She is India’s 31st and second woman HRD minister. She is glad and thankful to PM Narendra Modi for giving her this responsibility that was once headed by Murli Manohar Joshi.
Her first priority as an HRD Minister is to increase spending on Education. In a long meeting with two secretaries – Ashok Thakur and Rajrishi Bhattacharya – Irani said she wanted all appointments to be put on hold for a fortnight.
- She is looking for ways to enhance public spending on education to 6% from the present 3.8% of GDP.
- Setting up national e-library and a central university of Himalayan technology would also be her priority.
- She avoided controversy and remained non-committal about continuous and comprehensive evaluation.
- Also, Her emphasis to avoid controversy of any type and non-committal about continuous and comprehensive education.
First of all she wants to view detailed notes on various schemes run by the ministry, for instance Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Mid-Day Meal, Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan and Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan. The new minister wanted to know about auditing of various schemes of school education from various officials.
She wants to view the list of committees and institutions headed by the HRD minister.
ICHR has been without a chairperson for the past few months after Basudeb Chatterji’s term got over. The selection process for appointment of new chairperson is about to start. In case of Hyderabad-based NCRI, the HRD ministry is under court order to appoint a new chairperson by June 2. In fact, one of the first things the ministry wants Irani to clear is the new NCRI chairperson.
The new minister is also watching the appointment of V-Cs of 12 central universities which is already at an advanced stage.
It was also reported that Smriti Irani took a meeting of senior officials up to the level of joint secretary where presentations were made and priority areas discussed. Irani also wanted separate presentations of educational status of each state. Moreover, this was the first time when state specific presentations have been asked reports a source.