Sudhir K jain, Director, IIT Gandhinagar
The entire concept of education is now changing. With explosion of digital content, what is the future of books? As the online space makes it possible for students and teachers to interact in a virtual medium, what is the future of classrooms? How much impact will Internet have on schools, students and literacy rates in, say, ten years of time?
These are all very pertinent questions, and there are no clear answers. The future is changing at such a rapid pace that the concept of education is expected to be constantly buffeted by winds of new technology. It is possible for today’s students to go online for hearing a lecture on physics, mathematics or any other subject. Even the post lecture discussion can be held online. Students in different parts of the country and even the world can get involved in a discussion. There is enough scope for teachers to add value to the discussion that is going on. The online space tends to be a great equaliser. The rich and the poor can participate in the same forum and develop new knowledge and perspectives.
Under the stewardship of Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Gujarat is making rapid strides in education and a lot of technological systems for education are evolving. These systems enhance the quality of education, and also make it possible for a larger number of students to become enrolled. For instance, there are tools being used that make it possible for taking the educational infrastructure to the student’s doorstep. These kinds of systems can be especially useful for students living in remote villages.
The manufacturing industries and the IT sector in Gujarat are booming. Students from lower sections of society are particularly impassioned about learning to use computers, for they see such training as a way of rising in life. As more and more people embrace a new technology, it leads to further innovation and the creation of a new round of advanced services and products. On its part, new innovations always lead to more people joining the technology bandwagon. Hence the process is, in many ways, capable of growing from strength to strength.
The bottom line is that as far as education is concerned, it is certainly true that we are living in most exciting times. Prof. Sudhir K Jain Director IIT Gandhinagar