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Why we do, what we do - Is there a problem with our approach?

Education plays a paramount role in our lives. India as a country has come a long way in ways to impart higher education. With several examples across a variety of streams, our education system has seen a transformation across the ages. A visible, rapid expansion is evident in the higher education system of India. Currently, we are world's largest centre enrolling over 70 million students. With1.4 million schools and more than 36,000 higher education institutes. We produce a large number of computer programmers and software engineers, similarly a large of medical science and pharmaceutical professionals across the world.

For India, the third largest education centre in the world after China and the United States, we require a significant change. In current times, the progressive challenges faced by the Indian education system are funding and infrastructure, curriculum design, research and innovations, amongst others. Though times are changing and with that, even our education system needs a revamp across the board. Our traditional education methodology at times works against performance, and it doesn't motivate the students to decide and make necessary changes in their career choices. It varies from the fact that there are visible disparities between the objectives and implementation of an education program.

Indian students focus on cramming information as opposed to acquiring the required skill. India is known for creating engineers from an array of streams, with technology vertical at the centre. Scoring marks are the central objective of students. The technical education in India is synthesis based, where students are required to equip themselves with equations and learnings work from the past experts.

The Design Imperative: India is on an upsurge now, with its economically protected past, the country offered gave creativity, innovations and original designs a miss. Design education now has got a significant boost in the past couple of decades. As it continues to improve the future of design education, India now produces about 15,000 to 25,000 design professionals and technicians almost every year. Design education offers significant intellect, passion and an eye for detail. There is a greater need to include basic design education programs across polytechnics, engineering and management programs. Currently applicable at some of the leading institutions, a more agile approach is required. The dynamics of globalisation and its socio-economic consequences have prompted educators to appraise critically the role of design in enhancing and creating solutions. To better understand user journeys, and further allowing them to pinpoint design gaps and manage transitions a newer approach is required.

Way forward: An acute amalgamation in the education system across technical and design education should redefine itself and recreate an archetype for developing real-life solutions. A new breed of individuals who can elevate the quality of life in a more accessible, equitable and inclusive manner.

Re-define the purpose of Indian education system We may create the most number of engineering graduates in the world, but that certainly doesn't translate much into technological innovation. The objective of this redefined education system should be to create next generation entrepreneurs and innovators. It will empower students to assess their growth trajectory, with;

  • At what stage are they in their learning process?
  • Where will they go next from there?
  • How will they get there?

Focus on skill based education Real time skill development through education is pertinent. The practical assessment-based approach where teachers and students collaborate will help impart better learning. An approach which will help fresh, innovative ideas to flourish.

The Avantika Differentiator Avantika University, an MIT, Pune initiative is conceived with a unique education pedagogy, through programs that offer a confluence of design and technology. Avantika aims to create a conducive atmosphere for the students to transmute them into problem solvers. Avantika helps develop curious minds, create experiments and experiences, develop capabilities to solve problems and assume responsibility. Realised through significant collaboration, field work and volunteering experience. This kind of immersion provides an opportunity for learning by doing, failing and learning again rather than memorising equations and solving problems through number crunching. The beneficiaries of this model are not just students but even teachers. And it is poised to explore and catalyse an era of creativity, innovation and enterprise. Avantika will provide the much-needed paradigm shift in higher education. The onus is to create Gen Next Leaders who can help manage the present from the future.