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Maharashtra Government Plans to bring a Law to regulate Pre-Primary Education: Minister

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Mumbai, April 24, 2017: To regulate pre-primary education in the state, the Maharashtra government is planning to bring a law, School Education Minister Vinod Tawde said here today.

He mentioned that the proposed law will deal with three key aspects of fees, academics, and teachers.

As of today, the government has no data with it on the present scenario of the pre-primary education in the state.

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According to the “Statistics of School Education Report of 2010-2011” that was brought out by the Union HRD Ministry, there were 56,145 pre-primary educational institutions having a total enrollment of 23,66,806 students in Maharashtra, mentioned PTI report.

“At present, the government is already working on the draft legislation. The focus of the proposed law will be on aspects like fee control, academics, qualification criteria of teachers and infrastructure provided by the pre-primary schools,” Tawde added.

The legal aspects was also examined by the government so that the law does not fail the scrutiny of the court when implemented.

However, sources in the School Education department said that if the government is in charge of the pre-primary education, then the exchequer will have to bear a financial burden of Rs 1,200 crore by way of grants, mentioned PTI.

In the event of the government regulating the pre-primary section, the schools are bound to seek the government grants, added the sources.

For numerous years now, parents have been up in arms due to the alleged exorbitant fees being charged by the pre-primary schools run by several trusts as well as overall lack of control over academics and other factors.

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The pre-primary sector includes pre-primary classes prior to standard I, kindergarten and playgroups.

The state government at present has no control over these institutions.

Last year in March, the issues of hefty fees and interviews of children and their parents for admission were raised in the state legislature.

A 21-member committee was set up by the previous Congress-led state government under the chairmanship of then School Education Minister Fauzia Khan.

Further, in July 2012, in its report submitted to the government, the panel suggested to enact a law titled “The Maharashtra Pre-Primary Education Act”.

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According to the PTI report, the committee had recommended that the law should ban capitation fees, interviews or tests for children and their parents. It also recommended to make the registration or recognition of all pre-primary schools mandatory.

However, the report was put in the cold storage by the erstwhile government.

According to the Union HRD ministry report of 2010-2011, there were 56,145 pre-primary educational institutions in the state.

The total 23,66,806 enrollment of students included 12,59,699 boys and 11,07,107 girl students. The enrollment of Schedule Caste students then was 3,78,578, whereas the enrollment of Schedule Tribe students was 2,69,412.

When it came to teachers in pre-primary schools, all the schools had 56,145 teachers.

In pre-primary schools, the percentage of trained teachers then was 99 percent in the state and the pupil-to-teacher ratio stood at one teacher per 42 students.

– prepared by Staff writer at NewsGram 

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Australia Becomes World’s First Country To Pass Bill Accessing Encrypted Information

Tech giant Apple said in October that “it would be wrong to weaken security for millions of law-abiding customers in order to investigate the very few who pose a threat.”

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Social Media, digital, Encryption
This photo taken March 22, 2018, shows apps for WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and other social networks on a smartphone. VOA

Security agencies will gain greater access to encrypted messages under new laws in Australia. The legislation will force technology companies such as Apple, Facebook and Google to disable encryption protections to allow investigators to track the communications of terrorists and other criminals. It is, however, a controversial measure.

Australian law enforcement officials say the growth of end-to-end encryption in applications such as Signal, Facebook’s WhatsApp and Apple’s iMessage hamper their efforts to track the activities of criminals and extremists.

End-to-end encryption is a code that allows a message to stay secret between the person who wrote it and the recipient.

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The website of the Telegram messaging app is seen on a computer’s screen in Moscow, Russia, Friday, April 13, 2018. A Russian court has ordered the blocking of a popular messaging app following a demand by authorities that it share encryption data with them. VOA

PM: Law urgently needed

But a new law passed Thursday in Australia compels technology companies, device manufacturers and service providers to build in features needed for police to crack those hitherto secret codes. However, businesses will not have to introduce these features if they are considered “systemic weaknesses,” which means they are likely to result in compromised security for other users.

The Australian legislation is the first of its kind anywhere.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the new law was urgently needed because encoded messaging apps allowed “terrorists and organized criminals and … pedophile rings to do their evil work.”

Critics: Law goes too far

However, critics, including technology companies, human rights groups, and lawyers, believe the measure goes too far and gives investigators “unprecedented powers to access encrypted communications.”

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A smartphone and computer screen display the Google home page. Australia is one step closer to forcing tech firms to give police access to encrypted data. VOA

Francis Galbally, the chairman of the encryption provider Senetas, says the law will send Australia’s tech sector into reverse.

“We will lose some of the greatest mathematicians and scientists this country has produced, and I can tell you because I employ a lot of them, they are fabulous, they are well regarded, but the world will now regard them if they stay in this country as subject to the government making changes to what they are doing in order to spy on everybody,” he said.

Galbally also claims that his company could lose clients to competitors overseas because it cannot guarantee its products have not been compromised by Australian authorities.

Also Read: Australia Shows Promise In Treatment of Multiple Scelrosis

Tech giant Apple said in October that “it would be wrong to weaken security for millions of law-abiding customers in order to investigate the very few who pose a threat.”

The new law includes penalties for noncompliance. (VOA)