The District Institutes of Education and Training (DIET), the nearly forgotten successful apparatus and linkages of continuous professional development of teachers that suffered years of neglect under the dichotomy of organic training and the ‘pretentiousness’ resource centres under SSA, came into spotlight after Union Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman, in her budget speech said DIETs will be developed as vibrant institutes of excellence for focused teacher training. She said, teachers’ training will be re-envisioned through innovative pedagogy, curriculum transaction, continuous professional development, dipstick surveys, and ICT implementation.
The Ministry of Education allocation in the budget is Rs 112899.47 Cr (School education: Rs68804.85 Cr & Higher Education: Rs 44094.62Cr).
The other announcement made by her for education and skilling include:
National Digital Library for Children and Adolescents : A National Digital Library for children and adolescents will be set-up for facilitating availability of quality books across geographies, languages, genres and levels, and device agnostic accessibility. States will be encouraged to set up physical libraries for them at panchayat and ward levels and provide infrastructure for accessing the National Digital Library resources.
Additionally, to build a culture of reading, and to make up for pandemic-time learning loss, the National Book Trust, Children’s Book Trust and other sources will be encouraged to provide and replenish non-curricular titles in regional languages and English to these physical libraries. Collaboration with NGOs that work in literacy will also be a part of this initiative. To inculcate financial literacy, financial sector regulators and organizations will be encouraged to provide age-appropriate reading material to these libraries.
Eklavya Model Residential Schools: In the next three years, centre will recruit 38,800 teachers and support staff for the 740 Eklavya Model Residential Schools, serving 3.5 lakh tribal students.
Centres of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence: For realizing the vision of “Make AI in India and Make AI work for India”, three centres of excellence for Artificial Intelligence will be set-up in top educational institutions. Leading industry players will partner in conducting interdisciplinary research, develop cutting-edge applications and scalable problem solutions in the areas of agriculture, health, and sustainable cities. This will galvanize an effective AI ecosystem and nurture quality human resources in the field.
She said, “To empower our youth and help the ‘Amrit Peedhi’ realize their dreams, we have formulated the National Education Policy, focused on skilling, adopted economic policies that facilitate job creation at scale, and have supported business opportunities. “
National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme: To provide stipend support to 47 lakh youth in three years, Direct Benefit Transfer under a pan-India National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme will be rolled out.
Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0: Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0 will be launched to skill lakhs of youth within the next three years. On-job training, industry partnership, and alignment of courses with needs of industry will be emphasized. The scheme will also cover new age courses for Industry 4.0 like coding, AI, robotics, mechatronics, IOT, 3D printing, drones, and soft skills. To skill youth for international opportunities, 30 Skill India International Centres will be set up across different States.
Skill India Digital Platform: The digital ecosystem for skilling will be further expanded with the launch of a unified Skill India Digital platform for:
- enabling demand-based formal skilling,
- linking with employers including MSMEs, and
- facilitating access to entrepreneurship schemes.
Medical Education: One hundred and fifty-seven new nursing colleges will be established in co-location with the existing 157 medical colleges established since 2014. Facilities in select ICMR Labs will be made available for research by public and private medical college faculty and private sector R&D teams for encouraging collaborative research and innovation.
National Data Governance Policy: To unleash innovation and research by start-ups and academia, a National Data Governance Policy will be brought out. This will enable access to anonymized data
Capacity Building in Securities Market: To build capacity of functionaries and professionals in the securities market, SEBI will be empowered to develop, regulate, maintain and enforce norms and standards for education in the National Institute of Securities Markets and to recognize award of degrees, diplomas and certificates.
Agriculture Accelerator Fund: An Agriculture Accelerator Fund will be set-up to encourage agri-startups by young entrepreneurs in rural areas. The Fund will aim at bringing innovative and affordable solutions for challenges faced by farmers. It will also bring in modern technologies to transform agricultural practices, increase productivity and profitability.
The minister in her speech said: “Our vision for the Amrit Kaal includes technology-driven and knowledge-based economy with strong public finances, and a robust financial sector. To achieve this, Jan Bhagidari through Sabka Saath Sabka Prayas is essential. The economic agenda for achieving this vision focuses on three things: first, facilitating ample opportunities for citizens, especially the youth, to fulfil their aspirations; second, providing strong impetus to growth and job creation; and third, strengthening macro-economic stability. “
Education Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan in his reaction tweeted, “ #AmritKaalBudget paves the way to transform India into a knowledge-based economy. Highest-ever allocation of ₹1,12,899.47 crore for the education sector. Total allocation of ₹1,16,417.08 crore for the education and skill development sector in #AmritKaalBudget”
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