Bengaluru: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday emphasized the importance of adopting a futuristic approach to education by focusing on developing 21st-century skills ranging from artificial intelligence to data analytics.
Addressing an event at a college in Bengaluru, Naidu said, "Emerging career options and even established ones, to an extent, now require employees to have wider knowledge in diverse fields. Going forward, youth must not only have an in-depth knowledge of their specialization but must also be strong in the fundamentals of other disciplines." Observing that workspaces are changing at a rapid pace, he emphasized the importance of adopting a futuristic approach to education by focusing on developing students' skills.
"They must nurture the ability to assimilate and integrate knowledge from different fields to become competitive in the 21st-century job market. Equally important is to possess effective communication skills," he added.
Highlighting that Indians are proving themselves as leaders in all fields, he said, "India's rise is widely recognized on the global stage."
Referring to India's glorious heritage in education, Naidu said, "India's stellar contribution to the field of education in ancient times earned it the status of 'Viswa Guru'.
Stressing the need to move away from rote learning to 'active learning', the Vice President wanted educational institutions to adopt an evaluation based on continuous assessment. Calling for breaking rigidity and water-tight compartmentalization of the subjects, he underlined that "Interdisciplinarity and multidisciplinarity are the way forward."
Terming education as the most powerful instrument for building a just and equitable society, Naidu wanted educational institutions to equip youth with the right skill sets to make them not just employable but also catalysts of New India's growth story.
Emphasizing on women empowerment, Naidu called for removing barriers hindering the emancipation of women in the country.
He said that though our civilizational ethos encourages equal participation of women in various fields, there are many areas in which women are yet to realize their full potential.
The Vice President emphasised a greater push for women's education through consistent efforts of the government. He said that given an opportunity, women have always proven themselves in every discipline.
Mentioning the names of distinguished women scholars of ancient India such as Gargi and Maitreyi, he said that since ancient times, there was a clear emphasis on women's education. He also praised many progressive rulers and reformers from Karnataka like Attimabbe and Sovaladevi, who were great patrons of learning, and the Virashaiva movement that focused on the emancipation of women through education.
Touching on the issue of religious intolerance, Naidu appealed that religion is a personal matter and that while one can take pride and practice one's religion, no one has the right to denigrate others' religious beliefs. He stressed that secularism and tolerance towards others' views are a core part of Indian ethos and that sporadic incidents cannot undermine India's commitment to the values of pluralism and inclusivity.