The Decade of Innovations

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R P Sissodia,
Joint Secretary, Department of Higher Education,
Ministry of Human Resource

Now, the government also believes that innovation is the latest currency of economic power

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The challenges that India faces, today, are unique to the world. Huge divide exists in different parts of the country in terms of GER, and  quality, etc. For instance, on the one hand there is 50 percent GER in regular urbanised group, while on the other, in remote areas there is a no question of GER as there are no institutions. Similarly, we have IITs which are accepted worldwide for employment; but  on the flip side we have colleges and schools that do not have basic facilities. There is an urgent need to reconcile these disparities.
There is a pre-conceived notion that inclusion can only be attained at the expense quality. Excellence and strategies of bringing equity and inclusion have to compromise with quality. While we aim to achieve excellence but it should not be at the cost of the rural student,  who does not have access to resources. These are formidable challenges, which need to be overcome.
Today India has become land of destination. Many foreign universities are setting up campuses in India. Again there is a policy  dilemma on granting permission on the set up of foreign universities in India.
Further, as far as research and development and innovations are concerned, this decade has been declared as the decade of innovation. Now, the government also believes that innovation is the latest currency of economic power. India will become an emerging superpower if it really exploits the potential that exists. India would be the world leader in research and development and innovation. In ICT, there are a lot of approaches that the government is adopting and. ICT is certainly one of the most important and crucial factors  that add to quality. We must utilise the ICT tools that are available at our command and ensure that the education sector utilises ICT solutions. However, it is also important to note that ICT or eLearning is not a substitute or replacement of quality classroom learning. It only enhances the teaching-learning process and supplements the quality. It does not supplant the whole education system.

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