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An evening to honour India’s changemakers

They took the path less travelled, and on Monday it will lead a group of remarkable men and women to the stage for the second Times of India Social Impact Awards in association with J P Morgan. The awards are being given to changemakers within NGOs, corporates and the government who have quietly worked to transform the lives of millions of marginalized Indians.

Pollution levels rose alarmingly in the river Ganges in Allahabad on the first day of the Kumbh Mela festival, according to a study by the state pollution control board.

According to ASER, there has been a 10% increase in private school enrolments over the last three years

Private schools in India attracted a large chunk of students in the 6-14 age group, according to the Annual Status of Education Report 2012 (ASER) by Pratham. However, the quality of education is on the wane in both private and government schools, the report noted.

The survey, which covered 16,000 schools across the country, found private enrolments rose from 18.7 per cent in 2006 to 28.3 per cent in 2012.

With more than half of all children in standard five at least three grade levels behind where they should be, the standards of learning continue to deteriorate in the country, thanks to the Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) system, mass recruitment of teachers and the high-level curriculum in the early stages of school education.

The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER 2012) by NGO Pratham shows that the number of class five students who could not read a class two level text or solve a simple arithmetic problem has increased. In 2010, this number stood at 46.3%, 51.8% in 2011 and 53.2% in 2012.

NEW DELHI: With learning levels in the country dipping to an all-time low it is states like Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand where the least number of children can read, while those in Chha

Every time people lose faith in the political establishment, urban middle classes embrace fascism and the poor take up arms against the state

The last image of 2012 is that of protesters storming central Delhi, outraged at the brutal rape of a young girl and the culture of violence against women. This outburst by the educated middle class, many of them young women, was spontaneous as much as it was leaderless. But as we move into the next year, we need to think about the government’s response to this protest and other demonstrations. We need to understand if the Indian state has any clue about what is going on under its nose — and feet.

Inclusiveness, especially in education, rang out as a cause close to the hearts of the jury at the awards. And their selection of Pratham USA as the winner in the category of International Contribution to India seemed to confirm this.

Through the three-hour deliberations, issues of inclusiveness kept cropping up with probing questions about the kind of interventions being made, the extent and scope of work being done, and the model's scalability. But when it came to the International Contribution category, the jury lost no time in choosing its favourite.

The National Institute of Open Schooling was an instant choice. The sheer scale of operations — NIOS gave 5 lakh out-of-school students the chance to get an education in 2011-12 — ensured its selection as a winner in the government category. If NIOS was about scale, Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya No.2 of Zeenat Mahal won admiration for the determination with which its turnaround was achieved. Facing shutdown at one point, this Urdu-medium school became one of the top performing government schools in Delhi.

There was unanimity among the jury that NIOS and the Sarvodaya school deserved a joint award — if one was a shining example of macro intervention, the other showed what can be achieved with micro-level efforts.

ITANAGAR, Sept 24 – Unusual landslides have threatened the existence of the world famous Tawang Monastery in Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh, bordering China.

Going ahead with its ambitious 'Clean India' campaign, the Tourism Ministry has roped in oil PSU ONGC to keep six major tourist sites, including Taj Mahal and Konark Temple clean and environment-fr