Centre Of Learning

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 10 Feb 2019 11:08:09


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“This has made Indian society a cultural amalgamation so uniquely positioned that no other country or culture can imbibe or boast of.  Here every idea could flourish without fear and thus every experiment in life and polity and trade could be tried by any curious mind.”

“India’s education was never a localised development, indigenously consumed; even in an era of difficult communication, Indian  scholarship, its innovations, discoveries and political and philosophical ideas had a
far-reaching influence over the world. Indian society from time immemorial has been open, adaptive and assimilative, which has promoted free transaction and study of ideas.”

 


Quest for knowledge has been fundamental to Indian culture and the country has emerged as an educational hub of the world, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said in Delhi recently while speaking at the alumni award of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations.
She said, the country had the best of the institutions like IITs, IIMs and NITs that were offering niche courses in biotechnology, solar energy and textile management among others.


“There are about 6,000 foreign students studying in India under various scholarships of ICCR and this number is increasing every passing year,” she said. Education in India through scholarships of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) is a “humble contribution” of the nation to capacity building in other countries, the Minister said.
“The quest for knowledge has also been a fundamental of Indian culture and civilisation. With institutes like Nalanda, Panchsheela and Vikramashila, India had a well-developed focussed system of education,” she added. Swaraj said these institutions formed the foundation of many such institutions in modern India.


She conferred the alumni award to Ajmal Hameed Abdulrahimzai, Deputy Minister for Administration and Finance in the Ministry of Industry and Commerce in Afghanistan; Kaba Urgessa Dinssa, State Minister of Ministry of Agriculture and Live Stock Resources in Ethiopia; Lyonpo Damcho Dorji, ex-Foreign Minister of Bhutan; and Constantino C Hermanns Xavier from Portugal. Abdulrahimzai thanked India for supporting Afghanistan in “difficult circumstances” by being our constant ally.
“India has extensively contributed through educational scholarships,” he said. Former Bhutan Foreign Minister Dorji said, India-Bhutan relations had demonstrated the example of good neighbourly relation.


Dinssa said, India became a home away for him and gave him the richest learning experience of his life. There is no doubt about the fact that India has historically been a centre of learning when many areas of today’s ‘developed’ world were still in the dark. Students and scholars from far and wide undertook arduous journeys, crossing seas and continents, to reach the Indian universities and study religion, philosophy and medicine here.


India’s education was never a localised development, indigenously consumed; even in an era of difficult communication, Indian scholarship, its innovations, discoveries and political and philosophical ideas had a far-reaching influence over the world. Indian society from time immemorial has been open, adaptive and assimilative, which has promoted free transaction and study of ideas.
This has made Indian society a cultural amalgamation so uniquely positioned that no other country or culture can imbibe or boast of. Here every idea could flourish without fear and thus every experiment in life and polity and trade could be tried by any curious mind. Knowledge was free as sunlight. India’s environment, weather and topography made life easy and left people with ample time to think, discuss, meditate, experiment and explore.


India has also made strides in its futuristic investments. IITs, IIMs and IIITs, IISc, NITs, BARC, NLIUs, ISB, FTII, IIMCs, Amity establishments, AIIMSs, TIFS, TISS, ISRO, ISI, DSE, JU, JNU etc are some of the best institutes of the world and the students passing out of these institutes are spread across the globe working with some of the top firms and Government facilities, seminally contributing in the progression of human scientific, economic and social successes with new their findings, innovations and ideas.
Education and research are the foundations of any country’s economic growth. Especially in the era of knowledge and information society that we are living in and with newer challenges of healthcare and environment facing us every day, perhaps in no time in history education was so empowering and potent a tool like now.


India has a vast human resource capital and if all of it can be empowered by cutting-edge education, we can emerge as the most powerful nation of the world in terms of our scientific, intellectual and economic capabilities. This is the only thing today that can catapult a country to global ascendency. Today countries like the USA, China, England or Russia wield the power in the global discourse only because they have the technology, the right kind of rapid scientific progress through constant path-breaking researches and evolutionary findings that bolster both their military and economy. India, despite its progresses, still has some distance to go to break into the top 100 lists.


India’s scientific and intellectual productivity quotient is less, which needs to be developed by more budgetary allocation to research institutes, adoption of better global practices of professional management of these institutes and steps like these to get them out of the rut they have set themselves in. The Indian mind is attuned to a more relaxed and meditative temperament, which need to change in line with the current global needs where speed and alacrity is the key. We need greater global exposure and wider interaction with the best faculty and students studying in the top institutes of the world, to enrich our own possibilities.


This has not happened in any big way in India yet. For this, we not only need to be more accommodative of foreign ideologies and practices that can boost our strength and lessen the ill-effects of some of our inherent shortcomings, but we also need to be more innovative in our approach to study and research so that they are futuristic, geared towards marketability, and intuitive about present generation needs.


If much of education becomes obsolete or redundant, detached from practicability, then it is a futile effort to hammer it out. Here is where India needs to stress.
It has introduced several new age study programmes of late to expand its spectrum and arm students better but there needs to be more flexibility and finesse in the availability of subject combinations and choices of curriculum and also hands-on skill development that greater industry interface can bring, which unfortunately most institutes lack.


By the way, we must remember that today education is not a privilege of the proverbial ‘ivory-tower’ coterie. It is an open book – a market commodity that has to be exploited with the best sagacity and the more we shift from the rote-learning mode to experimentation method of study, the easier it will be to realise best of our potentials.