Government-Academia-Industry linkages to address global challenges
On March 15, India’s G20 Presidency took centre stage at Khalsa College, Amritsar, where IIT Ropar under Union Ministry of Education hosted a seminar on ‘Strengthening Research and Promoting Innovation through Richer Collaboration.’
This was the 2nd Education Working Group (EdWG) meeting , held over three days (15th-17th March). G20 member countries, guest countries & invited organizations (OECD, UNESCO & UNICEF) participated in the 3 day event consisting of seminar/exhibition and working group meetings.
Prof. Rajeev Ahuja, Director of IIT Ropar, welcomed the participants and highlighted India’s opportunity to establish itself as a leader in research and innovation globally.
Sh. K. Sanjay Murthy, Secretary, Higher Education, attended the event and emphasized on the importance of collaboration in research for achieving Sustainable Development. Prof. Govind Rangarajan, Director, IISC, shared enlightening thoughts on interdependency of domains and interdisciplinary action for solving problems. He also highlighted India’s frugal innovations, which have the potential to solve problems of the developed world, and the need to acknowledge and use grassroots innovation.
Prof. Budaraju Srinivasa Murty, Director, IIT Hyderabad, stressed on the need of synergy between government- academia-industry to find solutions to pressing world problems. He highlighted that the National Education Policy 2020 has brought in path breaking reforms in education in India, and various programmes are helping promote cross-institutional collaboration in the country such as I-STEM portal, IIvenTive IIT-R&D fair etc.
The first panel titled ‘Research in Emerging and Disruptive Technologies, Industry –4.0’ moderated by Prof. Anil Gupta and chaired by Prof. Rajeev Ahuja brought together panelists from Australia, France, India and UK who shared pertinent insights on the role of various stakeholders to promote research on the emerging innovations, their impact on education systems and society in general.
The second panel on ‘Research in Sustainable Development Goals’ chaired by Prof. Shalini Bharat with panelists representing China, Oman, South Africa , UAE and UNICEF laid importance on enhancing the capacities of universities being the core of research.
One of the panelists, Ms. Alison Dell, Assistant Secretary, Australian Government Department of Education, discussed about the National Collaborative infrastructure scheme in her country and what her government has been doing in moving towards applied research. She emphasized on the importance of international collaboration in research and innovation, highlighting the successful partnerships between Australian and Indian institutions in the past. She expressed her hope that such collaborations would continue to thrive and contribute to the sustainable development of both nations.
The seminar focused on bridging the gap between government-academia-industry linkages for designing solutions for addressing global challenges. There is a need for bringing multidisciplinarity in education. The discussion reached a consensus that Research Collaboration is need of the hour and countries/Institutions need to break silos to promote translational research for achieving the sustainable development goals just as they did during the Covid 19 pandemic. There’s also a need to establish frameworks for sharing research data and outputs. G20 countries should also work towards establishing a common framework for effective use of emerging and disruptive technologies to address global challenges.
The seminar concluded with an address from the Chief Minister of Punjab, Shri Bhagwant Mann. He welcomed the delegates and emphasized on the importance of education and innovation. He invited the participants to try Punjabi food and experience the rich culture of the state. Shri Mann also expressed his gratitude to the Government of India for giving Punjab the opportunity to host the G20 2nd Education Working Group meeting.
There was also multimedia exhibition being organised on the side-lines featuring participation from industry, academia, and start-up initiatives. It was open to local institutions, students, academicians, and researchers on the 16th and 17th of March.
A multimedia exhibition provided a physical format to the participating countries along with industry, academia to present the best practices in research, innovation, collaboration and partnership. There were 90+ stalls at the exhibition with key participation from UAE, China and Saudi Arabia, NSDC, NCERT, National Book Trust, Indian Knowledge Systems Division (IKS), and several start-up initiatives. The exhibition was also open to local institutions, students, academicians and researchers from 16th-17th March, 2023.
Besides, the two-day meeting on the 16th -17th March provided a platform to deliberate on the four priority areas :
1 – Ensuring Foundational Literacy and Numeracy especially in context of blended learning
Making Tech-enabled learning more inclusive, qualitative and collaborative at every level.
2 – Building Capacities, promoting Life-long Learning in the context of Future of Work.
3 – Strengthening Research, promoting Innovation through richer collaboration and partnerships.
Overall, more than 55 delegates from 28 countries attended the meeting and seminar, where they shared their best practises for strengthening research and innovation.
The outcomes of the meetings will be providing important inputs while drafting the final declaration document on Education for G 20. The document will serve as a guideline for the development of numerous educational and employment opportunities.