‘Digital University’: Plan to Make Higher Education Affordable in India

The Covid 19 pandemic has brought renewed focus on digital education in India at all levels including university education. The Union Budget 2022-23 has announced the establishment of the Digital University to bring university education to the doorsteps of learners with cost-effectivity and flexibility. The rising cost of education has made it extremely unaffordable for students of the economically weaker sections to pursue further studies.

Thus, the digital university will make university education in India affordable by addressing the limitations of physical university education in terms of infrastructure and human resource constraints.  It will provide easy installment options to the students with the freedom to learn from their choice of place with no limitation of seats. It will solve the financial and physical hassles related to higher education in India and make it much more approachable for a large number of students at a reasonable cost.

Digital university will completely function through the digital mode i.e. with the use of internet facilities under the University Grant Commission (UGC). It is to be a completely developed central university that will primarily provide a vast variety of digital courses in formats such as Degree, Diploma, and Certificate courses.

The central digital university establishment is a great step towards the generalization of high-standard quality education in India. It is the first initiative towards providing online education on a universal basis. It is an innovative combination of several existing educational frameworks in India i.e. online learning and open distance learning which will make it more democratic and impartial.

The digitalization of higher education would mean that students from remote, backward, or undeveloped areas will also have access to quality education irrespective of their location of residence. It will be beneficial for students to continue with their university education along with their supplementary employment/ vocational engagements.

This initiative can meet the aim of increasing the literacy rate among the Indian youth and is expected to ensure a considerable contribution to India’s socioeconomic growth. It can be the next revolutionary step in the advancement of higher education in India if effective measures are taken to implement the various aspects involved in the establishment of a digital university and last-mile internet connectivity across India in the coming years.