In the last century, technological advancements as a result of symbiotic relationship between Industry and Education Sector have resulted in an unprecedented economic growth.
Globally, Industry participation has revolutionized Education sector-in the way education is imparted and assimilated by students. On the other hand, several industries like the Pharmaceutical, Virtual Instrumentation and Semiconductors have immensely benefited from the fruits of University System. For example, foundations of the $12 Billion global insulin market that benefits more than 371 million diabetics was created by a Nobel Prize winning invention (Insulin) at University of Toronto. Similarly, the multibillion dollar Virtual Instrumentation Industry has its roots at University of Texas-Austin. In Ancient India, inventions of steel production, cotton-textile and medicine were an epitome of a rich applied scientific culture.
However, the current Indian Education System presents a large divide between the Academia and Industry. While Indian Industry grumbles that majority of Higher Education Institutes produce an army of unemployable graduates, the Academia often complains of insufficient support from Industry. Decision makers at both ends are talking about ways to bridge this gap. But, rapid economic growth since 1990s has made it feasible for India to invest a great deal more in Education than it could earlier. In the current Five Year Plan, education sector has been marked as a priority sector, thus Central Government is now expected to provide immense support. It is encouraging Industry to invest in the form of resources and thus increase efficiency in creation of economic and social infrastructure assets to further enhance the quality of education.
Several world leaders like National Instruments and Intel are already evolving their roles and revolutionizing the entire education industry. From Flipped Classrooms in Primary Schools to Faculty-Industry Internship programs for universities, industrial powerhouses are increasingly bullish on the excellence in Indian Education Sector.
Starting with Higher Education, past decade has seen global companies working closely with Indian educational institutes as vendors of high-technology infrastructural upgrades. The changing role of Industry warrants a close collaboration with the Educational Institutes at a higher level and partnering with government to promote theme based research and innovation amongst Academia.
Firstly, this would involve successful establishment of several research led higher education institutes with private partnership. And secondly, the Industry twinning and collaborative programs with existing universities and research organization would propel Academia to enhance focus on cutting edge research and innovation.
Industrial Collaboration with higher educational institutes is resulting in a drastic enhancement in the quality of Industry-Academia personnel exchange programs. As part of Faculty Internships, University teachers are exposed to the state-of-the-art Industry trends to help them shape industry-ready graduates. Industry Experts too are accelerating their On-Campus Student interactions.
This type of education is expected to bring up industry ready students. Industry leaders, today, are sharing their vast experience with students in the form of Industry ideas which students can take up as projects. National Instruments' "Project Definition Database" is one such forward looking initiative for engineering colleges in this respect. Several industry leaders today are incentivizing the students to undertake innovative projects through Industry Sponsored Student Design Competitions
In the Indian Higher Education sector, the role of industry is thus evolving into a close collaborator and auditor.
With a relatively young population, India is poised to reap the benefits of its demographic dividend. But Quality education and subsequent job creation are the pre-requisite for harvesting these benefits.
However, nationally representative studies show that over 60 percent of children aged 6-14 are unable to read even in Class-2!
The culprit is the Current default pedagogy (that is one of 'completing the textbook') because this pedagogy does not reflect the learning levels of children in the classroom, who are far behind than where the textbook expects them to be. And, Schooling could never be tailored to each child, unless lots of teachers are employed.
However, this is exactly the area where Industry is playing a revolutionary role in disrupting the way kids learn. State of the art Machine Learning technology through Industry Participation has enabled young primary school students adopt the adaptive learning technology, where computers adapt the presentation of educational material according to students' learning needs, as indicated by their responses to questions and tasks. This is called Adaptive Learning technology.
Industry participation has enabled Blended Learning concepts of Flipped Classrooms, Network Learning and Adaptive Learning to actually take shape. Khan Academy is one such initiative.
Amalgamation of Tech-Industry with education sector has prompted Bill Gates (whose foundation is working firsthand in this sector) to term the present time as "a special time" in education.
The Indian Industry has finally started viewing the Industry-Academic Relationship as a symbiotic one because of which complete Indian Education sector - from Primary Schools to Research Universities is undergoing a radical transformation for the better!
Founded in 1976, National Instruments is headquartered in Austin, Texas and has 6,869 Employees.