www.dailypioneer.com | February 8, 2017
In the annual Budget 2017-18 education has received a considerably attention than usual which is an acknowledgement of Government’s ongoing efforts at energising the youth through education, skills and jobs. In order for quality education to lead to good quality jobs, an attempt to initiate steps right through the educational continuum to enhance and maintain access, innovation, parity and quality — universally and equitably — has been made.
The University Grants Commission has finally received the attention that has been long overdue in terms of far reaching reforms in its structure, mandate and autonomy as an effective higher education regulator in the country.
Another remarkable step is the creation of a national testing agency as an autonomous and self-sustained premier testing organisation to conduct entrance exams for higher institutions. This will free the nodal education bodies from the tedious and administrative responsibilities and allow them to focus more on professional, quality and regulatory objectives and outcomes.
The hike of 9.9 per cent in outlay to the education sector for the financial year 2017-18 will help to accommodate and bring to meaningful fruition, various plans including creation of new institutions.
The idea Swayam — a platform with 350 online courses will not only enable students to virtually attend the courses taught by the best faculty, but will also give them access to world class learning resources and opportunities for academic interaction.
Vocationalisation of education has received further fillip in the form of Sankalp-Skill Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion with an outlay of Rs 4,000 crore aimed at providing market-relevant training to 3.5 crore youth. This will work in tandem with Strive — Skill Strengthening for Industrial Value Enhancement aimed at making ITIs more relevant.
Finally, in an attempt to identify good quality institutions with international best practices, a revised framework will be put in place. Institutions so identified are likely to enjoy greater administrative and academic autonomy to work towards enhancing their standing as institutions promoting innovation, creativity and world-class curriculum.
The writer is Dr Devi Singh, Vice Chancellor, FLAME University