That magic potion called education

Take one swig of this magic potion called education, and you will become invincible, like the Gauls of the Asterix comics. It is the secret to a better quality of life for yourself and family. It is also the foundation for sustained growth of the economy. Future growth will depend not so much on expanding the area of cultivation of crops, or building bigger factories and buildings, or faster cars or microchips. It will depend on building a large stock of “human capital”.

That human capital is nothing but a culmination of education. That capital creates future innovations, productive ideas, creative products and processes, which in turn contribute to economic growth.

So our biggest investment priority for the future should be education. How to plan for the future? A Confucian proverb answers it best. It says: If you want to plan for a year, plant some rice. If want to plan for the next ten years, plant a tree. If you want to plan for a hundred years, then educate your children.

The New Education Policy (NEP) announced this week is not too soon. And it is also not the first one. The first one was passed by Parliament in 1968 based on the recommendations of the Kothari Commission. The second one was passed in 1986, which was revised in 1992. The present one is the third one. In essence it is a paradigm, a framework, which lays downs certain key focus areas and priorities. It is to be implemented jointly with the states in the next 20 years.

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