A Digital Ecosystem for Skilling and Livelihood, the DESH-Stack e-portal, will be launched to empower citizens to skill, reskill or upskill through online training, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Tuesday, February 1. Presenting the Budget 2022-23 in Parliament, Sitharaman also announced that a digital university will be established to provide access to world-class quality universal education to students across the country with a personalized learning experience at their doorsteps. This will be made available in different Indian languages and ICT (information and communication technology) formats. The university will be built on a networked hub-and-spoke model, with the hub building cutting-edge ICT expertise. The best public universities and institutions in the country will collaborate as a network of hubs and spokes, she shared.
The Finance Minister said programmes and partnerships with the industry will be reoriented to promote continuous skilling avenues, sustainability and employability. The National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) will be aligned with dynamic industry needs, she added.
Sitharaman announced that 750 virtual labs in science and mathematics, as well as 75 skilling e-labs for a simulated learning environment, will be set up in 2022-23 to promote critical thinking skills and to give space for creativity.
Referring to the Digital Ecosystem for Skilling and Livelihood, she said the portal aims to empower citizens to skill, reskill or upskill through online training. It will also provide application program interface (API)-based trusted skill credentials, payment and discovery layers to find relevant jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities.
The finance minister declared that start-ups will be promoted to facilitate 'Drone Shakti' through varied applications and for drone-as-a-service (DrAAS). In select industrial training institutes (ITIs), in all states, the required courses for skilling will be started.
Sitharaman said that due to the pandemic-induced closure of schools, children, particularly in the rural areas, and those from Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, and other weaker sections, have lost almost two years of formal education.
"Mostly, these are children in government schools. We recognise the need to impart supplementary teaching and to build a resilient mechanism for education delivery.
"For this purpose, 'one class-one TV channel' programme of PM eVIDYA will be expanded from 12 to 200 TV channels. This will enable all states to provide supplementary education in regional languages for classes 1-12," she said.
Moreover, high-quality e-content in all spoken languages will be developed for delivery via the internet, mobile phones, TV and radio through digital teachers, said the finance minister.
A competitive mechanism for the development of quality e-content by the teachers will be set up to empower and equip them with digital tools of teaching and facilitate better learning outcomes, she added.