Ministry of Education organises ‘National Webinar on Multidisciplinary and Holistic Education’

New Delhi: As part of the celebration of one year of transformative reforms under National Education Policy, 2020, Government of India is organising a series of theme-based webinars on different aspects of National Education Policy, 2020. Multidisciplinary and Holistic Education being one of the biggest thrust area of NEP, University Grants Commission organised a National Webinar on Multidisciplinary and Holistic Education today. Minister of State for Education Dr. Subhas Sarkar delivered the address. Senior officials from Ministry of Education and University Grants Commission attended the Webinar.’

Delivering the inaugural address, Minister of State for Education, Dr. Subhas Sarkar emphasised upon the long tradition of holistic and multidisciplinary learning, from the times of Takshashila and Nalanda. The Minister said, in ancient India, attention was given to overall personality development. He stressed upon the need to re-build the model of education where one is empowered in every aspect of life. Further elaborating on the Multidisciplinary Education, the Minister mentioned, now the student will not be limited by the boundaries of science, commerce and humanities. On holistic education, the Minister said 21st century skills like active learning, out of box thinking, critical thinking, effective communication, collaboration, technological skills and life skills must be developed in our learners. Dr. Sarkar also reminded the academia about their responsibility of giving wings to the aspirations of new generation.

Shri Amit Khare, Secretary, Higher Education in his opening remarks shed light on the formulation and fundamentals of National Education Policy, 2020. Shri Khare focused on the role of NEP, 2020 in realising a self-reliant India and illustrated the role of collaboration among institutions, glue grants and inter section of disciplines in realising multidisciplinary education.

Prof. D.P. Singh, Chairman, UGC welcomed the Minister and other dignitaries. Stressing upon the vision of Swami Vivekanand in envisioning holistic perspective of education and stressed upon value-based education to learners. Prof. Singh during his concluding remarks highlighted different aspects of holistic education and flexibility through multiple entry-exit system.

The Webinar on Multidisciplinary and Holistic Education provided an opportunity to bring members of the committee on draft NEP, educationist, scientists and educational administrators on one platform. The first session of the Webinar was on the theme “Holistic Education” and was addressed by Prof. Rama Shankar Dubey, Vice Chancellor of Central University of Gujarat. Prof. Dubey focused on social and emotional literacy.  He also focused on assessment of student on high order skills, such as analysis, critical thinking and conceptual clarity to ensure better learning outcomes.

Prof. M.K. Sridhar, Member, Committee for draft NEP and Member, UGC addressed the Webinar on the theme of “Multidisciplinary Education” in the second session. Prof. Sridhar provided an insight into the critical role of multidisciplinarity. He emphasised upon multidisciplinary education not as a replacement of existing disciplinary importance but as a supplement for having boundary crossing competencies along with deep competencies in one discipline among our students.

The thematic discussion moving on to the final session was on ‘Multiple Entry Exit through Academic Bank of Credit’ and featured Prof. V.K. Jain, Vice Chancellor, Tezpur University as the speaker. Prof.  Jain illustrated about qualification levels, credit requirements and other aspects of UGC Regulations on Academic Bank of Credits (ABC) and Guidelines for Multiple Entry-Exit System.

Prof. Nageshwar Rao, Vice Chancellor, IGNOU, Prof. Sunaina Singh, Vice Chancellor, Nalanda University, Prof. Badri Narayan, Director, G.B. Pant Social Science Institute, Prof. Anup Kumar Singh, Director General, Nirma University, Prof. Bhimaraya Metri, Director, IIM, Nagpur and Prof. Avinash Chandra Pandey, Director, IUAC made their remarks in different sessions.

The Webinar was joined by academia, industry and Higher Education Institutions from across the country. Officers from different Ministry, UGC, AICTE and NCTE were also present in the Webinar.

Dissemination of the takeaways of the Webinar like competencies beyond discipline, innovative intervention of holistic education and features of multiple entry-exit and Academic Bank of Credits among the stakeholders will contribute in the realisation of the goals of NEP, 2020 in delivering holistic and multidisciplinary education and bringing in much needed flexibility into the higher education system.

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