Transforming higher education in J&K: Shri Manoj Sinha emphasises innovation and entrepreneurship

The recent meeting of the J&K Higher Education Council, chaired by Lieutenant Governor Shri Manoj Sinha, underscored a comprehensive and holistic transformation of the higher education sector in Jammu and Kashmir. With a focus on actualizing human potential in service to society, the Lieutenant Governor emphasised the need for thorough assessment and enhancement of educational courses to ensure they meet the expectations of both students and employers. This approach aims to ensure that the return on investment in university education is satisfactory, effectively preparing future leaders who can drive societal progress. A significant part of the discussion revolved around the necessity of nurturing entrepreneurial skills within higher education institutions. The Lieutenant Governor highlighted the importance of making these institutions capable of fostering future entrepreneurs. He advocated for innovative curriculum and classroom learning that encourages problem-solving skills among students, preparing them to navigate and contribute to a rapidly evolving world. This focus on entrepreneurship aligns with broader educational goals, aiming to create a dynamic and responsive educational environment. The implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 across J&K universities was a key agenda item. The meeting explored the status of NEP 2020’s implementation, emphasizing sustainability and the expansion of the Design Your Degree (DYD) program. The DYD program, in particular, received special attention for its potential to empower students by allowing greater flexibility and personalization in their educational journeys. This program’s successful implementation is seen as vital for aligning educational outcomes with the diverse needs and aspirations of students. Additionally, the meeting highlighted initiatives to promote entrepreneurship, start-ups, and tangible skill programs. Proposals for new joint programs and initiatives for the 2024-25 academic year were discussed, reflecting a forward-thinking approach to educational development. The importance of inter-institutional cooperation was also emphasized, with ideas for sharing credits and resources among institutions being considered as a means to enhance the overall educational framework. Lieutenant Governor Sinha lauded the contributions of council members and other stakeholders in driving the transformation of J&K’s higher education landscape. Their collective efforts are seen as crucial in implementing effective policies and reforms that will elevate the quality and relevance of education in the region. The commitment to these reforms is evident in the emphasis on innovative programs like DYD, which are expected to be rolled out in a time-bound manner to maximize their impact. The meeting brought together various educational leaders, including advisors, vice-chancellors, and department heads, who shared their perspectives on NEP 2020 and the DYD program. Their insights underscored the necessity of recognizing both the strengths and weaknesses of the current educational system, with a view towards empowering students to take an active role in redefining classroom learning. In conclusion, the J&K Higher Education Council meeting highlighted the critical need for a transformative approach to higher education in Jammu and Kashmir. By focusing on course value assessment, fostering entrepreneurship, implementing NEP 2020, and promoting inter-institutional cooperation, the council aims to create an educational ecosystem that is responsive, innovative, and capable of meeting contemporary demands. The collaborative efforts of all stakeholders are essential to achieving these ambitious goals and ensuring that higher education in J&K effectively prepares students for the future.

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