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Two Quarters Of Crises Has Brought About A Decade Of Change: Raghav Gupta, MD India & APAC, Coursera

BW Education hosted BWDialogue on Education Episode 2 -"Delivering Job Relevant Education Can Help Universities Achieve The Greater Good”.

The Union Cabinet recently approved the National Education Policy 2020 bringing major reforms in higher education including a target of 50 per cent Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) by 2035 and provision for multiple entry and exits.

To understand how the NEP 2020, encourage skill-based education and to what extent can we bring in technology and how can technology be used, BW Education hosted BWDialogue on Education Episode 2 - "Delivering Job Relevant Education Can Help Universities Achieve The Greater Good”.

The panel consisted of eminent and power-packed speakers: Prof Himanshu Rai, Director, IIM Indore; Dr T Sasipraba, Vice-Chancellor, Sathyabama Institute of Science and Technology - Deemed to be University; Dr Anand A Samuel, Vice-Chancellor, Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT); Dr S Samanta, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, KIIT - Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology; Pratham Mittal, Head of New Initiatives, Lovely Professional University - LPU; Krish Nangegadda, Chief Innovation Officer, GITAM Deemed University; Raghav Gupta, MD India & APAC, Coursera

In his opening statement, Prof Himanshu Rai, Director, IIM Indore, said, “For me, the biggest step that NEP 2020 has taken is the setting up of the ‘National Educational Technology Forum’ because through that NEP is trying to leverage technology in improving various aspects of education. At the same time, we need to remember that technology is merely an enabler. What we also need to look at, is, what are we trying to impart through that technology.”

Raghav Gupta, MD India & APAC, Coursera underlined, “If the intent of the NEP is to build skills for the future, what is important from a higher education standpoint is firstly to understand what are the skills of the future. The second element of this is how do we genuinely provide high-quality education to a large population. The third element is – how do we provide hands on experiences. The last thing is how do we measure skill development and learning outcomes.” 

“The New Education Policy is actually taking education forward. The vocational courses are being introduced at the school level onwards. That itself is showing the kind of manpower we are going to get in almost all fields,” said Dr T Sasipraba, Vice-Chancellor, Sathyabama Institute of Science and Technology - Deemed to be University. She hopes that this NEP will take us a very good lead and we would be able to produce skilled manpower in all spheres. 

Dr Anand A Samuel, Vice-Chancellor, Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) identified about ten items in NEP, that according to him should be taken in the right spirit if we want to make everyone employable – 1. importance of technology; 2. inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary focus; 3. holistic education; 4. three plus one year format; 5. foreign university entry; 6. importance being given to industry interaction; 7. online education; 8. employability skills 9. autonomy to institutions; 10. internships. 

“NEP 2020 is quite inspirational and ambitious. The success will depend to a large degree on the execution part of it. Strategy without execution doesn’t make any sense. So that’s what we need to watch out - how do we implement, how do we roll this out,” commented Krish Nangegadda, Chief Innovation Officer, GITAM Deemed University.

On how employability, skillability and technology are brought together by the NEP, Pratham Mittal, Head of New Initiatives, Lovely Professional University - LPU said, “Something I wasn’t expecting from NEP is the focus on bringing in practitioners into the classroom. There is a certain clause that suggests, around 15-20 per cent of all faculty doesn’t have to abide by all the UGC norm. They can be people from industry who might not be Ph D but have worked in the industry for a very long period of time. They can come into the classroom as visiting practitioning professors and actually teach. This is incredibly transformative.”

On what is being done to stay relevant to the digital landscape that the NEP encourages, Dr S Samanta, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, KIIT - Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology said, “Since last decade, the whole education scenario is changing. All academic institutions are going online slowly but after the outbreak of this pandemic, we have been enforced to go online, taking all the faculties together and all the students together.”



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