Press Trust of india

Increase investments in research and innovation to give boost to economy: President

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New Delhi: Underlining low investments in research and innovation as compared to other countries, President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday said both Centre and states will have to increase funding in research and innovation to give impetus to a large economy like India.

In his inaugural address at Governors’ virtual conference on New Education Policy (NEP) 2020, Kovind said the level of investment in research and innovation is 2.8 per cent of GDP in the US, 4.2 per cent in South Korea and 4.3 per cent in Israel as compared to only 0.7 per cent in India.

“To give impetus to a large and vibrant economy like India, it is necessary to encourage knowledge-creation and research. The central and state governments will have to increase the percentage of investment in research and innovation,” he said.

The president said the National Education Policy-2020 aims to achieve at the earliest joint investment of Centre and states to 6 per cent of GDP in the field of public education as has been consistently clarified from the 1968 Education Policy to the current one.

He said the policy envisions a higher education system that derives inspiration from the country’s rich tradition and is also modern and futuristic in outlook.

From the view point of pedagogy and child psychology, it has been acknowledged that the mother tongue should be the medium of primary education, he said.

“In line with this approach, the education policy adopts the spirit of the three-language formula. The policy puts emphasis on Indian languages, arts and culture. This will develop creative potential in students and further strengthen the Indian languages. It will be helpful in preserving the unity and integrity of our country characterised by great linguistic diversity,” he said.

Kovind said the promotion of Indian languages, arts and culture has been given special importance in the NEP because they are important for India’s identity as well as economy.

“One hundred tourist places will be identified to introduce to the students India’s cultural richness and diversity. Students will be taken to those places on study tours by the institutions so that they understand the multifaceted civilization, culture, knowledge-systems, science and literature of our country.

“All of you can get prepared good study material about such places in your respective states. You can also give necessary directions for the development of tourist facilities at such places,” he said at the Governors’ conference.

Lauding the Centre for the new education policy, he said it is in accordance with the needs and aspirations of the 21st century.

“Education is the most effective means of social justice and personal advancement. There is no better investment than that in education to improve the future of society,” he said.

The president said the success of the policy will depend on effective implementation.

“The success of this education policy will depend on the effective contribution of both the Centre and the states. Education is enumerated as a subject in the concurrent list of the Constitution. Therefore, it requires joint and coordinated action by the Centre and the states,” he highlighted.

Addressing the Governors, he said, as they are chancellors of many universities, they have important responsibilities in the implementation of recommendations of the National Education Policy.

“Teaching and learning should aim to develop exploration, problem solving, spirit of enquiry and creativity in students and instill in them the ability and the approach to use new information as required. They should be given education that develops character building, ethics, compassion and sensitivity and also makes them employable. Through a complete overhaul of the higher education system, this policy seeks to provide education to the youth according to their aspirations and needs,” he said.

One of the aims of this education system is to generate awareness and respect among students for fundamental rights and duties, constitutional values, patriotism and their responsibilities in a changing world, the president said.

“The importance of public purpose and ethics has been emphasised in all areas of higher education, especially in those which groom professionals,” he added.

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