The Minister of Human Resource Development has announced the creation of a National Digital Library for Children and Adolescents, and states will be encouraged to establish physical libraries. Additionally, 3.5 million students from the tribal communities will be educated in one of the 740 Eklavya
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s unorthodox Budget speech on February 1 seemed to place an emphasis on non-traditional forms of education as a means of making up for losses experienced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, among other things.
The Finance Minister described the seven focuses of Budget 2023-24 as “the Saptarishi to guide us through the Amrit Kaal.” The seven focuses are as follows: Inclusive Development; Closing the Gap; Closing the Loop; Infrastructure and Investment; Unlocking Potential; Green Growth; Youth Power; and the Financial Sector. Priority 1, “Inclusive Development,” priority 2, “Reaching the Last Mile,” and priority 4, “Unleashing the Potential,” all contain announcements related to education.
Education for Educators
Sitharaman stated that “District Institutes of Education and Training will be developed as vibrant institutes of excellence” for the purpose of training teachers, and that these institutes would be “re-envisioned through innovative pedagogy, curriculum transaction, continuous professional development, dipstick surveys, and ICT implementation.”
Statewide Digital Collections
To ensure the “availability of quality books across geographies, languages, genres, and levels, and device agnostic accessibility,” Sitharaman announced the establishment of a National Digital Library for Children and Adolescents as part of Inclusive Development.
She noted that states will be incentivized to build panchayat and ward-level libraries and provide infrastructure to connect them to the National Digital Library’s collection. Various organisations, including the National Book Trust and the Children’s Book Trust, will be “encouraged to provide and replenish non-curricular titles in regional languages and English to these physical libraries.” “Build a culture of reading and make up for learning loss during pandemic times,” is the stated goal.