The Union HRD Ministry has projected an expenditure of Rs 60,000 cr over five years to provide digital education to students in higher education. The COVID-19 has exposed he digital divide in India.
The HRD Ministry made this projection during the 15th Finance Commission. The Commission had called the meeting to discuss education in the time of Covid-19.
The department of higher education has proposed to provide gadgets to over 40% of the students enrolled in colleges and universities by 2025-26.
Also read: Covid-19 Impact on Higher Education
Currently, there are over 3.75 crore students enrolled in higher education institutions. In the first year, that is 2021-22, it plans to cover 1.5 crore students, followed by 55 lakh in 2022-23, 61 lakh in 2023-24, 67 lakh in 2024-25 and 73 lakh in 2025-26.
The ministry has assumed an average cost of Rs 15,000 for each digital device.
Given that even after it is deemed safe to return to the classroom, it won’t be a return to what was considered normal, the ministry has also sought funds to develop more content for online learning.
An additional Rs 2,306 crore has been asked to develop courses for the ministry’s educational channel (SWAYAM Prabha) and MOOCs platform till 2025-26.