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A step towards digitalization: Kerala opens first ever digital University

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Kerala took a major step  forward in its progress towards a knowledge society with the inauguration of the country’s first Digital University, based in Technocity at Mangalapuram near Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan presided overthe function, where Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, who is also the Chancellor of the Kerala University of Digital Sciences, Innovation and Technology(KUDSIT), unveiled the varsity plaque.

Both the Governor and the Chief Minister addressed the function through video conferencing.

In his inaugural address,Khan said the launch of the Digital University is part of the state’s resolve to embrace new technologies and desire to use them for bringing positive changes in the life of people and become a global hub for higher learning and technology.

Praising the state government for recent initiatives in higher education including the launch of Sree Narayana Guru Open University, the Governor said “In any aspect of life, knowledge brings courage, understanding, acceptance, unity and also liberates us from the clutches of ignorance.”

“Thesociety expects the Digital University to provide intellectual support to lap up the new world of opportunities arising through artificial intelligence (AI), Blockchain, Data Analytics and other digital transformation courses,” he said.

In his address, the CM said the launch of the first Digital University in the country would open tremendous opportunities for youngsters.

“There should not be a digital divide in the society. The government is involved in the efforts of attaining digital excellence in various fields.

We need to foster technically-talented people in accordance with the changes in the new world,” the CM said.

Noting that the Digital University aims at utilising the developments in digital technology for social progress, he said the benefits of digital technology should be made available for people in various walks of life.

According to official sources, the Digital University is set up by upgrading two-decade old Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management Kerala (IIITM-K), a center of excellence in information technologies established by Government of Kerala.

It is formed with a vision of creating a futuristic institution of higher learning, aspiring to set a global benchmark in Digital technologies and its management.

Its focus is on post graduate programmes and research besides building strong industry-academic and academic- academic linkages with leading institutions in India and abroad, they said.

The university is starting with five schools of knowledge–School of Computer Science and Engineering; School of Digital Sciences; School of Electronic Systems and Automation; School of Informatics; and School of Digital Humanities and Liberal Arts, covering science, technology and humanities aspects of the Digital world.

Each school will be offering master level programmes in computer science, informatics, applied electronics and humanities with various specialization of the industry 4.0 world.

The adoption of technology in design, pedagogy, assessment etc. is also a key driving factor for the new University, which focuses on early learners and re-learners with a host of programmes in cutting edge areas of technology.

Towards this, specialized centres in areas like Blockchain, AI&ML, Cyber Security, Bigdata analytics, Biocomputing and Geospatial analytics are to be set up in collaboration with leading international academic, research and industry bodies.

The university will also lead the Digital Transformation Initiatives announced by the Kerala government in the Budget 2021.

Spread across a 10-acre campus in Technocity, the first phase of the university has been completed with an academic and a hostel block.

Once fully developed, it will provide education to 1,200 residential scholars from its campus in addition to numerous learners, who will be associated with the University through various technological means.

Education

Check dates of summer vacation for schools issued by Delhi government

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The Delhi government has issued an order to all the schools in the national capital regarding the summer vacations. All the schools in Delhi will be shut down for summer vacations from May 11 to June 30, as per the official order.

Though the schools are set to reopen after June 30, the government order has stated that June 28, 29, and 30 will be working days for teachers. The Autumn Break will be from October 12 to 14, 2021 and the winter vacation will be from January 1 to 15, 2022.

Apart from the announcement of the summer vacations for the academic year 2021-22, government and private schools can observe six holidays, which will include two local and four restricted holidays, the order from Delhi’s Directorate of Education (DoE) said.

The schools in Delhi are currently closed and all the students are attending online classes in view of the sudden surge of Covid-19 cases across the national capital. No dates for the resumption of physical classes have been issued by the government yet.

No physical classes, exams in Delhi

A notification issued by the Directorate of Education in this regard also states, “It is clarified that no student of class 9 to 12 should be physically called to school for exams, practicals or any academic and non-academic activity.”

“During the vacation period, Heads of Schools are hereby authorized to call vacation staff as per requirement for any school-related work (academic, admission, examination, etc.) maintaining COVID Appropriate Behavior (CAB) and following the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) issued by the Competent Authorities from time to time,” the order states.

The government of Delhi commenced the new academic session for all the school students from April 1 and classes are being conducted in online mode for now. The government has further clarified that students of classes 9 to 12 will not be called to schools for classes or exams.

The CBSE board exams 2021 for students of Class 12 have also been postponed due to the rise in Covid-19 cases across the nation, while the exams for Class 10 students stand cancelled. The Delhi government has also asked schools to halt the conduction of practical exams for now.

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