Transform pedagogic approach to learning: President Pranab Mukherjee

By: | Published: March 5, 2017 11:16 PM

He noted that many central institutions of higher learning - about 86 of them - have opened innovation clubs.

Mukherjee said he was optimistic about the prospects of inclusive innovation in the country, though there are few concerns as well. (PTI)

President Pranab Mukherjee today asked education planners to consider transforming the pedagogic approach towards learning and making it more practical by focussing on grassroot-level innovations. “Innovation has a strong linkage with development. Particularly, grassroots innovation of which India has a long tradition is important in alleviating the day-to-day problems of human lives. A healthy eco-system can harness the innovative potential of the population,” he said at a global roundtable on inclusive innovation at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here. There was a need for “empathetic stress on inclusive innovation in our learning modules in education,” he said while responding to the discussions on the second day of the 7-day event being held as part of the week-long Festival of Innovation.

Mukherjee said he was optimistic about the prospects of inclusive innovation in the country, though there are few concerns as well. “Education is the seed of a nation’s destiny. Without a strong foundation of education, ability of communities to benefit from other infrastructural resources for development remains limited,” he said. He noted that many central institutions of higher learning – about 86 of them – have opened innovation clubs.

“These clubs search for inclusive innovations in the hinterland of their institutions spread the innovations developed; invite innovators to classrooms or labs to understand their motivation, and identify unmet needs of society and try to address them through their projects,” Mukherjee said. Stressing that reciprocity and responsibility must become an inalienable part of learning exchanges between formal and informal sectors, he urged educational planners to consider transformation of the pedagogic approach towards learning.

The President said the role of science and technology in leveraging inclusive innovations was evident “when we see the pivotal contributions made by the Indian Space Research Organisation.” Noting that “early investment” in science and technology has given India rich dividends, the President said “we need to continue providing impetus to science education and research in our institutions.” He said that developing an innovation culture was crucial and that its benefits will accrue when an idea gets converted into a useful product.

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“For that, a strong environment for starting new enterprises is necessary. Micro-venture finance and not just micro finance will help usher in entrepreneurial undertakings at the grassroots. We should simultaneously think of popularising the in situ incubation model of innovation enterprises,” Mukherjee said. The INSPIRE-MANAK programme of the Department of Science and Technology envisaged the mobilisation of one million ideas from half a million schools at the rate of two ideas per school. “This initiative will help build a spirit of creativity and ingenuity amongst young students. To make grassroots innovations more inclusive, we need a strong mechanism for dispersal and quick adoption of ideas,” he added.

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