India's HRD ministry to bring IIT preparation app to curb coaching menace

World Wednesday 18/May/2016 22:45 PM
By: Times News Service
India's HRD ministry to bring IIT preparation app to curb coaching menace

New Delhi: Aiming to combat the "menace" of coaching, the Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry is coming up a mobile app and portal containing free lectures from Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) faculty on various subjects and previous years' question papers of entrance tests to these prestigious engineering institutions.
HRD Minister Smriti Irani on Wednesday said it has also been decided that the questions in the IIT-JEE entrance test would conform to class XII syllabus. Speaking at an event organised by Education Private Society for India (EPSFI), a body comprising private deemed universities, Irani said her ministry aims to resolve the various regulatory issues faced by these bodies while expressing concern over commercialisation of education.
Referring to the "menace of the coaching industry", Irani said one of the biggest pressures on students preparing for IIT entrance exam is to seek outside help in preparation. "That is why the government has decided to dedicate in the forthcoming two months, an IIT-Pal portal and mobile app on which 50 years of Indian Institute of Technology (entrance) examination papers will be available free of cost.
"In all segments of knowledge on the basis of which students take the IIT entrance exam, some of the IIT academicians and faculty members will give lectures available on this app, so that students can have that additional learning," she added. Keeping in mind the requirements of students who have studied in regional languages, this content will be available in 13 languages. She said in conjunction with IIT council, it has been now ensured that the question papers conform to the Class XII syllabus.
Irani said another "reality" which needs to be confronted is about commercialisation of education. "We all know that capitation fee is not allowed. We all know that students cannot be harassed in the middle of the academic year to cough up money for which no disclosure was made," she said, suggesting that not all institutions in the private sector were following the norms.
She asked the EPSFI to to engage with administrators and weed out "wrongdoers who bring a bad name to the sector" like fake universities and added that states have already been asked to take action against such universities.
Stressing that the biggest stakeholder in education sector is students, Irani said many times they are "stifled" by institutions that promise the world in propectuses and websites. Irani also said the concerns with regard to UGC's regulations related to deemed universities will be addressed in the coming next month.
She said it had already been decided that colleges which consistently do well in NAAC ratings get autonomy so they don't have to run to the regulator for every new course they want to start.
On the New Education Policy (NEP), Irani said the committee headed by former Cabinet Secretary T. S. R. Subramanian will present a draft which in conjunction with states will be discussed publicly. After assimilation of all points of view a national policy will be presented to the country.
On creating 20 world class institutions - ten in public and private sector, Irani said the guidelines for these bodies will see the light of the day in three months. She also said a 'Bharatvani' portal, with education material in 22 languages, will be launched soon. The head of committee that is preparing the draft of the new education policy, Subraminian, in his speech, said the report is under preparation and will be submitted soon.