We need an innovation ecosystem to attain Sustainable Development Goals, say experts

New Delhi: As Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all, Indian educational experts today echoed the need for aligning the National Educational Policy (NEP) with the SDGs so that positive development can take place in industry as well as the academia. Leading educational institute, Indian Institute of Health Management Research (IIHMR)-University’s director Dr Pankaj Gupta along with other dignitaries were addressing the United Nation Global Compact’s first Quality Education Conclave in the national capital.

The summit deliberated upon ways and means to achieve SDG 4 i.e. Quality Education for All - school education, higher education, skill development, the role of National Education Policy-2019 in achieving ‘Quality Education for All’, and the critical role of the private sector in achieving the goal. This Conclave was a platform for various stakeholders, Academia, Corporate, Government, UN Bodies, Accrediting Agencies, NGOs etc, to deliberate and prepare an actionable road map to achieve SDG 4 in India and thereby contribute to it globally

Dr Pankaj Gupta, Director, IIHMR University, addressed the sessions “Leveraging Innovation and Technology: Ecosystems to scale up Delivery of Quality Education”. He shared the panel with other dignitaries including Ramanathan Ramanan, Mission Director & Add. Secretary, Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog, GOI, Dr. R.P. Singh, Secretary General, Quality Council of India, Mrs. (Dr.) Pankaj Mittal, SG, AIU, Ms. Deepti Varma, Director HR, Amazon India, Dr. A. Singh, DG, Nirma University, and Ms. Chandrika Bahadur, President, Sustainable Development Solutions Network Association.

“We need to inculcate a strong value system. These values can’t be taught in school/colleges. These are taught at homes only. But as they say, values are not taught, they can be caught. A sustainable heart and mind is needed first to understand the sustainable development goals. We have to become job creators than job seekers. That’s what we also taught our students. We need to have innovation ecosystem to attain SDGs,” said Dr Gupta.

Shri. Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister, Govt. of NCT of Delhi, said it’s important that our education system should not be just exam specific.“It has been seen that we chalk out many innovative ways but when the exams come, we again go back the redundant ways. So, it’s very important for the teachers to follow the innovative way of learning. Education is very important. We need to spend 6 percent of our GDP on education. Every child has a right to quality education. Education process also needs to be evolved with the advent of technology,” Sisodia said.

Mr Ramanathan Ramanan, Mission Director & Add. Secretary said innovation and technology have changed the scenario of the world completely.“We are living in a very interesting time. With the innovation in technology, our world is changing everyday. We have 3D printing, robotics and sensor technology to make our work easy and efficient. So, the time demands that if you don’t create an innovation ecosystem, you will fall behind,” he added.

Ms. Chandrika Bahadur, President, Sustainable Development Solutions Network Association, pointed out that to meet the SDG 4, which is quality education for all, we need to use technology to the fullest.“ As the Draft of National Education Policy 2019’s one of the proposals suggest  massive focus on Teacher Education and improvement of the quality of the educators by introducing multiple multidisciplinary programs and Artificial Intelligence for teachers which would in included into large universities. But, there is hardly anything we are doing. We still have to go a long way when we are talking about introducing AI in the education system,” she added.


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