Reethu, a story teller, a person often found between the pages of a book or contemplating the nuances of life.
Amid the digital divide in education becoming prominent during the coronavirus pandemic, the Union Human Resource Development Ministry on Monday, June 29, announced that it will be spending Rs 60,000 crore over the next five years to provide digital devices to four crore students in higher education.
The HRD Ministry made this projection in a presentation to the 15th Finance Commission, which had called the meeting to discuss education "in the time of COVID-19".
The Ministry has proposed to provide devices such as laptop and tablet computers, mobile phones and television sets to nearly 40% of the students enrolled in colleges and universities in India by 2025-26. The average price of each device is estimated to be Rs 15,000.
At present, there are nearly 3.75 crore students enrolled in higher education institutions in the country. While the Ministry plans to cover 1.5 crore students in the first year between 2021-22, it will cover by 55 lakh students in 2022-23, 61 lakh in 2023-24, 67 lakh in 2024-25 and 73 lakh in 2025-26.
Of the Rs 60,000 crore, the Union government's share will be Rs 36,473 crore over five years. Meanwhile, the remaining amount will be borne by the state governments, according to the ministry's presentation.
Furthermore, the Ministry has sought an additional Rs 2,306 crore to develop courses for the ministry's educational channel (SWAYAM Prabha) and MOOCs platform till 2025-26. This comes in an effort to develop more content for online learning.
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