HRD Ministry eyes overhauling of education sector

New Delhi [India] May 17 : With the aim to improve the quality of education and also to make India a hub of world class universities, the Ministry of Human Resource Development has taken a slew of measures to overhaul the education system in the country.

It has finalised the guidelines to setup 20 world class universities. The HRD Ministry has finalised the guidelines to setup 20 world class universities- 10 in private and 10 in public Sector.

Under the Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN), renowned professors from 58 countries have conducted 640 courses in 2016-17 and 800 faculties are likely to visit India in 2017-18 to conduct courses.

The ministry has not only optimised the school and higher level education but also adopted new innovative approach to change the country's education model.

For example, in the backdrop of reports of many sub standard teaching staff in the government schools; the ministry reformed teacher education in the county.

The government took affidavits from more than 7,000 teacher education colleges that they have passed only competent students to become teachers.

The government has decided not to sanction new Bachelor of Education ( B.Ed) and Diploma in Education ( D.Ed) colleges in 2017-18.

Instead, the ministry is focused on completely revamping pre-service and in-service teacher education.

Under the Shikshak Manthan, four workshops in Raipur, Pune, Guwahati, and Bengaluru have already been conducted and next will be conducted in Chandigarh.

The aim of these workshops is innovation in pedagogy, teaching, learning and improvement of quality. The ministry has also been imparting electoral, financial, and legal literacy to adults. Under Swayam, an initiative to provide any time learning (ATL) and any where learning (AWL), pilot run of 300 courses has already been started.

The non- profit Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) will be raising Rs. 20,000 crore to create world class research facilities in India. Under the Uchchatar Avishkar Yojana (UAY), industry funded proposals for 92 research projects have been accepted and 300 faculty and students are working on these projects.

Academic and research audit of 11 central universities is in progress which will improve the academic and research quality.

Phase III of Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme (TEQIP) has been launched with Rs. 2,600 crore funding from World Bank and Government of India. Its focus is on most backward regions, north-east and hilly states. Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and north eastern states, Andaman (and) Nicobar Island, Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, Rajasthan have already been covered.

The HRD Ministry has also allocated Rs 595 crore for 258 projects under Impacting Research Innovation (and) Technology (IMPRINT), a unique initiative to fund research projects in 10 domains with most social relevance.

The ministry has supported more than 600 start-ups and IIT Madras Research Park is fully functional with 20 Lakh square-feet research area.

The National Digital Library has 66 lakh books and documents online and currently there are three lakh registered users.

The ministry has setup National Academic Depository to store educational certificates in digital format from this year.

The National Testing Agency, an autonomous, self-sustaining premier testing organization, will be conducting all entrance examinations.

This would free Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), All (India Council for Technical Education) AICTE, etcetera so that they can focus more on academics.

The process of reforming two Regulators of Higher Education - UGC (and) AICTE- is in progress. A Bill is pending in Parliament to grant complete autonomy to Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs). National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) Accreditation and Assessment procedures have been further revised to benchmark quality of an Institute.

In the school education sector, the HRD records show that in the last three years 59 Kendriya Vidyalayas were started and 50 new are sanctioned.

Sixty-two new Jawahar Navodaya Vidylayas have been sanctioned of which 27 will be operational from this academic year.

A HRD official says that "9,567 Navodaya Vidyalaya students appeared for JEE and 3,567 cracked JEE Mains.

And, 481 students were admitted to IITs last year". Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV), upper primary residential schools for girls, have been providing education to girls from SC, ST, OBC and other minority/ disadvantaged sections of society.

There are currently 3,703 KGBVs functional across India. 94 new KGBVs sanctioned in 2017-18. The ministry has also provided Rs. 2,290 crore in the last three years as interest subsidy on education loans to 4,39,818 economically weaker section (EWS) students.

Under the higher education in the last three years, seven new IIMs at Sirmaur, Nagpur, Sambalpur, Amritsar, Bodhgaya, Jammu and Vishakapatnam have been started.

Six new IITS were established in Jammu, Bhilai, Dharward, Goa, Palakkad and Tirupati. One new Indian Institute of Information Technology Design and Manufacturing (IIITDM) has been established at Kurnool (Temporary campus at Kancheepuram).

Under the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA), Rs. 4816 crore has been sanctioned for 1366 Institutes to improve infrastructure. Central assistance provided for 16 Universities through upgradation of autonomous colleges and clustering of colleges.

The HRD Ministry has notified the learning outcomes under the Right to Education (RTE) RTEAct to benchmark competency to be achieved by students in each standard.

This will create accountability across all stakeholders, teachers, parents and students, says the HRD Ministry official.

"Quality Initiatives by many States have succeeded in attracting students from Private Schools to Government Schools.

Shikshan Manthan will ensure more States to follow on this route. All efforts are being taken to improve Quality of Education in Government Schools." The HRD Ministry has also taken an important step to change in No Detention Policy and has authorised states to detain students in V and/or VIII standard after giving two chances.

Source: ANI