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How Will the New Education Policy Make India AI-Ready?

IBEF:  November 17, 2020

With a goal to change India’s education system, the government introduced the ‘National Education Policy (NEP) 2020’, which outlines a comprehensive framework to develop education in the country. This new policy was drafted by K Kasturirangan, the former ISRO chief, and a team of experts and focusses on skilled-based learning.

According to the new policy, the schooling system has been changed to 5+3+3+4 structure from the previous 10+2 structure, and the new academic session will commence from September–October. It highlights skill-based programmes, which include integrating sports education, hands-on learning and story-telling-based pedagogy. Along with this, it also provides students the flexibility to choose subjects from physical education, art & crafts and vocational skills.

NEP 2020 aims to make India a knowledge superpower and provide education to one-and-all; this includes establishing night schools—using school complexes after school hours—to offer learning programmes to adults, who work during the day, and vocational subjects such as high-quality modules to teach sign language and others.

In order to build the digital infrastructure and prepare the future generations to drive unique innovations, the policy focusses on creating learning apps, online courses and modules, and satellite-based educational TV channels. These channels can also act as alternative mode of education in times such as the ongoing pandemic, when the traditional modes of education are failing.

With the government naming ‘coding’ as a 21st-century skill, the NEP 2020 aims to teach students coding from class 6th to help them learn and understand this skill from an early age. Further, it aims to make the future generations employment-focussed by teaching skills required at a modern workplace; this includes introducing and using technologies such as AI and analytics, which are built on the premise of critical thinking, logical thinking and problem-solving skills.

“The fact that the government has acknowledged the importance of coding as an essential skill in a digital-first future is reassuring. The introduction of coding from Class 6 onwards is, therefore, a significant step in the right direction. The ‘technology-oriented’ policy will surely benefit the youth of today and create employment opportunities.”, said Abhimanyu Saxena, Co-Founder, InterviewBit & Scaler Academy.

While Sumeet Bansal, Co-founder and CEO of AnalytixLabs, estimates that this new policy will transform the education system and that the introduction of Machine Learning (ML), Big Data Analytics and AI will help build computational thinking at an early stage and set groundwork for digital literacy.

On the similar lines, Pankaj Setia, Professor of Information System at IIM Ahmedabad, said, “the New Education Policy 2020 (NEP) has aptly recognised this dynamic. NEP offers a far-sighted vision and plans to transform the way Indians learn and acquire skills. NEP has very aptly focused on India’s core strengths, such as multilingualism and multidisciplinary learning, to lay the foundations for an intelligent society and a globally-competitive workforce–two essential factors for the growth of responsible and prosperous AI industry.”

As the new policy recognises the rising importance of skill-based learning, colleges and universities are also encouraged to launch programmes, which are specifically designed to understand these new technologies. In conclusion, NEP 2020 understands the need to create a 21st century competitive, quality workforce and embraces all changes that will be help India become a leader in disruptive innovations.

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.