India needs a world class higher education system: Vice President

Bengaluru: The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that a world-class higher education system was the need of the hour. Addressing students and faculty members of REVA University after inaugurating the State-of-the-art Architecture Block in the campus at Bengaluru today, he said that India’s quest for development would remain unfulfilled if we fail to create opportunities for quality higher education till the last mile.

Pointing out that concerns have been raised over the imbalance between excellence and inclusion, the Vice President called for revamping of higher education system to make more equitable and inclusive.

Shri Naidu said that we have tremendous talent amongst us and we cannot afford to let this talent lie dormant due to lack of avenues for quality education, especially higher education and skill training. He called for putting vulnerable sections of our population, the women, the differently-abled and the economically weak at the center of our strategy to expand higher education.

Observing that rapid industrialization and economic growth would create opportunities for around 250 million skilled workforces by 2030, Shri Naidu asserted that India would emerge as the global supplier of skilled manpower in the coming years.

The Vice President said that despite the progress made from the time of Independence, higher education system in India still suffers from a number of lacunae ranging from inadequate enrolment to quality issues to lack of equity and insufficient infrastructure. Observing that research was the cornerstone of higher education systems world over, the Vice President called upon institutions of high learning to create an environment for students to be innovative and creative.

Saying that advanced research was the way forward for India’s higher education, Shri Naidu called upon colleges and universities to equip their institutions with latest technologies and re-invent the teaching methodology.

The Vice President wanted institutions of higher education to focus on nurturing students with employable skills. He also suggested them to actively promote linkages between academic institutions, the industry, and the government to prepare students to suit the demands of the industry and train them to perform new age jobs.

The Chancellor of REVA University, Dr. P. Shyama Raju, the Vice Chancellor of REVA University, Dr. S.Y. Kulakarni, the Registrar of the University, Dr. M. Dhanamjaya, the Trustees of the University, Shri Bhasker Raju and Umesh Raju and other dignitaries were present at the event.

Following is the text of Vice President’s address:

” I am delighted to be here at REVA today, a campus that is a nucleus of brimming activity, amidst some of the brightest minds of the country.

Your campus is a true manifestation of the strong surge of energy and vigor of a young India.

Let me congratulate Dr Shyama Raju for his dedicated service to the nation in the field of education.

One of the most effective ways to cement a nation’s pathway towards growth and development is through a robust framework for quality professional education, an endeavour that is being taken to fruition by Dr Shyama Raju and his dedicated team.

I am glad to hear that REVA educates a large number of students from rural background. I am sure that REVA and its team of dedicated faculty will offer nothing but the best to every single one of its students.

My dear friends,

I am delighted to inaugurate the Architecture block of REVA University today.

I am told that this campus of REVA is home to 15000 talented students studying in diverse disciplines such as Engineering, Architecture, Management, Commerce, Humanities, Legal Studies and Performing Arts.

I firmly believe that students from varying disciplines should study together and interact with one another as frequently as possible to develop wider perspectives and accommodate contrarian view points.

This is, after all, the era of interdisciplinary studies. Aristotle once said, ‘It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it’.

My dear sisters and brothers,

In ancient India, the ‘Gurukula’ system of education thrived, where students resided in the ashrams or the homes of the Gurus.

The very word ‘Gurukula’ is a combination of two words, ‘Guru’, the master and the ‘kula’, the home. Students were not discriminated against on the basis of caste or creed and every student was involved in the activities of the ashrama.

The Gurukula was a place of acceptance, of harmony and of brotherhood and camaraderie, a safe haven for all those who pursued wisdom.

Your ‘Kula’ or home has been built well, it is now upto the Gurus and the shishyas to ensure that they make the best use of the facilities available here.

Let this abode of wisdom and scholarship become the modern day Gurukula where there is no place for prejudices and where the light of learning will dispel the darkness of all human vices.

My dear young friends,

Today India needs a world class higher education system, a mission that is of paramount importance, especially in the light of the burgeoning youth population in the country.

India has one of the youngest populations in the world and the window of demographic dividend opportunity is available for five decades from 2005-06 to 2055-56, longer than any other country in the world.

India will have the second largest graduate talent pipeline globally by the end of the year 2020. India’s economy is also expected to grow at a fast pace. Rapid industrialization would require a workforce of around 250 million by 2030.

India will certainly emerge as a global supplier of skilled manpower.

We have tremendous talent amongst us. We cannot afford to let this talent lie dormant due to lack of avenues for quality education, especially higher education and skill training.

According to World Bank estimates, India’s higher education system is the world’s third largest in terms of students, next to China and the United States.

Very soon, India will be one of the largest education hubs and learning destinations in the world.

India’s Higher Education sector has witnessed a tremendous growth in the number of Universities, University level Institutions and Colleges since Independence.

But we have a long way to go. Our higher education system still suffers from a number of lacunae ranging from inadequate enrolment to quality issues to lack of equity and insufficient infrastructure.

While it is true that access to quality higher education has improved in the last decade with more IITs, IIMs and Central and State-level universities being established, concerns have been raised about the imbalance between excellence and inclusion.

Let me remind you that our quest for development will remain unfulfilled if we fail to create opportunities for quality higher education till the last mile. Vulnerable sections of our population, the women, the differently-abled and the economically weak should be at the centre of our strategy to expand higher education.

Today, we are in the middle of Industry 4.0. There is widespread disruption due to technology and automation that are changing the nature of jobs and learning and we have to adapt fast to the changing scenario.

We need to create campuses that are integrated with latest technologies, which empower students to innovate and create. India should be a technology leader and not a follower.

New fields such as cyber security, robotics, digital technology, artificial intelligence, data-science, block chain and internet of things have the potential to transform the world. In this context, India must be innovative in approach and work out policies to boost research and optimally tap the demographic potential.

Statistics reveal that there were only 216 researchers per million in 2015. India’s investment in research is 0.62 per cent of its GDP. These numbers are well below global standards.

Research is the cornerstone of higher education systems world over. Advancing research should be the way forward for India’s higher education.

There is also a need to re-invent the teaching methodology in our centers of higher education.

The world is now experimenting with several effective teaching methodologies such as e-learning, simulation and role-playing, problem based learning and blended learning. India must also adopt best practices from all over the world to improve instruction.

There is also a need to train our teachers and equip them with better skill-sets and latest tools to effectively educate students in this era of digital technologies.

Institutions of higher education must also focus on nurturing employable skills.

The new Annual Employability Survey 2019 report by Aspiring Minds reveals that 80% of Indian engineers are unsuited for any job in the knowledge economy and only 2.5% of them possess tech skills in Artificial Intelligence (AI) that industry requires.

This is a matter of great concern.

Ad-hoc changes and quick fix solutions will not remedy the problem of employability. We have to actively promote linkages between academic institutions, the industry and the government so that we succeed in preparing our graduates to suit the demands of the industry and perform new age jobs.

Students must also be encouraged to undertake internships, live projects and corporate interactions which provide practical insights into how the industry operates and expose them to workplace realities. Current estimates say that less than 40% of our engineering graduates opt for internships.

I am very happy to know that REVA University has its own Industry Interaction Centre.

Quality education in India is still very expensive. Education should not be a business, but must be looked upon as a mission to build a better world.

Institutions of higher education have the potential to become the most crucial change agents in the society. Education is a powerful tool to reduce or eliminate income and wealth disparities.

I would also urge the Indian universities to continually engage and collaborate with world class academic institutions in different parts of the world.

The world is a global village and we have to ensure that we mould global, cosmopolitan citizens who are at ease in any part of the world.

My dear young friends,

I do not, for a second, believe that education is meant solely for employment. Education has a much higher purpose.

Education teaches us values, stimulates our intellect, develops tolerance and encourages us to question the absurd and equips us to contribute to the growth of the human society. True education opens up your mind and trains you to think critically, practically and creatively. It fosters empathy, kindness and humility.

I understand that the School of Architecture at REVA is participating in the Smart City Project. I am sure that your contribution in planning of cities, ensuring sustainability and energy conservation will bring about a paradigm shift in urban planning.

I hope this University continues to provide quality education and remains committed to the pursuit of excellence.

I wish you all the best in all your future endeavors!

[“source=indiaeducationdiary”]

Apple CEO Promised 3 New US Plants, Says President Trump: Report

Apple CEO Promised 3 New US Plants, Says President Trump: Report

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Apple has promised to expand manufacturing in the US with 3 new plants
  • Cook in May announced the creation of an Apple fund
  • Apple has 80,000 employees in the US and plans to hire thousands more

The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday reported that US President Donald Trump said Apple has promised to expand manufacturing at home with three new US plants.

The Journal quoted Trump as saying that Apple chief executive Tim Cook committed to building “three big plants,” in the United States.

No details were provided, and Apple did not respond to an AFP request for comment.

Cook in May announced the creation of an Apple fund to get more people in the US to do “advanced manufacturing,” kicking it off with a billion dollars.

Apple building plants in the United States would come as rare common ground with Trump.

Cook has pointed out that Apple spent more than $50 billion (roughly Rs. 3,22,155 crores) in the United States last year – buying from suppliers such as Corning Glass, working with developers behind applications for the California company’s devices and more.

Apple has about 80,000 employees in the US and plans to hire thousands more “in the future,” according to Cook.

It is a sign of Apple’s success but also a thorny problem: a cash stockpile topping a quarter of a trillion dollars, sparking debate on what do with such massive reserves.

The tech giant has resisted the idea of bringing the cash home, because the US tax code allows multinational firms to defer profits while they are held overseas but taxes income at up to 35 percent when repatriated.

Trump vowed while campaigning that he would force Apple to bring production to US soil.

Apple is not in the same position as automakers which relocated US factories overseas to cut costs, IHS manufacturing processes chief analyst Dan Panzica told AFP earlier this year. Apple never moved jobs offshore, it created them there.

“The Apple jobs were never here,” Panzica said.

“The entire supply chain grew in China.”

Apple benefits in Asia from a network that goes beyond subcontractors assembling smartphones, tablets or laptops. The firm relies on a dense ecosystem of companies that make components and spare parts for its devices as well.

China also offers sources of important raw materials, along with cheap, flexible and abundant labor to keep iPhone assembly lines cranking along.

It would be challenging to replicate that situation with US workers without using more robotics, undermining the political aim of creating jobs here, according to some analysts.

Moving iPhone manufacturing to the US would also likely push up costs, which is not in Apple’s interests.

It was seen as more likely that Apple would make a symbolic move to appease Washington, such as investing more in making Mac Pro computers here, or in a facility for higher-priced, limited-edition devices such as an “anniversary edition iPhone” to mark the handset’s 10th birthday this year.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

AFT President: Betsy DeVos and Donald Trump Are Dismantling Public Education

devos-trump
Donald Trump in Washington, DC, on April 25, 2017 (L); Betsy DeVos in Washington, DC, on Jan. 17, 2017.  Olivier Douliery—Getty Images (L); Bill Clark—Getty Images
Donald Trump may say teachers are important, but he spent his first 100 days undermining the schools most educators work in —America’s public schools.

One of President Trump’s first acts was to appoint the most anti-public education person ever to lead the Department of Education. Betsy DeVos has called public schools a “dead end” and bankrolled a private school voucher measure in Michigan that the public defeated by a two-to-one ratio. When that failed, she spent millions electing legislators who then did her bidding slashing public school budgets and spreading unaccountable for-profit charters across the state. The result? Nearly half of Michigan’s charter schools rank in the bottom of U.S. schools, and Michigan dropped from 28th to 41st in reading and from 27th to 42nd in math compared with other states.

Now DeVos is spreading this agenda across the country with Trump and Vice President Mike Pence’s blessing. They’ve proposed a budget that takes a meat cleaver to public education and programs that work for kids and families. After-school and summer programs — gone. Funding for community schools that provide social, emotional, health and academic programs to kids — gone. Investments to keep class sizes low and provide teachers with the training and support they need to improve their craft — gone. Their budget cuts financial aid for low-income college students grappling with student debt at the same time the Trump administration is making it easier for private loan servicers to prey on students and families.

The Trump/DeVos budget funnels more than $1 billion to new voucher and market strategies even though study after study concludes those strategies have hurt kids. Recent studies of voucher programs in Ohio and Washington, D.C., show students in these programs did worse than those in traditional public schools. Further, private voucher schools take money away from neighborhood public schools, lack the same accountability that public schools have, fail to protect kids from discrimination, and increase segregation.

It’s dangerous in education when the facts don’t matter to people. But it doesn’t stop there. Schools must be safe and welcoming places for all children, and that’s a belief shared both by parents who send their kids to voucher schools and those who send their kids to public schools. But Trump and DeVos have acted to undermine the rights of kids who look or feel different, and to cut funding for school health and safety programs.

What Trump and DeVos are doing stands in stark contrast to the bipartisan consensus we reached in 2015 when Congress passed a new education law that shifted the focus from testing back to teaching, pushed decision-making back to states and communities, and continued to invest funds in the schools that need it the most. It offered an opportunity to focus on what we know works best for kids and schools—promoting children’s well-being, engaging in powerful learning, building teacher capacity, and fostering cultures of collaboration.

The Trump/DeVos agenda not only jeopardizes that work, their view that education is a commodity as opposed to a public good threatens the foundation of our democracy and our responsibility to provide opportunity to all of America’s young people.

Americans have a deep connection to and belief in public education. I see it every day as I crisscross the nation talking to parents, teachers, students and community members about what they want for their public schools. And it transcends politics. It’s one of the reasons we saw such a massive grass-roots response to the DeVos nomination from every part of the country.

A recent poll by Harvard and Politico showed that while parents want good public school choices to meet the individual needs of their kids, they do not want those choices pit against one another or used to drain money from other public schools. In other words, the DeVos/Trump agenda is wildly out of step with what Americans want for their kids.

It’s what I saw when I took DeVos to visit public schools in Van Wert, Ohio, last month. This is an area that voted more than 70 percent for Trump, but people there love and invest in their public schools — from a strong early childhood program, to robust robotics and other strategies that engage kids in powerful learning, to a community school that helps the kids most at risk of dropping out stay on a path to graduation. It’s what I saw at the Community Health Academy of the Heights in New York City where the school provides a full-service community health clinic, in-school social workers, a food pantry, parent resource center, and other services for parents and kids. And it’s what I saw this week at Rock Island Elementary School in Broward County, Fla., where kids participate in robotics programs after school, where there is a library in every classroom and a guided reading room where kids can build their literacy skills. The great things happening in these schools are all funded by federal dollars and threatened by the Trump/DeVos budget.

Many of those who voted for Trump did so because they believed he would keep his promise to stand up for working people and create jobs. They didn’t vote to dismantle public education and with it the promise and potential it offers their children. Now, the person who ran on jobs and the economy seems intent on crushing one of the most important institutions we have to meet the demands of a changing economy, enable opportunity and propel our nation forward. That’s one of the biggest takeaways from Trump’s first 100 days.

[“Source-time”]

Is Mark Zuckerberg Getting Ready to Run for President?

Is Mark Zuckerberg Getting Ready to Run for President?

Is Mark Zuckerberg Getting Ready to Run for President?
HIGHLIGHTS
Zuckerberg took a new year resolution to visit all 50 US states
Zuckerberg also said that he no longer considers himself an atheist
Some people have started believing that he may run for President
As America changes presidents, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is doing something. This week, he did something in Texas: He went to his first rodeo. He wore a hard hat and a safety vest. He thanked police officers in Dallas for their hard work. He helped plant a community garden.

So what, exactly, is Mark Zuckerberg doing? Well, even without a peep from the man confirming any interest in the job, some have started to believe that Zuckerberg is running for president.

The reason people think that is, well, because whatever it is that Zuckerberg is doing looks a lot like what presidential hopefuls do:

In this case, Zuckerberg was in Dallas to testify in a $2 billion (roughly Rs. 13,616 crores) lawsuit. The Facebook-owned Oculus VR company has been accused of corporate theft by ZeniMax – an accusation that Facebook has denied. But the chief executive managed to make the most of his trip on Facebook itself by looping it into an unrelated personal project.

Zuckerberg’s New Year’s resolution this year is to make sure that he has visited each of the 50 states by the end of the year. He has been to several already, (for instance: Hawaii, where he owns a house and is suing some of his neighbours), so the resolution will mean making sure he visits about 30 additional states by December.

“My work is about connecting the world and giving everyone a voice. I want to personally hear more of those voices this year,” Zuckerberg wrote in his Facebook post explaining the resolution.

But that resolution wasn’t the first thing Zuckerberg that sounded a bit presidential to some. Over the holidays, Zuckerberg said he no longer considers himself an atheist and that religion is “very important” to him. He also hired David Plouffe, President Barack Obama’s former campaign chair, to work for the philanthropic organization that he and his wife, Priscilla Chan, created.

Once again, it is important to emphasize that while the above sure does make you go “hmm,” Mark Zuckerberg has not said that he is running, or would like to run, for president.
One other reason that Zuckerberg might want to spend 2017 meeting Americans could have to do with, you know, Facebook. This year, the company was accused of having a bias against conservative news sources and topics in its trending topics bar. That accusation had a lasting impact on Facebook’s reputation in conservative circles. And after the 2016 election, the company faced repeated interrogations from the media about its influential role in spreading fake news and hoaxes. As a result, Facebook announced changes designed to improve its ability to discourage the sharing of outright false information.

Zuckerberg’s business model depends on its users believing that the platform is a newsworthy and trustworthy place where they might feel comfortable posting lots of things from their personal lives. Both perceptions have been threatened over the past year. Going out and talking to people, particularly those who have recently lost trust in the company, could be helpful PR for Zuckerberg – for reasons that have nothing to do with running for president.

With someone like Zuckerberg, it can be hard to separate signs of insatiable ambition from those pointing to a specific political goal. Take this passage from Nick Bilton, who outlined the case for at least thinking about the possibility that Zuckerberg might run over at Vanity Fair:

“If he does want the job, Zuckerberg definitely has the personality for it. When Facebook went public in 2012, I co-authored a profile of the young C.E.O. During the reporting, I heard from several friends about his penchant for playing world-conquering board and video games. Early childhood pals told me that one of Zuckerberg’s favorite video games as a boy was Civilization, the game in which you have to “build an empire to stand the test of time.” Others have told me that, to this day, Zuckerberg loves to play Risk, a strategy board game where you have to essentially take over the world.”

Interesting. Except, my dudes, I too really love playing Civilization, and I would never want to run for president. Other things pointed to in that Vanity Fair story are more concrete – like the fact that a Facebook proxy statement from April said Zuckerberg could leave Facebook to serve in a government office but still keep control of his company. Hmm. (In a long statement about those changes in April, Zuckerberg said he was “committed to our mission and to leading Facebook there over the long term.”)

Zuckerberg would be 36 by the time the 2020 election rolls around, which is one year over the minimum required age to be president (by contrast, incumbent President Donald Trump would be 74). But even if the rumors of a Zuckerberg run are true – which, again, is not something that has been confirmed in any way – Bilton says that the prevailing thought in Silicon Valley is that the still completely hypothetical Zuckerberg run for office would happen in 2024.

© 2017 The Washington Post

Tags: Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook, Social, Oculus, Donald Trump

[“Source-Gadgets”]