Union Education Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ replied to the discussion on demand for Grants of Ministry of Education for Year 2021-22, in LokSabha on 16 March 2021.
Speaking on National Education Policy 2020, Union Minister said NEP will build strong foundations for an Atmanirbhar Bharat and help India claim its status as a Vishwaguru. ShriPokhriyal emphasized that NEP was formulated after holding broad base and wider consultations with every stakeholder including teachers, students, academicians, parents and students among others.
The Minister said that NEP is national, international, impactful, interactive, innovative and inclusive and is based on firm foundations of equity, quality and accessibility. He spoke about features of NEP 2020 which includes imparting vocational education from class 6 onwards, Progress Card in place of report card, 5+3+3+4 structure, multidisciplinary education with easy entry/exit options and academic bank of credit. Shri Pokhriyal also added that several countries have acknowledged NEP as the biggest reform of the world.
Speaking on the Budget allocation for Education for year 2021-22, Shri Pokhriyal said that for Department of School Education and literacy, total budget allocation in BE 2021-22 is Rs 54873.66 crore, which is an increase of Rs 2,684.59 crore as compared to RE Budget allocation in 2020-21. For Department of Higher Education, the total Budget allocation in BE 2021-22 is Rs. 38350.65crore, which is an increase of Rs. 5450.65 crore as compared to RE Budget allocation for the year 2020-21. Speaking about Government’s impetus to boosting research and innovation, Minister mentioned about National Research Foundation. He also said that there is a shift from package culture to patent culture among students now.
Enumerating initiative and efforts taken by the government to ensure continuity of education during challenging times of covid, Shri Pokhriyal said education was provided via Online and Digital mediums through Swayam, Swayam Prabha, E Pathshala, DIKSHA. He also mentioned that Manodarpan Portal was launched to provide 24*7 counselling services to the students. Board Exams and competitive exams (JEE and NEET) were conducted successfully, he added.
Minister also highlighted that in year 2019-20, 8.19 lakh students were being provided education through IGNOU, while the figure was 3.98 lakh students in year 2013-14. Number of Research Scholars in Higher Education in the year 2019-20 stood at 2.02 lakhs while it was 1.07 lakh in year 2013-14, he added.
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