The National Education Policy 2020 advocates investments in digital infrastructure, online teaching platforms and tools, virtual labs, digital repositories, online assessments, technology and pedagogy for online teaching-learning, and other related areas to promote multilingualism and the power of language in teaching and learning through innovative and experiential methods. Paragraph 4.23 of the NEP emphasizes the importance of students acquiring specific subjects, skills, and capacities, such as digital literacy, coding, and computational thinking. Annpurna Devi, Minister of State for Education, stated in a written reply to the Lok Sabha that these skills are actively promoted through various digital initiatives.
As a pivotal Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan component, the comprehensive initiative known as PM e-VIDYA was launched on May 17, 2020. This initiative serves as a unified platform, consolidating all digital, online and on-air education endeavours. According to an official statement, the primary aim is to facilitate multi-mode access to education, ensuring a holistic and inclusive approach to learning.
The PM eVidya initiative is available free of cost for all students across all states.
- DIKSHA is the nation’s digital infrastructure for providing quality e-content for school education in States/UTs and QR-coded Energized Textbooks for all grades (one country, one digital platform).
- As per the Union Budget announcement for Financial Year 2022-23, the 12 DTH Channels have been expanded to 200 PM e-VIDYA DTH TV Channels to enable all States to provide supplementary education in various Indian languages for classes 1-12.
- Extensive use of Radio, Community Radio and CBSE Podcast- Shiksha Vani.
- Special e-content for the visually and hearing impaired developed on Digitally Accessible Information System (DAISY) and in sign language on the NIOS website/ YouTube.
- To promote critical thinking skills and give space for creativity, it has been proposed to establish 750 virtual labs and 75 Skilling e-labs by 2023. The Virtual Labs are offered for Science and Mathematics subjects for Classes 6th – 12th, and Skilling e-labs would provide a simulated learning environment. A vertical on Virtual Labs has been created on the DIKSHA platform. Training on Virtual labs has been conducted through PM eVidya DTH TV channels for teachers and teacher educators nationwide.
Furthermore, the Samagra Shiksha scheme’s ICT and digital initiatives segment includes government and aided schools with grades 6th-12th. This segment provides financial assistance to schools to facilitate the establishment of ICT Labs and Smart Classrooms. The SATHEE portal has been created in partnership with IIT Kanpur to support students nationwide in preparing for competitive exams. Currently, feedback on the platform’s beta version is actively sought from students nationwide.