'NEP is completely student-friendly and it will change the face of education in India'
CN Ashwath Narayan, Minister of Higher Education & IT and BT, Govt of Karnataka, speaks to Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now, during the webcast of Visionary Talk series
With Karnataka considered the IT hub of the world and the first state to implement NEP (national education policy), the state has also translated the policy document into Kannada and formed a task force for its implementation. Karnataka started the admissions process since August 23rd and will implement the policy from Oct 1, 2021.
Expressing his enthusiasm and confidence, Dr. CN Ashwath Narayan, Minister of Higher Education & Information Technology and Biotechnology, Science and Technology, Skill Development, Govt of Karnataka has said that NEP 2020 will change the face of education in India.
Karnataka has been a pioneer in the field of education with many institutions of higher education, centres of excellence and institutions of national importance located in the state.
“The education policy is completely student-friendly. It will change the face of education in India. And in collaboration with innovation industry, technology is going to play a big role” said Narayan. He was in a conversation with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now during the webcast of the Visionary Talk series held by the public policy and governance analysis platform.
While NEP provides a time frame of 15 years to implement the policy, the minister said that Karnataka plans to implement entire policy within next 10 years and the process to digitise content as required in the policy began a year and a half ago. “Karnataka started implementing a comprehensive learning management system(eLeaP)where all educational institutions are connected to the system. Almost 2500 classrooms in govt institutions are internet enabled and turned into smart classrooms.”
He said so far, the govt has provided more than 3 lakh devices to students pursuing education in govt institutions and more than 2 lakh devices will be provided to students this year. This will enable anytime and anywhere learning for students with content par excellence. Assessment also is done digitally through these devices for students. Narayan said that along with that unified university and college management system (UUCMS) also has been brought in to ensure coordination between govt and institutions’ so they are part of the loop.
While responding to a question on addressing digital divide in NEP implementation and many students not having required gadgets as well as bandwidth and network connectivity, he said the govt is trying to ensure 100% net connectivity with upgradation of digital infrastructure in the state and 4G availability in more than 85% of the geographical area of the state. Learning programs are also telecast on television TV.
“The state is in the process of providing computer labs in all schools across the state. Govt of India and Govt of Karnataka are giving top priority to bridge digital divide” he said.
On the question of funds requirements for implementation of NEP, Narayan said NEP has made it very clear that 6% of GDP should be spent on education. “At present, we have been spending 1.8% of GDP for education. We have been impressing upon the govt and insisting that we need to increase the budget for education. If society needs to strengthen and equality has to be brought into society and economic needs have to improve, it can happen only through the knowledge sector, innovation, technology and science. If these things are not emphasised upon the economy cannot grow.”
He said the govt is coming out with many initiatives like policy changes, cyber laws and cyber security for its smooth felicitation. During Covid -19, the entire world shifting from physical to virtual will be the way forward and the govt is also working in that direction. With people migrating back to their native cities and villages, progress will happen at the smallest of places with the promotion of technology.
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