UGC directs universities to introduce UG courses in line with CBSEs new academic subjects

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has notified the Universities under it to take action and pave way for new courses at undergraduate level in order to accommodate students who had opted for various new academic subjects at Senior Secondary level (classes XI and XII) introduced by the Central Board of Secondary Education in some of the previous sessions.

In the notice, Dr. Shakeel Ahmad, Deputy Secretary, UGC, notified all the Vice-Chancellors of universities to “take appropriate action for recognition of these new subjects for the purpose of admission of students in degree programmes.” He also mentioned that it is important that the new subjects “find a reflection in the subjects already being offered at the graduate level in various Educational Institutes.”

The Central Board of Secondary Education had introduced various new academic subjects at Senior Secondary level (Classes XI and XII) which included:

  • Knowledge Tradition and Practices of India
  • Legal Studies
  • Human Rights and Gender Studies
  • Theatre Studies
  • NCC
  • Heritage Crafts
  • Graphic Design
  • Creative Writing and Translation Studies
  • Functional English
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Bio-technology
  • Fashion Studies
  • Mass Media Studies

The above mentioned subjects have been introduced by the CBSE keeping the industry and employ-ability avenues in mind.

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CBSE Class X and XII Board Exam Schedule released

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has announced the dates of the board exam for classes X and XII, thus ending all rumors and speculations about the exams being advanced.

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has announced the dates of the Class X and XII board exams, thus ending all rumors and speculations about both exams being advanced.

 CBSE confirmed on Wednesday that it intends to stick to the same schedule as in the previous years.

The exams for both the classes will start from March 1. While Class X boards will be over by March 19, the Class XII examination will continue till April 17. This, according to the notification issued by the Board, will be applicable to all CBSE affiliated schools in India and abroad.

Apparently, no major changes have been made to the exam schedule compared to the 2013 boards.

Prior to this announcement, rumors and speculations were rife in Gulf countries including Qatar about the possibility of the examinations being advanced in the awake of the Indian parliamentary elections that will be held in the coming April or May. After CBSE denied all these rumors, many students from Gulf-based CBSE affiliated schools commented online that they were finally relieved knowing that the schedules won’t change.

However, some Class XII students complained that they could certainly use longer gaps between the main subjects such as, Mathematics, Biology and Chemistry.

“If we had a few more days in between chemistry, biology and mathematics, it would have been fantastic. All the major science subjects are completed by April 20,” said a student of an Indian school in Doha, Gulf Times reports.

Approximately 226,000 students across the Gulf countries registered for the CBSE Board Exam as compared to 217,000 students last year.

 The increase in number of students appearing in the boards, according to experts, resulted from more schools joining the CBSE bandwagon.

CBSE’s new test method for evaluating ‘strength’ of students

The first ever Open Text Based Assessment (OTBA)  also called the CBSE Open Book Exam will be administered by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) next year in March. More commonly referred to as the open book exam, this new method of assessment was termed by the Board as a feasible way to “cater to the varied abilities of individual strength of learners”, in addition to incorporating theoretical and analytical skills that drastically moves away from the memorization approach.

However, the teachers in Bangalore-based CBSE schools are of the opinion that the move lacks in clarity when it comes to the mode of assessment as well as the type of teaching strategies that would eventually be needed to accomplish the objective of developing a thorough evaluation process.

According to the circular issued to the heads of institutes affiliated to the Board, the new mode of assessment would be an integral part of the session-ending exam and comprises of 10 marks. Students will also be granted additional half-an-hour to attempt the OTBA question.

CBSE has already made available study materials in the form of diagram, case studies, pictures, cartoons etc. All questions in the exam will be subjective, open-ended or creative.

Meanwhile, J. Anantha Padamanabhan, principal, Kendriya Vidalaya, M.G. Railway Colony  said that the new assessment method demands a drastic change in the conventional way of teaching.

“Teachers need to be trained to make students think analytically. This is not a mere fact-finding or information-gathering exercise. The OTBA aims to develop an analytical line of thinking among students,” he noted. 

Because the themes are much broader, many teachers are of the opinion that there are a number of grey areas about how they are supposed to train the students.

“The CBSE has introduced several new programmes, from Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation to OTBA; they are introducing these concepts without providing any clarity. When our teachers themselves are unsure of how the assessment would be, how can we prepare for it?” said a class XI student while talking to The Hindu.

However, CBSE is arranging workshops in order to train teachers about the various aspects associated with OTBA.

CBSE schools start preparation for March 2014 open-book exam

Schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) have started preparing their students and teachers for the first ever Open Book Exam to be held next year.

The Open Test Based Assessment (OTBA), commonly referred to as the open book exam, will be held in March 2014 for students of class IX and XI.

This happens to be the first ever time in CBSE’s history when students are being provided with special text material for an exam. Unlike the rote learning approach, the OTBA will be exclusively based on these special study materials.

The primary objective of the open book exam, according to CBSE, is to evaluate students’ ability to think out of the box as well as to test their aptitude for handling situational awareness.

In its debut year, OTBA will comprise of only four subjects: Mathematics, Hindi, English and Social Science. It is designed to be a key part of the second summative assessment for class IX and the annual exam for class XI (10% weight age).

The board has already made available all study materials including articles, case studies, graphics, and so on in order to ensure that both students and teachers get enough time to prepare themselves for the exam.

“Initially, there was a lot of confusion regarding OTBA even among teachers. Many of us thought it would actually be an open-book test where students could take a book inside the exam hall to look up answers,” says Shruti Ralhan, a social science teacher in a South Delhi school, India Today reports

“However, our school held an orientation programme which made it clear that students will actually get questions from the text already disclosed to them,” Ralhan added.

CBSE material for open book exam sent to schools

The Central Board Secondary Education (CBSE) has made available material for the much talked about Open Text Based Assessment (OTBA) exam scheduled to be held next year.

Moving a step further towards implementing the highly anticipated Open Text Based Assessment (OTBA), commonly known as open book exams, the Central Board Secondary Education (CBSE) has announced the course material for the exam to be held next year in March.

The board came up with a comprehensive syllabus comprising of both text and pictorial content whereupon the new, much talked about exam will be based.

The CBSE will conduct the Open Book Exam for the students of Std IX and XI as a part of their final examination/. For Std IX, the materials for all of the main subjects including English, Hindi, Science, Social Science and Mathematics were released. Similarly, the board also released course material for Std XI (Biology, Geography and Economics).

The first edition of the OTBA will be confined to only the aforementioned subjects, however CBSE plans to incorporate new subjects into the exam with time.

Reports are that, CBSE will be providing the text material for both Std IX and XI within an unspecified time frame. It’s worth mentioning here that unlike most regular exams, students who appear in the OTBA will be allowed to refer to the text as well as pictorial content during the exam-hours.

Dismissing the skepticism expressed by a section of media and experts, the CBSE has clarified that the OTBA is designed in a way that it will never cause any adverse effect on regular exams and how they are conducted.

The board, in a written statement, urged that all teachers responsible for smooth functioning of the OTBA read and comprehend the core concept associated with the exam (including its objective and modus operandi)

“They (teachers) should assign this text material to their students in groups for further understanding, analysis and discussion. It is reiterated here that the main objective of introducing OTBA is to relieve the students from the burden of mugging up of content and provide opportunities in acquiring skills of information processing, comprehension, analysis and inference,” read the statement issued by CBSE.