Union Education Minister Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank has described the New Education Policy as the foundation stone for Atma Nirbhar Bharat. Replying to the discussion on the demands for grants of the Ministry of Education for 2021-22, in Lok Sabha yesterday, he said, developed countries have flourished with education in Mother Tongue. Keeping this in mind, emphasis has been given in the NEP to promote education in 22 Indian languages. He also said, for the first time, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been incorporated in the school curriculum.
The Minister said, 50 thousand crore rupees have been allocated for the National Research Foundation over five years to boost the research ecosystem in the country. The Minister refuted the allegations by the opposition, that the budget for the education sector was reduced.
He said, in the IITs, the seats for girls is increase by twenty percent. Listing out several measures during the Covid pandemic, the Minister said, the government has successfully conducted online classes, board examinations, and prestigious JEE and NEET entrance exams during the peak of the pandemic.
Earlier, participating in the discussion, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor welcomed the Government’s decision to bring in National Education Policy. However, he alleged that education is not a priority of the government at the Centre as budgetary allocations for several educational schemes have been reduced, which will hamper the quality and affordability of education.
Raising the issue of digital divide during the Covid-19 pandemic, Tharoor said, online education in its current form is exclusionary and discriminatory. He stressed on the need to bridge the digital divide gap by allocating more funds on key educational schemes.
BJP MP Sanjay Jaiswal said that budgetary allocations have been increased manifold during the NDA regime in the education sector. Terming the NEP as a revolution in the education system in Independent India, BJP MP, Tejaswi Surya said, during the pandemic when the countries across the world came to standstill, education did not stop in India.
He highlighted the success of PM e-Vidya, with over One Lakh Crore page hits, that made study materials available for the students, in various languages.
Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant while congratulating the Government for New Educational Policy said that more focus should be given to infrastructure at primary level. Ritesh Pandey of BSP said, only 21 percent of women are going for higher education due to various social and financial constraints.
Faizal Mohammad of NCP suggested that interactive educational equipment in every classroom would help students learn in a better way. Hasnain Masoodi of the National Conference appealed to the government to ensure that schools are not disturbed due to political or calamity reasons.