Union Education Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’virtually interacts with teachers, parents and students across the country on upcoming competitive and board exams. During the one hour interaction, the Minister responded to the various concerns and queries of the students relating to school examinations, entrance examinations, among others.
Speaking on the occasion ShriPokhriyal said that the students are the brand ambassadors of the National Education Policy-2020. Emphasizing that all of us have to take collective efforts to make the policy a grand success, he sought the cooperation of students and teachers in effective implementation of the policy. While hoping that students will soon return to their normal school days, the Minister urged them to continue their studies along with adhering to all the precautions and guidelines on COVID.
Addressing the students, He suggested that student can use this time to revive the pen friend culture that is writing letters to friends. Going beyond the current trend of SMS, Whatsapp, this practice of writing letters to friends will bring in more joy and happiness. This will also enhance the writing skills of the students, he added.
Recalling the active participation of students in the “My Book, My friend Campaign”, Minister asked students to continue the habit of reading. He also asked students to give Book as the birthday present to friends, relatives and others. Following this will develop and build the culture of teaching and learning, he added.
He noted with happiness that even during lockdown, the process of learning and teaching continued. On various initiatives started by the Ministry of Education to provide education during Covid, he spoke about PM e-Vidya which via Digital/ Online/ Radio medium, is benefitting croresof students; Diksha, SwayamPrabha, IIT PAL. These programmes have strengthened the accessibility and availability of education. He also mentioned that Ministry has issued regular directions and SoPs for enabling education to all students during Covid, such as the Pragyata Guidelines, Academic calendar, etc.
He also mentioned that Competitive exams such as NEET and JEE were held successfully and safety of each and every student undertaking the exam was also ensured.
He also expressed happiness that a toll free tele-counselling facility for the students was started by the Ministry, providing counselling services to students in India and several countries abroad.
Regarding the concerns raised by students relating to syllabus and dates of JEE Exam,ShriPokhriyal said thatthe suggestion of JEE (Main) 2021 to be held four times in a year will be examined positively, beginning in the end of February (thereafter in March, April & May-2021) for 3-4 days during each time. He further said that the syllabus for JEE (Main 2021) to remain same as the previous year anda proposal is under examination where students will be given choice to answer 75 questions (25 questions each in Physics, Chemistry & Mathematics)out of 90 questions(30 question each in Physics, Chemistry & Mathematics). He mentioned that for JEE (Main) 2020, there were 75 questions which had to be answered by the candidates (25 questions each in Physics, Chemistry & Mathematics), he informed.
The Minister stated that in order to provide flexibility and reduce stress, it has been decided to give option to candidates to appear one/ two/ three/ four times in JEE (Main) 2021 for admission in the coming academic year, he added. The Minister stated that the exam will be held once in every month, beginning end of February. The candidate will have option to appear in one/ all months. For ranking of candidate, his/ her best performance will be considered, he informed.
In a question relating to syllabus and dates of NEET, the Minister clarified thatthe schedule for NEET (UG) 2021 is being finalized in consultation with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and National Medical Commission (NMC). The same would be declared in near future, he said. Regarding the syllabus for NEET (UG) 2021, ShriPokhriyal said that the syllabus will remain the same as the previous year. In terms of mode of conduct of examination – online and offline; the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and National Medical Commission (NMC) are being consulted in this regard, he added.
Informing about the BoardExaminations of class 10thand class 12th, the Minister said that the consultations with the stakeholders are in progress for deciding the dates of Board examinations and it will be announced soon based on the feedback from stakeholders.
On a query relating to cancellation or postponement of CBSE practical examinations, the Minister said that CBSE is yet to take a decision on the dates of conducting Board examinations including practical. Consultations with the stakeholders are in progress. In case students are not able to do practical in classes before the examinations alternatives to practical examinations will be explored, he added.
While clarifying the doubts among the students and teachers about the deleted portion of Class 12, the Minister said that CBSE has already uploaded the revised syllabus on its website. Also, details of deleted portion have been given in a summary form. For any doubt, schools may contact CBSE or may visit CBSE website: www.cbseacademic.nic.in. He said he will also instruct C.B.S.E to upload videos of every chapter on their website.
During the interaction on the safetywith students Reopening of Schools for the students appearing for boards, ShriPokhriyal said that the Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Education has already issued SOP/Guidelines for reopening of schools which deals with health and safety aspects for reopening schools and learning with physical/social distancing and the academic aspects related to the delivery of education. Ministries are constantly in contact with states, he added.
While concluding, the Minister expressed his happiness to interact with the students. He appealed the students not to panic. He said the Ministry is committed to ensure safety and academic welfare of the students. He also informed that latest information regarding examinations, syllabusetc, will be available on the website of the Ministry and its autonomous institutions from time to time.