Company cements ties with 5 villages of Angara block near Ranchi


Two anganwadi centres in Angara block of Ranchi district have received a bright makeover, and three more in the block will do so, thanks to the corporate social responsibility activity of a cement company.

ACC Cement under its CSR has taken the onus to revamp all five anganwadi centres — the mainstay of mother-and-child healthcare in rural areas — in Angara block.

Recently, chief minister Raghubar Das’s principal secretary Sunil Kumar Barnwal inaugurated two revamped centres in Soso and Nawagarh villages, appreciating the innovative work.

Under the ACC Cement project, the so far the two buildings have been completely renovated, painted and given a bright look with graphics on walls to help women and children get a feel-good experience. Walls are painted with alphabets, animals, birds and graphics on child nutrition, cleanliness and care tutorials. Bright colours have been used.

Jamshedpur based architecture firm Espacio is implementing the project.

ACC Cement CSR head (Chaibasa) Pranav Arya said their main idea was to do something for rural kids and their mothers.

“These are very important centres as they act as the first playschool for rural kids and the place where mothers get contraceptive counselling and supply, nutrition education and supplements. But they look very shabby. So we conceptualised the idea to upgrade them and give them a new look. We wanted to something for children and their mothers in rural areas, and upgrading anganwadi centres seemed to be a good idea. We have also built a Panchayat Bhavan hall in Nawagarh,” Arya said.

While the Soso and Nawagarh anganwadi centres have been revamped, those lined up for a similar makeover are the centres in Obar, Rangamati and Harabera.

Director of Espacio, Kalyan Kumar Patra, said they wanted to make the centres “happy places that mothers and kids love to visit”.

“Anganwadi centres are meant for mothers, toddlers and young children so we wanted to make the spaces warm, inviting and informative too. So after the mandatory painting, we went all creative, painting figures, alphabets, solar system and pictorial graphics on walls with bright colours,” Patra said.

A woman of Nawagarh, Surbari Sit, who is the mother of a four-year-old, said she felt happy at the new-look anganwadi. “It’s so cheerful. It feels good to see all these colours in front of you. Children love looking at colours and cry less,” she laughed.

New Education Policy, the way to Nalanda, Takshasila glory, says VP Shri Naidu


New Delhi: Expressing concern over India’s slide from the heights of Nalanda and Takshasila to not being among the world’s top 100 educational institutions now, the Vice President of India and Chairman of Rajya Sabha, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that the New Educational Policy will make India a global educational hub. He urged the public to give their views and suggestions on the draft NEP by the stipulated time of 15th of this month.

Shri Naidu further called for a holistic and value-based education that will lay strong foundations for the vibrant economy that India is emerging as. He spoke on the challenges to Indian education after releasing a book ‘The Dynamics of Indian Education’ authored by Prof. J.S. Rajput at the Vice President’s residence, here today.

The Vice President said; “These are the critical times for the country and there is a need for having a fresh look at the education system. I have been consistently advocating the need for revamping the education system to not only make our universities world-class, but to make India the knowledge hub. I am glad that the draft of the New Education Policy makes several out of the box suggestions that have the potential to turn India into a global education hub.”

Shri Naidu stressed that primary education shall be in the mother tongue which enables learning other languages effectively at later stages. Highlighting the knowledge traditions of India, he referred to several German Universities promoting Sanskrit to decipher ancient palm leaves and scriptures for clues for scientific innovation.

Former Union Minister Shri Arif Mohammad Khan who spoke on the occasion said that the land of India for ages is marked by the tradition of knowledge and wisdom. He referred to Prophet Mohammad as having said; “Sitting in Mecca, I am feeling the cool breeze of Knowledge from India. I am an Arab without Arabness; I am not an Indian but feel the Indianness.”

Prof. Rajput, former Secretary-General of Lok Sabha, Shri Subhash Kashyap and Chairman of Prasar Bharti, Shri A. Surya Prakash spoke on various aspects of Indian Education.

Following is the text of Vice President’s address:

“I am immensely pleased to release the book “The Dynamics of Indian Education” written by well-known educationist, Prof Rajput.

The book covers a whole gamut of issues relating to Indian education system and I must compliment the author for this timely work on a topic that is very close to my heart.

As we all are aware, India has a rich history, tradition and culture of education system from Vedic times. The Gurukul system of imparting knowledge and skills used to focus on holistic development of individuals. Education of women was also accorded huge importance during ancient times and there were well-known women scholars during the Vedic period.

In fact, India was once known as Vishwaguru because of its world class centres of learning like Takshashila, Pushpagiri, Nalanda and others. It was stated that around 10,000 students, including many from foreign shores used to study diverse subjects at Takshashila.

India contributed not only in philosophy and spirituality, but in sciences, mathematics, astronomy and other areas. The objective was “welfare of one and all – Sarva Bhut Hite Ratah”

Subsequently, following foreign invasions and the colonial rule, India lost its pre-eminent position. Today, one finds that not a single Indian university figures in the top-ranking global educational institutions.

These are the critical times for the country and there is a need for having a fresh look at the education system. I have been consistently advocating the need for revamping the education system to not only make our universities world class, but to make India the knowledge and innovation hub.

We need to recapture the past glory. Our education system must remain deeply rooted to culture, while simultaneously steadfastly pursuing new frontiers of knowledge.

Undoubtedly, our post-Independence achievements in education are praiseworthy. We have near total enrolment in schools in spite of over-threefold increase in population!

The recent launch of Chandrayaan -2 and other remarkable achievements in space sciences have unveiled before the world the Indian tradition for the quest of knowledge. It inspires and motivates young Indians and our scientists deserve all the praise for making us proud. Elsewhere, Indians working at NASA and Silicon Valley have made the country proud with their contributions.

I feel that the need of the hour is to provide quality education at all levels to all people. I am glad that the draft of the New Education Policy makes several out-of-box suggestions that have the potential to turn India into a Global education Hub. With the draft report placed for another round of receiving inputs, I hope that many more suggestions would come forth to make Indian universities achieve their rightful place in the global rankings.

I must however, mention that in our march towards a knowledge society, we need to strengthen our school education on priority basis. In particular, special attention has to be bestowed to improve government schools.

We must reform the education system to do away with rote learning. We need to promote concept learning, critical thinking, creativity, problem solving skills as also multilingualism and digital literacy to enable the students to confidently face challenges and successfully pursue their careers.

I need not once again enumerate the importance of teaching in mother tongue from a young age. In fact, I have consistently been advocating the need to make it mandatory for mother tongue to be the medium of instruction up to primary level.

I am told that some of the top universities in Germany teach Sanskrit to enable the scholars of the subject decipher ancient palm leafs and scriptures and find clues for scientific innovation. We should not neglect Sanskrit. I feel that no language should be imposed, nor any language opposed.

Teachers are the pivot of national educational endeavors. We need best of the minds in teaching profession. Once in the profession they need to internalize “yavadjeevait adhiyate viprah” – the wise continue to gain knowledge throughout life.

Teachers should be torchbearers of the society. I am told that there are around 1 crore teachers and 30 crore students from KG to PG level in the country. Filling up all the vacant positions of teachers is equally important to make our education effective.

Teachers play the most crucial role in shaping the character of a child after his or her parents. Therefore, teachers should have societal concerns. We must develop a model of education that reflects Indian culture and ethos. We need to inculcate cultural, moral, ethical and spiritual values among children.

I hope the new educational policy will address various concerns on reforming the system and fulfill the need for India-centric education architecture. The draft policy should be studied with an open mind. People should give constructive suggestions rather than criticize it for the sake of criticism.

We need education for progress and development. Probably more than that, we need Education for Character Development. Value based education that prepares the young for an India that abounds in ‘social cohesion and religious amity’ is our goal.

The book practically covers all the aspects mentioned by me. Prof. Rajput strongly pleads for value education, character formation and celebration of unity in diversity. I wish him well in his efforts.

Jharkhand to bear education expenses of children if family head killed in elephant attack


The Jharkhand government will provide free education to the children of a family, which has lost its only earning member to an elephant attack, an official statement said here on Thursday.

All district deputy commissioners have been apprised of the government’s decision, it said.

“If a family head dies following attack by elephants, children of that family will get free education in government schools,” said the statement issued by the office of Chief Minister Raghubar Das.

The direction came following a meeting of the Jharkhand State Wildlife Council, chaired by the chief minister, on Wednesday.

Among others who attended the meeting were Additional Chief Secretary (forest department) Indushekhar Chaturvedi, Principle Secretary to the Chief Minister Sunil Kumar Barnwal and the forest department chief Sanjay Kumar.

Special efforts are being made to reduce man-animal conflict in Jharkhand, with focus on plantation of bamboo trees in the forests – one of the major sources of food for elephants, the statement said.

An “underpass will be constructed between Ranchi and Jamshedpur for the safe passage of elephants” along the forested areas, it said.

According to government records, 87 people were killed in elephant attacks in the state in the 2018-19 fiscal.

Between January and June this year, at least six persons died in elephant attacks in the Ranchi forest division.