By Nawaz Sayyed
The Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Arun Jaitley while presenting the General Budget 2017-18 in Parliament today proposed the following major steps for the upliftment of education in the peripherals of the country.
Innovative Fund for Secondary Education to Encourage Local Innovation
To create innovative fund for secondary education for ensuring universal access, gender parity and quality improvement. Delivering his Budget Speech, the Finance Minister said this will include ICT enabled learning, transformation and the focus will be on 3479 educationally backward blocks.
Reforms will be undertaken in UGC; Good Quality Institutions would be enabled to have greater Administrative and Academic Autonomy
In higher education, the Government will undertake reforms in the UGC. Good quality institutions would be enabled to have greater administrative and academic autonomy. In his Budget Speech, the Finance Minister said that the colleges will be identified based on accreditation and ranking, and given autonomous status. A revised framework will be put in place for outcome based accreditation and credit based programmes.
“SWAYAM” Platform will be launched to leverage Information Technology
The Government proposes to leverage information technology and launch SWAYAM Platform with at least 350 online courses. In his Budget Speech, the Finance Minister said this will enable students to virtually attend the courses taught by the best faculty; access high quality reading resources, participate in discussion forums; take tests and earn academic grades. Access to SWAYAM would be widened by linkage with DTH channels, dedicated to education.
National Testing Agency for Entrance Examinations in Higher Education Institutions
To establish a National Testing Agency as an autonomous and self-sustained premier testing organization to conduct all entrance examinations for higher education institutions. This would free CBSE, AICTE and other premier institutions from these administrative responsibilities so that they can focus more on academics.