PM addresses G20 Education Ministers’ Meet

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The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressed the G20 Education Ministers’ Meet held in Pune via video message today.

Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said that education is not only the foundation upon which our civilization has been built, but it is also the architect of humanity’s future. The Prime Minister referred to the Education Ministers as the Sherpas and said that they are leading mankind in its effort for development, peace, and prosperity for all. Shri Modi highlighted that the Indian scriptures describe the role of education as the key to bringing joy. Reciting a Sanskrit Shlok which means ‘True knowledge gives humility, from humility comes worthiness, from worthiness one gets wealth, wealth enables a person to do good deeds, and, this is what brings joy’, the Prime Minister said that India has embarked on a holistic and comprehensive journey. Shri Modi emphasized that foundational literacy forms a strong base for the youth and India is combining it with technology. He highlighted the ‘National Initiative for Proficiency in reading with Understanding and Numeracy”, or ‘Nipun Bharat’ initiative by the Government and expressed happiness that ‘Foundational Literacy and Numeracy’ has been identified as a priority by G20 as well. He also stressed working on it in a time-bound manner by 2030.

The Prime Minister emphasized the need to adapt and use new e-learning innovatively and said that the objective must be to provide quality education with better governance. He highlighted the several initiatives taken by the Government in this direction and mentioned ‘Study Webs of Active-learning for Young Aspiring Minds’, or ‘Swayam’, an online platform that hosts all courses from Class 9 to the post-graduate level and enables students to learn remotely while focussing on access, equity and quality. “With over 34 million enrolments and more than 9000 courses, it has become a very effective learning tool”, the Prime Minister added. He also mentioned the ‘Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing’ or ‘Diksha Portal’ which aims to deliver school education through distance learning. Shri Modi informed that it supports learning in 29 Indian and 7 foreign languages and has witnessed over 137 million course completions so far. Shri Modi also pointed out that India would be happy to share these experiences and resources, particularly with those in the Global South.

Underlining the need to make our youth future-ready by continuously skilling, reskilling and up-skilling them, the Prime Minister emphasized aligning their competencies with evolving work profiles and practices. In India, the Prime Minister added, we are undertaking skill mapping where the Education, Skill and Labour Ministries are working in tandem on this initiative. Shri Modi also suggested that G-20 countries can undertake skill mapping at the global level and find gaps that need to be plugged in.

The Prime Minister remarked that digital technology serves as an equalizer and promotes inclusivity. He said that it is a force multiplier in increasing access to education and adapting to future needs. He also touched upon the potential of Artificial Intelligence which offers great potential in the field of learning, skilling and education. He also stressed the role of G-20 in striking the right balance between the opportunities and challenges posed by technology.

Throwing light on the emphasis laid on research and innovation, the Prime Minister highlighted that India has set up ten thousand ‘Atal Tinkering Labs’ across the country which act as research and innovation nurseries for our school children. He informed that more than 7.5 million students are working on more than 1.2 million innovative projects in these labs. The Prime Minister stressed that G20 countries with their respective strengths can play a crucial role in promoting research & innovation, especially in the Global South. He urged the dignitaries to create a path for increased research collaborations.

Highlighting the significance of the G20 Education Ministers’ Meet towards the future of our children and youth, the Prime Minister expressed delight that the group has identified green transition, digital transformations and women’s empowerment as accelerators for achieving Sustainable Development Goals. “Education is at the root of all these efforts”, the Prime Minister said, as he expressed confidence that the outcome of the meeting will be an inclusive, action-oriented and future-ready education agenda. “This would benefit the whole world in the true spirit of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – One Earth, One Family, One Future”, the Prime Minister concluded.