Students In A Fix As Bihar Presses ‘Refresh’ On Medical Counselling, Admission



After completing the seat allocation process for the first round of counselling, Bihar Combined Entrance Competitive Examination Board (BCECEB) cancelled the allocation status and admissions done on the basis of first list. Following which, the board invited all registered students to fill fresh choices for allotment. Now, the board has opened counselling registration window for those students who were not able to register the first time, thus pushing the counselling dates further back.

The delay in the counselling process is being attributed to faulty seat-matrix that was released earlier and based on which the first allotment list was published, but the board is yet to confirm the reason.

Students who had completed the admission process after the first round are the most affected as the change in the seat matrix could lead to them being allotted a lesser ranked college after fresh allotment. Meanwhile, fresh registrations can also mean more competition for a seat during the allotment process.

While, BCECEB is busy sorting out the medical admission process, several other states are either in the process of completing second round of counselling on state quota seats or have begun the second round of counselling.

For students who did not register for medical counselling in Bihar the first time around can register for the counselling from July 27 to July 29. The updated seat-matrix, the alleged reason for cancelling previous allotment, will be released on August 2 and seat allotment result will be released on August 5, 2019.

Where are the jobs? Angry students ask Jharkhand minister


Angry students at Birsa Agricultural University on Wednesday confronted state agriculture minister Randheer Kumar Singh with a question: Where are the jobs?

The minister had gone to attend the 39th foundation day event of the varsity in Kanke. When he was leaving after delivering his speech, around 50 students were waiting outside the auditorium to pepper him with questions such as why no student from Jharkhand’s only agriculture university has got a state government job for the last 20 years, and what future could they look forward to with such a bleak placement record.

The minister tried to duck the barrage by saying that he wishes for the students’ good academic performance. Agriculture, he said, is the priority sector of the government and steps are being taken to provide employment opportunities for students. He said that vice-chancellor Parvinder Kaushal would address the students’ concerns.

The students were not in the mood to be swayed by perfunctory assurances. They raised slogans against the minister and the vice-chancellor, and followed the minister till he reached his car.

“The last recruitment was done in 1989,” said Varunesh Kumar, a former student of the university, who secured a gold medal in 2016 for academic excellence. “In 2015, the government had started the recruitment process for 450 block agriculture officers through the Jharkhand Public Service Commission. The preliminary test was successfully conducted. But two days before the mains examination, the recruitment was cancelled without citing any reason. Students of B.Sc (agriculture) are the worst victims.”

Ruplal Prasad, a current student, said the university’s alumni can be the backbone of an agriculture revolution in the state.

“But then we are neglected,” Prasad said. “Where we will display our skills if employment opportunities are not given to us? Jharkhand’s achievement in agriculture is only on paper. The government may be opening new research centres and colleges for agriculture studies in the state but there is employment opportunity for students. We are under pressure of our parents to get jobs. Now we feel that we made a mistake by opting to study agriculture. Every year the minister visits BAU during the foundation day programme and assures to look into our matter, so today we decided to protest.”

A group of students from veterinary and allied subjects, who were also part of the protest on Wednesday, said the state has 16 Krishi Vigyan Kendras, each with six teaching faculty and scientists, but veterinary and allied sciences students are not deemed qualified for recruitment in the Kendras.

The varsity runs a number of courses such as animal husbandry, forestry, biotechnology, fisheries, agri-business management and horticulture. There are six colleges under the varsity, of which four are agricultural colleges, one is a veterinary college and the other is a forestry college. There are over 600 students at the varsity.

The angst at BAU is not isolated. The unemployment rate in India rose to 7.2 per cent in February 2019, the highest since September 2016, and up from 5.9 per cent in February 2018, according to data compiled by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy and released in March this year.

Skilling programme for ITI students


Directorate General of Training (DGT), join hands with Cisco and Accenture to set up a future-ready employability skilling programme for ITI students across the country. Along with the implementation partner Quest Alliance, this programme will equip students enrolled in ITIs across India with skills for the digital economy over the next two years. 

The programme includes tailor-made curriculum with modules for digital literacy, career readiness, employability skills and advanced technology skills such as data analytics, and a blended learning model enabled by a combination of online self-learning via the Bharat Skills portal and in-classroom modules. 

Nearly 1,500,000 students across all the ITIs in India can access the digital learning module via the Bharat Skills portal.  Additionally, the initial phase of the in-classroom training programme is being rolled out across 227 ITIs in Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Bihar and Assam, targeting more than 1,00,000 youth. 

The in-classroom programme will deliver more than 240 hours of training to impart critical 21st century skills, including digital literacy and digital fluency skills; workplace readiness skills and career management skills. The online module is optimised for mobile phones to enable onthe-go self-learning, and the toolkit also includes train the trainer resources.  Cisco will also provide access to Networking Academy courses directly to ITI students across the country. DGT and Cisco have decided to work together for the purpose of expanding digital skills into ITI educational system across India.

HCL to roll out Tech Bee programme

HCL Technologies is all set to roll out “Tech Bee”, a company initiative under which it trains and hires students who have completed Plus II, across several states, a senior official of the tech giant said last week.

HCL Technologies executive vice-president Srimathi Shivashankar said the pilot programme of “Tech Bee”, which was taken up two years ago in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu yielded good results.

As many as 700 students have now become employees of the company while some of them are pursuing higher studies as part of the initiative, she added. “We have not fixed a number for recruiting students. This is first time we are actually going into many states to assess the quality and the aspirations of the students,” she said at a press conference recently.

The company was looking at Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra PradeshandKarnataka in the south, Srimathi Shivashnark said adding in the North they were looking at Haryana, UP, Uttarakhand and Maharashtra. 

Tech Bee, HCL’s early career programme provides students an opportunity to start early, become financially independent and trendsetters.Students who wish to join this programme should have scored a minimum of 60 per cent marks in their Class XII examination with mathematics as a compulsory subject.

Students who wish to enrol in the program undergo an entrance test.  Enrolled students are paid stipend of Rs 10,000 per month. While working at HCL, students can enrol in higher education programmes offered by reputed institutions like BITS Pilani and SASTRA University. — PTI 

Prince William students take top honors at research symposium


Students from Benton and Graham Park middle schools and Colgan High School received awards for papers accepted to the 78th Annual Meeting of the Virginia Junior Academy of Science Research Symposium, held May 21-23 at Old Dominion University in Norfolk.

VJAS is sponsored by the Virginia Academy of Science and is a forum where middle and high school students compete after months of experimentation and preparing their projects for scientific presentation, according to a news release.

The research symposium also provides an opportunity for students to attend lectures by professional scientists, scientific paper sessions of the VAS and research presentations by their peers.

From Graham Park Middle, Desmen Andrew Boykin received first place in the Ecology and Earth Sciences category for his research titled “The Effect of Micro-Plastic Polymers on the Ficus Religiosa Bodhi Tree’s Shoot and Root systems.”

His paper also received the Dorothy Knowlton Award, given to the middle school student presenting the best paper in the life sciences.

Desmen also is one of only four students to earn the top award of the American Junior Academy of Science, an award given by the Virginia Academy of Science to students in grades 8-11 for presenting the most outstanding papers at the symposium.

The winners are invited to attend the annual meeting to present their research before the American Junior Academy of Science, which meets concurrently with the American Association for the Advancement of Science, held in February 2020 in Seattle.

Desmen also received the Ertel Thompson Memorial Endowment Award, presented to the grand prize winners of the research symposium to assist in their travel expenses.

From Benton Middle School:

• Tony Bright, Arman Lateef, and Gabriel Ralston took first place in the category of Animal and Human Sciences for their presentation of their research, titled “To breathe or not to breathe: Can face masks diminish inhaled pollution and improve health outcomes in Drosophila melanogaster?” The team was invited to present their research to the Virginia Academy of Science symposium to undergraduate and graduate students.

• Max Sigrest received second place in the Engineering and Technology category for presenting his work, titled “Invisible Fence: #NotJustForDogs: The effect of subdividing an array of an 802.11ac SOHO Router on the ability to localize a mobile device.”

• Fares Elsherbiny and Caleb Morgan took second place in the Human Behavior category with research titled “Fidget Wars: The effect of fidget toys on the concentration of school-age children.”

Shan Lateef, currently a sophomore at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, won first place in the high school division in the Medicine and Health category and also won one of the four Best of Symposium awards. Lateef will travel to Seattle in February 2020 and present his research at the American Junior Academy of Science Symposium.

Colgan High’s Nicholas Morgan and Malak Elsherbiny presented their research, “The Effect of Magnets on Plant Growth Rate and Size,” in the Botany category.