Use of ICT under a comprehensive initiative called PM eVIDYA by the Ministry of Education, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, wins UNESCO recognition. The PM eVIDYA was launched on 17th May, 2020 as part of Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan by the Ministry of Education, which unifies the efforts related to digital/online/on-air education to enable multi-mode access for imparting education by using technology to minimise learning losses. The Central Institute of Educational Technology (CIET), part of National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) of the Ministry of Education (MoE), Government of India, has been awarded UNESCO’s King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize for the Use of ICT in Education for 2021.
In line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Goal 4 on Education, this award recognizes innovative approaches to leveraging new technologies to expand education and lifelong learning opportunities. The Prize was established in 2005 by the Kingdom of Bahrain to reward individuals and organizations who use cutting-edge technologies to improve learning, teaching, and overall educational performance. Every year, an international jury picks two winners. Each prize winner gets US$25,000, a medal, and a diploma during a ceremony at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, which happens this year on 24th June 2022.
With a mandate to deploy affordable technology to enhance the educational opportunities for all, to augment the quality of education and to bring equity into the educational system in the country and keeping in view the recommendations of NEP-2020, Ministry of Education through CIET, NCERT has been working tirelessly and meticulously in designing, developing and disseminating a large number of eBooks, eContent – audios, videos, interactives, augmented reality contents, Indian Sign Language (ISL) videos, audiobooks, talking books, etc.; a variety of eCourses for school and teacher education; organizing digital events like online quizzes primarily for students and teachers through leveraging Online/Offline, On-Air technology One Class-One Channel, DIKSHA, ePathshala, NISHTHA, school MOOCs on SWAYAM, etc.
PM eVidya– a comprehensive initiative that unifies all efforts and offers multi-mode access to digital/online/on-air education was launched in May 2020 to further the goals of NEP and Samagra Shiksha.
By using the 12 PM eVidya DTH TV channels and nearly 397 radio stations, including community radio stations under the PM eVidya program, the CIET was proactive in bringing learning to children’s doorsteps. These efforts were especially helpful in pandemic situations, when schools were closed, in reaching out to students. These efforts helped in arresting the learning hiatus to a large extent.