Chennai: Voicing concern at the less number of contact class centres under CBSE's "UDAAN" scheme in the state, Tamil Nadu government urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to increase the number of centres as the region has a substantial girl student population in the science stream.
UDAAN scheme has been designed by Central Board of Secondary Education to mentor girl students to compete for admission to premier engineering institutions like Institutes of Technology (IITs) and National Institutes of Technology (NITs) by providing 1,000 selected students of Classes XI and XII special online and direct coaching.
In a letter to Modi, Chief Minister O Panneerselvam pointed out that Tamil Nadu has only two cities in the list of centres for contact classes. "Tamil Nadu, as a leading state in education would have a number of students who would be eligible under the scheme. Hence it is surprising to note that of the 151 contact class centres, only two have been provided for Tamil Nadu."
Stating that a much larger number of centres have been provided in many other states, he said two centres in a large state with substantial girl student population in the science stream was very inadequate and this by itself would act as a dampener for participation by girl students.
Claiming that apprehensions on having to travel long distances to go to contact classes would "undoubtedly reduce response from eligible candidates," he pointed out that Chennai -- the largest city in Tamil Nadu -- did not have a contact centre.
"This will also deprive a large number of eligible girl students of an opportunity to participate. Hence eligible students may be allowed to opt for contact class centres at their respective district headquarters," he added.
He also requested Modi to extend the last date for applications for the programme to at least November 30.
The application form requires applicants to opt for cities for contact class centres out of those listed in the brochure and Tamil Nadu has only two cities in the list.