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Schools roping in industry experts to train students

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HYDERABAD: CBSE schools in the city are roping in industry experts to enhance the vocational skills of students and the teaching methods employed by the principals and teachers.

Following instructions from the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), schools are taking class 11 and 12 students on a visit to local industry units and facilitating interaction with community leaders.

“We send students in groups fortnightly to local experts such as chemists, pharmacists, bankers etc. who personally share their experience with students about their professional life,” said Seetha Murthy, principal of Silver Oaks School.

A few schools are also arranging weekly or bi-weekly internship programmes so that students can have a better understanding of concepts. The CBSE circular, in fact, urges principals to offer vocational courses and impart practical skills training.

Nearly two workshops were held in the city last week for principals and head of schools, where they were informed of new teaching methods, use of technology in education, reforms in CBSE courses etc. Member of CBSE committee on curriculum, Chitra Ravi, who is also the founder of EZ Vidya, held a workshop where she spoke to over 50 principals on the need to transform traditional classrooms into ‘Thinkrooms’.

“During the workshop, we were told about the recent reforms in CBSE and how to cope up with them. Sessions on practical orientation among children, technology-enabled lessons, visual presentation of concepts etc. were held,” said Rayapa Reddy, principal of Lotus National School in Attapur.

In another workshop held by Next Education, a private edu-tech solutions provider, over 40 principals from various city schools joined in with a purpose to analyse their goals and work towards the betterment of students. “Being school heads, we are often stressed about children’s performance and their issues. Such workshops de-stress us and give us the right direction to execute our goals,” said Pratima Sinha, principal of Meridian School, Banjara Hills.

We send students in groups fortnightly to local experts such as chemists, pharmacists, bankers etc. who personally share their experience with students about their professional life – Seetha Murthy, principal, Silver Oaks School

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Source: TOI-Hyd

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Snakes on the prowl in posh areas of the city

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HYDERABAD: A day after a spectacled cobra was caught in the posh environs of Banjara Hills, environmentalists on Sunday raised concerns over the widespread destruction of the reptile habitat. Two days ago, a rat snake was rescued from the residence of minister Harish Rao as well.

The snake cell of the Nehru Zoological Park and NGOs say they are worried but knew this was coming, what with indiscriminate destruction of greenery and the rising temperature. Even officials from the Met department admitted that it is strange to see an average day time temperature of 33 degrees Celsius in November, which usually marks the onset of winter in the city.

“Most snakes are cold-blooded creatures and require warm temperatures to remain active. But, recently we witnessed a change in their movement. Usually, snakes do not venture into human habitations, especially during the winter months of November and December. But due to the spike in the temperatures, the snakes are making their way out during the day,” Avinash Visvanathan, secretary, Friends of Snakes (FoS) said.

Members of FoS said they captured as many as 3,000 snakes till November this year and have noticed the movement of reptiles towards city areas. “Last year, we captured as many as 3,240 snakes. By November, we have rescued 3,000 snakes,” Avinash Visvanathan, secretary, FoS, told TOI.

While warm climates makes the snakes active, what comes as a cause for concern is the increase of venomous snakes, like Russell’s Vipers and Cobras, in urban areas. “After rescue operations last year, we found that 47.25% of the snakes were cobras, which are venomous. We presume that habitat destruction and variations in the temperatures have compelled the reptiles to move towards urban areas for heat,” said Avinash.

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Source: TOI-Hyd

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HSRP delayed as contractor seeks more time

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HYDERABAD: Telangana government’s grand plans to reassign registration numbers for 74 lakh-odd old vehicles across the state may go for a six as the contractor, Link Autotech Pvt Ltd, wants more time to affix the high security registration plates (HSRP) for these vehicles. The firm also mentioned the minimum time required for providing HSRP for various categories of vehicles.

In the proposal sent by Link Autotech, vehicles were classified into three categories – government vehicles, commercial and others (non-commercial vehicles).

The firm said, in the first phase, non-commercial vehicles, which were close to 59 lakh, including personal cars, two-wheelers and others, could be affixed with HSRPs 90 days after the transport department issues a notification. For 8.21 lakh commercial vehicles, the high-security plates could be affixed 60 days after the promulgation of the notification. However, the HSRP for commercial vehicles could be linked with their fitness certificate.

“A notification for linking fitness certificate with the HSRP should be issued to ensure HSRP is fixed on all commercial vehicles in a year,” Link Autotech authorities, in a written communication to the principal secretary (Transport) recently, proposed.

Citing parking space problem at regional transport offices (RTOs) across Telangana, the firm had already requested the government to allow HSRP affixation on the premises of vehicle dealers itself instead of RTOs. The contractor informed the government that if the suggestion was implemented it could affix HSRP for 70,03,101 vehicles in a year, with an average daily load of 26,527 vehicles.

However, the government has not yet taken a decision on the proposals presented by the firm, which was pulled up during a recent review meeting for failing to clear the backlogs. “All these proposals will be considered before the government issues guidelines on implementation of re-assignment of numbers for the old vehicles. Since several issues have to be considered, it is taking a long time,” a senior transport department official told TOI.

In the order given by the transport department on the issue of re-assignment, the government said that at least four months would be given for motorists to make the requisite changes.

According to the transport department all proposals presented by Link Autotech will be considered before the government issues guidelines on implementation of re-assignment of numbers for the old vehicles. Since several issues have to be considered, it is taking a long time

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Source: TOI-Hyd

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