The National Education Alliance for Technology Scheme (NEAT), which is being implemented by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), aims to act as a bridge between edtech companies, academic institutions and students.
About National Education Alliance for Technology Scheme
- The scheme, guided by the public-private partnership model, was launched by the Ministry of Education in September 2019.
- The initiative was taken after a Ministry of Education review noted that learning tools developed by edtech platforms that can supplement classroom teaching need to be made more accessible. Accordingly, it was proposed that a portal be created where edtech platforms can be roped in to display their products after a shortlisting process.
What are the products on display in the portal?
- The portal — neat.aicte-india.org– has separate sections listing products for students and educational institutes respectively.
- Under the B2B (business to business) segment of the portal, courses are on offer for higher education institutes to purchase in bulk for their students.
- And the B2C (business to customer) section lists courses that eligible students can browse through and choose from. The courses range from accounting and finance to coding, including advanced programming languages like python.
How were students picked under the scheme?
- There are two different ways through which students can enroll under the scheme.
- The basic objective of the scheme is to make students from disadvantaged backgrounds aware of the availability of such opportunities that can help them learn new skills or polish existing ones.
But then how will it benefit students from backward communities?
- In order to do that, the government has mandated that every shortlisted company will have to offer free coupons to the extent of 25 per cent of the total registrations for their solution through NEAT portal.
- Through this route, the government created a bank of 12.15 lakh free coupons over the last two years.
- And it has now started distributing those coupons among students belonging to SC/ST/OBC and EWS categories with the annual family income cap fixed at Rs 8 lakh.
How were SC/ST/SC/EWS students chosen?
- After the government opened the registrations for students of these categories for free courses, nearly 37 lakh applications were received, Chandrashekhar said. As the number of free coupons were limited, the authorities used an AI tool to pick students with caste, income, gender, age as filters. Older students and women have been given preference over men.
What are the courses in demand?
- The top five courses in terms of demand are python programming, C, C++, Java programming, data science, life science and healthcare analysis, and interview preparation.
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