On Monday, the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry gave a proposal to the 15th Financial Commission. The Commission had called this meeting to discuss education "in the time of COVID-19".
New Delhi: Amid turmoil caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the HRD ministry has projected an expenditure of Rs 60,000 Crore over five years to provide digital devices-laptops, tablets etc. to 4 crore students in higher education.
The Ministry presented this projection to the 15th Financial Commission. The Commission had called this meeting to discuss the opportunities amid turmoil by the pandemic in the field of education.
A specific department of HRD ministry-the department of Higher Education aimed to provide digital devices such as laptops, smart phones, tablets etc. to almost 40% of the students enrolled in colleges and universities by 2025-26.
At present, about 3.75 Crore students are studying in Higher Educational Institutions and Universities.
In its plan, the department projected to provide the digital devices to about 1.5 Crore students in the year 2021-22, in the next phase the department is forecasting to cover 55lakh students in the year 2022-23, followed by 61 lakh students in the year 2023-24, 67 lakh in 2024-25 and 73 lakh in 2025-26.
The ministry calculated the average cost of each device to be Rs 15,000 for each digital device and a net total of 60,000 Crore Rs.
"The Central Government will share 36,473 Crore for 5 years, the remaining is proposed to be borne by the state governments," the ministry projected.
The ministry is planning to promote the digital mode of education for the Higher Education Students as their studies are terminated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It seems that the ministry has taken this action because even if it is safe to return to the classroom, the return to what is normal is still not in charts.
The Ministry also asked for funds to develop more efficient digital content for ongoing online learning. Further Rs 2306 Crore has been asked to develop courses for SWAYAM Prabha and MOOCs for 5 years.