Today's Editorial

Today's Editorial - 13 October 2023

Educational priorities under G20

Source: By Financial Express

India’s G20 presidency is rightly being applauded for changing the global order based on consensus, collaboration and cooperation, Union Minister for Education, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Dharmendra Pradhan, said.

Speaking about educational priorities under G20, Pradhan said that the New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration, by prioritising deliberations on critical areas like Foundational Literacy and Numeracy (FLN), Tech-enabled learning, Building Capacities for Lifelong learning and the Future of Work and Strengthening Research and Innovation through Collaboration, has renewed the global resolve to work for an equitable and sustainable future through education and has provided a roadmap for the same. Pradhan said that under the G20 architecture India’s education and skill ecosystem has gained global appreciation and endorsement for the major principles and priorities of our National Education Policy 2020.

The Minister further added that the Leaders’ Declaration resonates with the education working group priorities on the three identified accelerators of Digital Transformation, Just Green Transition, and Women-led Development. This is reflected in the commitment to enhancing women’s meaningful participation as decision makers, including in quality education; focus on developing Digital Public Infrastructure including in education, and promoting LiFE.

The education minister further highlighted the following points on education that have been included in the Leaders Declaration:

The importance of investment in supporting human capital development for transforming our education systems and responding to the challenges of the 21st century has been recognised.

As part of commitment to SDG 4 (Quality Education), the role of schools and the need to increase enrolment and retention of all learners, particularly for vulnerable learners has been emphasised.

The need for immediate and collective action to ensure all learners acquire foundational skills by 2030, reducing the percentage of children unable to read and do math by grade two or three, especially girls and children with disabilities was also reaffirmed. This is the essence of India’s NIPUN Bharat programme

The emerging trends, changing patterns in the use of digital and technological solutions in education, the transformative potential of digital technologies as an enabler for developing affordable and accessible learning resources and need for building the capacities of institutions and teachers has been recognised. The need to keep pace with emerging technologies, including AI, and focus on building Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) in Education have also been highlighted. We are doing this through our programmes like SWAYAM, DIKSHA, among others.

The resolve to advance life-long learning with a focus on skilling, reskilling, and upskilling has been emphasized in the Leaders Declaration recognizes the need for a unified framework for skill development aligned to Inclusive Growth, Sustainable Development, and Digital Transformation.

It is being carried out by us through PMKVY, skill centres in universities and other programmes.

The Leaders Declaration has also recognised the importance of strengthening collaborations in research and innovation among Higher Education Institutions through joint academic and research initiatives like Joint/Dual, Twinning degree programmes, enhanced mobility of students and faculty.

Speaking on the follow up action being taken further to the G20 Education Working Group meetings, Pradhan informed that research collaborations are being actively done with several countries. This is being reflected through our joint initiatives such as the signing of MoUs between Council of Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT Council), and the Association of American Universities (AAU) to establish the India-U.S. Global Challenges Institute, that will bring together leading research and higher-education institutions from across our two nations, to advance new frontiers in science and technology, spanning collaboration in sustainable energy and agriculture, health and pandemic preparedness, semiconductor technology and manufacturing, advanced materials, telecommunications, artificial intelligence, and quantum science.

Furthermore, many new emerging multi-institutional collaborative education partnerships have also been inked such as those between New York University-Tandon and IIT Kanpur Advanced Research Center, the Joint Research Centers of the State University of New York at Buffalo and IIT Delhi, Kanpur, Jodhpur, and BHU, in the areas of critical and emerging technologies, IIT Bombay joining the Chicago Quantum Exchange and the start of the India-US Defence Accelaration Ecosystem (INDUS-X). Similarly, the ministry is exploring university level collaborations with other countries like Australia, UAE, Taiwan, UK and others in many critical areas.

In the skill sector one of the key focus areas is the sanitisation of transnational standards with member countries by creating an International Reference Classification of occupations based on skill and qualification requirements, leading to better cross-country comparability and mutual recognition of qualifications. This commitment included a pledge to establish well-managed, regular, and skills-based migration pathways that mutually benefit origin and destination countries. To support these efforts, they focused on identifying global skill gaps and prioritising policies aimed at addressing them, which involved strengthening national statistical data and expanding the International Labor Organization (ILO) and OECD Skills for Jobs Databases to encompass G20 nations.

ILO and OECD proposed 12 basic and 14 extended indicators for monitoring and measuring global skill gaps. These indicators have been agreed to by the G20 countries. Going forward, ILO and OECD would be responsible for implementing the intervention to monitor and measure global skill gaps in G20 countries basis the agreed indicators.

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