COVID-19 Relief: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Announces PM eVidya Programme, Education Channels
Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, has announced new initiatives like PM eVidya Programme and new direct-to-home channels for students with no internet access.
Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman, has announced the launch of PM e-Vidya Programme for "multi-mode access" to digital online education.
In a press conference on economic measures to offer relief during the coronavirus outbreak, Ms Sitharaman said: “The PM e-Vidya platform will consist of DIKSHA which will provide one-nation-one-digital-platform facility with a dedicated channel for each class from Class 1 to Class 12.”
Ms Sitharaman said that the government has identified three DTH channels of SWAYAM PRABHA to reach out to children who do not have access to the internet. The Centre has requested state governments to share four hours of content for broadcast on these. It has also identified 12 more channels to offer education.
Ms Nirmala Sitharaman also announced that there will be live telecast of interactive sessions of these channels through Skype. She said the government is collaborating with private operators to air educational content.
PM E-Vidya Programme
The PM e-Vidya Programme, being publicised on social media as the #OneNationOneDigitalPlatform campaign, will "provide enhanced learning opportunities to 3.7 crore students in higher education and expand e-learning by liberalising open, distance, and online education regulatory framework, the top 100 universities will start online courses," said Minister for Human Resource Development, Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank'.
PM e-Vidya will be a "multi-mode online programme" to be launched immediately and will include DIKSHA for school education in states and Union territories. Ms Sitharaman, in the conference said that radio, community radio and podcasts and special e-content will be used for the visually and hearing-impaired. Mr Pokhriyal later explained on social media that this will involve "special e-content for visually and hearing impaired children, developed on Digitally Accessible Information System (DAISY) and in sign language on NIOS website or YouTube."
The platform unifies all efforts related to digital, online and on-air education and will benefit 33 crore students. Ms Sitharaman added that DIKSHA had already had 61 crore hits from March 24 till date.