My dream is to see Jammu and Kashmir emerge as a centre of knowledge, enterprise, innovation and skill development, said the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind while addressing a Conference on implementation of National Education Policy in Jammu and Kashmir. The President addressed the Conference through a video message which was attended by the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Vice Chancellors of Universities and Principals of Colleges in Jammu and Kashmir as well as other stakeholders in Srinagar today (September 20, 2020).
Appreciating the scholarly pursuits of the region, the President said that determined efforts should be made to make this paradise a hub of knowledge, innovation and learning by implementing NEP in letter and spirit. Taking inspiration from the captivating couplet, he said that these steps would make Jammu and Kashmir once again a “Firdaus on the earth, a bright jewel on the crown of Mother India” as it was referred to in the medieval age.
Talking about the rich heritage in the field of education inherited by Jammu and Kashmir, President Kovind said that it has been a centre of literature and learning since time immemorial. Citing the examples of Kalhana’s Rajtarangini and the Mahayana Buddhism, the tenets of which were popular in Kashmir, he opined that history of India’s cultural traditions would remain incomplete without taking them into consideration.
Reiterating the importance of NEP, the President said that India has an unprecedented demographic dividend but it could be positively realized only if the young people constituting a substantial segment of the population become skilled, professionally competent, and above all educated in the real sense. Showing faith in the children of Jammu and Kashmir, he said that Jammu and Kashmir is a reservoir of extremely intelligent, talented and innovative children. He further added that the implementation of the education policy will produce students with “ignited minds”.
Emphasizing on value-based education, President Kovind said that it is important to understand our tradition and rich cultural heritage which can be achieved only in our mother tongue. It is this mother tongue that is being encouraged in the new education policy as it adheres to the cultural ethos of our country. He further observed that the three-language formula which is envisioned in this policy is of immense significance and could promote multilingualism as well as national unity but at the same time no language will be imposed on any state or union territory.
President Kovind observed that the policy focuses on ensuring accessibility, equality, affordability, accountability and quality in education and encouraged skill development, experience-based learning and logical thinking. Emphasizing on the principle of Atmanirbhar Bharat, he said that vocational education as emulated in the NEP 2020 will be helpful in achieving this goal.
The President extended his greetings to the youth of Jammu and Kashmir to fulfill the objectives of this policy and a peaceful and prosperous future.