Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to announce development projects worth over ₹1,774 crore during his visit to Varanasi on Thursday, his Lok Sabha constituency. This is his second visit to the city in four months.
Modi, who was last in Varanasi in March for a roadshow in the run up to the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, will also inaugurate the Akhil Bharatiya Shiksha Samagam organised by the Union education ministry at the international cooperation and convention centre ‘Rudraksh’.
The highlight of the three-day conclave till July 9 is the adoption of the Varanasi Declaration on Higher Education. The event is being organised as part of capacity building of more than 300 academic, administrative and institutional leaders from universities, and institutes of national importance from across the country.
Panel discussions on nine themes identified for higher education under the National Education Policy 2020 — multidisciplinary and holistic education; skill development and employability; research, innovation and entrepreneurship; capacity building of teachers for quality education; quality, ranking and accreditation; digital empowerment and online education; equitable and inclusive education; Indian knowledge system; and internationalisation of higher education — will be conducted during his visit.
University Grants Commission (UGC) chairman M Jagadesh Kumar said top academicians and educationists from all over the country will deliberate on key topics during the three-day meet. “The issues to be discussed include making the Indian education system more equitable and accessible to all, internationalisation of Indian education and popularising and promoting ancient Indian knowledge,” he said during a press conference at Banaras Hindu University (BHU).
Union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan, UP governor Anandiben Patel, chief minister Yogi Adityanath, chairman of the NEP drafting committee Dr K Kasturirangan will be among the attendees.
Later, an exhibition is expected to be held on the various initiatives taken to implement NEP 2020, including technical books in regional languages.
BHU vice chancellor professor Sudhir K Jain said the meet will initiate thought-provoking discussions, effectively articulate the roadmap and implementation strategies, foster knowledge exchange and build networks through interdisciplinary deliberations and discuss challenges being faced by educational institutions.
He said one of the sessions is on research, innovation and entrepreneurship.
“Research in educational institutions must bring about positive and productive change in the lives of people and we must make sure that our institutions work in this regard,” he said.
The prime minister is also expected to lay the foundation stone of 13 projects worth over ₹1,220 crore, and inaugurate 30 development projects worth over ₹553.76 crore, officials said.
“The projects will be inaugurated at the Sampurnanand Sports Stadium at Sigra around 4 pm,” the officials added.
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