Minister of Human Resource Development, Mrs. Smriti Irani yesterday answered questions posed to her by citizens of India on her Facebook page. The questions were answered by her between 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm.
She had tweeted about the timing of the interaction and had mentioned that she looked forward to a positive dialogue.
Will take questions from citizens tomorrow between 1:30-2:30 PM on https://t.co/ajmNNw8MrO Looking forward to a positive dialogue. Do join!— Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) May 16, 2016
Mrs. Irani ended her interaction on Facebook by posting a thank you note for those who posted questions for her. Mrs. Irani posted, "Leaving for Anand district's karyakarta sammelan. Thank you so much for the interaction. Look forward to engaging again at the earliest".
The minister answered numerous questions on wide number of topics like:
On what does not fall under ministry's domain:
Smriti Irani in response to all the queries to NEET said that it did not come under the jurisdiction of her ministry and it would be unfair for her to speak on such a sensitive issue. In the similar manner she made it clear that engineering colleges do not fall under the regulations of UGC. The minister also eased the worries of CBSE students who are waiting for the results by stating that though there is delay in declaring results date the results will be declared on time. She also let the people know that medical colleges do not fall under her domain.
In reply to a query she said that 12th board exam papers are of varying difficulty level as different state boards set different question papers.
On uniform education system:
In reply to one suggestion to have one uniform education system across India she said that we need to celebrate the fact that we cater to students with different linguistic abilities and diversities rather than have a uniform system of education.
On improving education standard:
Mrs. Irani also let the citizens know that through GIAN the ministry has helped state institutions to help gain access to foreign academicians who come and teach and infuse world class knowledge.
On IIT Fee change:
On IITs fee changes she said that students whose annual family income is less than 1 lakh will get a full fee-waiver and students whose annual family income is less than 5 lakh get 2/3rd fee-waiver.
On outdated sylabus:
Raji Jayaraj drew minister's attention to the fact that at the UGC NET examination portions, especially for subjects like Management & Mass Communication, in the age of Digitisation and progress students still have to answer questions that are way too irrelevant with reference to the subjects. She requested the minister to design a team of young as well as older seasoned academicians and set a standard for the test which adds value to the education system when it comes to have quality faculty members.
Mrs. Irani's reply to Raji Jayaraj was that she will meet UGC Chairman next day and forward her suggestion.
On installing values in students:
Deepesh Krishnamoorthy's question for the MHRD was that what were the special programs run by the ministry to take care that kids hear all the right things and grow up to be patriotic Indians who are proud of Indian culture and heritage.
To this the Minister replied that, sanskar is in the realm of the family - Siksha is in the realm of the MHRD. Through programs like Kala Utsav, Seema Darshan, the CBSE Expression (Essay) series, publishing of books like Veer Gatha her ministry has tried to do their bit.
On delay in announcing result dates:
Anumika Bahukhandi asked the minister as to why there is always a delay in announcing the date of the results. She added that this created a lot of confusion among students. She asked why there can't be an official announcement regarding the same on time.
To which the minister replied that last October 2015, under the chairmanship of Secretary School Education, the ministry held a meeting with all the state board and decision was taken that all results across the country will surely be declared by May 31st. She further mentioned that since education is in the concurrent list, ministry at the Center has to respect the right of state governments to engage with students through their board at their administrative convenience.
On state government run engineering colleges:
Sumit Verma a student studying in Uttar Pradesh's government engineering college asked why ministry was only focusing on IITs and that students like him are not treated well in the colleges where corruption is rampant.
MHRD's reply was that, Uttar Pradesh Government Colleges are within the administrative realm of the state government. She offered to forward any pertinent challenges that he wanted to bring to the notice of the state government.
On NCRT books free availability:
Shailesh Ranjan asked the minister that when CBSC and NCRT books are free on E portal why most private schools give books to students through school and students need to buy it compulsory. He asked if the ministry had any rule regarding it and what would ministry to do control it.
Minister's reply to this was that, "Hi Shailesh, NCERT books in English, Hindi and Urdu from classes 1 to 12 are available free on e-Pathshala. CBSE schools have been issued circulars wherein students cannot be compelled by books outside the syllabus from a particular shop that school seeks to engage".
Abhijeet Bose asked the minister that why in India we do not have free education and when exams and marks only matter how will talent survive.
To which the minister replied that, "Hi Abhijeet, under MHRD we are hoping to soon launch India's first indigenous moocs platform which seeks to give free education in conjunction with institutions like IITs, IIMs, Central Universities NIOS and boards like CBSE".
On stressing skill development:
Professor Dr. L N Mittal tried to draw attention of Mrs. Irani towards opening of more and more engineering colleges in private sector and that the quality of education is not good. He wanted that in India we should have more ITIs and polytechnic colleges rather than engineering colleges.
To which MHRD replied that, "Respected Sir, we have now allowed Engineering institutions to start skill-based education in second shift using the same infrastructure. AICTE is also appealing institutions to update their syllabus so that students can benefit from new knowledge and become industry compliant".