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NEP 2020: Karnataka government launches UUCMS portal to digitise higher education, centralise data

Apart from the UUCMS having nine different modules, the state government revealed very little about this initiative which bears similarities with the NDEAR to be implemented nationally. 

In another materialisation of the National Education Policy released in 2020, the Karnataka government announced multiple educational initiatives at an event on August 23, two weeks after it issued an order implementing the NEP. One of these initiatives was the Unified University and College Management System (UUCMS).

The NEP 2020 emphasised greater involvement of technology in education with the suggestion of creating a National Education Technology Forum which would formulate policies under the NEP.  The central government also launched the National Digital Education Architecture (NDEAR) last month, along the same lines. The UUCMS seems like a state-level version of the NDEAR.

The central government’s replies to parliament questions in the monsoon session revealed that over 2.96 crore school students in India do not have access to digital devices, of which over 31 lakh are in Karnataka. The UUCMS does contain a module called Student Support but no further details have been provided in this regard.

What is the UUCMS?

On its website, the UUCMS claims it will “computerize all activities of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)” and “centralize the data available on higher education from the grass-root level”. These activities will include admissions and degree issuance under Undergraduate, Post-Graduate, and PhD courses as well as handling various HR and logistical functions of educational institutes.

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The Karnataka government does not elaborate further on the UUCMS; however, a graphic on its website lists other verticals that could be a part of it:

  • Research and development
  • Admissions
  • Financial planning and monitoring
  • Library management
  • Asset management
  • Student support
  • Affiliation
  • Examination
  • Academics & Class monitoring

What is the NDEAR?

  • The NDEAR plans to establish the framework, principles, and overall structure for the development and creation of digital infrastructure, solutions, and platforms for the education sector.
  • It also claims to provide a ‘federated’ system that allows States/UTs, the private sector, and NGOs, along with the central government, to use the data for management purposes.
  • It would create registries of student IDs, school IDs, teaching content, and so on.
  • It would provide statistical education data to help in research and in formulating educational policies in the future.

The NEP’s push for digitisation

The National Education Policy 2020 had a number of tech-related proposals such as promoting artificial intelligence by including it in curricula as well as making funds available for AI research.

Academic Bank of Credit (ABC): The policy also proposed a mechanism to digitally store academic credits earned by students from various recognised institutes of higher education, so that these institutes can award degrees to students after taking into account the credits earned by them.

Smart classrooms: Every classroom will be developed into a smart classroom in a phased manner, with online resources and collaborations, the policy said.

National Teachers Portal, digital libraries: A national repository of resources on foundational literacy and numeracy will be made available on the National Teacher’s Portal, according to the NEP.

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Written By

I cover health technology for MediaNama, among other things. Reach me at anushka@medianama.com

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