Education Bill for first time crosses Rs.1 lakh crore

Nirmala Sitharaman proposed setting up a digital university on the ‘hub-and-spoke’ model

New Delhi: Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed setting up a digital university on the ‘hub-and-spoke’ model and expansion of ’one class-one TV channel’ programme through 200 channels for providing supplementary education in regional languages in schools.

The overall financial allocation for the education sector for 2022-23 has increased to Rs 1.04 lakh crore — said to be for the first time it crossed the Rs 1 lakh crore mark, from Rs 93,224 crore in 2021-22. The minister laid emphasis on digital modes of education to reverse learning losses caused by the shutdown during the pandemic.

The minister said that five institutions will be recognised as Centres of Excellence on urban planning and the AICTE will take the lead on developing curriculum for them, while world-class foreign universities will be allowed in Gujarat International Finance Tec (GIFT), City.

The digital university will be established to provide access to students across the country for world-class quality universal education with personalised learning experience at their doorsteps. This will be made available in different Indian languages and ICT formats, she said.

The finance minister proposed that in vocational courses, to promote crucial critical thinking skills and give space for creativity, 750 virtual labs in science and mathematics, and 75 skilling e-labs for a simulated learning environment, will be set up in 2022-23.

“High-quality e-content in all spoken languages will be developed for delivery via internet, mobile phones, TV and radio through Digital Teachers. A competitive mechanism for the development of quality e-content by the teachers will be set up to empower and equip them with digital tools of teaching and facilitate better learning outcomes,” she said.

Sitharaman announced that for developing India-specific knowledge in urban planning and design, and to deliver certified training in these areas, up to five existing academic institutions in different regions will be designated as centres of excellence.

The country's biggest school education scheme, the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan, has been allocated Rs 37,383.36, an increase of more than Rs 6,000 crores from Budget 2021.

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