‘Education system lacked flexibility, our Govt tried to change it’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the post-budget webinar on ‘Harnessing youth
power through Skilling and Education’ via video conferencing on Saturday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the post-budget webinar on ‘Harnessing youth power through Skilling and Education’ via video conferencing on Saturday.PIC: ANI

New Delhi, Feb 25: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday lamented the lack of flexibility in the education system over the years and mentioned the efforts of the Union government to bring about change.

"Education and skilling have been reoriented according to the aptitude of the youth and the demands of the future," the Prime Minister said while addressing a post-budget webinar on 'Harnessing Youth Power - Skilling and Education'.

It is the third of a series of 12 post-budget webinars organised by the government to seek ideas and suggestions for the effective implementation of the initiatives announced in the Union Budget 2023.

The Prime Minister said this year's budget strengthened the foundations of education system by making it more practical and industry oriented.

He underlined that Skill and Education are the two principal tools during India's Amrit Kaal and it is the youth who are leading the nation's Amrit Yatra with the vision of a developed India.

He further added that equal emphasis is being given to both education and skilling as part of the New Educational Policy and expressed delight that this step has garnered the support of teachers.

The Prime Minister stated that the move encourages the government to undertake further reforms in the education and skilling sectors while unburdening our students from the regulations of the past.

Noting the experiences during the Covid pandemic, the Prime Minister underlined that new technology is helping create new types of classrooms. He noted that the government is focussing on tools that ensure aanywhere access to knowledge' and gave the example of SWAYAM, an e-learning platform with 3 crore members. He pointed out the possibility of Virtual Labs and National Digital Library becoming a huge medium of knowledge.

Throwing light on 'on-the-job learning', the Prime Minister noted the special emphasis by several countries and highlighted the efforts of the central government in providing focused internships and apprenticeships to give aoutside the classroom exposure' to its youth.

"Today, there are about 75,000 employers on the National Internship Portal where requirements for 25 lakh internships have been posted so far," the Prime Minister informed. He urged the industry and educational institutions to make maximum use of this portal and further expand the culture of internship in the country.

Underlining the need for a skilled workforce, the Prime Minister said that the world is looking at India as a manufacturing hub and noted the enthusiasm of the world about investing in the country. He also highlighted the focus on creating a skilled workforce for Industry 4.0 sectors like AI, Robotics, IoT, and Drones, thereby making it easier for international investors to scout talent without having to spend much energy and resources on re-skilling.

Highlighting this year's budget, the Prime Minister mentioned the three centers of excellence for AI and said that it will strengthen the industry-academia partnership. He also stated that ICMR Labs will now be made available to medical colleges and private sector R&D teams.

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