Since ancient times, Indian society is known as a society led by spiritually enlightened people. Since the millenniums, India has been an epicentre of knowledge –universities at Nalanda and Taxila were one of the leading educational centres across the world which hosted scholars from different regions such as Europe and China.
The Indian economy was one of the leading economies in the world until it began to colonise in the late eighteenth century. Since then, India witnessed not only economic downfall but also a sharp decline in the world of knowledge. Today, only around 70 per cent of Indians are literates, while the criteria for being a literate person is the one with an age limit of seven and above who could read and write in any of the languages.
Since the opening up of the Indian economy in 1990, India has witnessed a steep economic growth which has resulted in making the nation a global economic superpower. Within the coming decade, India is expected to become the third-largest economy in the world following the US and China. Although to achieve that landmark, we must realise that India needs to emerge as a knowledge power to become a leader of tomorrow’s world.
Last year, the Central Government came up with the Draft National Policy for education which aimed at formulating the long term vision of India. More than 275,000 individuals submitted their suggestions, making it one of the most consultative processes in the long history of policy draft of the nation.
The draft policy is expected to transform the whole education system by introducing a robust research culture in India. This would result in attracting a considerable investment in the research sector which has the potential to help the Indian tertiary industry to take a quantum leap in development.
Alongside with science, the draft policy takes into account a holistic approach –to not only preserve but also to develop cultural and ethical responsibility. The policy also promotes traditional Indian concepts such as Ayurveda, regional languages and spirituality.
The draft policy focuses on the creation of three types of universities: teaching universities, research universities, and teaching and research universities. These three kinds of institutions would produce not only a culture of high-level research but also advance teaching pedagogy. Under the program, the government will install ten public and ten private universities educational institutions of national importance.
It is noted that most of the countries across the world that are leading the economic world are also leaders in the academic field. Universities in the US, UK, France, Germany, China and Japan are examples of it. If India wants to become a global economic power in future than it should focus on creating an environment that enables holistic learning so that we can swiftly transform ourselves into a grand knowledge society.