Monday February 19, 2018

‘Africa should take tips from India on higher education’

Africa needs a pragmatic approach to scientific and technical education

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African countries should take tips from India – by establishing regional institutes of excellence for science and technology, for instance – to provide guaranteed access to higher education to those from poorer backgrounds, a new report has said, adding much was also to be learnt from the manner in which India had leveraged its diaspora.

“Good publicly-funded colleges and universities for higher and technical education are essential, with the state guaranteeing access for poorer sections of society, as in India”, says the report on Innovation, Competitiveness and Regional Integration jointly prepared by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (Uneca), the Africa Union (AU) and the African Development Bank (AfDB).

The report comes at a time when the number of private institutions of higher education are growing across the African continent.

It said the Indian Institutes of Technology, Indian Institute of Science and other similar institutes funded by the union government were the best examples of India‘s public education system, adding that, given the “drawbacks of large-scale privatization of higher education, as the India experience shows, must be taken into account in formulating holistic policies for higher education”.

“Tertiary education should produce people with skills needed for conducting location-specific research, especially in agriculture. A vocational education and training system should be set up that interacts with industry,” the report said adding: “These systems need to be aligned with market needs via private participation, curriculum development, upgraded infrastructure and performance incentives.”

Related article: Indian education: How India made Britain more literate

It said India had no consistent policy framework on innovation until it introduced its comprehensive science, technology and innovation policy in 2013. The need for innovation and a make-do orientation helped India embark on its “frugal innovations”, crafted by a few pioneering individuals rather than by the government at large, the report said.

Accordingly, the report suggested the establishment of regional institutes of excellence for higher education in science and technology to attract the best talent from across Africa with affordable fees. “Institutes of vocational education and training must be established at intra-regional and regional levels”.

“Africa’s approach to science, technology and innovation should be pragmatic. The departure point is to recognize science and technology as the centerpiece throughout, as it develops readiness for technological diffusion (critical in the earlier phases of development, when a country’s innovative capacities are still restricted),” the report added.

It also echoed the need for African countries to tap into their diaspora, stating that India has put in place frameworks to leverage the contribution of its diaspora. “An Africa-wide initiative should tap its diaspora,a adding that, the AU has has designated the African diaspora the continent’s sixth region.

On integration, the report said, regional blocs across the continent can learn from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) which, it said, provides “a model of country implementation of policies and action plans rather than regional frameworks, with realistic goals reflecting country characteristics”.

“Over the years, the association has reinforced its economic community through trade, cooperation agreements and foreign partnerships. Regionally, it encourages innovation through collaboration in such diverse areas as capital mobility, trade, education and labour mobility.”

The agreements between Asean and its external partners, the reportsaid, rarely go beyond internationally established norms or obligations for intellectual property protection as provided by the global intellectual property regime. These countries “have not established strong joint intellectual property frameworks or harmonized intellectual property institutions, but the bloc has proven that an approach based on dialogue and consensus-building works well for innovation”.

It was envisioned that intellectual property will promote efficient adoption and adaptation of more advanced technologies and continuous learning to meet ever-rising performance thresholds, the report said.

“Since the policies of different African countries have tended to look quite similar in content, there is no strong evidence to suggest that they are properly synchronized with country particularities. Indeed, to be successful, such policies should take into account the particular environment in which the interventions are undertaken, usually different from country to country,” the report said. (IANS)

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  • Shubhi Mangla

    There was a time when Booker T. Washington promoted manual labour and practical studies in Africa but now there is less of practical work

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    As India and Africa are one of the oldest civilizations on Earth, there should be more of such initiatives taken to enhance the educational system and educate the poor. These issues were discussed in the India-Africa Forum Summit 2015 which happened in Delhi and as much as 54 African state heads were present.

  • Shubhi Mangla

    There was a time when Booker T. Washington promoted manual labour and practical studies in Africa but now there is less of practical work

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    As India and Africa are one of the oldest civilizations on Earth, there should be more of such initiatives taken to enhance the educational system and educate the poor. These issues were discussed in the India-Africa Forum Summit 2015 which happened in Delhi and as much as 54 African state heads were present.

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Famous Indian Forts You Must Visit At Least Once

Indian forts like Agra Fort and Red Fort are even recognised by  UNESCO as World Heritage Sites

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India is one of the countries in the world which is famous for its architecture especially forts.
India is one of the countries in the world which is famous for its architecture especially forts. Pixabay

By Ruchika Verma

  • India is famous for its architecture, especially forts
  • Indian forts are some of the most famous forts in the world
  • Indian forts are a great way of learning about Indian history and culture

India is the land of history and culture. The Indian architecture is one of the best in the world. Indian palaces and forts are some of the most admired architectural structures in the world who people come to see and visit from all around the globe. India has some of the biggest forts in the world.

India is famous for its forts and architectures.
India is famous for its forts and architectures. Wikimedia Commons

Indian forts like Agra Fort and Red Fort are even recognised by  UNESCO as World Heritage Sites. India, especially Rajasthan is famous for its forts. It is not unfair to say that most part of India’s tourism thrives on these forts. Here is the list of Indian forts you must visit at least once.

Red Fort

Red Fort in Delhi is one of the most famous forts in India. Th red-stoned fort in Delhi is very central to the Mughal architecture. The Red Fort is a must visit because of its rich culture and history. There are two museums in the fort where one can look at the old arms and clothes of the Mughal rulers.

Also Read: 7 Forts in India you must visit: Glorious Empires of Incredible India

Red Fort in Delhi is one of the apex of Mughal architecture . Pixabay
Red Fort in Delhi is one of the apexes of Mughal architecture. Pixabay

Amer Fort

Amer Fort or the Amber Fort is one of the most explored travelling destinations in Jaipur. It is one of the most well-maintained forts in India and attracts lakhs of tourists towards it every year. One can also enjoy elephant rides in the fort. The Ganesh Pol is one of the most beautifully carved place in the fort.

Famous Forts in India
Amer fort in Jaipur one of the most well-maintained forts in India. (Pic Credits: Elene Machaidze)

Chittorgarh Fort

Chittorgarh Fort is in Rajasthan and is the biggest fort in India. It is spread over in the area of 400 acres. The two pillars called Kirti Stambh and Vijay Stambh are famous for beautiful carvings on them. The fort has water body, temples, complexes and memorials which definitely deserve more exploration by more people.

Chittorgarh Fort is the biggest Indian form and a national heritage site. Wikimedia Commons
Chittorgarh Fort is the biggest Indian form and a national heritage site. Wikimedia Commons

Gwalior Fort

Gwalior Fort in Madhya Pradesh is one of the most majestic forts of central India. The fort for its military architecture and beautifully painted fortress wall. The Fort brings together religions like Buddhism and Jainism and is definitely a treat for the eyes.

Gwalior Fort in Madhya Pradesh is one of the most important forts in Central india. Wikimedia Commons
Gwalior Fort in Madhya Pradesh is one of the most important forts in Central India. Wikimedia Commons

Agra Fort

One of the biggest forts in India, Agra Fort is also referred as a walled city because of its massive expansion in 94 acres of area. The fort has special significance because it was here that the Kohinoor diamond was snatched away by the Mughal ruler Babur and it is also the very place where Shah Jahan died.

Famous Forts in India
Agra Fort can easily be called a small city in itself because of its huge size.Wikimedia Commons

Jaisalmer Fort 

Jaisalmer Fort is one of the biggest forts in the world. Jaisalmer fort is built on the Trikuta Hill in the Thar Desert with a very strong fortification. The fort is full of historical significance and is famous for the various battles and the bloodshed it has witnessed. This is also one of those India forts which are famous for witnessing Jauhar.

Also Read: Jaipur Forts: All You Need To Know

City Palace

City Palace in Udaipur is one of the most beautiful Indian palaces with a history of more than 400 years. It is a beautiful example of Rajasthani and Mughlai architecture fusion, located on the banks of Lake Pichola. The palace is definitely worth a visit for its magnificence.

City Palace Jaipur clicked by Shaurya Ritwik
City Palace is famous for its magnificence. (Pic Credits: Shaurya Ritwik)

Panhala fort

Panhala fort in Kolhapur is the largest and most important fort in Maharashtra, looking over the Sahyadri mountain range. This is one the Indian forts which perfectly describe the Marathi architectural style. This fort will neither disappoint the history buffs nor the people who have just come for sightseeing.