On January 10-11, the Narendra Modi's Gujarat government hosted the two-day Vibrant Gujarat Education Summit in Gandhinagar with Italy as partner. The conference saw participation of over 1,500 students from Gujarat, 3,000 from the rest of India and about 200 students from 40 countries. Heads of over 100 Indian universities as well as experts from Italian varsities were also present.
Speaking on the occasion, Gujarat CM Narendra Modi stated that knowledge, not certificates, should be the driving force for education. He said that while the 20th century was led by the IT (information technology) revolution, 21st century will be one of ET (environmental technology).
Stressing that education and knowledge alone could lead the country to progress, Modi said, “People say 21st century is India’s century, but if you look at our history, India has always led, and since 21st century is pegged to be the century of knowledge, we should lead it. India is a young country where 65% of population is under the age of 35 and we should use this strength of youth to our advantage. Our third strength is democracy, which takes us one step forward as compared to the rest of the world and, hence, we need to bring about a revolution.” He added that in order to bring about wholesome development, the country must focus on interdisciplinary as well as multidisciplinary education. Among the guests who were present were Daniele Mancini, the Ambassador of Italy to India; Prof Dinesh Singh, VC, Delhi University; Prof Rajan Welukar, VC, University of Mumbai; and Prof Charles F Zukoski, provost, University of Buffalo, US.
The objective of the summit was to serve as the melting pot of concepts, opinions and brainstorming. Among other things, it initiated a process of charting a course for the future of education in India.