Budget 2017: Govt. To Introduce National Testing Agency For Conducting Entrance Examinations

Budget 2017: Govt. To Introduce National Testing Agency For Conducting Entrance Examinations

Budget 2017 promises certain significant steps towards improving the quality of education in the country. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today announced the measures for the education sector aimed at bringing about key transformations in the administrative infrastructure and leveraging technology to elevate the standards of both school and higher education.

Shri Arun Jaitley while presenting the General Budget 2017-18 in Parliament today stated that the government has proposed setting up of a National Testing Agency. The Agency would be an Autonomous and self-sustained premier organization and will be responsible for conducting all entrance examinations for higher educational institutions. This arrangement would take the administrative load the off the backs of CBSE, AICTE and other premier institutions and ensure their focused dedication towards academics.

The government also plans to introduce measures to reform the University Grants Commission and good quality institutions would be enabled to have greater administrative and academic autonomy. He stated that colleges will be identified based on accreditation and ranking, and given autonomous status. A revised framework will be put in place for outcome based accreditation and credit based programs.

The government has also proposed introduction of a system of measuring Annual Learning Outcomes. Emphasis would be laid on Science Education and flexibility in curriculum to promote creativity through local innovative content.

An Innovation Fund would be created for Secondary Education to encourage local innovation. The fund would ensure universal access, gender parity and quality improvement. The Finance Minister informed that it would involve ICT enabled learning transformation and the focus would be on 3479 educationally backward blocks

Employing information technology for improving educational access and impact, the government has proposed launch of SWAYAM Platform with at least 350 online courses. This would enable students to virtually attend the courses taught by the best faculty; access high quality reading resources, participate in discussion forums; take tests and earn academic grades. Access to SWAYAM would be widened by linkage with DTH channels, dedicated to education.

This article has been made possible because of financial support from Independent and Public-Spirited Media Foundation.