To commemorate National Teachers’ Day 2018, the Vice President of the country, M Venkaiah Naidu will confer the National Teachers’ Awards at a function. PM Narendra Modi will also be having a meet-and-greet with the winners on the eve of the day. This time around, the guidelines for the selection of the teachers for these awards have seen some change. As per a statement issued by the HRD Ministry, ‘The basic premise 'is that the new scheme should be transparent, fair, and reward demonstrated excellence and performance and has been inspired by recent innovations in major national awards'.
In a first, as many as 6692 applications had been received from teachers across the country as the teachers could apply directly and nominate themselves for the award(s). The ministry has said that it would now be holding every regular teacher to be eligible to apply with no minimum years of service in the profession required. This has paved the way for young teachers to apply as opposed to earlier, wherein only those with a minimum of 15 years of service could do the same.
The teachers were given the option to nominate themselves via the official ministry website, which has been developed by the Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI). In yet another change, the number of awards being conferred is now 45, instead of over 300 (previous years number). This, according to the ministry, has been done to restore the prestige of the awards.
The process involved the selection of the 3 best teachers in every district. These were then forwarded to the committee under the State/UT Secretary of Education, after which he/she compiled a shortlist. As many as 152 teachers were finally shortlisted. The ultimate selection was made by an independent Jury under the criteria of choosing those who had shown innovation in their work and added value to the school and to their students as well.
These teachers then had to give a presentation before an independent Jury that had a senior educationist amongst its ranks. The presentation round was conducted during the third week of August, giving the nominees equal opportunity to pitch their case across to the Jury.