Innovation must become the heartbeat of education: Vice President Naidu

The Vice-President of India Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu today virtually announced Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA) 2020. Union Minister of Education, Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Minister of State for Education and Shri Sanjay Shamrao Dhotre also graced the occasion. Secretary (Higher Education), Shri Amit Khare, Chairman, AICTE, Prof. Anil Sahasrabudhe, Chairman, ARIIA Evaluation Committee, Dr. BVR Mohan Reddy, and Chief Innovation Officer, Ministry of Education’s Innovation Cell, Dr. Abhay Jere were also present during the occasion through online medium.

The Vice President, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu today called upon researchers and scientists to pay greater attention to agriculture and come up with innovations to address the problems faced by farmers. Speaking on the occasion, Shri Naidu said from providing timely information on various issues to farmers to creating cold storage facilities and supplying new technologies should be the focus of innovators and researchers.

He stressed the need for preventing farmers’ exploitation by middlemen and ensuring remunerative prices for their produce. He said the AICTE, ICAR, NIRD and agriculture universities should work in unison to bring new innovations and technologies to farmers.

Emphasizing the need for India’s higher education system to play the role of an enabler and force-multiplier to drive Indian innovation and start-up ecosystem, the Vice President said “Innovation must become the heartbeat of education. Quest for excellence must become the norm”.

Urging educational institutions to reinvent themselves to create these essential conditions for innovation to thrive and creativity to blossom, Shri Naidu said that our educational eco-system must constantly nurture the innate spirit of inquiry and innovative problem-solving.

Expressing his happiness that the New National Education Policy has made a number of recommendations that will foster innovation, he said “It has outlined a new vision that can vastly improve the quality of teaching and learning as well as research”.

The Vice President said the policy lays great emphasis on comprehension, critical thinking, analysis and the joy of discovering new facets of the world of knowledge. “It seeks to break the silos and connect different disciplines through multi-disciplinary learning. Establishing this connection between fragments of information and evidence is truly vital for innovation”, he stressed.

Shri Naidu called for concerted efforts to inculcate the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship among our students to make them ‘out of the box’ thinkers, creative problem solvers, entrepreneurs, and job creators rather than job seekers..

Urging higher educational institutions to redouble their efforts to move up in this ranking exercise, the Vice President said India needs many more institutions of high standards to significantly alter the country’s development trajectory. “We need to learn from the best in the world and aim to be better than the best”, he stressed.

Shri Naidu expressed his happiness on completion of two years of ARIIA rankings and congratulated All India Council for Technical Education and Ministry of Education’s Innovation Cell for their efforts towards setting goals for the higher education institutes and making India further improve onits global innovation ranking.

Speaking at the occasion, Union Minister of Education, Shri Pokhriyal mentioned that the ranking is named after our former Prime Minister, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ji. Under his leadership, India took many leaps in the field of Innovation. Further, realizing the vision of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, to make India Atma Nirbhar, this ranking is a true reflection of his aspirations and a tribute to his vision and dreams for the nation. He said that ARIIA gives us a reflection of our efforts and provides us with a reason to celebrate our achievements.

He mentioned that a National Research Foundation (NRF) will be set up for invigorating innovation and research under recently released Nation Education Policy (NEP). Shri Pokhriyal appealed all higher education institutes across the country to come forward and participate in the upcoming edition of ARIIA 2021.

The Minister informed that this year, a special category for higher educational institutions for women has been introduced to encourage women and bringing gender parity in the areas of innovation and entrepreneurship, top place for which was secured by Avinashilingam Institute for Home Science and Higher Education for Women under this category.

Minister of State, Shri Dhotre, said that Ministry of Education has taken several policy initiatives and new programs to make Innovation an integral part of Higher Education System in India. One such initiative was the establishment of Ministry’s Innovation Cell to ensure that various activities and hackathons pertaining to Innovation and entrepreneurship are taken forward at Higher Educational Institute level in a very systematic way.

Secretary, Higher Education, Shri Amit Khare highlighted the efforts that has been put into compilation of all the parameters, data points, and how the awareness sessions were conducted so as to encourage more and more institutes to participate in this path-breaking initiative, because of which, an increase in participation of institutes in ARIIA ranking was observed by 30-35% in comparison to last year. He pressed upon the need and successful execution of such initiatives so as to make the existing innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem more robust.

This year, ARIIA announcement included classification of the institutes into two broad categories and six sub categories. Among these, IIT Madras bagged the top position under the category of Institutes of National Importance, Central Universities, and Centrally Funded Technical Institutes; Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai got the top position under Government and Government Aided Universities; College of Engineering, Pune under Government and Government Aided Colleges; Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology, Bhubaneswar under Private or Self-Financed Universities and S R Engineering College, Warangal under Private or Self-Financed Colleges were declared on top positions respectively.

During the occasion, the Vice-President also announced the opening of ARIIA 2021 and urged the institutes to participate in the ranking.

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