[Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Arun Jaitley arrives at Parliament House to present the General Budget 2017-18, in New Delhi on February 01, 2017.]
New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday in his budget speech proposed "Annual Learning Outcomes", Innovation Fund for Secondary Education, emphasis on science education and flexibility in curriculum to improve the education quality.
The Union Finance Minister also proposed to set up a "National Testing Agency" which according to him will free CBSE, AICTE and other premier institutions from these administrative responsibilities.
"We have proposed to introduce a system of measuring annual learning outcomes in our schools. Emphasis will be given on science education and flexibility in curriculum to promote creativity through local innovative content", Jaitley said while presenting the General Budget 2017-18 in the Parliament Wednesday morning.
"An Innovation Fund for Secondary Education will be created to encourage local innovation for ensuring universal access, gender parity and quality improvement. This will include ICT enabled learning transformation. The focus will be on 3479 educationally backward blocks", the Finance Minister said.
"In higher education, we will undertake reforms in the UGC. Good quality institutions would be enabled to have greater administrative and academic autonomy. Colleges will be identified based on accreditation and ranking, and given autonomous status. A revised framework will be put in place for outcome based accreditation and credit based programmes", he said.
" We propose to leverage information technology and launch SWAYAM platform with at least 350 online courses. This would enable students to virtually attend the courses taught by the best faculty; access high quality reading resources; participate in discussion forums; take tests and earn academic grades. Access to SWAYAM (Study Webs of Active – Learning for Young Aspiring Minds) would be widened by linkage with DTH channels, dedicated to education", the minister said.
"We propose to establish a National Testing Agency as an autonomous and self-sustained premier testing organisation to conduct all entrance examinations for higher education institutions. This would free CBSE, AICTE and other premier institutions from these administrative responsibilities so that they can focus more on academics", he said.