Nirmala Sitharaman
Nirmala Sitharaman at the press conference Sunday | ThePrint Photo | Praveen Jain
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New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Sunday announced the launch of ‘PM eVIDYA’ programme while sharing the breakup of the fifth and last installment of the government’s Rs 20 lakh crore Covid-19 package.

ThePrint had earlier reported that PM eVIDYA package would be one of the major steps the government will take for the education sector during lockdown.

One of the main components of the new programme is the ‘One Class One Channel’ initiative where classes will be conducted on dedicated channels in the television.

Twelve DTH channels will be dedicated to the programme — one channel for each class from 1 to 12.

“The government has launched Swayam Prabha DTH channels to support and reach those who do not have access to the internet, now 12 more channels will be added,” Sitharaman said.

The Swayam Prabha is HRD ministry’s free-to-air education channels, which consists of a group of 32 DTH channels that provide educational content.

The National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has already started working on the content for the channels. The Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) had on 4 May written to the NCERT to keep the content ready before the scheme is officially launched.

‘One Nation, One Digital Platform’

The other component in the PM eVIDYA package is the DIKSHA portal (One Nation, One Digital Platform) which will provide quality educational content to researchers and students.

The portal has QR coded text books for school children from all grades. It also includes the SWAYAM, the MOOCs platform, which is already being used by various universities and colleges in India for accessing courses online.

Apart from this, the finance minister also said that top 100 universities will be permitted to start online courses by 30 May.  This will include institutions like Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and other institutes of national importance.

Also read: Coronavirus has forced 51% non-STEM Indian students to drop plan to study abroad: QS report


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