Inaugural address by Hon’ble Prime Minister of India

Prof. Appa Rao Podile, VC, UoH makes intervention on National Research Foundation and research culture in universities

“Till now, the Indian Education System focused on ‘what to think,’ but the new National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 aims to emphasize on ‘how to think,’” said Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi during a virtual conclave on “Transformational Reforms in Higher Education under the National Educational Policy 2020”.

The conclave was organized by the Ministry of Education and University Grants Commission (UGC) on August 7, 2020. A number of dignitaries, including the chairperson, Dr. K Kasturirangan and members of the committee for draft NEP, as well as eminent academicians and scientists also attended the conclave.

Adding to the statement, the Hon’ble Prime Minister said, “In the times, when there is a flood of information and content, it is important to understand what is necessary and what is not. We need enquiry-based, discovery-based, and analysis-based teaching. This will increase the interest of students to learn and participate.”

Addressing the inaugural the Hon’ble Prime Minister, “After we presented the National Education Policy 2020, there has been no allegation of any sort of biases in the policy. However, there may be doubts about the implementation of this huge policy. Each one of you is directly involved in the implementation of the policy and as far as the political will is concerned, I am always with you.”

“We have always moved towards the herd community, the ‘bhed-chaal’ mentality. The NEP has done a proper mapping of interest, ability and demand. We have freed education from the stream system. NEP is the foundation of the 21st century India. It will take the nation to new heights of development and provide more and more opportunities to youth,” he added.

The Hon’ble Prime Minister also said that the NEP will provide multiple entry and exit points that will allow students to change their course if they find it unfit for themselves. “We cannot expect a person to be glued to one profession for their lifetime and hence one need to skill, re-skill and up-skill.”

Hon’ble Union Human Resource Development Minister, Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and Union Minister of State for Communications, Dr. Sanjay Dhotre also participated in the event along with number of dignitaries including the Chairman and Members, Committee for Draft NEP as well as eminent academicians/scientists.

Speaking at the conclave, Union HRD Minister Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal highlighted that the new education policy recommends transformational changes and it will surely make India emerge as a global knowledge super power. He added, “NEP 2020 will lead to a major transformation in the Indian education sector.”

“Even after getting a degree, students lack life skills which are needed for employment. We have included 21st century life skills in New Education Policy, which will be taught to students from school-level so that they are job ready,” said Dr. Sanjay Dhotre, Minister of State for Education, Communications, Electronics & IT.

Later in one of the sessions in the conclave, the University of Hyderabad’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Appa Rao Podile also made an intervention and talked about the National Research Foundation and research culture in universities. He said, “I am sure that the National Research Foundation that has been designed to guide and monitor the research from one single platform is going to make efforts during the implementation time coordinating with DST, ICR, ICMR, etc, as they have a larger mandate to address scientific research and to identify whether the National Research Foundation will help the universities only or will also help other research institutes such as IITs and NITs.”

Prof Appa Rao added, “In our opinion there is a need to set national priority for social empowerment and also for the research culture, and also to put a special team that can motivate and guide the researchers across the universities. We should find a significant way to avoid overlap in the research that happens in different institutions and when it comes to the research culture, it’s not that easy in universities to emulate the culture that is there in the research institutes such as, Institute of Science, where the research culture is completely different. As an Institution of Eminence, we are looking beyond the efforts that we have made so far. We have started encouraging start-up brands, international support and project grants. We have been cautious in indulging the right kind of faculty and we have enough collaborations in India and abroad.”

The conclave was streamed live for the University fraternity.

Contributed by Soumya Sharma, Department of Communication