CHENNAI: In light of the recent hijab row in Karnataka that rocked the nation, Minister for Higher Education of Karnataka, Dr Ashwathnarayan CN said that in institutions where there is a uniform code in place, all students must strictly follow it.
There is no question of wearing any religious attire there as the uniform is in place for all, irrespective of caste, community and religion, he added. However, where there is no uniform restriction, people are free to wear whatever they want.
"The uniform norm has not been brought now or it has not been implemented by the BJP government. It has been existing for a long time," said Dr Ashwathnarayan, who was speaking at the10th ThinkEdu Conclave organised by The New Indian Express.
He was speaking on the topic 'Higher Education for Aspiring India: What do we need to change?' in conversation with Kaveree Bamzai, Senior Journalist. Delving into the conclave's trending topic — the National Education Policy — he asserted that the NEP is the way forward.
"Those who embrace NEP will move forward while for those who don't, it will take its own cost," said the Minister. Strongly advocating the National Education Policy, Ashwathnarayan said that there is not a single point in NEP that is against any institution or any individual.
Earlier, most of the learning was restricted to classroom teachings, he asserted, but the NEP promotes critical thinking and problem solving nature. In the NEP, the curriculum has been designed in a flexible manner to meet the needs and capabilities of students, he added.
"NEP is holistic and inclusive. It develops students into thinkers, confident, problem solvers and independent. The NEP aims to make learning a process of self-improvement," said the Minister.
He urged all stakeholders including students, teachers, parents and industrialists to work in a collaborative manner to ensure proper implementation of the NEP.
"The National Education Policy has been designed to empower each and every individual, irrespective of their social and economical background. There is not a single aspect in NEP to disagree," said the Minister. He also said that higher educational institutes will get more autonomy and freedom under NEP.
Speaking at the event on the topic 'Higher education for aspiring India- what do we need to change', Dr Ashwathnarayan said that the shortage of infrastructure in the education sector is not an issue now, in fact the major problem is lack of quality institutions. He said the country needs students with diverse talents and unique personalities and to develop such students we need to enhance the quality of our institutions.
"We need to understand that our future can only be built on good educational institutions. We are not competing against any neighbouring state or neighbouring country but against the whole world. So we need quality institutions, quality teachers, quality institutions with good infrastructure," said the minister.
He further mentioned that each and every individual should understand the fact that educational institutions are not mere commercial entities but our future. He said that the motto of the higher educational institutes should be to produce professionals with multi-dimensional personalities who can play critical roles in nation-building, nurture innovation and invention.
Further, talking on the issue of Indian students migrating to Ukraine and other foreign countries for medical education, the minister said few states like Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have more supply of medical seats in comparison to the demand.
"According to me, the problem is not the shortage of medical seats but the distribution of medical seats. However, the Centre has recently announced plans to set up one medical college in every district. I hope this will solve the problem of shortage of medical seats."