Archive for the ‘IIT’ Category

IIT Delhi asked to explain expulsions

The National Commission for the Scheduled Castes has asked IIT, Delhi, to explain in two weeks its decision to expel 20 undergraduate students, 12 of whom belonged to the Scheduled Castes communities. Some of the expelled students approached the NCSC alleging caste-based discrimination by the IIT management.

The commission chairperson, Buta Singh, had on Monday asked IIT Director Surendra Prasad to appear before it in person and explain the reasons for expulsion. According to sources, Mr. Prasad told the Commission that the students had been asked to leave because of their poor performance .

The complainants, on the other hand, had alleged that the IIT had expelled them on discriminatory provisions and the remedial courses made available to them were not of any help. Similarly, they were made to participate in the extra-curricular activities instead of allowing to devote more time to studies.

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IIT officials meet Wednesday to discuss vacant seats

Officials of the 13 Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), including the six new, are meeting Wednesday to discuss how to fill up some of the reserved seats that remain vacant.

Scores of IIT seats have fallen vacant this year after their numbers were increased to partially implement the 27 percent reservation for Other Backward Classes students.

In spite of a relaxation in the cut-offs, many students in the reserved category failed to make it to the IITs. While some of the seven older institutions were planning to transfer the vacant seats to the general category aspirants, the human resource development (HRD) ministry did not approve the move.

According to IIT-Delhi authorities, the “Joint Admission Board (of the IIT network) will be meeting Wednesday in New Delhi.”

Authorities said besides the seat issue, the board would discuss implementation of quota in the selection of faculty at IITs.

The HRD ministry in June directed the IITs to implement quota in appointment of faculty – 27 percent quota for OBC candidates, and 15 percent for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes candidates.

However, the IITs asked the ministry for a Å“second thought on this as they believe it could hamper the quality of teaching in these premier technology schools.

Six new IITs were added during this academic session to the seven already existing ones – Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kharagpur, Kanpur, Roorkee and Guwahati. The six new IITs are the IIT Gandhinagar, IIT Patna, IIT Bhubaneswar, IIT Punjab, IIT Rajasthan and IIT Andhra Pradseh.

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IIT entrance on April 13, nearly 3.2 lakh students to appear

NEW DELHI: Nearly 3.2 lakh students would appear in the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) on April 13 for admission into IITs across the country, registering an increase of about 70,000 candidates over last year.

There will be no change in the question pattern this time, Director of IIT Delhi Prof Surendra Prasad said on Sunday.

“The format of the examination remains the same as before. It will comprise two papers of 200 marks each,” he said.

Seven zones will conduct the test. Students qualifying for the entrance will be eligible to take admission to the IITs at Kharagpur, Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Kanpur, Guwahati and Roorkee. There are nearly 4000 seats in these elite institutions.

The candidates include 53,000 students from Delhi zone alone, Prasad said. The test will be held in 600 centres across the country, including 117 centres in Delhi zone.

The IIT JEE last year decided to change the pattern, making provision for two papers in place of three earlier. Each paper consist of questions from Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. The questions are of objective type.

Earlier, the students had to appear for three papers, one each dealing with physics, chemistry and mathematics.

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IIT-Bombay to deliver live lectures in virtual classrooms

Students across the country will soon have access to quality education imparted at the prestigious IIT-B here as the institute plans to start within a months time a virtual classroom using the Edusat facility of ISRO.

We have set up a studio inside the campus which is just like any other classroom. It has all the facilities for uplinking the lecture to the devoted satellite – Edusat, which can transmit it to others. Colleges can have live lectures, head of IIT-Bs distance engineering education progarmme Kannan Moudgalya told reporters.

Any engineering college which awards degrees to students can fit a receiver in their premises so that the students can sit for the lecture.

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Uttarakhand govt orders probe into death of IIT Delhi student

The Uttarakhand government on Monday ordered a magisterial probe into the death of an IIT Delhi student during a raft training session in Tehri district.

Vikas Mittal, a student from IIT Delhi, died yesterday after falling from a raft during a training session at Naogaon area in Tehri district. A rescue team recovered the body from a nearby village and sent it for post-mortem.

Meanwhile, police claimed that rafting training during monsoon is prohibited in the area. A separate magisterial probe will be launched into the incident, official sources said.

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IIT alumnus offers way to make nanojewels of different colours optical properties

An Institute of Technology, Roorkee has discerned how different nanoparticles of various sizes can produce “nanojewels” of various colours that display different optical properties.

Vinayak Rastogi conducted this study as a graduate student researcher in the Department of Chemical Engineering at North Carolina State University (NCSU), under the supervision of Professor Orlin Velev.

While making a presentation at the 82nd ACS Colloid & Surface Science Symposium recently, the researchers shed light on potential uses of such nanojewels.

“These nanojewels can potentially find application in photonics, drug delivery, special coatings, sensors and microfluidics,” Velev said.

The researchers say that colloid chemistry methods, which are originally used to form particle aggregates from nanoparticles, can be used to quickly make particles with dazzling colours simply by letting a suspension of nanoparticles dry on a superhydrophobic surface.

They describe superhydrophobicity as a property of a material that repels water like ducks’ feathers or lotus leaves, which has thus far been commercially in textiles, coatings and building materials.

Velev and Rastogi say that superhydrophobic surfaces allow nanojewels to be created from a single drop of water containing nanoparticles, because of several effects.

The researchers say that the drop stays in the shape of a ball because water does not spread on it while the nanoparticles are held in the drop due to the surface tension of water.

Compared to drying the drop in air, which is a fast evaporation process that causes the water in the drop to distort and flow, the drop gently dries on the superhydrophobic surface.

According to the researchers, this lets the nanoparticles get as close to each other as possible, swirling in a slow circular motion until all of the water evaporates.

When nanoparticles of two different sizes are used in the same drop, the smaller ones move to the surface of the drop while the bigger ones stay in the middle.

The researchers say that his happens because the smaller ones have more Brownian motion, and are elevated to the surface with the water molecules that are subsequently evaporating at the surface, leaving all of the nanoparticles behind to form the nanojewels.

“Besides the dazzling look of these nanojewels, the most exciting thing about this work is that it opens up many interesting possibilities in quickly and inexpensively making new materials with nanoparticles,” says Manuel Marquez, an adjunct professor in the Harrington Department of Bioengineering in ASU’s Ira A. School of Engineering,

“By understanding how different particle sizes determine the colours produced, these nanojewels can be designed for applications in optical communication systems,” adds Sonia Melle, a professor at the School of Optics at UCM.

As more nanoparticles and nanostructures come into the marketplace, technologies that can quickly assemble the structures, so that their unique size and properties can be employed in new devices, will be important to the growth of nanotechnology and related industries.

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Now, institute to teach the teachers at DU

It is not just IIT-Delhi that has got serious about faculty crunch. Delhi University, in an effort to cope with the need for quality teachers in the wake of the proposed OBC quota in central educational institutions, has come up with an idea of setting up an institute to train teachers.

To be called the Institute of Life Long Learning (ILL), teachers would not only be trained to upgrade knowledge but will also be required to design new courses and upgrade, evaluate and modernise the existing syllabus. The university also plans to set up advanced teaching laboratories for science courses within the institute. It is at present working on ways to develop e-learning initiatives.

We have chosen a building opposite Khalsa College (for e-learning). Computers are being installed there, university Vice-Chancellor Deepak Pental said. Hopefully we will start with it in a months time.

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The students, on a tour of the IIT Campus

NEW DELHI: IIT Delhi has opened its doors to the city, pupils and students on Saturday. More than 1500 students from various schools throughout the city received a chance to become acquainted with students from the IIT Delhi for the first time during its annual meeting in the open day on Saturday. The engineers-in-the-making a decision on future engineering consulting IITD, then they behave on campus.

As host IIT I2Tech Open House 2008, future engineers and science enthusiasts received a taste of life in IIT visit laboratories, equipment and check-out cars innovative and jazzy robot. “We have a great resonance in our students’ Meet the Students’. We organized tours for them, where our volunteers, it has a tower all departments and laboratories. You will see how he is a graduate of IIT , “What Subrat prof said, the president, IITD Open House.

IIT Delhi has been organizing the technical I2Tech now four years in which the innovative research projects and inventions implemented by students of the Faculty and display are available to the public. This time IITD taken the initiative to visit schools on campus, from 9 am to 5 pm and has been a great success, students IITD said. “We had a JEE office, where students invited to, the advice of IIT. They also had a lot of questions in the back of the head. At school, students generally know, if they wish, an engineer or a computer engineer. But knowledge, what that really means, and, of course, as regards the scope of the directive is, we have the option IITD students also take, “said Geetika Bajaj, who has a doctorate in physics at the IIT.

In addition, as senior students were taken by the research councils, the juniors were much more fascinated by Formula 1 sports car 600 cc bike IITD engine developed by the students. Indeed, the game of robots developed by 19 students IITD was an absolute show-stealer. “I have almost all the projects, but the robots were the most beautiful. I2Tech is an ideal platform to share knowledge on the activities of the IITD,” said Sowjanya, a student of Class VII Kendriya Vidyalaya at JNU. IITD students as part of Pune Robocon 2008 at the end of this year. The robots must take cubes of butter and hold it to the ambient air, in order to win points. Given that the theme of the 2008 Robocon “Govinda”, the robots must also include any other climbing. Other projects IITD striking students was the earthquake resistant to the shack, Smart Homes, smartcane for the blind, bio-fuels and pedal Radfahr submarine ran.

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Annual techno management festival of IIT-Roorkee was organised recently and saw significant participation

Annual techno management festival of IIT-Roorkee was organised recently and saw significant participation

Cognizance, the annual techno management festival of IIT-Roorkee was organised recently and saw significant participation. The events were classified as centre stage, spectrum, ideas and landscape besides workshops. There were a series of guest lectures besides events like convergence, the battle of the intellectuals, corpostrat, the business plan contest, prodesk, the product design contest, symposium besides various others.

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Orissa identifies site for new IIT

Objecting to the Centre’s move to operate Indian Institute of Technology-Orissa from IIT-Kharagpur, Orissa government said it had adequate infrastructure within the state to make the institute functional, official sources said.

IIT-O is among the eight new IITs in the country proposed to start functioning during the 11th plan.

The state government had already identified a piece of government land near Banki in Cuttack district which was barely 22 km from the state capital, industries minister B.B.Harichandan said the place was identified as ‘most suitable’ for establishing an IIT.

A team of experts, including academicians had chosen the land at Banki which was only 25 km from the city airport.

The government already has 900 acres and there was no problem of water and power. ”A letter in this regard as been given to the Centre”, he said.

Besides, the College of Engineering and Technology (CET) in Orissa has the requisite infrastructure to meet the requirements of an IIT. ”Besides hostel and laboratory facilities, the CET will soon have a complete new building for the purpose”, Harichandan said.

Earlier, the Centre in a letter to the state government had informed that the IIT-O would start operating with three streams – mechanical, electrical and civil engineering each with student capacity of 40, the sources said.

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Galena Air Force station handed over to educational center

The military held a ceremony on Tuesday to hand over the U.S. Air Force station at Galena so that it can be turned into an educational center.

The station was formed in 1943 to assist Russia’s fight against Germany. It brought jobs and people to Galena, now a village of about 600 on the middle Yukon River, but times have changed. Air Force officials, state government representatives and more than 100 high school students attended the ceremony to hand over the station.

The Galena station was among the installations ordered closed in 2005 based on recommendations by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission. The station sits on land owned by the state and formerly leased to the military.

The Galena Interior Distance Learning Academy, a boarding school now in its 12th year at the station, is a major beneficiary of the former Air Force building.

The distance learning academy serves 115 students from more than 40 Alaska villages, many of which had to close schools due to low enrollment. It has long hoped to expand, and the new Air Force facilities can house 350 students, said principal Harry White.
Col. Brent Johnson is with the 611th Air Support Group at Elmendorf Air Force Base near Anchorage and is the installation commander at Galena. He spoke to students gathered in an auditorium, the same students who are expected to benefit from the expansion of their school program into the former military facilities at Galena.

“Galena has represented a place where we have fought tyranny from,” he told the students. That defense was first launched against the Germans during World War II, when the United States sent aircraft support to help Russia.

“Through the Cold War, it served as a place we stood guard over America from,” Johnson said. “Today, I don’t think much has changed. Education serves as a great way to fight tyranny.”

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CSIR to team up with IIT-B, NTPC for clean-coal tech

New Delhi: In an attempt to reduce the carbon dioxide emission levels from coal-based power projects, the government has asked the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, and India’s largest power generation utility NTPC Ltd to work together in finding ways to use bacteria for clean-coal technology.
The government is also looking at using bacteria for carbon capture and absorption.
While international laboratories have reported strains of bacteria that can decompose the toxic sulphur in coal, forming so-called clean coal in the process, which burns better without sulphurous residue, a bacteria to sequester carbon hasn’t been identified yet.
“There have been reports by research teams in Norway, earlier this year, that certain marine bacteria may use carbon dioxide and release oxygen—similar to algae,” said a CSIR scientist, who didn’t want to be identified.
The Indian initiative comes on the back of government’s increasing worry with India being ranked fourth (9%) among top contributors to global carbon dioxide emissions by the Netherland Environment Assessment Agency, and coming under increasing international scrutiny.
“We need to be sensitive to the idea of carbon dioxide emission and these efforts are part of the government’s road map for clean coal technology and will include a series of projects. What we do in power is fundamental as 50% of the carbon dioxide emissions are from power projects. We plan to create a national programme for clean-coal technology,” said Jairam Ramesh, minister of state for power and commerce.
“At the rate at which our coal consumption is growing within next five years we will be at the third position,” the minister said.
A senior NTPC executive and Samir K. Brahmachari, director general of CSIR, confirmed the development but said the project was in an initial stage.
The ministry has involved NTPC as 80% of its installed capacity is coal-fired.
The Washington-based Center for Global Development, a policy and research organization, recently identified NTPC as the third largest polluter among the world’s power generation companies.
With India producing around 67% of its electricity by burning coal, the power sector is the biggest consumer of the fuel, absorbing nearly 78% of the production.
India’s present power generation capacity is 143,000MW, and expects to add 78,577MW by 2012, of which around 46,600MW will come from coal-based projects.
India consumed 485 million tonnes per annum, or mtpa, of coal in 2007-08, of which 75% was for the power sector.
The demand for coal is expected to touch 1 billion tonnes by 2018.
The sector, excluding the planned ultra mega power projects, is expected to need 545mt of coal by 2012.

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IIT-G expects to moot plan for North-East development

Guwahati (PTI): IIT-Guwahati is expected to come out with a plan to improve the economic condition in the north eastern region, said Assam governor Lt Gen (retd) Ajai Singh on Friday.

The plan would transform agricultural practices and technological solutions, improve productivity and reduce waste, said Singh in his address at the 10th convocation of the IIT-G.

Stating his government had recently initiated steps for a comprehensive mobility plan for the city, he said, “we look towards IIT Guwahati for playing an effective role in planning and developing a better mass communicaton system here”

The government noted with happiness the IIT-G works on projects relevant to the region – flood control projects, earthquake research, on oil and harnessing its bio-resources.

Appreciating the 14 years old Indian Institute of Technology here establishing itself as an institute of excellence in the region and country, the governor, however, regretted that its number of students from the area was still very few.

“Society must create an atmosphere of confidence and ambition so as to motivate our boys and girls to sweat and compete and enter institutions like these. We must not be satisfied with wha

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IIT Rajasthan: Makeshift building, no funds

Rajasthan’s long-awaited entry into the league of IITians has come with a provisional certificate. Everything about the state chapter of the premiere tech institute that opens in the IIT Kanpur campus from this academic session is unconvincing. Its infrastructure is makeshift, the teachers would be ad-hoc appointees and the campus is on a short lease.

The Ministry of Human Resource and Development is yet to release funds for IIT Rajasthan, even when the new academic session is less than a month away. Registrar of IIT Kanpur, Sanjeev S Kashalkar made it clear that the administration was not going to draw upon the resources of the existing institute. Even the fund raised from students’ fee for Kanpur campus is not sufficient to maintain the standard of infrastructure required to run a premier engineering institution.

There are an additional 120 students of the Rajasthan campus who would have to be offered lodging and boarding facility, a fresh faculty and a new campus. “The arrival of funds from the

HRD ministry is pending so we are making temporary arrangements to house the IIT Rajasthan,” he told DNA. Rajasthan IIT students would not share the Kanpur campus.
They are converting vacant bungalows and staff quarters into “makeshift dormitories” for students. “We are hiring ad-hoc teachers before first semester,” an official of IIT Kanpur said. Initially 12 to 15 faculty members are being hired. In addition, the administration is converting available space into a library and computer science laboratory for students who enroll in Rajasthan IIT. They would have separate classes.
The registrar said the institution did not want to carry the burden of the Rajasthan IIT which would in time have it own administrative set up.

“We have galvanised the whole process of admissions to the new IIT in whatever measure we can,” he said.

Even the state government which had so enthusiastically pursued the Centre to bring IIT to Rajasthan is unwilling to own the IIT in its present form. Education minister, Kalicharan Saraf said he was surprised and displeased on the Centre’s decision to open the IIT Rajasthan in Kanpur. “Officially, we aren’t even aware that our IIT is opening in Kanpur; there has been no communication between the Centre and my department about the illogical arrangement,” he told DNA.

Where would have the state government accommodated the new IIT? Saraf said, the HRD ministry in Delhi was informed in advance about the identification of land and the city (Kota) in which it would be set up. “The least they could have done was to have allowed a temporary setup in Rajasthan itself than placing it in Kanpur” he said.

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Ten cheers for education

The year 2007 has seen a buoyant education sector flush with funds and high on expectations.

The year 2007 brought with it many pleasant surprises and a few disappointments for the education sector.

While IITs and IIMs hogged the headlines with the quota issue and their graduates bagged almost Ivy League salaries, the Prime Minister announced a slew of initiatives for the sector. Business Standard highlights a few such issues:

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IIM Lucknow announces the 5th General Management Programme

Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow today announced its fifth six months General Management Programme for Defence officers. The 24 week programme would provide the officers with varied managerial inputs across all functional domains, preparing them for a career in the corporate world. Cmde. Rajeev Karsolia, Principal Director Employment was the Chief Guest for the Inaugural Session.

The first four programmes conducted by IIML were huge successes with the 49 officers of the first programme, 60 of the second and 59 of the third getting good job offers. The fourth General management Programme is running at IIM Lucknow’s Noida Campus with 59 Defence Officers out of which 7 candidates are Lady Officers.

In the 5th programme, after applying the selection criteria, 65 officers (44 Army, 11 Air-force and 10 Navy) including 21 lady officers have been selected for the programme.

“We at IIML will provide our participants with the latest management skills and techniques, which are the primary requirement of the corporate sector. The idea is to familiarize the officers with the requisite analytical tools and techniques; and develop a holistic perspective and global mindset to understand issues of an enterprise and provide the defence officers with a second career choice after retirement” says Prof Prakash Singh and Prof Arunabha Mukhopadhyay, Programme Coordinators.

The Indian Armed Forces carefully selects Officers and continuously trains them in the art, science and craft of WINNING. Every year, hundreds of these Officers retire, with rich experience in learning, critical reasoning, objective decision making, creative thinking, leading and motivating people, running organisations and managing projects. The aim of the programme is to capitalize on these skills of the officers and optimize them to suit the corporate world’s requirements.

As in the past, the fifth programme is also expected to generate an enthusiastic response from the corporate world and given the intense nature of the programme it is sure to equip the participants with the necessary skill set so very essential to conquer the corporate world.

The objective of the GMP is to provide the participants with a basic understanding of the managerial systems and processes. The programme has been designed to provide the defence officers with basic functional inputs in subjects such as accounting and finance, decision sciences, organizational behavior, human resources management, communication skills, marketing, strategy, information technology and business environment.

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Govt lowers SC/ST cut-off to fill seats

The IITS, which faced problems filling SC/ST seats this year (2008-09), decided on Sunday to further lower the cut-off for them in next year’s admissions, to make way for as many candidates as possible.

The decision was made keeping in view that next year, the six new IITs and the older ones will increase seats in lieu with expansion. This year, the seven old IITs expanded by 13 per cent, accommodating nine per cent OBC quota. The six new IITs — at Gandhinagar, Patna, Bhubaneswar, Hyderabad and in Punjab and Rajasthan, each with 120 seats — implemented 27 per cent quota from this year.

But 66 seats meant for SCs and STs in the six new IITs were left vacant, as there were not enough eligible candidates. As the new IITs expressed inability to start preparatory courses for SC/ST candidates, citing infrastructure and faculty problems, the Joint Admission Board of 2008 decided to leave the 19 SC and 47 ST seats vacant this year. These seats would be filled afresh as part of IIT Joint Entrance Examination (JEE), 2009.

About 3.11 lakh candidates appeared for JEE 2008 While the cut-off for the last general category student admitted in IITs was 180 marks out of a total of 489, the cut-off for the last of the SC/ST students was 104.

The Joint Admission Board, which met in IIT-Kharagpur on Sunday to finalise the entrance policy for next year, decided to increase the cut-off waiver for SC/STs and the physically disabled from the present 40 per cent to 50 per cent. This is to ensure more SC/ST students make it through the process, Prof D. Acharya, director IIT-Kharagpur, and Prof Gautam Barua, director IIT Guwahati, told HT.

According to IIT directors, the exact number of seats to be added for the next academic session would be decided later as they have to work out the ability to expand infrastructure on campuses. The IIT-JEE 2009 will be held on April 12, 2009, for which the exam pattern remains almost the same.

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LDA homes to have drains by IIT-Roorkee

Lucknow The Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) has roped in Indian Institute of Technology — Roorkee (IIT-R) —for planning the urban drainage system in its upcoming housing schemes.

The institute will also assess the designs of the multi-storeyed apartments to make them earthquake resistant.

The IIT-R has already started its work from the Gomti Nagar Extension and will later assess the building map of the River View Apartment planned to be developed in Sector 6 of the Gomti Nagar Extension scheme.

“Hydrology experts from the Civil Engineering Department of IIT-R will draft the designs of the urban drainage system and will help in constructing earthquake resistant apartments,” said Mukesh Kumar Meshram, Vice-Chairman, LDA.

“The institute will also give tips for introducing advanced technologies like rainwater harvesting, eco-friendly development and recycling of waste water in all the upcoming schemes,” he added.

The earthquake resistant technology will be introduced in the River View Apartment followed by another multi-storeyed housing scheme in Aishbagh.

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Bright spots in local education

Let’s face it, public education often gets a black eye in realm of public opinion.

There’s not a week that goes by without the latest report on dropout problems, low test scores or funding disparities hitting the papers. Although a lot of the information coming out about public education highlights the system’s warts and flaws, there are a lot of good things happening that often get drowned out by the doom and gloom put out by various think-tanks and policy advocates.

The Eagle has selected these bright spots in local education to showcase what our schools are doing right:

n Magnet schools — The city’s two magnet schools, Montana Elementary and Carver Middle, provide a strong academic and disciplinary program for students. The two schools are so popular that a proposal to demagnetize Montana and Carver and create mini-magnet schools at all Dothan’s elementary and middle schools met with fierce resistance from parents. The Dothan City Schools instead is creating two new magnet schools at Heard Elementary School and Beverlye Middle School, doubling magnet school enrollment opportunities in the city.

n The Alabama Reading Initiative — ARI has been credited with strong gains in Alabama students ability to read. ARI provides improved teacher training, focuses on using individual student data to help each student and stresses student engagement. Allyson Morgan, director of secondary curriculum, said the city schools’ reading scores have improved every year they’ve been a part of the program, and several high poverty schools now have 85 percent of their students scoring at or above passing on the Alabama Math and Reading Test.

n Grandview Elementary School — A high poverty, mostly minority school, Grandview defies the assumption of failure schools with similar demographics get tagged with. The school has steadily increased its Alabama Reading and Math Test scores in recent years and is currently implementing an after school arts enrichment program.
Principal Todd Weeks chalks up the school’s success to old-fashioned elbow grease.

“We’re like Nick Saban; we’re going to outwork our opposition,” he said.

n Dual enrollment — About 141 local high school students are getting a head start on college thanks to Wallace Community College’s dual enrollment program. Dual enrollment allows students to earn college credits while they are still enrolled in high school. Participation in the dual enrollment program helps students make a smoother transition from high school to college, and those who participate are more likely to attend college with high grade point averages, Sally Buchanan, a Wallace spokesperson, said. Most scholarship and financial aid opportunities require a high school diploma or a GED but students can use PACT Prepaid Affordable College Tuition money and other personal college savings plans to pay for dual enrollment classes.

n Wiregrass Foundation — The Wiregrass Foundation has stepped up to the plate to provide the chronically underfunded Dothan City Schools with money for innovative, potentially game-changing new programs. The foundation funded a scholarship program that allows almost all graduating seniors in Houston County to attend Wallace College, has put up $500,000 per year for three years for an arts infusion program at two high-poverty elementary schools and is contributing funds for a high school and middle school reform effort.
“We’re a health legacy foundation, and we think the best way to drive health statistics in this community is an abundance of good jobs and good paying jobs, and the best way to provide this is to have very good public schools,” Vince Edge, Wiregrass Foundation director, said.

n ACCESS program — The ACCESS program allows schools to conduct classes at a distance by means of teleconferencing. The program helps rural schools by making available specialized courses such as foreign languages or career courses that these schools might otherwise not have the resources to offer. The program also helps schools offer more high demand classes more often by allowing them to pool their teaching resources. About 28 students in Dothan are currently taking ACCESS courses.

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IIM-C comes to aid of laid-off alumni

The economic meltdown has not spared the Indian Institutes of Management, including IIM Calcutta. With lay-offs creating ripples among
students, IIM-C is planning to offer career development and placement assistance to those of its alumni who have lost their jobs.

“The major concern of the institute, at this moment, is to place students from the current batch. However, in case there are requests from former students seeking our help on losing their jobs after being laid off, their CVs will be forwarded to companies for serious consideration. Moreover, if unemployment in financial banks increases, we may have to hold a re-placement of those former students, who lose their jobs there,” said a senior IIM-C official.

“Some former students, who have lost their jobs, were among the most sought after a year ago. A year later, they will still be in high demand. An economic meltdown and a subsequent job loss do not mean that they will lose their brand value,” he added.

Till now, though former students have sought help from IIM-C alumni in several top companies globally, no official request has been made to the institute. “The students are aware that their negotiating ability will be deteriorating. Also, they will be in no position to bargain hard in case their CVs are again placed before prospective employers. So, they are also trying through their internal message boards through which every alumnus is in touch with the other,” explained the IIM-C official.

“We are internally trying to assist students from the institute facing retrenchment in the financial sector by pushing their cases with prospective employers visiting the campus. Every year, those executives who come for on-campus recruitment, are mostly IIM-C alumni. Moreover, the moment economic meltdown hit the globe, some alumni apprehending the possible crisis had already offered assistance and sought the CVs of those losing jobs,” said Sri Krishna, the placement cell representative of IIM-C.

“It is in times of such global crises that the real strength of an institute and its alumni is reflected. We are all indebted to our alma mater and thus will offer as much help as possible,” Vijay Anand Menon, an alumnus working with a multinational in Chandigarh, pointed out.

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