News agency has learned that the National Digital University mentioned in the 2022 Budget will start operating in the following academic year.
The establishment of the National Digital University, which was announced by Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman in her Budget speech the previous year, is seen as a significant step toward improving employability and achieving the 50% gross enrollment ratio (GER) in higher education by 2030, as envisioned in the central government’s National Education Policy 2020.
M. Jagadesh Kumar, the chairman of the UGC, told news organisation that the National Digital University (NDU) will begin delivering courses by July 2023.
According to him, the university will initially provide certificate and diploma programmes before moving on to degree programmes.
“A digital university will be established to provide access to students across the country for world-class quality universal education with personalised learning experience at their doorsteps,” Sitharaman had said in her Budget speech last year.
She had stated that the programme would be offered in a number of Indian languages.
“The University will be built on a networked hub-spoke model, with the hub building cutting-edge ICT expertise. The best public universities and institutions in the country will collaborate as a network of hub spokes,” Sitharaman said.
According to sources in the education ministry, there have since been numerous rounds of conversations between the central government and educational institutions all around the nation, including the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology.
According to a source at the UGC, the government has at last developed a strategy for running the institution.
According to the source, the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) portal SWAYAM operated by the government will serve as the focal point, or “the hub,” of the NDU initiative.
Study Webs of Active-Learning for Young Aspiring Minds, or SWAYAM, was introduced in 2017 by what is now the Union Ministry of Education in an effort to democratise education by making a number of courses freely available to students all throughout the nation.
SWAYAM will host the courses and be connected to numerous colleges and institutions, or “the spokes,” according to the current concept for NDU.
According to the source, a university that wishes to offer its courses at NDU will do so on the platform. Students had the option of receiving their degree from the university or the NDU.
According to the source, a student who chooses a subject provided by Delhi University and earns the necessary credits may choose between a DU or an NDU degree, with the finer points of the proposal, such as costs and the admissions procedure, still being worked out.
Despite the government’s intentions to move through with the NDU, it is still unclear how the Modi administration’s “One Class, One TV channel” programme will be expanded, which was the second big announcement for education in the Budget 2022.
‘One Class, One TV Channel’ is a project that aims to use television programmes to deliver education. It was first announced in 2021 as part of PM eVIDYA, the central government’s digital education programme.
Sitharaman had stated that the government would increase the number of DTH channels included in the programme from 12 to 200 in the 2022 Budget.
“We recognise the need to impart supplementary teaching and to build a resilient mechanism for education delivery,” Sitharaman had said in her Budget speech. “For this purpose, ‘One Class, One TV Channel’ programme of PM eVIDYA will be expanded from 12 to 200 TV channels. This will enable all states to provide supplementary education in regional languages for Classes 1-12.”
It hasn’t yet been put into practise, though, according to the education ministry’s website.