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Kanpur, July 26, 2023: The Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IITK) hosted a joint press conference today to commemorate the 3rd anniversary of the National Education Policy (NEP 2020). Prof. Abhay Karandikar, Director, IIT Kanpur, presided over the press conference in presence of Shri JD Masilamani, Regional Director, and Shri G C Saha, Joint Director, Regional Directorate of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship; Shri Munni Lal, District Inspector of Schools, Kanpur Nagar; Shri Ravish Chandra Pandey, Principal of KV IITK; Shri Manoj Kumar Jain, Principal of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Kanpur Nagar; and Shri Balvinder Singh, Principal of Guru Nanak Modern Public School, Kanpur, and the CBSE City Coordinator. The event was a celebration of the transformative journey undertaken by the education sector in three years of implementation of the NEP.
Prof. Abhay Karandikar, Director, IIT Kanpur, opened the session by highlighting the significance of the NEP in bringing paradigm shifts in India’s education system. He said, “In the past three years of implementation, albeit in a phased manner, the National Education Policy has brought academic transformations from primary to higher educational level. Its focus on technological integration across levels of education, flexibility in learning, and renewed emphasis on interdisciplinary study, skill development, and internationalization of education, are some aspects which can impact various other sectors that are crucial for nation building. The IITs also, which were conceived as technical and engineering institutes, are now transitioning to become multi-disciplinary resource universities, in line with the NEP.”
Prof. Karandikar brought out the context of curricular revamp to bridge gaps between diverse streams and activities. Based on the Undergraduate and Postgraduate Academic Review Committee Reports, IIT Kanpur now offers remarkable academic flexibility with double majors, minors, dual degrees, and master's degrees across fields. New degree options like Honours degrees and inter-departmental programs, known as Social Sciences, Communication, Humanities, Economics, Management, and Environment (SCHEME), were introduced to provide a holistic and multidisciplinary educational experience, transcending traditional boundaries.
IIT Kanpur fosters innovation and entrepreneurship through its Student Entrepreneurship Policy, in line with NEP 2020 and NISP. It allows students to pursue entrepreneurship by registering for 'Innovation and Entrepreneurship Credits' or taking a semester drop. IIT Kanpur has taken significant strides in innovation in recent years, and was adjudged the top position in Innovation in the NIRF 2023 rankings.
The institute runs several online courses, and eMasters degree programs to cater to students and working professionals. For smooth transitioning into the IIT ecosystem, the students facing language barriers are provided with multilingual study materials, in line with NEP, under the Shivani Centre for the Nurture and Re-integration of Hindi and Other Indian Languages.
Prof. Karandikar also talked about the launch of new departments in multidisciplinary domains such as Cognitive Science, Design, and Space, Planetary & Astronomical Sciences & Engineering. Clubbed with the upcoming Gangwal School of Medical Sciences & Technology, these new departments bear testimony to NEP’s focus on multidisciplinary education and collaborations for research and innovation.
Shri JD Masilamani, Regional Director, and Shri G C Saha, Joint Director, Regional Directorate of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship emphasized the integration of vocational education with general education, convergence of skills across disciplines/sectors, technology-enabled learning, entrepreneurship, life skills, teacher training, and experiential learning through internships and apprenticeships, in realizing the vision of the NEP. With continuous evaluation, fostering global competence in skill development, including inclusive and sustainable skills, and skilling in regional languages, NEP is achieving its sustainable development goals.
NEP’s transformation is visible across schools and colleges as well. Kanpur boasts of nine KVs and each has recorded phase-wise implementation of the Policy recommendations, as put forward by Shri Ravish Chandra Pandey, Principal of KV IITK. Since the academic year 2022-23, KVs revised the age of admission to Class I to 6+ years, following the NEP's 5+3+3+4 design. KVs embraced NEP's vision for early childhood education by piloting Balvatika classes for ages 3+, 4+, and 5+ in 49 schools. The success of this pilot led to the expansion of Balvatika classes to 500 KVs during the 2023-24 academic year.
KVs in Kanpur have taken significant steps to enhance students' readiness for Grade I through the ‘Vidya Pravesh’ program, a play-based 'School Preparation Module' designed by NCERT. This is in addition to the National Curriculum Framework for Foundational Stage (NCF FS) undertaken by KVs to cater to the learning needs of children between ages 3-8. The National Initiative for Proficiency in reading with Understanding and Numeracy (NIPUN) has been introduced in KVs to track students’ progress through tracking Lakshyas or ‘Learning Objectives’.
In promoting vocational education, KVs introduced Artificial Intelligence as a vocational subject for Class VIII students and engaging pre-vocational courses like carpentry and pottery for Classes VI to VIII. The schools underwent a pedagogical shift, prioritizing learner-centered and experiential learning, and provided extensive teacher training through programs like NISHTHA (National Initiative for School Heads’ and Teachers’ Holistic Advancement), focusing on technology integration and joyful teaching practices. Moreover, KVs actively involved the community through the Vidyanjali portal, facilitating volunteers to contribute their knowledge, skills, and resources to enrich the learning experience.
The Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas have also revised the age group for admission to class VI from 09-13 years to 11-13 years following the NEP's 5+3+3+4 framework. Shri Manoj Kumar Jain, Principal of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Kanpur Nagar highlighted how the JNVs are prioritizing Foundational Literacy and Numeracy without rigid gender separation in line with NEP, to ensure equal opportunities for all. The establishment of special JNVs in disadvantaged regions like Sitapur (UP) and Ujjain (MP) has also emerged as affirmative steps towards inclusivity.
JNVs are also implementing assessment reforms with a 360-degree Holistic progress card for tracking students' Learning Outcomes. Skill development is emphasized through one Skill subject from Class VI to XII, fostering life skills like teamwork and resilience, while multilingualism is being promoted through the introduction of a third language, including regional languages from Class VI to IX. Moreover, PM e-Vidya Platform, including DIKSHA, is being utilized to provide training to teachers and principals and offer e-content on various subjects.
Shri Balvinder Singh, Principal of Guru Nanak Modern Public School, Kanpur, and the CBSE City Coordinator, echoed similar sentiments as he highlighted how CBSE schools are also adapting the curricular reforms, bringing in more focus on digital learning and upskilling the students through various activities, by narrowing the gap between vocational and academic streams. He also stressed upon Competency-based learning that can make students grow better.
Shri Munni Lal, District Inspector of Schools, Kanpur Nagar, commended the Policy’s curricular reforms at the school level and its push for bringing students closer to India’s cultural values.
The joint press conference was a testament to the transformative journey undertaken by the education sector, with the NEP 2020 paving the way for a vibrant knowledge society and a globally competitive India.
About IIT Kanpur:
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur was established on 2nd November 1959 by an Act of Parliament. The institute has a sprawling campus spread over 1055 acres with large pool of academic and research resources spanning across 19 departments, 22 centres, and 3 Interdisciplinary programs in engineering, science, design, humanities, and management disciplines with 540 full-time faculty members and approximately 9000 students. In addition to formal undergraduate and postgraduate courses, the institute has been active in research and development in areas of value to both industry and government.
For more information, visit www.iitk.ac.in.