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India to get national knowledge network soon

delhi Updated: Mar 24, 2012 14:19 IST
Chhavi Garg
Chhavi Garg
Hindustan Times
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In two years, a national knowledge network will come up and connect 31,000 colleges around the country and a student from any of these colleges would be able to pursue course from any other college, announced Kapil Sibal, union human resource development minister at CII Edu Summit 2011 organized here on Wednesday at CII (Northern Region), Headquarters.

Elaborating further, he said that the network would be followed in schools in some more years time. Every village would be connected through fiber optics in three years and wireless broadband would be accessible to every school. There would be 1,100 open source courses that anybody can persue free of cost, he said.

Under another scheme, a student/parent would be able to see all schools and colleges in the region (where he/she is seeking admission) on the website that is being developed, would be able to roam through schools, see location etc and this would be ready in 3-5 years time, he announced.

By 2013, there would be one exam for critical thinking other than the general CBSE/state board class 12 examination on the basis of which 'common all India list' would be made and every college would admit students on basis of it, he informed.

Announcing that the ministry is in process of developing National Vocational Education Qualifications Framework, he said "The levels started from 1 to 7 right up to the graduation would be awarded to students taking up vocational courses after class 8, aiming to imbibe more of skills and less of academic," he informed. He added, "The syllabi for these courses are being developed in close association with industry.

And 150 courses have already been developed in just automobile industry." "This skill development programme is expected before 2014, he said.

On industry academia interaction, he said that the ministry is working on 'dual appointment system', in which one who is appointed in laboratory can also be able to teach in university (emeritus faculty).

Huge programmes in 12th five year plan to train teachers' in public private partnership, he informed.

Pre school education is also been worked out. "Road map is being made. 0-4 years would be under angarwaris and for 4-6 years, there are schemes in 12th five year plan."

On responding to examination/evaluation reform system, he said that he would do away with silos of discipline and are working on expanding choice for the child.

One of the challenges before the nation is to increase the gross enrollment ratio of students by 15-20% by 2020 to build the wealth of the nation. It is at present is 15% in India as compared to 70% in developed countries, Sibal said.

Gross enrollment ratio is the ratio of students who go to university/college from school level. He said that the rationale behind Right to Education is to increase this ratio as if more children would go to schools, more would go to universities.

On bringing in children from disadvantaged and weaker sections of the society to schools, he said that the parents see the difference between a child from slum and his/her child , the child does not see any difference so it is the parents(who are prejudiced) who have to think differently.

Commenting on implementation of RTE, he said that legislation is just the architecture of enabling, legislation is enabler, and if societal resistance to legislation is there, it is not its fault.

He said that he has issued a circular to all engineering colleges to give their assets after college hours to private sector to run vocational courses.

Sibal said some of the Acts including Education Malpractices Bill, Foreigners' Education Providers Bill, Accreditation Bill and Universities for innovation Bill are before the standing committee of the parliament and malpractices bill is expected to come in the coming session.

Under Universities for innovation bill, he said that 13-14 universities would be developed like university for design that would deal all types of design, university for urban development which would address issues of migration, transportation, housing for poor etc.

The Minister during the event released a report titled, "Catalyzing growth Education Sector in the Northern Region "prepared jointly by CII and PricewaterhouseCooper.

Vijay Thadani, Chairman CII Northern Region and Chief Executive Officer, NIIT Ltd, said CII will soon be launching a project - the University-Industry Congress engaging with Vice Chancellors of 25 Universities and CII would also be talking delegation to universities in Britain and Australia. On policy side, CII has submitted its recommendations on two important Bills of MHRD on higher education--National Commission for Higher Education and Research Bill, he informed.