Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ addressed a virtual National Conference on ‘Empowering through Zero- Shunya Se Sashaktikaran’ organised by Sri Aurobindo Society on 24 November.

In the presence of education officers and teachers connected through digital platforms across the country, Pokhriyal honoured more than 40 education officers for their leadership role and 26 teachers for their innovative practices during Covid-19 pandemic.

The Minister also launched ‘Innovation and Leadership Casebook – Covid Edition’, the e-books comprise of the innovative efforts and work of the education officers and teachers.

Recalling Shri Aurobindo Ghosh, Pokhriyal reiterated the glorious past of India’s educational heritage where world-famous universities such as Nalanda and Takshashila thrived and invited students from all over the world with the slogan ‘Vasudev Kutumbakam’.

The Union Minister said that NEP 2020 is the most comprehensive and futuristic policy document in the educational history of this country. NEP lays the foundation of the New India as it focuses on the development of competencies, skills and critical thinking of children. He also urged people to work together with the determination to implement the National Education Policy.

Pokhriyal congratulated the organisers for launching these initiatives which will complement the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi of an ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ and ‘Ek Bharat, Shresth Bharat’.

Pokhriyal reassured the organisers and representative from the University of Cambridge Rod Smith that India will take forward its role as a leader in the field of education.

Rod Smith, Managing Director, Global Education at Cambridge University Press speaking on the history of education in India said, “Education and research are important tools of the world. India’s education system has a long and illustrious history. The first University in the world was established in 700 BC whereas the first and oldest women’s college in Asia was established in Kolkata. The studies of trigonometry, calculus and algebra all originated in India.”

Cambridge University lauded the National Education Policy of India and honoured Nishank’ for spearheading Education Reforms to build a coherent and resilient education system. He appreciated the Union Education Minister for his commitment to sustainable education through the National Education Policy 2020.

He further said for the last seven decades, India has largely focused on expanding access to education. Now, with the recently launched NEP 2020, the focus has rightly shifted to the curriculum, pedagogy and assessment reforms. It promises to move the education system towards real understanding, away from the culture of rote learning.