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Education to RISE and shine; R&D in sharp focus

Wednesday, February 7, 2018, 05:06

Eklavya Model Residential Schools are proposed to be set up in the hinterland to benefit tribals - Garima Singh

Digitalisation of education and focus on research and development in the premier institutes were among the major announcements made for the education sector in Budget 2018.

‘A game changer’

To increase digital intensity in education, the focus of the government would be to move from blackboard to digital board, said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Announcing the “Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education” (RISE) initiative to increase investment in research in the premier institutes of the country, he allocated a total investment of ₹ 1 lakh crore over a period of four years.

“We appreciate the focus towards improving the quality of education and intensifying Digital India. Aiming for blackboard to digital board schools by 2022 will advance teaching and learning methodology for both teachers and students.

The announcement of ₹1 lakh crore to revitalise and upgrade education system will be a game changer towards increasing the digital penetration in education, which will shift the country from a manufacturing base to a research base,” said Prashant Bhalla, President, Manav Rachna Educational Institutions.

With the aim to provide quality education to tribal children by 2022, the Finance Minister proposed the forming of Eklavya Model Residential Schools.

The schools will be set up in the hinterland in areas that have more than 50 per cent ST population and at least 20,000 tribals.

“Increased numbers of Eklavya residential schools is a predictable move by the government for tribal areas. The Budget pitch of technology and infrastructure may prove to be a ‘game changer’,” said Ravi Sreedharan, Co-founder of Indian School of Development Management, Noida.

“The fact that ₹ 1 lakh crore has been earmarked for revitalising innovation under RISE over the next four years augurs well for the future,” said P. Sathyanarayanan, President of SRM University.

Incentivising toppers

Under the Prime Minister’s Research Fellows (PMRF) Scheme, 1,000 best B.Tech students will be selected from premier institutions each year and facilities will be provided to them to undertake Ph.D in IITs and IISc with an attractive fellowship.

Emphasising the training of teachers during service, an integrated B.Ed programme for teachers was announced, as also a Railways University in Vadodara and 18 new Schools of Planning and Architecture (SPAs) in IITs and NITs as autonomous schools.