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NEP 2020: Encouraging Research and Innovation - Dr Anjum Qureshi

The Indian education system is considered to be one of the most credible ones among developing nations but there is a lot to be achieved in the areas of innovation and entrepreneurship. The national education policy 2020 (NEP) is set to reform the present education system and create new possibilities for lifelong learning, with an emphasis on entrepreneurship.

The time has come that we come out of the mentality of getting lucrative job offers after graduation. Innovation and entrepreneurship are two factors that will undoubtedly strengthen the backbone of a self-reliant India and the reforms that will bring by NEP will prepare the young generation for it. The ministry of human resource and development has now been renamed as the ministry of education and has recognized that our country lags in the field of research, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

Creativity and critical thinking skills are key principles of NEP 2020. Have you ever wondered that though the number of PhDs awarded, the number of research papers and patents have increased drastically, how many are practically implemented or how many are developed into commercial products or services that can be used for the benefit of the community? There may be some limitations or reasons, but a major reason for the underutilization of research work in our country is the lack of creative and critical thinking among the people. The lack of such thinking capabilities has resulted in the stagnation of intellectual properties and local manufacturing. We need to inculcate these thinking capabilities among the youth and children, as creativity leads to innovation and these innovations can eventually be developed into startups and entrepreneurship.

NEP has supported the inculcation of interest in research and innovations among students through the formation of autonomous bodies like the National Research Foundation (NRF) and the National Educational Technology Forum (NETF). The primary purpose of the NRF is to catalyze quality research in educational institutions. Some of the primary activities of NRF will include: (i) Funding peer-reviewed and competitive grant proposals from all disciplines (ii) Mentoring support for the institutions to facilitate research among the institutions where research activities are not commonly implemented (iii) acting as the linkage between researchers and Government bodies and industries to facilitate awareness about the latest research areas and the ones that need to be explored for the benefit of the nation (iv) Enhancing cognitive and research skills of the students by organizing conferences, workshops, and short courses for the current research areas. (v) Encourage participation of the women in the research activities.

NETF is an autonomous body that will promote education and assessment through technology. The technology-led instruction will be included at the school level so that children start learning coding techniques at a young age like 12-13 years. NETF will focus on strengthening the usage of technology for educational institutions working at the grass root level. It will lay down standards for the contents and

the technology that will be used for online teaching and learning. It will allow the free exchange of ideas on using the latest technologies that will help to enhance teaching methods, planning, and administration. It will support educational institutions to select the technologies that will be required for the latest research trends. It will help in maintaining the regular flow of authentic data from the

innovators and researchers and deploy another set of researchers to analyze the received data. It will organize national and international conferences for innovators, researchers, and entrepreneurs to obtain inputs about the latest research and the technologies involved.

NRF and NETF will contribute to strengthening the research scenario of the higher education institutions and fill the gaps observed in the current research systems. The research and innovation culture from the school and college days among the students can motivate them to develop new applications or devices that will comply with the current requirements of society.

The education flexibility in NEP 2020 will foster research in multidisciplinary areas that can broaden the area of research for the research scholars. The students can register their innovative ideas for startups and also apply for patents. Thus along with academics the students can become entrepreneurs and contribute to

making the country self-reliant.

Article Courtesy :

Dr. Anjum Qureshi,

Assistant Professor, Rajiv Gandhi College of Engineering Research & Technology,

Chandrapur, Maharashtra.

( Educator, Certified Life Coach, Certified Meditation Coach, Motivational Speaker, Freelance Trainer)

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