The Union government, with the approval of the cabinet committee on economic affairs, has initiated a new Centrally sponsored scheme named as the National Mission on Education through information communication technology (ICT). Vice-chancellor of Allahabad University Rajen Harshe has been nominated as a member of the apex committee of the mission which would formally be launched HRD minister Arjun Singh on February 3. The scheme aims to bridge the gap in the skills to use computing devices for the purpose of teaching and learning among urban and rural teachers and empower those, who have remained untouched by the digital revolution and unable to joint the mainstream of the knowledge economy.
The scheme is expected to be a major intervention in enhancing the gross enrolment ratio (GER) in higher education by five percentage points during the Eleventh Five Year Plan and ensuring access and equity in higher education, as also recommended by the oversight committee and the National Knowledge Commission (NKC). The committee includes several secretaries of the Union government, the UGC, AICTE and DEC chairpersons, directors of IITs and vice-chancellors of various Central universities. Harshe said that the committee would operate through inter-departmental and multi-disciplinary approach and create high quality e-content for the target groups. It would also extend computer infrastructure and connectivity to over 18,000 colleges in the country, including each of the departments of 419 universities/deemed universities and institutions of national importance on a single point rental basis through the department of telecommunications (DOT), he added.