People of 2020: Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan 'The Grand Eminence'

Kaveree Bamzai

Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan, 80 

One of India’s most eminent scientists, he was responsible for the drafting of a National Education Policy which in theory was one of the most radical. The policy integrated vocational education into the mainstream and made experiential learning key.

The former chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (between 1994 and 2003) was able to do what few had done before him, create a new education policy 34 years after the last one. With its emphasis on the 10+2 system and bringing in the 5+3+3+4 formula, the inclusion of anganwadis as education workers and the possibility of learning maths and music simultaneously, the policy had few critics even in the Opposition. Its one dark spot was the emphasis on local language instruction until Class VIII, but in any case the real test of the policy was clearly going to be its implementation.