Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh said that the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will reorient India’s Education Policy as per global benchmarks.
Addressing the PHDCCI Education Summit, 2022, Dr Jitendra Singh said, NEP is the biggest path-breaking reform in India since independence as the new policy is not only progressive and visionary but is also in keeping with the emerging needs and requirements of 21st century India. He said, it gives due priorities to the inherent talent, knowledge, skill and aptitude of the students, rather than focusing only on degrees. He added that it also gives the young scholars and students enough room to decide their options depending upon their aptitude and their personal circumstances from time to time.
Dwelling on the merits of NEP-2020, Dr Jitendra Singh said, the provision of multiple entry/exit option is something to be cherished as this academic flexibility will have a positive impact on the students related to the availing of different career opportunities at different times, depending upon their intrinsic learning and inherent aptitude. The Minister also said that the feasibility or appropriateness of this entry/exit option can be in future contemplated for the teachers as well, giving them career flexibility and upgradation opportunities as is done in some western countries and the USA.
The Minister said, the policy advocates creative and multidisciplinary curriculum that includes humanities, languages, culture, sports and fitness, health and well-being, arts and crafts, in addition to science and mathematics. It reflects the true essence of Swami Vivekananda’s Man-making Education, Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Education and Mahatma Gandhi’s Basic Education.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, today, around 40 million Indians are in higher education, more than the figure for The United States and the European Union combined and the ambitious new education policy seeks to double that number. He said, it is a big goal, but no doubt it is achievable.
Dr Jitendra Singh also pointed out that the Modi Government has also corrected the past anomalies and explained that the biggest discrepancy in the previous education policy was the nomenclature, the Ministry of Human Resource Development was a misnomer in itself was supposed to misrepresent other meanings. He added that now the Central Government has changed the name of the Ministry of Human Resource Development to the Union Ministry of Education.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, one of the most commendable opportunities that stem from the National Education Policy (NEP) is the chance for universities and colleges to incorporate entrepreneurship into their curriculum. If this is done in a meaningful manner, it has the potential to provide impetus to the nation’s economy in a fairly short period of time, he added.
The Minister also pointed out that India has created a massive jump in its global ranking of Global Innovation Index (GII) from 81st in the year 2015 to 46th in 2021 among 130 economies of the world. India ranks 2nd among 34 lower middle-income economies and 1st among 10 Central and Southern Asian economies in terms of GII. The consistent improvement in the GII ranking is owing to the immense knowledge capital, the vibrant start-up ecosystem, and some outstanding work done by the public and private research organisations, the Minister said.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, India has been focusing much on acquiring, developing and expanding latest technologies, which can well be understood by the increasing use of drones, big data analytics, artificial intelligence, block-chain and other innovative technologies in all sectors. He underlined that the new India is keen on making the maximum out of potential-rich areas like science and where scientific institutions are now seen as modern temples.
The Minister concluded by saying that the NEP was launched to transform India’s education system through a multidisciplinary approach. With the National Education Policy completing two years on July 29, 2022, post its roll out, 2,774 Innovative Councils in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in 28 states and six union territories (UTs) have been established, as per an internal progress report by the Ministry of Education. As per the report 2,000 institutions in higher education are set to begin as skill hubs and of this 700 have registered on the common portal of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.