The Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry has launched the National Educational Alliance for Technology (NEAT) to bring start-ups developing adaptive learning technologies and government initiatives under one umbrella. The aim of the initiative, informed the Ministry in a written statement, is to improve the learning outcomes in higher education. New-age technologies including Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be used to provide customised learning techniques.
The ministry stated, “Educating the youth is a national effort and MHRD proposes to create a National Alliance with such technology developing EdTech (education technology) companies through a PPP model.” It added, “MHRD would like to recognise such efforts and bring them under a common platform so that learners can access it easily.”
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The multiple technologies available across platforms would be accessible at one point. While EdTech companies will be free to charge as per their standard norm, the HRD said it would extend 25 per cent discount for economically and socially weaker sections.
“As their contribution towards the national cause, they would have to offer free coupons to the extent of 25 per cent of the total registrations for their solution through the NEAT portal. MHRD will distribute free coupons for learning to the most socially or economically backward students,” said HRD.
The HRD Ministry noted that it would act as a facilitator to ensure that the solutions are freely available to a large number of economically backward students. The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) would be the implementing agency for the NEAT programme.
The scheme shall be administered under the guidance of an Apex Committee constituted by MHRD. Independent Expert Committees (IEC) would be constituted to evaluate and select EdTech solutions. MoUs will be signed with shortlisted EdTech companies. Awareness programmes will be introduced by MHRD to create awareness of the NEAT solutions to teachers and students. It is expected to be operational from early November 2019.