Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday pointed out the challenges the Indian education system is presently facing and shared central government's plans to enhance the system both in terms of achieving academic outcomes and also in the regulation of education.
Addressing the 'Conference on Academic Leadership on Education for Resurgence' here, the Prime Minister said, "Knowledge and education are not restricted to books. The purpose of education is to enable balanced growth of every dimension of a human being, which is not possible without innovation."
The Prime Minister inaugurated the conference. Vice Chancellors and directors of over 350 higher education institutions participated in the conference. Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar and others also addressed the conference.
Talking about his government's initiatives towards achieving better education system in India, Prime Minister Modi said that the central government is focusing on improving the educational infrastructure. The government has introduced Revitalisation of Infrastructure Systems in Education (RISE) programmes for which it plans to invest Rs 1lakh crore till 2022.
"Our government is also focusing on investing in education. To improve the infrastructure of education, RISE has been started. We aim to spend Rs 1 lakh crore by 2022 though this programme. The government has also set up High Education Funding Agency (HEFA) which will provide financial assistance in setting up higher educational institutions. The government has also decided to increase the budget of the National Higher Education Campaign," Prime Minister Modi said.
"We have to accept another reality that no country, society or person can live in the world today by being isolated. We have to think about the philosophy of 'Global Citizen and Global Village'. And these philosophies have existed since our ancient times in our sacraments," he added.
Calling it an "unprecedented" decision, the Prime Minister said, "We have started this by giving autonomy to institutions like Indian Institute of Managements. Now, IIM can decide its course curriculum, teachers' appointment, board members' appointment, expansion of institutions. The government will no longer have any role in them. This is an unprecedented decision related to higher education in India."
He further informed that the University Grants Commission (UGC) released Graded Attonetary Regulations recently, with a purpose to improve the standard of education. He said, "Recently, the UGC has also released Graded Attonetary Regulations. Its purpose is to improve the standard of education, which will also help in becoming the best in it."
Remembering Swami Vivekananda, Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar, Deen Dayal Upadhya and Ram Manohar Lohia, Prime Minister Modi said that these Indian reformers had always emphasised on character-building over literacy.
"Moving on this route, the central government also strives to make educational institutions in the country's needs at every level. With this vision, we have started the Atal Tinkering Lab. It is focusing on enhancing the trend of innovation in schoolchildren," the Prime Minister said.