The Indian Express | 2 weeks ago | 17-01-2023 | 11:45 am
The word, “Atmanirbhar” is usually thought of as related to the concepts of self-reliance and self-sufficiency. Limiting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call of “Atmanirbhar” to this understanding would, however, not do complete justice to his vision. To get a comprehensive understanding of Atmanirbhar — the thinking and the processes and programmes associated with it — one needs to appreciate the idea, not just from the current context. It is also important to look at the country from a historical and civilisational lens.India has historically been known for innovation and intellectual accomplishments — in governance, spiritual thought, education, healthcare, industry, trade and several other fields. Centuries of colonisation and invasions created a sense of inferiority amongst people in the country, led to intellectual stagnation and fostered a slavish mentality amongst Indians at the time of Independence. When the British left Indian soil, they did not just leave us with political freedom. A large section of Indians continued to think and behave like the subjects of a benign crown. For most Indians of that generation, becoming a citizen was a novelty and demanded a change in beliefs, values, and practices. While it is easy to be dependent on a benevolent state, becoming a free thinker and operating with the spirit of citizenship requires conviction, discipline, determined optimism and hard work. This is possible only when there is an ecosystem that promotes self-respect and self-belief. Unfortunately, for several decades after Independence, the ecosystem in the country did not nurture adequately the idea of engaged citizenship — people continued to look at the state as the “provider”, leaving a large section of Indians feeling unsure about their capabilities. This is no longer the dominant narrative today.Today, a generation of young people are qualified, competent and confident in deciding not just their future but that of the nation as well. This needs to be seen in the background of how India’s position in the global comity of nations has been enhanced over the last few years. This visibility and respect for India and what Indians are capable of must be seen as an outcome of the several visits PM Modi has undertaken to different parts of the world. Whether it is evacuating Indians from conflict zones, or the Vande Bharat missions, from taking over the G20 presidency to a seat at the UNSC, we can see how the ecosystem has been spreading the feeling of pride and self-sufficiency.Moving towards self-reliance from the historical dependencies of the past several decades is more than just a paradigm shift. It needs to change the mindset of not just citizens, but also of the political class and the bureaucracy. Programmes like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Startup India, Standup India, Yoga Day celebrations and Ayushman Bharat not only reinforced the reasoning that Indians must look to themselves for making the country clean, healthy and economically independent, but they also boosted national pride. These programmes nurtured Atmanirbharata in their own ways.No nation can progress without engaging its citizens in the development process. Citizenship is not just about participating in the electoral process. It is also about enlightening oneself with information, engaging with the state and its agencies and operating with a sense of empowerment. This is possible only when the government and prevailing political leadership play a catalytic role and create spaces for citizens to confidently operate. The last few years have seen a growing movement towards getting people to participate in different aspects of governance. Whether it is the MyGov platform, the Prime Minister seeking inputs from the people for his annual Independence Day speech, or the finance minister asking for suggestions from the citizens for the annual budget — one can see the openness and desire to reduce information and power asymmetries. From the growing trust in the government and its several agencies to identifying persons for the Padma awards, one can see the feeling of Atmanirbharata seep through the collective consciousness of the masses.All this points to a significant political development — the evolution of Indians from being subjects to citizens. Today the world is seeking answers to myriad problems — social, political, economic, environmental, international relations, global trade, healthcare, education, skiing. The Atmanirbhar experiment and the lessons that India is learning today as a nation can help usher in a new model of sustainable development. A world where equity, fairness, justice, dignity and citizen engagement are no longer fashion statements, but a way of life.Swami Vivekananda spoke about a new India rising, where he saw her sitting on a resplendent throne as the “Jagatguru” to humankind. India’s Atmanirbhar programme is not just about India’s progress or development. It has much to do about humanity. Once a nation like India, with all its challenges, learns to unleash the potential of its citizenry and share this knowledge with the rest of the world, several other nations will emulate it and follow the path of peace and progress.The writer is the Member-HR of the Capacity Building Commission. Views expressed are personal
PUNE: Involvement of parents in teaching their wards, providing uniforms and study material on time and to every student and mock tests were among suggestions from experts and educators in the draft policy to improve academic excellence in government schools prepared jointly by Samagra Shiksha Abhiyaan project and the Maharashtra State Council of Education Research and Training. The draft has been submitted to the state government for approval and once it gets a nod the policy will be implemented from next year onwards.Project director of SSA Kailas Pagare and other education department officials conducted a meeting recently to take suggestions and discuss ways to improve the quality of education in schools. Pagare said, "We took the opinions of ideal teachers, education experts, SCERT officials, and researchers among others."The campaign 'Nipun Maharashtra' is being implemented in the state for the past few months in order to improve the quality of school education."Against the same background, the quality of school education in the state should be enhanced more rapidly in the next academic year," added Pagare.Zilla parishad teacher Somnath Valke said, "We need to understand how to become self-sufficient in an effort to improve the quality in classrooms. One of my suggestions was that it was necessary to add classes from V to VIII to zilla parishad schools. This will help in increasing participation in scholarships and other examinations."Ashwini Sonawane, block development officer of Bhor taluka, said that the experiment of 'Mothers' Club' they had conducted in government schools has been effective. Parental involvement and environment are very important for the development of schools. "Innovation and experimentation lead to an increase in the quality of students," Sonawane added.
MUMBAI: With increasing focus on research, enrolment in PhD courses in Maharashtra has more than doubled (109%)in the last five years. Nationally, the number has grown by 50% in the same period, shows data from the All-India Survey of Higher Education (AISHE) 2020-21 report, released in New Delhi on Monday.Enrolment in postgraduate courses in the state has seen a decent growth of 30%, with girls outnumbering boys significantly. More than half the students pursuing their master's programmes are girls in Maharashtra. In undergraduate courses, which involve the maximum number of students, enrolment has gone up by less than 10% in five years.The figures contradict the general perception that enrolment across courses dropped in the first pandemic year of 2020-21. Both national and state data from the report paint a completely different picture.‘Better results followed online exams, boosted enrolment’Even as the All-India Survey of Higher Education (AISHE) 2020-21 report showed more enrolment in the first year of the pandemic in 2020-21, S Mali, former vicechancellor of North Maharashtra University, said the pandemic impacted the assessment process across universities and more students may have cleared exams. “There was no significant impact on enrolments,” he said. A state government official said as more students cleared the class XII exams, enrolment may have gone up in the undergraduate courses. Online exams could have boosted scores at undergraduate level as well, leading to an increase in postgraduate enrolment at some places, said a principal. Maharashtra has the second highest enrolment numbers in higher education, after Uttar Pradesh. Compared to 2016-17, students pursuing PhD went up by 109% in the state in 2020-21. The official said PhD has become important in recruitment of faculty members, for career advancement schemes and other incentives. “Many teachers have realised it and are completing their degrees. The state government is also emphasising on having qualified teachers in colleges for sponsored schemes,” said the official. PhD enrolment went up by 31% in the pandemic year (from 2019-20 to 2020-21), showed the AISHE report; nationally, it was up less than 5%. In Maharashtra, research centres in autonomous colleges would have largely contributed to the drastic increase in numbers, said a vice-chancellor. Mumbai University has the highest numbers of autonomous colleges in the state. Over the last few years, an increasing number of girls in the state are pursuing postgraduate courses. In 2016-17, a thousand more boys were in PG courses compared to girls. Then the numbers started tilting, with over 75,000 more girls enrolled in PG programmes in 2020-21. “This increase is possible because of the rural regions in the state,” said Mali, who was also on the state’s committee to draft the statutes of the Maharashtra Public Universities Act of 2016. “In rural regions, we have seen an increase in the number of colleges, better transportation and more hostel facilities. All these could have boosted the numbers of girl students pursuing higher studies. It is a big plus for them,” he said. In Shivaji University, Kolhapur, Mali said, he has seen girls comprising 70-80% of the total admissions in some departments. More coverage of institutions under AISHE could be another reason for the rise in numbers, he added. Though the state has done better in both postgraduate and PhD education, the numbers in undergraduate education has not seen a significant growth. Nationally, enrolment rose by 15% in undergraduate programmes, as opposed to the state’s 9%. Speaking about the increase in enrolment numbers in 2020-21, an official from the Centre’s higher education department said it showed students continued with their education online despite the uncertainty. “There is a possibility the vulnerable sections of society in some states may have taken a hit, but better enrolment in other regions may have compensated. Positive initiatives in some states for better coverage of AISHE may have helped in the increase in enrolment. Government scholarships also largely covered the vulnerable section, who were financially hit in the pandemic,” said the official.
The minister's comment had stirred up a controversy, resulting in an ink attack on him. (File)Pune: Bharatiya Janata Party leader Chitra Wagh has compared Maharashtra cabinet minister and her senior party colleague Chandrakant Patil with social reformer Mahatma Jyotiba Phule.Wagh, who heads the state BJP women's wing, made the comments on Sunday at a programme organised here by local party leader Hemant Rasne which was also attended by Patil."We can see Savitribai (wife of Phule and pioneer of women's education in Maharashtra in the 19th century) in households, but a search is on for a Jyotiba (Phule) like Chandrakant Patil and BJP leader Hemant Rasne," she said.Notably, state Higher and Technical Education Minister Patil, who is an MLA from Pune, had kicked up a row by commenting that B R Ambedkar and Jyotiba Phule did not seek government grants for running educational institutions, but they “begged” people to gather funds for starting schools and colleges.The use of the word “begged” had stirred up a controversy, resulting in an ink attack on Patil.Meanwhile, Wagh, who had filed a complaint against social media influencer Uorfi Javed for dressing "improperly" in public, said the latter should be praised as she has started wearing full clothes.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com"I never had any problem with that woman or with any religion. I had a problem with abnormality but now I think we should praise her because she is seen in full clothes now. I have received multiple photographs of her and I can see she's wearing good clothes," Wagh said responding to a query from reporters.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)Featured Video Of The DayShah Rukh Khan's Signature Pose And A Pathaan-Special Dance
MUMBAI: To acquire de-novo status for the proposed Sir JJ University of Art, Architecture and Design, the state government is likely to take the route of registering it as a company under Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013. Deemed institutions focussed on innovations and research in unique and emerging areas fall under the de-novo category, as per University Grants Commission (UGC) regulations. While a section 8 company primarily operates for charitable and non-profit objectives, the state government will now have to resolve the names for its board of directors. The Department of Higher Education of the Union Ministry of Education in its letter of intent granted on October 27, 2021, has asked the state to fulfil around nine conditions for the de-novo status. The most important one was to set up the cluster of three institutions - Sir JJ School of Art, Applied Art and Architecture - as a separate and dedicated society/trust/company that needs to be registered under the new name as per UGC regulations of 2019. Sources from the state government said that the taskforce set up to work on the conditions have decided to register the new university as a Section 8 company, which will be sponsored by the state government. The taskforce led by state project director for Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan, Nipun Vinayak, has resolved many conditions laid down in the letter of intent and will soon submit the final report to the government. Speaking to TOI, the officer said that it is a visionary move for Sir JJ Institutions to become a world-class university with a 'de-novo' status, one of its kind in the country. "For this, like other de-novo universities, the institution will have a sponsoring body in the form of a trust or a Section 8 company upon which the taskforce is deliberating," he said. Only a handful of institutions in the country have been granted de-novo status. Another official said, "Once the state finalises the decision to register as a company, the institutions can recommend some names for the board of directors. The final decision, however, will lay with the government. Ideally, the institutions will prefer to have the deans and some of their illustrious alumni on the board." The state has time till October 2024 to fulfil the conditions laid down in the letter of intent. While the letter of intent came in 2021, the state's higher education department, under MVA then, decided to convert the Sir JJ Group of Institutions into a state university. The decision did not find many takers. Now the de-novo plan is back on track. But students have apprehensions about fee hikes, though officials said this won't be the case.
NAGPUR: The Unaided Schools’ Forum (USF), which represents almost all CBSE schools in Maharashtra, has alleged that education officials are trying to extort money in the guise of ‘NOC renewal’.An email sent to chief minister Eknath Shinde among others by USF said the 3-year NOC renewal GR has already been stayed by the Bombay High Court in 2021, but the state education officials continue to ‘harass’ schools. In the email, USF’s honorary secretary Subhash Chandra Kedia, wrote, “We are really shocked to bring to your kind notice that officers of the education department are harassing our unaided private schools and trying to extort money on the pretext of renewal of the NOC.”Speaking to TOI, Kedia said that the state government had issued a GR in August 2009 in which it mentioned that schools have to take NOC from the education department every three years. Kedia said, “This GR was challenged by us in writ petition No. 2157 of 2010 before the Bombay High Court. The court stayed the GR in its order dated November 14, 2011.”He said that things changed in 2020. Kedia said, “The education department has again issued illegal GRs dated March 4, 2020 and July 20, 2020 regarding renewal of the NOC every three years by disobeying the order of the court aforesaid.” He added that both these GRs have also been challenged before the court.USF said that this ‘discrepancy’ had been pointed out to the state government in official correspondence in March 2021. Kedia said, “Still education officers throughout Maharashtra are threatening our schools that if NOC is not renewed, then such schools shall be derecognized. They are also indulging in extortion of money under the pretext of renewal of the NOC.” Kedia said, “We really fail to understand why the education department is openly defying the court’s order of 2011.” USF has warned that if education officials insist on renewal of the NOC, then they will proceed with legal action. “These officials are in contempt of court. So we will definitely file a case against them for harassing our schools,” said Kedia.