Its time for up-gradation of schools

With the passing years, the education has come a long way in the state of Punjab, from what it was to what it is today; there is a lot of improvement in the same. The people of the state also now very well understand the meaning and essence of education in their lives, and hence want their kids to go to school.

To facilitate the same, the chief minister of the state, Parkash Singh Badal has recently agreed to approve the up-gradation of around 372 government high schools to the status of senior secondary schools and 162 government middle schools to the level of high schools. With this announcement, further up-gradation of facilities at the school will also be made to take them up to these levels.

Schools will be upgraded in different states of Punjab. Parminder Singh Dhindsa promised the Finance Minister of the state the upgrade during the budget speech this year. There are around 34 schools in Ludhiana that will be upgraded and on the other hand, Amritsar and Barnala have 25 and 11 schools respectively as a part of this up-gradation plan. 24 schools each in Jalandhar and Patiala will also be upgraded to the next level. Pathankot, Ferozepur, Tarn Taran, Fatehgarh Sahib, SAS Nagar, Ropar and Muktsar are a few more places amongst others where schools have been chosen to be upgraded.

On the other hand, the colleges have also got their share of up-gradation as a new boys hostel has been recently inaugurated at the Guru Nanak Dev University. Smriti Zubin Irani, the minister of Human Resource Development, inaugurated it digitally. The hostel has been constructed at a cost of around Rs. 3.5 crores under the Rashtriya Ucch Shiksha Abhiyan. During her video conferencing, Smriti Irani also mentioned about the education plans in the state, which focused on the issues of excellence in education in all parts of Punjab and equality as well as access to education in all parts of the state.

The hostel was very much required at the university, as more and more students from different parts of the country are coming for their higher studies to various universities of Punjab, specifically the Guru Nanak Dev University. It will help the university in providing better facilities to students coming from other states for their education. The government should take up such steps of up-gradation and providing better facilities regularly, to offer better education to the students.

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Scholarship Schemes bring Smile on the faces of Punjabis

In the present world, education plays a part and parcel role in the efficient functioning of an economy. India being a country which is bogged down by various maladies, education turns out to be the medicine for putting a halt to such maladies. Keeping in view the same, the Shiromani Akali Dal – BJP led state government is creating the path which leads the masses from darkness to light, with the help of benignant Ashirwad scholarship schemes for the people of Punjab.

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The Shiromani Akali Dal – BJP led, government of Punjab has initiated various scholarship schemes for the development of the society, which includes schemes for the students as well as the institutions. There are two apex schemes for institutions such as –

1. Construction of hostel for Other Backward Class (OBC) boys and girls – The Construction of hostel for OBC boys and girls, is a centrally sponsored scheme with the motive of cost sharing between the state and central government in 50:50 ratio with 100% funding to Union Territories and Central Government Institutions.

2. Babu Jagjivan Ram Chhatravas Yojana – The Babu Jagjivan Ram Chhatravas Yojana, has been successful in catering to the accommodation needs of the students belonging to scheduled castes. The scheme looks after the provision of expansion of the pertaining hostel buildings.

In contrast to the schemes for the institutions, various scholarship schemes have been initiated by the state government for the economically weaker sections, such as –

  1. Post matric scholarship scheme for the Scheduled caste students.
  2. Post matric scholarship scheme for the Other Backward Class students.
  3. Full financial support to Scheduled Caste students pursuing top class education beyond class 12th.
  4. University Grants commission’s Central Sector Scheme of ‘Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship’ which provided Scholarships to the Scheduled Caste students for pursuing programmes in Higher Education such as M.Phil., Ph.D. etc.
  5. Post Matric scholarship scheme for the meritorious students belonging to economically weaker sections of some minority community.
  6. Scheme of National Scholarship for the students who have at least 40% disabilities. They are given scholarship for pursuing post matric /post – secondary technical and professional courses which also include Ph.D. and M.Phil. from recognized institutions.

Numbers sourced that the Shiromani Akali Dal – BJP led state government, disbursed approximately Rs 200 crore amongst more than 3.14 lakh students in the years 2007-2015, under post matric scholarships scheme which are being given to the students belonging to minority communities. An official spokesman of the Welfare department, government of Punjab said that, the scholarship will be awarded to those students who have secured not less than 50 per cent marks and the annual income of whose parents/guardian from all sources does not exceed Rs 2 lakh. 30 percent of the scholarships are allocated for the girl students.

Needless to say, the government of Punjab is radical in its approach, to provide scholarship to the students belonging to economically weaker sections. A positive contribution to the social good is made by the government, which has helped in transforming Punjab from ignorance to knowledge.

Tech University lays Foundation Stone for Tech Education in Punjab

To contribute towards the state, the nation and the world through advancement for attaining excellence in technical education and research, and to provide quality human resource having high professional and ethical conduct to serve the needs of the industry and society, is the vision of the Maharaja Ranjit Singh State Technical University, Bathinda.

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The Maharaja Ranjit Singh State Technical University, Bathinda was established in the year of 2014 with a view to accelerate the technical, management, and pharmaceutical education in the Punjab state. With jurisdiction of the university with 11 districts, which include Bathinda, Ferozepur, Moga, Faridkot, Sri Muktsar Sahib, Barnala, Mansa, Sangrur, Patiala, Fatehgarh Sahib and Fazilka, the State Technical University shall operate from the upgraded Giani Zail Singh Punjab Technical University Campus.

The main mission of the university, is to create a conducive environment for promoting advancement in technology and research by incubating freedom, empowerment, commitment, creativity and innovation under the proficient guidance of highly skilled professionals and entrepreneurs. With a view to implant moral, ethical, social and professional standards in the students, the state technical university has been the cornerstone of the society and industry, for innovation and dissemination of information. The Maharaja Ranjit Singh State Technical University, Bathinda is affiliated to University Grant Commission (UGC) and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).

“The horizons of professional activities are expanding and providing immense scope for younger generation to uncap their talent to touch greater heights of achievements. The university offers a wide array of Technical, Scientific and Management courses through its affiliated colleges and campuses. The Maharaja Ranjit Singh State Technical University, Bathinda with the introduction of new courses of study, new disciplines and highly qualified faculty is well poised to embark on road to achieve greater heights and make its mark international level.”, stated Prof. Mohan Paul Singh Ishar, the Vice Chancellor of The Maharaja Ranjit Singh State Technical University, Bathinda.
In order to curb the menace of Sexual Harassment, the State Technical University constituted a Committee against Sexual Harassment (CASH), which follows stringent laws and punishments against discrimination and sexual harassment. In contrast to CASH, installation of CCTV cameras in the campus has helped in keeping a hawk eye, for avoiding ragging.

The main departments of the State Technical University include Engineering, Architecture, Sports and the Post-Graduation department for computer application, humanities & management, applied physics, applied chemistry and applied mathematics. The Maharaja Ranjit Singh State Technical University, Bathinda has been a foundation stone of the technical, management and pharmaceutical education in the state of Punjab.

Indian School of Business flourishes in Punjab

Business is the backbone of a country. The more prosperous businesses are, more powerful is that country economically. Same is the truth even for individual states. Business boom is a sign of growth. Punjab has always been an agrarian state but as more and more foreign investment is coming in India, the business sector countrywide is on acceleration. The youth of Punjab is specially drawn towards the business sector which offers innumerable opportunities for success. While the government institutes present throughout the country offer quality education, the Punjab government recognises that there is an equal need for the private institutes to step up. The Indian School of Business (ISB) realises this and works towards providing high end resources and information to develop a deeper understanding of business practices being undertaken worldwide.

Indian School of Business flourishes in Punjab -  Progressive Punjab, Punjab Government, Punjab Youth Education System

Ranked 33rd in the world in global MBA ratings in 2015

Its success has been evident with the many accolades awarded to it.  Since its inception it is considered one of the finest institute of business education in India and has consistently been ranked as one of the best school to study business worldwide. The reputation of ISB speaks volumes as it is the first business educational institution in the Indian subcontinent to be accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. ISB adds to the glory of Punjab higher education circle and enjoys full support from the Punjab government for the advancement of business studies.

The Mohali campus of ISB has been uniquely designed by New York based firm known as Perkins Eastman. The campus is a self sustaining model which is build over 70 acres of prime real estate land in Mohali. This campus was designed keeping true with the aim of meeting LEEDS Gold sustainability criteria, thus having mechanical and electrical fixtures which consume electricity in an efficient manner. Other measures like rain water harvesting, maximised utilisation of day lighting and passive environmental controls are also in lieu with it environment friendly method. Thus, ISB teaches its students not only ethical business practices but also to cater to the environment. This initiative is fully supported and lauded by the government of Punjab.

The ISB Mohali campus brings modernity in its outlook with the latest equipment available for students’ use with world class learning infrastructure including but not limited to spacious lecture rooms, auditorium with a 500 seating capacity, conference rooms with access to high speed internet and extensive library resources. The comfort of students has also been taken into consideration in the establishment of the campus. The hostels provides apartments with basic services and students are encouraged to be self reliant. Various cultural and extra curricular activities are hosted to enlighten the students to the beauty of diversity, which is appreciated by the government of Punjab.

The Indian School of business fosters future leaders of business that will lead India as well as the world to prosperity. The Punjab government fully backs ISB in its endeavours to ensure full development of business education in this state.

Indian Institute of Management commences in Amritsar

Punjab government succeeds in setting up an IIM in Punjab

The much awaited IIM Amritsar was given a nod by the Government of India in 2015 after the relentless efforts by the Punjab Government to establish this prestigious management institute in Punjab. IIM Amritsar is the fifteenth Indian institute of management to be established and is under the guidance of the fifth oldest IIM Kozhikode, Kerala. IIMs are public business institutions of higher learning which provide world class education, training and placements. The Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) has set up the institute with support from Punjab government that had been vying for the actualisation of an IIM on Punjab soil for a long time.

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The campus for the IIM Amritsar has been approved to be developed on a 60 acres site which is at Manawala on the Amritsar-Jalandhar GT Road, that has been allocated by the district administration. The core team that gave final approval for this site comprised of Mr. Shailender Kumar from HRD Ministry, IIM Kozhikode Director Mr. Kulbhushan Balooni, Mr. C Raul from Punjab government, and Mr. PL Gupta as a representative from Central Public Works Department.

It was a crucial moment when this team gave the final go ahead for the Manawala site, as earlier rejection of prospective sites had delayed the project. After the clearance for the site, the Punjab government bought the land at the rate of 1.25 crore per acre from its owner. The Punjab government then transferred this land to the IIM society without delay so that the 900 crore project of building the IIM campus could begin post-haste.

The IIM Amritsar campus was inaugurated by Minister for Higher Education and Languages of Punjab, Sardar Surjit Singh Rakhra in August 2015. During his inaugural speech he commended the meritorious endeavour of the Punjab government for bringing an institution of such repute in the state, and lauded the Punjab government for setting an example for other states in its approach. Also present during the ceremony were Prof. Kulbhushan Balooni, director of IIM Kozhikode and mentor director IIM Amritsar, Deans, Faculties and Senior Administrative staff of IIM Kozhikode.

IIM Amritsar began its journey from a temporary campus allotted to it inside the Punjab Institute of Technology, Government Polytechnic Compound. The first batch consisted of sixty five students who enrolled in the flagship programme offered by IIM Amritsar, that is Postgraduate Programme for Management. The aim of this program is to prepare the qualifying graduates for high placements in the industry where they may lead from senior level positions. It is considered equivalent to a MBA and despite IIM Amritsar being located in a transit campus, it is much sought after. While the IIM Amritsar permanent campus and its infrastructure is under development, the government has striven to give the students at the temporary campus most of the basic necessities. The permanent campus is expected to finish within two- three years with the full backing of the Punjab government.

Making literates employable in Punjab

Growing rate of advanced education - Akali Dal

Chandigarh: The decision of the Punjab government to re-introduce exams for class V and VIII would go a long way in improving the much needed standards of education as the state is confronted with the problem of not only that of staggering army of educated unemployed but also that of their employability. Over the years, the standards of education have been going down and this trend that started during militancy witnessed yet another hit when the state government turned totally indifferent to the government schools on the logic that English (public) schools had been opened even in villages and people preferred these private institutions.

With  exams being only at the Class X stage, the educational standards, particularly in the government schools, have been falling drastically with high failure rates and the students ignorant of even the basics. The decision of the state government to introduce English from Class I had failed to rectify the institutional deficiencies. The problem with Punjab is that even the private engineering colleges are turning out graduates who can’t get a job of even Rs 10,000 per month. The basic issue is of their employability.

It is necessary to go into the background that has resulted in this crisis that amount to playing with the future of Generation Next. Rather than  continuing with the efforts to put the system back on rails, the Congress government headed by Capt Amarinder Singh that came into power in 2002 opted for privatisation. One can recall the logic that used to aggressively advanced by then finance minister Surinder Singla that the government schools were not the preferred destination any more of even the weaker sections in the rural areas and hence were not needed. With that approach, the education system hit rock bottom. It was forgotten that the school education in Punjab was among the best in the country at one time. No effort was made to fill vacancies both in education and health during that period. The present crisis is rooted in that period.

Of late, strenuous efforts are being made to check this degradation for which the schools must be provide adequate number of  qualified teachers with proper infrastructure. The system should be so designed that the teachers do not have to run after transfers every year. One fails to understand as to why the main job of the education minister should be that of dealing with postings and transfers of school teachers. It would be better to appoint a teacher for a particular district or block by advertising posts for that particular area. make the teacher accountable after providing requisite facilities. This would go a long way in boosting the efforts under way to bring about qualitative improvement in the standards of education.

The  youth have  to be employable and not just literate. Punjab has not only to join the bigger race in the highly competitive world but also cover the time lag. Already, the share of Punjabi youth in the high paid job market is much less. It is the entire system that needs overhauling and the decision to go in for  exams for Class V and VII should be viewed from this aspect.

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Punjab Emerges Meritorious in Meritorious Schools

Punjab Emerges Meritorious in Meritorious Schools - Developing Punjab

Gets a Perfect 10 from Centre; Model to be replicated at a national level

It is every parents’ dream is to get the best education for their child, and that’s why when a child is admitted to a school, parents look for the most reputed school in the vicinity. While parents from elite families can afford private schools, those from poor families have no option but not to send their children schools and in the process even the bright ones never got an opportunity to get quality education. But Punjab has a success story to share.

When concept of meritorious schools was introduced in the state a few years ago, no one was aware how much success it would be. Under the scheme these schools provide for free education to those students who are poor but brilliant and cannot afford quality education. These students are provided with free hostel facilities, food and are given special coaching to competitive exams. The scheme is for government school students who have scored 80 per cent or more in Class X.

The concept being so unique has also won laurels from the centre which is planning to replicate the same in other parts of the country. The Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani had lauded the initiative of the government recently and had said she would be considering it to implement it at the national level.

For the meritorious students of Sangrur, Gurdaspur and Ferozepur, those hailing from humble backgrounds three new residential schools would be coming up. Education Minister Daljeet Singh Cheema had recently disclosed it is a privilege for all the citizens of Punjab to represent first state in the country which has successfully implemented this model of meritorious schools.

Educationists feel, since the introduction of meritorious schools in the state, there has been keenness of parents from poor backgrounds to send their children to schools. Earlier children from poor families, were deprived of education, but now the parents know if their children do well, the government is there to support them in taking them ahead.

Encouraging figures of 2925 students applying for 3000 seats last year as compared to 700 seats left vacant in 2014 only shows the growing popularity of the scheme.

While three new residential schools are coming up, the existing 7 are already benefiting over 4850 students of Punjab who are enrolled in these meritorious schools involving an investment of over Rs 258 crore. Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal had recently while speaking at a seminar on Career Guidance and Counselling in Government Schools explained how these meritorious schools will help in preparing the students for professional courses.

It was in 2014-15 that six such schools had been started in Amritsar, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, S.A.S Nagar, Patiala and Bathinda. There are 600 students in Plus Two in all three streams while there is another one for girls opting Arts Stream in Talwara which had taken off last year from 2015-16 session. This all-girls school having 150 seats is yet another unique concept which has also won accolades from people as this gives an option to parents who are keen to get their daughters admitted in a girls school.

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