The President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated a virtual Conference of Governors on ‘Role of National Education Policy 2020 in Transforming Higher Education’ in New Delhi today. The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi addressed the inaugural session of the conference, which was attended by Union Education Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, MoS for Education Shri Sanjay Dhotre, Governors, Lieutenant Governors/ Administrators of states and also some Sate Chief Ministers and Education Ministers .
Addressing the Conference, the President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind said that National Education Policy (NEP) will take the country, especially the youth forward in accordance with the needs and aspirations of the twenty-first century. Congratulating the Prime Minister for his visionary leadership and inspiring role in shaping this historical document, he also appreciated Dr. Kasturirangan and Ministers as well as the officials of Education Ministry for giving shape to National Education Policy through an elaborate process which took into consideration more than two lakh suggestions received from 2.5 lakh gram panchayats, more than 12,500 local bodies and about 675 districts. If changes are effectively brought about, India will emerge as an education superpower, he added.
Elaborating on the NEP, the President said that Governors being Chancellors of State Universities have a crucial role to play in the implementation of NEP. There are some 400 State Universities with about 40,000 colleges affiliated to them, hence it was imperative to establish coordination and dialogue with these universities which could be done by Governors who are also the Chancellors, the President said.
President Kovind said that education is the most effective way for social justice and hence the National Education Policy calls for an investment of about 6 per cent of GDP jointly by the Centre and the States. He said the NEP emphasizes on strengthening of public educational institutions for a vibrant democratic society and at the same time inculcate respect among students for Fundamental Rights, Duties, Constitutional values and patriotism.
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Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said the education policy and education system are important means of fulfilling the aspirations of the country.
The Prime Minister said that though the responsibility of education lies with the Central, State and Local level Governments, their interference in the policy should be minimal. He said the relevance and effectiveness of the education policy will increase when more and more teachers, parents and students get associated with it. He added that the National Education Policy 2020 was drafted after receiving feedback from millions of people across the country, and from those related to the education sector, which is why there is a sense of ownership and an all round acceptance among people about this policy.
The Prime Minister further said that the NEP is not only directed at reforming the education system but also at giving a new direction to the social and economic fabric of 21st century India. He said the policy aims at making India self- reliant or AatmaNirbhar, by making our youth future ready in a rapidly changing world and equipping them with the knowledge and skills as per the requirements of the future.
He added that the National Education Policy focuses on ‘Learning’ rather than ‘Studying’ and goes beyond ‘Curriculum’ to emphasizes ‘Critical Thinking’. He said there is more emphasis is given on ‘Passion’, ‘Practicality’ and ‘Performance’ than on ‘Process’.
He said that the policy aims at making India a Knowledge Economy in the 21st century. He added that it also allows for offshore campuses of top international universities in India which will address the issue of Brain Drain.
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In his welcome remarks, Union Education Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ touched upon the journey, evolution and consultation process of the National Education Policy. The Minister said, this policy is the result of a wide ranging consultation process covering lakhs of villages, blocks, districts, academicians, vice-chancellors, principals, teachers and scientists. He stressed upon the new direction and support to research that will be given through National Research Foundation. He said the National Education Policy will make our education system both flexible and stable. He said the focus in the policy is on Reform, Transform and Perform and hoped the road to a Swachh, Swasth, Sasakt, Atma Nirbhar and ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat will go through this National Education Policy.
The Minister of State for Education, Shri Sanjay Dhotre appreciated the enriching insights from the Governor’s Conference and thanked all the participants of the Conference. A discussion session with Governor, Lt. Governors and Education Minister of the States and Union Territories was held during the Conference. The prospect of transformational reforms in higher education under the new National Education Policy-2020 and road ahead was elaborately discussion upon in the session. The Governors and Lt. Governors briefed the President and other participants about various issues with regard to their States and Union Territories.
Prof. K. Kasturirangan, Chairman, Committee for draft NEP delivered the Key Note Address in a special session and touched upon the journey of consultation process of the NEP and various aspects of National Education Policy. A technical session on the role of NEP in transforming education was chaired by Prof. D.P. Singh, Chairman, UGC. Renowned Mathematician of Princeton University and Member, Committee on draft NEP Prof. Manjul Bhargava and Prof.
M.K. Sridhar, Member, Committee for draft NEP were the guest speakers on the session. The Speakers touched upon the critical role played by education in nation’s development; Societal challenges India faces and the solution rooted in research and innovation; exponential growth of knowledge in 21st century, integration of humanities and arts with STEM; and multidisciplinary holistic education.
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