A Lecture on “Redefining Education” by Shri. Pranab Mukherjee and Prof. Dinesh Singh
The education infrastructure in the country is inadequate to support our ambitious target of becoming a knowledge power. Our education system suffers from severe issues of quality and relevance to the job market and cannot provide universal access to training and education. Solving these problems has remained a challenge for the Government, which has invested in access to education. The need to arrive at sustainable solutions has now acquired urgency. India is on a high growth trajectory and the Government must ensure that no region is left behind. To be socially, economically and politically sustainable, our growth must be inclusive. In view of keeping these opportunities, and challenges in mind, SGT University is organizing a public lecture entitled “Redefining Education” by Shri. Pranab Mukherjee, and Prof. Dinesh Singh.
Former President of India, Shri. Pranab Mukherjee will talk about the role of education in modern societies and specifically as an administrator par-exemplar, former first citizen and visitor of 116 Universities. Prof. Dinesh Singh, Professor of Mathematics & 21st Vice-Chancellor of the University of Delhi will outline the need, and scope for redefining education. He will also address how it is a well-established fact that formal education is a critical driver of increased productivity and therefore economic development. Thus, there is a strong rationale behind investment in human capital.
We at SGT University believe that focusing on providing education and training will provide local employment in different sectors and geographies abundant in natural resources. This is critical for inclusive growth as it would stimulate economic activities that are relevant to local conditions. The Public Lecture as a part of a Series of Public Lectures on Redefining Education will provide new insights and add value to the ongoing interventions to raise vocational and higher education in India in general and to higher levels of inclusive economic development.
India stands at a crucial crossroads on its path to be one of the largest economies of the world. The nation, however, is faced with twin opportunities and challenges. On the one hand, India now needs to leverage its vast demographic potential by educating and training its large young population in the age group of 18-23 years with skills and capabilities relevant to the demands of a modern knowledge-based economy. On the other, there remains an urgent need to reform the vast and quaint legacy of a higher education system that now needs catching up with the 21st-century job markets.
It is being rightly said by our Former President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, “Inspire others; Don’t wait to be inspired”- should be followed by the students of our nation. Pranab Mukherjee, who began his career as a teacher before joining politics, is a follower of Mahatma Gandhi who said, “Literary education is of no value if it is not able to build up a sound character.” As you grow in life, the veteran thinker said, “remember that there is no end to education and learning.” Mr. Mukherjee has always encouraged to move ahead with an open mind to widen horizons and reach new heights. “All challenges can be overcome if you work with sincerity and dedication, and maintain an inner poise, he said, and wished the children the best in life and career, ” he has also cited.
As per the former president’s opinion, education is the ladder that can help those at the bottom rise to the pinnacles of professional and social status. Education is the mantra that can transform our economic fortunes and eliminate the gaps that have made our society unequal. Educational institutes of our country have the onus of building the youth of the country by imparting values which are crucial for shaping the nation’s future – values of equality, compassion, and democracy which bring together our diverse cultures. India’s strategy of high economic growth aims at overcoming poverty and ensuring development for all. We have to make economic growth relevant to our people, especially to those at the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid. Distributive justice, as a higher goal of the democratic polity, can be achieved only through a sound education system.
If we talk of Former President Pranab Mukherjee’s work in the education sector, then it might be noted that he launched two programmes to take education to the remotest corners of the country with the help of technology. He also launched a ‘National Academic Depository’ where verified educational records would be digitally stored by universities or a board to counter forgery. The programmes Swayam and Swayam Prabha for making education more accessible and the depository were conceived and executed by the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
As a Vice-Chancellor of Delhi University, Prof. Dinesh Singh led several path-breaking changes in the education sector. At the national level, he has played a significant role in several ways in the shaping and directed growth of education in India. He has been a member of two key committees of the Government of India that gave direction and shape to Science and Technology and to Education in terms of policy and funding. I refer to the Steering Committee on Science and Technology and the Steering Committee on Education of the Planning Commission of the Government of India for the Twelfth Five Year Plan of India.
Professor Dinesh Singh has chaired the National Science Centre at Delhi for four years and was the first Vice President and currently the President-elect of the Ramanujan Mathematical Society. He also served on the National Board of Higher Mathematics that funds all major mathematical research in India.