TED Newsdesk, Guwahati. Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the 22nd Convocation ceremony of the graduating class of IIT Guwahati on Tuesday. Addressing the students through video conferencing, he shared his hopes that via education, India will form new alliances with the South East Asian nations. He added that IIT Guwahati has the potential to be the centre of such future enterprises.
“The north-east acts like a gateway for India’s relation with Southeast Asia. The key base of our relation with Southeast Asia is culture, commerce, connectivity and capacity. Now education is going to be another medium of our relation, and IIT Guwahati can become a huge centre for this“, commented Modi.
The ‘Act East Policy’ is an initiative by the Indian Government to facilitate financial, diplomatic and cultural union with Southeast Asia and the Asia- Pacific. Following the policy, the PM nudged towards IIT Guwahati’s future educational relations with the southeast region as “beyond boundary expansions”.
Modi also discussed the new National Education Policy, which he said would facilitate India’s expansion in the education sector in foreign countries and the establishment of Indian campuses of foreign universities. Such bilateral ties would not only strengthen India’s presence in academic circles abroad but would also expose the education sector to global standards of education.
Urging the youth of the nation to work towards making the concept of Aatmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant reality), to which end he emphasised upon the importance of education. The NEP has introduced several new avenues that are designed to help India become a global phenomenon in science and technology. He said that India is developing into such a country where the young people will create a new learning experience from technology. To the PhD recipients of IIT Guwahati, Modi urged to continue with research so that it becomes habitual and a part of their mental process.
Apart from the Prime Minister, the Chief Minister of Assam Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal, Union Minister of State for Education Sanjay Dhotre were among those present in the event via conference call.
One should note that although India has a literacy rate of 74 per cent (2011 census), there is a considerable gap in the access to quality education between the urban and rural population. India can only become a technologically advanced country when it fixes that gap and makes good, quality education accessible to everyone. Other than that, it should also work towards improving drop out rates, providing better teachers in both primary and higher education and building a better infrastructure for government institutions (like primary, middle and high schools as well as, state-funded universities).
Until and unless India doesn’t fix its fundamental problems with the functioning of the education sector, the nation will never be able to achieve the dream of a technologically and scientifically advanced country.