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‘CBSE Board Exams for classes 10 and 12 to be held after February 2021 with 30% syllabus cut’: Education Minister



The impending Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) board exams for Classes 10 and 12 will not be held until February 2021 and a decision on when to start the exams will be taken by the government later, said Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank on Tuesday during a live interaction with teachers.

“The Classes 10 and 12 CBSE board exams 2021 will not be held in January and February. The exact exam schedule will be decided after February 2021,” said Pokhriyal.

“I received a lot of requests from various #students & #teachers to postpone @cbseindia29 board #exams for Class 10 & 12. Keeping the #COVID19 pandemic in mind & after various consultations, we have decided that #board exams will not be held in February,” he tweeted.

“Exact dates will be announced soon. Our govt is in favour of #students,” he said in another tweet.

Earlier, the Union Education Minister had interacted with students regarding entrance exams and online classes.

The main issues that are causing much unease among students, teachers, and parents are the dates of CBSE and state board exams, syllabus, and exam patterns.

Addressing the live webinar with teachers, Pokhriyal said that cancelling the exams and promoting students will result in “putting a stamp on these students” and these students might face trouble in getting jobs and admissions at higher education level in future.

He made it clear that the board exams will not be cancelled.

On the mode of 2021 board exams, Pokhriyal said that many CBSE schools are in rural areas and hence online examinations are not possible.

“The exam will be conducted offline as we need a laptop and stable internet and electricity for each student which is a challenge,” said the minister.

On the syllabus issue, Pokhiryal said there would be 30% syllabus cut while there would be 33% internal choice in the board exams.

“Dear Teachers, I will be addressing your concerns related to the upcoming board #exams at 4 PM today on my Twitter/FB pages. Looking forward to interacting with you all. #EducationMinisterGoesLive,” he had tweeted earlier.

As part of the central government initiative to conduct examinations on time amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the Union Education Minister has planned a three-way dialogue with the students, parents and teachers across the country.

Earlier, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank had said, “Online education has become a big challenge for students who have not attended schools and colleges for the last nine months owing to Covid-19 pandemic. But the students should always be ready to turn this challenge into an opportunity.

“The biggest challenge is to study with stronger determination and will and declaration of board results on time so that a full academic year of students is not wasted.”



On Women’s Day, read stories of real, unapologetic women



Ahead of the International Women’s Day on March 8, two collections of short stories of flawed, rebellious and most importantly real women, are set to be published by Penguin.

The new titles — “Women Who Misbehave” and “Impetuous Women” — are stories of women who step across the Laxman Rekha, who are unapologetic, strong and unconventional but always flawed.

“Women Who Misbehave” is written by Sayantani Dasgupta, an assistant professor of Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, and much like the women within its pages, contains multitudes and contradictions. At a party to celebrate her friend’s wedding anniversary, a young woman spills a dangerous secret. A group of girls mourns the loss of their strange, mysterious neighbour. A dutiful daughter seeks to impress her father even as she escapes his reach. A wife weighs the odds of staying in her marriage when both her reality and the alternative are equally frightening. An aunt comes to terms with an impulsive mistake committed decades ago.

In this wildly original and hauntingly subversive collection of short stories, Sayantani Dasgupta brings to life unforgettable women and their quest for agency. They are violent and nurturing, sacred and profane. They are friends, lovers, wives, sisters and mothers. Unapologetic and real, they embrace the entire range of the human experience, from the sweetest of loves and sacrifices to the most horrific of crimes.

“Impetuous Women” by Shikhandin (the nom de plume of an Indian writer who writes for adults and children) is about women who step across the Lakshman Rekha, whose transgressions fly in the face of the establishment, the patriarchy, often their own families and loved ones.

From two housewives who play a potentially lethal game of keeping up to an expert baker who serves revenge with chocolate sprinkles on top; from a stern hostel warden who examines her relationship with the teenagers she must surveil to a grouchy widow shuts out the world; From a couple madly in love and desperate for a bit of privacy to a tender bond between a husband and wife, these stories create an unforgettable portrait of modern-day India and the experiential realities of being impetuous, of being women.

This darkly comic, thrillingly tragic collection of stories is sensuous, bittersweet and whimsical by turns, and always wildly, subversively original.

source: The statesman

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Psychotherapy boosts positive effects in panic disorder patients



Psychotherapy appears to be beneficial in the longer run for people suffering from panic disorder, a new study suggests.

The findings, published in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, indicated that 70 per cent of the patients clearly improved and 45 per cent were remitted two years after treatment.

Psychotherapy is a general term for treating mental health problems by talking with a psychiatrist, psychologist or other mental health providers.

“Many people adapt to their panic disorder by various restrictions in their daily living,” said researcher Thomas Nilsson from Lund University in Sweden.

“Treatment is crucial as the disorder often leads to a downward spiral in which the margin for everyday life activities becomes increasingly narrow,” Nilsson added.

For the study, the team included 221 participants and studied not only the short and long-term effects of therapy but also how treatment outcome was affected by offering the patients to choose their treatment.

The options were two forms of therapy, specifically designed to treat panic disorder — a psychodynamic psychotherapy (PDT) and a cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

One half of the patients were allowed to choose their form of therapy and the other half were randomly assigned to one or the other.

The researchers’ hypothesis was that the patients offered a choice between two validated treatments would benefit from receiving their chosen form of therapy.

In previous research this has been the case, and psychologists generally take patient preferences into account in treatment decisions. Therefore, the researchers were surprised by the result — patients who had chosen PDT tended to have better outcomes than those who were randomly assigned to the same treatment.

source: The Statesman

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Petrol crosses Rs 95/litre in Mumbai, nears Rs 90 in Delhi



Oil marketing companies continued to hike fuel prices with both petrol and diesel prices rising across the four metros.

In Mumbai, petrol crossed the Rs 95 per litre mark on Sunday. It was priced at Rs 95.21 per litre, against Rs 94.93 on Saturday.

In the national capital, petrol is well on its course to reach the Rs 90 per litre mark. On Sunday, it was sold for Rs 88.73 per litre, 29 paise higher than the previous level of Rs 88.44 a litre.

Pump price of petrol hit the Rs 90 mark in Kolkata as the price rose to Rs 90.01 a litre. In Chennai, the fuel was sold for Rs 90.96 per litre on Sunday.

In line with petrol prices, diesel prices also increased in the four cities for the sixth consecutive day.

Price of diesel in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata was at Rs 79.06, Rs 86.04, Rs 84.16 and Rs 82.65 per litre, respectively — higher than Rs 78.74, Rs 85.70, Rs 83.86 and Rs 82.33 per litre, on Saturday.

source: The Statesman

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