New Delhi, Jul 8 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday interacted with directors of centrally-funded technical institutions and stressed on the need to adapt higher and technical education to the changing environment and emerging challenges.
According to the Prime Minister's Office, Modi noted that technological and R&D institutions will play a major role in the upcoming decade, which, he added, is also being called as 'India's Techade'.
Interacting with over 100 heads of institutions via video-conferencing, Modi described the education sector as a social investment, and asserted that 'access, affordability, equity and quality' should be driving the higher education, with focus on the youth, women and those from derived background.
He highlighted the need to focus on developing futuristic solutions in the fields of education, healthcare, agriculture, defense, and cyber technologies.
Lauding the research and development work done by these institutions towards meeting the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and appreciated the efforts of young innovators towards providing quick technological solutions.
Underscoring the importance of good quality infrastructure in higher educational institutions to ensure that products associated with Artificial Intelligence, smart wearables, augmented reality systems and digital assistants reach the common man, he said the focus should be on affordable, personalized, and AI-driven education.
In a tweet, Modi later said, 'Had an enriching interaction with Directors of leading IITs and @iiscbangalore during which we exchanged thoughts on a wide range of subjects including making India a hub for R&D, innovation and popularising science among the youth.' The matter of from where and how best talents will emerge cannot be looked from a narrow view, he said, pitching for the need to progress towards education models that are flexible, seamless and able to provide learning opportunities as per the requirements of the learners.
Emphasising the need to adapt to changing environment and emerging challenges, Modi said this requires the institutions to reinvent and reevaluate themselves, develop alternative and innovative models in accordance with the present and future needs of the country and society.
He stressed that the country's higher educational and technical institutions need to prepare the youth for continuous disruptions and changes, keeping in mind the fourth industrial revolution, the PMO said.
He underlined the need to progress towards education models that are flexible, seamless, and are able to provide learning opportunities according to the requirements of the learners.
He said that access, affordability, equity, and quality should be the core values of such education models.
Appreciating the improvement in the Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) in higher education in the past few years, Modi said digitalization of higher education can play a big role in increasing GER, and students will have easier access to good quality and affordable education.
He also highlighted the need to develop an ecosystem of technological education in Indian languages and translate global journals into regional languages.
'Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan' (Self-reliant India campaign) will form the basis of dreams and aspirations of India in the coming 25 years when it celebrates 100 years of Independence, he said.
Newly appointed Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and the Ministers of State for Education were present during the interaction.
During the interaction, Prof Govindan Rangarajan of IISc Bangalore, Prof Subhasis Chaudhuri of IIT Bombay, Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi of IIT Madras, and Prof Abhay Karandikar of IIT Kanpur gave presentations to the prime minister and highlighted various ongoing projects, academic work, and new research being done in the country. PTI KR/GJS SMN SMN