IITs' help sought to improve school curricula

IITs' help sought to improve school curricula

Amid concerns over poor quality of education at  the primary and secondary levels, the HRD Ministry has asked Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) to suggest changes that can be brought in the school curricula to improve learning outcomes.

This came at a meeting held by HRD Minister Smriti Irani with directors and chairmen of premier technical institutes in Goa on Sunday.

“She asked IITs to suggest curriculum changes at the school level so as to not only align with higher educational institutions but also to help in setting up innovation labs at the district level throughout the country with a view to infuse a culture of research and innovation among students,” the ministry said in a statement.

The HRD minister also engaged IITs in formulating a framework to evolve India’s own system of ranking its higher educational institutions along with those operating in developing countries, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently favouring creation of such a mechanism in consultation with Saarc countries.

“The minister asked IITs to develop a framework on ranking with a view to rank institutions the world over as per the thrust areas for developing countries. Ms Irani said that there was a need to redefine the discourse on ranking so as to serve developmental needs of the nation,” it said.

At the meeting,  Irani highlighted the need to develop quality faculty not only for new IITs but also Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and other institutions operating in the country, asking the heads of premier technical institutes to come up with strategies for making the country “both manpower ready and teacher ready”.

She asked the directors of IIT-Kharagpur and IIT-Kanpur to organise programmes at the national level so as to benefit teachers and other stakeholders with lectures by the “best of the foreign and national faculties”. The minister also stressed on the need to promote research and technological innovations for meeting “national development agenda”. She sought the IITs’ help in enhancing industry-academia collaborations.

“She said that IITs needed to come up with at least 10 goalposts that India should reach both nationally and internationally in a time-bound manner,” the ministry said.
A committee consisting of directors and chairmen of IITs was constituted to map various disciplines with respect to their requirement for meeting “national manpower goals”, it added.

Irani also asked IITs to develop a special programme for students of north-eastern states, underlining that they need to be exposed to the best of institutions in different parts of the country. “IIT-Guwahati director will coordinate efforts in this direction and submit a report by the middle of August,” the ministry said.

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