Prelims Spotlight: Important Policies and Schemes Regarding Education

Dear Aspirants,

This Spotlight is a part of our Mission Nikaalo Prelims-2022.

You can check the broad timetable of Nikaalo Prelims here

Session Details

Morning 12 PM  – Prelims Spotlight Session

Evening 06:30  PM  – TIKDAM/MCQs Session

Evening 08 PM  – Tests on Alternate Days

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24th Mar 2022

The National Education Policy, 2020

  • It marks the fourth major policy initiative in education since Independence.
  • The last one has undertaken a good 34 years ago and modified in 1992.
  • Based on two committee reports and extensive nationwide consultations, NEP 2020 is sweeping in its vision and seeks to address the entire gamut of education from preschool to doctoral studies, and from professional degrees to vocational training

    Features of the 2020 policy:

  • The policy raises the importance of mother tongue and regional languages along with that no language will be imposed on the students.
  • The “10 + 2” structure will be replaced with “5+3+3+4”.
  • Board exams will be continued to be held for classes 10 and 12 but will be re-designed. Standards for this will be established by an assessment body PARAKH.
  • The Midday Meal Scheme will be extended to include breakfasts.
  • A Higher Education Council of India (HECI) will be set up to regulate higher education. The Council’s goal will be to increase the gross enrollment ratio.
  • To become a teacher, a 4 year Bachelor of Education will be the minimum requirement needed by 2030.
    Read in detail here

1. SHREYAS Scheme: Scheme for Higher Education Youth in Apprenticeship and Skill (SHREYAS)

Launched by- Ministry of Human Resource Development

Important objectives-

  • Improve employability: The scheme aims to improve the employability of introducing employment relevance to the learning process of higher education.
  • Linking education with industry: Close link between education and industry/service sector.
  • Establishing earn while you learn the system into education

Operation of the scheme-

  • It will be operated in conjunction with the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme.
  • The scheme will be implemented by the Sector Skill Council.

2.  NEAT Scheme- National Educational Alliance for Technology (NEAT) 

Launched by- Ministry of Human Resource Development

Objective- Objective is to use Artificial Intelligence to make learning more personalised and customised as per the requirements of the learner.

  • It is a PPP based scheme.
  • MHRD would act as a facilitator to ensure that the solutions are freely available to a large number of economically backward students.
  • MHRD would create and maintain a National NEAT platform that would provide one-stop access to these technological solutions.
  • EdTech companies would be responsible for developing solutions and manage the registration of learners through the NEAT portal.

3. EQUIP- Education Quality Upgradation and Inclusion Programme (EQUIP)’

  • It is a Five-year vision plan, finalised and released by HRD Ministry.
  • The ten Expert Groups have suggested more than 50 initiatives that would transform the higher education sector completely.
  • The groups have suggested 10 goals for the higher education sector.
  • Key Goals are-
    • Double the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education and resolve the geographically and socially skewed access to higher education institutions in India.
    • Position at least 50 Indian institutions among the top-1000 global universities.
    • Double the employability of the students passing out of higher education
    • Achieve a quantum increase in investment in higher education.

  Important Initiatives launched in 2019-

  • DHRUV- The Pradhan Mantri Innovative Learning Programme –
    • DHRUV has been started by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India to identify and encourage talented children to enrich their skills and knowledge.
    • In centres of excellence across the country, gifted children will be mentored and nurtured by renowned experts in different areas, so that they can reach their full potential.
    • The program aims to cover two areas namely Science and Arts.
    • The program is to be launched from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
  • NISHTHA- National Initiative for School Heads and Teachers Holistic Advancement.
    • Its aim is to build capacities of 42 Lakh government teachers across the country.
    • The basic objective of this massive training programme ‘NISHTHA’ is to motivate and equip teachers to encourage and foster critical thinking in students.
  • PARAMARSH- Paramarsh’ for Mentoring NAAC Accreditation Aspirant Institutions to promote Quality Assurance in Higher Education
    • The scheme will be operationalized through a “Hub & Spoke” model wherein the Mentor Institution, called the “Hub” is centralized and will have the responsibility of guiding the Mentee institution through the secondary branches the “Spoke”.
  • SHAGUN– Union HRD Minister launches Integrated Online junction for School Education ‘Shagun’
    • It is one of the world’s largest Integrated Online Junction for – School Education.
    • It is an over-arching initiative to improve the school education system by creating a junction for all online portals and websites relating to various activities of the Department of School Education and Literacy in the Government of India and all States and Union Territories.
  • UDISE+ Unified District Information System for Education Plus – To ensure quality, credibility and timely availability of information from all the schools in the country.

4. RISE Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Higher Education (RISE).

  • Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) scope was expanded to meet the rising financial requirements of educational infrastructure in the country
  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the proposal for expanding the scope of Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) by enhancing its capital base to Rs. 10,000 crore and tasking it to mobilise Rs. 1,00,000 crore for Revitalizing Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE) by 2022.
  • The CCEA has also approved that the modalities for raising money from the market through Government guaranteed bonds and commercial borrowings.
  • In order to expand this facility to all institutions, especially to the institutions set up after 2014, Central Universities which have very little internal resources, and the school education/health education infrastructure like AllMSs, Kendriya Vidyalayas, the CCEA has approved five windows for financing under HEFA.

5. IMPRESS- Impactful Policy Research in Social Sciences

  • Under the Scheme, 1500 research projects will be awarded for 2 years to support the social science research in the higher educational institutions and to enable research to guide policymaking.
  • The broad objective is to identify and fund research proposals in social sciences with maximum impact on governance and society.

6. SPARC- Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration.

  • SPARC scheme aims at improving the research ecosystem of India’s higher educational institutions by facilitating academic and research collaborations between Indian Institutions and the best institutions in the world.
  • At a total cost of Rs.418 Cr for implementation up to 31.3.2020 and Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur is the National Coordinating Institute to implement the SPARC programme.
  • Only such Indian institutes can apply which are in top 100 NIRF ranking or top 100 NIRF subject ranking.

 7. LEAP-Leadership for Academicians Programme

  • It is a flagship leadership development training programme.
  • It is a three weeks Flagship leadership development training programme (2 weeks domestic and one-week foreign training) for second level academic functionaries in public-funded higher education institutions.
  • The implementation of LEAP Programme will be through 15 NIRF top-ranked Indian Institutions.

8. ARPIT- Annual Refresher Programme In Teaching (ARPIT)

  • It is a major and unique initiative of online professional development of 15 lakh higher education faculty using the MOOCs platform SWAYAM.
  • For implementing ARPIT, 75 discipline-specific institutions have been identified and notified as National Resource Centres (NRCs) in the first phase.

9. Pradhan Mantri Vidya Lakshmi Karyakram- It is a first of its kind portal for students seeking Education Loan.

  • A fully IT-based Student Financial Aid Authority has been proposed through the ‘Pradhan Mantri Vidya Lakshmi Karyakram.
  • This initiative aims to bring on board all Banks providing Educational Loans.

10. Institutes of Eminence Scheme-

  • The aim of the scheme is to bring higher educational institutions selected as IoEs in top 500 of the world ranking in the next 10 years and in top 100 eventually overtime.
  • The salient features are available in the UGC Guidelines and the UGC Regulations under which greater autonomy viz.
    • To admit foreign students up to 30% of admitted students.
    • To recruit foreign faculty up to 25% of faculty strength.
    • To offer online courses up to 20% of its programmes; to enter into academic collaboration with top 500 in the world ranking Institutions without permission of UGC.
    • Free to fix and charge fees from foreign students without restriction.
    • The flexibility of course structure in terms of a number of credit hours and years to take a degree; complete flexibility in fixing of curriculum and syllabus, etc. has been provided to IoEs.
  • Each Public Institution selected as IoE will be provided financial assistance up to Rs. 1000 Cr over a period of five years.
  • The private institution will not be given any funds.

11. Samagra Shiksha Scheme

  • The scheme is an overarching programme for the school education sector extending from pre-school to class XII and aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education at all levels of school education.
  • It envisages the ‘school’ as a continuum from pre-school, primary, upper primary, secondary to senior secondary levels and subsumes the three erstwhile centrally sponsored schemes- Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) and Teacher Education(TE).
  • Bridging gender and social category gaps at all levels of school education is one of the major objectives of the scheme.
  • The scheme reaches out to girls and children belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST), minority communities and transgender.
  • The Samagra Shiksha scheme supports States for a strengthening of school infrastructure including in rural areas.
  • The scheme provides for the infrastructural strengthening of existing government schools based on the gaps determined by Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE) and proposals received from respective States/UTs.

12. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan-

  • Universalizing elementary education across the countryRashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan, Vidhyanjali, PBBB.
  • Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan is implemented as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme in partnership with State Governments for universalizing elementary education across the country. Its overall goals include universal access and retention, bridging of gender and social category gaps in education and enhancement of learning levels of children.
  • SSA provides for a variety of interventions, including inter alia, the opening of new schools, construction of schools and additional classrooms, toilets and drinking water, provisioning for teachers, periodic teacher training and academic resource support, textbooks and support for learning achievement. These provisions are made in accordance with norms and standards and free entitlements as mandated by the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009. 

13. Rashtriya Madhyamic Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA)-

  • It aims to raise the minimum level of education to class X and universalize access to secondary education.
  • To ensure good-quality secondary education with a focus on Science, Mathematics and English; and
  • To reduce the gender, social and regional gaps in enrolments, dropouts and improving retention.
  • To make sure that the secondary schools conform to prescribed norms, removing gender, socio-economic and disability barriers, etc. Important physical facilities are provided which include, (i) additional classrooms, (ii) laboratories, (iii) libraries, (iv)art and crafts room, (v) toilet blocks, (vi) drinking water provisions, (vii) electricity / telephone/internet connectivity and (viii) disabled-friendly provisions. Improvement in quality through, (i) appointment of additional teachers to improve PTR (ii) in-service training of teachers, (iii) ICT enabled education, (iv)curriculum reforms and (v) teaching learning reforms. Equity aspects addressed through (i) special focus in micro-planning, (ii) preference to areas with concentration of SC/ST/minority for opening of schools, (iii) special enrolment drive for the weaker section, (iv more female teachers in schools and (v) separate toilet blocks for girls. 

14. Rashtriya Ucchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA)-

  • It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS), launched in 2013. It aims at providing strategic funding to eligible state higher educational institutions based on their progress.
  • The key objectives of RUSA are to improve access, equity and quality in higher education through planned development of higher education at the state level.
  • The central funding (in the ratio of 60:40 for general category States, 90:10 for special category states and 100% for union territories) would be norm based and outcome dependent.
  • The funding flows from the central ministry through the state governments/union territories to the State Higher Education Councils before reaching the identified institutions.

 15. Unnat Bharat Abhiyan (UBA)-

  • It aims at-
    • Building institutional capacity in Institutes of higher education in research & training relevant to the needs of rural India.
    • As a flagship programme of the Ministry of HRD, it aims to link the Higher Education Institutions with a set of at least (5) villages, so that these institutions can contribute to the economic and social betterment of these village communities using their knowledge base.
    • Provide rural India with professional resource support from institutes of higher education, especially those which have acquired academic excellence in the field of Science, Engineering & Technology and Management.
  • The UBA 2.0 was officially launched on 25th April, 2018


  • Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds is an indigenous IT platform for hosting the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).
  • SWAYAM is designed to achieve the three cardinal principles of Education Policy viz., access, equity and quality.
  • It targets those students who could not complete their studies and professionals who wish to upgrade their knowledge.
  • This is done through an indigenous developed IT platform that facilitates hosting of all the courses, taught in classrooms from 9th class till post-graduation to be accessed by anyone, anywhere at any time.

17. Saksham Scholarship Scheme-

  • The scheme was launched in 2014-15, with the objective of encouraging economically weaker differently-abled students to pursue technical education at Diploma and Degree levels.
  • The scholarship amount of Rs.30,000 is provided towards tuition fee reimbursement and Rs.20000 as contingency allowance for 1000 persons/annum.

18. Swayam Prabha-

  • The SWAYAM PRABHA is a group of 32 DTH channels devoted to telecasting of high-quality educational programmes on a 24X7 basis using the GSAT-15 satellite.
  • Every day, there will be new content for at least (4) hours which would be repeated 5 more times in a day, allowing the students to choose the time of their convenience.
  • Information and Library Network (INFLIBNET), an autonomous Inter-University Centre (IUC) of UGC maintains the web portal.
  • The DTH Channels shall cover the following:
    • Higher Education.
    • School education (9-12 levels)
    • Curriculum-based courses that can meet the needs of life-long learners of Indian citizens in India and abroad.
    • Assist students (class 11th & 12th) prepare for competitive exams.

19.Shala Darpan Portal-

  • It is an E-Governance school automation and management system for Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti (NVS).
  • This portal has been developed for information sharing and knowledge dissemination for employees and students across schools and offices of NVS.

20. All School Monitoring Individual Tracing Analysis (ASMITA)-

  • Shala Asmita Yojana (SAY) aims to track the educational journey of close to 25 crore school students from Class I to Class XII across 15 lakh schools in the country.
  • Students will be tracked through their Aadhaar numbers and incase those not having a unique number will be provided with it.
  • This online database will carry information about student attendance and enrolment, mid-day meal service, learning outcomes and infrastructural facilities, among other things, on one platform for both private and government schools. 

21. Global Initiative of Academic Network (GIAN)-

  • It is intended to enlarge and deepen the interface of India’s institutions of higher learning and globally recognised institutions of academic eminence.
  • Under it, faculty from highly rated institutions abroad will visit India, interact and partner with their counterparts and with students, and deliver specialised courses. 

22. IMPRINT India-

  • It is MHRD supported Pan-IIT + IISc joint initiative to address the major science and engineering challenges that India must address and champion to enable, empower and embolden the nation for inclusive growth and self-reliance.
  • This novel initiative with a twofold mandate is aimed at:
    • Developing new engineering education policy.
    • Creating a road map to pursue engineering challenges
  • IMPRINT provides the overarching vision that guides research into areas that are predominantly socially relevant.

23. Ishan Uday and Ishan Vikas-

  • Ishan Vikas and Ishan Uday schemes are being implemented for the students of the North-Eastern region.
  • Ishan Vikas is coordinated by IIT, Guwahati.
  • Under it selected school children from the North Eastern States  are  brought in close contact with the Indian Institute of Technology (IITs), Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISERs) and  National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) during the vacation period
  • Ishan Uday Scholarship Scheme is administered by the University Grants Commission (UGC). Under the scheme, the scholarship is provided to the economically backward students from the North East Region for pursuing general degree courses, technical and professional degree courses.
  • It is envisaged to provide 10000 scholarships annually.

24. Shodhganga-

  • It is the repository developed to contain an electronic copy of all M.Phil/PhD thesis to make it accessible to all institutions.
  • The task of setting-up of this repository is assigned to Information and Library Network (INFLIBNET), an interuniversity centre of the University Grants Commission (UGC).
  • It also provides access to Indian theses and dissertations in open access to the worldwide academic community and making visibility of Indian research to other countries.

25. Vidya Virta Abhiyan-

  • It is to encourage varsities to display portraits of Param Veer Chakra-decorated soldiers.
  • The objective is to instil a sense of nationalism and patriotism among the students
  • Universities and educational institutions across the country will have a wall of heroes, depicting portraits of soldiers who showed extraordinary courage in defending the nation.

26. Diksha Portal-

  • HRD ministry has launched Diksha Portal ( for providing a digital platform to a teacher to make their lifestyle more digital.
  • It will serve as National Digital Infrastructure for Teachers.
  • Diksha portal will enable, accelerate and amplify solutions in the realm of teacher education. It will aid teachers to learn and train themselves for which assessment resources will be available.

27. Margadarshan-

  • The scheme aims to provide mentoring to institutes by a well-performing Institute.
  • Institutions of repute will act as a mentor with its existing facilities to serve as the hub to guide and disperse knowledge to 10 technical institutions.
  • It is under the purview of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), a national-level apex advisory body under the Ministry of Human Resource and Development.
  • Mentor institute also provides services to faculty for self-improvement.
  • Government-owned, aided and self-financed institutes and universities approved by AICTE can participate.


  • It is a student- scientist connect programme by the Ministry of HRD and Ministry of S&T.
  • It focuses on connecting school students and scientists so as to extend student‘s classroom learning to research laboratory based learning by visiting CSIR laboratories and by participating in mini-science projects.
  • CSIR and Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) are collaborating to implement this programme.

29. Maitreyi Yatra-

  • It is an exclusive student exchange programme for J&K organized by Ministry of Human Resource development.
  • It provides a good opportunity for the youth of J&K to be acquainted with culture, language and development story of different parts of the country.

30. Madhyamik and Ucchatar Shiksha Kosh (MUSK)-

  • It is a non-lapsable pool in the Public Account for secondary and higher, education known as “Madhyamik and Uchchtar Shiksha Kosh” (MUSK) into which all proceeds of “Secondary and Higher Education Cess” will be credited.
  • The funds arising from the MUSK would be utilized for schemes in the education sector which would be available for the benefit of students of secondary and higher education, all over the country.
  • The MUSK would be maintained as a Reserve Fund in the non-interest bearing section of the Public Accounts of India.
  • The major benefit will be enhancing access to secondary and higher education through the availability of adequate resources while ensuring that the amount does not lapse at the end of the financial year.

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