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Give question bank to students taking board exams: Parliamentary panel

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NEW DELHI: A parliamentary panel on Tuesday suggested to the Education Ministry that a “big question bank” should be given to students of classes 10 and 12 in advance, out of which selected ones will come in the board exams, in a move aimed at mitigating their learning gap in wake of Covid-19, sources said.

Briefing the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Education on the impact of Covid-19 on school education, government officials suggested that there could be a substantial “learning gap” in this academic year due to the pandemic and there have been reports that a sizeable number of students missed virtual classes due to Internet connectivity, sources in the panel told PTI.

Members of the panel also raised questions on the viability of online classes for poor families who cannot afford mobile phones or laptops, the sources said.

Panel chairman BJP MP Vinay Sahasrabuddhe suggested that the ministry should have promoted, through advertisements and other mediums, classes for various subjects conducted by Doordarshan and All India Radio (AIR) on different platforms, they said.

Underlining that Doordarshan and AIR are more cost effective then Internet, Sahasrabuddhe said both mediums have wider reach across the country, according to the sources.

The panel also backed Sahasrabuddhe’s suggestion for the creation of a “big question bank” of all subjects on the basis of which questions should be asked in exams, especially for 10th and 12th board classes, the sources said, adding this question bank should be given in advance to students before the exams.

The suggestion was made following the observation of government officials that there can be a substantial learning gap between students in the ongoing academic year in wake of the pandemic.

Quoting Sahasrabuddhe, the sources said the question bank should cover the entire syllabus and should have questions which evaluate both analytical and logical abilities of the students.

Members said giving it to students in advance would solve the exam management-related issues and ease anxiety and fear among students.

Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank has already announced that board exams for class 10th and 12th will be held from May 5 to June 21.

The datesheet for exams is expected to announced this month.



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Education

Modernisation of 10% kiranas can generate 3.2 million jobs: Report

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Modernization of 10% of the 13 million kiranas in India could boost retail consumption by more than 5% and generate 3.2 million new jobs in the country, according to a latest report from Accenture and Trust For Retailers and Retail Associates of India (TRRAIN).

“The rapid changes in consumer behavior and acceleration of online commerce, mandate that the Indian retail ecosystem transform to meet emerging consumer needs,” said Piyush N Singh, India market unit lead.

“As the lifeline of the Indian retail sector, a digital led transformation of Kirana stores can result in significant economic gains, including nearly 1% employment growth in India. The transformation process needs to be expedited with comprehensive policy intervention, technology support, and, most importantly, collaboration between key ecosystem players,” he said.

Sameer Amte, managing director in Accenture’s Strategy & Consulting business in India, said the modernization of Kirana stores will not only help improve consumption and local employment but will also have a positive impact on the retail ecosystem in terms of new growth opportunities.

“We believe with an improved, intelligent supply chain infrastructure, easier access to technology and funds, these stores can redefine the future of the Indian retail landscape,” he said.

Amongst the modernization initiatives, the focus areas should be location assessment of the store, funding assessment whereby the rent should not be more than 3% of sales or one-fifth of the gross profit, store layout which influences the customer’s perception of the store, technology, product placement practices and customer engagement.

TRRAIN founder B.S. Nagesh said kirana stores play a crucial role in the Indian retail sector, which in turn contributes nearly 11% of the nation’s gross domestic product and 8% of its total workforce. “Kirana transformation will not only help store owners improve profitability but also add value to the customers and overall ecosystem,” he said.



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UP Board Exams 2021 to be held at 8497 centres

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UP Board has released the list of exam centres for high school or class 10 and intermediate or class 12 annual board exams 2021. As per the provisional exam centre list released by the UP Board, the 2021 UP Board exams will be held at 8497 examination centres located across the state.

The board has directed all the district school inspectors to submit objections, if any, related to the exam centres by February 18, 2021. After the review of the objections, the Board will release a final list on February 22.

Keeping the Covid-19 safety guidelines in mind, the UP Board has increased the exam centres by 10 per cent compared to the previous year. Last year, the UP state board exams were conducted at 7783 centres whereas this year, the number of exam centres has been increased to 8497.



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1 more arrested in Karnataka PSC exam paper leak case

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BENGALURU: One more person has been arrested for his alleged role in Karnataka Public Service Commission (KPSC) first-division assistant question paper leak case.

According to police officials, the arrested person has been identified as Basavraj, who was working in the accounts section of KPSC.

“Basavraj is the roommate of Ramesh. He is involved in the case and also got the question paper,” an official told on Wednesday.

Earlier on January 26, the police arrested two KPSC employees — stenographer Sana Bedi from Belgaum district, and Ramesh Herakal from Bagalkot district who worked as a second-division assistant.

“Sana Bedi had access to the question papers and she leaked it to Ramesh, who further gave to accused Chandru and others,” police said.

KPSC had postponed the first-division assistant examination, which was scheduled to be held on January 24 after six people were arrested and question paper was seized from their possession.

Earlier, Sandeep Patil, Joint Commissioner of Police, (Crime) Bengaluru said that 14 people have been arrested and Rs 35 lakhs in cash have been seized from the possession of the accused.

“Total 14 people arrested so far, Rs 35 lakhs in cash seized,” said Sandeep Patil, Joint Commissioner (Crime) Police, Bengaluru, on Sunday.



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