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DTH channels, new online courses at the heart of Centre’s education push in Covid- 19 times

Twelve Direct to Home (DTH) channels, one for every class till 12th, will start beaming lessons right into students’ homes while the country’s top 100 higher education institutes will start new online courses as the Centre unveiled a Pradhan Mantri e-Vidya plan to ensure quality education continues to be imparted in an academic year hit by the COVID-19.

Among other areas, the government is set to launch Manodarpan, a portal for emotional well being of students, while National Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Mission is in the pipeline.

Sharing details, an official said that each of the 12 new DTH channels will have six hours of content daily. However, with three repeat telecasts they will run 24 x7 hours on all week days.

Like morning assembly in schools the telecast will start with patriotic songs and end with the National Song or the National Anthem, according to the plan. In between promos on COVID-19, health, hygiene, Yoga tips, music, dance forms etc would be used.

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During the lockdown period, provisions have been made for telecast of live interactive sessions on these channels with subject and counselling experts from home through Skype.

To enhance the reach of these channels, the HRD ministry has tied up with private DTH operators like Tata Sky and Airtel also. States will also develop content according to their needs which will be aired on these channels.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman spoke about these new channels and also the launching on online courses by the top 100 institutions from May 30 onwards as part of the government’s plan to fight the COVID-19 impact on the country.

“All universities which have an accreditation A+ ie a score of 3.26 and above or all universities which are in top 100 in NIRF can automatically offer Full Online Degree courses without prior approval of UGC during this academic year 2020-21,” said Higher Education Secretary Amit Khare, when contacted.

Among other initiatives, the HRD ministry will launch a unified education portal to meet all needs of school students, use of radio to disseminate education, a portal Manodarpan, to meet the psychological needs and ensure well being of students.

Special e- content for visually and hearing impaired developed on Digitally Accessible Information System (DAISY) and in sign language on NIOS website and YouTube has also been brought in to ensure equity.

Courtesy: hindustan times

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