Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday the New Education Policy (NEP) announced by his government will play a key role in creating a self-reliant India and open up the education sector for facilitating greater global exposure for Indian students.
Narendra Modi said holistic knowledge, of which science is an integral part, is the answer to all problems.
The NEP, he asserted, will establish India as a global education destination.
“Students, I firmly believe that the future of a nation is what its youth is today. Your dreams are going to shape the reality of India. That’s why this is the time to be future-ready and future-fit,” he said addressing the 22nd
convocation of IIT (Guwahati) through a video conference from the national capital.
Narendra Modi spoke about the importance of education as a key component for creating an “Atmanirbhar Bharat” (self-reliant India) and said the NEP is for the youths of the 21st century who will lead the world and make India the global leader in science and technology.
The NEP, which is designed to ease the burden of classroom teaching and examination on students, will play an important role in the country’s march forward, he said.
“We all know that knowledge has no boundaries. The NEP will open up the country’s education sector. The intention is to open campuses of foreign universities in India and our students get global exposure here.
“Likewise, research collaboration and student exchange programmes between Indian and foreign universities will be promoted. The credit acquired by our students will be counted in Indian institutions. The NEP will establish India as a global education destination,” the prime minister said.
The “high performance institutes” of India will also be encouraged to set up campuses abroad, he added.
Noting that the policy has all those things which were on the top of youths’ wish list, Narendra Modi said, “The NEP has been made multi-disciplinary with flexibility given for (choosing) subjects. Multiple entry and exit options have been offered.
“And most importantly, the NEP will link education with technology, and will make technology an integral part of students’ thought process. That means students will learn about technology and will learn through technology.”
The NEP has also opened up paths for the use of artificial intelligence and expansion of online learning, he added.
The prime minister informed the virtual gathering that a National Education Technology Forum will be set up to promote the use of technology in the learning process, and the IITs have “infinite possibilities” in that.
“To enrich the research culture in the country, a National Research Foundation (NRF) has also been proposed in the NEP. The NRF will coordinate with all funding agencies and provide funds for research in all disciplines including science and humanities.
“The potential research works with practical applicability will be recognised and implemented. For that, coordination and a close linkage will be established between government agencies and industries,” he added.
Narendra Modi lauded the efforts of IIT Guwahati in adopting new technologies, especially for inventing new equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic, and appreciated the introduction of a two-year research programme on e-mobility.
“I am also happy to know that IIT Guwahati is leading in the integration of science and technology in BTech courses.
I am fully confident that inter-disciplinary programmes will make our education all round and futuristic,” he said.
The prime minister said Assam and the Northeast are full of possibilities, but floods, earthquakes, landslides and many industrial disasters plague the region.
“To deal with these problems, a high degree of technological support and intervention are needed. I request IIT Guwahati to set up a Centre for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction to provide expertise for dealing with the problems and to look at how to transform them into opportunities,” he added.
Narendra Modi said the Northeast is at the centre of his government’s Act East Policy, and the region is the gateway to India’s relations with South East Asia.
“The base of India’s relations with these nations have remained culture, commerce, connectivity and capacity. Now education is going to be a new medium of engagement. IIT Guwahati can become a big centre for this. Northeast will get a new identity. This will also result in new opportunities,” he said.
Maintaining that holistic knowledge with science as an important ingredient is the remedy for all pain and troubles, the prime minister appealed to the students to link their research to the challenges faced by the region and the
potential it has.
“I believe that with the help of modern technologies, we can make our cultural knowledge, traditional beliefs and skills into cutting edge technologies. I suggest IIT Guwahati to play the leading role in this endeavour and establish a Centre for Indian Knowledge System,” he said.
Narendra Modi also advised the students to look at the bigger canvas of global technologies while focusing on local issues.