Students have become slaves of coaching classes: Prakash Javadekar

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Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar has called out coaching institutes for treating students like ‘slaves’ in the name of training them to secure admission into IITs and other top institutions.

Speaking at the launch of the second edition of Smart India Hackathon 2018, organised at the College of Engineering, Pune, the minister said, “It is a cause of worry…students from Class VIII become slaves of these coaching institutes. They are being taught to only face competitive exams. The coaching institutes are promoting rote learning and not imparting actual knowledge to the students.”

He also spoke about a decline in teaching standards in schools and colleges which adds to the increasing reliance on coaching centres. “Very few teachers like to be asked questions, and this has prevented overall understanding of subjects and learning…. This is the reason coaching centres are getting stronger,” he said.

The Smart India Hackathon is an initiative of the HRD Ministry, along with the All-India Council of Technical Education. It is aimed at involving the country’s engineering students on working to find solutions to issues plaguing the society. This is aimed at harnessing creativity & expertise of students, sparks institute-level hackathons, builds funnel for ‘Startup India’ campaign, crowd-sources solutions for improving governance and quality of life, and provides an opportunity to citizens to provide innovative solutions to India’s daunting problems.

Last year, nearly 10,000 engineering students from private institutes attempted to address 598 problem statements put forth by various state governments and ministries.

This year Hackathon will have 2 sub-editions – Software as well as Hardware – Software Edition will be 36-hour software product development competition, similar in concept to Hackathon 2017. The new Hardware Edition will be a hackathon where teams will be work for 5 straight days and build their hardware solutions. This competition would be limited to only 5 nodal centers with 20-25 teams each.

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