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India Economic Survey 2020-21: Online schooling takes off in a big way during the pandemic

The Economic Survey 2020-21 confirmed that online schooling took off in a big way during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2020 Wave-1 (Rural), shows that the percentage of enrolled children from government and private schools owning a smartphone increased enormously from 36.5% in 2018 to 61.8% in 2020 in rural India. The survey suggests that, if utilised well, the resultant reduction in the digital divide between rural and urban, gender, age and income groups is likely to reduce inequalities in educational outcomes.

To facilitate learning during COVID-19 pandemic, the government is implementing several initiatives to make education accessible to children. The PM eVIDYA is a key initiative to unify all related to digital/online/on-air education offerings. This is aimed to enable multi-mode and equitable access to education for students and teachers. Over 92 courses have been initiated and 15 million students have enrolled under Swayam MOOCs, online courses linked to NIOS.

To mitigate the effect of COVID-19, Rs. 818.17 crore (US$ 112.3 million) has been allotted to States/UTs to promote online learning through digital initiatives. A further Rs.267.86 crore (US$ 36.7 million) has been earmarked for online teacher training under Samagra Shiksha Scheme.

PRAGYATA guidelines on digital education have been developed with a focus on online / blended / digital education for students who are presently at home due to the closure of schools. The MANODARPAN initiative for psychological support has also been included in Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.

The Economic Survey 2020-21 observes that India will have the highest population of young people in the world over the next decade. As per the National Education Policy, 2020, providing high-quality educational opportunities to this segment will determine the future of the country.

As per U-DISE 2018-19, the physical infrastructure of more than 972,000 government elementary schools has improved significantly. Over 84% have medical check-up facilities, almost 21% have computers and over two-thirds have electricity.  Ramps and other essential services are available in 74.2% with close to 96% having provisions for drinking water.

The survey states that India has attained a literacy level of almost 96% at the elementary school level. As per the National Sample Survey (NSS), the literacy rate of persons of age 7 years and above at the All India level stood at 77.7% but female literacy remained below the national average among social groups of SC, ST, OBC, including religious groups of Hinduism and Islam.

To provide quality education in schools and institutions of the government in affordable and among those who received formal training, the most opted training course is IT-ITeS among both males and females, followed by electrical-power and electronics, mechanical engineering- strategic manufacturing, automotive, office and business-related work (predominantly male).

India has been at the forefront of digital education and digitising knowledge, Recently, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) celebrated 20 years of India’s Traditional Knowledge Digital Library, the first of its kind globally that safeguards India’s Traditional Knowledge.

In 2001, CSIR jointly with Department of Indian Systems of Medicine & Homeopathy (ISM&H, now Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa Rigpa and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) developed the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL).

This initiative was a follow-up action to thwart misappropriation of India’s valuable traditional knowledge, based on learnings from the patent battles with international patent offices over the grant of intellectual property rights on turmeric, neem, basmati rice and other such ancient knowledge and practices of the country. Significantly, 239 patent applications have either been set aside/ withdrawn/ amended, based on the prior art evidence present in the TKDL database.

Over the years, TKDL has grown in strength and is now poised to expand its scope. It envisages covering information from traditional knowledge such as disease diagnostics, veterinary medicine, agricultural practices, food, cosmetics, metallurgy, etc. and Traditional Cultural Expressions (TCE) such as architecture, metallurgy, paintings, carvings, textiles, etc. Going forward, the information from digitised and published manuscripts as well as oral knowledge is also proposed to be included in the TKDL database.

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Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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As a Titanium Black Partner of Dell Technologies, CTC Global Singapore boasts unparalleled access to resources.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

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SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.