Smriti Irani might be getting trolled on social media after being shifted from HRD ministry to Textile ministry, but some of her initiatives that pave way for a better education system in India cannot be ignored.
She created quite a stir with her fiery Parliamentary speeches, courted controversies for her decisions as well as her educational background. For one thing or another, Smriti Irani has always made headlines. And today as we look back, we cannot deny that her journey from small screen to political rallies has truly been a remarkable one.
While she has been moved to Textile ministry in a recent cabinet reshuffle, let’s look back at her two-year tenure as the HRD minister and some of the initiatives she took in order to enhance the education system of India.
1. HRD ministry involved IITians to create modules on various topics to help JEE aspirants clear the entrance exam. This way, engineering aspirants can avoid going to coaching centers that charge a bomb.
2. HRD ministry exempted NET requirement for professorship. Scholars who completed PhD or got registered before 2009 would be eligible for the post of assistant professor without clearing the NET exam.
3. HRD ministry gave access to college students to evaluate teachers’ performance. Students who will have 75% or more attendance will be eligible to evaluate teachers’ Academic Performance Indicators (API).
4. Number of scholarships under National Talent Search Examination (NTSE) doubled to 2000 from 1000. Students studying in Class XI onwards are given Rs. 500 per month except Ph.D students (who are paid as per University Grants Commission (UGC) norms).
5. Initiated the setting up of Model Science Labs in a Government School in every district of the country. This is under Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan plan.
6. Launched Know Your College Portal (KYC), developed by AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education) with the objective of helping prospective students make informed choices about which colleges to join.
7. Launched SARANSH app that helps CBSE affiliated schools and parents to look at their child’s performance at an aggregate level and at the level of each student and compare their performance.
8. Launched National Digital Library of India (NDL), an online library that provides easy access to e-content and e-books for schools, colleges and researchers.
9. ISHAN UDAY SCHOLARSHIP scheme that provides equal opportunities to students from the North Eastern Region to pursue higher education at undergraduate colleges and universities across the country.
10. Launching UDAAN, an initiative that provides pre-loaded tablet with text and video material and a helpline enabling girls clarify doubts, along with 50 mentoring centers across the country, which will have virtual class rooms.
Now, BJP government has appointed Prakash Javdekar as the new HRD minister and we all are looking forward to see the contribution and value he brings to the ministry as well as the education system of India.
His predecessor Smriti Irani wished him all the luck stating, “he would use his experience as a student leader to initiate good dialogue with students to prevent protests and clashes on campuses.”