India needs to focus on building a culture of excellence and innovation in higher education

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Digitizing higher education will make institutions more accessible, economical and impactful

Higher education needs to focus on innovation to nurture the employability of students

Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam Education Summit 2022, organized by Summit India in association with Tech Avant-Garde (TAG), successfully completed its 9th session on March 5th 2022. This week’s topic was Culture of Excellence and Innovation in Higher Education. The session saw great conversations that captured the blueprint for making our higher learning effective, efficient, and inclusive.

The weekly panel discussion opened with an inaugural speech by Shilpa Puri, CEO of Summit India. The sessions also featured eminent speakers such as Prof. M. Jagdeesh Kumar, Chairman of University Grants Commission, Smt. Lata Gautam, Director of National Institute for Career Services under the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Dr. Vinnie Jauhari, Learning and Skills Lead at Microsoft,   Dr. Chandrashekhar Buddha, Chief Coordinating Officer at AICTE under the Ministry of Education, Dr. Vidya Shetty, Deputy Registrar of Manipal Academy for Higher Education (MAHE).

The panelists highlighted the urgent need for higher learning to become employability-focussed. The route to achieve this will be through 1) building a culture of excellence and innovation and 2) making the pedagogy flexible and adaptive. Another key need identified was to make higher education affordable and accessible. Digitization of higher education institutes across teaching, assessment, and operations would be the most important step in achieving these goals.

Other key highlights

  • Universities and Institutes should go digital and explore a close industry–academia interface
  • Hybrid learning will become a way of life and the key to building innovations and creativity
  • Higher education must be rebuilt and aligned with the fourth industrial revolution
  • The Government of India Digital University has a critical role to play in making education more affordable
  • Microsoft is partnering with the Government and Universities to build a framework of employability
  • NEP2020 has a key role to play with its focus on localization, skill orientation and flexible education.

Speaking at the event Dr. Vinnie Jauhari, Learning and Skills Lead at Microsoft, said, “NEP2020 brings an opportunity to bring about a change and a flexibility in learning experience while focussing on learning outcomes for the student. Our students need to be made future-ready with skill sets for jobs that are not even created yet. Microsoft is at a unique place to contribute through our courses and certifications.

Educationist Prof. M. Jagdeesh Kumar, Chairman of University Grants Commission, spoke about the importance of hybrid learning. He said, “Multidisciplinary learning gives freedom from rigidity while helping with creative thinking. The Digital University of the Government of India is economical and aims to take education to the doorstep of every Indian. The Government of India needs the support of private edu-tech platforms such as Tech Avant-Garde to collaborate with us to achieve these goals.”

Dr. Chandrashekhar Buddha, Chief Coordinating Officer at AICTE under Ministry of Education, spoke about several initiatives that are already in place. He said, “There is much focus on early education in our country. But skilling and upskilling students in the later stages of education are equally important. This is why we have multiple initiatives that encourage entrepreneurship and innovation.”

Commenting on the Summit’s success, Ali Sait, CEO of Tech Avant-Garde, said, “NEP2020 and hybrid learning will together lead the youth towards new opportunities. We, at Tech Avant- Garde are grateful and happy to be part of this evolution.”