CHENNAI:Students across the country will no longer struggle to get a copy of a lost college certificate. Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani, during the concluding session of the ThinkEdu conclave here on Saturday, said digitisation of every certificate of every university in India would help resolve problems faced by many students grappling with loss of paper certificates. In a candid and interactive session with Express Editorial Director Prabhu Chawla, Irani also belied a hard stand against mixing politics and education. When Chawla asked her if politicians are responsible for the sorry state of education, she roared back, “As long as I’m there (as Education Minister) there will be government in education, but not politics.”
Talking about the various initiatives that the Narendra Modi government has implemented to improve the quality of education, she said, “As many as 800 professors, academicians and industry experts from all over the world will come to India to teach at Central universities at no additional cost from the upcoming academic year.”
Irani also said that the ‘Swayam’ portal, India’s first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platform, which will host online video lectures offered by colleges like IIT, NIT and SASTRA University, can be accessed by every citizen free of cost. “They can appear for an exam leading to course and degree completion certification by paying a nominal fee,” she said. This could give an opportunity for students to learn multi-disciplinary subjects.
She also announced a Choice Based Credit System for Central universities where students could select the basket of best subjects from the forthcoming year. Brain drain being a major concern, Irani said it was firmly on the government’s radar. Reflecting on providing open-source information through the ‘Know Your College’ portal, she said parents could make informed choice of every institution linked to the UGC and AICTE by accessing it.