In the Union Budget 2017-18, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday unleashed measures to revamp the country’s education system. Here are some key takeaways:
1) National Testing Agency as an autonomous and self-sustained premier testing organisation to conduct all entrance examinations for higher education institutions.
This would free CBSE, AICTE and other premier institutions from these administrative responsibilities so that they can focus more on academics, he said.
2) Two new AIIMS institute in Jharkhand and Gujarat. Take steps to increase post-graduate seats for medical sciences
3) The government will introduce a system of measuring annual learning outcomes in schools. Emphasis will be given on science education and flexibility in curriculum to promote creativity through local, innovative content.
4) The government also proposes to create an innovative fund for secondary education for ensuring universal access, gender parity and quality improvement.
5) The Budget will include ICT enabled learning, transformation and the focus will be on 3,479 educationally backward blocks.
READ | Budget 2017: Arun Jaitley should allocate more funds for education sector
6) The government proposes to leverage information technology and launch SWAYAM Platform with at least 350 online courses which will enable students to virtually attend the courses taught by the best faculty. They can access high quality reading resources, participate in discussion forums, take tests and earn academic grades.
Access to SWAYAM would be widened by linkage with DTH channels, dedicated to education.
7) In higher education, the government will undertake reforms in the UGC. Good quality institutions would be enabled to have greater administrative and academic autonomy.
The colleges will be identified based on accreditation and ranking, and will be given autonomous status. A revised framework will be put in place for outcome-based accreditation and credit-based programmes.
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