India must once again emerge as a global hub of learning and innovation: VP

New Delhi: The Vice President, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu today called upon researchers and scientists to pay greater attention to agriculture and come up with innovations to address the problems faced by farmers.

Speaking at the online ARIIA-2020 (Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements) Awards Ceremony at Upa-Rashtrapati Nivas today, Shri Naidu said from providing timely information on various issues to farmers to creating cold storage facilities and supplying new technologies should be the focus of innovators and researchers.

He stressed the need for preventing farmers’ exploitation by middlemen and ensuring remunerative prices for their produce. He said the AICTE, ICAR, NIRD and agriculture universities should work in unison to bring new innovations and technologies to farmers.

Emphasizing the need for India’s higher education system to play the role of an enabler and force-multiplier to drive Indian innovation and start-up ecosystem, the Vice President said “Innovation must become the heartbeat of education. Quest for excellence must become the norm”.

Urging educational institutions to reinvent themselves to create these essential conditions for innovation to thrive and creativity to blossom, Shri Naidu said that our educational eco-system must constantly nurture the innate spirit of inquiry and innovative problem-solving.

Expressing his happiness that the New National Education Policy has made a number of recommendations that will foster innovation, he said “It has outlined a new vision that can vastly improve the quality of teaching and learning as well as research”.

The Vice President said the policy lays great emphasis on comprehension, critical thinking, analysis and the joy of discovering new facets of the world of knowledge. “It seeks to break the silos and connect different disciplines through multi-disciplinary learning. Establishing this connection between fragments of information and evidence is truly vital for innovation”, he stressed.

Shri Naidu called for concerted efforts to inculcate the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship among our students to make them ‘out of the box’ thinkers, creative problem solvers, entrepreneurs, and job creators rather than job seekers..

Urging higher educational institutions to redouble their efforts to move up in this ranking exercise, the Vice President said India needs many more institutions of high standards to significantly alter the country’s development trajectory. “We need to learn from the best in the world and aim to be better than the best”, he stressed.

Recalling India’s illustrious history of innovations spanning at least 20 centuries right from the invention of “zero” and the decimal system by renowned mathematicians like Pingala, Aryabhata and Brahmagupta, the Vice President pointed out that India was once known as Vishwa Guru and students from far away countries came to study at our universities like Nalanda and Takshashila.

Shri Naidu said that India must regain that intellectual leadership and once again emerge as a global hub of learning and innovation.

Calling for tapping into the highly talented youth population brimming with new ideas, passion for experimentation and willingness to forge a new path, Shri Naidu said “It is these young people studying in many of our colleges and universities who will define what our country’s future will be”.

Referring to Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements, Shri Naidu described it as a major step to recognize excellence in creating a conducive environment for students to innovate. “It is the classrooms and the laboratories, the projects and the learning experiences that will alter the educational landscape of our country. The key responsibility to make this dream come true lies with the educators and educational managers”, he added.

Touching upon Prime Minister, Shri Narendrabhai Modi’s call for a self-reliant India through Atmanirbhar Bharat, the Vice President observed that self-reliance requires us to innovate, to seek implementable solutions for development challenges and create a favourable environment for experimentation.

Urging scientists and researchers to come up with innovations and solutions, he advised them to focus on making the lives of the people more comfortable. “Science must also be used to make agriculture more productive and create greater wealth for farmers”, he added.

Education Minister , Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, Minister of State, Shri Sanjay Dhotre, Prof. Anil Sahasrabudhe, Chairman, AICTE, Shri Amit Khare, Secretary HE, MoE and Dr BVR Mohan Reddy, Chairman, ARIIA Committee and Executive Chairman, CYIENT were among those participated in the online event.