Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday addressed the grand finale of Smart India Hackathon 2020 and interacted with the finalists via video conferencing.
Speaking the event, the prime minister mentioned India's bold new National Education Policy, which was approved by the government recently. Addressing the policy, Modi said the New Education Policy emphasises on inter-disciplinary study and "will ensure focus is on what student wants to learn."
"We are focussing on the quality of education in India. Our attempts have been to make our education system the most advance and modern for students of our country," Modi added.
Addressing the finalists, he also said that NEP announced recently has been framed keeping in mind the aspirations of the youth of 21st century of the country. "21st century is the era of knowledge. This is the time for increased focus on learning, research, innovation," he said. He also added that role of youth is very important in achieving goal of 'ease of living' to give better life to the poor.
NEP emphasises on making 'job creators' instead of 'job seekers'. There is now systematic reform in India's education system and attempt is being made to transform intent and content of education, Modi said.
Speaking on the flexibility of choosing subjects from any stream and the option to opt for either three or four-year undergraduate program, he said, it was much needed.
"In the National Education Policy, Flexibility has been given great importance. There are provisions for multiple entry and exits. No one way streets for a student. The Under-Graduate experience can either be a three or four year journey. Students will enjoy the advantages of an Academic Bank of Credit, which will store all the academic credits acquired. These can be transferred and counted in the final degree. Such flexibility was long needed in our education system. I am happy the National Education Policy has addressed this aspect."
On the terms of proposing mother tongue or home language for the medium of education, Modi said, "Languages of India will progress and develop further due to the changes brought in the education policy. This will not only increase India's knowledge but will also increase its unity."
The Smart India Hackathon is a nationwide initiative to provide students with a platform to solve some of the pressing problems people face in daily lives, and thus inculcate a culture of product innovation and a mindset of problem-solving.
Students from Shri Krishna College of Engineering and Technology, Tamil Nadu, MLR Institute of Technology, Hyderabad, JECRC University, Jaipur, Graphic Era University, Dehradun and Chandigarh Engineering College interacted with the PM and discussed their innovative ideas.
The first edition of Smart India Hackathon in 2017 saw participation of 42,000 students, which increased to 1 lakh in 2018 and to 2 lakh in 2019. The first round of Smart India Hackathon 2020 saw participation of more than 4.5 lakh students.
"The grand finale of the software edition this year is being organised online by connecting all the participants throughout the nation over a especially-built advanced platform. More than 10,000 students will be competing to solve 243 problem statements from 37 central government departments, 17 state governments and 20 industries," the statement said.