CII Media Releases
Strong Industry-Academia partnership is needed as they are instrumental in advancing research and creating a skilled workforce: Rajkumar Ranjan Singh
Nov 04, 2022

‘Strong Industry-Academia partnership is needed as they are instrumental in advancing research and creating a skilled workforce” - Dr Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, Minister of State, Ministry of Education & Ministry of External Affairs

The education sector in India, has been witnessing a massive transformation recently with technological disruptions, demand for quality education and the implementation of National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. CII’s work in education is focused on promoting industry-academia linkages so that the output of academia improves in quality and industry benefits from a steady supply of high-calibre human resource. CII lays an equally strong focus on school and early childhood education. The objective is to focus on key areas such as early childhood education, capacity building of teachers, holistic learning, mental health, technology, assessments, industry-academia partnerships, future skills, employability, commercialisation of research and entrepreneurship.

To highlight the key points in the above areas and discuss the way forward, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) organised 12th CII Education Summit on the theme ‘Reimagining Higher Education Through Deeper Industry – Academia Engagements’ on 4th November 2022.

Setting the Context for the Summit – Dr B V R Mohan Reddy, Chairman, CII Education Council & Founder Chairman, Cyient said “It’s very important for academia and industry to work together. Approx. 72-75% graduating students get employee by industry and this 75% is very critical element to succeed the industry. Therefor it become extremely imperative to pay attention to get quality resources in the industry. Imperatives we have as industry at this point of time is – Need for good quality talent, second part is research. Academia has things which has far better than industry have-i.e. – young talent, ability to take risk is high, infrastructure- which is far superior to industry. India has great opportunity to demographic dividend. We have people and people are assets. We can develop country as knowledge hub. He mentioned that in India 10 million jobs required every year, to achieve this only the way to promote start-ups. Start-up idea can only come from the education institutions. CII recognise this number of years back. CII works extensively with government in terms of policy advocacy”.    

Addressing the gathering at the SummitMr Hemang Jani, Secretary, Capacity Building Commission said that “the boundaries between industry and academia has to blurred so much. We forget the old practice of industry- academia connect. Which is very simple and does not require a policy or intervention by government i.e., industry visits during study. Invite people from industry to interact with students. Can we think for entrepreneurs in campus or entrepreneurs in practices?  These practices were in past. He also mentioned that industry should take incubation very seriously. This should be for the benefit for the society”. 

Dr Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, Minister of State, Ministry of Education & Ministry of External Affairs said that “Strong industry and academia partnership is needed. The National Education Policy 2020 is now taking reform. NEP 2020 is set to bring strong reforms in higher education. The policy will lead to comprehensive reform in the education and skilling sector. The Basic purpose of the NEP 2020 is to transform the whole education spectrum in our country. Thus, academia and industry are the two sides of a river which flow independently. Lifelong learning is the only way to survive in this fast-changing world. Industry and academia partnership should be encouraged more than ever before in today’s fast changing corporate and education era. Technology adoption will help to implement sustainable solutions.

Dr MP Poonia, Vice Chairman, AICTE said that “There are 300 million students who are currently seeking education of which 260 cr students go for school education and 40 crore for higher education. We need to rework and revamp the whole curriculum system and identify those who will deliver the curriculum. Confidence building, teacher training, pedagogy building mandatory training of core value and all dimensions need to be there. Need to work out a strategy on how knowledge can be applied to industries. AICTE invited Stanford University. Students need to be assessed for academic and higher order skills. For reassessing those abilities, school going students in India were compared to children in Russia and China. It was found that Indian students were comparable to Russian but inferior to Chinese. There needs to be cross communication and argument needs to be encouraged as freedom is likely to make learning effective. Bonding and collaboration has already started taking place among academia, institute and industry”.

Narayanan Ramaswamy, Partner and National Head of Education, KPMG said that National Education Policy is the most ambitious and well thought out and collaborative policy due to the amount of time dedicated to its making. Global experience shows that a similar policy was started in Finland in 1970s and it took 30 long years for its execution. A lot has been done in the National Education Policy such as academic curriculum context setting , universities switching to credit system, and programs of multidisciplinary nature started to happen, online courses have started getting accredited and NHEQF coming in vocational aspects is becoming seamless. Industry collaboration has been initiated and one is trying to introduce research aspect in the industry collaboration and AICTE is getting virtual internship. The international journey has also begun and international universities have been set up in certain regions in India. Research clusters and industry participation is very important along with accreditation reforms and program level accreditation. The education system needs to be converted from teacher centric to learner centric model and government is taking huge step in digital university. NEP is going to be  the biggest change maker and the impact of it is being beginning to be seen”.

Dr Pankaj Mittal, Secretary General Association of Indian Universities mentioned that “A lot has to be done on the ground for the implementation of the NEP 2022. As per the policy 70% of the recommendations have to be implemented by the university. Every institute has to be multidisciplinary, and the institution has to decide cautiously what it wants to do and how it needs to decide cautiously. Both teaching and universities are high end programs. The concept of Academic Bank Credit deposits credit in the account instead of money. ABC papers are called courses and as soon as the course is done one needs to go to the bank to help build on the passbook. Moment student has threshold number in the account and are from multiple disciplines one can choose of those few credits. Students are free to choose the university and do it at every point in time. This is the ABC concept which is the most important part of NEP. Association of Indian Universities have also started consultancy services and seeking help of the industries for which industries can come forward. Very soon, online teaching will start and teachers will be trained on how to start using the digital platform. 10 centers will be set up where teachers will be taught digital skills and if industries would want to collaborate that will be a very important step. Lot can be done in sync with one another and NEP implementation will happen soon”.

Pradeep Kumar Agarwal, CEO, Heritage Group of Institutions said that “The ToR of National Education Policy would require 15 years of experience and one should not end up as professors of practice. Need to strategies how the purpose of entrepreneurship be contributed. A lot of hard work needs to be done for high value PhDs. There is one regulatory body that will help institutions to grow and understand the issue in a unified manner”.


New Delhi

4 November 2022

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