Use of ICT under a comprehensive initiative called PM eVIDYA by the Department of School education, Ministry of Education, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic wins UNESCO’s recognition. The PM eVIDYA has been initiated as part of Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyaanby the Ministry of Education on 17th May, 2020, which unifies all efforts related to digital/online/on-air education to enable multi-mode access for imparting education by using technology to minimise learning losses. Central Institute of Educational Technology (CIET), a constituent unit of National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) under Department of School Education and Literacy (DOSEL), Ministry of Education (MoE), Government of India has been awarded with the UNESCO’s King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize for the Use of ICT in Education for the year 2021.
This award “recognizes innovative approaches in leveraging new technologies to expand educational and lifelong learning opportunities for all, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Goal 4 on Education. Established in 2005 with the support of the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Prize rewards individuals and organizations that are implementing outstanding projects and promoting the creative use of technologies to enhance learning, teaching and overall educational performance in the digital age. An international Jury selects two best projects annually. Each prizewinner receives US$ 25,000, a medal and a diploma during a ceremony at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris”, which this year will be held on 24th June, 2022.
With a mandate to deploy affordable technology to enhance the educational opportunities for all, to augment the quality of education and to bring equity into the educational system in the country and keeping in view the recommendations of NEP-2020, the Ministry of Education through CIET, NCERT has been working tirelessly and meticulously in designing, developing and disseminating a large number of eBooks, eContent – audios, videos, interactives, augmented reality contents, Indian Sign Language (ISL) videos, audiobooks, talking books, etc.; a variety of eCourses for school and teacher education; organizing digital events like online quizzes primarily for students and teachers through leveraging Online/Offline, On-Air technology One Class-One Channel, DIKSHA, ePathshala, NISHTHA, school MOOCs on SWAYAM, etc.
To further the objectives of NEP & Samagra Shiksha and address the aforementioned pillars, PM eVidya– a comprehensive initiative which unifies all efforts and provides multi-mode access to digital/online/on-air education was launched in May 2020.
The CIET was proactive in taking learning to the doorsteps of the children through the extensive, resilient, ethical, and coherent use of 12 PM eVidya DTH TV channels and nearly 397 radio stations, including community radio stations under PM eVidya program. These efforts were especially helpful in pandemic situations, when schools were closed, in reaching out to students. These efforts helped in arresting the learning hiatus to a large extent.