Union HRD Minister Asks CBSE, State Boards To Start Evaluating Answer Scripts

New Delhi: The Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ on Tuesday directed all the states to start evaluating the answer sheets of Board exams and facilitate CBSE to evaluate answer sheets of the students in their respective states.

The Union HRD Minister interacted with the Education Ministers and Secretaries of all the states through video conferencing here and asked them to make efforts to ensure that 33 crore students across the country can continue their education without facing any difficulty amidst the Corona crisis.

At the meeting, the Minister said that it is time to act wisely and make use of the period to ensure safety and academic welfare of the students.

For this, efforts are being made to strengthen online education platforms like DIKSHA, Swayam, SwayamPrabha, Vidyadaan 2.0, E-Pathshala, Educational TV Channel of Doordarshan, DishTV, Tata Sky, Jio, Airtel DTH etc.

The Minister also stated that an alternative academic calendar has been released by NCERT, which states can adopt according to their local situation.

In case of re-opening of schools, proper safety guidelines have to be made, he added.

In view of the health of the students, the Union Minister said that ration is being provided under mid-day meal scheme for the children to get adequate and nutritious food.

During the meeting, Pokhriyal announced a landmark decision that an additional expenditure of about Rs 1600 crore will be made for providing mid-day meals during the summer holidays.

Besides this, under the Mid-Day Meal Scheme, an ad-hoc grant of Rs 2500 crore is being issued for the first quarter.

To augment the Mid-day meal programme, the annual central allocation of cooking cost (for procurement of pulses, vegetable, oil, spices and fuel) under Mid Day Meal Scheme has been enhanced to Rs. 8100 crore from Rs 7,300 crore ( an increment of 10.99%).

Pokhriyal also informed that under the SamagraShiksha, GOI has allowed states to spend the balance of the previous year, which is around Rs. 6200 crore. Apart from this, an ad-hoc grant of Rs 4450 crore is also being issued for the first quarter.

The Minister requested states to immediately transfer the amount released under SamagraShiksha to the State Implementation Committee so that it can be utilised properly to ensure that the next installment can be released.

The Minister also informed that on the request of the Ministry of HRD, Ministry of Home Affairs has relaxed the lockdown rules for bookstores to make that books are available to the students.

Education ministers of 22 states and Secretaries from 14 states and Union Territories attended the video conference.

Secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy, Anita Karwal and senior officials of the Ministry also participated in the meeting.

Pokhriyal appreciated the efforts made by the Ministry of Human Resource Development for providing all possible help to states to ensure the academic welfare of students.

The Union Minister thanked all the ministers and officials of the states for their commendable work in the field education and assured them that the Ministry will extend full support in this difficult time.

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