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Innovation is Prime Focus for Higher Education Sector Reforms: Prakash Javadekar

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NEW DELHI: “Innovation is the real sustainable way for prosperity to grow, it adds value to products and services, and generates wealth, therefore we must innovate,” said Mr Javadekar while inaugurating an ASSOCHAM Higher Education Summit.

“Innovation needs to be promoted right from childhood. Inquisitiveness and curiosity must be promoted at the school level and that is what we are planning now to revamp the whole teacher education,” said Mr Javadekar.

He also said that challenging the status quo is key to innovation.

The Union Minister stressed upon the Government`s plans to promote healthy competition in higher education sector. “Henceforth we will offer everything in a challenge mode. We are making 20 world class universities and they will be termed as institutes of national imminence and we will promote this in challenge mode.”

He said that the funds allocated in the budget for promoting the education sector across states will only be granted on the basis of quality of education being imparted. “The funds will not be allocated just like that. In the last year the quality quotient in the budget was 10 per cent, while this year we have increased it to 25 per cent, so our main focus is on quality.”

He informed that the Government has set up a Higher Education Finance Agency (HEFA) in collaboration with Canara Bank. We already have Rs 300 crore through budget, we will have Rs 1,000 crore through our budget and Rs 1,000 crore we will leverage through debt market to make it Rs 10,000 crore and that amount will be put to use in next three years in all top educational institutes where reserach infrastrcuture will be made more real and strong. That is my basic concern.

Talking about the initiative of Global Research Interactive Network (GRIN) aimed at qualitative development of education, he said the Government aims to provide scholarship, good research infrastructure, good guides and more importantly freedom of research.

“We will also allow them to have access to best labs in the world and take guidance from one foreign guide, so that student can go there for one year during five years` period of research,” said Mr Javadekar.

He said that under the Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN) this year 200 foreign faculties have come and conducted various courses in universities/colleges across India. They come here, stay here for three weeks and conduct their one course and that is how this year we have sanctioned 600.

Highlighting the pivotal role of private sector in higher education sector`s development, the Union Minister said, “We want private investments in higher education sector as it is not only government`s baby but a societal issue, we understand that there is a cost of education but they must strive for quality.”

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