Along with improving the Higher education ecosystem in telangana, the department is also taking various initiatives to bring quality of education at par with global standards. Adopting technology for smooth processes is one of the key initiatives, says Navin Mittal, Commissioner, Department of collegiate & technical education, Government of Telangana, in conversation with Sudheer Goutham of Elets News Network (ENN).
How is the department ensuring that all its processes turn paperless yet effective?
The Department of Higher Education has undertaken various initiatives that helped the department, teachers, students, and educational institutions.
One of the initiatives is the launch of portal “Degree Online Services, Telangana” (DOST) — A common admission portal for all the Higher education institutions in the State. Any student who wants to join any course in telangana can visit the portal and register for different course options. Students are selected on merit-basis. The list is prepared as per class 12 scores. This has been a real gamechanger in Telangana, as earlier students had to visit every institute first for getting an application form, then to submit it and deposit the fee and lastly for gaining admission. Now, we have made the admission process completely paperless in a way that students belonging to Telanagana only need to enter the number of respective certificates and educational department automatically fetches the data from the respective department. The process is hassle- free. It has enabled over 2,10,000 students to take admissions in higher education institutes of Telangana.
We have also introduced concept of e-office in the commissionerate as well as in regional offices. It helped us to speed up the processes and improve communication between the State government and institutions. For example, soon after receiving a digitally signed copy from any college principal, an order is issued in that regard to the respective college online. Colleges are also allowed to check the status of their complaints or applications.
The third thing which has been done is that a public sector bank — Vijaya Bank – has come up with a fee management system. All the government educational institutions are on the platform wherein students can pay fee without any hassle at the branch of the bank or via electronic transfer, net banking, debit card, credit card, UPI payment interface etc. Cash fee collection has been stopped at all the government’s higher educational institutes.
The fourth thing which we have implemented in the technical education department and one of the universities of the State is BioMetric attendance System. in next few months we will install the system across all the government institutions in the State. It is helpful in maintaining the students’ attendance, as without students there is no meaning of education.
In terms of technology in education, what are the latest practices adopted by the Department to facilitate effective learning?
We have implemented digital evaluation system in technical education department. In the system, all the answer sheets are uploaded online and distributed to evaluators. It helps us to avoid any question without being checked. Moreover, it also has helped teachers to evaluate the answer sheets anywhere and anytime. Earlier, we used to set up camps for evaluations which we have now done away with. We are also working on development of institute Management System which will help the department in managing information of technical institutes and students.
We have also worked a lot to improve curriculum. For example, the polytechnic curriculum in the State has been completely updated from academic year 2018-19. We have made it more flexible and practical. All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) has already published a model curriculum for the engineering colleges which has also been adopted in Telangana.
We have also tried to improve our grading system. We are trying to develop a relative grading system rather than an absolute grading system.
What vision inspires Telangana Government to improve education scenario in the State?
The vision of the State Government involves three things. First thing is to improve Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) which is around 36 percent. Though, the GER of Telangana is nearly 10 percent higher than that of the national average, but the access of education to every student in the State is the top most priority of the government. Other than that the government has initiated various schemes for the underprivileged and economically weaker sections of the society.
The second focus area of the government is ensuring basic infrastructure in both government and private sector. A lot of focus is on maintaining the infrastructure which includes building, labs, libraries, equipments, furniture and other basic amenities.
The third thing is improving overall quality in terms of teaching and learning. The latest practices are integrated into the education system of the State to improve the quality.
What is your message for student fraternity?
Not only all of us should be ready for the industrial revolution 4.0 and the education 4.0 but we should be leaders in this. it is so because the kind of numbers which we have, there is no reason for not being a leader.