To give the education sector a further thrust in the country, the union government has over the past few years helped over 24 lakh students with student loans and subsidies worth Rs 7,000 crore per year, Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Prakash Javadekar informed.
“We have increased scholarships and funding for education,” Javadekar said, adding, “Still, good news can be expected from the budget. We want to ensure that no student has to give up education or dreams because he cannot afford it."
The HRD minister informed that his ministry is making all efforts to make education accessible to all in every district of the country.
“We have identified districts which are ‘aspiring’ for more education accessibility and we are ensuring that more is done to make these districts more educated,” Javadekar said while addressing the ThinkEdu Conclave in Chennai.
Saying that the government is trying its best to promote online learning, the minister said one such initiative was ‘Swayam’ where over 600 courses are available and almost 17 lakh students have already registered for it.
“We know what is ATM (Any Time Money), but we are working towards ATL (Any Time Learning),” he said, adding, “Just like Coursera and other online learning initiatives, the government has launched ‘Swayam’, where over 600 courses are available and almost 17 lakh students have already registered for it.”
Talking about school education, the minister, however, did not favour the idea of scrapping examinations for school students.
“The previous governments have taken decisions that allow students to not attempt any major examinations till the 8th standard. Even 10th standard students did not have to attempt exams. I think that without accountability and without assessment, there can be no learning,” he said, adding, “Students need to have deadlines, need to have tests to measure their learning outcome.”
He spoke at length on the need of more innovation on campuses and the importance of creating conducive environments for students.
“We are importing so many products from outside, we are not creating on our own. Many big projects have Indians on their teams but we don’t have the patents,” he said, adding, “We have to concentrate on creating more research labs so students can innovate and help the country prosper.”
“We are always talking about how IT is flourishing in India, but where is all the innovation. We strive to provide the best ecosystems and labs for students to realise Indian’s innovation dreams,” he concluded.