Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced on Tuesday that the government will expand the PM e-Vidya programme of 'One Class, One TV programme' from 12 to 200 TV channels to impart supplementary teaching and build a resilient mechanism for education delivery amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Presenting the Union Budget 2022-23 in the Parliament, Sitharaman said, "Due to the pandemic-induced closure of schools, children, particularly in the rural areas and those from Schedule Castes (SC), Schedule Tribes (ST) and other weaker sections, have lost almost two years of formal education."
She underlined that a majority of the children affected by the pandemic were from government schools and the government recognises the need "to impart supplementary teaching and to build a resilient mechanism for education delivery".
Under the PM e-Vidya programme, there will be 200 DTH channels dedicated to Classes 1 to 12, which will enable all the states to provide supplementary education in regional languages, the Finance Minister said.
"High quality e-content in all spoken languages will be developed for delivery via internet, mobile phones, TV and through radio and digital teachers. A competetive mechanism for development of quality e-content by the teachers will be set up to empower and equip them with digital tools of teaching and facilitate better learning outcomes," Sitharama said.
She added that a digital university will be established to provide access to the students .
"The aim is for world-class quality universal education with personalised learning experience at the students' door steps. This will be made available in different Indian languages and ICT formats," she said.
"The university will be built on our networked hub and spoke model with the hub building cutting edge ICT expertise. The best public universities and institutions in our country will collaborate as a network of hub and spoke," the Finance Minister added.
The Centre launched the PM e-Vidya programme, also known as the One Nation digital platform, during the first wave of the pandemic in May 2020. Under this scheme, the top 100 universities of the country teach students virtually.