Indian Education System

Why Rana Kapoor believed in making the Indian education system future-forward

The education system in India is a matter of debate and discussion. The fact that India is home to the world’s largest pool of young people, it raises two crucial questions: How can India make the most of this situation in terms of development? And is the country educating its youngsters to prepare for this development?

Prominent educationists and businesspeople have time and again stressed the need for the country’s education system to adapt and evolve. One such name is Rana Kapoor, former Managing Director and CEO of Yes Bank. A strong advocate for bringing about radical changes in the state of education in India, Kapoor always stressed on skill-based learning. He focused on the fact that students from a young age must learn about planning, implementing and analyzing skills gained through knowledge-based learning methods. This would motivate them to think logically, analyze concepts and apply their insights. Kapoor envisioned an India where skill-based workforce is on the rise, because he knew as the world changes, so do economies.

Students are the country’s human capital, and it is critical to empower them in order for the economy to grow. Rana Kapoor dreamt of a nation where students were skilled to bridge the existing gap of knowledge and expertise. In today’s time, companies including skill share, unacademy, geek for geeks, and many more are focused to improve students in the area of aptitude, experience, and skillfulness.

Data from various reports show that despite the population boom after independence, India has made some great progress in education. While the country’s population has grown from 360 million in 1951 to 1.2 billion in 2011, the adult literacy has risen from a mere 12 to a whopping 74 percent. Government policies such as the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (universal literacy mission) launched in 2000-01, and the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, have acted as enablers. We have come a long way, but we have a long way to go.

Despite a large chunk of resources allocated towards education by the government, in an effort to develop confident individuals and foster innovation and creative thinking, the education system has to put more emphasis on calibre and excellence. Shifting the focus from quantity to quality will ensure that the resources allocated for education, especially at the school level, are well-spent and bear improved learning outcomes.

The shift towards Specialized learning

Several educationists in the country have repeatedly laid emphasis on the importance of activity-based learning. Studies show that apart from routine academics, experiential learning, and critical thinking form two essential aspects of a well-rounded education. Rana Kapoor believed that allowing young learners to gain new experiences by encouraging freedom of inquiry and inquisitiveness does not only help in the development of thinking skills, but also trains the students to become good national and global citizens.

For a long period of time, our education system has put emphasis on curriculum to standardize learning goals. In the current era, it is absolutely necessary for students to learn critical thinking that could help them resonate with the higher purpose of leading the nation. In a country where new pedagogies and innovation should be the norm, they are reduced to mere exceptions. Despite some exchange of ideas, best practices in contemporary education are implemented in only a few areas of academic excellence. 

Changing the tide with Yes Global Institute

To bridge the gap between young learners and modern learning, Yes Global Institute was started by Yes Bank under the aegis of Rana Kapoor. He was a visionary to facilitate an institute that aimed to prepare students in advance, to later make India a global hub of education. Focusing on the financial and banking sectors, the institute educated students in a skillful manner. The practicing think tank was one of the premier institutions that promoted activity-based learning in India through research in new pedagogies and innovative learning methodologies. The Yes Global Institute was founded with the aim to develop a broader vision of education within the Indian cultural context.

Not many civilizations across the globe can claim a tradition of academic excellence stretching back over several millennia. Through the Yes Global Institute, Yes Bank worked towards providing young students with a way to hone curiosity, research, and critical thinking skills by tapping into the vast cultural repositories of the Indian subcontinent. The institute utilized the under-used museums to make the best use of the plethora of knowledge and pedagogies deep-rooted in our culture by combining it with new technologies and global best practices. The result was a system that brought ancient and modern concepts together and promoted critical thinking amongst the learners.

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