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UPSC chief calls for innovation in education

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Proud moment:Adarsh E.S. receiving gold medals from UPSC Chairman D.P. Agrawal on the occasion of the KLE University's maiden convocation in Belgaum on Saturday.
Proud moment:Adarsh E.S. receiving gold medals from UPSC Chairman D.P. Agrawal on the occasion of the KLE University's maiden convocation in Belgaum on Saturday.

Staff Correspondent

D.P. Agrawal emphasises the need to accord priority to intellectual capital formation

Belgaum: Chairman of the Union Public Service Commission D.P. Agrawal has called for evolving new models of delivery systems in schools, which are expected to provide a strong foundation for all further education and progress of a nation.

He was delivering the convocation address of KLE University here on Saturday.

Mr. Agrawal drew attention to studies comparing the performance of various schools, and said that though the Government had the highest percentage of professionally trained teachers, the achievements of students in unaided schools was much higher. Schools run by NGOs were more successful in encouraging literacy and imparting elementary education, especially to girls. This situation called for exploring new models of delivery systems.

Estimate

With the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, enacted by the Centre, it will underscore the need for more schools, infrastructure and teachers. An expert committee estimated that Rs. 1.71 lakh crore would be required in the next five years for implementing the Act, which calls for greater commitment by society, including the industry, for the simple reason that the ultimate beneficiary of education is society.

Emphasising on adequate priority to quality in higher education, Mr. Agrawal expected universities to emulate what the first director of IIT Kanpur Kelkar said: “What distinguishes a first rate institution from an indifferent one is the climate that exists there. This is something which cannot be brought from outside, but has to be generated and sustained from within the institution itself through conscious effort… An educational institution is primarily concerned with knowledge, transmission of knowledge, and utilisation of knowledge. It is against this background that the effectiveness of a technological institute is to be judged.”

Striking a word of caution over the use of science and technology for destructive purposes, the UPSC chief said scientists and technologists should develop methods to ensure that even under extreme threats, not a single human being was harmed, as enormous damage was caused when nations were at war.

In the fast-changing global economic scenario, new competitive dynamics had led to greater instability in profitability of companies. New products, services and competitors were emerging with blinding speed, while competitive pressure had been intensifying, making market leaders difficult to stay on top for long. Specialised skills were increasingly required, which also increased employee mobility.

With a view to inspiring young graduates, he pointed out how Dharavi (Asia's largest slum) in Mumbai had been playing a highly innovative and productive role: it is estimated that the total business in Dharavi runs into a few thousand crores of rupees every year; products manufactured by its residents are exported for their novelty and quality.

“This is the era of intellectual capital. You are entering this environment, which is exciting; all of you have to be vigilant and committed and work resolutely for the welfare of our people,” he advised the young graduates.

Chancellor of KLEU Prabhakar B. Kore presided over the function and Vice-Chancellor Chandrakant Kokate was present.

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