Blog – ASMA https://www.asmaindia.in Mon, 10 May 2021 12:14:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.7.1 Preschool is the Main Stage for the Development of the Child, Say Leading Education Experts https://www.asmaindia.in/blog/preschool-is-the-main-stage-for-the-development-of-the-child-say-leading-education-experts/ https://www.asmaindia.in/blog/preschool-is-the-main-stage-for-the-development-of-the-child-say-leading-education-experts/#respond Mon, 10 May 2021 11:57:51 +0000 https://www.asmaindia.in/?p=8672 ASMA’s Preschool Leadership Forum

ASMA’s Preschool Leadership Forum talked about the scope for admissions and learning for toddlers amidst the second wave

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ASMA’s Preschool Leadership Forum

Preschool is an integral part of a child’s life and it helps in the initial stages of development. In the pandemic, many preschools across the country had to shut down because they couldn’t sustain the wave of the pandemic.

In the year 2020, preschools were often exempted from the limelight and it was not being discussed as often as it should have been. ASMA, a leading community in academia, hosted a virtual event Preschool Leadership Forum on ‘Admissions, Challenges, Opportunities and Scope Post-Pandemic’ under the banner of India’s Admission Hunt series on 7th May 2021.

The event was divided into two panels where panel one was about ‘The Shift in the Scenario of Academia and Mental Wellbeing of Preschoolers Post-Pandemic’ and panel two was on ‘How the Preschool Sector is Navigating a Second Wave of the Pandemic’. The panellists in the event were leading education industry experts who discussed how the education scenario has changed for preschoolers post-pandemic.

Panel one was moderated by Sonal Ahuja, Founder, House of Learning, Director, Shri Ram Foundation School and comprised of Pritam Kumar Agrawal, Founder & CEO, Hello Kids Chain of Pre-SchoolsSneha Tapadia, CEO, Jumpstart International Preschool & Learning CentreManjit Legha, Director-Academics and Training, Millennium Education ManagementPreeti Kwatra, Founder & Director, Petal Group of Schools and Chirag Agarwal, Founder & Director, EarlyVentions Preschool & Daycare.

The moderator Sonal Ahuja, Founder, House of Learning, Director, Shri Ram Foundation School started the session with an insight into the current preschool education scenario. She said, “Early childhood education has been given priority in the NEP and it comes as a big relief because earlier, the major focus was on higher education.”

Preeti Kwatra, Founder & Director, Petal Group of Schools opined on the topic, “Preschool is one of the most essential parts of a child’s life. This is a time when the maximum brain develops. We should consider health very important, but schools must operate in an online mode. Interacting is like a tonic for a child’s brain.”

Speaking on the topic of preschools in the New Education Policy by the Government of India, Pritam Kumar Agrawal, Founder & CEO, Hello Kids Chain of Pre-Schools said, “As management, we were very happy that after so many years, we got a new education policy. Even the government recognized us. The amount of acceptance which is with the parents has declined because of the pandemic. As a teacher with a concern for the child, we cannot stop. We should continue learning in an online mode.”

Chirag Agarwal, Founder & Director, EarlyVentions Preschool & Daycare shared his views on the topic and said, “Talking about preschool operations, we are all working too. It was a challenge in the early days to adapt to online learning, but with time, everyone started accepting online learning. This is a change in the way of teaching and is a new revolution. We see a very positive sign for preschool education.”

Sneha Tapadia, CEO, Jumpstart International Preschool & Learning Centre took the discussion further and enlightened the panel by talking about nano learning. She said, “Preschool education should go on. The children cannot be in front of a screen for a long time. The parents have to be heavily included in online learning for toddlers. We have to majorly focus on nano or byte-sized learning because, with children, the attention span is a big thing to deal with.”

Manjit Legha, Director-Academics and Training, Millennium Education Management said, “After the pandemic, we will rise. We have experienced some very beautiful and blended pedagogies during the time of online learning amidst the pandemic. I want us to realize that we have to adopt nano learning and there should be laughter and smile breaks for children during learning.”

With this, the first panel concluded the discussion and the eminent speakers from the second panel took the virtual stage.

The second panel was moderated by Amol Arora, Managing Director, Shemrock & Shemford Group of Schools and comprised of Tijay Gupta, Co-Founder & COO, Bachpan Play SchoolS.K. Rathore, Founder, Chairman & MD, SANFORT Group of SchoolsPrahar Anjaria, Chairman, RANGOLI Group of Institutes and A. K. Srikanth, CEO, KLAY Preschools & Daycare.

The discussion opened with the moderator Amol Arora, Managing Director, Shemrock & Shemford Group of Schools talking about the scope and eligibility of criteria for admissions during the second wave.

S.K. Rathore, Founder, Chairman & MD, SANFORT Group of Schools shared his views on the topic and said, “We were very hopeful in the month of March. We were hoping to have a huge number of admissions. But due to the second wave, we are in the same position as we were during the last year. We are more worried about the well-being of children, parents and teachers during these times. It has become difficult to convince parents for online classes for toddlers but this year, parents have become more understanding.”

Prahar Anjaria, Chairman, RANGOLI Group of Institutes opined, “We cannot form a generalized design that the pandemic will go on. This year, we have vaccines. We shouldn’t design a permanent pattern for education based on an online learning model. We expect a good scope for admissions from July onwards. We can create our own tools and deliver sessions for a certain period of time and we’ll try to adapt to all the available resources.”

A. K. Srikanth, CEO, KLAY Preschools & Daycare told about the unique approach they took to avoid increased screen times and online learning. He said, “We started to send teachers and caregivers at homes to deliver education and caregiving services. The presence of a person who’s teaching is different from an online presence. In online classes, children miss out on social experiences. Our own systems of online delivery have become better, but the experiences of real classes cannot be duplicated.”

Talking about the necessity for trials of the Covid-19 vaccine on kids and immunization for toddlers, Tijay Gupta, Co-Founder & COO, Bachpan Play School said, “We don’t know when the vaccines will come for kids. Till the time kids don’t get vaccinated, parents won’t feel safe to send their kids back to school. We also don’t have a good system in place for online delivery sessions due to which we weren’t able to convince parents. We are now proofing it to move education online so that parents and children begin to trust us.”

The virtual event ended with an extremely productive session on ways in which preschool education should continue.

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ASMA Launches Vice Chancellors’ Summit 2021 https://www.asmaindia.in/blog/asma-launches-vice-chancellors-summit/ https://www.asmaindia.in/blog/asma-launches-vice-chancellors-summit/#respond Wed, 05 May 2021 06:30:08 +0000 https://www.asmaindia.in/?p=8588 Vice Chancellors’ Summit 2021 - ASMA IAH

ASMA India's Admission Hunt, Higher Education Session: Vice Chancellors’ Summit 2021 will be held on 13th May

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Vice Chancellors’ Summit 2021 - ASMA IAH

ASMA is gearing up to bring you the best of education, digital-age and tech-backed innovative solutions which are trending and upscaling in the market.  

With the onset of the pandemic, and now the second wave, we know that remote learning and education is here to stay. But this comes as a gift for those who are willing to upskill with time. Gone are the days when education meant pen, papers, chalk and boards. In the new age, the dynamics of learning, teaching, assessment and feedback have completely changed. Technology comes as a friend to all in this digital era. Tech-backed solutions are being applied to overcome all kinds of problems.

Therefore, by attending this session, which will be hosted by ASMA, you will experience the tides of change and the gust of wind that is blowing towards new-age tech-driven solutions which are constantly enhancing and increasing the scope of education and learning.

ASMA’s Vice Chancellors’ Summit on ‘New-Age Tech-Driven Solutions Enhancing Learning Experiences Post Pandemic’ scheduled on 13th May2:00 PM onwards will explore the below-mentioned topics in abundance-

  • Enhancing data infrastructure to increase adaptability to technology.
  • Data security solutions to ensure the right digital access to learners and educators.
  • Ways of assessing summative performance via technology-backed tools/platforms.
  • Barriers and enablers in technology assessment and feedback tools.
  • Fruitful use of technology to reduce burnout and boost the mental wellbeing of students and educators.

In this event, attendees will gain paramount knowledge from the leading industry experts with relevant experiences in various fields. With a diverse panel, the event will be packed with discussions on sustainable solutions and practices in the field of education and learning.

To register for ASMA’s ‘New-Age Tech-Driven Solutions Enhancing Learning Experiences Post Pandemic’ click here.

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Digital Transformation has Propelled & Changed the Dynamics of Management Studies in Industry 4.0 https://www.asmaindia.in/blog/digital-transformation-has-propelled-changed-the-dynamics-of-management-studies-in-industry-4-0/ https://www.asmaindia.in/blog/digital-transformation-has-propelled-changed-the-dynamics-of-management-studies-in-industry-4-0/#respond Mon, 03 May 2021 13:24:55 +0000 https://www.asmaindia.in/?p=8637

ASMA India’s Admission Hunt 2021 session explored techno-managerial skills needed to succeed in the age of the 4th Industrial Revolution

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ASMA hosted an insightful webinar under India’s Admission Hunt 2021 on 30th April. The demand for courses and specializations in the field of Management has risen tremendously. But, keeping in mind the advancements in technology, traditional teaching patterns have to be revised. There is a major need for change in the curriculum of management studies and techno-managerial skills are the need of the hour.

An esteemed panel was invited on ASMA for a discussion on ‘Techno-Managerial Skills Needed to Succeed in the Age of 4th Industrial Revolution’. Dr. Bhimaraya Metri, Director, Indian Institute of Management, Nagpur was the special guest and keynote speaker for the event. The panel was moderated by Dr. Shivanand Sanmath, Director, GH Raisoni Institute of Management & Research, and comprised of Dr. Sapna Rakesh, Director, IMS Ghaziabad, Dr. Bidyanand Jha, Director, Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies, Dr. Vikas Daryal, Director, Tilak Raj Chadha Institute of Management & Technology and Dr. Shauli Mukherjee, Director, School of Education and Dean, Students’ Affairs Adamas University.

The session was inaugurated by the insightful note from Dr. Bhimaraya Metri, Director, Indian Institute of Management, Nagpur who said, “Today, the entire world is marching from industrial era to the technology era. We are moving from tangible to intangible processes. In today’s business lifecycle, we might work in 10 different organizations. Soon, knowledge hour and social media came into the picture, and moving from the VUCA world, we are now in Industry 4.0 where everything and everyone is connected.” Enlightening everyone further, he said, “This world can be called a fluid world. The future is fluid because everything is changing like water. Contexts are changing along with leadership ideals. So, this journey is full of perpetual learners. Only readers and rigorous learners can be the leaders.”

The discussion on the topic went further when the moderator Dr. Shivanand Sanmath, Director, GH Raisoni Institute of Management & Research talked about the forthcoming innovative ideas and frugal innovations in Industry 4.0. Dr. Sapna Rakesh, Director, IMS Ghaziabad said, “Digital transformation is not only about technology”. It is understanding about the people in and out of the industry. It is about envisaging changes in trends and leadership. We cannot exactly define what the scenario will be like in the future. We should start adapting to technology. It is important to understand the country in which we are operating to re-engineer technology and skills.”

Highlighting the issue of lack of technology in the curriculum of various fields, Dr. Bidyanand Jha, Director, Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies said, “Technology is something we have not been able to percolate in all institutions in India. Everybody has to learn and adapt to technology to survive in the current environment. The perspective for techno-managerial skills will change soon in order for better job opportunities for students.”

Coming to the aspect of globalization, the boom in technology, and cross-cultural communication, Dr. Shauli Mukherjee, Director, School of Education and Dean, Students’ Affairs Adamas University said, “Industry 4.0 is a market of technology and globalization. The skills we require to move ahead in the world of the global workforce include different skills like cognitive skills, self-management and business, and cross-cultural orientation and emotional intelligence. Business science and business economics are important to develop a computational- thinking mindset.”

Dr. Vikas Daryal, Director, Tilak Raj Chadha Institute of Management & Technology weighed in on the discussion of the importance of techno-managerial skills in MBA 4.0. He said, “Technology will not dwarf the managers because the demand for MBA has not reduced. MBA 4.0 talks about developing and implementing applications of technology in managing businesses, services, and employees.”

The session ended with a conclusion that conventional entrepreneurial and business management skills have to change with time and now is the time of a heavily mechanized and digitized age where the need for imparting techno-managerial skills is supreme in order to survive in the industry.

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Experiential and Research-based Methods in Learning Will Change the Face of Engineering in India, Say Leading Educational Experts https://www.asmaindia.in/blog/experiential-and-research-based-methods-in-learning-will-change-the-face-of-engineering-in-india-say-leading-educational-experts/ https://www.asmaindia.in/blog/experiential-and-research-based-methods-in-learning-will-change-the-face-of-engineering-in-india-say-leading-educational-experts/#respond Mon, 03 May 2021 10:37:41 +0000 https://www.asmaindia.in/?p=8633 Engineering in India

ASMA’s India’s Admission Hunt 2021 session delved into enabling experiential & research-based learning in Engineering

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Engineering in India

ASMA’s India’s Admission Hunt 2021 recently hosted a webinar on ‘Enabling Experiential & Research-Based Learning in Engineering’. The transformative session talked about implementing research-based learning to foster research competencies for a versatile future workforce.

The current syllabus of engineering studies in India still lags behind in the innovative, thought-provoking, and problem-solving approach. Sometimes, students complain of monotony in learning. How can this problem be resolved? The solution to creating an independent thinker and a multi-tasking worker for the future, learning should be transformed to a more experiential form. A person learns best from experiments and experience.

An esteemed panel of leading experts from the education industry came on ASMA’s platform on 27th April to discuss and elaborate on this topic. The panel was moderated by Rev. Dr. Jose Kannampuzha, Director – Academics, Jyothi Engineering College and comprised of eminent speakers including Dr. A Govardhan, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University Hyderabad, Dr. A. K. Gupta, Executive Director, D. Y. Patil College of Engineering and Technology, Moulshree Dubey, CEO, Professional Institute of Engineering and Technology, Dr. R.S. Chauhan, Director, Jai Parkash Mukand Lal Innovative Engineering & Technology, Prof. Dr. Nihar Walimbe, Principal, Dhole Patil College of Engineering and Dr. Vaishali Patil, Principal, International Institute of Information Technology.

The session started with moderator Rev. Dr. Jose Kannampuzha, Director – Academics, Jyothi Engineering College giving his opening remarks on how the traditional methods need to go and the need to make comparisons with other countries where their workforce is very strong is essential. Only with research oriental learning, we’ll be able to catch up.

Dr. A Govardhan, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University Hyderabad shared his views with the panel and said, “India has changed in the context of the NEP 2020. New paradigms have come into force. We will get the fruit of this policy five years down the line. Latest trends and technologies create more employment opportunities. Whether they are employable is the main question and the second one is how they can tune themselves to survive. Research tempo motivates the students to engage in continuous learning and gain in-depth knowledge about different concepts.”

Dr. A. K. Gupta, Executive Director, D. Y. Patil College of Engineering and Technology talked about the gap between the current industry requirements and the education curriculum in engineering universities. He said, “We are talking about outcome-based education in India. We need to have big R&D departments in institutions just like in the global world. We need to ensure our institutions should be in sync with our industry. We need to change our conventional methods. We need to identify what exactly is research-based learning and the type of audience will decide the type of research.”

Talking about the demerits of engineering education in India Moulshree Dubey, CEO, Professional Institute of Engineering and Technology said, “We are far from designing experiential and research-based learning for our institutions. We are treating engineering students as machines and not students. We need to form the human connection for the revolution in Industry 4.0. We have to ensure project-based learning. Students need to know the application of the knowledge they are gaining in universities.”

Prof. Dr. Nihar Walimbe, Principal, Dhole Patil College of Engineering opined, “At present, many colleges are affiliated with certain universities. This is limiting them against implementing changes and experiential-based learning. Students need not be told everything. They must be subjected to an experimental environment. They must be given the scope for the imagination to solve problems.”

Weighing in on the psychological aspect of learning and teaching Dr. R.S. Chauhan, Director, Jai Parkash Mukand Lal Innovative Engineering & Technology said, “We have to focus on problem-based learning. For developing strategic thinking, psychology is a threshold concept. This proves that transformation is required in education. We need to foster the three H which are- head, heart, and hand. This will boost the confidence of the students. This will help in skill development and crisis management.”

Coming to elaborate on the topic, Dr. Vaishali Patil, Principal, International Institute of Information Technology said, “Experiential learning is not a new concept. It is the heart of any kind of learning. Skilled professionals are going to apply this knowledge to solve problems. This type of learning stretches to all kinds of professions. Students need to learn how to tackle real-life problems. At the pace at which technological advancements are happening, students need to update themselves constantly. They need to put into practice what they have learned before.”

With the revolutionary ideas provided by all the eminent speakers, the session came to a conclusion that if experiential and research-based learning is heavily implemented in India, it will change the scenario of the future workforce, learning, and teaching.

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ASMA to Host a Preschool Leadership Forum 2021 https://www.asmaindia.in/blog/asma-to-host-a-preschool-leadership-forum-2021/ https://www.asmaindia.in/blog/asma-to-host-a-preschool-leadership-forum-2021/#respond Fri, 30 Apr 2021 13:13:49 +0000 https://www.asmaindia.in/?p=8590 ASMA to Host a Preschool Leadership Forum 2021

ASMA India's Admission Hunt session on Preschool Leadership Forum will be held on 7th May

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ASMA to Host a Preschool Leadership Forum 2021

We all must have come across multiple articles and blogs talking about education and its scenario post-pandemic. But, what is not being discussed widely is the effect of the pandemic, blended/online learning and the feeling of social isolation amongst young learners.

Interaction with teachers and peers plays a pivotal role in the overall development and learning of a preschooler. It was easier to transition from offline to remote learning for students enrolled in higher educational institutes because of their regular encounters with technology. But for younger learners, transitioning is an arduous task due to their unfamiliarity with the technology and analytical tools.

ASMA India’s Admission Hunt 2021 endeavours to engage educators, learners, parents and other stakeholders and explore the wide range of changes and challenges which children are facing and will experience in the near future during these tough times amidst the ongoing second wave of the pandemic.

ASMA’s session on ‘Preschool Leadership Forum: Admissions, Challenges, Opportunities & Scope Post-Pandemic’ scheduled on 7th May3:00 pm onwards will delve into understanding various topics such as:

  • Changes in the admissions criteria post-pandemic.
  • Mental health challenges for children as a result of remote learning.
  • How parents and educators can help students cope with changes in education.
  • Upcoming trends in the teaching/learning patterns post-pandemic.
  • How can innovation and adaptation be espoused in remote or hybrid learning?

The event will witness the participation of eminent experts belonging to the field of preschool education and various other stakeholders across the education and corporate industry having relevant experience in the areas stated above.

To register for ASMA’s ‘Preschool Leadership Forum: Admissions, Challenges, Opportunities & Scope Post-Pandemicclick here.

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Unlocking Learning Through Creative Literacy https://www.asmaindia.in/blog/unlocking-learning-through-creative-literacy/ https://www.asmaindia.in/blog/unlocking-learning-through-creative-literacy/#respond Fri, 30 Apr 2021 04:45:27 +0000 https://www.asmaindia.in/?p=8582 Unlocking Learning Through Creative Literacy

Creative literacy is a concept that seeks to impart holistic learning through creative thinking

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Unlocking Learning Through Creative Literacy

With naturally curious minds, children seek stimulation and expression that help them to explore and understand the world they live in. Early childhood education, therefore, becomes crucial in shaping formative understanding in young children.

Creative literacy is a concept that goes beyond simply reading and writing and seeks to impart holistic learning through creative expression and activities, as well as visualisation and creative thinking. It can be harnessed as a powerful learning tool that engages the child’s imagination and creative expression which subsequently leads to better understanding and learning.

Sharing his thoughts on creative literacy, Amol Arora, Managing Director, Shemrock & Shemford Group of Schools says, “The concept of creative literacy is nothing but bringing together creativity and literacy in a holistic manner so that learning is not just limited to reading or writing but promotes imagination and higher-order thinking skills in children”.

Some of the ways in which creative learning can be imparted are through:

  • Art and drawing
  • Literature and story-telling
  • Animation and films
  • Play-acting
Benefits of Creative Literacy

The benefits of creative literacy are manifold, as it encourages children to engage and visualise as they learn. It allows for more inclusivity in the classroom and puts the child at the centre of learning.

Creative learning improves listening and oral skills and enhances knowledge retention. It also helps to foster team-building, teach practical skills and enhance engagement which leads to more effective learning. It is also beneficial to differently-paced learners who struggle with traditional learning methods.

Creative Literacy in India

In the Indian context, creative literacy plays and will continue to play a larger role in education. As flipped classrooms and blended learning become the norm in the post-pandemic age, creative literacy can offer impactful and engaging ways for children to learn.

The government, through the NEP 2020 looks to transform India’s education sector and steer education away from conventional rote-learning. Creative literacy in early childhood education can lay the foundation of innovative thinking that children will take with them throughout their lives.

Arora added, “Creative literacy can prove to be a powerful tool in teaching in schools in India if applied systematically. From structured play and activities to informal games and imaginative play, play‐based learning is an integral part of creative literacy and helps children acquire the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to make sense of the world around them. It makes them capable enough to independently tackle literacy tasks in the future and thus lead creative, stimulating lives”.

Emphasizing why creative literacy is important in learning, Dr Shauli Mukherjee, Director – School of Education & Dean – Students’ Affairs, Adamas University, says, “Every child is born inherently creative. It is our sole responsibility as educators to nurture and hone the creative genius inherent in each child to help them evolve into the very best, highest and truest version of themselves. 21st-century education must attempt to prioritize the creative quotient of the learners because creativity is as important as literacy in education and hence both should be treated with similar respect.”

With education in India poised to infuse more formative and holistic learning methods into the curriculum, introducing creative literacy as a teaching-learning tool will become increasingly useful in creating a learning environment that is engaging, rewarding and fun.

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ASMA Gears Up for an Enlightening Session on MBA 4.0. https://www.asmaindia.in/blog/asma-gears-up-for-an-enlightening-session-on-mba/ https://www.asmaindia.in/blog/asma-gears-up-for-an-enlightening-session-on-mba/#respond Thu, 29 Apr 2021 10:29:44 +0000 https://www.asmaindia.in/?p=8577 Indian Admission Hunt 2021

ASMA’s Higher Session on ‘Techno-Managerial Skills Needed to Succeed in the Age of 4th Industrial Revolution’ will be held on 30th April 2021 from 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

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Indian Admission Hunt 2021

It has been more than a year for all of us experiencing changes due to the pandemic. However, it is evident that industries and different sectors have adapted themselves to the new normal.

Education being one of the most important pillars of growth and future of the students, ASMA aims to engage stakeholders in the education sector and the wider society through its innovative virtual event, ASMA India’s Admission Hunt 2021. The theme of this year’s event is ‘Reinventing and Reimagining the Admission, Teaching and Learning Process in the New Normal’ and will cover various ground-breaking sessions.

The demand for Business and Management expertise has tremendously risen in the past year. In India, there are numerous lucrative career choices after pursuing an MBA degree. However, due to the pandemic, the demand for ‘Techno-Managerial’ skills has risen. With the advent of technology and businesses moving on online domains, it is essential for MBA graduates to possess the indispensable skill set required to survive in Industry 4.0.

ASMA’s Higher Session on Techno-Managerial Skills Needed to Succeed in the Age of 4th Industrial Revolution scheduled on 30th April 2021 from 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm will be an excellent platform to interact, network and learn, as education leaders discuss various relevant issues pertaining to education in the new normal such as:

  • Augmenting the curriculum to impart techno-managerial skills and industry knowledge.
  • How techno-managerial skills can open diverse career avenues for students.
  • Techno-managerial skills to simplify problem-solving and address practical resolutions in the business world.
  • Linking management theories and technological communities to bring theory knowledge into practice.

The event will also see participation from numerous stakeholders across the education industry including Management Colleges, Universities & Higher Education institutions, students and parents, as well as stakeholders from the corporate world and industry.

To register for ASMA’s Higher Session on Techno-Managerial Skills Needed to Succeed in the Age of 4th Industrial Revolution click here.

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Enabling Progression in Technical Education with the National Education Policy, By Lt Col Kailash Bansal, AICTE https://www.asmaindia.in/blog/enabling-progression-in-technical-education-with-the-national-education-policy-by-lt-col-kailash-bansal-aicte/ https://www.asmaindia.in/blog/enabling-progression-in-technical-education-with-the-national-education-policy-by-lt-col-kailash-bansal-aicte/#respond Tue, 20 Apr 2021 12:15:09 +0000 https://www.asmaindia.in/?p=8506 Lt Col Kailash Bansal - AICTE

White light is made of seven basic colours. But there are more shades in between which give equal vibrancy to the light. It neither means the colours are all complete nor does it mean that there are no new colours to be found. Presently, the entry to pursue higher education in Engineering & Technology is based […]

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Lt Col Kailash Bansal - AICTE

White light is made of seven basic colours. But there are more shades in between which give equal vibrancy to the light. It neither means the colours are all complete nor does it mean that there are no new colours to be found.

Presently, the entry to pursue higher education in Engineering & Technology is based on traditional subjects of Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics which actually imposes a barrier to achieve the intended objective of a multi-disciplinary outlook.

However, in the 21st century, the traditional boundaries between different branches of Engineering & Technology are being re-drawn with an emergence of new sub-domains such as Bio-Technology, Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence etc. These sub-domains may as well also require inputs from allied subjects such as biology, statistics, programming language, vocational streams etc, and thus cannot be entirely dependent on strictly Mathematics, Physics & Chemistry (or anyone or two) alone.

From the academic year 2021, AICTE has now brought about changes in the Approval Process that facilitates entry through a wider array of choice of subjects for students to pursue courses in Engineering and Technology. These are Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science, Electronics, Information Technology, Biology, Informatics Practices, Biotechnology, Technical Vocational Subjects, Agriculture, Engineering Graphics, Business Studies, Entrepreneurship (any of the THREE).

The broad base of entry-level qualifications is akin to opening the front doors for accepting the students who were erstwhile progressing as lateral entries or getting the equivalence status through allied domains. The pragmatism in allowing the ‘zero’ to take the leap of faith is based on a reasoned approach of the inherent aptitude of the students taking the subject. It is anticipated that opening up the window of opportunity for the development of the domain by broadening the entry-level qualifications will provide a fillip to the interdisciplinary approach to academics in a holistic manner. It is sufficient to say, stagnancy in education is a sign of its devaluation as much as it facilitates the progression.

The National Education Policy 2020 provides a spark for this change with its abundant inclusivity proposals. This will to break the status quo should thus be welcomed rather than debunked through the trepidations and forebodings of unseen fear. Let us consider the science of medicine from a broader perspective. The basic titrations and tests that we all observe in pathology labs are devised on reagents. Interestingly, all elements of Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and even Biology are intricately involved. To say the least, a treating physician may have academically pursued Biology & Chemistry with greater depths but having the other two subjects on the sidelines.

On the contrary, the cutting edge domain of modern diagnostics (such as Tomography) much depends on the marvels of image processing which draws its strength from Physics & Mathematics. This only goes on to prove that ‘infinity does not exist either. Rather the education is a continuum in between where the aptitude to excel and produce/achieve an outcome is the desired end state.

With National Education Policy focussing strongly on outcome-based education, we cannot allow the scholastic aptitude of our students to be restrained on account of hesitation & apprehensiveness. If such were the case, the theory of conservatism would have prohibited growth in the first place itself.

On the contrary, the motivation to rediscover the lost wisdom is another factor that has prompted the Ministry of Education to take initiatives of the Indian Knowledge System that aims to promote interdisciplinary research based on the rich heritage & traditional knowledge of our Country. Would it then mean that the re-discovery of scientific principles ensnared in our Veda & Puranas is regressive or will it be that our scientific pursuit will be emboldened by the addition of ancient wisdom?

If the disagreement arises on account of the former, then it is indeed a misconception that rejects our contribution of ‘zero’ to the world. But if the disagreement is on account of the latter, then it is ironic that the change is being feared- when indeed that’s what is being espoused for! 3 It may well be recalled that the traditional Indian system was based on skills with hands-on experiential learning.

And it has been a matter of great achievement that there have been many a Diploma student who has bitten the silver bullet to rise and excel. To have shunned them and disallowed their progression would have not only killed the meritocracy at its infancy but would have also dealt a severe blow to our National prospects.

A similar case exists at premier institutes such as IITs which functions on a high entry barrier with merit being at the soul of its brand. However, the system has a well-founded mechanism to develop merit for considerably disadvantaged students. As a matter of fact, some students who are weak in subjects of Mathematics/Physics/Chemistry but may have qualified the minimum threshold cut-off are coached in these relevant subjects via a one-year preparatory course. This in no way belittles their ability to shine with a greater rebound.

Of course, those who do not have the desired aptitude find the natural exit. It is therefore important to develop the latent capabilities of the student to pursue study in the domain of engineering & technology rather than firewall it with a ‘deny all – allow some’ policy. The changes enunciated by AICTE in the Approval Process Handbook aims to achieve greater inclusivity through the more pragmatic approach of aptitude & skills.

The natural ability of a student should find means to prosper for which AICTE has already introduced reforms; such as specifying model curriculum which advocates four Mathematics courses, two Physics courses & a course each in Chemistry and Biology. Another step in that direction is the adoption of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) for e-learning and its acceptance into the overall credit system to obtain a formal degree. To overcome the language barrier, AICTE has also taken the initiative of translating courses available on the SWAYAM platform into eight Indian Regional languages. The study of Environmental Sciences, Indian Constitution, Universal Human Value etc as part of the induction programme is another step to prepare the student to traverse the academic journey.

At this crucial juncture of the nation’s growth, the progression of technical education should not be merely seen as a choice of entry-level subject. From the academic year 2021 onwards, there are 14 ENTRY LEVEL options provided in the Approval Process Handbook (APH) that actually provides flexibility to many 4 bright students from small towns/ remote area who were perhaps disadvantaged on account of poorer curricula delivery (on subjects of Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology) in their class XI/ XII. Such student shall be necessarily required to take that the pre-requisite additional course(s) – either on MOOCs (e-learning) before joining the degree program or at least in the very first year of engineering before progressing further.

It merits clarification that there is neither dilution nor escape from doing enough Mathematics/Physics/Chemistry/Biology as contingent for the chosen domain of study by a student and these subjects shall continue to form the basis of academic progression before graduating.

AICTE has always laid emphasis on the attainment of outcomes rather than inputs and the policy changes as introduced enables the furtherance of the National Education Policy 2020 in the truest sense of access and equity.
The author, Lt Col Kailash Bansal, is an Indian Army officer and is Director (Media & Margdarhsan Cell) AICTE

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