Editorial Analysis: Aligning India’s STIP-2020 vision with NEP

STIP 2020 vision

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STIP 2020 vision

Innovation through science and technology needs a paradigm shift in learning processes:

  • In these times of unprecedented change, advancement in science and technology has become an important determinant in India’s transformation into a self-reliant global power.
  • The foundation of innovation will be built through the creative efforts of our youth and children, and we must inculcate a scientific and innovative temperament in them.
  • A paradigm shift in the processes of learning will be needed as they become more driven by critical thinking and innovation.

This needs to be done both at schooling level as well as higher education:

  • We need to explore mechanisms through which to promote Science Technology Innovation (STI) learning in the early stages of school education.
  • We also need to explore the pathways through which research and innovation can be reformed in Higher Education (HE) and Higher Educational Institutes (HEIs) to facilitate the expansion of research and development (R&D).

New policies to promote critical thinking and innovation:

National Education Policy (NEP) 2020:
  • The new National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 was framed keeping in mind the need to generate curiosity and thinking in students, and seeks to bring transformational changes to our education system.
  • In NEP 2020, there is a strong focus on analytic thinking, creative problem-solving, and critical examination of existing structures.
Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy (STIP) 2020:
  • The Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy (STIP) 2020 is being prepared, and will soon be brought out.
  • STIP-2020 aims to build an educational environment that nurtures and encourages innovative thinking and also creates pathways for its pursuit in the long-term.
  • It is drawing from the experiences of NEP-2020 and seeks to align the STI ecosystem’s vision with NEP’s priorities to ensure a holistic growth trajectory. 

Focus areas aligning STIP 2020 and NEP 2020:

Innovation in education:
  • There is an important focus on innovation in education, which can help students and young scholars in HEIs achieve quality research outputs for Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI).
  • NEP-2020 has proposed changes in curriculum development through a National Curriculum Framework and the complementary National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education (NCFTE).
    • This will give flexibility in pedagogy that encourages critical thinking, scientific temper, problem-solving, innovative approaches, collaborative learning, and active learner engagement.
Connecting education and research:
  • We need to bridge the disconnect between research and education to overcome fragmented learning.
  • Making research mandatory in school education has increasingly become a priority. Incentive mechanisms such as Science Olympiads and Technology Innovation Awards must be strengthened.
  • Effective linkages between Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education and general education are being created. 
    • STIP-2020 bridges the gap between curricular, co-curricular, or extra-curricular areas; arts and sciences, and vocational and academic streams and provides the possibility of switching subject areas.
  • It is also necessary to interlink academia with industry, encouraging collaborative projects. 
  • NEP-2020 has also proposed the establishment of a National Research Foundation (NRF), which will have significant funds for supporting research in technology, science, social science, arts, and the humanities.
Dynamic and creative environment:
  • A dynamic and creative environment must be facilitated.
  • Collaboration between ministries and HEIs is the way forward.
    • Students will get hands-on experience in fields of their choice and once qualified can seamlessly enter industry.
  • This will also boost vocational education, promoting entrepreneurial skills among students and make them both knowledge and job-creators.
Science beyond classrooms:
  • We must look at science beyond the classroom.
  • To strengthen the education base, we must establish an infrastructure base to support educational activities with a special focus on digitization platforms, research, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
Assistive technologies and learning resources:
  • There must be focus on the development of assistive technologies and learning resources.
  • This will create interactive personalised learning environments for students with specific learning disabilities and ensure that the expansion of the STI ecosystem is equitable and inclusive.
  • This must begin right from the school level.
  • For higher education, there is a need to support research in this domain and incentivize the development of haptics, smart devices, advanced bionics, in-built speech, and other sensory interfaces.

Conclusion:

  • STIP-2020 in alignment with NEP-2020 must aim to bolster innovation-driven scientific temper in the education system from the foundational stages.
  • It should play a major role as a true enabler for last-mile innovation.

Also Read: Less stress on boards, common college entrance test in sweeping edu reforms

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