April 13, 2021 12:20 am

PM Narendra Modi: Universities and Colleges should find solutions to the challenges society face

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Conference on Academic Leadership on Education for Resurgence in Vigyan Bhawan in which the Vice-Chancellors, Directors from more than 350 universities participated. The conference was organized jointly by UGC, AICTE, ICSSR, IGNCA, IGNOU, JNU and SGT University. Union Minister for Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar and MoS, HRD Dr Satya Pal Singh were also present on the occasion.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that when one thinks of resurgence or revival, the first image that comes to mind is of Swami Vivekananda, who presented before the world, the strength of Indian thought. The Prime Minister recalled Swami Vivekananda’s emphasis on self-reliance, character building, and human values, as elements of education. The Prime Minister said innovation is another vital element of education today.

Recalling the ancient Indian texts, the Vedas, the Prime Minister said that we cannot imagine our society, our country, and even our lives, without knowledge. He said that our ancient universities such as Taxila, Nalanda and Vikramshila, gave importance to innovation, besides knowledge. The Prime Minister also recalled the views on the education of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar, Deendayal Upadhyay, and Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia.

Narendra Modi said that today, no country or person can live in isolation. He mentioned the importance of thinking in terms of ‘global citizen’ or ‘global village.’ He said our Universities and Colleges should be leveraged to find solutions to the challenges facing us. We should “Interlink Institutions to Innovate and Incubate”, he added. He urged students to link their classroom learnings to the aspirations of the country. He also mentioned Atal Tinkering Labs which have been set up to encourage children to innovate. He mentioned the RISE – Revitalization of Infrastructure and Systems in Education -programme for improving education infrastructure. He mentioned the steps taken for higher education.

Prime Minister Modi emphasized the importance of preparing good teachers for society. He also said that scholars and students can take responsibility for spreading digital literacy and generating greater awareness of government programmes that can improve the ease of living. Prime Minister Modi said that the youth has given “Brand India” a global identity. He mentioned schemes such as Start Up India, Stand Up India and Skill India, which are aimed at nurturing young talent.

The theme of the Conference is to deliberate on the challenges facing the Indian education system and to work out a plan for a paradigm shift both in terms of achieving academic outcomes and also in the regulation of education.

While addressing the gathering, Javadekar said that without innovation a nation cannot achieve sustainable growth, so the Ministry of Human Resource Development has taken a number of initiatives like IMPRINT, Smart India Hackathon (SIH), GIAN, SWAYAM and National Digital Library (NDL) to change the structure of the entire education system in this direction. The minister said that high technology research labs are being developed to promote brain gain as innovation in higher education is a key focus to support research within the country.

He also informed that the budget allocation of Rs 1,00,000 crore for Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE) will also help to step up investment in research and related infrastructure. Government is promoting quality education in identified aspirational districts through RUSA, he added.

Javadekar said that to ensure quality education, the ministry has developed learning outcomes, which will fix accountability on education providers. He also informed that for the overall development of students government has started ‘ Samagra Siksha’ in which government is providing financial assistance to all government schools for library and sports and extended hostel facility for Katurba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya.

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  1. This refers to Conference of Academic Leadership on Education for Resurgence held in Vigyan Bhawan . While as organising a Conference and bringing various institutions together is a good idea but I have my reservations whether such a gathering can lead us to shape the future of College and higher education in the country. Education for Resurgence needs serious discussions by education experts including those who have spent life time in making various educational interventions. It is most unfortunate that we don’t have even our New Education Policy in place. In fact such Conferences should have been organised post New Education Policy. We have increased the quantity but quality of education is decreasing day by day. India has the potential to develop a new model of education which not only will ensure to keep our values in tact but also to produce civilized society . There are many more things but let us first start the discussion.

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