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Does NEP seek to end reservation policy? Yechury asks PM

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NEW DELHI: CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, asking him if the new National Education Policy sought to end the reservation policy in the educational institutions.

In the letter, Yechury highlighted how the NEP had no mention of reservations for the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Class communities, and the differently-abled.

Approved by the Union cabinet in July, the NEP replaces the 34-year-old National Policy on Education framed in 1986. It is aimed at paving the way for transformational reforms in school and higher education systems.

“I am writing this letter to highlight one particular issue which is causing great anxiety especially among SC, ST, OBC communities and the disabled,” Yechury said. “It is truly shocking that NEP 2020 makes no mention of reservations for these sections, either for admissions or for appointments to teaching and non-teaching positions.”

In fact, even the word ‘reservation’ does not appear anywhere in the policy document. This has led to widespread concern whether this act of omission is deliberate, conveying the intention to reverse many decades of efforts to integrate quality, quantity and equity in the education system, according to Yechury.

The CPI(M) leader sought Modi’s response to a set of questions, which the former said were pertinent aspects that need to be discussed.

“Does NEP 2020 seek to end the policy of reservations for SC, ST, OBC and disabled in educational institutions? If not, could you please clarify as to why NEP2020 does not contain any mention of reservations?,” Yechury asked.

He alleged that various elements of the NEP were being rolled out in different parts of the country in an ad-hoc “piecemeal manner” without discussing with important stakeholders — state governments (education is on the concurrent list), students, teachers, non-teaching staff and experts.

“This is creating grave uncertainties and confusion about the actual direction proposed for the Indian Education system under this new policy, by your government,” he added.



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Education

RBI Grade B notification released at rbi.org.in, check important dates

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NEW DELHI: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has released the notification for Recruitment of Officers in Grade B- DR (General), DEPR/DSIM-2021. Candidates who wish to apply for RBI Grade ‘B’ recruitment 2021 are advised to visit the official website of the RBI – rbi.org.in – to check further details and submit the online application form.

Candidates are required to apply ONLINE only through the Bank’s website – rbi.org.in. No other mode for submission of application is available. The website link for Online Registration of Applications and Payment of Fees/Intimation Charges will remain open from January 28, 2021, to February 15, 2021.

Selection for the aforementioned posts will be done through ONLINE examinations in Phase – I and Phase – II and interview.

RBI Grade B Exam Dates 2021


Officers in Gr B (DR)- General

  • Phase-I – Online Examination – March 6, 2021
  • Phase-II – Paper I, II & III Online Examination – April 1, 2021

Officers in Gr B (DR) – DEPR

  • Phase I – Paper – I – Online Examination – March 6, 2021
  • Phase II – Paper – II & III Online/Written Examination – March 31, 2021 (To be confirmed in Admit cards)

Officers in Gr B (DR)- DSIM

  • Phase I – Paper – I – Online Examination – March 6, 2021
  • Phase II – Paper – II & III Online/Written Examination – March 31, 2021 (To be confirmed in Admit cards)

For more details on the RBI Grade B recruitment 2021, visit the official website of the RBI or
click here



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20% of informal workers remain unemployed post-lockdown: Survey

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(This story originally appeared in on Jan 27, 2021)

NEW DELHI: A new study tracking around 2,800 informal workers during the pandemic found more than two thirds of those employed in February 2020 had lost work during the lockdown and six months later nearly 20% remained unemployed – indicating that while jobs were regained, employment is below pre-Covid levels.

The 20% workers had not found even one day of work in the month preceding the survey.

The findings are based on a second round of survey as part of a study titled “How robust is the recovery? Tracking informal workers through the pandemic” carried out by Azim Premji University in collaboration with six civil society organisations. The first round was carried out in April-May.

The findings of the second round between October to December across 12 states show that in terms of relief measures while the food grains under the Public Distribution System reached a significantly high 9 of 10 households holding a ration card, half of the households that received grains have not yet attained pre-lockdown food consumption levels. Also three-fourths of the BPL households received less grains than their entitled quantity.

During the first round of survey in April-May, 9 in 10 households reported cutting back on food consumption during the lockdown. Six months later while things have changed, only one-third reported that consumption was back at pre-lockdown levels. “Urban households are worse off with 28% reporting that food consumption was still at lockdown levels as against 15% of rural households,” said the survey.

The findings suggest that a continued expanded allocation for MGNREGA, as well as the introduction of an urban employment scheme in the upcoming budget are crucial for addressing this livelihood crisis. They also highlight the urgent need to expand the scope of the current PDS provisioning alongside an adequate security net for those who have suffered the most during this crisis.

The first round of survey had covered 4942 workers, two-third of whom had lost work during lockdown. Earnings of self-employed persons dropped by 86% and urban casual labour by 53%. Eight in 10 people were eating less food than before.

In the second round, they re-interviewed 2778 persons mostly working in the unorganised sector who were part of the first round in April – May to make the comparison and analyse recovery trends. The survey was carried out in Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra (Pune), Odisha, Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Pune in Maharashtra.

The survey covered self – employed women, farmers, NREGA workers, migrants, street vendors and casual wage as well as regular wage workers who were predominantly engaged as domestic help, security guards or working in the services sector.



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jee main 2021 news: JEE Main 2021: Approach February’s JEE as ‘practice’ test, coaching institutes tell students

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Nagpur: Many coaching institutes are advising students to not worry about the upcoming Joint Entrance Examination (JEE-Main) in February, considering physical classes at institutes started barely two weeks ago. They feel that students can make up for any setback when the exam is held again in March, April and May.

While National Testing Agency (NTA) had conducted JEE-Main twice in 2020, this time the attempts allowed have been increased to four. Every candidate has the option to appear for one or all the versions of this online test. The best performance, if attempting two or more tests, will be considered as the final result.

While the official line for all coaching classes is that students will be ready, quite a few academics told TOI that their students are nervous.

“There are phases in preparation for the exam and had it been a normal year, then by this time students would have appeared for multiple test series,” said a coaching class owner. “Test series in a physical classroom setting, something which mimics the actual environment, makes a big difference. Because of coaching classes being closed, students had been cocooned in their homes and solving test papers.”

Another coaching class owner said students are now looking forward to ‘doubt clarification’. “See syllabus part has been completed long back. Right now it’s only about getting doubts cleared and practising for the exam. But doubt clarification happens best in a physical and one-to-one atmosphere. Students are present at the institute and they all discuss among themselves and share what the teacher has told them. This collective discussion builds up their knowledge bank,” said the institute owner.

Conducting JEE-Mains is relatively easier because it’s an online test. For traditional pen-paper medical entrance exam NEET, it’s a massive logistical challenge. The proposal to conduct NEET twice a year is being considered but so far nothing concrete has been decided.



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