Reforms in education to spur India’s resurgence

students studying“In 60 months from now, we should be able to say with confidence and pride that we have done it,” India’s President Pranab Mukherjee said in an address to the joint session of parliament June 9, outlining the ambitious strategy of the Narendra Modi-led NDA government for national rejuvenation. The focus of the plan which vibrates with the mantra of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas” (inclusion of all, development for all) is indeed a picture of a resurgent India ready to take flight. To include and develop all, India has to focus on equipping its labor force with skills and knowledge. Keeping in mind the focus on education and valuable skills training becomes all the more important. If China could do it, so can we.

The new Indian government has struck an upbeat note on transforming the education system in India and making it more focused on innovations and building skills that count in real life. In a country with an overwhelmingly young population –- more than 50 per cent of India’s population is in the age group of 18-35 — the government has rightly zeroed in on reaping the “demographic dividend.” The Modi government has outlined a host of measures focusing on “youth led development” rather than mere “youth development”.

Skilling the Nation: India Online  

Against this backdrop, the government plans to live up to its motto of “Har Haath ko Hunaar” (Skills training for everyone) as it take steps to bridge the divide between formal education and skill development and create a mechanism to give equal academic status to vocational training. By setting up of “massive online courses” and virtual classrooms, the government’s plan to improve the accessibility of learning is a welcome exercise.

For effective spread and reach of education, the government has also unveiled plans to build a broadband highway that would reach every village and make every school in the country e-enabled. Technology will be used to build efficient infrastructure for the flow of knowledge. The concept of the very doable “E-library” will empower students and teacher and promote critical and research-oriented thinking.

More IITs and IIMs on the way…

Indian-Institute-of-Technology-IITA National Education Policy aimed at dealing with problems of sub-standard or rather lack of quality research and innovation in India’s educational institutions is a big step forward in regularising the standard of education. The government also plans to set up IITS and IIMS in every state, which will give boost to quality innovations in different regions of the country, not to mention superior access to higher learning for more deserving candidates. The National Madarsa Modernization Plan is also worth mentioning as it aims to take modern and technical education among minority communities. Features like professional development programme for teachers to guide students, exams to test real life skills, updating the curriculum and promotion of research based learning points towards the government’s good intentions to rejuvenate and reform the education system.

Sports Matters

The new government is committed to “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” and will work towards saving the girl child and providing them with quality education. It is worth mentioning the government’s national sports talent search system  that will promote and facilitate sports, particularly rural sports and popularizing it by making it an integral part of the school curriculum.  The recognition of sports in academic curriculum will enrich character and personality development of the students.

This out-of-the-box thinking deserves to be commended. Bolstering education infrastructure is critical to the government’s larger vision of all-round transformation of India and rising the country’s global profile. But good intentions alone are not enough; the government must take tangible steps and walk the talk.

Author Profile

India Writes Network
India Writes Network
India Writes Network (www.indiawrites.org) is an emerging think tank and a media-publishing company focused on international affairs & the India Story. A venture of TGII Media Private Limited, a leading media, publishing and consultancy company, IWN has carved a niche for balanced and exhaustive reporting and analysis of international affairs. Eminent personalities, politicians, diplomats, authors, strategy gurus and news-makers have contributed to India Writes Network, as also “India and the World,” a magazine focused on global affairs. The Global Insights India (TGII) is the research arm of India Writes Network. To subscribe to India and the World, write to editor@indiawrites.org