The President said the nation is aware of the problems related to farmers and agriculture. ''Many of our farmer brothers and sisters are still living in poverty,'' she lamented.
The two-day Visitor’s Conference hosted by Rashtrapati Bhavan concluded on Tuesday after deliberating on “Education for Sustainable Development: Building a better world.”
Five different groups brainstormed on sub-themes such as “Contributions to the realization of NEP-2020; Internationalization efforts and G20; Research contributions and recognitions; Diversity, equality, inclusivity and wellness; Plans and action items for Amrit Kaal.”
In her concluding remarks, President Droupadi Murmu, who is the Visitor of 162 Central Institutions of Higher Learning, said the National Education Policy (NEP), 2020 roadmap will transform India’s higher educational institutions into Global Education Centres.
She said a policy is proved meaningful only when it is put into practice. Outcomes and results prove that a policy has been effectively implemented. For example, through the ‘Digital India’ initiative, a target was set to digitally empower the Indian society and bring changes in the country’s economy. The results of this initiative have been very impressive.
Due to the effective implementation and public participation, revolutionary changes were made possible in a very short time, she said. Today, 46 per cent of all digital transactions in the world are made in India. She expressed confidence that similar transformative and inclusive results would be achieved in the field of higher education as well.
The President said that discussion on the subject ‘Internationalization Efforts and G20’ was very relevant in establishing India as a Knowledge Superpower. She said that India is making efforts to find collective solutions to the current global challenges together with the G20 countries with the mantra of ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’.
Speaking about the sub-theme ‘Research Contributions and Recognitions’, the President said that innovation and cutting edge R&D are among prime movers of economic and social development of a nation.
Leading universities and technology institutions in the world have focussed on innovation, she said. They provide an ecosystem that supports Research and Development which can be applied in industrial and commercial spheres.
She said that Higher Education Institutions in the country have the potential of becoming powerhouses of research and innovations. She was happy to note that Higher Education Institutions in India are making the transition towards promoting start-ups, applied research and commercially valuable innovation, while preserving the tradition of fundamental research.
She expressed confidence that the heads of institutions of higher education would lead their institutions towards promoting innovation that can be used for industrial and commercial purposes.
The President appreciated the special session on Diversity, Equality, Inclusivity and Wellness and said that institutions of higher education are among the most effective platforms for promoting Constitutional ideals of justice, equality, fraternity, individual dignity and respect for women.
In her inaugural address on Monday, the President said that education is vital for the progress of individual, society and country. For most of the youth, higher education is the most effective way to come out from the adverse situations. She stated that providing equitable and inclusive higher education to youth coming from socially and economically disadvantaged groups is one of the priorities of the National Education Policy- 2020.
Pointing to the suicide by a 20 year old student in IIT Delhi last Saturday, the President said that such tragic incidents of suicide have happened in many other educational institutions. This is a matter of concern for all in the field of education. She emphasized that it should be the priority of educational institutions to protect and support their students against stress, humiliation or neglect in their campuses.
The President said that just as the sensible and responsive head of a family, all the heads, teachers and staff of institutions should be sensitive to the needs of the students. ‘You are the guide as well as parent of the students’, she stressed. She added that it should be endeavour of heads of institutions, teachers and staff to provide students with a safe and sensitive environment like their homes.