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India should aim to provide 'vishwagurus': VP Venkaiah Naidu

'We have to build world-class education systems'

venkaiah naidu pti Rajya Sabha Chairperson M. Venkaiah Naidu | PTI

Organised by O.P. Jindal Global University from 21 July, the three-day virtual summit has brought together "thought leaders", institutional heads, vice-chancellors, presidents, provosts and rectors from educational institutions spread across 25 countries for deliberations on multiples themes around "Universities of the Future: Building Institutional Resilience, Social Responsibility and Community Impact."

"We have to build world-class education systems...we must strive to become a landmark knowledge capital of the world," said Naidu, stressing the need for fast-track innovation in education to address pressing challenges wrought by Covid-19. He advocated the use of artificial intelligence and big data in education technologies to simulate real-life learning experiences and enrich teaching methods. He focussed on the need for "collaborative research" where, for example, an individual in a "small suburb in Canada can learn yoga from a rural centre in Haryana," said Naidu. Interestingly, the contentious word "blended" was nowhere in his speech but instead pitched for adapting to a "hybrid" mode of learning.

Even the Union minister of education, Dharmendra Pradhan, envisioned the birth of a "Vishwamanav", a global citizen, which the New National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 will help realize. "The four pillars of NEP of quality, equity, accessibility and affordability are the foundation on which a new India will emerge. Our future institutions will have synergy and seamless integration with global norms that will turn our human resources into human capital. We have to promote India as a global education destination, providing education at an affordable cost. We will also enable high-quality foreign institutions to collaborate and operate in India," said Pradhan who also reiterated the creation of a National Research Foundation (NRF) for which Rs50,000 crore has already been allocated in the budget this year. He called for the inclusion of more subjects on arts and humanities in engineering curricula and how students of arts also need to dabble in science and technology. High-performing institutions will be encouraged to set up campuses abroad, he added, even as India strove to become a global study destination.

Last month, the 12-year-old Jindal Global University was the highest-ranked private university in India by QS World University Rankings 2022 and the highest-ranked Indian university dedicated to the Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities. This is the first edition of the World Universities Summit for which JGU has partnered with 6 global education networks, including the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), Association of Indian Universities (AIU), Coursera, International Cooperation Group of Brazilian Universities (GCUB), STAR Scholars Network, UpGrad.

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