Mumbai: 25 per cent seats reserved for EWS in school admissions

Withstanding the technical glitches in the online application process which had deterred the admission process, the education department of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to conduct the first round of seat allocation on February 28.

Representational image

Representational image

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As the admission for the economically weaker sections began in Mumbai on February 9, 2017, over 3,000 applications have been received so far.

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Under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 25 per cent seats are reserved for the economically weaker sections.

Withstanding the technical glitches in the online application process which had deterred the admission process, the education department of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to conduct the first round of seat allocation on February 28.

“We plan to hold the first round of lottery on February 28, three days after the last date of application,” said Prakash Charhate, deputy education officer, as reported in Hindustan Times.

Charhate further reiterated that first round of admission will be confirm in four days before the second round of seats allocation.

More on the news:

  • While 9,664 seats are available under the RTE admission last year, only 7,449 seats are available for this year
  • The numbers of schools have gone up to 334 from 317
  • The number of seats in pre-primary sections have also reduced to 1,884 from 3,359
  • Unlike in the previous years, government allowed schools to choose to reserved seats in the pre-primary level and in Class 1
  • Following this, several schools have decided Class 1 as their entry level
  • According to RTE Act, 25 per cent seats are reserved for the economically weaker section to promote free and compulsory education
  • source”cnbc”

Retail inflation slips to 3.17 per cent in January

NEW DELHI: Impacted by note ban, retail inflation fell to multi-year low of 3.17 per cent in January mainly on account of declining prices of food items including vegetables and pulses.

Retail inflation, measured in terms of Consumer Price Index (CPI), was at 3.41 per cent in December.

Last month’s inflation, down from 5.69 per cent in January 2016, was lowest in at least over three years.

Inflation in vegetables continued in the negative zone at (-)15.62 per cent as against (-)14.59 per cent a month earlier, as per the data from the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.

In pulses and products category also, the rate of price rise was negative at (-)6.62 per cent.

Inflation in fruits was higher at 5.81 per cent, fuel and light at 3.42 per cent. The rate of price rise in meat and fish was 2.98 per cent.

Government’s sudden announcement on November 8, 2016 to abolish old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, nearly 86 per cent of the total cash in circulation, dented demand in the consumer segment.

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Overall, Consumer Food Price Index was down at 0.53 per cent in January as against 1.37 per cent in December.

Rural retail inflation was at 3.36 per cent in January compared with 3.83 per cent preceding month. For urban sector, it was at stable at 2.90 per cent

source”cnbc”

Infosys stock jumps 2 per cent despite board-founders differences

NEW DELHI: Shares of Infosyswent up further by nearly 2 per cent on Monday even as differences persisted between the founders and the board over corporate governance issues.

The stock, which has been advancing for the last three sessions, moved up by 1.60 per cent to end at Rs 983.50 on BSE. During the day, it gained 1.75 per cent to Rs 985.

At NSE, it rose 1.65 per cent to close at Rs 984.35.

On the volume front, 4.73 lakh shares of the company were traded on BSE and over 68 lakh changed hands on NSE during the day.

In three days, the stock has gained 5 per cent, adding Rs 10,807.51 crore to Rs 2,25,904.51 crore in its market valuation.

In the briefing that came after market hours, Infosys Chairman R Seshasayee today strongly defended the management’s decision on CEO Vishal Sikka’s compensation and the severance package of former key executives, while emphasising that the board will continue to uphold high standards of governance.

Seshasayee said he has been elected by Infosys shareholders and the board to do a job and that he will continue to do it.

In the press meet, Seshasayee defended various other decisions, including those involving appointment of certain independent directors.

The software major has been in the eye of a storm after some of the founders flagged concerns about governance standards that included issues like hike in Sikka’s compensation and the severance pay given to former executives, Rajiv Bansal and David Kennedy.

source”cnbc”

76 per cent students from this university suffer in basic English language skills

A survey conducted by a group of students came across that 76 per cent of students from Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD) suffer problems in English language skills.

76% students from this University suffer problems in basic English language skills

76% students from this University suffer problems in basic English language skills

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A survey conducted by a group of students came across the fact that 76 per cent of students from Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD) suffer problems in basic English language skills i.e. lack of vocabulary, grammatical problems, and problems in sentence formation.

Details of the report:

  • The survey was conducted by the Progressive and Democratic Student Community (PDSC) between October and November 2016
  • A total of 410 students were surveyed
  • The students were from BA, MA, MPhil and PhD batch
  • “A total of 76 per cent students from government schools face problems related to basic English language skills i.e. lack of vocabulary, grammatical problems, and problems in sentence formation and so on. On the other hand, students from private schools face problems with academic jargon, complexity of ideas and lack of confidence among others,” the group noted according to an Indian Express report
  • As per the reports, “The purpose of such a survey is to remind students, professors, and the administration that the question of language is extremely sensitive, pervasive and complex.”

Students who are affected by this problem include:

  • Women and those from ‘lower’ castes, in particular the poor, Dalit, Bahujan, Adivasi
  • “This creates a sense of deficiency and inferiority amongst them within the campus. Thus, it is evident that the question of language is a question of social justice,” the group included.
  • 70 percent of men are affected, while the count rate for women is 82.3 per cent
  • source”cnbc”

CAT 2016: Avidipto Chakraborty tops exam with 100 per cent

Avidipto is a final year student of BITS Pilani, Goa. Currently, he is pursuing BTech (Computer Science) and MSc from the institution.

In picture, CAT topper Avidipto Chakraborty

In picture, CAT topper Avidipto Chakraborty

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The results of CAT 2016 was declared today, January 9, 2017. Kolkata boy Avidipto Chakraborty topped the examination with 100 per cent marks.

Excerpts from the interview

  • Regarding the success, the BITS Pilani student said, “Mock test and analysis is the key to my success. I gave two to three mock tests on a daily basis and in total, i gave 86 mock tests of different institutes like Times, Career launcher and other institutions.”
  • He also attributed his success to his parents and friends. “I got inspiration from people who are scoring more than me, who are repeating the exams. My friends constant advice and guidance helped me a lot,” he said, adding, “My parents gave me full liberty and support.”
  • Avidipto is a final year student of BITS Pilani, Goa. Currently, he is pursuing BTech (Computer Science) and MSc from the institution
  • Regarding his interest in this field, he said, “Though I have performed well in my college, in my engineering courses, I choose this field because I wish to be a consultant.”
  • source”cnbc”

West Bengal: Only 1.5 per cent of state population using government libraries, says Education Minister

The minister said the state government was making all efforts to turn people back towards books and libraries, besides trying to get the present generation hooked to reading.

Image credit: twoapplesaday

Image credit: twoapplesaday

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Only 1.5 per cent of West Bengal’s population uses the state’s 2,480 government libraries that boast a collection of over 1.80 crore books, said education minister Siddiqullah Chowdhury on Thursday.

The minister said the state government was making all efforts to turn people back towards books and libraries, besides trying to get the present generation hooked to reading.

More on the news:

  • Speaking at a press meet here, Chowdhury said from now on all state government libraries would have separate corners for women and children. “All libraries will have to be cleaned at least once a year,” he said
  • Stating that from January 2017, North Bengal would also have an advisory committee on libraries like South Bengal, Chowdhury said the state government has sent a proposal to the British Deputy High Commission so that the state could tie-up with the British Library for the purpose of teaching English to children and youths
  • “The proposal for Kolkata has already been accepted,” the minister said
  • Chowdhury said he has instructed that state government libraries should have books on agriculture, journals and magazines which provide information related to jobs, books on cooking and books for children
  • “Sixty five libraries in Cooch Behar, Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar have no toilets and 90 libraries have no drinking water facility. I have asked all DMs to take proper initiatives,” the minister added.
  • source”cnbc”

West Bengal: Only 1.5 per cent of state population using government libraries, says Education Minister

The minister said the state government was making all efforts to turn people back towards books and libraries, besides trying to get the present generation hooked to reading.

Image credit: twoapplesaday

Image credit: twoapplesaday

  • IITs urged HRD ministry to review fees exemption policy for economically weaker section
  • Bihar School Examination Board shows signs of successful clean-up in the system post scam
  • Vice-chancellors across North India enter discussion for greater autonomy in universities
  • Bajrang Dal, Congress workers behind recent teachers’ protest: Alleges Manish Sisodia
  • Multitude of teachers protest for salary hike at AAP mega show: Delhi

Only 1.5 per cent of West Bengal’s population uses the state’s 2,480 government libraries that boast a collection of over 1.80 crore books, said education minister Siddiqullah Chowdhury on Thursday.

The minister said the state government was making all efforts to turn people back towards books and libraries, besides trying to get the present generation hooked to reading.

More on the news:

  • Speaking at a press meet here, Chowdhury said from now on all state government libraries would have separate corners for women and children. “All libraries will have to be cleaned at least once a year,” he said
  • Stating that from January 2017, North Bengal would also have an advisory committee on libraries like South Bengal, Chowdhury said the state government has sent a proposal to the British Deputy High Commission so that the state could tie-up with the British Library for the purpose of teaching English to children and youths
  • “The proposal for Kolkata has already been accepted,” the minister said
  • Chowdhury said he has instructed that state government libraries should have books on agriculture, journals and magazines which provide information related to jobs, books on cooking and books for children
  • “Sixty five libraries in Cooch Behar, Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar have no toilets and 90 libraries have no drinking water facility. I have asked all DMs to take proper initiatives,” the minister added.
  • source”cnbc”

Consumer forum to FIITJEE: Stop ‘unfair trade practices,’ return 50 per cent tuition fee to students

Consumer forum to FIITJEE: Stop unfair trade practice, return 50 per cent tuition fee to students

Despite of being a famous coaching centre for IIT and other engineering entrance examination since 1992, FIITJEE has been recently charged for collecting fees for two years in one go amounts to “unfair trade practice.”

Details of the report:

  • A district consumer disputes redressal forum, headed by its President Justice N K Goel has filed the case
  • As per reports, FIITJEE has been asked to refund Rs 1, 16,564 to Sanjay Choudhary, father of a student, who had taken admission to this coaching centre
  • While giving details about this case, the officials of forum said, “We hold that the institute (FIITJEE) has committed unfair trade practice by collecting fees for two years in one go. We partly allow the complaint and direct OP to refund half of the fees taken by them from the complainant towards the fee for two years duration”
  • “Accordingly we direct the institute to refund a sum of Rs 1, 16,564 towards 50 per cent of the tuition fee paid by the complainant along with interest at 6 per cent per annum,” the forum added.

Statements from father:

Sanjay Choudhary while stating the incident said, his son had joined Saifabad branch of the institute in Hyderabad for a 2-year integrated school programme for IIT-JEE course in 2010.

As reported, the institute had asked him to pay the fee amount of Rs 2, 33,128 for the two years course before the date of joining.

But as soon as his son found that the classes were not up to the mark, he decided to quit.

Futher, Sanjay Choudhary alleged that the institute declined to refund the fee citing the declarations he had made while joining the course.

What did FIITJEE said in its defense?

  • FIITJEE told the forum that the student had left the course voluntarily
  • Therefore, they were not bound to refund the fees as per their terms and conditions

While giving the final verdict, the forum referred to the Supreme Court judgment which had held that an educational institution can only charge prescribed fee for one semester or year.

source”gsmarena”

HP EliteBook Folio G1 (W8H05PA) Review

HP EliteBook Folio G1 (W8H05PA) Review

At first glance, the HP EliteBook Folio G1 appears to be gunning for the market that Apple created with its tiny 2015 MacBook. Both look to be around the same size, both are made of metal, and both have sky-high price tags. Even if Apple did it first, it should be no surprise that more than one company is headed down this path, as current-day hardware makes it possible notebooks to be smaller than ever before. However, while the MacBook is designed for anyone and everyone, the new EliteBook Folio G1 has corporate buyers in mind, specifically business travelers.

This is an interesting segment for HP to target because if the product is good enough, its value will shine through no matter the price tag. If you really need a thin and light machine to work with on planes and in cars, and if you understand the hassles of trying to give presentations and stay on top of communications while constantly on the move, you might find there’s a lot to like about the EliteBook Folio G1.

HP EliteBook Folio G1 look and feel
The new EliteBook Folio G1 is an absolutely gorgeous product. It looks like a solid slab of metal, with a buffed matte finish all over except for the shiny silver hinge barrel and chamfered edges of the keyboard deck. It weighs just 1.09kg but feels a lot more solid than most ultraportables. It isn’t wedge-shaped like the MacBook, but the underside has slight curves, giving you the impression that does get narrower towards the front. In fact, it’s actually thinner than the MacBook’s thickest point, though it makes up for that by being very slightly wider and deeper as well.
The weight is balanced perfectly, and you can raise the lid with a single finger without the base rising along with it or tipping over backwards. The hinge opens out to 180 degrees which is good for comfort and helps prevent accidental damage in case your laptop is knocked backwards. The hinge is also strong enough that the lid can stay open at any angle without falling, but that doesn’t prevent the entire lid from wobbling when you use the touchscreen.

With no need for a cooling fan, you won’t find any vents or openings other than the speaker grilles on the underside of the Folio G1. These are placed on the curved sides so they fire downwards and out. Sound will bounce off a flat table, but be muffled by any soft surface such as your lap. The bottom is removable if you have a Torx screwdriver (though according to HP’s documentation, nothing is user-replaceable other than the SSD).

The laptop opens up to reveal a very, very glossy screen and a surprisingly capable keyboard and trackpad. The panel itself measures 12.5 inches diagonally but there are very thick borders above and below it. The keyboard is mostly full-sized, but the arrow keys are horribly cramped. We do wish that HP had left out the two stickers on the lower deck which greatly take away from the Folio G1’s slick metal aesthetic.

Ports are predictably scarce, but HP has done a lot better than Apple by not only outfitting the Folio G1 with two USB Type-C ports, but also supporting Intel’s high-speed Thunderbolt 3 standard. This opens up a whole world of connectivity through docking stations and peripherals. It’s essentially possible to plug in a single cable and not only charge your Folio G1 but also drive an external display and have all the ports you need with one single accessory. On the downside, the two ports are placed quite close to each other on the right, and the only other port is a 3.5mm audio socket. There isn’t even an SD card reader.

The Folio G1 also charges through either Type-C port. The bundled charger is a very Apple-esque rounded square with one corner scooped out for the mains cord. HP supplies a standard Indian plug, but it’s on a very short lead which could make usage awkward. We were happy to see USB Type-A and Ethernet adapters in the box, though a video output option would have been very welcome.

We’re also just a bit disappointed that HP didn’t bundle a sleeve, since you’ll undoubtedly want to use one to protect the finish when carrying the Folio G1 around. This is a device that could easily slip into any kind of backpack or sling, or even a smallish handbag, so that should have been obvious.

HP EliteBook Folio G1 specifications and software
The Folio G1’s size and weight are possible mainly because of Intel’s current crop of low-power CPUs that don’t require fans or large heatsinks to stay cool. HP sells this laptop with either a Core m5-6y54 or Core m7-6y75 processor, and we reviewed the more powerful Core m7 version. Both options are sixth-gen Skylake CPUs that pull only 4.5W of power, but the Core m7 has slightly faster CPU and GPU clocks. It also supports Intel’s vPro platform and additional security measures that corporate IT departments can use on large-scale deployments.

CPU speed is largely determined by the workload running at any time, since the range between the 1.1GHz base clock and 2.7GHz boost limit is pretty huge. This generation of Intel CPU can adjust its clock speed rapidly to deal with changing workloads, but will spend as much time idling as possible in order to stretch battery life.

The Folio G1 ships with 8GB of RAM which is soldered on to the motherboard and not upgradeable. On the other hand, the 256GB SSD is a standard M.2 module which you can swap out if you need to. The screen resolution is an adequate 1920×1080, and it looks quite sharp at 12.5-inches diagonally. You also get Wi-Fi 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.2. For a laptop this portable we’d have loved cellular data capabilities, but you’ll need an external dongle for that. The 38Wh Lithium-polymer battery is rated for 10 hours of continuous use.

Surprisingly, there’s no fingerprint reader or support for smart cards, which a lot of corporate laptops have. There isn’t even a Kensington lock slot to secure the Folio G1 against theft. What you do get is an integrated Trusted Platform Module which enables features like remote access, secure booting, cryptography, and software license management.

For a laptop that’s supposed to be business-ready, Windows 10 Pro is only fitting. HP does load it down with a small amount of bloatware, much of which is designed around corporate asset management and security. Support Assistant takes advantage of other HP devices such as printers that an office might be outfitted with, while Client Security manages drive encryption and secure access. Touchpoint Manager lets your IT staff remotely deploy software, grant network permissions, lock and wipe lost devices, and even monitor antivirus alerts, battery health and SSD usage. Beyond that you get Foxit PhantomPDF Express and the usual bundled Windows apps including a free Office 365 trial and assorted utilities and games.

HP EliteBook Folio G1 usage and performance
We had a few misgivings about the Folio G1 due to experiences with other smaller notebooks, but were overall very pleased with how smooth our experience was. It booted up very quickly and initial setup was a breeze. Carrying it around was no problem but we weren’t able to use it on our laps because the bottom got pretty hot, especially around the rear middle.

The display is highly reflective, and we had a bit of trouble using it under fluorescent office lighting. It isn’t particularly bright or vibrant, but viewing angles are superb and videos look crisp thanks to the small size and high resolution. It’s easy to forget that it’s a touchscreen, and that’s probably a good thing because fingerprints can become a real problem. Some Windows UI elements are too small to be used comfortably, but the functionality is there should you ever want it.

The speakers are surprisingly loud and boomy, with rich sound that doesn’t seem like it should be coming from a laptop this thin. HP says that it engineered the Bang & Olufsen speakers for conference calls and presentations, but it works just as well for music and movies. There’s an app that gives you audio enhancements including noise reduction and a basic graphic equalizer with presets.

The keyboard’s top row defaults to shortcuts rather than standard Fn behavior and the first few keys are dedicated to Skype for Business. You have shortcuts to accept or reject calls and another to launch the calendar app. Typing comfort is surprisingly good. Compared to the equally thin MacBook, these keys have much better travel and much crisper, firmer switches that suit us better. The only downside is that the keyboard is a bit too loud. The trackpad is large and smooth, which makes it easy to use.

Benchmarks showed strong performance in most areas other than graphics. You should be able to multitask between heavy programs without lags or annoying slowdowns, which means that even demanding road warriors should find their needs taken care of. Other bonuses are extremely snappy read/ write performance thanks to the SSD, and of course Thunderbolt 3 if you’re one of the very few with other products or accessories that can take advantage of the standard.

We measured 2,941, 3,487, and 2,979 points in PCMark 8’s Home, Creative, and Work test suites respectively. What was most interesting was to see the CPU usage and temperature graphs, which showed the clock speed rising and falling quite often over the course of the tests. This matters a lot when considering our Battery Eater Pro score of 2 hours, 21 minutes of continuous heavy work, which isn’t representative of everyday usage. Modern devices like this will last a lot longer because they get to reduce power for long stretches of low-intensity activity. With more common activities such as Web browsing, video streaming and office work, we were able to go 6 to 8 hours on average.

SiSoft SANDRA’s file system test gave us scores of 483.2MBps and 400.19MBps for sequential reads and writes respectively, and 482.58MBps and 389.74MBps for random reads and writes respectively. CineBench R15 gave us 259cb points and POVRay finished its benchmark run in 8 minutes, 22 seconds.

Graphics scores were however way too low. The low-power Core m7’s integrated GPU is good enough for everyday usage, but not gaming. 3DMark’s Fire Strike test gave us only 542 points, and the Time Spy test only managed 195 points. We tried the low-impact Tomb Raider (2013) at its normal and low presets, and the best we got was an average frame rate of 17.8fps, which wasn’t enjoyable. You can enjoy casual online titles, but no modern 3D games.

Verdict
The HP EliteBook Folio G1 targets a very specific niche, complementing the even thinner HP Spectre 13 which has a wider appeal. It’s obviously an indulgence, but if you’re the type of person who is willing to spend a lot in order to have the best possible tools, you should probably give it serious consideration. You’ll be free of the usual bulk and weight that a laptop adds to your baggage, and you’ll be able to get a lot done sitting in a cramped auditorium, car, or economy class cabin.

The only downsides are that you’ll have to carry at least the USB Type-A adapter everywhere, and if you often need to connect to a projector, you’ll need yet another accessory. Heat from the bottom could also become a problem if you’re doing heavy work, and you won’t be able to kill time with a quick gaming session now and then.

If you’re happy with these tradeoffs, you’ll find that the Folio G1 is an excellent modern laptop. All you’ll have to do is convince your company’s IT department to approve of a Rs. 1.5 lakh upgrade.

Price: Rs. 1,45,445

source”gsmarena”

90 per cent school bags in Maharashtra not violating weight norm: Govt report

As many as 5 lakh school bags were checked in over 28,000 schools of the state

A press conference held by two seventh grade students has created a buzz in Maharashtra. In consequence, state government decided to scrutinise the complaint closely and released a report stating that as many as 5 lakh school bags were checked in over 28,000 schools of the state.

Detailed investigation:

  • Out of one lakh schools, 28,000 schools were put under the scanner and came out clean
  • From these schools, around 5 lakh school bags were checked and the weight of 4.76 lakh bags were found within the weight-limit
  • Following the detection, the state declared a report that 90.1 per cent school bags were within the permissible weight limits

Region wise distribution of data:

  • Four districts, including Nandurbar, Hingoli, Ratnagiri and Washim, were given the clean chit
  • Pune, however, failed to create a 100 per cent record, with 89.37 bags under the standard weight
  • A convincing figure if 93 per cent was recorded in Chandrapur district, where students complained about excess weight
  • Sharad Gosavi, the deputy director of education (primary), claimed that in this whole process, over 5,200 education officials had inspected school bags
  • He also mentioned the criteria of measuring a school bag. According to the HC norms, the weight of the bag must not exceed one-tenth of the body weight of the student,” he said


What do the parents have to say about this report?

  • Parents are puzzled to find that only 10 per cent school bags violated the norm
  • “Suppose there is an English class, there are at least four books for it like grammar, dictation book, dictionary and so on. Should the teacher not specify which one to carry? She insists the students carry all books,” said a parent to the Indian Express
  • “In the last one year, notebooks were replaced with files and school started asking students to keep books in class desks.”
  • source”gsmarena”