The 2022 Constitution of India and the 2009 Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act do not mention the terms "information and communications technology (ICT)" and "educational technology (EdTech)". However, the 2012 National Policy on Information Technology (IT) and the Draft 2020 Science, Technology, Innovation (STI) Policy mention the term ICT without defining it.
The 2009 Central Universities Act defines the term "distance education system" as "means the system of imparting education through any means of communication, such as broadcasting, telecasting, internet, correspondence courses, seminars, contact programmes or the combination of any two or more such means".
The 2020 National Education Policy (NEP) mentions the terms ICT and "distance learning". However, it does not provide any definitions.
Constitution and laws: According to Article 21 of the 2022 Constitution of India, "the State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six to fourteen years". Moreover, according to Article 29 of the 2022 Constitution of India, "no citizen shall be denied admission into any educational institution".
According to the 2009 Central Universities Act, "some of the main goals of the University are to disseminate and advance knowledge by providing instructional and research facilities in such branches of learning as it may deem fit; to make special provision for integrated courses in humanities, social sciences, science and technology in its educational programmes; to take appropriate measures for promoting innovations in teaching-learning process and interdisciplinary studies and research; to establish linkages with industries for the promotion of science and technology".
According to the 2009 Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, every child of the age of 6 to 14 years is entitled to free and compulsory education. The Model Rules under the 2009 Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act aim to ensure that students from disadvantaged backgrounds are not discriminated against in any manner pertaining to entitlements and facilities such as textbooks, ICT facilities, and library facilities.
Policies, plans and strategies: The 2009 Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) emphasises ICT-enabled education as one of the important quality interventions to improve the quality of secondary education. It subsumed the 2004 Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Schools programme which was revised in 2010 and aimed to provide opportunities for secondary-stage students to build their capacity on ICT skills.
The 2012 ICT Policy in School Education highlights the role of ICT for the "youth to participate creatively in the establishment, sustenance and growth of a knowledge society leading to all round socioeconomic development of the nation and global competitiveness". Some of the aspects it has focussed on include the creation of an enabling environment to develop an ICT literate community. It mentions skill development of teachers, and resource persons to catalyse the benefits of ICT. It also highlights the need for localised content. ICT literacy covers private secondary schools as well.
The 2012 National Policy on Information Technology (IT) aims to strengthen and enhance India’s position as the Global IT hub and to use both IT and cyberspace as an engine for rapid, inclusive and substantial growth in the national economy.
The 2013 National Cybersecurity Policy aims "to protect information and information infrastructure in cyberspace, build capabilities to prevent and respond to cyber threats, reduce vulnerabilities and minimize damage from cyber incidents through a combination of institutional structures, people, processes, technology and cooperation". Furthermore, the 2013 National Cybersecurity Policy aims to foster education and training programs both in formal and informal sectors to support the cyber security needs of the country and build capacity.
The 2015 Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan aims to leverage the potential for science, mathematics and technology learning in non-classroom settings.
Subsuming the former centrally sponsored schemes of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) and the 2018 Samagra Shiksha Scheme aims to improve the quality of school education by focusing on the two T's – Teacher and Technology. The revised 2018 ICT@Schools Scheme aims to prepare youth to participate creatively in the establishment, sustenance and growth of a knowledge society leading to the all-round socio-economic development of the nation and global competitiveness and to devise, catalyse, support and sustain ICT and ICT-enabled activities and processes to improve access, quality and efficiency in the school system. Released by NITI Aayog, the 2018 National Strategy on Artificial Intelligence (NSAI) highlights the potential of AI to solve social challenges faced by its citizens in education along in other areas such as agriculture, and health.
The 2020 National Education Policy (NEP) aims to transform India sustainably into an equitable and vibrant knowledge society by providing high-quality education, making India a global knowledge superpower. Extensive use of technology in teaching and learning, removing language barriers, increasing access for students with disabilities and educational planning and management are fundamental principles of the 2020 National Education Policy (NEP). To meet the goals of the 2020 National Education Policy (NEP), the 2021 National Digital Education Architecture, a set of principles and approaches for the development of digital platforms and diverse solutions, aims to serve the needs of learners, teachers and administrators of education within the education ecosystem and digital ecosystem in India. By fully endorsing the 2020 National Education Policy (NEP), the Draft 2020 Science, Technology, Innovation (STI) Policy aims to foster, develop, and nurture a robust system for evidence and stakeholder-driven STI planning, information, evaluation, and policy research in India. The Draft 2020 Science, Technology, Innovation (STI) Policy also aims to identify and address strengths and weaknesses of the Indian STI ecosystem to catalyse the socio-economic development of the country and make the Indian STI ecosystem globally competitive.
In the state of Kerala, Pothu Vidyabhyasa Samrakshana Yajnam is one of the four schemes of the Nava Kerala Mission. The Nava Kerala Mission co-ordinates projects aiming at strengthening the the education sector in the State. To ensure academic progress, the Pothu Vidyabhyasa Samrakshana Yajnam mission undertakes activities for improving the infrastructural facilities of schools, introducing ICT-enabled learning, preparing teachers and providing guidelines for academic planning.
Digital competency frameworks: Based on the 2020 National Education Policy (NEP), India has developed the 2022 National Curriculum Framework for Foundational Stages. In collaboration with British Council and Alpha Plus, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has prepared a competency-based assessment framework for CBSE Science, Mathematics and English for grades 6-10. The framework emphasises the need for communication skills (in the above-mentioned subjects) in the digital environment, for instance, “students should be able to communicate findings and conclusions effectively, such as those derived from experiments, activities, and projects both in oral and written form using appropriate figures, tables, graphs, and digital forms”. Furthermore, the framework is based on recommendations of the 2020 National Education Policy (NEP) and will help reduce the stress of exams and aims to develop competencies rather than content knowledge alone in students
According to the 2018 Education Policy of the state of Meghalaya, a framework on digital citizenship for students, teachers, teacher educators and administrators that recognizes the critical role that technologies play in students’ learning will be put in place.
Changes occurred as a result of COVID-19: The Ministry of Education issued several guidelines to help states and schools mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the 2020 Guidelines for States and union territories (UTs) for continuing education of children of migrant labourers, a state/UT is required to prepare a database of children in a digitalized form so that they can continue their learning by accessing the book banks/libraries. To mitigate the loss of learning as all children do not have access to online/digital learning resources as well as to other media such as television or radio, the 2020 Guidelines for Out of School Children and Mitigation of Loss of Learning approved home-based education for children with special needs and sought to increase children's access to online/digital resources, DTH channel, radio, community radio and other digital modes. The guidelines aimed to explore how grade-wise and subject teachers can help children both over the phone and by visiting a group of children once a week or fortnight during the pandemic. Furthermore, the guidelines envisioned increasing parents' involvement in children's learning through awareness generation and dialogues between schools and parents using media and community mobilization funds under the Samagra Shiksha programme.
The PRAGYATA Guidelines on Digital Education aim to explore the methodology and time spent for online/blended/digital education for students at home due to the closure of schools. The 2020 Learning Enhancement Guidelines for Continuous Learning focuses on ways of enhancing learning during COVID-19 for students without digital devices, limited access to digital devices, and with digital devices. The 2020 Covid-19 Related Health and Safety Guidelines for School Re-opening aimed to use technology-based resources in class. According to the 2020 NCTE Guidelines for Teacher Education Institutions (TEIs), "TEIs should explore the possibility of encouraging technology-enabled learning and conducting online classes during the pandemic".
2.2.1. Technology infrastructure and digital capacity of schools
Electricity: The 2003 National Electricity Act aims to provide access to electricity to all areas including villages through rural electricity infrastructure and electrification of households. Based on the 2003 National Electricity Act, the 2005 National Electricity Policy emphasises that the supply of electricity to all areas including rural areas must be a joint endeavour of the Central government and the State governments.
According to the 2012 ICT Policy in School Education, states must ensure a regular and regulated supply of electricity, along with adequate power backup and support and where required alternate sources of energy should be present in all schools.
The 2013 Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) envisaged the creation of basic electricity infrastructure in villages or habitations and the strengthening and augmentation of existing infrastructure to improve the quality and reliability of power supply in rural areas.
The 2017 PM Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojna - Saubhagya aims to provide energy access to all by last mile connectivity and electricity connections to all remaining un-electrified households in rural as well as urban areas to achieve universal household electrification in the country.
The revised 2018 ICT@Schools Scheme proposes to aid with the purchase of a generator (as a backup only) wherever the power supply is unreliable, subject to a maximum of Rs.1000 per month, in addition to Rs 1000 per month for the electricity charges. Moreover, the revised 2018 ICT@Schools Scheme emphasises to use solar generated power in schools located in areas where there is no power supply.
Computers and devices: The revised 2018 ICT@Schools Scheme aims to provide each school with 10 computers. According to the revised 2018 ICT@Schools Scheme, in case of unavailability of such rooms, the need can be met from the 2009 Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) scheme in case of Government schools. Furthermore, the revised 2018 ICT@Schools Scheme aims to provide other accessories, for example, printers, keyboards customized for use in regional languages and projection systems to schools.
The Draft 2020 Science, Technology, Innovation (STI) Policy aims to improve science teaching by facilitating engagements between science communication and science pedagogy and exploring entertainment platforms such as television (TV) and community radio to take science learning to the last mile.
During the session 2020-21, Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti, an autonomous body under the Ministry of Education, with support from the Ministry of Minority Affairs has converted most of the classrooms into smart classrooms (including virtual classrooms in Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas located in minority-concentrated reas. Furthermore, 755 Smart classrooms are established in 545 Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas with a fully integrated 1:1 learning platform including laptops/tablets, interactive board displays in each smart class.
To improve the status of ICT in States and Union Territories (UTs), the respective education departments are working to promote digital learning and digitise classrooms.
In the state of Bihar, 3304 schools have been provided with a Smart TV in one classroom for each school under the Unnayan Bihar Initiative. The Bihar Education Project Council has distributed 42 Android mobile phones to the students of class 10th in one of the schools of Patna.
According to the 2021 India Report Digital Education, the state of Maharashtra has distributed 5410 laptops, 6857 tablets, 33633 desktops, 24487 projectors, 34339 LCD/LED/Plasma Screen, 2619 DTH-TV Antenna and 3319 Digital boards with LMS for its schools, the state of Uttarakhand had distributed laptops to 126 schools, tablets to 111 schools, digital boards to 36 Schools, PC with Integrated Teaching Learning Device (ITLD) to 126 schools, LED/LCD Plasma Screen to 418 schools and Desktop to 1967 schools for effective implementation of ICT and digital learning. The state of Uttar Pradesh, through the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) funds provided 2487 Smart TVs to its schools. The state of Andhra Pradesh had given 18270 tablets to 609 school students and 2850 laptops to 95 school students at secondary schools. The State Government of Tamil Nadu has provided 2.4 69, 278 laptops to class 11 and 12 students at Government schools since 2017 and provided 27279 laptops to teachers as well. Similarly, the Government of Delhi has provided tablets to all regular and guest teachers.
Furthermore, according to the 2021 India Report Digital Education, the state of Odisha initiated learning through local cable TV, sharing of resources via pen drive in audio-visual mode, PDF or presentation and door-door learning were initiated by Odisha. Students with no access to digital devices were paired with co-students/ alumni/ volunteers for digital learning. In the Union Territory of Chandigarh, video walls have been set up in Senior Secondary schools through the Video Wall Chandigarh Program. Chandigarh has also provided all Secondary and Senior Secondary Schools with LCD projectors in ICT labs.
India also introduced the One Laptop Per Child programmes, a pilot project for the first time in 2007 with deployment in a rural village in Maharashtra. By 2010, several states, such as Himachal Pradesh, Kerela, Manipur, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Delhi, had implemented pilot programmes in public schools. A similar project to provide free or subsidized tablets to each student across 25,000 colleges and 400 universities in the country was launched in 2011 but discontinued by 2015.
Internet connectivity: The 2003 Telegraph (Amendment) Act established the universal service obligation (USO) fund to overcome the inadequacy of the telecom sector in serving rural and inaccessible areas and providing vital telecom connectivity in such areas.
The 2012 ICT Policy in School Education recommends that all states should ensure that schools are equipped with internet access. At a minimum, each school should be equipped with at least one computer laboratory with at least 10 networked computer access points. Computers with internet connectivity must be provided at the library, teachers’ common room and the school head’s office. Moreover, it specifies that each school should be serviced with broadband connectivity that can receive streaming audio and video, a range of digital learning resources and other interactive educational programmes.
The revised 2018 ICT@Schools Scheme emphasises the need to have a broadband internet connection of at least 2 MBPS bandwidth in each school.
Announced in 2019 by the Government of Kerala, the Kerala Fiber Optic Network received the Internet service provider (ISP) license from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). The Kerala Fiber Optic Network envisaged a total of 35000 KM of optical fiber network across 14 cities in the state. the project has so far connected 5,000 government offices and 25,000 government institutions to the total network. The Kerala Fiber Optic Network aims to create a core network infrastructure to provide free internet access to 20 Lakh households. The project also aims to connect all government offices, educational institutions, and hospitals and partner with telecom service providers to augment their connectivity gap.
2.2.2. Technology and learning environments
The National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) has taken the initiative to upload Open Education Resources (OER) on its official website free of cost for all stakeholders, and education technology and computer education is two of the 28 areas/themes/courses covered under the Teacher Education Courses.
The Draft 2020 Science, Technology, Innovation (STI) Policy aims to leverage ICT and online platforms for skill building for active learning practices to promote research and innovation at all levels. Furthermore, the Draft 2020 Science, Technology, Innovation (STI) Policy plans to develop consortiums for the creation of new online courses, simulations, virtual and remote labs for enabling immersive experiential learning, and a library of virtual resources for remote areas.
The National Repository of Open Educational Resources (NROER) web portal is a storehouse of 19,723 e-Contents of the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and other collaborative partners for students, teachers, teacher educators and parents.
As a part of the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Programme, the Government of India launched the PM e-Vidya (e-learning) initiative to unify all digital, online and radio education efforts. The initiative aims to benefit nearly 250 million school-going children across the country. For the dissemination of digital books and e-contents, the Ministry of Education initiated the ePathshala online learning platform which provides free and open access to 696 digital books including 377 e-textbooks, and 4000 audios and videos provided by the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT)
Initiated by the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT), the DIKSHA (Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing) portal caters to the learning needs of learners to help them understand concepts quickly and interactively. Furthermore, the DIKSHA app provides engaging learning material that fits the needs of the prescribed school curriculum and facilitates learners to test their learning through self-assessment practice exercises. Some of the other highlights of the app include storing and sharing content offline, even without internet connectivity, provision of content in Indian languages, and access to parents.
Since May 2021, the DIKSHA platform contains a repository of approximately 50,000 pieces of content including MOOCs from the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS). O DIKSHA is also leveraging an open-source AI-based chatbot framework, "TARA", an interactive chatbot that helps users discover digital textbooks, courses, and quizzes. Furthermore, to leverage the DIKSHA platform, the Government of India launched the VidyaDaan online platform as a national content contribution program. It allows educational bodies, private bodies, and individual experts to contribute e-learning resources for school education.
The National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Sign Language Research and Training Center (ISLRTC), the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment for the development of e-contents in Indian Sign Languages (ISLs). The National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has started the production and telecast of Indian Sign Language (ISL) videos on the PM e-Vidya DTH TV channels and its further dissemination through the DIKSHA portal.
Furthermore, the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) website and YouTube channel contain study material developed in the Digitally Accessible Information System (DAISY) and in sign language for students with special education needs (SEN), especially for students with visual and hearing impairments.
To support and reach learners who do not have access to the internet, 22 Swayam Prabha DTH channels telecast high-quality educational programmes on a 24X7 basis using the GSAT-15 satellite. These channels also allow regular live interactive sessions with experts connecting through Skype. The Department of School Education and Literacy, in collaboration with private DTH operators like Tata Sky and Airtel, airs educational video content. The National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has also launched a beta run of leveraging DTH channels to disseminate class-wise curriculum-linked content under the PM eVidya (e-learning) initiative with effect from 1st September 2020. To ensure coherent access through multimodal delivery, the broadcasted content has QR codes and can be linked with the chapter and topic-wise content available on DIKSHA to ensure asynchronous usage by anyone, anytime, anywhere.
Another one of the Government of India's primary initiatives, Swayam, is an online platform that hosts interactive courses taught in classrooms from Class 9 till post-graduation to be accessed by anyone, anywhere at any time.
Virtual classes and educational content are also provided through community radio stations such as Mukta Vidya Vani and Radio Vahini of the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS); Shiksha Vani Podcast of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) as well as national TV and radio channels, called Doordarshan and All India Radio respectively, for learners of secondary, senior secondary and vocational streams. The e-Pathshala (learning on the go) online platform provides access to more than 600 digital books including 377 e-textbooks and 3500 pieces of audio and video content of NCERT in various languages.
The 2020 National Education Policy (NEP) aims to establish digital libraries for students at all levels of education. It also aims to facilitate learning for all students, with particular emphasis on socio-economically disadvantaged groups (SEDGs) by expanding and strengthening open and distance learning (ODL) programmes offered by the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), and state open schools.
The 2020 National Education Policy (NEP) also aims to leverage existing e-learning platforms such as DIKSHA, Swayam and Swayam Prabha for creating virtual labs so that all students have equal access to quality practical and hands-on experiment-based learning experiences. The possibility of providing adequate access to students and teachers through suitable digital devices, such as tablets with pre-loaded content, will be considered and developed. The Ministry of Education also operates a DTH channel for hearing-impaired students in sign languages.
To ensure the continuation of learning due to the closure of schools during the pandemic, various state-level initiatives were implemented by state education departments in collaboration with local partners. The Department of Education, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, broadcasted pre-recorded teleclasses for Class X and XII students throughout the Islands in collaboration with the Doordarshan, Port Blair. Moreover, through the local cable TV network, the Department of Education, Andaman and Nicobar Islands ensured telecasting of pre-recorded digital classes for Class VIII-XII students. The learning content recorded for the teleclasses is also uploaded on the YouTube channel "AN Education Dept Andaman". Similarly, the Department of School Education of Andhra Pradesh adopted several innovative initiatives during the COVID-19 pandemic. To promote learning and provide support to students for continuing their learning systematically, the following digital initiatives have been implemented in the state: Vidya Varadhi T.V. Lessons, the Nadu Nedu program, and Mana Badki Podam Mobile App of Samagra Shiksha. In collaboration with All India Radio, Itanagar, the Department of Education of Arunachal Pradesh broadcasted online radio talk for primary school classes on Arun FM 103.1Mhz & MW 675Khz (Monday to Saturday). Through BiswaVidya and Gyan Brikshya TV Channel YouTube channels the State of Assam provided educational content for science and mathematics for students of classes 6 – 10. The state of Bihar has developed two educational apps: Vidyavahini Bihar and Unnayan App: Mera Mobile Mera Vidalaya for students of grades 1-12. The first app primarily contains all the books that students can download on their smartphones, laptops or computer. While with the help of the second app students of grades 6 to 12 can access the educational content according to the Bihar School Syllabus and can ask their doubts to experts. The Bihar Education Project Council has started a YouTube channel to share digital content for teachers and students. In collaboration with UNICEF, the Bihar Education Project Council initiated the Mera Doordarshan Mera Vidyalaya programme for digital learning through Doordarshan during the lockdown. The telecast for all the classes is continuing. Furthermore, the Bihar Education Project Council created a digital learning platform on its official website, where all e-content telecasted on DD Bihar is available.
In 2021, the Chandigarh Department of School Education launched Project Phoenix to track the progress of students of grades 1 to 8 and the teaching performance of teachers based on the Phoenix Mobile Application.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the State of Chhattisgarh initiated the Padhai Tuhar Dwar (PTD) initiative to connect teachers and students by providing access to good quality educational content at home. Furthermore, to make the teaching-learning process more accessible and interactive, the National Informatics Center (NIC) and the Chattisgarh State Council of Educational Research and Training launched the CG-Multimedia Mobile Application (CG-MMTB).
Through the E-gyaan mitra mobile application, the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli provided education to students and tracked their progress during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Goa Directorate of Education and the Goa State Council for Educational Research and Training (SCERT) partnered with Jio - EMBIBE, an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered online platform for learning, practising and test-taking with learning outcomes analysis –to benefit the students and teachers in the state of Goa. Furthermore, in collaboration with Eduisfun Technologies Pvt. Ltd. Mumbai, the Goa Directorate of Education and the Goa State Council for Educational Research and Training (SCERT) implemented the STEP app program for classes 6th to 12th to learn concepts of science and mathematics through gamified, personalised, interactive and adaptive learning methods in all government and government-aided secondary and higher secondary schools of Goa.
During the pandemic, the State of Gujarat addressed the specific needs of the students with special education needs (SEN) by creating more than 2500 short videos on different concepts, for example, ensuring orientation and mobility of the students at home, learning different curricular subjects, art activities, therapy activities. The short videos were also shared with parents to give them insights into how they can support the continued development and learning of their children. The government also provided educational content on the Gujarat e-Class YouTube channel and the Gujarat Virtual Shala Programme.
To mitigate student learning loss and strengthen teacher credibility, the Haryana Department of School Education started multiple remote learning initiatives such as the TV learning through EDUSAT, Ghar se Padhao Campaign via WhatsApp and SMS, eContent Creation and teacher training through an online platform, DIKSHA-Haryana. Initiated during the pandemic, the Har Ghar Pathshala Initiative of the State of Himachal Pradesh aims to provide pedagogically enriched content to students through an online platform
An initiative of Samagra Shiksha J&K, the Jammu and Kashmir Knowledge Network (JKNN) aims to connect school children of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to the world of knowledge through the Internet. The portal contains topic wise/subject wise content and 6000 videos.
The Jharkhand Education Project Council (JEPC) and the Jharkhand State Council of Educational Research and Training initiated the DigiSath programme (as part of Project SATH with the support of the Boston Consulting Group and the Piramal Foundation) to reach out to students studying in government schools.
To introduce ICT in classrooms and provide digital innovative programmes for students, the State of Karnataka introduced and implemented the Computer Assisted Learning Programme (CALC). Furthermore, to engage learners via the Internet at home during the pandemic, the Department of Primary and Secondary Education started the Makkala Vani YouTube channel and provided subject-wise lessons on the Official YouTube Channel of DD Chandana, Doordarshan Kendra, Bengaluru.
The State of Kerala broadcasted digital classes through the VICTERS channel to keep children engaged with academic activities, thus enabling them to overcome stress, strain and anxiety, if any, due to the pandemic situation. Videos for broadcasting were prepared as a joint venture by the Kerala State Council for Educational Research and Training (SCERT), Samagra Shiksha Kerala, the Kerala Infrastructure for Technology in Education (KITE), the State Institute of Educational Technology (SIET), and Higher Secondary and Vocational higher secondary wings of the Director of General Education (DGE). To make online classes more inclusive for students with special education needs (SEN), the State of Kerala launched many platforms. These include whiteboards by the VICTERS channel and the Sharada Braille Writer.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Union Territory of Ladakh telecasted video lectures of 642 lectures for 10th and 12th classes on the DD Kashmir/DD Kendra Leh channel. The Department of School Education of Ladakh developed the DSEL Online Education Mobile Application and launched the DIET Kargil YouTube Channel for online education during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Union Territory of Lakshadweep aired the Radio Pathshala programme on the All India Radio Kavaratti during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of School Education of the State of Madhya Pradesh (MP) launched the flagship Hamara Ghar Hamara Vidyalay program. The objective of the program was to ensure continuity of learning for students joyfully and engagingly from the safety of their homes. The Department of School Education of the State of Madhya Pradesh (MP) also launched the WhatsApp-based DigiLEP programme to connect parents with teachers.
The State Council for Educational Research and Training of Maharashtra, in collaboration with Leadership for Equity, started the Abhyasmala initiative to provide students with academic as well as co-curricular content online.
The State of Manipur launched the Lairik Mobile Application and the Lairik e-learning website to provide access to educational content to students during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Lairik e-learning website is for students studying in classes 1 to 12 and those who are in studying in schools affiliated with the Manipur Board and the Council of Higher Education. The website has 85 bi-lingual audio-visual classes. The State of Manipur also provides educational content on the YouTube Channel of the Department of Education.
In the State of Mizoram, the Directorate of School Education and the Directorate of State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) collaborate in the production of educational videos and upload them on their respective YouTube channels: the SCERT YouTube channel and the Directorate of School Education YouTube channel.
Through the Department of School Education YouTube Channel, the State of Nagaland is reaching more than 30000 students. The Department of School Education of the State of Nagaland, in association with iB Hubs, Hyderabad, is implementing the India 4.0 - Dr APJ project under which a total of 15,000 children from the State of Nagaland belonging to economically backward families studying in classes 5 to 10 will be given free education by iB Hubs up to the age of 21 years. The first batch of the programme commenced on October 15, 2020, and nearly 3000 students are pursuing the course.
The State of Odisha is broadcasting the Radio Pathshala Educational Programme from all Stations of All India Radio and Vividh Bharati Cuttack for students of Grades 1 to 8. The State also telecasts video lessons for students of Grades 9, 10 and 12 on TV through the Shiksha Darpan Educational Programme. All the broadcasted lessons of both educational programmes are then uploaded on the Odisha School Education Programme Authority website for quick accessibility. The Ganjam district of the State of Odisha developed the syllabi-based e-learning Madhu App in Odia language to provide mother tongue-based virtual classroom experience for self-learning and self-assessment of learning outcomes. Under the revised 2018 ICT@Schools Scheme, the e-Vidalaya app provides e-content to students of Grades 9 and 10. Launched in 2020, the Shikshya Surabhi Radio Programme is designed to provide inclusive education to children with special education needs (SEN), especially for students with visual impairments.
Initiated through a local cable TV, the Vetri Nichayam (Success Guaranteed) programme of the Union Territory of Puducherry addressed the needs of students of Grade 10.
The Department of School Education of Punjab is providing online education to students through various modes: the EduSat Punjab YouTube Channel, the Darpan Mobile Application, the PunjabEducare Mobile Application, and the All India Radio Patiala Channel.
The State of Rajasthan launched the Social Media Interface for Learning Management (SMILE) program to connect students to teachers and ensure continuity of education during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department of Education of the State of Rajasthan also launched the e-Kaksha Mobile Application to provide content to students of Grades 6-12.
The State of Sikkim launched the Sikkim Edutech Mobile Application with the provision of two-way interactive live video classes and online examinations.
The State of Tamil Nadu's dedicated educational YouTube channels: Kalvi Tholaikaatchi and TN SED cover many education-related topics. The Tamil Nadu e-learn Platform, an initiative by the Department of School Education, is a customised content repository for students to access and utilise digital resources to improve their learning outcomes. The Tamil Nadu e-learn Platform hosts more than 10,000 e-learning content, 390 Digital Textbooks and 2000+ aggregated YouTube videos in one place. The content is aligned with the updated curriculum and is made available class-wise, term-wise, medium-wise, subject-wise and chapter-wise.
The State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) of Telangana provided audiobooks to students during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) of Uttar Pradesh Website provides e-content to students of Grades 1 – 8.
The State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) of Uttarakhand has a YouTube channel for viewing educational programs.
The BengalShiksha platform of the Department of School Education of the State of West Bengal contains e-learning material for all subjects for students of Grades 5 - 12 in audio-visual form. During the COVID pandemic period, students of Grade 12 were provided financial assistance at a rate of Rs. 10,000 each through the West Bengal Taruner Swapna Scheme for the procurement of digital devices to continue studies in online mode.
At the federal level, there does not exist legislation/policies/plans/strategies fostering the adoption of bring your own device/technology (BYOD/BYOT). There are also no explicit guidelines issued by the States and the Union Territories of India to practice the adoption of bring your own device in educational institutions. However, in the National Capital Territory of New Delhi, many Delhi Public Schools are encouraging students to bring their own devices.
The 2012 ICT Policy in School Education recommends the development of ICT literacy programmes, a model Curriculum for ICT in Education (CICT) and the teaching of ICT as a subject to improve students' ICT skills. The policy also specifies the use of special ICT software and tools to facilitate access to persons with disabilities such as screen readers and Braille printers as part of the ICT infrastructure in all schools. It recommends that special care should be taken to ensure appropriate ICT access to students and teachers with special needs.
Designed as a three-year course spanning 90 weeks with three sessions per week, the 2017 Curricula for ICT in Education by the National Council of Educational Research Training (NCERT) has six learning strands: connecting with the world, possibilities in education, interacting with ICT, connecting with ICT, reaching out and bridging divides, and creating with ICT. These strands aim to build capacities for handling today’s and tomorrow's technologies appropriate for use in education, capitalising on technology to master technology, managing the ICT infrastructure, using technology to surmount barriers and acquiring insights to lead technology educationally.
The 2020 National Education Policy (NEP) emphasises that collaboration and teamwork, problem-solving and logical reasoning, digital literacy, coding, computational thinking, and ethical and moral reasoning skills are some of the essential skills to be learned by every student. Moreover, it also aims to develop curricula and pedagogy to introduce new subjects like artificial intelligence (AI) and design thinking.
Based on the 2020 National Education Policy (NEP), the 2022 National Curriculum Framework for Foundational Stages aims to develop content to develop digital literacy among children which is age appropriate without overexposure to screen time or undermining the central role of teachers.
The Draft 2020 Science, Technology, Innovation (STI) Policy envisages attracting young women/girls and other excluded groups (in school and early college) and fostering awareness and interest in STEM fields and eventually, careers in science.
The 2021-22 COVID-19 Action Plan envisaged providing comic books to children to inculcate digital skills. However, it does not explicitly mention the type of skills.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) offered 30 courses in STEM subjects along with Psychology, Geography, Sociology, Business Studies, and Accountancy for Classes XI and XII through the Swayam portal. Courses were designed following a four-quadrant approach. All the courses are continuing and are also being translated into regional languages.
Furthermore, to ensure that learners continue to develop and augment their critical thinking and problem-solving skills through joyful means even during the pandemic, two comic books were released online for school-going children by the Central Board of School Education (CBSE). Launched in 2022, by the National e-Governance Division of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), in collaboration with its partners, the Youth for Unnati and Vikas with AI (YUVAi) program aims to enable school students of Grade 8 – 12 with AI tech and social skills in an inclusive manner. The program will provide a platform for youth to learn and apply AI skills and be empowered to develop meaningful social impact solutions.
Samagra Shiksha Gujarat has established Learning by Doing Centres in 780 upper primary schools to develop 21st-century skills among the students.
In 2021, in the States of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha, Bihar, Assam, Uttarakhand, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, more than 8000 students were trained in STEM subjects through the IBM STEM for Girls programme.
According to Chapter III of the 2009 Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, developing and enforcing standards for the training of teachers is important and one of the main tasks of the central government. Furthermore, the Model Rules under the 2009 Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act highlight a need to develop in-service teacher training designs.
The 2009 Central Universities Act emphasises the need to organise and conduct refresher courses, workshops, seminars and other programmes for teachers, evaluators and other academic staff. However, the 2009 Central Universities Act does not specify the topics of the training programming and the duration. The 2012 ICT Policy in School Education recommends capacity-building programmes for teaching students with special needs with the help of ICT.
The 2017 Curricula for ICT in Education, designed by the National Council of Educational Research Training (NCERT), divided the course structure for teachers into three broad levels: basic, intermediate and advanced. The course contents emphasise the effective use of ICT tools, software applications and digital resources; integrating ICT into teaching-learning and its evaluation; acquiring, organising and creating digital resources; participating in the activities of teachers' networks and in the evaluation and selection of ICT resources; practising safe, ethical and legal ways of using ICT; using ICT for making classroom processes more inclusive and to address multiple learning abilities.
According to the revised 2018 ICT@Schools Scheme, "it is mandatory for all teachers to undergo training in the use of ICT in teaching during the pre-service training courses meant for secondary teachers". Topics of the training include computer overview, operating systems, working with multimedia and making movies, using Microsoft Word and Excel applications, database creation and management, classroom learning & teaching tools.
The provision of in-service training in the form of induction training (for 10 days) and refresher training (for 5 days) is also mentioned in the revised 2018 ICT@Schools Scheme. Topics of induction training are the same as those of the pre-service training topics. The refresher training provides training in more advanced topics, such as an overview of management information systems, legal and ethical aspects of web-based information, computer technology and security.
The revised 2018 ICT@Schools Scheme emphasises the need to develop and deploy interactive multimedia (both in the form of Learning Objects (LOs) as well as Interactive Multimedia Packages (IMMPs)) in the various teacher training and content courses. Furthermore, the revised 2018 ICT@Schools Scheme aims to set up national awards for teachers using ICT for innovation in education. According to the revised 2018 ICT@Schools Scheme, each winning teacher will be awarded a laptop and a commendation certificate.
The 2020 National Education Policy (NEP) emphasises the need for teachers' continuous professional development, positive working environments and service conditions. According to paragraph 24.4 (g) of the 2020 National Education Policy (NEP), "teachers will undergo rigorous training in learner-centric pedagogy and on how to become high-quality online content creators themselves using online teaching platforms and tools. There will be an emphasis on the teachers' role in facilitating active student engagement with the content and with each other".
To strengthen the quality of early childhood care and education (ECCE), the 2020 National Education Policy (NEP) aims to provide a 6-month certificate programme and a one-year diploma programme to teachers that will run through digital/distance mode using DTH channels and smartphones, allowing teachers to acquire ECCE qualifications with minimal disruption to their current work.
The Draft 2020 Science, Technology, Innovation (STI) Policy aims to establish Teaching-Learning Centres (TLCs) in urban and rural areas for upskilling of faculty members in STEM, to enhance the learning experience and engagement, for effective outcomes.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) constituted a committee comprising officials from the various Departments of Education of prestigious Indian universities to provide better training to students and trainees of the teachers’ training programmes. The constituted committee has identified 29 courses which are being uploaded on the open educational resource portal of the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE).
In the first half of 2022, in cooperation with NASSCOM, the Central Board of Secondary Education organised a series of webinars for upskilling teachers on new-age technologies. The webinars' topics were Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, the internet of things, cloud computing, cyber security, web mobile development marketing, blockchain, robotic process automation teachers, augmented reality, and 3D printing and modelling.
Digital platforms such as DIKSHA - National Digital Infrastructure for Teachers allow teachers to understand their career cycles - from the time student teachers enrol in Teacher Education Institutes (TEIs) to after they retire, The platform provides opportunities for teachers to map their career progression and work on their skills accordingly. Furthermore, the 2020 National Education Policy (NEP) encourages online training of teachers using technology platforms such as SWAYAM/DIKSHA to administer standardised training programmes to large numbers of teachers within a short period.
During the academic session 2020-21, with the Teacher Energized Resource Material (TERM) handbooks for science and mathematics (covering the entire syllabus of grades 6 to 10), the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) aimed to aid teachers in aligning their classroom transaction to a competency framework.
Launched in Sept. 2022, by the National e-Governance Division of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), in collaboration with its partners, the Youth for Unnati and Vikas with AI (YUVAi) program also aims to provide training to teachers who want to learn new technologies and use mass media tools for interactive teaching.
Furthermore, through the Chetna Mobile Application, teachers are completing their training on inclusive educational practices.
During the pandemic, through the Integrated Multidisciplinary Professional Advancement Course for Teachers (IMPACT) program, the State of Jammu and Kashmir trained more than 34000 teachers of grades 2 and 3 via the Jammu and Kashmir Knowledge Network (JKNN) platform. The IMPACT training programme consisted of three phases, conducted online using the Jammu and Kashmir Knowledge Network (JKNN) platform.
The State of Karnataka introduced the Technology Assisted Learning Programme (TALP), which not only aims to train every primary, secondary and higher secondary school teachers in ICT skills but also to rejuvenate their professional attitudes and to create their e-resources for their teaching-learning activities. The programme carries out teachers' training in 3 stages. During the first stage, a ten-day face-to-face training is provided to teachers where they get used to basic skills of computer hardware, software, internet and office suits. During the second stage, a ten-day face-to-face training is provided where teachers learn about various tools and apps for creating e-resources. During the last stage, a very short duration online training is provided where teachers learn about cyber security and internet safety measures. The State of Karnataka has also adopted the ICT Curriculum for Teachers prepared by the Central Institute of Educational Technology (CIET).
The State of Kerala launched the Digifit Mobile Application to enhance the knowledge, ability and skill of teachers to handle digital equipment which essentially is a prerequisite for handling digital classes and providing support to students through digital media.
The CM Rise Teacher Professional Development programme of the Department of School Education of the State of Madhya Pradesh (MP) aims to maintain the continuity of teacher training and professional development, based on their needs and realities in the digital and physical environment. Furthermore, an app-based module titled Shiksha Setu helps teachers to track their progress and involvement with learners.
Through the Chaklit platform and with the support of the Million Sparks Foundation, many teachers were trained on how to create educational videos through smartphones to facilitate WhatsApp-based learning programmes: Odisha Shiksha Sanjog and Vidyadaan Programme of DIKSHA.
To support teachers with training and delivering high-quality content in classrooms, the Tamil Nadu Teachers Platform provide teachers with an individual login to the portal and digital resources to improve their classroom effectiveness.
The State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) of Telangana aims to provide pre-service and in-service training programmes for trained and untrained teachers to cater for the needs of government and private schools, across rural and urban areas of the state. The State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) of Telangana also aims to train teachers who have no, little or some teaching experience, with technology tools and effective pedagogy techniques to make the teaching-learning experience in the classroom effective and enjoyable. The State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) of Telangana, in collaboration with ICT Academy, Chennai, conducted a free online certificate course on Digital Teaching Techniques for more than 500 government schoolteachers under the Rural Teachers Empowerment Programme.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the State of Tripura uploaded classroom videos on the Tripura Shiksha Bandhu YouTube Channel with privately managed web portals. All textbooks for Grades 1 – 12 have been digitised and uploaded to the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) of Tripura's Website.
The State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) of Uttar Pradesh provides in-service and pre-service training to government schoolteachers. However, the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) of Uttar Pradesh does not mention whether the technology training is being provided.
2.4.1. Data privacy
Currently, the 2000 Information Technology Act and the 2008 Information Technology (Amendment) Act, govern the protection of personal information, specifically electronic data and transactions. Two additional sections, Section 43A and Section 72A of the 2008 Information Technology (Amendment) Act provide a remedy to persons who have suffered or are likely to suffer a loss because their data is not adequately protected. The 2021 Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code Rules (hereinafter called "2021 IT Rules"), under Section 87 read with Section 79 of the 2000 Information Technology Act, advises social media intermediaries not to host, display, upload, modify, publish, transmit, store, update or share any information that invades people's online privacy. In the proposed amendments to the 2021 IT Rules, on June 06, 2022, by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), there are also rules to protect online privacy.
In addition to the above legislations, data protection may also sometimes occur by enforcing the 1957 Copyright Act, the 1973 Code of Criminal Procedure, the 1885 Indian Telegraph Act, the 1956 Companies Act, the 02 Competition Act and the 1986 Consumer Protection Act.
Section 74 of the 2015 Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act mandates that the name, address or school, or any other particular, that may lead to the identification of a child in conflict with the law or a child in need of care and protection or a child victim or witness of a crime shall not be disclosed in the media unless the disclosure or publication is in the child's best interest.
However, legislation, as mentioned above, does not explicitly mention guaranteeing data privacy from using technology in education.
In 2017, the Supreme Court of India, in the matter of Justice KS Puttaswamy vs Union of India reaffirmed "privacy" as a fundamental right under Part III (Article 21 [Right to Life & Liberty]) of the Constitution of India. It directed the government to formulate a comprehensive Personal Data Protection Bill (PDPB). The 2019 Personal Data Protection Bill (PDPB) regulates “the use of personal data (digital and non-digital) collected, disclosed, shared, or processed in India, or associated businesses within India, conditional cross-border transfers requiring data fiduciaries to store data in India”. The bill also sets out the obligations that would bind all entities processing data to adhere to various requirements such as data minimisation, notice-and-consent, transparency, security safeguards and localisation. Also, mandatory data breach notification, obtaining prior consent to collect data, and individual privacy rights remain stringent requirements of the bill. Obtaining consent in advance and writing from the data subject specifying the purpose of collecting the data is mandatory, for instance, when it comes to protecting children's personal and sensitive data in in which case the consent of a parent or guardian is required.
Based on a report submitted by a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to analyse the 2019 Personal Data Protection Bill (PDPB) by both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, a new version of the Personal Data Protection Bill (PDPB) 2019, the 2021 Data Protection Bill, was formed. Unfortunately, in August 2022, the Parliament of India withdrew the 2021 Data Protection Bill. Released in November 2022, the 2022 Digital Personal Data Protection Bill aims "to provide for the processing of digital personal data in a manner that recognizes both the right of individuals to protect their personal data and the need to process personal data for lawful purposes and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto". According to the Bill, parental consent is required when it comes to the processing of children's data.
There have been notable efforts to introduce various models of privacy protection by honourable members of both houses of the parliament. The bills pending approval are the 2014 Personal Data Protection Bill by Rajya Sabha, the 2016 Right to Privacy of Personal Data Bill by Lok Sabha, and the 2019 Personal Data and Information Privacy Code Bill by Lok Sabha.
In September 2022, the Department of Telecommunications of the Ministry of Communications released the 2022 draft Indian Telecommunication Bill. The bill aims to ensure the privacy and safety of the general public using telecommunication services/infrastructure.
The recently introduced 2023 Digital Personal Data Protection Bill has been formulated with the principal objective of establishing a framework conducive to processing personal data in a manner that duly acknowledges and respects the fundamental right of individuals to safeguard their personal information. Concurrently, the Bill recognizes the imperative to process said personal data within the bounds of lawful objectives and requisite justifications. In addition, the Bill dedicates special attention to protecting the personal data of children, women, and individuals with disabilities.
Like all the relevant legislations, none of the above-mentioned draft bills explicitly mention guaranteeing data privacy from using technology in education.
Ensuring privacy and security in the digital ecosystem is one of the recommended principles of the 2021 Responsible AI document for India. Commissioned by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and established under the National Supercomputing Mission, Param Siddhi AI, India's fastest supercomputer aims to execute large-scale projects in cybersecurity along with healthcare, agriculture, logistics, etc.
During the pandemic, the Ministry of Education has issued guidelines to ensure data privacy. The PRAGYATA Guidelines on Digital Education recommend screen time for different student categories, provide sufficient do’s and don’ts regarding ergonomics and cyber safety, and provide infographics on using devices with proper posture during online classes. The 2020 NCTE Guidelines for Teacher Education Institutions (TEIs) advised TEIs to discourage fake news and report the matter to concerned authorities.
2.4.2. Online abuse and cyberbullying
There are no specific laws in India regarding cyberbullying. However, various provisions to fight cyberbullies exist in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the 2000 Information Technology Act (and its amendment). Section 67B of the 2000 Information Technology Act provides explicitly stringent punishment for publishing, browsing or transmitting child pornography in electronic form. Further, sections 354A and 354D of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) provide punishment for cyberbullying and cyberstalking against women. The 2021 Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code Rules (hereinafter called "2021 IT Rules") and their amendments protect against online abuse, especially against women and children. Released in November 2022, the 2022 Digital Personal Data Protection Bill aims to protect individuals from any kind of online harassment.
The 2000 Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act and the 2015 Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act provide remedies against online bullying of children younger than 18 years. A circular issued by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) recognises cyberbullying as a form of bullying and highlights some indicative interventions which schools might consider when it comes to preventing cyberbullying (and bullying), for example, formatting an anti-bullying committee, arranging counsellors, updating teachers' training.
However, the 2000 Information Technology Act (and its amendment), the 2021 IT Rules (and their amendments), the 2000 Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, and the 2015 Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act do not explicitly mention preventing and responding to online abuse and cyberbullying of students.
In 2019, the National Commission for Women (NCW) launched the Gender Sensitisation and Legal Awareness Programme in collaboration with Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVS) for class 11th and 12th students of Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVS) in the New Delhi region. The programme recognises cyberstalking.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has approved a scheme, namely 'Cyber Crime Prevention against Women and Children (CCPWC)', under which an online Cyber Crime reporting portal has been launched to enable the public to report complaints about Child Pornography/Child Sexual Abuse Material. The portal also provides a handbook on cybersafety for adolescents/students. A Cyber Crime awareness campaign has been launched through the Twitter handle (@CyberDost) and radio across the country.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has implemented a significant programme on Information Security Education and Awareness (ISEA). A dedicated website for information security awareness has also been set up. The website provides handbooks on preventing cyberbullying and online abuse for children, students, women, families, police, teacher, government employees, and system/network administrators.
The Information Security Education and Awareness (ISEA) programme also provides cartoon stories on topics such as cyberbullying, copyright and licences, and internet addiction to increase awareness amongst children.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) also decided to commemorate 'Cyber Jaagrookta Diwas (Cyber Awareness Day)' for the officials of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and its attached organisations on the first Wednesday of every month from May 2022 onwards to create awareness for the prevention of cybercrimes through awareness workshops, seminars, interactive sessions, quiz competitions, best practices, case studies etc.
The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has also designed cyber safety and security guidelines for teachers, students, parents, and schools and developed guidelines on cyberbullying in collaboration with UNESCO, Information Security Education and Awareness (ISEA), and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
The 2020 Guidelines for Out of School Children and Mitigation of Loss of Learning aimed to "strengthen child protection mechanisms at the local level for reporting violence against children and making them accessible to all children, especially in the case of non-functionality of schools and other educational institutions."
Under Section 70B of the 2008 Information Technology (Amendment) Act, the government constituted CERT-In, which the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) website refers to as the 'Indian Computer Emergency Response Team'. CERT-In is a national nodal agency responding to computer security incidents as and when they occur.
The Ministry of Education is responsible for governing the public education system in India including digital initiatives and policies governing education technology. Established in 1984, the Central Institute of Educational Technology (CIET), a constituent unit of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), is responsible for designing, developing and disseminating alternative learning systems; promoting, advising and coordinating activities of the State Institutes of Educational Technology (SIETs); training personnel in educational technology.
Building institutional capacity for the effective implementation of EdTech in the country is one of the important focuses of the 2020 National Education Policy (NEP). The National Education Technology Forum (NETF), formed under the guidance of the 2020 National Education Policy (NEP), provides a platform for the free exchange of ideas on the use of technology to enhance learning, assessment, planning, administration and so on, both for school and higher education. The National Research Foundation (NRF) for school and higher education ensures that there is an increased focus on new disruptive technologies. Furthermore, the 2020 National Education Policy (NEP) calls for creating a dedicated unit for the purpose of orchestrating the building of digital infrastructure, digital content and capacity building to address holistically the e-education needs of both school and higher education.
The Draft 2020 Science, Technology, Innovation (STI) Policy aims to establish a Strategic Technology Board (STB) to act as a connecting bridge between different strategic departments and to recommend the technologies that need to be bought or indigenously made by the strategic departments, private sector or academic institutions in line with India’s push to become a self-reliant producer of technologies. The Board will be responsible for preparing a roadmap which guides the development processes leading to technology development for the country's strategic requirements and monitoring its implementation. Furthermore, the Draft 2020 Science, Technology, Innovation (STI) Policy aims to create a Strategic Technology Development Fund (STDF) to encourage the private sector and higher education institutions (HEIs) to develop strategic technologies.
According to the 2021 Operationalizing Principles for Responsible AI, establishing a multidisciplinary advisory body such as the Council for Ethics and Technology to formulate AI policies in the digital environment is of utmost importance.
At the federal level, there are no provisions to ban digital devices at schools. However, many states have issued policies and guidelines regarding the same. For instance, in 2022, to curb the cases of cyberbullying, inappropriate use of social media, addiction to gaming/betting, and access to harmful online content, the Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti (NVS), an autonomous body under the Ministry of Education, issued a policy to ban the use of mobile phones by students on campuses, including in dormitories. Furthermore, in 2022, in the state of Kerala, the Department of General Education has also instigated a strict ban on using mobile phones in schools by students. The states of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu have also banned mobiles phones use in schools and colleges.