There can be no better time than now for a realistic assessment of India’s education system. Let us evaluate where we stand as a nation and to what extent education moulds our destiny as we move forward. The nation has been making long strides in areas of infrastructure and economic development as well as in science, technology and education. The government is going all out to make India a preferred destination for investment in diverse areas, from infrastructure to digital technology, finance and biotechnology. To sustain this pace, it is quite natural that a robust system of education runs parallel to provide a highly qualified, talented and committed pool of trained human resource.
Education is a form of self-development that comes from learning, knowledge, skills and habits that are passed from one generation to the next. Education is now also considered as one of the foremost human rights. Education plays a pivotal role in developing a country in every aspect, be it social, cultural or moral. The government has started a number of initiatives to foster research and innovation in institutions of higher learning. In 2016, it announced the Institution of Eminence scheme to make 10 private and 10 public universities world-class by providing them much-needed autonomy and freedom to grow, develop and flourish in the next 10 to 15 years. This scheme, among other things, aims to provide these institutions with complete academic, financial, administrative and regulatory autonomy so as to raise their competitiveness at the international level. All centrally-funded institutes and those in the private sector have the opportunity to take part in this nation-building exercise.
The way we teach and learn also needs to reflect and meet the changing requirements of contemporary times. Digital technology needs to take centrestage in the way the educational process is transacted in universities and homes. Increased use of technology has the potential to free us from the limitations of time, space, reach and, to some extent, affordability. It has made education far more flexible, accessible, and personal. It has brought renewed excitement to the process of learning. Let us, therefore, make our institutions potent tools of change that help make Kashmir a more just, equitable, and educated society.
The writer is a research scholar and guest faculty at Sharp Careers, New Colony, Sopore. [email protected]