Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered the inaugural address at the ‘Conclave on Transformational Reforms in Higher Education under National Education Policy’ here today through video conference.The conclave has been organised by the Ministry of Education and University Grants Commission.Union Minister for Education Ramesh Pokhriyal; Union Minister of State for Education, Sanjay Dhotre; Secretary, Higher Education, Amit Khare also participated in the event. A number of dignitaries including the Chairman, UGC, D.P. Singh; Chairman K. Kasturirangan and Members, Committee for Draft NEP as well as eminent academicians/scientists spoke on different aspects of the National Education Policy at the Conclave.
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister mentioned that the National Education Policy was approved after extensive deliberations over 3-4 years and brainstorming over lakhs of suggestions. He noted that healthy debate and discussions are taking place on National Education policy across the country. National Education Policy aims at making the youth Future Ready while focussing on the National Values and National Goals.
Narendra Modi said that the policy lays the foundation of the New India, the 21st Century India, the education and skills needed for the youth to strengthen India, to advance it to new heights of development and to further empower the citizens of India to make them suitable for maximum opportunities.
The Prime Minister said that for years our education system remained unchanged leading to lopsided priorities where people were focussing on either becoming a doctor, an engineer or a lawyer. He said there was no mapping of the Interest, Ability and Demand.
The Prime Minister questioned how could critical thinking and innovative thinking develop in the youth, unless there is Passion in our education, Philosophy of Education, Purpose of Education.The Prime Minister said National Education Policy also reflects the ideals of Guru Rabindranath on Education, which aims at bringing our lives in harmony with all the existence. He said, a Holistic Approach was needed, which the National Education Policy has achieved successfully.
He said the Policy was formulated keeping in mind two biggest questions: Whether our education system motivates our youth for Creative, Curiosity and Commitment Driven Life? And whether our education system empowers our youth, helps in building an Empowered Society in the country? On this he expressed satisfaction that National Education Policy takes care of these pertinent issues.
The Prime Minister said that India’s education system needs to change according to the changing times. The new structure of a 5 + 3 + 3 + 4 curriculum is a step in this direction, he added. He said that we have to ensure that our students become Global Citizens and also remain connected to their roots.
The PM said the new education policy stresses on ‘How to think’. He said the emphasis on inquiry-based, discovery-based, discussion based, and analysis based learning methods for children will enhance their urge to learn and participate in the classes.
The PM said the New Education Policy provides for a Credit Bank so that students can have the freedom to leave a course in between and utilise them later when they want to resume their courses. He said that we are moving towards an era where a person will have to constantly re-skill and up-skill himself.
The PM said that the dignity of every section of society plays a big role in the development of any country. Therefore, a lot of attention has been given to student education and Dignity of Labor in National Education Policy.
PM said that India has the ability to give solutions of talent and technology to the whole world, and that the National Education Policy also addresses this responsibility, which aims at developing many technology-based content and courses. He said that concepts like virtual labs are going to carry the dream of better education to millions of peers who could not read such subjects before, which required Lab Experiment. National Education Policy is also going to play an important role in ending the gap of research and education in our country.
The Prime Minister felt the institute that does more work for quality education should be rewarded with more freedom. This will provide Encouragement to Quality and will also give Incentive to everyone to grow. He wished that as the national education policy expands, the autonomy of education institutions will also get faster.
Quoting former President of the country, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, “The purpose of education is to make good human beings with skill and expertise. Enlightened human beings can be created by teachers.”
The Prime Minister said that the policy focuses on developing a strong teaching system where teachers can in turn produce good professionals and good citizens. There is a great emphasis on teacher training in national education policy, they are constantly updating their skills, there is a lot of emphasis on this.
PM urged people to work together with determination to implement the National Education Policy. He said that a new round of dialogue and coordination with Universities, Colleges, School education boards, different states, different stakeholders is about to start from here. He urged to continue the webinar on National Education Policy and keep discussing it. He expressed confidence that in this Conclave, better suggestions, effective solutions will come out regarding Effective Implementation of National Education Policy.
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While addressing the participants, Pokhriyal thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for sharing his vision and thoughts on New Education Policy 2020 and the journey of making India a world leader in education. He said that the National Education Policy 2020 is the first education policy of the 21st century and aims to address the many growing developmental imperatives of our Country. He added that a different perspective of education has been formulated in National Education Policy 2020, wherein the target to be achieved are– complete brain development and learning at school level, a transformed, large and multidisciplinary vision of imparting knowledge at higher education level and finally creating an appropriate and hassle free education eco-system of transferring information& knowledge to the learners in New India. He further added that it is not just a policy document but a reflection of the aspirations of a common education pursuer of India.
Pokhriyal said that the 21st century is the era of Globalization and ever-increasing Institutional competitiveness. This is the time for increased focus on learning, research, innovation and this is exactly what India’s National Education Policy, 2020 does. It focuses on the quality of education in India and intends to make Indian education system the most advance and modern for students of our Country.It replaces the 34-year-old National Policy on Education framed in 1986 and is aimed at paving the way for transformational reforms in school and higher education systems to make India a global knowledge superpower.
The Minister highlighted that the Higher education plays an extremely important role in promoting human as well as societal well- being and in developing India as envisioned in its Constitution. As India moves towards becoming a knowledge economy and society, more and more young Indians are likely to aspire for higher education. He further said that the new policy makes way for three categories of institutions – research focused universities, teaching focused universities, autonomous colleges. He added that this policy provides a roadmap for re-energising of the system to deliver high-quality higher education, with equity and inclusion.
Addressing the participants Dhotre said that the quality of Higher Education system is inherently linked to strong foundations of the school education. This policy has broken many silos, and water tight compartments, that had existed, in our education system. He further said that there is no distinction now between academic and co-curricular or extracurricular. School Students will have exposure to academics, sports, arts, music, vocational studies, to ensure their all rounded development. This approach will continue in higher education as well. And many such transformational, and not incremental, reforms have been attempted through this policy. He added that the consolidation of higher education, multidisciplinary approach, credits system, integration of vocational training with mainstream education, flexible entry and exit, liberal use of technology, focus on quality, equity and inclusiveness, light but tight regulation are many such transformational aspects of this policy, with unwavered focus on top class quality of education.
Speaking on the occasion Khare gave a detailed presentation on NEP during the inaugural session of the conclave. He said that the Higher Educational Institutions have a leading role in shaping the minds of younger generation and for contributing in the development of the State and the Nation. He added that new paradigms in higher education have now emerged as a result of this New Education Policy that considers new realities of modern India and with effective implementation of the NEP-2020, India will become a global study destination providing premium education at affordable costs.
The conclave held several sessions dedicated to significant aspects of education covered under the National Education Policy, 2020 like Holistic, Multidisciplinary and futuristic education, Quality Research, and Equitable use of technology for better reach in Education.Vice-Chancellors of universities, Directors of Institutions and Principals of colleges and other stakeholders participated in the programme.