How important is the role of Environment in Quality Education

“Education is not the learning of facts but the training of the mind to think”

-Albert Einstein

A good part of everyone’s student life gets spent at School. The environment  that surrounds us during the formative years greatly impacts our personality, character and creative skills. Schools are the main platforms that define ambiance and environment for students during this phase. Therefore parents, teachers and other players in the education ecosystem have an onerous task in the matter of selection of the right school for the children and in providing an environment that can radiate positive vibes necessary for a student’s  holistic development.

Let us look at some of the ways that environment makes an impact on the student’s future:

  • Influencers: The teachers are the main influencers because students spend a significant part of the day with them. Teachers tend to make an invisible impact in shaping the student’s thought process and molding student’s academic and personal growth. They play the role of both mentors and role models that students silently tend to follow.
  • Choice of right peers and school mates. Choosing the right company at school can help to create a healthy competitive spirit required to dream big and translate them to reality. When a student is surrounded by intellectual environment, the goals get set, by default at a higher level and challenges the limits of the students and aspirations grow naturally.
  • Residential school system offers unique advantages. Students learn to manage time better. The community concept enhances spirit of collaboration and sharing. Besides, they also benefit from the competitive ambiance and help to fill gaps from family background. It also allows space between fun and studies, making the schedule balanced and enjoyable. A wide spectrum of recreational and cultural programs on Campuses will help to expand the horizon beyond just academics.
  • Teaching methodologies should be innovative and create a hunger for creativity amongst students by making learning engaging and relevant so as to connect them to the outside world. Integrated teaching with field experiences will make the learning complete. Allowing students to express themselves, encouraging them to have a contrary opinion, giving them opportunity to experiment without fear of failure would mould them into more confident people.
  • Mentoring: Counseling and mentoring has assumed great significance in overall success of the student. Schools can be the best platform for counseling as student’s transition from childhood to adolescence. The counselors at schools work one on one basis with students by creating an ambiance that encourages them to open up freely on various issues- be it behavioral issues ,academics or career related matters and largely mitigate risk of wrong decisions or becoming vulnerable to negative situations.
  • Physical ambiance also adds to the extent that it keeps students engaged in building dreams and stays motivated. Inspirational quotes, practical sessions and team work helps in inculcating and nurturing a spirit of research, experiment and creativity. Infrastructure such as robust sports facilities, relevant reading opportunities and a healthy meal system in place are all the essential amenities that help to keep students both mentally and physically fit.

In essence, parents have to keep in mind that intellectual company and an intellectual environment are both keys to the future success of a student and make the right choice of schools for the children.

Written by Asha Sampath


Do’s and Dont’s: CBSE Class X Examination

  1. Complete revision of the subject one day prior to the exam date and have   sufficient  sleep.
  2.  Wear cotton clothes to feel comfortable during the examination.
  3.  Avoid oily and spicy food during the period of examinations
  4.  Check whether you have all the required things like pens (Blue/Black), Pencils,       Scale, Eraser, Sharpener, Geometry Box etc.,  before leaving home.
  5.  Reach the examination centre 1 hour before to the commencement of the exam.
  6.  Make sure that the answer book pages are properly serialized in number(including title pages) as soon as you receive it in the examination hall.
  7.  On receiving the answer book and question paper read the instructions and all the questions thoroughly.
  8.  Mention your Board Roll No. properly in the space provided on the answer booklet  and compare with the number on the Admit Card.
  9.  Mention the question number on the left margin of the answer booklet. Avoid  circling and half circling the question Numbers
  10. One should not write his / her name or any miscellaneous unrelated words inside the answer booklet or graphs, maps etc.,.
  11.  Verify all answers once again before submitting to the invigilator.

Good luck!!

Written by Ch.Sambasiv Rao, Principal & Chief Administrative Officer, Vikas Vidyaniketan

All you want to know about the KVPY examination

Scholarship tests and qualifying examinations always sound scary for students who are pursuing schooling at their 11th and 12th standards. Many a times these examinations appear to be much easier if you understand it in the right manner. Lack of proper information about the exam and how it is conducted results in this fear. So here, let’s try to have a closer look at the KVPY examination or the Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana for the 11th and 12th graders.

The Department of Science and Technology of the Government of India introduced the KVPY scholarship scheme to promote students to pursue research in the field of basic sciences, medicine, and engineering. The program bestows scholarship and contingency allowances until the pre- Ph.D. level to chosen scholars. The KVPY program marked its beginning in the year 1999 and is controlled by the Indian Institute of Science.

The key intentions of the scheme are:

  • To discover students with flair and propensity for research
  • Help students comprehend their prospective in their studies
  • Support them to engage in research in basic science
  • Guarantee the augmentation of the best scientific minds for research and progress in the

KVPY exams are considered equally important and esteemed to the JEE examinations in India. Successful completion of this exam would offer students admission in the prestigious IISC and other IISERs in the country, which are considered to be the excellent institutions to study courses in basic science like Physics, Chemistry, Maths, Biology, etc.

So, there are 3 major streams under which students can apply and they are – SA, SB, and SX.

  • Students attending 11thgrade can appear for SA.
  • Students attending 12thgrade can appear for SX.
  • Students attending 1styear graduation in Science can appear for SB.

As per the statistics of 2015-16, out of 1 lakh scholar who appeared for the esteemed KVPY exam, around 881 scholars of 11th grade, 1554 scholars of 12th grade and 96 scholars of the graduation 1st year got qualified for the scholarship. The KVPY test generally takes place in November and the interviews take place in January and February. Answer Keys of the test are out on the KVPY official website within 10 to 12 days after the commencement of the test.  Scholars who come out successful in the KVPY test are entitled for the fellowship. A scholar with a KVPY fellowship receives 5000/- monthly scholarship during their 1st – 3rd year of either B.Sc, B.Stat, B.S., B.Maths, Integrated M.S./M.Sc along with a yearly contingency grant of 20,000/-. After the initial 3 years, the scholarship gets improved to 7,000/- per month through M.Sc/4th & 5th year of Integrated M.S./M.Sc along with a hiked yearly contingency grant of 28,000/-.

Now, let’s find out more details about the streams of the examination:

  1.  Stream SX/SB

Students of the 12th grade have the benefit of attending any of the subjects between Maths and Biology. The SX stream of examination is conducted for scholars studying Mathematics whereas the SB stream of examination is conducted for Biology scholars. However, the pattern of both the exams is the same.Usually the examination paper will have 2 sections which are section A and section B. Both sections will include all 4 subjects. Section A would contain 20 questions in every subject and section B would contain 10 questions per subject. Students are supposed to answer any 3 out of the 4 subjects given under section A, and any 2 out of 4 subjects given under section B. While coming to the scoring area, students will score under the +1 to -.25 marking scheme in the section A category and +2 to -0.5 marking scheme in the section B category.Both SX and SB will contain questions from 11th and 12th grade curriculum. The cut-off score to qualify for the interview would be around 50-55. Frankly speaking, this score is not so difficult to achieve as you think. 

Syllabus for the exam: As of now, there is no preset syllabus for the KVPY exam. If you are already preparing for the JEE or AIPMT exams, you could attend the KVPY exam as well. Consider studying NCERT/JEE exam books and a few of the previous year question papers for better proven results.

Interview: Interviews are usually the tricky part where you have to make use of your alert mind. Quite often people tend to forget or get the wrong answer for those questions which they already know. For KVPY interview all you have to do is get a thorough idea about your 11th and 12th grade science subjects and a little bit of confidence. The interview panel may shoot questions from different directions, but you have to keep calm and hear the questions clearly. You already know all the answers, all you have to do is focus and modify the answer to match the context in which it is asked. 

  1. Stream SA

Stream SA is designed for students attending 11th grade. Here, section A and section B will have Biology as a mandatory subject of the examination.The SA examination contains 2 sections which are part A with multiple choice questions and part B with descriptive questions for 100 marks. The subject areas consist of Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology.

  • For part A, students will get 1 mark for the right answer and lose 0.25 marks for the wrong
  • For part B, students get 5 marks for the right answer and no negative mark for the wrong one.

Syllabus for the exam: The SA exam would contain topics which you have already completed in the 10thgrade with basics of chemistry, magnetism, electricity and elementary geometry and algebra. 

Interview: Again the rules for an interview in this regard remains the same where you have to be confident about what you know and how well you can articulate it into words.

Written by Minu Aravind

How can you prepare well for your CBSE Board exams?

CBSE Board exams always sound frightening to students no matter how well they are prepared. This dilemma is created by their surroundings rather than their subjects. It is quite obvious that whenever a person does anything with the feeling of fear, he/she tend to commit mistakes terribly. If you are able to calm your mind and focus on what you already know and what you have to learn, the exam would go like a smooth cupcake. Even the method you use for preparing for the exam matters a lot in this scenario. Preparation not always means that you focus only on reading the books; instead, it would be much beneficial if you can understand the concept in depth using various methods. Let’s find out some of the important points you shall keep in mind while preparing for your CBSE Board examinations.

  • Keep your fear aside

It is the most important factor to remember always that, you should empty your mind before you begin your exam preparation. A mind which is a mixture of vague thoughts and fear can never be filled with knowledge. All you have to do is calming your mind and let it flow free with zero thoughts. You could take the help of a meditation session here to help you achieve this.

  • Get an idea of what you are going to learn

Once your mind is free from any frightening thoughts, you need to concentrate on what you are going to learn and achieve from that particular subject. Your classroom sessions and notes would help you remember the concept and you just have to revisit the chapters for a quick revision. Always remember to clear your doubts before you proceed with another chapter. This would boost your understanding of that chapter clear so that you don’t have to come back to it again and again.

  • Remember to organise your notebook subject-wise

Your notebook is your best partner when you are preparing for your CBSE Board exams. It takes you back to the classroom session where the concept was taught by the teacher. You might have noted down the important points from that subject for your convenience. Go through those short notes carefully and then read your subject text book, and you are good to go.

  • Keep in mind to emphasize the central points

When you are organising your notebooks, make sure that you always pay attention to emphasize the vital parts of the subject and formulae so that you could easily cover those during your revision time. This saves a good amount of valuable time during the exam preparation days.

  • Decide on how you want to study

Prepare a timetable for yourself with subjects marked on it based on the level of your understanding. Provide more time for subject areas which you find a bit difficult to understand, but before doing that, revise those subject concepts which you already know. This would give you the confidence to go further with the tough subjects. Allocate specific time duration for each subject so that you get enough time to read all of it.

  • Try to figure out your strong points and weak points

Before beginning your preparations, try to figure out your strengths and weaknesses in order to work on it for better results. For example, if lack of concentration is your drawback, then try to practice meditation and yoga for a focused mind and body. When you learn the art of focusing on your personal abilities and disabilities, you would succeed in overcoming it.

  • Get a good hold on each subject area through revisions

When you are almost done with your preparation, try not to study any new material so that you don’t get distracted. Concentrate on what you have studied earlier and revise the important points to get a good on the subject matters.

  • Try to go through previous year question papers

It may sound boring, but would turn out beneficial if you study it thoroughly. You may not get the same questions for your examination, but you would get familiar with the patterns and types for better understanding.

  • Keep yourself healthy and happy

Despite all the vigorous preparations, if your health is not working along with you, all the efforts go in vain. So, try to eat healthy and nutritious food and liquids for a fresh mind and body. Along with that keep yourself entertained to relax your mind.

  • Do not over study

Quite often students commit this terrible mistake of over studying. It definitely would not help you in the exams and also reduces your confidence level. The overdose of anything is harmful even if it is your studies. Going back and forth again and again, even during the exam days will make you forget what you have learned systematically all through the year.

Written by Minu Aravind

How “CBSE Class 10 Board Exam to be made mandatory” can uphold and Elevate Educational Standards in India

Speaking at the Centenary Celebrations of an Educational Society in Karnataka last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to  Universities in the Country to aspire to be among the World’s top 100 Universities. So it is indeed a matter to introspect as to why we have not been able to reach the International standards despite a wealth of academic brains that India can pride about . Alongside, there is a recent  announcement made by Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar that the Centre is  bringing back the system of compulsory Board exams for Class 10 students studying in Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE)-affiliated schools and this will be effective from year 2017-18 .

Food for thought then, on how Board exams can actually align the Indian Educational system with International Standards and take India at least a small step closer towards featuring in the Global Top 100 Universities at some point.

Also, by virtue of CCE system introduced by CBSE in 2010, Students currently  have the  option to enrol for Class 10 examinations either in  State Government recognized Board examinations  or Central Board Recognized Examinations such  as CBSE, ICSE and other International Boards.  Also the “No detention policy “ as part of the CCE system had inherent problems that slackened the stringent academic and evaluations standards leaving the Class 10 State Exam students with difficulty to transition to  the Mandatory  Class 12  Board exams.  However, if Board examinations would be a non negotiable way forward also for Class 10 at all CBSE Schools , it can be a major contributor to bring Indian students upto International Standards for reasons more than one .

  • Besides the fact that CBSE follows Universal patters across all affiliates, making it the most preferred route for parents with transferrable jobs, there is more to it in terms of upgrading Indian Education.
  • All the major entrance exams such  as IIT ,AIPMT etc have Syllabus  based on CBSE model.
  • Given the fact that the CBSE Board is spread across more than couple of dozen countries,  it is more likely that Schools in India with CBSE syllabus would draw more students from International countries and create a diverse platform for Indian students
  • The CCE grading system introduced by CBSE for Students of Class 6 to 10, as opposed to the absolute marking system in  State level Examinations is another factor that brings about parity with the International Education system.
  • Focus on application based subjects, aligns well with much needed Skill development needs of the Indian Education system.
  • CBSE schools focus  as part of the Syllabus, on Life skills which can make students more resilient to Complex situations and better prepared for Global  competition as they move forward in their  career.
  • There is a common perception which to some extent is also real is that School Exams are easier than Board exams due to an overtly structured syllabus . This can dilute the quality of education if given a choice.
  • Numerous talent search examinations and scholarship exams  held at local and national levels base their content on CBSE syllabus so there is more scope to get students achieve higher goals.
  • Under State Board Syllabus , knowledge is treated as mere absorption of facts and therefore tends to make students strong in Book knowledge rather than at a practical level. In CBSE, due weightage is given during evaluation to grasp of ideas and potential  for  creativity  which not only augurs well  with International standards but also makes students more rounded individuals.
  • Class X Board exam will provide an uninterrupted preparation ground for students to cope better with the Class 12 Board exams and qualify themselves well enough for the Competitive Examinations like IIT-JEE and NIT.
  • CBSE being one of most widely and Internationally recognized syllabus, the level of visibility and access to updated Curriculum and Syllabus is very organized on the website which Students can make good use of, for preparing for exams .

There is of course, a valid fear on the part of Students that by opting for Board Exam, the ones who would not crack the entrance exams would then be deprived of preference for admission in State Universities that have a limited quota for the CBSE Board students . That said, it would infact create a healthy competitive spirit to excel and find themselves a top spot in entrance exams and quality for admission into premier institutes.