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IITians are helping India Inc. resolve problems: Prof. Mahesh Panchangnula

IITians are helping India Inc. resolve problems: Prof. Mahesh Panchangnula

A significant fraction among such graduates are either joining early-stage start-ups or starting up their own

            It has widely been touted that India’s greatest asset is its demographic dividend. With a median age of 25 years, the country holds great potential to harness the true potential of its citizenry. No other development or developing country in the world of comparable size has this advantage and therefore, the growth potential over the next 25 years is great.

            However, this growth path must wind its way through India’s colleges and skilling centres for our young to become productive contributors to the economy. Bearing this in mind, finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in her recent budget, announced several new schemes in education in India.

Marked shift

         Over the last two decades, there has been a marked shift in the career paths chosen by IIT graduates. Earlier, phrases like ‘brain drain’ cropped up in conversations. But today’s IIT graduated overwhelmingly to stay in India. In addition, a significant fraction is either joining early-stage start-ups or are starting up. This turnaround is clearly the result of a more developed and progressive India that offers exciting professional careers as well as opportunities for a good life. Clearly, now when India grows, the world grows, and when a problem at Scale has tied IIT graduates to their roots. However, for this model to scale and to provide the same quality education to non-IIT graduates, India needs to harness the power of online learning.

Digital University

         The power of online learning has been demonstrated due to the recent pandemic. All of us teachers, who thought online teaching was impossible, have had to pivot and embrace the challenges. We could reach hundreds of students using innovative content. In addition, geographical constraints have been completely erased. We noticed the power of this feature in the way we conduct our Ph.D. candidate interviews. Candidates from all four corners of the country. With little pain to the candidates, they are more likely to attend interviews resulting in an increase in overall quality.

          The digital University that the Government is proposing is a step toward providing quality education. This Scale is the main advantage of online ICT-enabled education and if harnessed well, Can replace or at least augment conventional teaching. The University also proposes to deliver quality Universal education with a personalized learning experience and in different Indian languages. While this is a laudable goal, developing quality content will be the rate-limiting step that wills data-mine its success. For Example, the lack of quality textbooks in Indian languages has been a server limited to teaching professional courses in Indian languages. The governments need to make these enabling investments before the make enabling investments before the university can be set up.

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