On the morning of Friday 10th January 2014 Shri Narendra Modi addressed the start of the National Education Summit organised in Gandhinagar. Shri Modi described the Summit as a grand opportunity to learn. Sharing his thoughts on the importance and future of education in India, Shri Modi envisioned an education system that creates harbingers of change. “Hume Yug Nirmata aur Samajh Nirmata Taiyar Karne Hain” Shri Modi affirmed, adding that through the medium of education we should dream of giving something to the world.
Shri Modi called for creating the right environment where education can shine and this does not only include proficiency with books. “Man Ki RachnaKitabon Se Hi Nahi Hoti. Hume Environment create Karna Hoga” (the mind does not only develop with books…an environment has to be created). Shri Modi opined that in addition to the head, both the hand and the heart are important for all round learning. Shri Modi stressed on the fact that every type of work is important and must be respected. He pointed, “I do not know this craze for white collar jobs. It is as if doing small things is bad. This must change.”
Elaborating further he said, “One day I switched on the television and I saw a debate on why school children must not join cleanliness drives. I was surprised. Weren’t we always taught to give importance to Shram Karya? Even Mahatma Gandhi gave importance to this.” Shri Modi avowed that change is possible when each and every pupil is treated like a celebrity. Seeking a paradigm shift from the prevailing mindset Shri Modi asked, “Schools give character certificates. What is the use of these? We suggested why not give Aptitude Certificates? School children go for school trips to Udaipur or Taj Mahal but at the same time why cannot we take our children to a manufacturing plant where cutting edge research is taking place?”
In his speech Shri Modi talked about some of the steps taken by the Gujarat government for the growth of the education sector. He shared that the government has given importance to the syllabus and has also revamped the course structurefor ITIs that have benefitted several youngsters.
33 states and Union Territories were present on the occasion. Over 100 Vice Chancellors and Directors from institutions across India were present on the occasion. Scholars, innovators and experts from various fields were present on the occasion.
Italy's Ambassador to India Mr. Daniele Mancini spoke about bridging the gap existing between academia and the real world, while also laying emphasis on giving due importance to both, classic studies and scientific disciplines.
Prof Dinesh Singh, Vice Chancellor, University of Delhi, spoke about the reformatory phase that India is going through and highlighted the significance of education and technology in effecting a change for the nation.
Dr. Rajan Welukar, VC, University of Mumbai, shared the need to comprehend the revolutionary 21st century changes, whilst creating an environment of innovation and approaching the same with a positive mindset.
Prof Charles Zukoski, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, University at Buffalo, the State University of New York, spoke about the role of engineering education in the development of the country and mentioned that successful practical education of the next domain should involve deep domain expertise, with a substantial component of that education in liberal arts and social sciences.
Dr. Kishore Singh, responsible for Right to Education at UNESCO and special reporter on Right to Education at United Nation Human Rights Council, mentioned about skill development and institutionalized cooperation as being the need of the hour.