New Education Policy, the way to Nalanda, Takshasila glory

concern over India’s slide from the heights of Nalanda and Takshasila
to not being among the world’s top 100 educational institutions now, the
Vice President of India and Chairman of Rajya Sabha, Shri M. Venkaiah
Naidu has said that the New Educational Policy will make India a global
educational hub. He urged the public to give their views and suggestions
on the draft NEP by the stipulated time of 15th of this month.
Naidu further called for a holistic and value-based education that will
lay strong foundations for the vibrant economy that India is emerging
as. He spoke on the challenges to Indian education after releasing a
book ‘The Dynamics of Indian Education’ authored by Prof. J.S. Rajput at
the Vice President’s residence, here today.
Vice President said; “These are the critical times for the country and
there is a need for having a fresh look at the education system. I have
been consistently advocating the need for revamping the education system
to not only make our universities world-class, but to make India the
knowledge hub. I am glad that the draft of the New Education Policy
makes several out of the box suggestions that have the potential to turn
India into a global education hub.”
Naidu stressed that primary education shall be in the mother tongue
which enables learning other languages effectively at later stages.
Highlighting the knowledge traditions of India, he referred to several
German Universities promoting Sanskrit to decipher ancient palm leaves
and scriptures for clues for scientific innovation.
Union Minister Shri Arif Mohammad Khan who spoke on the occasion said
that the land of India for ages is marked by the tradition of knowledge
and wisdom. He referred to Prophet Mohammad as having said; “Sitting in
Mecca, I am feeling the cool breeze of Knowledge from India. I am an
Arab without Arabness; I am not an Indian but feel the Indianness.”
Rajput, former Secretary-General of Lok Sabha, Shri Subhash Kashyap and
Chairman of Prasar Bharti, Shri A. Surya Prakash spoke on various
aspects of Indian Education.
Following is the text of Vice President’s address:
I am immensely pleased to release the book “The Dynamics of Indian Education” written by well-known educationist, Prof Rajput. 
book covers a whole gamut of issues relating to Indian education system
and I must compliment the author for this timely work on a topic that
is very close to my heart.
we all are aware, India has a rich history, tradition and culture of
education system from Vedic times. The Gurukul system of imparting
knowledge and skills used to focus on holistic development of
individuals. Education of women was also accorded huge importance during
ancient times and there were well-known women scholars during the Vedic
fact, India was once known as Vishwaguru because of its world class
centres of learning like Takshashila, Pushpagiri, Nalanda and others. It
was stated that around 10,000 students, including many from foreign
shores used to study diverse subjects at Takshashila.
contributed not only in philosophy and spirituality, but in sciences,
mathematics, astronomy and other areas. The objective was “welfare of
one and all – Sarva Bhut Hite Ratah”
following foreign invasions and the colonial rule, India lost its
pre-eminent position. Today, one finds that not a single Indian
university figures in the top-ranking global educational institutions.
are the critical times for the country and there is a need for having a
fresh look at the education system. I have been consistently advocating
the need for revamping the education system to not only make our
universities world class, but to make India the knowledge and innovation
need to recapture the past glory. Our education system must remain
deeply rooted to culture, while simultaneously steadfastly pursuing new
frontiers of knowledge.
our post-Independence achievements in education are praiseworthy. We
have near total enrolment in schools in spite of over-threefold increase
in population!
recent launch of Chandrayaan -2 and other remarkable achievements in
space sciences have unveiled before the world the Indian tradition for
the quest of knowledge. It inspires and motivates young Indians and our
scientists deserve all the praise for making us proud. Elsewhere,
Indians working at NASA and Silicon Valley have made the country proud
with their contributions.
feel that the need of the hour is to provide quality education at all
levels to all people. I am glad that the draft of the New Education
Policy makes several out-of-box suggestions that have the potential to
turn India into a Global education Hub. With the draft report placed for
another round of receiving inputs, I hope that many more suggestions
would come forth to make Indian universities achieve their rightful
place in the global rankings.
must however, mention that in our march towards a knowledge society, we
need to strengthen our school education on priority basis. In
particular, special attention has to be bestowed to improve government
must reform the education system to do away with rote learning. We need
to promote concept learning, critical thinking, creativity, problem
solving skills as also multilingualism and digital literacy to enable
the students to confidently face challenges and successfully pursue
their careers.
need not once again enumerate the importance of teaching in mother
tongue from a young age. In fact, I have consistently been advocating
the need to make it mandatory for mother tongue to be the medium of
instruction up to primary level.
am told that some of the top universities in Germany teach Sanskrit to
enable the scholars of the subject decipher ancient palm leafs and
scriptures and find clues for scientific innovation. We should not
neglect Sanskrit. I feel that no language should be imposed, nor any
language opposed.
are the pivot of national educational endeavors. We need best of the
minds in teaching profession. Once in the profession they need to
internalize “yavadjeevait adhiyate viprah” – the wise continue to gain knowledge throughout life.
should be torchbearers of the society. I am told that there are around 1
crore teachers and 30 crore students from KG to PG level in the
country. Filling up all the vacant positions of teachers is equally
important to make our education effective.
play the most crucial role in shaping the character of a child after
his or her parents. Therefore, teachers should have societal concerns.
We must develop a model of education that reflects Indian culture and
ethos. We need to inculcate cultural, moral, ethical and spiritual
values among children.
hope the new educational policy will address various concerns on
reforming the system and fulfill the need for India-centric education
architecture. The draft policy should be studied with an open mind.
People should give constructive suggestions rather than criticize it for
the sake of criticism.
need education for progress and development. Probably more than that,
we need Education for Character Development. Value based education that
prepares the young for an India that abounds in ‘social cohesion and
religious amity’ is our goal.
book practically covers all the aspects mentioned by me. Prof. Rajput
strongly pleads for value education, character formation and celebration
of unity in diversity. I wish him well in his efforts.