1st attempt by the HRD ministry to know the internet accessibility

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With no signs of schools reopening, the government is faced with the challenge of ensuring access to education to a huge number of students who do not have access to a computer or the Internet.
The Union human resource development ministry has this week begun asking states to compile data on the number of students who may not have access to computers or computer-like devices and the Internet, people in the know told ET. The move is learnt to have come after a nudge by the Prime Minister’s Office. The HRD ministry did not respond till press time Tuesday to ET’s queries.

While a recent Unicef report said more than 270 million students in India have been impacted by the school closure due to Covid-19 and that only 24% Indian households have Internet access, there is no clear government assessment yet on the subject.

The HRD ministry is learnt to be making a first attempt towards assessing how many students exactly may be faced with serious disadvantages without access to devices and the net. This, it is felt, will help both the Centre and states come up with a better-targeted strategy.