THE ATMANIRBHAR ECOSYSTEM

Editorial GREATER JAMMU

The incumbent Union government is leaving no stone unturned in ensuring that the nation and its people especially the youth get an ecosystem which is neither dependent nor borrowed but is reliant on its own resources, strength and resolution with a pyramidal structure resting on a broad base and not on its top. For achieving this objective education and research must inculcate among various stakeholders especially the youth, the true scientific temper, discipline and honesty, national pride, adherence to the principles of justice, gender parity, ethical practices and spirit of fair competition and brotherhood. While the government is consistently focussing on inculcating Atmanirbharta (self-reliance) inclusive of Atmavishwas (self-confidence), Atmasamman (self-respect) and Atmachintan (self-assessment) among students at all educational levels, at the same time it needs to be realized that this has to be augmented by establishing innovation and entrepreneurship centres for rigorous research in innovation practices. In fact this needs to be made a mandatory component of university/college teachers’ professional development programme, encouraging and facilitating the teachers for international collaborations or exchange programmes in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) for which the idea generation and idea transformation ability are necessary right from early education. In this regard it is necessary to mention here that the Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (STIP) rightly recommended representation of the ministries of Science and Technology in the working groups constituted for the revision of the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) of National Education Policy (NEP). Moreover it provides for institutionalizing a National School and Higher Education Mentorship Programme. However, in this programme it is necessary to focus on innovation-oriented education at the school and the college levels to nurture early talent by providing a career path for career building in science with aspirations for greater achievements. This will undoubtedly ensure that the students with extraordinary intellectual abilities in a specific field who have limited opportunities to enter mainstream education. Such students will have to be identified and assessed to fully realize their true potential. It is pertinent to mention here that as part of Scientific Social Responsibility Policy, students of all educational levels are already being provided opportunities to get exposure to the leading scientific laboratories. The STIP is also there to facilitate the Internationalization of R&D in India and more innovative programmes are being introduced in line with the existing ones with a widened scope for international faculty and students. This includes transforming existing R&D institutions to research universities to enable their effective utilization supported by a mechanism for the maintenance of existing R&D infrastructure. Through the centre-state partnership, Central and the State Governments have already initiated building and enhancing the infrastructure for science laboratories, computer labs, language labs, libraries and so forth to improve the research competency thus facilitating greater academic, intellectual and functional autonomy linked to accountability, strengthening Academia-R&D-Industry collaborations. It is time to motivate the students to try their hands in the field of science. So let us all initiate proactive efforts to invigorate the STI ecosystem through increased allocation for innovation ecosystems, infrastructure and critical human resource development encouraging domestic, private and public sector entities to work on projects aligned to national needs and priorities. This will undoubtedly lead to achieving of Atmanirbharta in true letter and spirit.