Gujarat is the first State where an end-to-end ecosystem development approach has been adopted and three different support schemes by Department of Education, S&T and Industry have been put in place, says Anju Sharma, Principal Secretary, Higher and Technical Education, Government of Gujarat, in conversation with Hemangini Kant Rajput of Elets News Network (ENN).
What steps are being undertaken to make higher and technical education in Gujarat achieve global standards?
We are focusing on, accreditation and assessment, reforms in governance system, faculty development programmes, research and innovation, industry academia collaboration, career guidance and employability skills, promotion of government initiatives like Skill India, Digital India, Startup India, etc., use of ICT, internationalisation of higher education, addressing regional disparity.
Can you share some initiatives undertaken by the Higher Education and Technical Education Department to promote them?
We have introduced Academic and Administrative Audit, a unique initiative which evaluates, assesses and accredited Higher Education Institutes and awards grade to them.
We are also focusing on governance system of Education. The university Acts framed for two new universities namely, Bhakta KaviNarsinh Mehta University, Junagadh and Shri Govind Guru University, Godhra has introduced drastic changes in the governance system of the university, giving more autonomy and power to the Vice Chancellor.
Faculty Development Programs are held at regular intervals focusing on ICT Education, over 4,000 faculty members have been trained.
How do you view Digital India and Skill India initiatives?
Digital India campaign has been started to ensure services get electronically available. With Digital Education, classroom will be more interactive and students will be more attentive.
Tell us more about the unique initiatives undertaken for Startup ecosystem to encourage them?
Gujarat is the first State where an end-to-end ecosystem development approach has been adopted and three different support schemes by Department of Education, S&T and Industry have been put in place and positioned in such a manner that they complement each other.
A dedicated strategy has been put in place to cater to the need of innovation culture building and pre-incubation while primarily involving youth to create a strong pipeline for next stage of Gujarat Start-up ecosystem. Student Start-up & Innovation Policy, SSIP has mandated Rs 200 crore support system for this through Education Department from this financial year.
We are focusing on, accreditation and assessment, reforms in governance system, faculty development programmes, research and innovation, industry academia collaboration, career guidance and employability skills, promotion of government initiatives like Skill India, Digital India, Startup India, etc.
Academic start-up push has been significant in Gujarat, more than 10 out of 12 DST, and GOI supported TBIs/Incubators are in universities in Gujarat and nearly 18 out of 20 NIs of GOG are in academic environment.
India is moving at a tremendous speed in digitalisation, what ICT initiatives are being undertaken by the Education Department for being more efficient?
• ICT has an impact on nearly every aspect of our lives – from working to socializing, learning to playing. The digital age has transformed the way young people communicate, seek help, access information and learn. We must recognise that young people are now an online population and access is through a variety of means such as computers, TV and mobile phones. ICT will help to increase the scope of learning as well as educational administration.
• This will enable teachers to learn new pedagogical tools and ways of teaching across the Gujarat.
• SANDHAN, initiative by Government of Gujarat, offers an extensive platform for the use of Audio Video tools, multi-media to teach in an innovative and interesting manner. Out of 16 Satellite Channels, 11 Channels have been allocated to Education Department by Government of Gujarat. Live and recorded Lectures have been broadcasted through these channels.
• ICT based programmes have been organised by the Technical Education department for Faculty development and improvement