Perspective Education

Bolster economic growth through R & D

Freepik   | Photo Credit: Freepik

Investing in research and innovation is investing in a country’s future. Research is needed to create new solutions to maintain and improve way of life. Innovation fuels economic growth, and R&D fuels innovation, allowing researchers to develop new knowledge, techniques, and technologies.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a dramatic loss of human life and shaken up the world economy, causing massive disruptions to markets, supply chains, and trade. The social restrictions and norms have also affected the GDP. Optimists believe that the recovery of the Indian economy will be hastened with the implementation of the right policies. One such policy is the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.

Economic stimulant

An education system is crucial to the growth of any nation and indirectly stimulates the economy, since it helps produce human resources for society and industry. The NEP 2020 is committed towards the development of research and educational institutions specialising science, technology, innovation, economy, liberal arts, skill enhancement and so on.

Research and development is the path to finding solutions to local challenges and leading to innovative solutions. Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are the centres that will drive research and innovation. Hence, NEP 2020 seeks to create HEIs that will be involved only in research or in research and education. The model Multidisciplinary Research and Educational Universities that are sought to be built will focus on research with a multi-disciplinary approach and also offer teachers and academics the choice to work in research across disciplines. This is a welcome step since, till now teachers have not been encouraged to move beyond their fields and develop a multidisciplinary approach. This will also help create research-intensive teaching universities.

The need of the hour is research that will help in alleviating various problems in the country. While research that has worldwide impact is to be welcomed, those aimed towards providing local innovative solutions are imperative. This is also the research that needs to be presented as papers in authentic peer-reviewed journals. One of the deficiencies of research in India has been the dearth of publication in reputed, peer-reviewed world recognised journals. The establishment of Multidisciplinary Research and Educational Universities will correct this deficiency.

While developed economies spend a huge amount in research, India does not spend even a fraction of that amount in research and development-related activities. Even smaller countries such as Israel, Switzerland and South Korea spend a large percentage of their GDP in R&D. Though the NEP 2020 has its heart in the right place vis-a-vis R&D, it is the proper implementation of these policies that will be most important.

The writer is Provost of HSNC (Hyderabad Sind National Collegiate) University.

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Printable version | Mar 8, 2021 10:07:15 AM |

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