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Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan performing Bhoomi Pooja for the construction of new buildings in National Institute of Technology- Tiruchi, on January 22, 2023
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Launch of National Digital University later this year will pave way for scaling up Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education significantly from the present level of 27 percent, Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister for Education, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, said on Sunday.

A thrust on online education, collaboration amongst existing institutions and start of new ones are the other ways to attain the intended target of 50 percent GER, the Minister told mediapersons.

Mr. Dharmendra Pradhan, who was here to inaugurate the second floor of LOGOS Lecture Hall Complex and Annexe buildings at the National Institute of Technology – Tiruchi, advocated collaboration amongst top-level higher education institutions such as NITs, IITs and IIMs for innovations and research activities benefitting the people.

On the impending entry of select foreign universities to India, the Minister said the initiative was meant to provide a cost-effective alternative for a section of learners who pursue higher education in foreign universities without any certainty of the standing of the institutions.

The University Grants Commission has, while specifying guidelines for four-year UG programme in science and humanities, retained the option for higher educational institutions to follow the three-year UG pattern, factoring in the duration required to transition to the new system in accordance with National Education Policy 2020, the Minister said.

Commending the NIT-T for implementing NEP, the Minister assured support for the Institute’s plan to set up a Research Park next year to coincide with its Diamond Jubilee. Urging students to take up entrepreneurship, the Minister said research should be oriented towards the community.

Mr. Pradhan appreciated IGNITTE, the teaching club of NIT Tiruchi, for identifying students from underprivileged backgrounds and training them to face the toughest entrance examinations in the country.

The Minister later performed the Bhoomi Puja for the Annexe Buildings to the Departments of Production, Mechanical, Metallurgical & Materials Engineering, in the presence of Bhaskar Bhat, Chairman, Board of Governors, NIT Tiruchi, and G. Aghila, Director, NIT Tiruchirappalli. The construction of these buildings is estimated to cost ₹68 crore.

The second floor of the Lecture Hall Complex he inaugurated on the occasion was constructed at a cost ₹14 crore.

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