New Delhi: Union Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani on Thursday launched "Prashikshak" teacher education portal with a vision to strengthen District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs) and bring quality teachers into the school education system. Prashikshak is an IT initiative which will contain a comprehensive database of all DIETs in the country with all relevant performance indicators. It will help benchmark DIETs to enable aspiring teachers to make informed choices about their future. At the same time, it will give the opportunity to central and state governments to do real-time monitoring of the institutions. "Though the Prashiskshak has started only for DIETs, it will cover block level institutes in the future and identify gaps at the bottom of the pyramid," said Irani. "The government also has plans for enhancing Prashikshak to cover all Government Teacher Education Institutions in the country, which are recognized by National Council For Teacher Education (NCTE)," she added. The minister also made an appeal to all state government teacher education functionaries to make full use of the portal to bring about transformative changes in the monitoring system of these institutions. The event also saw live interaction about ‘Prashikshak’ through Video Conference with DIET principals across six states - Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh. According to a Ministry of Human Resource Development statement, suggestions were received like sharing of materials in regional languages, creating a corner for ‘solution exchange on issues related to teacher education’.