Technology for Educational Advancements : Prof R Govinda, Ministry of HRD, Govt. of India, India

Prof R Govinda

Vice Chancellor, National University of Educational Planning and Administration (Ministry of HRD, Govt. of India)

“We exclusively  concentrate on policy, planning and administration in education in its totality, starting from school education to technical education.”

Kindly share with us how your university has an edge over other universities, with special emphasis on technology utilisation?

We are a small and very specialised institution. We are a university because of our specialisation. With reference to the aspects that separate us from other university is – firstly, we exclusively  concentrate on policy, planning and administration in education in its totality, starting from school
education to technical education. Secondly, at our university we keep one foot in theoretical studies and one foot in practice, since, our mandate is to provide technical support to the state and the central government. This makes us unique and also takes us very close to the field every time. Thirdly, we do extensive research work. We were considered for passing as a university only because of our research status. We are not a teaching university. We regularly bring out the data based research and we also have a very strong data base development system, education information management system. We  regularly bring out District Information Support for Education (DISE) which you can also avail online.

Are the technologically enabled courses/ researches a recent development at NUEPA?

No, we have technology based courses running since a long time now. We began this work of producing data base for elementary education in 1995 or 96. We have developed Education Development Indicators, which are now used for classifying districts. All this has been possible because of use of technology.  We are able to put the data for public use in less than a year’s time.

What do you opine about the budget for the current year, for education sector?

Budget that the finance ministry gives is never enough. With RTE rolled-out, I feel the allocations to school education are less than what we had expected. I can say that 2/3rd of what we wanted has been allocated, they should have given INR 10,000 crores more. Since NUEPA has completed the financial aspects for RTE, our expectations was more allocation to meet this years annual requirement. So what we are suppose to do is utilise the given resources judiciously. But finance is not the only aspect that supports development. Additionally, for both elementary and higher education, today there is a huge money flow otherwise also. I think 11th Five Year Plan as huge allocations for higher education, if you compare with past. The problem is that we are unable to demonstrate progress in educational institutions and, therefore, it is a problem to show where we want to use the required money. For instance, school demands money at macro level but at micro level they do not know where they want to use the demanded money. It is just about working efficiently and effectively.

What are the approaches that NUEPA has adopted for capacity building and are there any collaborative initiatives you have entered nationally and internationally, recently?

Capacity building is one of our core activities. Every year we do upto 50 training programmes, bring people from all over the country. Every year we do ta diploma programme in Education Planning and Administration. Every course that we organise here has a technology component. We also have an international diploma programme which is currently going on. We have 34 students from 25 countries for this 26th International Diploma Programme. We have students from Jamaica, Cuba, Fiji, Sri Lanka, Russia, Maldives and so on. We have a resource lab that can accommodate 30 students at a time, who can avail online access to educational resources. We have computer and training lab with 35 computers and wi-fi. 

As far as research is concerned we are known internationally, we have been collaborating with a wide number of institutions. We have been associated closely with International Institution for Educational Planning, for course delivery and many other things. Some of us have teaching in Insititute of Education, London. At presnt, we are doing a research study in field of Higher Education with Stanford, which covers BRIC countries

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