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All opinions important to shape national education policy: Smriti Irani

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Agartala: Union Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani has said to create national education policy. A joint effort has been introduced from the national to the grassroots level to obtain opinions.

“This is for the first time citizens of India at large from national to grassroots level would give their opinions in preparing the national education policy. The draft of the policy would be ready by December,” Irani told reporters on Friday night after meeting Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar.

She said: “The first regional meeting covering all the eight northeastern states held in Agartala Friday. The education ministers and representatives of these states gave their views on the proposed national education policy.”

The minister, who left for Delhi on Saturday, said the gram panchayat level to district, state to national level consultation on the education policy already begun across the country and the response was very enlightening.

On Friday, addressing the students and teachers of the National Institute of Technology (NIT), Agartala, she said to obtain experiences and expertise by the IIT and NIT students from world-famous scientists, academicians and technical experts. The MHRD has recently launched a scheme ‘GIAN’ (Global Initiative of Academic Network).

She asked the institute to provide a list of foreign experts, who can be invited. “The travel and other costs of the guest expert would be borne by my ministry and the deliberations would be video recorded for future use by the students,” she announced.

Irani also asked the all concerned to share experience among the students of various NITs and IITs of the country and requested the NIT students to share their experience, knowledge and inventions with the people living adjoining the villages of their institute.

She also announced that a web portal “e-soudh-sindhu” would be launched by January next year and over 90,000 e-books and 10,000 journals of across the world would be available in the plat form.

The minister accompanied by HRD Secretary VS Oberoi (Higher Education) and SC Khuntia (School Education) held a meeting here on Friday with the education ministers of the northeast states to discuss the proposed national education policy.

Tripura Education Minister Tapan Chakraborty said the Friday’s meeting was held as the follow-up on the 63rd meeting of the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) that was held in New Delhi on August 19.

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Women in Science Largest Minority: Smriti Irani

She further advocated that these translated works of science be given to school children also to develop in them a "love for science"

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Union Textile Minister Smriti Irani on Saturday said women in science are the “largest minority” in the country, with only 14 per cent of them contributing to the profession.

She spoke about an inherent gender bias against women in the society, hampering their entry in the highly competitive world of science.

Smriti Irani said this while inaugurating the 8th Women Science Congress — part of the Indian Science Congress — here at the Lovely Professional University, which is hosting both the events.

“While everyone knows that science is gender-neutral, what is not neutral is capacity of women to get scientific opportunity,” she said.

Women in science largest minority: Smriti Irani.

“Of the 2.8 lakh scientists and engineers employed in research and development across the country, women’s number is only 14 per cent… that makes women the largest minority in science,” she added.

The Minister also called for translation of academic journals and papers into regional languages from English.

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“English is the lingua franca of science. But according to census data, 96.7 per cent of the population resorts to 22 scheduled languages,” she said.

She further advocated that these translated works of science be given to school children also to develop in them a “love for science”. (IANS)