News Excerpt
India jumped five ranks to 35thin the “Worldwide Educating for the Future Index (WEFFI) 2019”, as per a report published by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Pre-Connect
•    The Index is created by the Economist Intelligence Unit and commissioned by the Yidan Price Foundation.
•    The index was developed to assess the effectiveness of the education system in preparing students for the demands of work and life in a rapidly changing landscape.
•    It is the first comprehensive global index to evaluate inputs to education system rather than outputs such as test scores.
•    It concentrated on the 15-24 age bands.

How are Countries Ranked?
The index ranks countries based on their abilities to equip students with skill-based education.
Categories    India 2018 Score    India 2019 Score
Policy Environment    61.5    56.3
Teaching Environment     32.3    52.3
Socio-Economic environment     33.3    50.1
The report analyses education system from the perspective of skill-based education in areas such as:
    Critical Thinking
    Problem Solving
    Leadership Collaboration
    Creativity
    Entrepreneurship
    Digital and Technical Skills.
    Teaching Environment
    Socio-Economic Environment
    Policy Environment

Analytica
India’s Position
    India ranked 35th on the overall index in 2019 with a total score of 53, based on three categories-policy environment, teaching environment and overall socio-economic environment. The country was ranked 40th with an overall score of 41.2 across categories in 2018.
    India has made particular strides in the policy environment, with a new draft national education policy published in early 2019 that explicitly mention future-oriented skills such as critical thinking, communication and entrepreneurship.
    Budget 2020, has highlighted a New Education Policy to be announced soon under ‘Aspirational India’ that will focus on “greater inflow of finance to attract talented teachers, innovate and build better labs.

Where the World Stands?
    Finland is ranked 1st followed by Sweden and New Zealand. Among developed countries, the UK and US demonstrated notable decline in ranking. Saudi Arabia ranked last.
    The third edition of the index shows that while more economies have incorporated the future skills agenda into their education policies over the past two years, policy implementation still remains weak in many nations.
    The recent rise of nativism and populism in some quarters of the world, along with a rejection of globalization, makes the need for students to develop future-oriented skills like critical thinking and analysis even more urgent so that they can combat these forces effectively.

Where India Lacks?
    India`s inability to utilize the opportunity of internationalising its higher education system is pulling her down. India should be a preferred destination for higher education. To address this issue, IND-SAT exam will be held for Asian and African students for scholarships to 'Study in India'. It shall be used for benchmarking foreign candidates who receive scholarships for studying in Indian higher education centers.
    A decentralized education system is another shortcoming of India’s education policy according to the 2019 report.

Conclusion
The rapid development of digital technology and the globalised nature of economic systems are creating an entirely new set of educational challenges for the world to adapt. Thus, the workers of the future will need to master a suite of adaptable interpersonal, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, and navigate an increasingly digital and automated world. If India has to take advantage of her demographic dividend, time is now to act.

PEPPER IT WITH
Human Development Report, SEQI, NEP

Categories    India 2018 Score    India 2019 Score
Policy Environment    61.5    56.3
Teaching Environment     32.3    52.3
Socio-Economic environment     33.3    50.1

“Study in India”Programme
    Started by the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
    Main Objectives:
•    To attract foreign students to Indian institutions
•    To improve the soft power of India
•    Increase in global ranking of India as educational destination
•    Boosting market share of India in global education export from current 1% to 2%
    IND-SAT exam will be held for Asian and African students for scholarships to 'Study in India'.