To promote higher education, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) plans to seek the help of Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). The Ministry is planning to introduce proper infrastructure so that the academics in the country get to conduct their studies in all the regional languages apart from English and Hindi. The Ministry, with IGNOU, plans to set up as many as 5,000 learning centres in the country where students get to study in the medium of their mother tongue. The learning centres will also train the students on the topic of ‘Education in Mother Tongue.’
The learning centres will also work to encourage the students in remote and rural places for taking higher education in their mother tongue. With this aim, the Ministry of Human Resource Development plans to establish 8,000 hostels for students in rural areas to bring them under higher education opportunities.
On giving admission in the hostels, the central government has made it clear that the students belonging from reserved backward categories (Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe) will be given preference.
According to a High-Ranked official of MHRD, New Delhi, there are plans to implement higher education facilities to 60 lakh students in their Mother Tongue in the next 5 years.
The decision to chalk out this plan came after the MHRD survey report investigated the issues behind Higher Education Drop-Outs. In the survey, it was revealed that the Average ‘enrollment ratio’ in Higher Education institute is 25.2% only! In simpler words, if 100 students had rolled in in the primary level of education, only about 25% of them are talking higher education. According to the Government Ministry report, this scenario is highly fuelled by the lack of infrastructure to conduct higher studies in languages except for English and Hindi. The government is trying to take the enrolment ratio up to 40% in the next 5 years. With this aim, the government has planned to conduct higher studies in regional languages and it has sought assistance from the state government as well.
The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) will play a significant role to assist the Government by rolling out ‘Open Distance Learning’ in all the regional languages and promote education in mother tongue in the University. Apart from that, the Government has planned to modernise 56 regional centres of IGNOU as well by the end of the current financial year.
Except conducting Education in Mother Tongue, the Central Government also plans to Waive the Fees of Scheduled categories of students belonging from the backward classes as suggested by an MHRD official. He has stated, “The government is proceeding with the idea of ‘Education for all.’ In the next 5 years, every remote corner of the country will have access to Higher Education. The colleges for vocational courses will also be set up for the increased employability skills of the students.”
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