The annual higher education summit by FICCI, which turned 15 with this year's edition, has certainly matured and gained stature over the years especially after some senior academicians and leaders have been drafted into FICCI's Higher Education Committee in recent years, who are playing a pivotal role in drawing themes and linkages. With two key central ministries—Human Resources Development & Ministry of Commerce & Industry lending this event its support, the annual summit has become an important calendar event for higher education in India.
Keeping in view this growing significance, it was only encouraging to see the conference being opened by President of India, Ram Nath Kovind himself, who spoke to over 1500 delegates, 350 foreign delegates from 76 countries and students at the inaugural. India has the third-largest scientific human resource in the world and if the country sets up a robust higher education system, it has the potential to become the R&D capital of the world, he stated while adding, “The world of tomorrow will be driven by knowledge, machine intelligence, and digital pathways. To prepare ourselves for this transformation and to leverage its limitless opportunities, we have to recast our higher education with new courses and deeper research orientation. Ideation, innovation and incubation should be given primacy in our curriculum.”
He also mentioned higher education has the power to bring about intragenerational change and mobility citing his own example.
Sandip Somany, President, FICCI, said, “In the era of knowledge economy, human capital will have the greatest impact on socio-economic growth for decades to come. Hence, to become a $5 trillion economy by 2025, India must transform its higher education institutions and universities to meet the 21st century's needs.”
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December 16, 2019