Asserting that the new National Education Policy (NEP) encourages the use of local languages, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said work needs to be done on a mission mode to overcome linguistic barriers in the education system so that the talent of those from rural areas and the poor is allowed to flourish.
Addressing a webinar on the effective implementation of the provisions in the Union Budget for the education sector, Modi said it is the responsibility of the academics and experts of every language to make available the best content in the country and the world in Indian languages.
Limiting knowledge and research is a big injustice to the country’s potential, he said.
“With this thinking, the doors of several sectors such as space, atomic energy, DRDO, agriculture, are being opened for our talented youngsters,” the prime minister said.
Modi said education, skill, research and innovation were the second biggest focus of the budget after health.
“The Union Budget has broadened our efforts to link education with employability and entrepreneurial capability,” he said.
As a result of these efforts, he said, India is now among the top three countries in the world in terms of scientific publications, the number of PhD scholars and the start-up ecosystem.
Modi said India has joined the top 50 countries in the Global Innovation Index and is continuously improving.
To build a self-reliant India, it is important that youngsters have confidence in themselves, he said, asserting that it comes only when they have complete faith in their education and knowledge.
Stressing the importance of local languages in the education system, Modi said experts know that language plays an important role in understanding a subject.
Underlining that the new NEP encourages greater use of local languages, he said it is now the responsibility of the academics and experts to make the best content of the country and the world available in Indian languages.
This is definitely possible in this era of technology, he added.
“From primary to higher education, we have to ensure that the best content is available to the youngsters of the country in Indian languages,” Modi said.
It is necessary to produce content in Indian languages for every area of expertise, be it medical, engineering, technology or management, he added.
Asserting that there is no dearth of talent in the country, Modi said those living in villages and the poor, who do not know any language other than their local language, have no shortage of talent.
“We should not let the talent of our villages, our poor die due to language (difficulties),” he said.
Those from the villages and the poor should not be deprived of the country’s development journey, he added.
Overcoming the language barrier, there is a need to work on a mission mode to provide opportunities in local languages for talent to flourish, Modi said.
The National Language Translation Mission announced in the budget will provide a lot of encouragement for this, he noted.
Modi stressed the need to implement all the provisions of the NEP from the pre-nursery to the PhD level quickly and said the budget will be of immense help in this regard.
He also called for better synergy between colleges and universities.
The emphasis placed in the budget on skill development, upgradation and apprenticeship is unprecedented, Modi said.
He said new opportunities are growing for students and young scientists with a constant focus on higher education, research and innovation.
The prime minister said for the first time, the focus is on issues ranging from the Atal Tinkering Laboratories in schools to the Atal Incubation Centres in institutes of higher education.
A new tradition of hackathons for startups has been created in the country, which is becoming a huge force for both youngsters and the industry, he said.
Modi also informed that through the National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovation, over 3,500 startups are being nurtured.
“Similarly, under the National Super Computing Mission, three supercomputers: Param Shivay, Param Shakti and Param Bramha have been established in IIT BHU, IIT-Kharagpur and IISER, Pune,” he said.
Modi added that over a dozen institutes in the country are proposed to get such supercomputers.
He said the National Research Foundation is being built in the country for which ₹50,000 crore have been allocated.
“This will strengthen the governance structure of the research-related institutions and improve the linkages between research and development, academia and industry,” he said.
The prime minister said the more than 100 per cent hike in biotechnology research is indicative of the government’s priorities and called for increasing the scope of such research in relation to food security, nutrition and agriculture.
Noting the demand for Indian talent, Modi emphasised the need for mapping skill sets and preparing youngsters accordingly through the adoption of best practices, inviting international campuses and industry-ready skill upgradation.
He also said future fuel and green energy are essential for India’s self-reliance in energy.
“For this, the Hydrogen Mission announced in the budget is a serious pledge,” he said.
India has tested a Hydrogen vehicle, Modi said and called for concerted efforts for making hydrogen as a fuel for transport and to make the citizens industry-ready for this.