By Pravin V Patil, Chief Executive Officer – Centre for Industry-Academia Partnerships,
MIT World Peace University (MIT-WPU)
This will not only ensure that we produce graduates, who are skilled in a problem-solving approach but will also promote entrepreneurship and job-creators in our economy rather than just producing job seekers.
According to the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2020, Switzerland is the world’s most innovative economy followed by Sweden, the United States of America, the United Kingdom and The Netherlands. The same GII survey ranks India in the 48th position globally highlighting that the Indian ecosystem needs to streamline itself further so as to become an innovation-driven economy.
Education plays a major role in driving and inculcating a culture of innovation. While the Indian education system is strongly driven by its curriculum, ample opportunities exist to further revamp the system. Indian education could be further aligned with a stronger research-driven approach, which would encourage out-of-the-box thinking and problem-solving skills at an early age. The curriculum also has to adapt to become #industry-centric with a major focus on practical skillsets. These strategic changes will ensure that our education system becomes the fundamental driver of an innovative culture.
With India looking to leapfrog from a developing to a developed nation, it will be imperative for us to adapt to an education system that is based on research and innovation. Inculcating a culture of #innovation amongst students at an early age will not only ensure that we produce graduates, who are skilled in a problem-solving approach but will also promote entrepreneurship and job creators in our economy rather than just producing job seekers.
For India to successfully make this crucial transition in the coming years, the initiative of the Indian government alone will not suffice. Instead, we will need to create a culture of innovation amongst our students and the workforce starting right from their formative years of education.
Bridging the #Industry-Academia Gap
The teaching pedagogy in schools and colleges must encourage more factory visits and adopt a syllabus that is more aligned with the current industry trends. For instance, in the #BTech curriculum, subjects such as, #ArtificialIntelligence and #IIoT will be significant additions so that engineering graduates can pass out with degrees that equip them with industry-relevant skills and make them competent within the industry right after graduation. It will also help bridge the industry-academia gaps that is currently part of the education ecosystem.
Adopting a Multi-Disciplinary Approach Towards #Education
Another crucial change in our education system that will help with the culture of innovation is adopting a multi-disciplinary approach towards education. This means that majors and minors must be available to students at the college level wherein they can take courses from different disciplines. This will instill the ability to critically think, evaluate and problem-solve from multiple perspectives and encourage out-of-the-box thinking. Popular programs such as, BTech must especially allow this flexibility of majors and minors so that students can specialize in multiple disciplines, giving them an edge over the others and making them more technically competent.
In today’s era where everything is moving towards Industry 4.0, it calls for a lot of mergers amongst various technical applications. Inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary approach is an important aspect of skillsets today so that professionals can solve real-life problems and not just be experts in a specific discipline. It is my firm belief that this strategic change in our educational approach will help us meet the future demands of the job market with quality professionals.
An Entrepreneurial Mindset
Some of the biggest entrepreneurs of our generation have been dropouts of a rigid Western education system. Whether it is #BillGates, #SteveJobs or #MarkZuckerberg, the list is a classic example of how becoming a successful entrepreneur is not just about holding a degree but also backing it up with entrepreneurial skillsets and a mindset which is focused on innovative thinking. It is this mindset that will cause a transformation and a disruption in the industry taking mankind ahead in its journey towards further progress and evolution.
With India poised to take the next big leap in its economic standing in the world, it is high time that we mould our young minds towards a research-driven and innovative thought process so that our nation can also boast of the biggest entrepreneurs and inventors of all time.