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A 'virtual university' would soon be a reality as the central government on Friday, January 29, made an announcement in this regard as part of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.
With online learning gaining prominence amid the on-going coronavirus pandemic, there have been several media reports stating that the government will be allocating funds to boost technology adoption in education in the upcoming Budget 2021-22.
"Government will soon take necessary steps to establish Virtual Universities, which is different from the concept of open universities, will help in achieving the desired GER (gross enrollment ratio) in higher education as envisaged in NEP (national education policy)," said the education ministry, reported Mint.
A high-level meeting of the people privy to the matter was conducted and was reportedly chaired by Union Minister of Education, Ramesh Pokhriyal. The officials also reviewed the implementation of the education policy. Among other major developments, the National Education Technology forum (NETF) was asked to "start the work immediately" and should be seeded with University Grants Commission (UGC) and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).
Introduction of the new national education policy, last year, included the setting up of a National Educational Technology Forum which would work as a platform for the free exchange of ideas and schemes on the use of technology to enhance learning methods, assessment planning and better administration for school and higher education.
Measures to use Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technology for imparting studies in mother languages in higher education is also on the cards, according to the minister.
Hinting at the concept of brain drain, Pokhriyal said dedicated teams would be set up to analyse the causes behind students moving to foreign countries for pursuing studies. He also said that the idea of 'Study in India' programme should be promoted on a wider scale.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing the eighteenth convocation of Tezpur University, had said that the future of education would be virtual universities. He opined that since new technological interventions were happening across countries, hence, in India as well it was possible that in future universities will be completely virtual.
"In which students and faculty members from all over the world will be able to participate virtually," the PM said.
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