New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday emphasised on the importance of character building over literacy and called for ‘wholesome’ education in the country.
Addressing the inaugural ceremony of the Conference on Academic Leadership on Education for Resurgence organised by the human resource development (HRD) ministry, the Prime Minister said the “purpose of education is to enable balanced growth of every dimension of a human being”.
The invitations for the event were extended by Nagpur-based Research for Resurgence Foundation, which is affiliated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Indira Gandhi National Open University.
The conference is in continuation of the efforts being made by the ministry to evolve an action plan for transformation of the higher education sector. The first among the series was held in Delhi during the vice-chancellors’ conference from July 26-28 this year.
Noting that knowledge and education are not restricted to books, Modi said, “Ambedkar, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya and Ram Manohar Lohia always emphasised on character building over literacy. Swami Vivekananda stressed on wholesome education that makes us human.”
He asserted that without innovation, life would become a burden. “Innovation is very important. In our ancient universities such as Takshshila, Nalanda and Vikramashila, innovation was given emphasis along with knowledge,” Modi said.
The conference is being jointly organised by the University Grants Commission, All India Council for Technical Education, Indian Council of Social Science Research, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, Indira Gandhi National Open University, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Shree Guru Gobind Singh Tricentenary University.
The theme of the conference, which is being attended by vice-chancellors and directors of over 350 higher education institutions, is to deliberate on the challenges facing the Indian education system and work out a plan for a paradigm shift both in terms of achieving academic outcomes and also in regulation of education.
The event will have several sessions covering eight themes, including the use of artificial intelligence for customised learning, pooling of academic resources such as sharing of libraries and exchange of knowledge and facilitating participation of students in governance processes.
The valedictory session will be chaired by Union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar in which each of the eight groups will make a presentation on the course of action that they have agreed upon. This will be debated further in the Plenary Session for a comprehensive action plan for improving the higher education sector in the country.