwadis and interact with and mentor the underprivileged children there. “This pilot project of ours was immensely successful. The department of women and child development provided support and encouragement to our initiative,” says Shreya Mishra. The children from the elite schools worked closely with the anganwadis they visited and came up with academic teaching solutions and teaching tools. A medical bank was also set up in the aanganwadis.

A. Suryanarayanan and Balakrishnan Ramnath of Hindustan College of Engineering, Coimbatore, worked together to innovate a portable water purifier. The objective is to provide employment opportunity to uneducated rural youth and enable them to become entrepreneurs. “Granular-activated Carbon is used by trekkers to treat water that is available to them. We have used this basic principle to design our product,” says Suryanarayana. The product purifies water in a three-step process. Water passes through GAC, and then filtered in micro fibre and finally undergoes a UV treatment process. The equipment can be fixed to any type of tap and water can be filled in bottles. “The market for our product is good. We are yet to make a prototype as we are awaiting funds. Portable water purifier is easily marketable too,” says Suryanarayana. The model can be assembled and marketed by unemployed youth and also they can bottle the water and sell it in cities.

Social entrepreneurship has proved to be an inspiring and telling experience for these young engineers. “Today as a young social entrepreneur, my perspective about social development has changed. Achieving behavioural change and empowering the rural people with a sense of responsibility will surely contribute to nation-building,” says Sahal.

The young social entrepreneurs were at the IIT-Madras to attend a capacity-building workshop organised by Villgro Innovations Foundations. “We concentrate in areas such as agriculture, water, energy and dairy. Our aim is to incubate innovations that could be translated to market-based models thus impacting thousands of lives,” says Siddharth Venkatraman of Villgro.

Identifying students with the right frame of mind and commitment to serve the nation, incubation, providing necessary skills, and other resources to take the innovations to market place are key to the success of social entrepreneurship movement in the country. Paul Basil, chief executive office of Villgro, says that when it comes to social entrepreneurship, the product development has to be affordable.

Sustained social change could be a reality when individuals respond and effectively contribute to bring about a social change. Young innovators are capable of ushering in this change. “If social entrepreneurs come together, they can grow into a national movement and address the most pressing issues of the nation,” says Shreya.




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Fading value of CBSE Class X examination

NO MORE EXAM BLUES: Under the CCE, the stress is on overall excellence and not just on marks scored in the board exam. Photo: M. Karunakaran

The continuous and comprehensive evaluation (CCE) system introduced by the Central Board of Secondary Education is getting a positive response from the State as 90 per cent of the students in the 830-odd CBSE schools have opted out of the board examination.

The concerns raised by thousands of parents over CBSE Class X examinations have died down with the board making it clear that the newly introduced continuous and comprehensive evaluation (CCE) system will give equal status to those taking the board examination and those taking the internal examination conducted by the school. And from next year, there will be no board examination for Class X.

Despite the initial confusions and concerns, almost 90 per cent of the parents of CBSE students in Kerala have responded positively to the board’s reforms. Ninety per cent of the students in 830-odd CBSE schools in Kerala have opted out of the Class X examination conducted by the board. Instead, they have opted for the internal examination conducted by their respective schools.

This figure, according to the CBSE, is unique to Kerala. Nationwide, 67 per cent of the CBSE students are not taking the Class X board exams. According to CBSE Chairman Vineet Joshi, the CCE has turned out to be successful in its first year itself as most of the students have opted not to take the board examinations.

“This is a great sign of faith and confidence in the CBSE system by a vast majority of parents and students,” said K. Unnikrishnan, State president of the Confederation of Kerala Sahodaya Complexes. Board or no board, all students completing the six levels of CCE in Class X will get a certificate from the CBSE. The results of all students will be announced by the CBSE. And there will be no difference in the certificate between those taking the board exam and those taking the internal exam.

“The Class X board exam has already become irrelevant as it makes only the second summative assessment as part of the CCE,” Mr. Unnikrishnan said.


Explaining the irrelevance of the board exam further, he said that a student appearing for Class X board exam would already have secured pass grade as 60 per cent of the marks are awarded in the formative and summative assessments internally done. The parents and students seem to be heaving a sigh of relief at the scrapping of the Class X board examination. Till now, Class X exam used to be a hurdle for students and parents alike — both academically and psychologically. “Class X exams used to be viewed as a turning point in a student’s life. That perception has begun to disappear… but it will take some more time to completely change the mindset of parents,” said P. Ibrahim Kutty, father of a Class X student and P.T.A. president of M.E.S. Central School, Tirur.

According to Mr. Ibrahim Kutty, the mindset of most Kerala parents is centred on high marks and entrance examinations. “So it’s natural that parents choose easier and safer routes for their children rather than take any risks or experiments for them,” he said.

Mr. Ibrahim Kutty said that the CBSE implemented its reforms including scrapping of Class X board exams after a lot of research. “Even though there is no board exam from next year, the rules and regulations of the CBSE will have to be strictly adhered to. And exam or no exam, our students always outshine their counterparts in the State stream,” he said.

But this has also given way to laxity among a section of parents and students. T.P.M. Ibrahim Khan, president of the CBSE School Managements Association, said he was worried about the initial response from the students to the CBSE reform.

“Personally, I’m worried. The students and parents have fallen into a relaxed mood with the scrapping of the Class X board exams. We can’t afford this lack of seriousness,” said Mr. Khan.

Seriousness affected

According to him, a good number of students and parents are still to imbibe the right spirit of the CCE. The CBSE scrapped the Class X board exam to take the pressure off the students.

“But that was only a ‘positive pressure’. The relaxation brought in by the new system has affected not only the seriousness of the students but their studies as well,” Mr. Khan said.

As the CBSE intended, deflating the pressure or a bit of relaxation may be the immediate result of the new reforms.

“But we will have to wait and watch for the long-term results,” he said. Parents have some other kinds of worries now.

Some of them worry that the students who used to score excellent marks in certain subjects may not be able to sustain their excellence under the CCE system.

For example, a student who used to score 90-plus marks in a language subject may not score the same grade under the new system. Smarter students can outshine bookworms under CCE.

“Under CCE, to get overall excellence in a language subject, students will have to excel in areas like debate, role play, dramatics, essay writing, presentation skills, and so on. That means, they have to be strong in many areas. Mugging up will not help them any longer,” said K. Sadayakumar, principal of M.E.S. Central School, Tirur, and executive member of the Malabar Sahodaya Complexes.

That, according to him, is one of the attractive features of the new system.

Some parents, however, are of the opinion that the CCE should have been introduced in Class VIII or IX and continued to Class X. Teachers and students alike feel that this is just another step

towards making CBSE a more flexible education system. The entire system is working towards empowering learners. This is an extremely thoughtful initiative on the part of the CBSE, they said.

More than 80 per cent of CBSE school principals who attended a national meet of the Sahodaya School Complexes held at National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (Nimhans) a couple of months ago said that they were happy about the CCE.

As part of continuing the reforms, the CBSE is considering the introduction of new courses in fields such as mass media, hospitality, design, fashion and travel and tourism for school students.

Range of options

According to Mr. Joshi, not all students need to study medicine or engineering. “There should be a range of options available to the child, and the choice should be based on individual tastes and aptitude.”

Little wonder there was a good response to a unique test named Students Global Aptitude Index (SGAI) conducted by the CBSE recently.



Courtesy: The Hindu

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Cycles of Time: An Extraordinary New View of the Universe by Sir Roger Penrose

Cycles of Time: An Extraordinary New View of the Universe

by Sir Roger Penrose

Library Call No:523.1  PEN-C

(Visit the Library to read)

When I first encountered the work of MC Escher, I couldn’t understand how he managed to depict the seemingly impossible. I was nine, and the two pieces that puzzled me were Waterfall and Ascending and Descending. In the first, water at the bottom of a waterfall flows along a channel back to the top without defying gravity in a never-ending cycle. The second is even more striking, with one set of monks climbing an endless staircase while another group walk down it without either ever getting any higher or lower. Years later I learnt that both works were inspired by Roger Penrose.

As a student in 1954, Penrose was attending a conference in Amsterdam when by chance he came across an exhibition of Escher’s work. Soon he was trying to conjure up impossible figures of his own and discovered the tri-bar – a triangle that looks like a real, solid three-dimensional object, but isn’t. Together with his father, a physicist and mathematician, Penrose went on to design a staircase that simultaneously loops up and down. An article followed and a copy was sent to Escher. Completing a cyclical flow of creativity, the Dutch master of geometrical illusions was inspired to produce his two masterpieces.

Doing what most find impossible has long been Penrose’s stock in trade in mathematics and physics, even when it comes to publishing. His previous book, The Road to Reality, was a 1,049-page bestseller, although it was mostly a textbook. Penrose doesn’t do "popular", as he peppers his books with equation after equation in defiance of the publishing maxim that each one cuts sales in half. By that reckoning Cycles of Time will have about four readers, though it’s probably destined to be another bestseller. As Penrose puts forward his truly Extraordinary New View of the Universe, that the big bang is both the end of one aeon and the beginning of another in an Escheresque endless cycling of time, he outlines the prevailing orthodoxy about the origins of the cosmos.

In the late 20s it was discovered that the light from distant galaxies was stretched towards the red end of the visible spectrum. This redshift was found to be greater the further away the galaxy was, and was accepted as evidence of an expanding universe. This inevitably led theorists to extrapolate backwards to the big bang – the moment of its birth some 13.7bn years ago, when space and time exploded into being out of a single point, infinitely hot and dense, called a singularity. That at least was the theory, with little more to back it up until 1964, when two American scientists discovered "cosmic background radiation" – the faint echo of the big bang. In the decades since, further evidence has accumulated and theoretical refinements made to accommodate it. Yet in recent years a few physicists have challenged the big bang model by daring to ask and answer questions such as: was the big bang the beginning of the universe?

Traditionally such questions have been dismissed as meaningless – space and time were created at the big bang; there simply was no "before". Although it’s possible to work out in incredible detail what happened all the way back to within a fraction of a second of the big bang, at the moment itself the theory of general relativity breaks down, or as Penrose puts it: "Einstein’s equations (and physics as a whole, as we know it) simply ‘give up’ at the singularity." However, he believes we should not conclude from this that the big bang was the beginning of the universe.

Acknowledging that he’s not the first to think such heretical thoughts, Penrose looks at earlier "pre-big bang proposals". Finding them "fanciful", Penrose looked anew at the big bang, because of an unsolved mystery at its heart involving the Second Law of Thermodynamics. One of the most fundamental in all of physics, it simply says that the amount of disorder, something that physicists label "entropy", increases with the passage of time. Herein lies the mystery for Penrose. The instant after the big bang, "a wildly hot violent event", must have been one of maximum entropy. How can entropy therefore increase? Penrose thinks he has the answer; there must be a pre-big bang era that ensures that entropy is low at the birth of the universe. And here’s how.

In what Penrose calls "conformal cyclic cosmology", the beginning and the end of the universe are in effect the same, since these two phases of its evolution contain only massless particles. Between now and a far off distant future, everything from the tiniest particles to biggest galaxies will have been eaten by black holes. They in turn lose energy in the form of massless particles and slowly disappear. As one black hole after another vanishes the universe loses "information". Since information is linked to entropy, the entropy of the universe decreases with the demise of each black hole.

The strangest thing about massless particles is that for them there is no such thing as time. There is no past or present, only "now", and it stretches for all eternity – but since there is no tick of the clock, what eternity? With some mind-numbing maths, Penrose argues that as time ends in the era of massless particles, the fate of our universe can actually be reinterpreted as the big bang of a new one: "Our universe is what I call an aeon in an endless sequence of aeons." Escher would have approved.

Reviewed by Manjit Kumar (Author of the books, Quantum: Einstein, Bohr and the Great Debate about the Nature of Reality)


Filed under: Book of the week, ,

Inspiring talks (videos)

Courtney Martin: Reinventing feminism

Courtney E. Martin chronicles — and encourages — the current generation of young activists and feminists. She’s an editor at and the author of "Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists."

Why you should listen to her:

In her new book Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists, Courtney E. Martin profiles eight young people doing social justice work. It’s a fascinating look at the generation of world-changers who are now stepping up to the plate. And as an editor at, the most highly read feminist publication in the world, Martin watches an evolving world of a feminism empowered by social media.

Martin’s first book was Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: How the Quest for Perfection Is Harming Young Women; an anthology Click: When We Knew We Were Feminists, co-edited with J. Courtney Sullivan, was released last year. Martin is also a Senior Correspondent forThe American Prospect; she’s appeared on Good Morning America, the TODAY Show, CNN and MSNBC, and held her own against Bill O’Reilly and Laura Ingraham.


Wael Ghonim: Inside the Egyptian revolution

Wael Ghonim is the Google executive who helped jumpstart Egypt’s democratic revolution … with a Facebook page memorializing a victim of the regime’s violence. Speaking at TEDxCairo, he tells the inside story of the past two months, when everyday Egyptians showed that "the power of the people is stronger than the people in power."

Patricia Kuhl: The linguistic genius of babies

At TEDxRainier, Patricia Kuhl shares astonishing findings about how babies learn one language over another — by listening to the humans around them and "taking statistics" on the sounds they need to know. Clever lab experiments (and brain scans) show how 6-month-old babies use sophisticated reasoning to understand their world.

Ali Carr-Chellman: Gaming to re-engage boys in learning

At TEDxPSU, Ali Carr-Chellman pinpoints three reasons boys are tuning out of school in droves, and lays out her bold plan to re-engage them: bringing their culture into the classroom, with new rules that let boys be boys, and video games that teach as well as entertain.

Rick Smolan tells the story of a girl

Photographer Rick Smolan tells the unforgettable story of a young Amerasian girl, a fateful photograph, and an adoption saga with a twist.

Jane Goodall on what separates us from the apes

Jane Goodall hasn’t found the missing link, but she’s come closer than nearly anyone else. The primatologist says the only real difference between humans and chimps is our sophisticated language. She urges us to start using it to change the world.

Filed under: Inspiring Talks (Videos)

International Women’s Day Message from Dr. Dinesh Kumar, JC (Acad), KVS


Filed under: Snippets,

CCE Scheme for the year 2011-12

CCE Primary

Weightages and marks
Suggested General Sequence of Activities
Class wise syllabus
Class-III                         Hindi                     Maths                    English                    EVS
Class-IV                          Hindi                     Maths                    English                    EVS
Class-V                            Hindi                     Maths                    English                    EVS

CCE Secondary

Evaluation of Scholastic Aspect
Class-VI English Hindi Maths Sanskrit Science SOST
Class-VII English Hindi Maths Sanskrit Science SOST
Class-VIII English Hindi Maths Sanskrit Science SOST



Filed under: Downloads, ,


Every student must obtain 75% of attendance. There may be a relaxation of
15% in the case of illness or a student participating in national level sports’

Separate question papers in Science and Mathematics of Secondary (class X)
level will be provided for blind students. Separate question papers in Physics,
Chemistry Biology and Maths of Senior level (class XII) will also be provided for
blind students.

The Board has decided not to conduct separate paper in Practical Skills in the
Science subject and the practical component in the subject of Foundation of
Information Technology w.e.f. 2011 Examination onwards. These will be
assessed in the theory paper in the external examination in the concerned

From 2011 Examinations the Answer Books in all the subjects will be of the
same type (Horizontal) as was used earlier.

The main answer books (without Graph) both for classes XII & X will contain 32
pages. Answer books (with Graph) both for classes XII & X will contain 48
pages as per previous years.

Those who are re- appearing as private candidates in Class X, the question
paper will be bases on the SA-II syllabus.

Important Information about CCE based Class X Examination

Scheme of the Board
Senior Secondary Schools

There will be no Class X Board Examination w.e.f. 2011 for students studying in
CBSE’s Senior Secondary schools and who do not wish to move out of the CBSE
system after Class X.

However, such students of Senior Secondary Schools who wish to move out of
the CBSE system after Class X (Pre-University, Vocational course, Change of
Board, etc.) will be required to take the Board’s External (pen and paper
written/online) Examination.

Further, those students who wish to assess themselves vis-à-vis their peers or
for self assessment will be allowed to appear in an On Demand (pen and paper/
online) Proficiency test.

Secondary Schools
The students studying in CBSE’s Secondary schools will however be required to
appear in Board’s External (pen and paper written/online) Examination because
they will be leaving the secondary school after Class X.

The schools will conduct the SA-II for Class IX during the first half of March,
2011; the SA-II for Class-X will be conducted during the second half of March,

The Board has sent separate CDs containing Question Paper Banks for Classes
IX & X and the school may:

i) pick up one question paper for each subject, OR
mix and match the paper by using different questions/sections from different
sets of question papers and prepare a question paper based on Board’s sample
paper, design and blue print, OR
prepare their own question papers as per sample paper, design and blue print
available on CBSE’s website ( . However, in case the school
prepares its own question papers, the question papers and marking scheme so
prepared should be emailed to the Board (email id:
verification within a week of conduct of the respective papers.

ii) For Class IX, the CDs containing question papers to all schools have been

iii) For Class X, the Board plans to dispatch the CDs containing question papers to all
schools so as to reach by 07th March, 2011.

iv) Every School, Sahodaya Clusters or City may design their own date sheet for
Classes IX and X examination accordingly.

Another CD containing the Marking Scheme of the main subjects would be sent to
every school separately in due course and wi l l reach the schools well in time.

The answer books should be evaluated by teachers as per the marking scheme
provided by the Board.

Answer books of school based SA-II for classes IX and X are not be sent to the
board under any circumstance. However would be preserved and kept in the safe
custody at the school for at least a period of three years (in case of Class IX) and
two years (in case of Class X) along with question papers and Marking Scheme
for any verification by the Board subsequently.

Schools have been directed not to communicate the marks of Summative
Assessment- II to the candidates of Class X under any circumstance.

There would be no difference between students appearing for school based or
board based SA-2.

Students appearing for School Based Examination would apply for verification of
Marks to the schools only and schools would verify their answer books and
communicate the result.

In 2011 common certificate will be issued to all the candidates by the Board,
whether appearing for the Board Based or School Based Summative Assessment-


Verification of Evidence of Assessments (EAs)

The Board is doing a random collection and verification of the ‘Evidence of
Assessments (EAs)’ conducted at school level.

These ‘Evidence of Assessments (EAs)’ and the marks awarded will be verified
by the subject experts appointed and empanelled by the Board at the Regional
level. The experts would submit their report on these ‘Evidence of Assessments
(EAs)’ vis‐a‐vis award of marks. Their report will help in verifying the school
based assessments as well as provide feedback to the Board about
implementation of CCE scheme.

The shortlisted schools will send the ‘Evidence of Assessments (EAs)’ initially in
five subjects: Hindi, English, Mathematics, Science and Social Science
comprising of the performance of five students taken from each of the three
categories i.e. top, middle and bottom levels of achievements.

Schools are required to send information latest by 20th March 2011 detailed
circular no 12 released on 24.02.2011 is available on board’s website in this regard.

Collection of Assessment Data of students
The Board is collecting the assessment data electronically from all the schools.

The format of Certificate of School Based Assessment to be issued by the Board
is available on website. The Board has finalized a software for all schools to
download List of Candidates with Roll No from Board’s website; compile and
upload term wise details in respect of each candidate. Details regarding this
have been intimated in circular no 14 dated 25.02.2011 available on board’s

2. Sample Question Papers
Sample Question Papers in all subjects have been revised, published and
uploaded on the Board’s website for March 2011 examination.

CBSE started this pioneering community work 14 years back in 1998 for the
first time. The highlights of CBSE Tele-counselling are:
(i) It is offered by trained counselors and Principals from within CBSE
affiliated schools located in and outside India.
(ii) It is a voluntary, free of cost service provided by the participants.
This year 49 Principals, trained counselors from CBSE affiliated government and
private schools and few psychologists are participating in Tele-Counseling to address
exam related psychological problems of the students. 44 of them are available in
India while 4 are located in Dubai, Doha Qatar, Kuwait and for the first time at a new
centre located in Japan.

Centralized Toll Free Access in India
Students can dial a toll free number 1800 11 7002 from any part of the
country to get centralized access to CBSE helpline. While the general queries are
answered by the operators, students are connected to the principals or counselors in
case of exam related anxiety or stress.

This year so far approximately 6000 calls have been received on the toll free
number from 1st to 28th February. Out of these approximately 1600 calls were
handled by different counselors. Last year approx. 14000 calls were received during
the same time. Out of these approx. 7333 calls were handle by different counselors.

Counselling for Specially Abled Children
For the third year CBSE has arranged to provide counseling to specially
abled children to take care of the needs and anxiety of special children.

First to be introduced by any Board of Education in the country, CBSE
has made a unique effort to provide tele-counseling through Interactive Voice
Response System (IVRS) mode. The service is available for the sixth consecutive
year on BSNL on 12501022.

CBSE experts have also answered queries of students through weekly
question answer columns published in national newspapers like The Hindustan
Times, the Hindu and Amar Ujala during the month of February.

Public can also log on to the CBSE website and Interact with Chairman on
exam related issues. The Director (Academic) and Controller of Examinations, CBSE
can also be contacted for On-line counseling on:,

Information related to examinations and techniques to cope with exam.
related anxiety is also provided at the CBSE website by accessing
icon Helpline.

4. Preparations for smooth conduct of examinations
(i) The sealed question paper packets will be opened in the presence of at
least four Asstt. Superintendents-one of them would be from the
school other than the examination centre as a witness.
(ii) The center material has been dispatched to all the examination centers.
(iii) Admit cards have been dispatched to all schools/centers.
(iv) Appointment of full time observers at sensitive centres in Delhi and
outside has been completed.
(v) The Board has also finalized the arrangement with the State machinery,
local police to ensure trouble free examinations throughout the country.
(vi) Center Supdt.(s) should approach the local police authorities for ensuring
that adequate police force is made available at the place of custody of the
question papers and the examination centre. The State law enforcing
agencies have also been requested to provide adequate police force at the
place of custody of question papers and the examination centres.
(vii) Scanned photographs of Private candidates have been provided on
admission cards to avoid impersonation or any other possible use of unfair
(viii) CBSE has a 3 tier arrangement for surprise checking:
a) CBSE flying squads
b) Flying squads from Directorate of Education, Delhi
c) Special observers from outside.
(ix) Observers to oversee the conduct of practical examination for class XII
have been appointed this year also.
(x) Chief Nodal Practical Examiners have been appointed this year also to
monitor the proper conduct of practical examinations for class XII.
(xi) District level committees were constituted to suggest schools with
adequate infrastructure for fixing up of examination centres. This will
facilitate smooth conduct of examinations outside Delhi.

5. For private candidates appearing from Delhi Region
Intimation letters to all the private candidates appearing for class X & XII
examination 2011 have been sent. Private candidates may collect admit card
from the examination centre mentioned in their intimation letter. In case
intimation letter is not received, it may be printed from CBSE website and on production of the same at the examination centre,
Admit Card can be collected or CBSE Regional Office at Institutional Area, I. P.
Extension, Patparganj, Delhi can also be contacted during normal working
(a) Observation Schedules: To give fair deal to the question papers and
redress genuine grievances of the students, observation schedules have been
sent to all the schools principals to record and forward their suggestions
within 24 hours of the conduct of examination of concerned subject so that
these can be considered by the expert group while preparing the marking
(b) Mandatory evaluation: Teachers selected for evaluation work have to
report on the appointed date and time failing which a mention will be made
in their annual records. Non-release of teachers by any school may lead to
withholding the result of the defaulting institution. The Board may also
consider and initiate disaffiliation proceedings. However, those extending
willing and effective cooperation will also find a mention in their personal

7. Exemptions given to Spastic, Blind, Physically Handicapped, Autistic,
Dyslexic and candidates with disabilities as defined in the Persons with
Disabilities Act, 1995:-
1. Exemption from studying third language up to middle school level (i.e. Class
2. At Secondary School level a candidate has an option to opt for one language
and any four of the following electives.
Mathematics, Science, Social Science, Another Language, Music, Painting,
Home Science, Introductory Information Technology, Commerce (Elements
of Commerce) and Commerce (Elements of Book Keeping and
3. permission to use an amanuensis;
4. the amanuensis is a student of class lower than the one for which the
candidate will be taking the examination;
5. the Centre Superintendent of the Examination Centre chooses a suitable
amanuensis and forwards his/her particulars to the Regional Officer
concerned for consideration and approval;
6. the services of amanuensis are provided free of cost to the above mentioned
categories of candidates;
7. the amanuensis shall be paid remuneration as prescribed from time to time
by the Board, which at present is Rs.100/- per day;
8. the candidate may be permitted to use the services an amanuensis in all or
any of the papers.
9. the candidate may be permitted to draw the diagrams etc. themselves, if
desired by them.
10. As per the new rule the special category students appearing for X or XII
examination shall be allowed additional time as given below:
(i) 60 minutes for a paper of 3 hours duration.
(ii) 50 minutes for a paper of 2 ½ hours duration
(iii) 40 minutes for a paper of 2 hours duration
(iv) 30 minutes for a paper of 1 ½ hours duration.
11. the Centre Superintendent shall make the sitting arrangements for special
category candidates on the ground floor, as far as possible;
12. alternative type questions are provided in lieu of questions having visual
inputs for the blind candidates in English Communicative and Social Science
for Class X and History, Geography and Economics and Political Science for
Class XII;
13. Question papers of Maths and Science in Braille for Class X for Blind
14. separate question papers in enlarged print for Mathematics and Science in
Class X are provided for candidates having visual impairment;
15. the Centre Superintendent(s) are directed to send the answer books of
special category students in separate covers to the Regional Office
16. to facilitate easy access, a few selected schools are made examination
centres for special students;
17. Blind candidates from Delhi have the facility to use computer or a typewriter
for writing answers;
18. Teachers from blind schools are appointed as Assistant
Superintendent(s)(Invigilators) at the special examination centres. However,
precaution be taken to appoint different subject teachers on different days;
19. a separate column has been provided on the title page of the answer book for
indicating the category of special candidates so that these answer books
could be segregated for sending them separately to the Regional Office of the
20. It is not mandatory for these candidates to do the calculations themselves.



Filed under: Snippets,

Education & Technology in 2025: A Thought Experiment

BY MICHAEL TRUCANO thinking big thoughts








In many places around the world, the costs associated with investments in educational technologies are perceived to be prohibitive (and often higher than one may initially calculate).  That said, there are few places where such investments are not under active consideration. 

On this blog, I have criticized

"the often singleminded focus, even obsession, on the retail price of ICT devices alone, which is in many ways a distraction from more fundamental discussions of the uses of educational technologies to meet a wide variety of educational goals in ways that are relevant, appropriate and cost-effective."

I have also wondered,

"What are the costs of not investing in ICT use in education? Can we afford them?"

Reasonable people can and will disagree about what the associated costs are for ICT/education initiatives — as well as how to calculate them, and what these costs might/should be, relative to other potential uses of scarce funds (teacher and administrative salaries, books, school infrastructure, health and feeding programs for students, etc.)

Reasonable people can also disagree on what the impact to date of such investments has been — a frequent topic here on this blog.

But let’s leave aside such discussions and debate for now.

As part of engagements in various countries, I sometimes propose the following ‘thought experiment’ to provoke policymakers to take a step back (or two — or five!) and think more broadly about why they are looking to introduce ICTs in their schools.  As part of this process, I present the following scenario:

Let’s assume that, by 2025, *all* hardware and software costs related to the use of information and communication technologies to support learning were zero.

How might this change the way you consider the use of ICTs to support the goals of your education system?

If we removed considerations of cost from the equation, how might we conceive of the use of technologies in education? Would our approach then be consistent with our approach today?

Now let’s be clear:

  • It is a truth pretty much universally acknowledged that hardware costs will continue to fall.  In addition, the rise of free and open source software, the new low-cost app economy and the open education resources (OER) movement has meant that, in many cases the applications (and the content that is sometimes bundled with them) are in many cases falling in price as well.

That said,

  • Hardware and software costs aren’t going to be near zero any time soon.
  • Even as prices continue to fall — and, for the sake of the sake of our scenario here, even as they approach zero — poor communities (and poor countries) will still have much greater difficulty meeting such costs.

And of course:

  • Hardware and software costs aren’t the only costs incurred in these sorts of investments (and may not even be the largest component costs).  That said, such costs are pretty easy to understand and calculate, and are in my experience the two costs that many policymakers (rightly or wrongly) consider most important.

With those caveats in place,

Can we learn anything from a thought experiment of this sort?

So much of the current planning around the use of educational technologies is concerned with what is happening and what is possible *today*, and the perceived future needs of industry and society related to the use of such current technologies (e.g. "we need to teach kids how to use computers").

I once had a 15 minute conversation with an education minister about ‘appropriate’ processor speeds (back when many users still talked about such things regularly) for school computers.  I was impressed by his knowledge of the subject … while lamenting that 15 minutes of valuable time in our 30-minute meeting was spent discussing this sort of minutiae.

Innovations in the technology sector will almost surely mean that many ICT tools we use now, or are considering using, will become more powerful (and potentially more interconnected), and that there will be new sets of tools available to use five and ten years down the road in the education sector that we haven’t even conceived of today.  In some cases these may only subtly change the ways things are done, in other cases the potential for change may be more radical.

Given the high likelihood of continued (potentially quite disruptive) innovation in this area, both on the technology and the cost side, sometimes it might be useful to be clear aboutfirst principles.

When I speak with many policymakers about their vision for education in 2025 as it relates to the use of technology, what I often hear is a description of new sets of gadgets and cool electronic things in schools. Every child with her own computing device, classrooms walls transforming into interactive touch displays, eyeglasses transformed into personal data projection devices, videoconferences with holograms and on-demand printing of objects in 3D: These sorts of visions are important to contemplate, especially where they may help challenge our conceptions (and preconceptions) of what it possible — or even likely.  But in the end they resemble more of a wish-list of items that can be purchased to rebuild and reimagine the architecture of a school or classroom than a vision for what students should be learning, and how, and how others can support them in this process.

If costs weren’t an issue, what would you be seeking to do with technology to support learning? Would this change your perspective on the role of ICTs from what it is now?

Answers to these sorts questions — or even the process of trying to answer them — might help provide some clarity and direction for our more immediate and ‘pressing’ policy challenges related to the appropriate and cost-effective use of a variety of information and communication technologies in the education sector.

Note: The public domain image used at the top of this blog post ("thinking big thoughts") comes via Wikimedia Commons.



Filed under: Article of the Week, ,




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