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“No school bags till class II,” says Minister of State for HRD Upendra Kushwaha

Both NCERT and CBSE have taken several measures to reduce curriculum load and the weight of school bags

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New Delhi, November 22, 2016: The CBSE has directed schools affiliated to it to ensure that students do not carry school bags till class II and also to restrict the number of books to be prescribed in classes I-VIII, Minister of State for Human Resource Development Upendra Kushwaha told the Lok Sabha on Monday.

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In a written reply to a question, he said both the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) have taken several measures to reduce curriculum load and the weight of school bags.

“In its latest circular dated September 12, 2016, it has advised schools to take all possible measures to keep the weight of school bag under control,” said the Minister.

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He said that the NCERT has not recommended any textbook for early childhood education, while only two books for classes I & II and three books for classes III to V have been recommended.

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“The Government has also launched a platform for showcasing and dissemination of all digital and digitisable resources for its stakeholders in collaboration with the NCERT,” said the Minister, adding that the NCERT has made available all their textbooks and other teaching-learning material for free access on its website. (IANS)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google adds support for hashtags on Maps for Android devices. Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?