The Department Related Standing Committee for Human Resources Department will hold a meeting on August 10 in the Parliament under the chairmanship of Rajya Sabha MP Vinay Shahastrabuddhe to discuss the future of the education system during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Schools, colleges and university campuses have remained shut since the imposition of complete Lockdown on March 24 and some form of lockdown is still in place in all the states. The number of coronavirus cases has constantly risen and currently stand at over 19 lakh, with more than 40,000 reported deaths.
The Committee has summoned secretary-level officers both from school and higher education department of the HRD Ministry, with representatives of UGC, AICTE and CBSE set to be present.
The Committee has sought the departments' plans in place for this year's academic year with nearly seven months done. It will seek the opinion of the departments for a long-term plan should the pandemic extend till December.
Most students have been taking online classes conducted by schools and colleges. Those in rural areas have complained about lack of facilities to attend such classes. For some from the economically weaker sections of society, the challenge has been to arrange mobile phones and other devices and broadband connections for their children.
Many examinations, including competitive ones like JEE and CA finals, as well as board exams were not held and continue to be postponed. Results of class X and XII exams across Boards have been declared on the basis of papers appeared for so far.
The DRSC For HRD recently got a new chairman in Shahastrabuddhe who took over from Satyanarayan Jatiya whose term ended. The committee has several newly elected MPs, including Jyotiraditya Scindia and Bhubaneshwar Kalita from BJP, former Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai, GK Vasan, BJD MP Sasmit Patra and TMC's Derek O'Brien.