Union Minister of Education, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ while addressing the inaugural session of 16th FICCI Higher Education Summit 2021 being held virtual on Feb 25-26 said that as universities and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) move towards academic reforms, an ecosystem that is both flexible and innovative is being created. “As we move towards self-reliance, it is important that we rediscover the ancient knowledge and tradition of education system of India.”
The minister said that “India is poised to become the R&D capital of the world not because of the cost advantage but due to the rich and intelligent human capital that the country is bestowed with. In the next 20-30 years, the energy and talent of young India will be used in the development of the nation and advancing the world. The 21st century belongs to Young India,” he said.
Further, elaborating on the NEP 2020, the Minister added that the NEP and its implementation has drawn global attention to India. The Cambridge University, in its message of appreciation for the NEP 2020 has said that India, aided by NEP 2020 is set to regain its stature of world leaders in education.
Talking about the importance of the involvement of the private sector, the Minister said that while the government formulates policies, it is up to the private bodies and institutions to implement and execute the same. The government, he said, looks towards a greater private participation in the education sector by planning to convert 30 universities into Institutes of Eminence (IoEs) from the existing 20.
The summit is being organised in collaboration with the Union Ministry of Education and Ministry of Commerce and Industry. According to Dr Sekar Viswanathan, Co-Chair, FICCI Higher Education Committee and VP, VIT University more than 3,000 delegates, including 300+ foreign delegates from 74 countries are participating in the virtual summit. “This conference is an attempt to deliberate upon and understand the system changes that are required to develop a higher education ecosystem that instils resilience, encourages innovation, promotes sustainability, and enables students and workforce to be enterprising to face the disruptive future,” he said.
FICCI EY Report, ‘Higher Education in India: 2040’, was also released at the event. The report, while defining Education 4.0 in the current context, has highlighted the significant emerging trends within the higher education sector and drawn learnings and highlighted global best practices.
Dr RA Mashelkar, National Research Professor and Chancellor of Institute of Chemical Technology who delivered the key note at the inaugural plenary said that from ‘Right to Education’ we must move to ‘Digital Rights Education’. “This digital disruption will change the fundamentals of the legacy education system; hence, we must take advantage of that. Coupling future of jobs with future of education; a seamless system of linking education, research and innovation and finally borderless multidisciplinary education is the need of the hour,” he said.
Speaking at the inaugural, Uday Shankar, President, FICCI said that the radical changes in the education sector have placed learners at the centre and shifted the focus from teaching to learning through digital modes.
“However, with its 672 million young population, preparing to join the workforce and citizenry for the new order society requires massive disruption and of rethinking the traditional educational model. Jobs will have to be created to gainfully employ 100 million youth who will enter the job market over the next decade,” Mr Shankar said while adding, “We should give serious consideration to participation from the private sector into unlocking the real value in education.”
Dr Vidya Yeravdekar, Chair, FICCI Higher Education Committee and Pro-Chancellor Symbiosis, International University said that it is imperative that all stakeholders work together in these (COVID) times. “The government, universities, teachers, students, and civil societies that will absorb our students need to come together. The NEP 2020 has carved a new path for all of us. The world is watching this transformation of the Indian education system,” she said.