- John F. Kennedy
As we complete the seventh decade of our Independence and celebrate the sixty seventh year of our Republic, we hold our head high with pride for achieving the unique distinction of being the largest democracy in the world. There are many other achievements to our credit - the fifth largest economic power, the second largest user of mobile phones, as well as the largest number of youth engaged in educational pursuits, to name a few. Besides setting up hundreds of universities and thousands of institutions of higher learning, we are gradually approaching the superpower status in academic pursuits as well. Indian academia is occupying a place of honour in universities abroad, as we uphold the sobriquet of a 'Learning Society'.
The credit for achieving this milestone seemingly appears to be delicately balanced between the state and private sector institutions. Education being a subject in the Concurrent List of the Indian Constitution; both the state and central government have been dynamically engaged in building a credible and inclusive value chain. We had to achieve this transformation of a generation from information > knowledge > wisdom through the tools shaping literacy > proficiency > excellence skills, while institutionalizing the learning-teaching pedagogy. We have achieved this through a vibrant public policy shaped by an open dialogue between the regulators and the stakeholders of education, both working tirelessly for the benefit of society.
However, the challenge of skilling five hundred million Indians in the next decade is a daunting task. It is rightly said that tomorrow's challenges cannot be met with yesterday's tools. We have to work tirelessly for liberating the educational institutions from the shackles of statutes and habit, while upholding the meritocracy and equal opportunity norms to deliver excellence for global competency building. With the advent of Internet Of Things (IOT), digital technologies and Artificial Intelligence (AI), it is imperative that we need to work towards building and sustaining world class institutions, offering state-of-the-art STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) and Management inputs with the Indian value system. This is only possible through liberalising and unshackling credible institutions of learning. Thus empowered, one can hope to shape the youth with the right attitude and innovation to reach the commanding heights in the global arena.