In order to upgrade the education sector and make it competitive and intellectually sound, Prakash Javadekar, Union minister of human resource development stressed on the need to make education accessible to all, and announced that the government is working in that direction.
This issue was discussed at the ASSOCHAM (Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India) National Education Summit and Edu-shine Excellence Awards 2019, with the topic ‘Making India Global Powerhouse: Catalysing Reforms and Innovations. The event took place on February 21, in Delhi.
Speaking at the ASSOCHAM event through video conferencing, Javadekar said that students need exposure across all spectrums of education.
“Introduction of affordable education, of over 1.3 million teachers, and improved schooling are some of the aspects that we have implemented across the country. We have studied and worked towards bringing a holistic approach to the Indian education system where handling of students at lower levels, ensuring pre and post matrix scholarships and increased exposure to research has been given priority.”
Javadekar also said, “The transformation that has happened in the past four years has resulted in maximum enrolment and reduced drop outs. We have introduced a system that makes teachers accountable in terms of the outcomes of examinations and facilitating options for students in the events of failures.” Javadekar added that education should be holistic in nature.
“There is a need to change the way education is perceived. We have included sports, life skills and values in the education system that would improve students in their personal lives. We have also started constructing technological labs, for schools and research, and sanctioned Rs 33,000 crore for additional academic infrastructure,” Javadekar said.
He further said, “This way we will ensure quality at all levels and improve research and innovation. We have started social research, joint cooperation between foreign universities, and a Gyan-digital library with 18 million books where anyone can be a member free of cost.”
Pranab Mukherjee, former President of India, Suresh Prabhu, minister of commerce and industry, Uday Kumar Varma, ASSOCHAM secretary general, and other dignitaries were also present.
Pranab Mukherjee said, “India boasts an ancient education system which now needs to excel at global level. India’s demographic dividend has the potential to add significantly to its GDP.”
Suresh Prabhu stated that, “The purpose of education should be uniform in order to expose new areas of education to improve employability.”
In his remarks Varma said, “We have the third largest education system in the world, which claims to have a turnover of 90 billion US dollars and is likely to cross 100 billion by 2020. With 44 central universities, 90 private, and 903 state universities including technical ones, the growth has been satisfactory. Now the focus should be on rural transformation through education and the skilling architecture.”
“We have highlands of excellence but there is vast mediocrity. We can be on par with foreign varsities with flexibility and transparency in our education sector”, Varma added.