New Delhi: The Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank today addressed an industry dialogue organized by ASSOCHAM on “Changing the threat of COVID-19 as a new model of education”, highlighting the various steps taken by the Government to bolster the education system of the country with regards to changes in the COVID era and how the Union Ministry transformed challenges into opportunities.
On this occasion, the Minister informed over 1,000 participants in ASSOCHAM webinar that “The Ministry of Human Resource Development converted the challenges faced by Corona into opportunities. At the same time, all the decisions taken were taken into consideration during the constantly changing circumstances. While taking any decision, we look at the future of students, as well as give priority to their health and safety. Under the able leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister and with the foresight of Hon’ble Finance Minister, we started initiatives like PM e-Vidya, One Nation-One Channel so that we can expand the reach of education to all sections in this crisis period.”
Dr Nishank added, “We had to focus on digital education and things like Artificial Intelligence, Nanotechnology, Vocational Training, etc. due to the closure of educational institutions owing to the pandemic. This will lead to the overall development of students in the coming times.”
The Union Minister said that the responsibility of the Ministry of Human Resource Development is as much as that of higher education institutions towards the society in these difficult times. “I am happy that institutions like IITs, NITs and IIMs in this unprecedented emergency, through their commendable research, have discharged this responsibility very well.”
The HRD Minister asked the corporate world to come forward to help and support the education sector during this crisis. He said that the education sector is fully open for investment. The corporate world should capitalize on this opportunity and invest in it so that we can strengthen the education system of the country.
Dr Nishank also spoke on topics like Digital India, Vocal for Local, Digital Divide in the country etc. Talking about the digital divide, he also highlighted the steps taken in this direction.
Sharing his perspective, ASSOCHAM’s senior vice-president, Mr Vineet Agarwal said, “In line with the vision of ‘One Nation-One Policy’ as propounded in the New Education Policy, online education is playing a crucial role presently during the Covid-19 as the global pandemic has forced universities to bring their courses online.”
He added, “Also, this will be more useful for future; henceforth the online education to be offered by all Universities shall be encouraged by the Government by providing robust country-wide, high bandwidth internet connectivity to bridge the ‘Digital Divide’ problem between urban and rural areas of the country.”
In his address, Mr Deepak Sood, secretary general, ASSOCHAM said, “The Covid-19 pandemic has better equipped the young learners with life skills, something that earlier remained restricted to the school curriculum.”
He said, “While education institutions world-over are faced with a great opportunity to reinvent new models of experiential learning for students, but nothing will replace the social and physical interactions that we all need as social beings.”
Other speakers in the webinar included – ASSOCHAM National Council on Education chairman, Dr Prashant Bhalla; co-chairman, Mr Kunwar Shekhar Vijendra; Mr Vineet Gupta, Founder and Trustee of Ashoka University; Mr Ashok Kumar Mittal, chancellor of Lovely Professional University and Chancellor of Chandigarh University, Sardar Satnam Singh Sandhu.