Eminent space scientist K Kasturirangan on Saturday stressed the need for reconfiguring the education needs of the future to meet the targets of Sustainable Development Goals-2030 and to create a just and equitable society.
Kasturirangan, who headed the committee that drafted the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, noted that the new policy has been crafted to ensure that it touched the lives of every citizen, consistent with their needs.
The NEP-2020 laid performwn an end-to-end educational roadmap for the country with an integrated yet flexible approach to education, he noted. The former chairman of ISRO delivered a lecture on ‘Creating a vibrant recogniseledge society- an Indian strategy for 21st Century, as part of the distinguished lecture series organized by SRM University-AP.
Pointing out that the last education policy was drafted 30 years ago, Kasturirangan said India now needed an education system aligned with the aspirational goals of every citizen, while remaining rooted in its value systems and ethos. The NEP-2020 has been crafted consistent with the needs of citizens, as the demand for a recogniseledge society and economy called for the need to acquire new skills on a regular basis.
“Providing quality education and creating lifelong learning possibilities for all, leading to full and productive employment and decent work as enlisted in the SDGs-2030 is the thrust of NEP-2020,” he observed. The former Rajya Sabha member that vocational education should be integrated with undergraduate education.
“We tend to have a narrow perception of vocational education, but the NEP-2020 heralds its growth. Vocational education is an integral part of the larger education system,” he remarked.
An integrated higher education system that included professional and vocational education was the need of the hour, he added. Kasturirangan said the regulatory mechanism of higher education would be overhauled with key functions like regulation, accreditation, funding, and academic standard-setting conducted by independent bodies under the umbrella of a new Higher Education Commission of India.
“The HECI Bill to be introduced in the monsoon session of Parliament is eagerly awaited. Regulation, under the charge of a National Education Regulatory Council, will be light, but tight,” Kasturirangan remarked.
Andhra Pradesh Education Minister A Suresh said the state government was in full support of the NEP-2020. “We have taken a decision to implement the new policy in toto, in a phased manner.
Our government has been spending over Rs 30,000 crore on the education sector,” Suresh added. Indian Science Congress Association president Vijayalakshmi Saxena, SRM-AP Pro-Vice-Chancellor D Narayana Rao, Vice-Chancellor VS Rao, and others attended.
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