How have digital initiatives in India contributed to the functioning of the education system in the country? Elaborate your answer. (250 words) [2020]

The National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT) has been instrumental in increasing the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in Higher Education in India through its initiatives which leverage the potential of ICT to make the teaching and learning process easier and more accessible for all learners in Higher Education Institutions. Some important initiatives under the NMEICT include:

  • The “Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds” (SWAYAM), an integrated platform offering online courses at the school (9th to 12th) to Post Graduate Level.
  • SWAYAM Prabha, which provides 32 high-quality educational channels through DTH round the clock.
  • The National Digital Library of India (NDL), which is developing a framework of virtual repository of learning resources with a single-window search facility.
  • The Free and Open Source Software for Education (FOSSEE), which promotes the use of open source software in educational institutions.
  • The Virtual Labs Project, which is developing a fully interactive simulation environment.
  • E-Yantra, which enables effective education across engineering colleges in India on embedded systems and robotics.

To universalize digital education across the wide spectrum of schools from pre-nursery to higher secondary classes, the government has initiated several projects to assist teachers, scholars, and students in their pursuit of learning. These include:

  • The DIKSHA platform, which provides quality e-content for school education.
  • The Swayam Prabha TV Channel, which provides one class, one channel.
  • The Online MOOC courses and On Air – Shiksha Vani.
  • The Digitally Accessible Information System (DAISY) by the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) for differently-abled students.
  • The e-PathShala and National Repository of Open Educational Resources (NROER), which develop e-content and energized books and distribute them through TV channels, e-learning portals, webinars, chat groups, and book distribution.
  • PM eVIDYA, a comprehensive initiative that unifies all efforts related to digital/online/on-air education to facilitate multimode access to education.
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