The National Education Policy, 2020, supplements India’s start-up ecosystem and could open new career and entrepreneurship opportunities for students and youths, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said. Addressing the 50th convocation of DAV College, Punjab, Singh said north India, especially Punjab, must come forward to promote start-ups as an alternate source of livelihood. The Union Minister of State (Independent) for Science and Technology added that Punjab must reclaim its glory as a premier education hub. He recalled that Government College, Lahore, and Punjab University were among the leading institutions in the subcontinent during pre-Independence.
Punjab University fulfilled the needs of a vast region until Independence, Singh said, but Partition had reduced its jurisdiction. He reminded the students and academics present that Punjab University was established after India’s three oldest varsities in Calcutta (Kolkata), Bombay (Mumbai), and Madras (Chennai). However, contrary to those three, which were examining institutions, Punjab University had both teaching and examining bodies from the beginning. Lahore College for Women University, similarly, was established in 1922 as an Intermediate residential college affiliated to Punjab University.
The National Education Policy, 2020, coupled with the surge in the start-up ecosystem, offered Punjab the rare opportunity to reclaim that glory, he added.
Singh said the provision for multiple entry/exit options in the new education policy allowed academic flexibility and would have a positive impact on students, enabling them to pursue different career opportunities depending on their learning and aptitude. Even teachers can opt for this entry/exit option in future, giving them career flexibility and upgradation opportunities, Singh said.
The minister said the education policy aimed to de-link degrees from education, adding that the link had taken a heavy toll on the education system and society. Among the fallouts of that link has been an increasing number of educated unemployed, he said.
Singh also referred to the launch of Madhya Pradesh’s Start-up Policy 2022, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the number of Indian start-ups had grown to 70,000 from 300-400 in the last decade.