He replied to the discussion on the demand for Grants of the Ministry of Education for the year 2021-22 in Lok Sabha on Tuesday. According to a press statement, Pokhriyal said NEP will build strong foundations for an ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ and help India claim its status as a `Vishwaguru`.
Pokhriyal emphasised that the NEP was formulated after holding broad-base and wider consultations with every stakeholders, including teachers, students, academicians, parents and students among others.
The Minister said that the NEP is based on firm foundations of equity, quality and accessibility. He spoke about features of NEP 2020, which includes imparting vocational education from class 6 onwards, progress card in place of report card, 5+3+3+4 structure, multidisciplinary education with easy entry/exit options and academic bank of credit.
Pokhriyal also added that several countries have acknowledged the NEP as the biggest reform of the world. Speaking on the budget allocation for education for the year 2021-22, Pokhriyal said that for the Department of School Education and literacy, the total budget allocation in 2021-22 is Rs 54873.66 crore, which is an increase of Rs 2,684.59 crore as compared to that of last year.
For the Department of Higher Education, the total budget allocation in 2021-22 is Rs 38350.65 crore, which is an increase of Rs 5450.65 crore as compared to last year’s budget.Speaking about the government’s impetus to boost research and innovation, the Minister mentioned about National Research Foundation. He also said that there is a shift from package culture to the patent culture among students now.
Enumerating initiative and efforts taken by the government to ensure continuity of education during challenging times of COVID, Pokhriyal said education was provided via online and digital mediums through Swayam, SwayamPrabha, E Pathshala, DIKSHA. He also mentioned that Manodarpan Portal was launched to provide 24*7 counselling services to the students.
Board Exams and competitive exams (JEE and NEET) were conducted successfully, he added. He also highlighted that in the year 2019-20, 8.19 lakh students were being provided education through IGNOU, while the figure was 3.98 lakh students in the year 2013-14. The number of research scholars in higher education in the year 2019-20 stood at 2.02 lakhs while it was 1.07 lakh in the year 2013-14, he added.