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Committee for Sanskrit promotion set up by HRD Ministry


New Delhi: A 13-member committee with experts on Sanskrit was formed by the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry in order to promote the fast-receding ancient language.

Former chief election commissioner (CEC), N Gopalaswami, who is currently the Chancellor of Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth in Tirupati, is heading the committee.

The committee has been given the task to recommend ways in which the study of Sanskrit can be integrated into the curriculum along with the study of other subjects such as medical science, law, physics, chemistry and mathematics. They have also been asked to think about how knowledge of the ancient language can be imparted through modern tools and methods, and what changes are to be made in the process of Sanskrit education in school, college and university levels.

The committee has to come up with an action plan within three months, as notified on November 18, for Sanskrit development in the next 10 years.

The first committee set up by the HRD Ministry, led by Smriti Irani, focused on the promotion of Indian classical languages while this second committee focuses solely on Sanskrit, which has contributed to the vocabulary and grammatical base for all Indian languages.

“I have been sounded out by a government official about such a panel, but I am yet to receive it in writing. We’ll decide on when to hold the first meeting as soon as I receive the letter,” Gopalaswami told The Indian Express, confirming news of the committee constitution.

No quote could be obtained from Ghanshyam Goel, HRD ministry spokesperson

Other panel-members include V V Bhat, former government of India secretary; Bibek Debroy, a member of NITI Aayog; Dr Ramadorai, Chairman of National Skill Development Corporation; Delhi University professor Ramesh Bharadwaj; Chamu Krishna, member of Samskrit Bharti which is affiliated to the RSS; and UGC Chairman Ved Prakash.

This move came just two months after the 13-member Sanskrit Commission submitted its final report to the HRD ministry. The UPA-II government had set up the panel just months ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

To bring back interest in the ancient language, this committee, headed by Padma Bhushan awardee Satyavrat Shastri, has several recommendations, which include putting together laboratories, where scientists and Sanskrit scholars can study and validate early beliefs, such as the healing properties of sacrificial ashes (yajna-bhasma), and the power of Vedic sacrifices to bring rain.

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Google India introduces new products on advancement in machine learning for Indian Languages

Search engine, Google. Pixabay

New Delhi, Apr 25, 2017: Aiming to bring a billion people online and make the web more useful for them, Google India on Tuesday unveiled new products on advancement in machine learning for Indian languages.

Google also announced that the neural machine translation is now available for nine Indian languages — Hindi, Bengali, Punjabi, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada.

“Google wants to extend internet for every Indian. We have identified gaps that bar Indians from accessing the internet. There are 400 million internet users in India and the number is expected to reach 600 million by 2020,” Rajan Anandan, Vice President, India and SouthEast Asia, Google, told reporters here.

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He added that 300 million Indians access internet on smartphones. Anandan also spoke about Google’s tie-up with RailTel to provide high-speed internet at Railway stations.

The neural machine translation is available in Chrome and Maps to make the translation process seamless and refined.

The company said it does one billion translations everyday and 95 per cent of Google Translate has its usage outside of the US.

“Of over 500 million people who use Google Translate, most of the users are in India, Indonesia, Brazil and Thailand,” it said.

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According to Google, neural networks initially took 10 seconds to translate but the company worked on it and brought down the time to 0.2 seconds in two months.

The company also launched “Gboard” in 22 scheduled languages in India. The users can now search words, meanings and even emojis in local language.

The keyboard now has a new feature by which text editing can be done on the go easily.

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The new Gboard comes with a feature that makes it easy to resize and reposition the keyboard according to a user’s need.

Goggle also unveiled Hindi dictionary in Google Search in collaboration with Oxford University Press.

It also shared findings from a new report by Google and KPMG India, titled “Indian Languages-Defining India’s Internet”.  (IANS)

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JNU was awarded ‘Best University’ for its good works, not for Hostage Drama, says HRD Minister

"Recently JNU was given best university award. This was not given for making the Vice Chancellor hostage but for the good works done by the university. These good works don't come into the limelight"


New Delhi, March 28, 2017: Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) got the best university award for its good work and not for the controversy last year during which the Vice Chancellor was taken hostage’. Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar remarked this statement while discussing a bill in Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

“Recently JNU was given best university award. This was not given for making the Vice Chancellor hostage but for the good works done by the university. These good works don’t come into the limelight,” Javadekar said in the Lok Sabha while concluding the debate on the National Institutes of Technology, Science Education and Research (Second Amendment) Bill, 2016.

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Javadekar’s comments came after Congress pioneer Mallikarjun Kharge questioned the Minister’s reference of vacancies in JNU.

Pointing out to the vacancies of professors in JNU, Javadekar said: “There are over 100 vacancies for SCs/STs in JNU while around 25 posts of disabled professors are vacant since long ago.”

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Karge objected to it by stating that it’s not only in the JNU, but in many central universities, teaching posts are lying vacant for many years. It’s the duty of the minister to respond to such obligations.

“I know why you are raking up JNU only,” Kharge said.

Last year in October, Students of JNU had staged protests outside the administrative Block, forcing the Vice-Chancellor M. Jagadesh Kumar and Rectors to remain confined inside the building, over the disappearance of student Najeeb Ahmed.

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Earlier, three of its students were arrested on sedition charges in connection with an event on the campus during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised.

Responding to members’ queries, Javadekar said that vacancies in universities are a serious issue and there are many reasons for it.

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“There are vacancies in central universities, state universities and also in private universities. We are trying to constitute a dynamic platform where all vacancies will be exhibited on our website,” he said.

The Minister said that for filling up the vacancies the government needs to create an atmosphere where students prefer to be teachers and professors.

”We need to create interest among students so they could prefer this profession,” he said.

Javadekar said that whenever he visited any university, he always asked students: “Who wants to be a teacher? Who wants to be a professor?”

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“Recently I visited an IIT where I asked the same question to students. I was very happy when majority of students said they want to join the teaching line,” he said.

He also expressed concern over the cases of suicides on campuses.

“Even a single case of suicide in campuses is unfortunate,” the minister said.

-prepared by Ashish Srivastava of NewsGram Twitter @PhulRetard



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Nearly 35 percent paucity of teachers in 23 IITs: RTI

Gaud stated that currently, IITs stand at 1:16 student-teacher ratio while they are trying to attain 1:10 student teacher ratio

paucity of teachers
IIT Bombay, Wikimedia

Indore, February 15, 2017: “As against sanctioned strength of 7,744 teachers, 5,072 teachers are teaching 82,603 students in 23 IITs. This means 2,672 posts are lying vacant which is 35 per cent,” Neemuch-based activist Chandrashekhar Gaud told citing a reply from an official in Union HRD ministry. The break up was provided till 1st October, 2016

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An RTI inquiry unveiled that around 35 percent of posts of teachers are remaining vacant in 23 IITs in the entire country.

Gaud stated that currently, IITs stand at 1:16 student-teacher ratio while they are trying to attain 1:10 student teacher ratio.

According to “Super 30” founder, Anand Kumar spoke, “the government opened new IITs in the last couple of years in a haste, but has failed to provide necessary infrastructure like laboratories etc. This is affecting the quality of these IITs, which in long term could affect the brand IIT at a global level.”

According to Gaud, the old IITs too are equally affected by the paucity of teachers.

“In old IITs, 30 per cent posts of teachers are lying vacant at IIT Bombay, Delhi (35%), Guwahati (27%), Kanpur (37%), Kharagpur (46%), Madras (28%), Roorkee (45%) and IIT BHU (47%),” he stated quoting from the HRD reply.

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Only 3935 teachers are working against 6250 posts that accounts 37 per cent lesser than sanctioned strength, in these eight IITs

The paucity of teachers in IIT Bhubaneshwar is 35%, IIT Gandhinagar (11%), IIT Hyderabad (16%), IIT Jodhpur (39%), IIT Patna (20%), IIT Raipur (24%), IIT Tirupati (39%), IIT Palakkad (28%) and IIT Dhanbad (36%).


-prepared by Sabhyata Badhwar of NewsGram. Twitter: @SabbyDarkhorse