Prioritising Multifacet Skill Development for Students in the New Education Policy

shri govind

It is evident that the Indian education ecosystem is highly regarded and distinct, with international interest in adopting its principles and practices, shared Shri Govind Jaiswal, Joint Secretary, Department of Higher Education, Government of India in an exclusive interview with Sheeba Chauhan of Elets News Network. Edited excerpts:

Since your recent appointment to the Department of Higher Education, could you share any specific plans or initiatives that you or your department are considering or planning to implement in the near future within the industry?

We have initiated several programs, such as offering software courses to students who register, aligning with the New Education Policy’s emphasis on multiple skill development. Additionally, we recently launched a portal that provides curated resources for students preparing for competitive exams. Importantly, all these resources are provided free of charge, with the aim of eliminating barriers and facilitating opportunities for every ambitious student. Our approach involves collaboration with the industry, as we believe they play a crucial role in training individuals according to industry needs, possibly even more than the government. This alignment ensures that individuals are prepared to meet industry requirements effectively.

In the context of our current exploration of AI’s role in the education ecosystem, what, in your opinion, do you believe will be the next significant development or trend in education in the years ahead?

The next step involves aligning our workforce with the knowledge required for AI integration and AI-based learning systems. How can we effectively connect individuals, particularly in countries with limited access to formal education, with the knowledge they need? This entails identifying available resources, pinpointing knowledge gaps, and offering support. The key challenge lies in curating and facilitating access to this knowledge, and that’s where I believe the greatest potential lies.

Is there active execution and planning in place for fostering significant collaboration between industry and academia in the realm of education, recognizing the potential benefits for both students and educators?

We have already initiated collaboration with prominent companies in the software sector, actively working on creating an official technical curriculum. These companies are deeply engaged in shaping the emerging courses in India, and they actively participate in feedback committees. Particularly in the semiconductor industry, they provide valuable insights regarding installation, maintenance, and resource utilization requirements. This collaborative effort ensures that we are addressing industry needs effectively. Furthermore, these companies are taking a proactive lead in reaching out for collaboration, which is an encouraging and positive development. We are very optimistic about the progress we are making.

Are there any plans to introduce additional curricula or courses in the near future, apart from the emerging fields like semiconductor research, as several institutions are currently incorporating them into their programs?

As the curriculum evolves to encompass emerging areas, institutes are increasingly seeking specialized knowledge and domain-specific skills to fuel their growth. This aligns with the national policy of integrating education with practical skills, which is a priority for both the education ministry and industry sectors. In the field of emerging technologies like semiconductor development, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the Internet of Things (IoT), we are actively addressing this need for specialized skill sets and knowledge.

Could you share your viewpoint regarding Indian Institutes, such as IIT Delhi, expanding their presence by establishing campuses outside of India, like the one in Abu Dhabi?

I believe that there is a global demand for India’s educational expertise, with many countries expressing interest in establishing Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) campuses within their borders. This demand stems from the reputation of Indian education being worldrenowned, and nations across the globe recognize India as an expert in the field. It is evident that the Indian education ecosystem is highly regarded and distinct, with international interest in adopting its principles and practices.

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