Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ instructed officials of his ministry to develop the syllabus on artificial intelligence introduced by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) for Class 9 students according to the needs of the industrial sector.

The CBSE introduced artificial intelligence as an optional subject for Class 9 from this academic session. IIT Kharagpur too began a six-month course on it recently, the minister said.

“The courses of Artificial Intelligence, from school education to higher education level should be designed according to the needs of the industrial sector. There is no dearth of talent among our students. Surely the best results will come out,” Nishank said at the launch of two initiatives under the Department of Higher Education at Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra here.

He also appealed to all teachers to be part of these programmes not only to further their own careers but also to help students.

He noted that in 2018 under the ARPIT programme, while there were 51,000 enrolments, only 6,411 faculty registered and only 3,807 of them managed to qualify.

There are around 15 lakh teachers teaching higher education in the country, he said, and rued the fact that despite availability of such programmes not many are coming forward.

“I urge more and more teachers to come forward. ARPIT is a great platform for teachers to learn about latest developments in their field and develop their teaching qualities,” he said.

He said that for better results we need to increase the participation of teachers in this programme.

As on date, the enrolment for ARPIT 2019 is around 48,000. As part of popularising ARPIT, NIC has sent bulk mails and SMS to all faculties in the relevant disciplines, which covers around 10 lakh faculty in higher educational institutions.

A national initiative -- Leadership for Academicians Programme (LEAP) -- was launched by the minister to build higher managerial capabilities of existing higher education leaders and administrators and to draw fresh talent into the management of higher education systems.

LEAP is a three-week leadership development training programme (two weeks domestic and one week foreign training) for second level academic functionaries in public funded higher education institutions.

The main objective is to prepare second tier academic heads that are potentially likely to assume leadership roles in the future, the minister said.