“Every nation, especially India, needs to adopt a development model that is aimed to achieve socio-economic progress for its citizens and the benefits of development should reach to all the sections of society including the most vulnerable ones. To achieve this, Science and Technology have to play an important role for ensuring economic development as well as national security of our country.“ This was stated by Dr. Vijay Laxmi Saxena, General President, Indian Science Congress Association during the inaugural ceremony of India’s biggest Tech Invent hosted by Chandigarh University, Gharuan. Eminent personalities including Prof. Chem Eshed, Co-founder, Israel Space Agency; Prof. Anil D. Sahasrabudhe, Chairman All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) New Delhi; Padma Shri Prof. J.S Rajput, Indian representative at UNESCO; Prof. N V Varghese, VC, NIEPA; Prof. Manpreet Singh Manna, former Director AICTE; Prof. Anantha Duraiappah, Director, UNESCO, MGIEP and Prof. Dr. R.S Bawa, Pro-Chancellor Chandigarh University were amongst the other dignitaries who were present during the inauguration ceremony.
More than 50,000 young and budding technocrats from various top ranked Universities and Institutions like IITs, NITs, IIITs and IIMs are taking part in the two-day National Level Tech Fest being organized by Chandigarh University. Tech Invent-2021 has more than 60 competitions covering the field of Engineering, Management, Liberal Arts, Hotel Management, Sciences, Health Sciences, Media, Film Production, Agriculture and Law. While addressing the students, Dr. Laxmi said, “India has always been amongst the leading nations of the world which has contributed in the field of Science and Technology. But in the 21st century, India has emerged as the power house for the world as it has provided the best of young brain to the world in the form of Scientists, Engineers, Researchers who through their knowledge have developed new technologies and tools to help the society.”
She further said, “We need to make Indian Science and Technology more vibrant and thus universities and educational institutions need to trigger the thought process of the students. Universities and educational institutions need to go beyond the classroom and textbook learning and expanding the frontiers of knowledge should be top priority of the educational institutions.” “There is more need to be laid on the quality of research in our university, which will have a significant impact on society. Various academic institutions and universities should establish partnerships with each other, so that joint research efforts will meet the future prospects and expectations of the country,“ added Dr. Vijay Laxmi.
While addressing the virtual audience, Prof. Chem Eshed said, “Technology can get us together and advance us all to a better future. You need to have the intelligence where humanity stands in front of technology and take a step forward for a better world.” He further said, “There is a need to motivate students towards innovation and research. Israel has progressing in space technology by building nano-satellites instead of traditional satellite systems. Students at the higher and secondary levels in Israel are being encouraged to build nano-satellites.” “India and Israel always persuade other nations not to work against one other and always working for the betterment of the society in the space sector,“ added Prof. Chem Eshed.
While delivering his keynote address Prof. Anil D. Sahasrabudhe said, “Education for all is the objective of our New Education Policy. The New Education policy in its first paragraph itself talks about exploring full human potential. Every individual has inert talent in them. It is the role of teachers to bring out, explore, identify, nurture, support and make individual students to blossom, that’s what our Indian values and ethos told us and also New Education policy talks about this”. Highlighting the importance of mother tongue in school and higher education Prof. Sahasrabudhe said, “Early education in mother tongue leads to a stronger foundation. A child is comfortable in its own mother tongue. Therefore, initial education must be given in mother tongue.” “However, not alone this, Higher education wherever possible should be given in the mother tongue. Because many students go through education up to 12th standard in their mother tongue and when they come to higher education in various streams, they do not understand what is going on and that is why there is the possibility of mother tongue in higher education,“ added Sahasrabudhe.
While addressing the virtual audience, Prof. J.S Rajput said, “With the New Education Policy, if we strengthen the foundation of intellectual and moral development of the students in the initial stages of school, then surely its result will be seen automatically in higher education, and it will not be difficult to ensure Indian values and holistic development in education.” Prof. J.S Rajput further said, “The new education policy will bring a change in the prescribed syllabus, prescribed examination of the old educational system. If new ideas and imagination of the students are nurtured, then this will encourage creativity and entrepreneurship in between the students.” “We need an education system, which along with knowledge builds a moral and intellectual society. He said that at present people do not want to send their children to government schools, so this is the right time to restore the credibility and acceptability of the government schools,“ added Prof. J.S Rajput.
“Innovation and equality would play a vital role in the future development of higher education. In future, only those institutions would develop which would encourage students towards innovation,“ said Prof. N.V Varghese. He further said, “Education is the most powerful tool to reduce poverty and inequality. India has made significant progress in the last few decades in the universalization of primary education, access to schools, infrastructure, teacher-student ratio, and improvement in girls’ enrollment.”
“Education systems need to pay attention to equip learners with emotional intelligence. We are at the stage where we can provide personalized education because we have the technology in our fingertips and we should explore the technology,“ said Prof. Anantha Duraiappah. “Social and emotional training must be mandatory in teacher training. Teachers act as advisors for students’ future careers. To live up to these expectations, the teacher must first be able to regulate her/his emotions,“ added Prof. Anantha Duraiappah.