Union Human Resource Minister Smt. Smriti Irani presided over the meeting with North-East ministers for discussing the New Education Policy at Agartala. She said that the draft national education policy will be announced ‘hopefully’ by December. Senior officials of HRD ministry including Secretary (Higher Education) V.S. Oberoi, Secretary (School Education) S.C. Khuntia and senior education department officials from all the eight north-eastern States attended the meeting organized at National Institute of Technology, Agartala. Education ministers of Tripura, Manipur and Sikkim also attended the meeting.
Talking over formulating the new education policy, Smriti Irani said, “For the first time, a collaborative effort has been taken from the grass root level to formulate the national education policy. We are talking to teachers, students, district magistrates and other sections of the society to formulate the policy. Hopefully, the first draft would be published in December.”
Smriti Irani said at the meeting, “The central government will obtain views from the Gram Panchayats to national level and also from the academicians and all stakeholders about the proposed education policy.” She also asked the representatives to submit their government’s views/suggestions in writing over the proposed education policy.
Union Minister Irani urged the students to come forward for the development of country, especially the rural areas. She also insisted that national level institutions must adopt villages and educate its residents. She mentioned, “My request to each institute head is that all the students, who get involved in Unnat Bharat Abhiyan, must be awarded credits for their work done so that their entire class work is enhanced by the social impact and outcome of this particular programme.”
Focusing on the improvements, She said, “NITs in northeast states must sit together at the earliest to undertake some collaborative schemes for the all-round development of these national institutes. NIT authorities must get the experience and idea from the students too.”
A special meeting of the NITs of the North-East region would be convened soon in regard to their opinion over the proposed national education policy. Smriti Irani also instructed authorities of NIT Agartala to invite at least one foreign academician for delivering lectures. She said, “The cost of travels of the academicians would be borne by the ministry and the lectures would be video recorded for future use by the students,” adding that the student exchange program should also be initiated with other NITs of the Country.
Tapan Chakraborty, Education Minister, Tripura remarked that this meeting has been organized as a follow-up meeting of the 63rd meeting of the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) held on 19 August in New Delhi. He also emphasised that the Left Front government strongly supports the plan for a new education policy.
HRD Ministry is also planning to launch an e-library by January 2016 named as ‘Shoddha Sindhu’. Over 90,000 books and 10,000 journals would be available in the e-library. Teachers, students and researchers would have free access to the e-library.