HRD Leverages ICT to Promote Education

by CXOtoday Staff    Jan 05, 2009

Giving a major boost to the higher education scenario, the cabinet committee on economic affairs today gave its approval for a new centrally sponsored education scheme named National Mission on Education scheme through ICT.

Leveraging the potential of ICT, it will provide personalized and interactive knowledge modules over the Internet/Intranet for all the learners in higher education institution. The mission has two major components viz., content generation and connectivity along with provision for access devices for institutions and learners.

It plans to focus on pedagogy for e-learning, providing facility of performing experiments through virtual laboratories, on-line testing and certification, on-line availability of teachers to guide and mentor learners, utilization of EduSAT and DTH platforms, training and empowerment of teachers to use the new method of teaching learning etc. It will extend computer infrastructure and connectivity to over 18,000 colleges in the country 419 universities/deemed universities and institutions.

The move is expected to be a major intervention in enhancing the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education by five percentage points during the 11th five year plan period and in ensuring access and equity in higher education. According to a statement, Rs 4612 crore is to be incurred during the 11th five year plan for this National Mission on Education scheme through ICT, where there is a budget provision of Rs.502 crore during the current financial year 2008-09 alone.

The HRD ministry along with the Dept. of Higher Education will enter into MoUs with state governments for proper monitoring of the scheme in their state, and contribute 50% of the cost of hardware and 25% of the cost of connectivity. Similar MoU would also be entered into with mentor institutions.

The mission will work in close cooperation and collaboration with other missions/schemes to avoid duplication, and have a three tier committee system to monitor and guide its functioning.