Union Minister Jitendra Singh
Union Minister Jitendra Singh said on Friday that the new National Education Policy (NEP) will reorient India’s education system towards global benchmarks. Addressing the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry Education Summit 2022, Mr Singh said the NEP is the biggest innovative reform in India since independence as it is not only progressive and visionary but also aligned with needs. and the emerging demands of 21st century India.
Mr Singh, Minister of State for Personnel, said he was prioritizing students’ inherent talent, knowledge, skills and abilities rather than focusing solely on degrees. He added that it also gives young scholars and students enough leeway to decide on their options based on their abilities and personal circumstances from time to time.
Dwelling on the merits of NEP-2020, Singh said that providing multiple entry/exit option is something to cherish as this academic flexibility will have a positive impact on students related to using different career opportunities at different times, depending on their intrinsic learning and inherent aptitude. The Minister also said that the feasibility or desirability of this entry/exit option may also be considered in the future for teachers, providing them with career flexibility and upgrading opportunities as is done in some Western countries and the United States.
Mr Singh said the policy advocates a creative and multi-disciplinary curriculum that includes humanities, languages, culture, sports and fitness, health and wellness, arts and crafts, in addition science and mathematics. It reflects the true essence of Swami Vivekananda’s Human Education, Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Education and Mahatma Gandhi’s Basic Education, according to a statement released by the Ministry of Personnel.
The Union Minister said today that about 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 aims to double that number. He said it’s a big goal, but it’s definitely achievable. Mr Singh also pointed out that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government had corrected past anomalies and explained that the biggest discrepancy in previous education policy was the nomenclature of the ministry which was supposed to misrepresent other meanings.
The central government has changed the name of the Ministry of Human Resource Development to Union Ministry of Education, he said. Union Minister Jitendra Singh said one of the most laudable opportunities arising from the national education policy is the ability for universities and colleges to incorporate entrepreneurship into their curriculum. If done in a meaningful way, it has the potential to boost the national economy in a fairly short period of time, he added.
The Minister also pointed out that India has made a massive leap in its ranking in the Global Innovation Index (GII) from 81st in 2015 to 46th in 2021 among 130 economies globally. India ranks 2nd out of 34 lower middle income economies and 1st out of 10 Central and South Asian economies in terms of GII. The steady improvement in the GII ranking is due to the immense capital of knowledge, the dynamism of the start-up ecosystem and some outstanding work carried out by public and private research organizations, the minister said.
Mr. Singh said that India has been focusing a lot on acquiring, developing and expanding the latest technologies, which can well be understood by the growing use of drones, big data analytics, artificial intelligence, blockchain and other innovative technologies across all industries. He pointed out that the new India is keen to make the most of potential-rich fields such as science and where scientific institutions are now seen as modern temples.
The Minister concluded by saying that the NEP was launched to transform the Indian education system through a multidisciplinary approach. As the National Education Policy ends two years on July 29 of this year, 2,774 innovative councils at institutions of higher learning (HEIs) in 28 states and six union territories (UTs) have been created, according to an internal Ministry of Education progress report. According to the report, 2,000 higher education institutions are expected to start as skills hubs and among them, 700 have registered on the joint portal of the Ministry of Skills Development and Entrepreneurship, the statement added.