Free Education for SC, ST Students of IITs

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Smriti Irani, the Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister, stated earlier this week in Rajya Sabha that the government has decided to operationalise a Peer-group Assisted Learning (PAL) Programme for socially and educationally disadvantaged students in the IITs. This initiative would greatly help the underprivileged students who are in need of help. The Peer-group Assisted Learning Programme would further enable students to overcome their weak points and learn in a healthy environment with the right amount of competition to boost their spirits.

Under this PAL initiative, the senior students would mentor fresh students especially from socially and educationally disadvantaged sections and help to cope with the academic pressures of IIT. These senior students would try and support the educationally backward students to cope with the academic pressure. Proper assistance would be provided if further help is needed. This support would be provided by IITs without charging any fee from these students. The initiative is undertaken to improve the overall quality of education that is necessary for all.

Along with this, many IITs have also taken up steps such as, operationalizing a basic English language course to improve English competency, offering two-non-graded courses in language and writing skills using professional software for English language instruction, conducting formal, informal English language remedial sessions by student mentors and holding special English classes on weekends or evening tutorials and provision of additional help through teaching assistants. These initiatives would enhance the quality of education received and help students in their academic progress.

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