Hon’ble Vice President of India, M.Venkaiah Naidu, had innaugrated the World Universities Summit (WUS) 2021 hosted and organised by the O.P. Jindal University. The summit focused on the future of universities and how to inculcate qualities like institutional resilience, social responsibility and community impact. Present alongside the Vice President was Dharmendra Pradhan, the new Education Minister of India. He went onto congratulate the host university for organising WUS 2021 at such a grand level and expanding its scope of impact.
During the WUS 2021 summit, VP Naidu delivered a speech addressing all the attendees and universities present. In his speech, he stated that the current education system is facing a multitude of issues as the country embarks on a journey to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Education is the driving force of the nation’s economy and enables the country to grow and prosper through the medium of knowledge. The education system faces two unique and complex problems in its demand – 1. Geographic divide between rural and urban factions and 2. Unique diversity in the country. While the number and diversity are India’s strengths, they also create challenges of equal access to education.
The vice president further went onto say that every citizen out there must strive to become a vishwaguru in education. The ongoing pandemic has created multiple hurdles and has managed to pull out nearly 1.2 billion children out of their classrooms across the globe. Today, there exist 32 direct-to-home channels, created solely to provide online education. However, these channels are not supported by adequate online infrastructure.
Even if these infrastructural facilities are met, they still cannot match the effectiveness of classroom education. In the current times, a full-fledged classroom experience may be a distant dream. Therefore, the country must venture into the possibilities of creating a hybrid education model – combining the best aspects of both classroom and online learning.
Apart from the powerful speech by VP Naidu, Dharmendra Pradhan also addressed the attendees at the WUS 2021 summit. In his speech, he stated that the country today, requires an education system which is able to accommodate 1.38 billion people. Furthermore, this education system must be in tandem with today’s age of globalisation and liberalisation. The education sector must be reformed to bring in these global phenomena. This same understanding is the central thought of the New Education Policy (NEP) 2020. The four pillars of NEP 2020 comprise of equality, equity, accessibility and affordability. A new India shall emerge on these four pillars with responsible as well as global citizens, as aimed and believed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.