By Sandeep Goel
The launch of the New Education Policy amidst the COVID19 pandemic brings the strategic interdependence between learning and technology to the forefront. Like other verticals that the pandemic has impacted, education also needs to embrace digital transformation. The COVID19 crisis has amply demonstrated the kind of resilience that digital readiness can provide to the economy by enabling stakeholders to stay connected. In the long run, technological progress will continue to be the most significant enabler of economic growth. Therefore, India’s technology vertical has a stake in how the NEP 2020 will shape both the future of learning and the quality of human capital that it needs. The NEP 2020 must prioritize the following learning outcomes and skills for the technology vertical in India:
Focus on User Experience and Design Thinking
The NEP2020 must take cognizance of the fact that technology enterprises today function with a “user experience first” approach. Enterprises build their products, keeping the user at the center, and leverage design thinking to reimagine the user experience. The NEP2020 must look to inculcate user-centricity and enable STEM graduates to use design thinking to zero down gaps in the user journey.
Engineering for Scale
One of the significant shifts in the technology industry has been the evolution from functioning to scalable systems. NEP2020 must seek to train students on differentiating between the two types of systems and realize the potential of building products for scale. Technocrats need to appreciate the way in which modern-day e-commerce platforms run programs like “the big billion-day sale” and enterprises that use aggregator business models, rollout the same platform to accommodate a higher number of users, higher volume of data, and higher value in transactions to make their products truly global.
Develop a Mindset for Testing and Validation
Trust but verify. The virtues of testing and validating products against targeted user-needs to resolve business challenges are critical to achieving traction in the market and zero down gaps with customers. NEP2020 must seek to instill a penchant and general passion for testing and validation in students pursuing to build careers in the technology industry. Doing so will allow tomorrow’s technocrats to learn the importance of testing products for “relevance” and “market orientation”.
Introduce Courses on Product Management
Over the last three decades, the Indian technology vertical has moved forward from a service mindset to a product mindset. The Indian tech industry needs product managers who can take ownership of the product from conceptualization to commissioning stages. Unfortunately, educational institutions in India do not offer full-fledged programs or courses on product management. The NEP2020 should consider introducing new academic disciplines and courses on product management in technology and business schools.
Augment Vertical Awareness and Exposure
Yet another challenge that continues to plague Indian tech enterprises is the lack of business acumen in fresh engineering and technology graduates. The NEP2020 must address the lack of vertical awareness. One way to do so is to incorporate courses with a deeper vertical -understanding in the final semester so that technology graduates get an insight into how the technology market operates.
(The author is from Technology & Human Capital at Moglix. Views expressed are personal.)