New Delhi: NCERT published textbooks will carry QR codes from next year, which will provide web links to films or related reading content to help students understand subjects better, Union minister Prakash Javadekar has said.
Quick Response (QR) Code is a machine-readable code consisting of an array of black and white squares, which are essentially web links that can be read by smartphone cameras.
Javadekar also announced that students who take education loans will not have to pay the interest for the duration of the course plus one year. He said the government has made a provision of Rs 6,600 crore for bearing the interest component on the loans.
Nearly 10 lakh students would avail the benefits from 2017-18 to 2019-20, with the government bearing about Rs 2,200 crore per year towards interest costs on education loans, the minister said.
Under the scheme, the government will bear the interest cost on education loan up to Rs 7.50 lakh for students from families with less than Rs 4.5 lakh income, Javadekar said briefing reporters about Wednesday’s Cabinet decisions.
From 2009 to 2014, the government has spent Rs 800 crore per year under the scheme, which increased to Rs 1,800 crore per year from 2014 to 2017, he said.
On the NCERT books, he said that from 2019, books will be energised, carrying QR codes, which would allow the students to access films and additional material to supplement the chapter.
The minister said that the government has also decided that three existing schemes on improving public education—Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan and the Teacher Education (TE)—would be merged.
An estimated allocation of Rs 75,000 crore over the period has been approved which is a 20 per cent increase over the current allocations.
The minister said a committee has been formed to look into the issue of promoting digital board by replacing the blackboard to improve quality of education. He said the committee will give their report in a month's time.