The use of ICT as part of a comprehensive program known as PM eVIDYA through the Department of School Education, Ministry of Education (MoE) especially during the COVID-19 epidemic, earns recognition from UNESCO. Central Institute of Educational Technology (CIET) is one of the constituent units of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) under the Department of School Education and Literacy (DOSEL), MoE, Government of India has been awarded the UNESCO’s King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa Prize for the use of ICT in education for the year 2021.
This award “recognizes innovative ways of leveraging the latest technologies to enhance the opportunities for learning and education to all in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Goal 4 on Education. The award was created in 2005, with the help of Bahrain. The Kingdom of Bahrain The Prize recognizes individuals and organizations who are working on outstanding initiatives and encouraging the imaginative application of technology to improve education, learning, and overall education performance in the age of digital. An international jury picks two of the best projects every year. The winners receive an award of $25,000, as well as a medal and a certificate during an event at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris” The ceremony this year will take place on June 24, 2022.
It is believed that the PM eVIDYA has been initiated as part of the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyaanby MoE on 17 May 2020. This brings together all efforts in the field of digital, online, and on-air education to provide access to education in multiple modes through technology to reduce learning loss.
To deploy low-cost technology to improve educational opportunities for all to improve educational quality, and to ensure equity in the educational system across the country, and in mind the NEP-2020 recommendations MoE and CIET, NCERT has been involved in the development, design, and dissemination an array of eBooks, eContent, audios, and videos interactives, augmented reality content, Indian Sign Language (ISL) audiobooks, videos as well as books with a talking format, and more and a wide range of e-Courses for teacher and classroom education; and organizing digital events such as online quizzes that are primarily aimed at teachers and students using offline and online technology One Class One Channel, DIKSHA and pathshala NISHTHA MOOCs for schools and school MOOCs on SWAYAM among others.
To further the objectives of NEP and Samagra Shiksha and address the aforementioned pillars, PM eVidya- a comprehensive initiative that unifies all efforts and provides multi-mode access to digital/online/on-air education was launched in May 2020.
It was the CIET that took the lead in bringing learning right to the doorsteps of children by making massive, durable ethical, consistent, and effective use of noon Vidhya’s DTH TV channels as well as 397 radio stations. This includes community radio stations that are part of the PM eVidya. These efforts were particularly helpful in times of pandemics, in which schools were shut when reaching out and contacting students. This helped to stop the hiatus in learning in large part.