CHENNAI: Expressing surprise at the Centre’s decision to provide just two contact class centres for Tamil Nadu under the Udaan scheme of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to set right the ‘design flaws’ in the scheme and increase the centres considering the large number of girl students in the State.
Further, he called for extending the last date for applications for the programme to at least November 30 to enable eligible girl students to apply for admission under the scheme.
“It is surprising to note that out of the 151 contact class centres, only two have been provided for TN...On the other hand, a much larger number of centres have been provided to many other States”, the Chief Minister said in his letter to the Prime Minister and requested him to set right the ‘design flaws’ in the scheme.
Udaan Scheme is aimed at mentoring girl students to compete for admission to Premier Engineering Colleges including Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and National Institutes of Technology (NITs). Under the scheme, 1000 girl students studying in class XI and XII under all Boards of education are to be selected on merit, for receiving special online and direct coaching for entering into IITs and NITs.
“Even more surprising is the fact that Chennai, which is the largest city in Tamil Nadu and a leading metropolis, does not have a contact centre unlike other large Metropolitan cities”, Panneerselvam said and added that this would also deprive a large number of eligible girl students of an opportunity to participate. Further, eligible students should be allowed to opt for contact class centres at their respective district headquarters.
“Tamil Nadu, as a leading State in education has a substantial girl student population in the science stream who would be eligible under the scheme”, he said and pointed out that just two centres was highly inadequate and this by itself would act as a dampener for participation by girl students. Apprehension about having to travel long distances to go to contact classes, would undoubtedly reduce response from eligible candidates, the Chief Minister pointed out.