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'Udaan' initiative takes off to nurture female engineers

The Central Board of Secondary Education will shortlist 1,000 students in the country to help them prepare for entrance tests to get admission in India’s top engineering colleges

Taking cue from the recent statement made by HRD minister Smriti Irani about the low enrolment ratio of girls in engineering colleges, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has launched Udaan to provide free online services to 1,000 female students to help them prepare for entrance tests to get admission in the top engineering colleges of the country. The application forms have been made available on the website from the last week of October.

Selection of girls will be based on merit-cum-means basis. Representation pic/Getty Images
Selection of girls will be based on merit-cum-means basis. Representation pic/Getty Images

“This is an interesting initiative that will benefit students who are qualified to study in good institutes but are unable to, because of financial constraints.

The best part is that this project is open for students of all Boards,” said Avnita Bir, principal of RN Podar High School in Santacruz. Students, or their parents, can apply to the Board directly and submit the required information. The eligible candidates will be shortlisted by CBSE.

Helping hand
According to the circular released by CBSE officials, the aim of the initiative is also to enrich and enhance teaching and learning of subjects like Science and Math at the senior secondary level by providing free and online resources to every student. Special incentives and support will be provided to the 1,000 selected girl students.

50 per cent of these seats are earmarked for students from SC/ST/Backward Classes and selection of students will be based on merit cum-means basis.

The circular further states, “This comprehensive course will be provided free of cost in an online and offline format. Tutorials, lectures and study material for preparation for IIT JEE will be provided online and on tablets, that will be handed over to all selected students.”

The project also includes a comprehensive assessment system, which will accumulate reward points that can be redeemed by students for financial assistance if they get through an institute.

The Board has also invited subject experts for Physics, Chemistry and Math, who can apply to mentor these students, from across the country. CBSE website mentions certain qualifications to be fulfilled in order to apply for mentorship.

The Board will conduct a series of interviews before shortlisting the mentors. Students and their parents will also be provided regular counselling to motivate them, along with helpline numbers for any assistance.

 

Who is eligible for the project?
>> Girls currently enrolled in Std XI and XII in the PCM stream
>> Those with minimum 70 per cent marks in Std X (overall) and 80 per cent in Science and Math; if the Board follows CGPA, minimum 8 CGPA and 9 GPA in Science and Math
>> For Std XII students, a minimum of 75 per cent in Std XI, in addition to the Std X requirements
>> Selection of students will be done on a merit-cum-means basis
>> Girls from economically disadvantaged background will be given preference

Interested students can log on to www.cbse.nic.in to know about UDAAN

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