The ministry of human resource development (MHRD) will establish a national academic depository (NAD) and a law will be enacted to ensure that educational institutions post their academic awards, degrees and certificates in this central database.
"It will benefit educational institutions, students and employers. They will have online access to academic awards, eliminating the need for persons to approach educational institutions for obtaining transcripts of awards or mark statements for verification," HRD minister Smriti Irani said on Monday, who its must be recalled has twice landed in controversies over her educational qualifications or the lack thereof.
On Monday, Irani also clarified that prime minister's Narendra Modi's "Guru Utsav" day address to students will not be mandatory for students.
The MHRD had the previous week renamed Teacher's Day as Guru Utsav. This lead to allegations that there was a move to impose Hindi/Sanskrit on the country. Countering this, Irani said education was in the concurrent list. "It is up to the state's to decide to participate (in the PM's Teacher's Day address) or not. Children are not vote-banks," she said.
In the first 100 days of the Modi government, Smriti and MHRD have been fighting on several fronts. The decision to scrap the Four Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP) kept admissions in Delhi University in a flux. Aspiring students took to the streets. Giving Hindi a superior status in official communications lead to protests. Dina Nath Batra's statements on rewriting curriculum caused alarm.
Irani refused to clear the air on any of these controversies, only saying that it was not right to attribute everything to her. But when Batra went to town saying that Smriti was on board, Irani did not refute him.
Smriti emphasised time and again that the Modi government was working on a new education policy which will take in the views of all stakeholders. But the MHRD went about eroding the autonomy of IITs and IIMs, pitting them against the UGC, her instrument of change.
That said, Irani and MHRD have several innovative initiatives up their sleeves...
Know Your College Portal: A one-stop portal containing information on all colleges
Swayam Programme: Free of cost online courses for citizens. IIT, IIM and centrally-funded universities' professors will teach. Programme to launched on September 25, Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya's birth anniversary
National e-Library Platform: Online portal that will host top class content from NCERT, CBSE, IITs, IIMs and central universities including research papers and thesis'
UNITE (University Network Initiative to Enhance Education): 20 classrooms in 21,000 colleges (a total of 4.20 lakh classrooms) will be made Wi-Fi enabled to enhance education network utilization, empower students
Shala Darpan: Parents of students of government and government-aided schools will get updates on their children's progress through a mobile application
Shala Utsav: States asked to identify oldest school and celebrate its foundation day
Swachch Vidyalaya: PM has made commitment to construct a toilet in every school before August 15, 2015