In this article, we will discuss Prospect of Digital University in India. So, let’s get started.
Prospect of Digital University in India
Proposal regarding Digital Universities
- The central government will set up a digital university to impart “world-class quality education” and promote online learning in different Indian languages.
- To address “learning loss” due to school closures, the government will also expand the ‘One Class One TV Channel’ initiative under the PM e-Vidya scheme.
- The proposed digital university and the expanded TV education programme will lead to a modern, pioneering and practical blueprint for steering India in the Amrit Kaal.
Arguments in Favour
- Inefficiency of the Current Model of Learning: There is an increasing recognition that the current university model is rigid and that traditional universities have failed to customise education to take care of needs, interests, financial capabilities, and diverse cognitive abilities of students.
- Thus, the educators and policymakers feel the need to create flexible educational systems to provide customised high-quality “anytime/anywhere” education.
- Economic Advantage: Such pre-packaged education by academics would help in achieving the economies of scale required in India.
- Being Updated with Technology: With emerging technologies driving information economies, it also becomes necessary for those employed to acquire new skills relevant to their changing roles. The current model is of little help in this context.
- Contributing in Scientific Advancements: Since the digital university will be built on a networked hub-spoke model, it can develop cutting-edge information and communications technology platforms and digital content, using emerging technologies such as AI, machine learning, virtual reality, augmented reality, and blockchain.
Arguments Against Digital Universities
- Online learning via digital universities raises questions about how far will online education help support greater access to and success in higher education among those who are on the margins.
- Online teaching should not be confused with meaningful education. It may provide some engagement when schools are closed, but is pedagogically inferior to in-person learning within the learning community of the classroom and the school.
- The first-generation aspirants have no cultural capital to bank on while struggling their way through college.
- These students are also from the other side of the digital divide which makes them vulnerable to a double disadvantage if digital modes become the mainstay of education.
- Digital learning is further associated with a plethora of socio-economic problems ranging from intermittent Internet connectivity and frequent power cuts to financial constraints in procuring a high-speed Internet connection and limited access to digital literacy and devices among college goers in the country.