Ministry-wise Initiatives 2019: Ministry of Human Resource & Development

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Prelims: Current events of national and international importance.
Mains: GS II-

  • Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

About the Ministry:
  • The Ministry is held currently by Ramesh Pokhriyal and is divided into two departments:
  • The Ministry of Human Resource Development, formerly Ministry of Education (until 25 September 1985), is responsible for the development of human resources in India.
    • The Department of School Education and Literacy:
      • which deals with primary, secondary and higher secondary education, adult education and literacy
    • Department of Higher Education:
      • Which deals with university education, technical education, scholarship etc. The erstwhile Ministry of Education now functions under these two departments, as of 26 September 1985.
Department of School Education and Literacy:
  • The Department of School Education and Literacy is responsible for the development of school education and literacy in the country.
  • It works on “universalization of education” and for the cultivation of higher standards for citizenship among the youth of India.
Department of Higher Education:
  • The Department of Higher Education is in charge of secondary and post-secondary education.
  • The department is empowered to grant deemed university status to educational institutions on the advice of the University Grants Commission (UGC) of India, under Section 3 of the University Grants Commission (UGC) Act, 1956.
  • The Department of Higher Education takes care of one of the largest higher education systems of the world, just after the United States and China.
  • The technical education system in the country can be broadly classified into three categories – Central Government funded institutions, State Government/State-funded institutions & Self-financed institutions.

The 122 Centrally funded institution of technical and science education are as under: List of CFTIs (Centrally Funded Technical Institutions): IIITs (4 – Allahabad, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Kancheepuram), IITs (16), IIMs (13), IISc, IISER (5), NITs (30), NITTTRs (4), and 9 others (SPA, ISMU, NERIST, SLIET, IIEST, NITIE & NIFFT, CIT)[5]


Various Initiatives and scheme ofMinistry of Human Resource Development :

Department of School Education and Literacy:

  • Pradhan Mantri Innovative Learning Program (DHRUV)
  • NISHTHA – National Initiative for School Heads’ and Teachers’ Holistic Advancement
  • Education Quality Upgradation and Inclusion Programme (EQUIP)
  • (Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds)SWAYAM 2.0
  • SWAYAM PRABHA- DTH Educational Channels
  • Deeksharambh
  • Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat (EBSB)
  • Shagun: Integrated Online Junction for School Education
  • Unified District Information System for Education Plus (UDISE+)
  • Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing (DIKSHA) 2.0
  • Operation Digital Board (ODB)
  • Scheme for Financial Assistance for Appointment of Language Teachers (ALT)
  • Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan
  • Mid-Day Meal (MDM)
  • School Nutrition Gardens (SNG)
  • Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya
  • Fit India Campaign
  • Scheme for Providing Quality Education in Madrasas (SPQEM)

Department of Higher Education:

  • Institution of Eminence (IoE)
  • Scheme for Transformational and Advanced Research in Sciences (STARS)
  • Higher Education Financing Agency
  • Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA)
  • Impactful Policy Research in Social Science (IMPRESS)
  • Scheme for Higher Education Youth in Apprenticeship and Skills (SHREYAS)
  • Study in India Programme
  • Leadership for Academicians Program (LEAP)
  • Annual Refresher Programme In Teaching (ARPIT)


Department of School Education and Literacy Schemes And Initiatives:


Pradhan Mantri Innovative Learning Program (DHRUV):
  • Context:
    • Recently, the Union Human Resource Development Minister has launched the Pradhan Mantri Innovative Learning Programme named ‘DHRUV’.
  • Key features:
    • The objective of the Pradhan Mantri Innovative Learning Programme is to encourage talented students to realize their full potential and henceforth, contribute to society.
    • The program is named DHRUV after the Pole Star with the same name.
    • Every student selected under this programme will be called as ‘Dhruv Tara’.
    • The students will thus both shine through their achievements and light a path for others to follow.
    • The programme will cover two areas namely, Science and Performing Arts.
    • Overall 60 students will be selected (30 from each area) from across the country.
    • The students will be broadly from classes 9 to 12 from all schools including government and private.

NISHTHA – National Initiative for School Heads’ and Teachers’ Holistic Advancement:
  • About:
    • NISHTHA is the largest teachers’ training program of its kind in the world.
  • Objective:
    • To motivate and equip teachers to encourage and foster critical thinking in students.
    • Teachers will get awareness and develop their skills on various aspects related to:
      • Learning Outcomes,
      • Competency-Based Learning and Testing,
      • Learner-centered Pedagogy,
      • School Safety and Security,
      • Personal-social qualities,
      • Inclusive Education,
      • ICT in teaching-learning including Artificial Intelligence,
      • Health and well-being including yoga,
      • Initiatives in School Education including library, eco-club, youth club, kitchen garden,
      • School Leadership qualities,
      • Environmental Concerns,
      • Pre-school, Pre-vocational Education and School-Based assessment.
  • Aim:
    • To build the capacities of around 42 lakh participants,
    • Covering all teachers and heads of schools at the elementary level in all Government schools,
    • Faculty members of State Councils of Educational Research and Training (SCERTs) and District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs),
    • Block Resource Coordinators and Cluster Resource Coordinators in all States and UTs.
  • Implementation:
    • Training will be conducted directly by 33120 Key Resource Persons (KRPs) and State Resource Persons (SRP) identified by the State and UTs, who will, in turn, be trained by 120 National Resource Persons identified from National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA), etc.
    • States and UTs have an option to contextualize the training modules and use their own material and resource persons also, keeping in view the core topics and expected outcomes of NISHTHA.
    • The prominent features of the programme are activity-based modules including in-built continuous feedback mechanism, online monitoring and support system, training need and impact analysis (Pre and Post training).
    • A Mobile App and Learning Management System (LMS) based on MOODLE (Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment) have been developed by NCERT.
    • LMS will be used for registration of Resource Persons and Teachers, dissemination of resources, training gap and impact analysis, monitoring, mentoring and measuring the progress online.

Education Quality Upgradation and Inclusion Programme (EQUIP):
  • About:
    • The Higher Education Department of the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development has finalized and released a 5-year Vision Plan titled Education Quality Upgradation and Inclusion Programme (EQUIP).
  • Key features:
    • EQUIP was crafted by ten committees led by experts within the government.
  • Aims:
    • EQUIP is meant to bridge the gap between policy and implementation.
    • The project is made to bring transformation in the higher education system in the upcoming 5 years.
  • Goals set for Higher Education Sector by Expert Group are:
    • Doubling Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) and resolving geographically and socially skewed access to higher education institutions in India.
    • Promoting India as a global study destination.
    • Upgrade Quality of Education to global standards.
    • Positioning a minimum of 50 Indian institutions among Top-1000 Global Universities.
    • Promote Research & Innovation ecosystems for positioning India in Top-3 countries globally in matters of knowledge creation.
    • Introducing governance reforms in higher education for well-administered campuses.
    • Accreditation of all institutions for assurance of quality.
    • Doubling employability of students passing out of higher education.
    • Harnessing education technology for expanding reach and improving pedagogy (method and practice of teaching).
    • Achieving a quantum increase in investment in higher education.
(Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds)SWAYAM 2.0:
  • About:
    • SWAYAM 2.0, SWAYAM seeks to bridge the digital divide for students who have hitherto remained untouched by the digital revolution and have not been able to join the mainstream of the knowledge economy.
  • Features:
    • SWAYAM (Study Webs of Active –Learning for Young Aspiring Minds) programme SWAYAM aims to bridge the digital divide for students (especially most disadvantaged
    • who have hitherto remained untouched by the digital revolution and have not been able to join the mainstream of the knowledge economy.
    • It is an indigenous developed IT platform that facilitates hosting of all the courses, taught in classrooms from 9th grade till post-graduation.
    • Courses hosted by it can be accessed by anyone, anywhere at any time at free of cost. Its objective is to achieve the three cardinal principles of education policy – access, equity, and quality.
    • The interactive courses on this platform are prepared by the best teachers in the country.
    • Objectives of SWAYAM 2.0:
      • Enhanced features for faculty and students
      • Higher Scalability and Performance
      • Improved assessment and evaluation
      • Internationalization
      • Translation to Indian languages
      • Local chapters and mentors
      • Offering of Online Degrees
SWAYAM PRABHA- DTH Educational Channels:
  • About:
    • Project for telecasting high-quality educational programs through 32 DTH channels on a 24×7 basis to reach out to students/learners of India with wide reach and minimal cost.
  • Key features:
    • It aims to support those students who do not have good learning options like lack of teacher or internet etc. It also aims to provide dedicated channels ‘IITPAL’ to assist the students of 11 and 12 standards aspiring to join premier educational institutions in the country.
    • SWAYAM Prabha project is managed by Chief Coordinator from IIT Madras.
    • All 32 channels are telecasting high-quality curriculum mapped educational contents on a 24×7 basis.
    • Every day, there will be new content for at least (4) hours which would be repeated 5 more times in a day.
    • All telecasted videos are available on YouTube as archival. 
    • Total telecasted videos are around 60,000.
    • On YouTube there are 4,12,403 subscribers and 2,05,70,482 views.
  • About:
    • The Union Minister of Human Resource Development (HRD) released UGC Guide to Student Induction Programme – “Deeksharambh”.
    • Deeksharambh is a guide to Student Induction Programme. 
  • Prepared by:
    • University Grants Commission (UGC). 
  • Objectives: 
    • To help new students adjust and feel comfortable in the new environment, 
    • Inculcate in them the ethos and culture of the institution, 
    • Help them build bonds with other students and faculty members, and 
    • Expose them to a sense of larger purpose and self-exploration. 
  • Features: 
    • The Student Induction Programme engages with the new students as soon as they come into the institution, before regular classes start. 
    • At the start of the induction, the incumbents learn about the institutional policies, processes, practices, culture, and values, and their mentor groups are formed. 
  • About:
    • The Union Minister for Human Resource Development launched the University Grants Commission (UGC) scheme ‘Paramarsh’.
  • Objective:
    • To mentor National Accreditation and Assessment Council (NAAC) accreditation aspirant institutions for promoting quality assurance in higher education.
  • Implementation:
    • The scheme will be operationalized through a “Hub & Spoke” model wherein the Mentor Institution, called the “Hub” is centralized and will have the responsibility of guiding the Mentee institution through the secondary branches the “Spoke” i.e. through the services provided to the mentee for self-improvement.
    • This will allow centralized control over operational efficiency, resource utilization to attain the overall development of the mentee institution.
  • Target:
    • The scheme will target 1000 Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) for mentoring with a specific focus on quality as enumerated in the UGC “Quality Mandate”.
  • Expected Benefits:
    • It will lead to enhancement of overall quality of the mentee institutions and enhance its profile as a result of improved quality of research, teaching and learning methodologies.
    • It will help the mentee institution in getting NAAC accreditation.
    • It will also facilitate the sharing of knowledge, information, and opportunities for research collaboration and faculty development in Mentee Institutions.
    • It will help in providing quality education to the 3.6 crore students who are enrolling in Indian Higher Education system at present.
National Accreditation and Assessment Council:
  • It was established in the year 1994 as an autonomous institution of the UGC with its Headquarter in Bengaluru.
  • The mandate of NAAC is to make quality assurance an integral part of the functioning of HEIs.
  • It makes arrangement for periodic assessment and accreditation of institutions of higher education or units thereof, or specific academic programmes or projects.
University Grants Commission:
  • The University Grants Commission (UGC) came into existence in 1953 and became a statutory organization of the Government of India by an Act of Parliament in 1956, for the coordination, determination and maintenance of standards of teaching, examination and research in university education.
  • The head office of the UGC is located in New Delhi.


Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat (EBSB):
  • Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat was announced on the occasion of the 140th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on 31st October (Ekta Divas).
  • Through this innovative measure, the knowledge of the culture, traditions, and practices of different states & UTs will lead to an enhanced understanding and bonding between the states, thereby strengthening the unity and integrity of India.
Shagun: Integrated Online Junction for School Education:
  • About:
    • The Union Human Resource Development Minister has launched one of the world's largest Integrated Online Junction for School Education ‘Shagun’.
    • It is an online junction of different websites and portals into a single platform to enhance the accessibility of information relating to schools.
    • It will ensure a holistic approach to transforming the education sector.
  • Features:
    • It is an initiative to improve the school education system by creating a junction for all online portals and websites relating to various activities of the Department of School Education and Literacy in the Government of India and all States and Union Territories.
    • The term ‘Shagun’ is coined from two different words- ‘Shala’ meaning Schools and ‘Gunvatta’ meaning Quality.
    • The portal seeks to provide a very robust feedback mechanism which will increase public participation and will ensure accountability and transparency.
    • It also provides vital information relating to the availability of nearby schools, navigable distance vis-a-vis aerial distance between schools.

Integrated National School Education Treasury:

  • Union Human Resource Development Minister has also announced the setting up of the Integrated National School Education Treasury (INSET).
  • It will envisage a fully integrated, accessible and seamless information network for all parameters relating to the students, teachers, and schools in the country.
  • The main focus of INSET will be on the following areas:
  • Reinforcing and cleaning the data of the Integrated Online Junction through feedback from Stakeholders.
  • Ensuring full interoperability among the websites, portals, and applications which are already hosted in the junction.
  • Creating high-quality e-contents, including quizzes and puzzles to enhance learning and also for teachers in aiding classroom transactions.
  • Using artificial intelligence and deep machine learning in a variety of ways to enhance the quality of school education including for designing evidence-based inventions.


Unified District Information System for Education Plus (UDISE+):
  • About:
    • Unified District Information on School Education (UDISE) initiated in 2012-13 integrating DISE for elementary education and SEMIS for secondary education is one of the largest Management Information Systems on School Education covering more than 1.5 million schools, 8.5 million teachers and 250 million children.
  • UDISE+:
    • UDISE+ (UDISE plus) is an updated and improved version of UDISE. Under this entire system will be online and will gradually move towards collecting data in real-time.
    • Data from 2018-19 will be collected through this software.
  • Features of UDISE+:
    • Data capture
  • Online uploading of data:
    • To enable real-time exchange of information, online uploading of UDISE+ data has been made mandatory from 2018-19.
    • Traceability and audit trail of officials uploading the data 
    • Separate DCFs for each category of schools
    • Rationalization of DCF
    • Real-time collection of data
    • Control and Supervision: UDISE+ is now hosted on the server of the National Informatics Centre.
Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing (DIKSHA) 2.0:
  • Context:
    • Diksha Portal has been launched to provide a digital platform for teachers to learn and train themselves and connect with the teacher community.
  • About:
    • DIKSHA Portal is an initiative of HRD ministry for providing a digital platform to teachers to make their lifestyle more digital.
    • Diksha portal launched with a tagline “National Digital Infrastructures for Our Teacher Our Teacher”.
    • The portal will consist of the whole teacher’s life cycle – from the time they were enrolled as student teachers in Teacher Education Institutes (TEIs) to after they retire as teachers.
    • Teachers can learn and train themselves for which assessment resources will be available. The complete work and accomplishment of teachers in Teacher’ educational institutes will be recorded from start to endpoint till their retirement.
Operation Digital Board (ODB):
  • Context:
    • Union Human Resource Development Ministry has launched Operation Digital Board to leverage technology in order to boost quality education in the country.
  • About Operation Digital Board:
    • ODB aims at converting a classroom into a digital classroom and provide e-resources at any time and at any place to students.
    • The digital board will be introduced all over the country in government and government-aided schools from class 9th onwards as well as in higher education institutions.
    • The Operation Digital Board (ODB) will be implemented in the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) by the University Grants Commission (UGC).
Scheme for Financial Assistance for Appointment of Language Teachers (ALT):
  • Context:
    • Under its Three Language Formula, to encourage usage of Hindi, Urdu and one Modern Indian language, other than English among school-going children, the Government of India introduced the scheme of Financial Assistance for Appointment of Language Teachers in various government schools of the country.
  • About Operation Digital Board:
    • This scheme aims at fulfilling the requirement of language teachers in the government schools and also encourages propagation of the national language as well as Urdu and other Modern Indian languages, like Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, and Telugu in the country.
    • This Scheme has three parts. It provides for:
      • Hindi Teachers in the non- Hindi speaking States
      • Urdu Teachers in the schools of those districts that have a significant minority population
      • Providing of Modern Indian Language teachers to teach a third language in those schools of the Hindi speaking States/UTs that demand them
Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan:
  • Key Provisions:
    • Samagra Shiksha is an integrated scheme for school education extending from pre-school to class XII to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education at all levels of school education.
    • It subsumes the three Schemes of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) and Teacher Education (TE).
    • The scheme treats school education holistically as a continuum from Pre-school to Class 12.
    • The main emphasis of the Scheme is on improving the quality of school education by focussing on the two T’s – Teacher and Technology.
  • Vision:
    • The vision of the Scheme is to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education from pre-school to senior secondary stage in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) for Education.
    • SDG-4.1: Aims to ensure that all boys and girls complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes.
    • SDG 4.5: Aims to eliminate gender disparities in education and ensure equal access to all levels of education.
    • The scheme mainly aims to support States in the implementation of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009.
    • Right to Education Act (RTE) is a fundamental right under Article 21-A of the Constitution of India.
  • Funding Pattern:
    • The Scheme is being implemented as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme.
    • The fund sharing pattern for the scheme between Centre and States is at present in the ratio of 90:10 for the North-Eastern States and the Himalayan States and 60:40 for all other States and Union Territories with Legislature.
    • It is 100% centrally sponsored for Union Territories without Legislature.
    • The scheme also proposes to give flexibility to the States and UTs to plan and prioritize their interventions within the scheme norms and the overall resource envelope available to them.
  • Some of the major features include:
    • Quality Education:
      • Capacity building of teachers in the online and offline mode as well as the strengthening of Teacher Education Institutions SCERT/DIET/BRC/CRC/CTEs/IASEs.
    • Holistic Approach:
      • Treat school education holistically as a continuum from Pre-school to Class 12
    • Digital Education:
      • Support ‘Operation Digital Board’ in all secondary schools over a period of 5 years, which will revolutionize education- easy to understand, technology-based learning classrooms will become flipped classrooms.
    • Swachhata Initiatives:
      • Specific provision for Swachhta activities – support ‘Swachh Vidyalaya’
    • Girls Education:
      • Upgradation of Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBY) from Class 6-8 to Class 6-12. And Stipend for CWSN girls to be provided from Classes I to XII. – earlier only IX to XII.
    • Skill Enhancement:
      • Vocational education which was limited to Class 9-12, to be started from class 6 as integrated with the curriculum and to be made more practical and industry oriented.
    • Physical Education:
      • Every school will receive sports equipments under the scheme to inculcate and emphasize the relevance of sports in the school curriculum
    • Promoting Regional Balances:
      • Preference to Educationally Backward Blocks (EBBs), LWEs, Special Focus Districts (SFDs), Border areas and the 115 aspirational districts identified by Niti Aayog.

Mid-Day Meal (MDM):
  • Context:
    • The Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry has received 35 complaints from 15 States and Union Territories (UTs) regarding substandard food quality in mid-day meals in the past three years.
  • About:
    • The Midday Meal Scheme comes under the HRD Ministry’s Department of School Education and Literacy.
    • Launched in the year 1995 as a centrally sponsored scheme, it provides that every child within the age group of six to fourteen years studying in classes I to VIII who enrolls and attends the school shall be provided hot cooked meal having nutritional standards of 450 calories and 12 gm of protein for primary (I- V class) and 700 calories and 20 gm protein for upper primary (VI-VIII class), free of charge every day except on school holidays.
    • The scheme covers all government and government-aided schools and also Madarsa and Maqtabs supported under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA).
    • The last Mid Day Meal Rules were notified in the year 2015 under the National Food Security Act, 2013 but amendments have been made from time to time.
  • The rules provide that:
    • The place of serving meals to the children shall be school only.
    • The meal shall be prepared in accordance with the Mid Day Meal guidelines issued by the Central Government from time to time.
    • The latest guidelines provide instructions on procuring AGMARK quality items for preparation of midday meals, tasting of meals by two or three adult members of the school management committee, including at least one teacher, before serving to children.
    • If the Mid-Day Meal is not provided in school on any school day due to non-availability of food grains or any other reason, the State Government shall pay food security allowance by the 15th of the succeeding month.
    • The School Management Committee mandated under the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 shall also monitor implementation of the Mid-day meal Scheme.
    • The State Steering-cum Monitoring Committee (SSMC) shall oversee the implementation of the scheme including the establishment of a mechanism for maintenance of nutritional standards and quality of meals.
    • The government provides financial support to the eligible schools/implementing agencies in the form of free food grains and by bearing cooking-related costs.

School Nutrition Gardens (SNG):
  • Objectives of school nutrition garden:
    • To help in addressing malnutrition & micronutrient deficiencies by consumption of freshly grown vegetables.
    • To give children first-hand experience with nature and gardening.
    • To enhance the knowledge of children regarding the nutritional aspects of vegetables and the harmful effects of junk food.
  • School Nutrition Gardens and climate change:
    • There is overwhelming evidence that human activities are affecting the climate and this has implications for human health.
    • Plants, trees, vegetable and fruits play an important role in reducing the harmful effects of climate change. Deforestation is one of the major reasons why the quality of air has degraded to an all-time low.
    • The loss of trees and other vegetation can cause climate change, desertification, soil erosion, fewer crops, flooding, increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, etc.
  • Set up Eco-Clubs in all Schools:
    • The Eco Clubs established in the School shall be headed by the Principal/Headmaster/Head Teacher.
    • Preferably, two teachers per school and one class in charge will assist in carrying out activities.
    • All the Students, teachers, and parents of the children may be members of Eco Clubs. The Students Coordinator, in each class, may encourage the participation of students.
    • The head of the Eco-Club shall be responsible for the execution of the activities of the Club with the help of another Teacher.
    • Plantation activities may be carried out under Eco-Club activities.
Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya:
  • Ministry/Department:
    • Department of School Education & Literacy, Ministry of Human Resource Development
  • Objective:
    • To provide educational facilities for girls belonging to SC, ST, OBC, minority communities and families below the poverty line in Educationally Backward Blocks
  • Scheme:
    • To setup residential upper primary schools for girls from SC, ST, OBC, Minority and BPL girls in the educationally backward blocks.
    • Free boarding/lodging, books, stationery and uniforms are being provided to the children in these schools.
  • Factual Information:
    • Started in 2004
    • Now merged in SSA
Fit India Campaign:
  • Objective:
    • The Fit India movement is aimed at encouraging people to inculcate physical activity and sports in their day to day life.
  • Scheme:
    • PM Modi said many lifestyle diseases like diabetes, hypertension are increasing in India and small lifestyle changes can prevent these diseases. He asserted that the Fit India Movement is to inspire the country for these changes.
    • Sports have a direct relation to fitness but the ‘Fit India Movement’ aims to go beyond fitness. Fitness is not just a word but an essential pillar to a healthy and prosperous life.
    • In his words, “Fitness is zero percent investment with infinite returns.”
Scheme for Providing Quality Education in Madrasas (SPQEM):
  • Context:
    • Scheme to Provide Quality Education in Madrasas (SPQEM)
    • SPQEM seeks to bring about qualitative improvement in Madrasas to enable Muslim children to attain standards of the national education system in formal education subjects.
  • The salient features of SPQEM scheme are :
    • To strengthen capacities in Madrasas for teaching of the formal curriculum subjects like Science, Mathematics, Language, Social Studies etc. through enhanced payment of teacher honorarium.
    • Training of such teachers every two years in new pedagogical practices.
    • Providing Science labs, Computer labs with annual maintenance costs in the secondary and higher secondary stage madrasas.
    • Provision of Science/Mathematics kits in primary/upper primary level madrassas.
    • Strengthening of libraries/book banks and providing teaching-learning materials at all levels of madrasas.


Department of Higher Education:


Institution of Eminence (IoE):
  • About:
    • 10 Private institutions are BITS Pilani, MAHE Karnataka, Jio Institute, Amrita Vishwavidyapeetham, Tamil Nadu, Vellore Institute of Technology, Tamil Nadu, Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi, Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology, Odisha, O.P. Jindal Global University, Haryana, Bharti Institute, Satya Bharti Foundation, Mohali, Shiv Nadar University, Uttar Pradesh.
    • Each Public institute (IoE) will be eligible to receive Rs. 1000 crore during the next 5 years.
    • 10 Public Institutions are IISc Bangalore, IIT Delhi, IIT Bombay, IIT Madras, IIT Kharagpur,  University of Hyderabad, Banaras Hindu University, University of Delhi, Jadavpur University & Anna University.
  • Recommendation:
    • Nominations have been made on the recommendations of the Empowered Expert Committee (EEC) headed by N Gopalaswami.
    • Empowered Expert Committee constituted by the University Grants Commission (UGC) was entrusted to conduct the appraisal of applications for shortlisting 20 Institutions of Eminence (10 public and 10 private institutions).
  • Objectives:
    • Excellence and Innovation:
      • To provide for higher education leading to excellence and innovations in such branches of knowledge as may be deemed fit at post-graduate, graduate and research degree levels.
    • Specialization:
      • To engage in areas of specialization to make distinctive contributions to the objectives of the university education system.
    • Global Rating: T
      • o aim to be rated internationally for its teaching and research as a top hundred Institution in the world over time.
    • Quality teaching and Research:
      • To provide for high-quality teaching and research and for the advancement of knowledge and its dissemination
  • Criteria:
    • Global/National Ranking: Only those institutions which have appeared in any of the global/national ranks shall be recommended for the IoE status.
    • Public institutions are assessed on the basis of QS-2020 world rankings, in case of a tie QS- 2019 rankings are used.
    • Private institutions are assessed on the basis of their ranking in the QS India or National Institution Ranking Framework (NIRF), the NIRF ranking being used as a tie-breaker.
    • Any institution that did not appear in any rankings (QS-2019, QS-2020 and NIRF) is excluded completely from the list of IOE tag.
  • Greenfield Proposals:
    • Only after exhausting the above criterion, if any slot remains vacant, consideration shall be given to yet to be established (Greenfield) proposals.
    • The term greenfield project generally refers to the initiation of a project without the need to consider any prior work.
    • The Greenfield Institutions would get 3 year period to establish and operationalize the institution, and thereafter, EEC will consider giving IoE status to such institutions.
    • 10 institutions in the public sector and 10 institutions in the private sector have to be declared as IoE. 
Scheme for Transformational and Advanced Research in Sciences (STARS):
  • About:
    • Scheme for Transformational and Advanced Research in Sciences (STARS) for promoting translational, India-centric research in Sciences, to be implemented and managed by Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore.
  • With the key objective of supporting socially relevant research, the following 6 basic thrust areas have been identified:
    • Physics, Chemistry, Biological Sciences, Nanosciences, Data Sciences & Mathematics, and Earth Sciences.
  • Objectives:
    • To fund science projects which are translational, i.e. which have direct implications for the progress of the country, through a competitive process in an open and transparent manner.
    • Basic thrust would be to take stock of an existing problem and work backward towards conducting research for a solution.
    • Promoting an inter-disciplinary & translational approach in research for synergy, de-duplication and greater comprehensiveness & relevance of Research activities.
    • Orient science towards addressing needs & issues of the country in key sectors like health, agriculture, energy, environment, security, etc.
    • Attain demonstrable international benchmarks in scientific research
Higher Education Financing Agency:
  • Objective:
    • Established to give a major push for the creation of high-quality infrastructure in premier educational institutions.
  • About HEFA:
    • The HEFA will be jointly promoted by the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and identified Promoter.
    • HEFA will have an authorized capital of 2,000 crore rupees and the government equity would be 1,000 crore rupees
    • It will be formed as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) within a PSU Bank or the Government-owned-NBFC (Promoter).
    • It would leverage the equity to raise up to Rs. 20,000 crore for funding infrastructure and development projects of world-class Labs in IIMs/IITs/NITs and such other institutions.
    • The HEFA will also mobilize CSR funds from Corporates/PSUs which will, in turn, be released for promoting research and innovation in these institutions on grant basis
    • The principal portion of the loan will be repaid through the ‘internal accruals’ of the institutions earned through the fee receipts, research earnings, etc.
    • All the Centrally Funded Higher Educational Institutions will be eligible to join as members of the HEFA
    • For joining as members, the educational institution must agree to escrow a specific amount from their internal accruals for a period of 10 years to the HEFA.
    • This escrow will secure the future flows that would be securitized by the HEFA for mobilizing the funds from the market.
    • Each member institution would be eligible for a credit limit based on the amount agreed to be escrowed from the internal accruals as decided by HEFA.

Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA):
  • About RUSA:
    • Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS), launched in 2013 aims at providing strategic funding to eligible state higher educational institutions.
  • Funding:
    • The central funding (in the ratio of 60:40 for general category States, 90:10 for special category states and 100% for union territories) would be norm based and outcome dependent.
    • The funding would flow from the central ministry through the state governments/union territories to the State Higher Education Councils before reaching the identified institutions.
    • The funding to states would be made on the basis of critical appraisal of State Higher Education Plans, which would describe each state’s strategy to address issues of equity, access, and excellence in higher education.
  • Objectives:
    • The key objectives of RUSA are to improve access, equity and quality in higher education through planned development of higher education at the state level.
    • Objectives include creating new academic institutions, expanding and upgrading the existing ones, developing institutions that are self-reliant in terms of quality education, professionally managed, and characterized by greater inclination towards research and provide students with education that is relevant to them as well the nation as a whole.
  • Components:
    • RUSA would create new universities through upgradation of existing autonomous colleges and conversion of colleges in a cluster.
    • It would create new model degree colleges, new professional colleges and provide infrastructural support to universities and colleges.
    • Faculty recruitment support, faculty improvements programs and leadership development of educational administrators are also an important part of the scheme.
    • In order to enhance skill development, the existing central scheme of Polytechnics has been subsumed within RUSA. A separate component to synergize vocational education with higher education has also been included in RUSA.
    • Besides these, RUSA also supports reforming, restructuring and building the capacity of institutions in the participating state.
    • Rs.5871.82 crore including Rs. 801.82 crore during the FY 2019-20 has been released to State Governments.

Impactful Policy Research in Social Science (IMPRESS):
  • About:
    • To support social science research in the higher educational institutions and to enable research to guide policymaking.
    • The objective of this scheme is to identify and fund research proposals in social sciences with maximum impact on the governance and society.
    • The government support would include a total funding of Rs.414 crore on 1500 projects for policy themes in the social sciences at the cost of Rs. 20-25 Lakh per project.
  • Thematic Areas:
    • Under the scheme, support is to be provided for projects on 11 broad thematic areas as follows:
      • State and Democracy
      • Urban transformation,
      • Media, Culture and Society
      • Employment, Skills and Rural transformation
      • Governance, Innovation and Public Policy
      • Growth, Macro-trade and Economic Policy
      • Agriculture and Rural Development
      • Health and Environment
      • Science and Education
      • Social Media and Technology
      • Politics, Law and Economics.
  • Cost:
    • The Sub-Theme areas will be decided on the basis of Expert Groups’ advice before notifying the scheme and calling for applications.
    • To ensure selection of projects through a transparent, competitive process on online mode.
    • To provide opportunities for social science researchers in any institution in the country, including all Universities (Central and State), private institutions.
    • ICSSR funded/recognized research institutes will also be eligible to submit research proposals on the given themes and sub-themes.
  • Nodal Agency:
    • The Indian Council of Social Science and Research (ICSSR) will be the project implementing agency.
  • Funding:
    • A total cost of Rs.414 Crore for implementation up to 31.3.2021. The Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), New Delhi is the project implementing agency.
    • 8. Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC)
    • 394 proposals totaling Rs. 251.09 Crores have been approved in the first call for proposals.
    • Rs. 80 crores have been released to IIT Kharagpur for FY 2019-20 under SPARC.

Scheme for Higher Education Youth in Apprenticeship and Skills (SHREYAS):
  • About:
    • A new  Scheme for Higher Education Youth in Apprenticeship and Skills (SHREYAS) was launched for providing industry apprenticeship opportunities to the general graduates exiting in April 2019 through the National Apprenticeship Promotional Scheme (NAPS).
    • The program aims to enhance the employability of Indian youth by providing ‘on the job work exposure’ and earning of stipend.
  • Aim:
    • To enhance the employability of Indian youth by providing ‘on the job work exposure’ and earning of stipend.
  • Target:
    • In all the tracks together, it is proposed to cover 50 lakh students by 2022.
  • Following are the objectives of SHREYAS:
    • To improve the employability of students by introducing employment relevance into the learning process of the higher education system.
    • To forge a close functional link between education and industry/service sectors on a sustainable basis.
    • To provide skills which are in demand, to the students in a dynamic manner.
    • To establish an ‘earn while you learn’ system into higher education.
    • To help business/industry in securing good quality manpower.
    • To link student community with employment facilitating efforts of the Government.
  • Operation of the Scheme:
    • The primary scheme will be operated in conjunction with the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS) which provides for placing of apprentices upto 10% of the total workforce in every business/industry.
    • The scheme will be implemented by the Sector Skill Councils (SSCs), initially the Banking Finance Insurance Services (BFSI), Retail, Health care, Telecom, Logistics, Media, Management services, ITeS and Apparel. More sectors would be added over time with emerging apprenticeship demand and curriculum adjustments.
Study in India Programme:
  • Aim:
    • It aims at boosting the country’s share of international students and subsequently, improve global reputation and rankings of Indian educational institutions.
  • Program:
    • The program will provide meritorious foreign students fee waivers and scholarships.
    • It will target students from 30 countries, primarily in Asia and Africa, including Nepal, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Malaysia, Thailand, Egypt,  Iran, Kuwait, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Rwanda, among others.
    • The government will offer a complete fee waiver to the top 25% meritorious applicants, 50% fee waiver to the next 25% applicants and 25% waiver to the next 25% foreign students.
    • The proposed fee waiver and scholarship will be decided by institute concerned based on predefined structure.
    • The institutes concerned will bear expenditure on fee waiver based on cross-subsidization or through its existing funding.
    • The seats for foreign students will not affect a number of seats which are meant for Indian students in any educational institute.
  • Objectives:
    • Encourage more foreign students to choose India as a destination for higher education.
    • Double India’s market share of global education exports from less than 1% to 2%.
    • Improve the global ranking of Indian educational institutes.
Leadership for Academicians Program (LEAP):
  • About:
    • It is a flagship leadership development training program (2 weeks domestic and 1-week foreign training) for second level academic functionaries in public-funded higher education institutions.
  • Objective:
    • The main objective is to prepare second tier academic heads that are potentially likely to assume leadership roles in the future.
    • The program would provide senior faculty, with high academic credentials, the required leadership and managerial skills including skills of problem-solving, handling stress, team building work, conflict management, developing communication skills and understanding.
    • The program will provide training for coping with the complexity and challenges of governance in higher education institutions, financial & general administration.
  • Implementation:
    • The implementation will be through 15 National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) top-ranked Indian institutions.
    • The foreign universities identified for the training are also within the top 100 in the world global rankings.

National Institutional Ranking Framework :

  • This framework under the Ministry of Human Resources outlines a methodology to rank institutions across the country.
  • It uses broad parameters for ranking various universities and institutions of India.
  • The parameters broadly cover “Teaching, Learning and Resources,” “Research and Professional Practices,” “Graduation Outcomes,” “Outreach and Inclusivity,” and “Perception.”


Annual Refresher Programme In Teaching (ARPIT):
  • About:
    • It is a major and unique initiative of online professional development of 15 lakh higher education faculty using the Massive Open Online Courses platform SWAYAM.
    • It is meant for all in-service teachers and faculties in order to enhance their career prospects. The refresher course will make them acquaint with new subjects and learning processes.
  • About the refresher courses:
    • The courses cover a diverse range of topics such as Indian culture & Heritage Studies, Pedagogical Innovations & Research Methodology, Latest Trends in Pedagogy and Assessment, Personal-Emotional Development and Counselling, Neural Networks, etc.
    • It is a 40-hour module with 20 hours of video content and 20 hours of non-video content.
    • They are offered in a highly flexible format and can be done at one’s own pace and time.
    • All faculties who have successfully completed the online refresher course will be certified.
  • Implementation:
    • For implementing, 75 discipline-specific institutions have been identified and notified as National Resource Centres (NRCs) in the first phase.
    • These institutions are tasked to prepare online training material with a focus on the latest developments in the discipline, new & emerging trends, pedagogical improvements, and methodologies.
National Resource Centres (NRCs):
  • They are located in a mixed range of institutions such as:
  • Central Universities, IISc, IUCAA, IITs, IISERs, NITs
  • State Universities under the Ministry’s Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya National Mission on Teachers and Teaching
  • UGC’s Human Resource Development Centres
  • National Institutes for Technical Teachers Training

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