Home » Uncategorized

Category Archives: Uncategorized

Mandatory induction programme for engineering students from next year

Hindustan Times | Neelam Pandey | New Delhi| Nov 28, 2017 |

Students will have to follow a daily routine of physical activity with games and sports including Yoga. Each student will pick one game and learn it for the three weeks.

Representational Image

Engineering students across the country will undergo a compulsory induction programme from next year as part of their undergraduate programmme. Students will have to follow a daily routine of physical activity with games and sports including Yoga. Each student will pick one game and learn it for the three weeks. Also, the programme will also be used to rectify some critical lacunas, for example holding special English classes for those students who have deficiency in it. Each student will also be asked to choose one skill related to the arts whether it is visual or performing arts and they will also hold discussion on universal values that students should have. The first three weeks of the students in the institute would be earmarked for the induction programme. Under the universal values module, apart from drawing the attention of the student to larger issues of life, it would build relationships between teachers and students which last for their entire 4-year stay and possibly beyond.

All the institutes approved by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) will have to follow it, officials said. There are over 3000 engineering institutes under the AICTE, the technical regulator of the country. There is a mad rush for engineering today, without the student determining for himself his interests and his goals. This is a major factor in the current state of demotivation towards studies that exists among UG students. The success of gaining admission into a desired institution but failure in getting the desired branch, with peer pressure generating its own problems, leads to a peer environment that is demotivating and corrosive. Start of hostel life without close parental supervision at the same time, further worsens it with also a poor daily routine,” reads the note on the induction programme. The induction programme was discussed and approved for all colleges by AICTE in March 2017. “It is a good move as students who join the institute after a rigorous training in terms of the coaching they undergo and then rather than getting any breathing space they are plunged deep into academics. They need to unwind and forge new relations with fellow students and familiarize themselves with the new environment,” said an IIT director.

“To come out of this situation, a multi-pronged approach is needed. One will have to work closely with the newly joined students in making them feel comfortable, allow them to explore their academic interests and activities, reduce competition and make them work for excellence, promote bonding within them, build relations between teachers and students, give a broader view of life, and build character”. Under visits to local areas it has been recommended that a couple of visits to the landmarks of the city, or a hospital or orphanage could be organized. This would familiarize them with the area as well as expose them to the under privileged. The proficiency module, would be used to overcome some critical lacunas that students might have, for example, English, computer familiarity among others. “These should run like crash courses, so that when normal courses start after the induction program, the student has overcome the lacunas substantially. We hope that problems arising due to lack of English skills, wherein students start lagging behind or failing in several subjects, for no fault of theirs, would, hopefully, become a thing of the past,” it said. – Courtersy

AICTE Model Curriculum for 1st Year UG Degree Courses in Engineering & Technology, November 2017 – Click here View / Download

Advertisements

AICTE shuts 1,400 ‘bad standard’ technical courses

DNA | Kritika Sharma |  Nov 6, 2017 |

The number of courses closed is the highest in the last five years…

In a bid to improve the standard of technical education in the country, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has closed nearly 1,400 courses that did not meet required standards in various technical institutions in the academic year 2017-18. The number of courses is the highest in last five years. The maximum number of institutes where courses have been closed are in Maharashtra with over 400 situated in the state. Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka also have a high number of such institutes. Maximum courses that have been closed are on engineering and information technology, while a minuscule percentage are courses on pharmacy and management. Authorities have advised students to check details about courses as well as the institute before applying. After various surveys on engineering education in India pointed that majority of the graduates in the country have become unemployable, the Ministry of Human Resource Development started taking initiatives to improve the quality of technical education, specially engineering. As a part of this, the government regulator has also decided to close 800 engineering institutions that are not getting any admissions. These institutions will be shut over the next two years. The courses that have been shut by AICTE did not meed required educational standards. According to data obtained from AICTE, 468 courses were closed in 2012-13, 912 in 2013-14, 604 in 2014-15, 1,093 in 2015-16, 670 in 2016-17 and 1,389 in 2017-18.

“A high number of course closures shows that we are going after improving the quality of technical education in the country. Courses that either do not have any students of are not meeting the required standards of curriculum have been closed. There are many institutions where popular departments like civil and mechanical engineering have also been closed because they were not performing well,” said a senior official in AICTE. “We want to advise students to check credentials about the course, apart from the institute before seeking admission in an institute,” the official added. India has, over the last three years, seen a dip in number of students opting for engineering. After failing to secure a seat in the top technical institutes like IITs, NITs, students have steered clear of private engineering colleges.

FALLING STANDARDS

  • Maharashtra has the highest number of institutes (400) where courses have been closed
  • A total of 1,398 courses did not meet required standards. …Courtesy

APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University (KTU) plans concept paper on design and engineering

DECCAN CHRONICLE. |  Oct 7, 2017 | Thiruvananthapuram |   APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University plans concept paper  |

The students will be encouraged to think differently and formulate design solutions to meet any need.

Representational Image

Thiruvananthapuram: The APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University has brought out a concept paper on design and engineering as it has made design mandatory in the first year of the BTech programme for all branches of specialisation. This  is an introductory course  to understand the various segments of  simple design. The students will be encouraged to think differently and formulate design solutions to meet any need.   They can  take up mini-projects which  do not require in-depth knowledge in engineering.

The conceptualisation of design and reforming of design based on any criteria can now be done using many of the design tools available for engineers. These include CAD, analysis tools, simulation tools, optimisation tools and the like. All design details using CAD are to be brought out well and presented by the student during project evaluation, the note said.  Each branch can select any design project for specialisation and do it using CAD and other tools available. A group of students not exceeding four  can plan  this  so that the final year project will be arealistic one with full involvement of the group. While evaluating the project, the members of committee will consider the following points:  presentation quality, ability to speak clearly and logically with effective audience engagement, quality of images and drawings free of typographical errors, clear and coherent response to audience questions, technical content, methodology of design calculations used,  identified design requirements and thorough evaluation of design alternatives. – Courtesy

Visvesvaraya Technological University student, Sai K hacks into varsity site, points out major security holes

Tech university’s website at the mercy of hackers

Sai K got a copy of his answer script without paying for it. Later, he flagged the bug and paid up

Sai K got a copy of his answer script without paying for it. Later, he flagged the bug and paid up

Sai K, a final-year student of electronics and communication at Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU), is an ethical hacker. Recently, he hacked into the VTU website and applied for a photocopy of an answer script without paying the fee. He even got the copy sent to his email. Eventually, though, he paid the fee, and explained to the officials how vulnerable the university’s website was.
Essentially, anyone could get details of the administrator; apply for a photocopy of their answer scripts without paying for it; tamper with laboratory internal and external marks of more than 3 lakh students; and even access confidential information on the university’s 17,000 teachers. In 2013, Bangalore Mirror had asked an ethical hacker to get inside the university to check the security of VTU website. BM found that it was as easy as it gets. The varsity officials were informed about this and a huge technology makeover took place in that particular year. But, even after four years, the website of one of the biggest technological university in the state remains vulnerable.  Sai told BM: “I am a certified ethical hacker. Our university website was so simple to get in. I am an amateur hacker. Imagine what a professional hacker can do. I wanted to bring this to my university officials’ notice.”  “The website is designed in a way that it uses the dynamic user input. Which means, if I enter the USN number and submit, it appears in the URL. If we keep changing the characters, then it keeps changing. They should not use this,” he says. Another problem is: “If you are searching for VTU using simple SQL dorks, anybody can login into university’s websites with a simple click,” he added.
No SMS alerts
There is no SMS alert system. Anyone can keep fiddling inside the website and no one gets to know. “This is a major problem and the university database is a big mess. If, for example, a teacher’s data is changed, the teacher or the system admin should get an alert. This doesn’t happen. At least when you apply for photocopy, someone should be alerted. That too doesn’t happen,” he added.
What can be done?
Sai suggests: “Always use white list input validation and also escaping all user-supplied input should be done. Prevent dynamic user inputs. To prevent unauthorised access, use intruder prevention systems and notify branch HOD’s or principals in case of any modification.”
Can results be tampered?
Sai says, yes. But he hasn’t tried it yet. “The internal and external marks can be altered and no one will come to know. Only the student should be surprised.” “I have already been called by the higher members in the office and have explained to them in detail. If the university needs help, I can pitch in and help with data safety,” he said. HN Jagannatha Reddy, Registrar, VTU, told BM: “I welcome the student who has done it. Let him approach me and I will see it to it. Our website is most secure and technically strong. We have recently taken a decision to modify the website and its interface. We will soon start that process. There is a department in our university that is taking charge of this. We are inculcating all the changes. If there is a loophole, we will rectify it.”

Four years on…
In August 2013, BM had published a story on how Karnataka’s only technology varsity was technologically challenged. An ethical hacker had walked into BM office then to expose the inadequacies in the varsity’s IT system. He had demonstrated how VTU’s online sites were open and anybody could view the log file by adding that extra word or logs. A gaping hole in VTU’s IT system was exposed when an ethical hacker Prashanth Bhola had managed to easily log onto VTU’s results page and alter the marks in the system. “Anyone with access to the internet can tamper with results as the username and password can be cracked easily. The VTU main page content can be modified; results portal can be hacked into. Mailboxes can be deleted and no VTU user would be able to log in, view his account or retrieve information. Even the revaluation, exam and library portal can be attacked by Denial of Service (DOS) attack. What this means is, it could force exams to be delayed. The exam portal can be tampered with at high level of server query attack, which will result in exam delays. Question paper delivery system (QPDS) mail ids can be used to send out fake question papers, claimed Prashanth, adding that VTU should ensure log files are not visible to the public. –  Courtesy

Mangalore University Academic Council okays open online courses for PG students

Deccan Herald | DH News Service, Mangaluru | Sep 18 2017 |

The Academic Council of Mangalore University has approved massive open online courses (MOOCs) for second-semester postgraduate students. Mangalore University Vice-Chancellor Prof K Byrappa said an orientation for first-semester students would be conducted in late October or early November to create awareness about the available MOOCs. About 350 courses are available online. The courses have already been uploaded on the UGC website. This is a part of the Ministry of Human Resource Development’s (MHRD) Swayam (Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds) initiative that envisages offering online courses to students by the faculty of centrally funded institutions. As per the Swayam website, the courses hosted on Swayam will be in four quadrants — video lectures, especially prepared reading material that can be downloaded/printed, self-assessment tests through tests and quizzes and an online discussion forum for clearing the doubts.

MOOCs will be offered as soft core courses and optional elective courses in second and third semesters at the postgraduate level. If a student opts for the courses under MOOCs, there will not be any regular teachers for these courses. Students can take the course material on the Swayam platform. They will have to take the online examination conducted by the respective university/institution which offers MOOCs identified by the UGC. The number of credits that a student who opts for MOOCs will be the same as the credit that a soft core or open elective course carries under Mangalore University regulations. The credits earned by the students under MOOCs will be adopted by the Mangalore University while declaring the result and awarding the degree. If a student takes more courses under MOOCs than the number of courses prescribed for the PG programme, Mangalore University regulations provide for extra credits. These extra credits will be considered as additional credits and will be shown in the marks card under the heading ‘additional Swayam/MOOCs’. According to Prof Byrappa, when a student opts for MOOCs, s/he has to register as per the regulations pertaining to the UGC (Credit Framework for Online Learning Courses through Swayam) Regulations, 2016. – Courtesy

Creating a culture of research in India

The Hindu Business Line | Subrata Chakraborty | Opinion | 25 August 2017 |

Research shouldn’t be about getting published in global journals. It’s about addressing our needs in a collective fashion

Representational Image

Whenever global rankings of universities are announced, there is some murmur in our media and elsewhere about India’s poor showing. Former President Pranab Mukherjee spoke about this in many forums, asking why quality of our academia cannot be as good as those in other countries. Research is one aspect that often got flagged, pegged by the observation that the number of publications and their citations are relatively less in India, in comparison with various developed countries. Why are they low? The reasons are many; a few prominent ones are outlined below. A culture of research is largely missing in our institutions. Collegiality and a singularity of purpose among faculty members are important requirements to build that, where members need to be bonded by shared, research-related values and practices towards building a safe home for testing new ideas.

Vague prospects

Sadly, we lack clarity on “what developing research culture means?” Education administrators in India looked at this in many different ways, such as, (i) building research culture involves incorporating research into an organisational culture that has not previously considered that activity as part of its culture; (ii) implanting a research sub-culture within an organisational culture currently having a distinctive teaching sub-culture; (iii) having a ‘petri-dish’ culture — an environment into which we toss research and expect it to grow, just as we expect bacteria to grow in a petri dish. Unfortunately, none of these help much. Instead of any comprehensive reviews and follow-up actions, we seem to mindlessly adopt some practices. A glaring example is rules requiring publication in international journals (and presentations at international conferences), as criteria for promotion. No doubt, the intent is to introduce a research culture, which is laudable. However, trying to achieve this goal through international publications tends to undermine the longer-term goal of building an indigenous research culture to address the important problems of society. The policy of requiring international publications induces faculty to turn toward addressing unfamiliar problems of distant lands for the sole purpose of getting a publication or two so they can get promoted. This turns the very purpose of research on its head — instead of doing research in order to serve society, faculty start doing research so that they can get it published, treating publication as the end.

Research and publication

Research culture refers to a pattern of basic assumptions about research. In India, we seem to suffer from a tendency to treat research and publication as the same thing, which they are not. While good research is expected to generate publications in the top rated journals the converse is not true. Because of this tendency, majority of our institutions do not have any institutional research thrust, unlike in the west. Important is to examine not just what the researchers do, but why they do it. In India, publications happen due to individual initiatives — often driven by survival or promotional needs rather than being drawn out of purposeful collective effort. The difference, thus, is ‘want to’ versus ‘have to’, propeller being ‘individual need’ rather than ‘common zeal’.

Why does this situation persist despite repeated appeals for betterment? This happens because dealing with ‘paradox of scope’ often blurs the vision of our education administrators. The expanding periphery and contracting core of our colleges and universities stretches the already limited adaptive capability of governance structures to the breaking point. Data assessing several key dimensions of universities and colleges — full-time faculty, liberal arts and scientific education, student services that act in loco parentis, the library, etc. — demonstrate how the traditional core of the university is declining. At the same time, the periphery of the institution — outsourcing partnerships, corporate training, vocational courses, discrete research centres, etc. — is continuously expanding.

Perils of peripheral growth

The challenge is to take back charge of the institution. For that, the institution needs to define a strategy that specifies the domain in which it will operate. The risk inherent in the new competitive environment is that as the institution expands everywhere in the periphery, it will be successful nowhere. Unmistakably, research in India has become a victim to this peripheral growth. One common requirement of “developing a research culture” is to move from a few isolated individual researcher projects to an environment where research is so pervasive that it appears to be the activity of a large number of interconnected colleagues. We need steps in that direction. What is being done to achieve that? Apparently, precious little. A recent news item indicated that a single higher education regulator would replace the UGC and AICTE. The proposed Higher Education Empowerment Regulation Agency, being developed by the HRD ministry, is aimed at eliminating overlaps in jurisdictions and remove irrelevant regulatory provisions. Will this help?

Perhaps yes, but only to a limited extent because real requirement is to have close examination of (i) the philosophy that guides an organisation’s policy towards research; (ii) the climate about research that is conveyed in an organisation by the physical and administrative facilities as well as the way in which researchers in the organisation interact with others; (iii) the rules of the game in place for getting along with research in the organisation; (iv) behavioural regularities when people engage in research, such as the language and the rituals used. To move ahead, institutions must get empowered to look within rather than being cowed down by a regulator, in whatever name we may call it. Better will be to have a facilitating body instead of a regulating one if our aim is to promote a research culture. –  The writer is former dean and director-in-charge of IIM, Lucknow –  Courtesy

Lok Sabha passes Bill allowing IIITs to give away engineering degrees to students

IndiaToday |  New Delhi, July 20, 2017 | & Live Mint |

The Bill seeks to grant statutory status to 15 IIITs and declare them as ‘Institutions of National Importance.’

The much awaited bill granting statutory status to the Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIIT) in PPP mode has been passed by the Lok Sabha. Also, the government said the fees for the poor students will not increase and that reservation law will apply there.

About IIIT Public-Private Partnership Bill, 2017:

  • The Bill seeks to grant statutory status to 15 IIITs and declare them as ‘Institutions of National Importance’
  • It also seeks to enable these institutions to grant degrees to their students in the academic courses conducted by them

Replying to a debate on the bill, here’s what HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said:

During the debate, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar stressed that the fees for poor will not increase because of the new measure. He also said that the reservation law prevailing in the country will apply to these institutes. “There might be a slight increase for those who have the capacity to bear. But for the poor (students), there will be scholarships available,” the Javadekar added. Meanwhile, the academic session commenced in 15 IIITs, including the branches in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Haryana and West Bengal. Further, the first batch of under-graduate students enrolled in the year 2013-14 will be passing out in this year. Meanwhile, talking about India’s dominance in the IT sector globally, Javadekar credited former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee for his vision for the IT sector.

Congress’s Deepinder Hooda criticised Javadekar:

Participating in the debate, Congress’s Deepinder Hooda criticised Javadekar for not mentioning contribution of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in bringing policy initiative in the IT sector. Referring to difficulties being faced by India’s IT firms due to changes made by the Donald Trump administration in granting H1B visas, Hooda said Prime Minister Narendra Modi must tell the country whether he had raised the issue with the US during his recent visit there. While welcoming the IIIT Bill, Hooda said the government must formulate strategy to support the IT industry in the wake of the US and some other countries resorting to protectionism.

“The grant of a formal degree in information technology, engineering or Ph.D will enhance the prospects of the graduating students in the job market and will also enable (these) institutes to attract enough students required to develop a strong research base in the country in the field of information technology,” a cabinet statement had said on 15 March.  The 15 IIITs are now operating from: Chittoor (Andhra Pradesh), Guwahati (Assam), Vadodara (Gujarat), Sonipat (Haryana), Una (Himachal Pradesh), Ranchi (Jharkhand), Dharwad (Karnataka), Kottayam (Kerala), Nagpur and Pune (both Maharashtra), Senapati (Manipur), Kota (Rajasthan), Tiruchirappalli (Tamil Nadu), Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) and Kalyani (West Bengal). – Courtesy

Now Yoga is mandatory for engineering students

Deccan Herald | Prakash Kumar, DH News Service | New Delhi, Jul 11 2017 |

The move is part of the Centre’s emphasis on incorporation of Yoga and value education in the higher education.

Students of engineering colleges and other technical institutes will have to participate in one of the five extra-curricular activities including Yoga along with their programme to get their degrees from this academic session. The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has made it mandatory for all students of the technical institutes affiliated to it. The provision has been made to instil in students “values” for the nation and society. The extracurricular activities, other than Yoga, listed are the National Cadet Corps (NCC), NSS, Unnat Bharat Abhiyan and Sports. The students will have to opt any one from the list of five extracurricular activities and ensure at least 25 percent attendance in activities to be organised on a weekly basis. Though students will not get any extra marks or credit for their participation in the extracurricular activities, their non-participation and failure to register minimum attendance would result in holding of their degrees. “Extra-curricular activities were already part of the technical education curriculum. But, it was optional for the students. We have now made it mandatory for all students with effect from this year. Students will have to opt from any of the five activities in order to get their degrees,” a senior AICTE official said. The move is part of the Centre’s emphasis on incorporation of Yoga and value education in the higher education. “We have made participation of our students in any of the five extra-curricular activities mandatory to inculcate values among them so that they do not graduate just as a technocrats and professional but also a fine human being,” the official said.

While the practice of Yoga and Sports can help students maintain a balance of his or her body and mind, their participation in the NCC, NSS and Unnat Bharat Abhiyan would instil in them values and desire to work for the nation and society. Under the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan of the Human Resource Development Ministry, technical and other higher educational institutions adopt villages in their vicinity and work with the people to address the development challenges in the areas. The programme aims at creating “a virtuous cycle” between society and an inclusive academic system by providing knowledge and practices for emerging professions and to upgrade the capabilities of both the public and the private sectors in responding to the development needs of rural India. “If students visit a village under the programme and work for their development, indulgence in such activities would instil greater human values among them. It would help them understand the problems that our societies are facing. I would create an urge for them to work for the society and the nation,” the official added. – Courtesy

GREEN ROOM: Kerala’s biggest Startup – SME Conclave & Launch of B’Hub

Federal Bank presents GREEN ROOM: Kerala’s biggest Startup – SME Conclave & Launch of B’Hub

02 July 2017, Girideepam Convention Centre, Mar Ivanios Vidyanagar, Trivandrum, Kerala, South India

Organised by Mar Baselios College of Engineering & Technology & Bloombloom, in association with The Federal Bank Limited & The Kerala Startup Mission.

⊗ HANDSHAKE WITH INDUSTRIES   ⊗ HUNT FOR THE BEST CAMPUS PROJECTS   ⊗ PANEL DISCUSSIONS
⊗ TALKS   ⊗ NETWORKING   ⊗ EXPO & STALLS   ⊗ INAUGURATION OF WORLD’S FIRST B’HUB

A daylong event, which will invite the substantial attention of the media, will have speakers from various disciplines addressing the gathering. A colourful Inaugural session will be followed by Sessions, Panel discussions etc. that will throw light into finding ways to enrich innovations in the SME-Startup sector in India. The event will mark the launch of B’Hub, a unique networking hub in educational campuses, aimed to build local communities around innovations and entrepreneurship. First of its kind model is getting launched during this day, which will be rolled out to 50 other locations in the country initially as well as globally.

Technology is advancing in such a faster pace that every industry is going to be disrupted in the future and it is hence important to innovate and be sustainable. At the same time, Industries can play the most important role in accelerating startups in its journey from zero to one. The event focuses on creating awareness among the Industries to contribute effectively to the innovation ecosystem, evolve models to collaborate with startups. This event will discuss various models of effective engagement for industries with startups and campuses. There will be follow-up programs in B’Hubs for constant interactions and thus to evolve B’Hubs as a happening place for businesses. – Take a Look a http://bhubs.bloombloom.co/       –      http://greenroomglobal.com/

CBSE says NEET results will be delayed, academic schedule hit

The Times of India | L Saravanan | TNN | Jun 7, 2017 |

MADURAI: The Central Board of Secondary Education on Tuesday told the Madurai bench of the Madras high court that it would need at least 15 days to declare the results of NEET-2017, leaving thousands of students across the country in limbo and admission schedules for professional courses this academic year all askew.  Even if the court immediately lifts an interim stay on “all further proceedings” with regard to NEET, CBSE will have to take time to come out with the answer key, restart evaluation of answer scripts and declare results, the board said. A division bench of Madras high court had on May 24 stayed all further proceedings till June 7; CBSE took 13 days to file a counter affidavit to PILs. “The delay in declaring re sults due to the interim order is already beyond permissible limit,” the board said. “CBSE will require 15 days to declare the result if it is permitted to do so…CBSE has to complete the remaining steps for preparation of results -hosting of OMR [optical mark recognition] on the website and hosting of the answer key -which will require 15 days.”

Engineering colleges across the country have to complete counselling by July 30 and the deadline for medical collegesuniversities is September 30. With the delay, many aspiring MBBS students have sought admission to engineering courses.  “We generally begin engineering counselling after the first round of MBBS admissions, to prevent engineering seats going waste,” said a Tamil Nadu Engineering Admission committee official. Many states will require at least six weeks to complete engineering admissions. For that, the counselling for single window admission of students into engineering courses should begin at least by the last week of this month, officials said. If NEET results are delayed, medical counselling ses sions, especially in states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra, which have more than 40 medical colleges each, would be packed. The MCI had ordered that admission to all medical colleges -government, self-financing and deemed universities -have to be conducted by a state authority.  NEET examinations were held across the nation on May 7 in 10 different languages.Soon after the tests, PILs were filed in various courts, raising several issues. In the Madurai bench of the Madras high court, a batch of PILs were filed on the ground that NEET question papers were not uniform for different languages, and that it resulted in some vernacular languages having an easy set of questions.

On Tuesday, calling for lifting of the May 24 stay order, CBSE said: “If the stay is not vacated, the future of 11.38 lakh candidates who appeared for the NEET would be jeopardised. It would create unrest among the stakeholders. The procedures to complete the medical and dental admission as directed by the Supreme Court could not be complied. Besides, CBSE would face contempt of court.” Justifying NEET, CBSE regional officer Mahesh D Dharmadhikari denied the petitioners’ arguments that question papers were different in vernacular languages and that English question papers were tougher than Hindi and Gujarati papers (the PIL had also claimed that the Gujarati question paper was the easiest of all papers). CBSE said it had prepared 10 sets of question papers of “similar difficulty level”. Of the 10, four sets were randomly selected for translation into vernacular languages and the remaining six sets were used for English and Hindi. From four sets translated in vernacular languages, three sets were randomly picked for printing. On the day of examination, the competent authority decided on two sets of question papers. Of the 11.38 lakh students registered for NEET, only 47,853 opted for the examination in Gujarati; 34,417 chose Bengali, 15,206 wrote in Tamil, 3,810 in Assamese, 1,766 in Telugu, 978 in Marathi, 712 in Kannada and 452 in Oriya, the officer said. – Courtesy