Steps taken by the Government for revamping the education system to benefit the student community

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The Government is committed to provide equitable access to quality education to all sections of the society and the vision of the Ministry is to realize India’s human resource potential to its fullest in the education sector with equity and inclusion. The Ministry of Human Resource Development is implementing several schemes aimed at enhancing literacy and basic education of the youth, expanding access to all levels of education, including higher and technical education.

Several initiatives are currently being undertaken in this direction, such as in elementary education, the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) programme aims for improvements in school infrastructure, curricular and assessment reforms, identification of learning indicators, improved teaching and learning resulting in better learning outcomes. Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA), ICT in Schools, Centrally Sponsored Scheme on Teacher Education (CSSTE), Shaala Siddhi, Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan are being implemented to improve the quality of secondary education. Recently, the Department of School Education and Literacy has formulated the Samagra Shiksha- an Integral Scheme for School Education as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme and it is being implemented throughout the country with effect from the year 2018-19. This programme subsumes the three erstwhile Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) and Teacher Education (TE). It is an overarching programme for the school education sector extending from pre-school to class XII and aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education at all levels of school education. It envisages the ‘school’ as a continuum from pre-school, primary, upper primary, secondary to senior secondary levels.

In higher education also, various schemes, namely, Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA), Global Initiative for Academics Network (GIAN), Impacting Research, Innovation & Technology (IMPRINT), Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme (TEQIP), Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya National Mission on Teachers and Teaching (PMMMNMTT), Study Webs of Active-Learning for Young Aspiring Minds (SWAYAM), National Digital Library, campus connect programme, Uchhatar Avishkar Abhiyan, Unnat Bharat Abhiyan are being implemented to improve the quality of higher education. A number of initiatives are also undertaken by UGC and AICTE for quality improvement in higher and technical education.

Further, in order to balance the curriculum for cognitive and analytical areas with curriculum in other life skills including creativity and sports, specific suggestions were invited by MHRD and NCERT from teachers, academics, students, parents and other stakeholders associated with school education with the objective to make the content more balanced in various subjects offered from class I to class XII as prescribed by NCERT/CBSE.

Currently, the Government is in the process of framing a New Education Policy (NEP) for meeting the changing dynamics of thepopulation’s requirement with regard toquality education, innovation and research, aiming to make India a knowledge superpower by equipping its students withthe necessary skills and knowledge. Wide ranging consultations were undertaken at multiple levels of online, expert/thematic and grassroots from village to State, Zonal levels as well as at the National level. Initially, a Committee for Evolution of the New Education Policy was constituted which submitted its report in May, 2016 and thereafter, the Ministry prepared ‘Some Inputs for the Draft National Education Policy, 2016’. Both these documents are treated as inputs for policy formulation. The exercise of preparing a New Education Policy is still ongoing as a Committee for Draft National Education Policy under the Chairmanship of Dr. K. Kasturirangan has been constituted which will consider and examine all inputs and suggestions and is expected to submit its report by 31.08.2018.

This information was given by the Minister of State (HRD), Dr. Satya Pal Singh today in a written reply to a Rajya Sabha question.