Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday unveiled several education schemes including an academic bank of credits for deposit, withdrawal and storage of academic credentials and flagged off engineering education in five regional languages.

“Options like multiple entry and exit will free students from the restrictions of staying in one class and one course. Similarly, modern technology based Academic Bank of Credit system will bring revolutionary change. This will give confidence to the student in choosing stream and subjects,” Modi said at an event to mark the first anniversary of new National Education Policy (NEP).

Prime Minister Modi also said 14 engineering colleges in eight states to start offering degrees in regional languages including Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi and Bengali. “A tool has been developed for translating engineering course in 11 languages. This emphasis on mother tongue as the medium of instruction will instil confidence in the students from poor, rural and tribal background,” said Modi.

Engineering education in Indian regional languages has been a key agenda of the education ministry and initially the ministry was pushing to do so through National Institutes of Technology (NITs) and Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) but the move could not go through in 2020 or in 2021. Following which the all India council for technical education got into the action and effected the required demand by handholding some of the engineering colleges under it.

Education minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the rolling out of several schemes will help achieve the goals set by the NEP and improve quality of education both in school and higher education.

According to UGC, ABC will perform the functions of a commercial bank with the facility for students to hold accounts. The bank will be responsible for the opening, validation and closure of these accounts and facilitate verification, accumulation, transfer and redemption of credits and degree authentication for the academic account holders. But higher education institutions having with a NAAC A Grade or top 100 institutions in the national ranking are among these who shall be eligible for registration in ABC.

“The credits earned by the students may be verified by the bank’s educational transcript. The transcript will showcase specific credits earned by the students and the level of learning outcomes they have achieved in a particular learning module, as well as for the overall course/program. These transcripts shall be recognised by all those institutions which are parts of the consortium on ABC. It will ensure seamless mobility of learners among various disciplines and institutions for earning credits through courses/combination of courses of their choice for degree/diploma/certificate/course-work,” said R.P. Tiwari, a UGC board member.

Other initiatives launched by the PM included Vidya Pravesh – a three month play based school preparation module for Grade 1 students, Indian Sign Language as a Subject at secondary level, and NISHTHA 2.0 – an integrated teacher training programme designed by NCERT. SAFAL (Structured Assessment For Analyzing Learning Levels) – a competency based assessment framework for Grades 3, 5 and 8 in CBSE schools, and a website dedicated to Artificial Intelligence.

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