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Prez calls for making J&K hub of knowledge, innovation

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LG says, J&K committed to bring significant changes in education system

Srinagar: Determined efforts should be made to make Jammu and Kashmir a hub of knowledge, innovation and learning by implementing the new National Education Policy (NEP) in letter and spirit, President Ram Nath Kovind said on Sunday.

He said Jammu and Kashmir is a reservoir of extremely intelligent, talented and innovative children and the implementation of the new education policy will produce students with ignited minds.

“Determined efforts should be made to make the paradise a hub of knowledge, innovation and learning by implementing NEP in letter and spirit. These steps would make Jammu and Kashmir once again a ‘Firdaus’ (paradise) on the earth, a bright jewel on the crown of Mother India’ as it was referred to in the medieval age,” Kovind said.

The President made the comments during a conference on the implementation of the NEP in Jammu and Kashmir.

“India has an unprecedented demographic dividend but it could be positively realised only if the young people constituting a substantial segment of the population become skilled, professionally competent, and above all educated in the real sense,” he said.

Citing the examples of Kalhana’s Rajtarangini and the Mahayana Buddhism, the tenets of which were popular in Kashmir, the President opined that history of India’s cultural traditions would remain incomplete without taking them into consideration.

“It is important to understand our tradition and rich cultural heritage which can be achieved only in our mother tongue. It is this mother tongue that is being encouraged in the new education policy as it adheres to the cultural ethos of our country,” he said.

The NEP approved by the Union Cabinet in July replaces the National Policy on Education framed in 1986 and is aimed at paving the way for  “transformational reforms” in schools and higher education systems to make India a “global knowledge superpower”.

“The three-language formula which is envisioned in this policy is of immense significance and could promote multilingualism as well as national unity but at the same time no language will be imposed on any state or union territory,” the President said.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Sunday said his administration is committed to bringing about significant changes in the education system by motivating and handholding of different colleges across the Union territory, and stressed on the timely implementation of the New Education Policy-2020.

The Lt Governor made these remarks while inaugurating the “Brainstorming on Implementation of the National Education Policy-2020 in Jammu and Kashmir” at Sher-i-Kashmir International Conference Centre (SKICC) auditorium here.

President Ram Nath Kovind also addressed the conference through a video message.

The UT government is committed to bringing about significant changes in the education system by motivating and handholding of different colleges across J&K, the Lt Governor said.

The New Education Policy gives ways for innovative activities, modern labs, placements, and many such features for bringing a landmark change in the education system, he said.

Stressing on the timely implementation of NEP-2020, the Lt Governor said our prime focus should be to invite suggestions from all stakeholders and to remove the doubts.

He said the NEP was not only a historic and holistic document, but for the first time, has been created as a reflection of aspirations of the parents, teachers, students and education experts, which aims to address the challenges for the coming generations.

Sinha said the New Education Policy contains features of equity, quality, affordability, accountability and promotes individual development through experience-based education and logical thinking.

Addressing the gathering which was attended by vice-chancellors of different universities in the UT, former VCs and principals of different degree colleges from across the UT, the Lt Governor impressed upon them to use the progressive features of the NEP-2020 for the benefit of students.

He called for mission mode efforts to meet the growing knowledge economy through best practices available worldwide including e-content and interactive modules.

Sinha said the role and responsibility of teachers and educationists have now become bigger and so is the expectation from parents, students, and a vast global market that is looking for young Indian talents.

One of the objectives of this interactive session on NEP-2020 is to discuss the doubts and apprehensions regarding the provisions of this policy and to ensure that each and every important aspect of this education policy is implemented in a time-bound manner, he said.

The Lt Governor also said that while nurturing the talents for a self-reliant India, our collective focus should be professional and qualitative research with synthesis of three elements-teacher, students, and curriculum, so when they are out of college after completing the education, a job or self-employment opportunity is available for them.

“As the President and Prime Minister have called for enhanced exposure to vocational training at a young age for Aatmanirbhar Bharat, the vocational curriculum will help us to meet the challenges of college-to-work transition. Moreover, it will bridge the gap in vocational training requirements and current availability of skilled manpower,” the Lt Governor said.

Underlining the salient features of NEP-2020 the Lt Governor said the education policy envisages a national research foundation for quality research. He appealed the educationists to inspire and strengthen the culture of research in universities and transform this into a sort of movement.

He termed the policy as a dream of teachers and students and assured that the government would play the role of enabler at every step of this journey.

The Lt Governor said that this policy gives freedom to design curriculum, lessens the burden for more time to be invested in research and interaction, and sense of security of teaching jobs with a new set of rules.

In this testing time of coronavirus and a changing global scenario, this must be conveyed to every stakeholder using all possible means, including online modules, he said.

The pro-active approach of teachers and educationists, on the ground implementation and timely intervention in the practical education system to create an employable force of youths, is the need of the hour to make the Union territory prosperous and progressive, the L-G pointed out.

Sinha said there is no dearth of talent in Jammu and Kashmir which is evident from the fact that 14 young boys and girls have been selected in IAS and three colleges of J&K are in the top 100 colleges list of the Union Education Ministry.

He informed that an online career counselling platform has been launched on a pilot basis in Ganderbal and Udhampur districts for students, which aims to provide career education guidance to the students at an early stage of their studies to choose an appropriate academic and career options.

Stressing on the timely implementation of NEP-2020, the LG said that our prime focus should be to invite suggestions from all stakeholders and to remove the doubts.

The LG emphasized the implementation of students’ feedback system in the universities, which, he said is a global practice. He also asked the concerned to address the doubts and apprehensions of students and parents.

He further urged the universities and colleges to initiate psychological counseling and research to help the youth hit by the drug menace.

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