New Delhi, May 28 : Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' on Thursday said the Government was paying full attention to the safety of students and exams would be held amid social distancing norms.
Addressing a live webinar with the Higher Education Institutions on "Turning challenges into opportunities to combat the threat of COVID-19", where he interacted with more than 45,000 HEIs, he said the HRD Ministry had instituted a task force under UGC and NCERT to work on various guidelines with focus on the safety of the students.
As per the guidelines, the universities would begin the examinations in July and final semester examinations would be conducted. In case the situation in the zone was still not conducive for the examination, measures would be taken to find alternatives, he assured. "The calendar is not only aimed at education but also the safety of students. College exams will begin from July but during the exams, social distancing will be maintained.
We will take suggestions from the Ministry of Home Affairs on this issue." He said 470,000 people have downloaded the app for JEE Main and NEET practice. Students are also downloading Aarogya Setu App. "However, the change is here and we have to now discuss online education.
We have managed to bring our education to the Internet and on broadcast channels (Swayam Prabha). Crores of students have used Diksha and ePathshala. Swayam is now the largest platform in the world of its kind," he told the webinar. He congratulated the education system for moving forward despite hardships being faced. He said "I am proud to say that the education department has continued its work even during this difficult time. Every minute was used to ensure that students are not only educated but also motivated and encouraged throughout the process during this difficult time." Mr Pokhriyal said education has moved online, and rural areas students could be reached through TV.
"As the education system has moved online, we have made efforts to reach out to even the students in remote areas. We have made Swayam the biggest online portal in the world. For students who do not have access to the Internet are given access to education through television sets. Soon, e-Vidya will become "one portal for one nation"," he said. Turning to research, the HRD minister said a new programme on promoting research in the country would soon be started.
"PMRF is already addressing the issues. The institutes and teachers and students have all stepped up to accept the challenges presented by Covid-19. Our NITs and IITs have worked on various technologies to help the country and are commendable," he added. (UNI)