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G20 Education Working Group meeting in Amritsar

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G20 Education Working Group is holding the second round of its meeting in the holy city of Amritsar in Punjab. The meeting agenda includes discussions on the future of work and innovation, with a focus on building bridges across nations for equitable development in Amritsar. The schedule began with a seminar on ‘Strengthening Research and Promoting Innovation through Richer Collaboration’ hosted by IIT Ropar at Khalsa College, Amritsar on March 15.

Prof. Govind Rangarajan, Director, IISC shared enlightening thoughts on interdependency of domains and interdisciplinary action for solving problems. He also highlighted India’s frugal innovations, which have the potential to solve problems of the developed world, and the need to acknowledge and use grassroots innovation. Prof. Murty, Director, IIT Hyderabad, stressed on the need of synergy between government- academia-industry to find solutions to pressing world problems. He highlighted that the National Education Policy 2020 has brought in path breaking reforms in education in India, and various programmes are helping promote cross-institutional collaboration in the country such as I-STEM portal, IIvenTive IIT-R&D fair etc.Prof. Rajeev Ahuja, Director of IIT Ropar, highlighted India’s opportunity to establish itself as a leader in research and innovation globally. K. Sanjay Murthy, Secretary, Higher Education, also attended the event.

The first panel titled ‘Research in Emerging and Disruptive Technologies, Industry –4.0’ moderated by Prof. Anil Gupta and chaired by Prof. Rajeev Ahuja brought together panelists from Australia, France, India and UK who shared pertinent insights on the role of various stakeholders to promote research on the emerging innovations, their impact on education systems and society in general.

The second panel on ‘Research in Sustainable Development Goals’ chaired by Prof. Shalini Bharat with panelists representing China, Oman, South Africa , UAE and UNICEF laid importance on enhancing the capacities of universities being the core of research
One of the panelists, Ms. Alison Dell, Assistant Secretary, Australian Government Department of Education, discussed about the National Collaborative infrastructure scheme in her country and what her government has been doing in moving towards applied research. She emphasized on the importance of international collaboration in research and innovation, highlighting the successful partnerships between Australian and Indian institutions in the past. She expressed her hope that such collaborations would continue to thrive and contribute to the sustainable development of both nations.
The seminar focused on bridging the gap between government-academia-industry linkages for designing solutions for addressing global challenges. There is a need for bringing multidisciplinarity in education. The discussion reached a consensus that Research Collaboration is need of the hour and countries/Institutions need to break silos to promote translational research for achieving the sustainable development goals just as they did during the Covid 19 pandemic. There’s also a need to establish frameworks for sharing research data and outputs.  G20 countries should also work towards establishing a common framework for effective use of emerging and disruptive technologies to address global challenges.

The seminar concluded with an address from the Chief Minister of Punjab, Bhagwant Mann. He welcomed the delegates and emphasized on the importance of education and innovation in the state of Punjab. A multimedia exhibition has also been organised on the sidelines featuring participation from industry, academia, and start-up initiatives. It will be open to local institutions, students, academicians, and researchers on the 16th and 17th of March.

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