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November 16, 2019 Saturday 11:21:46 AM IST

40th UNESCO General Conference in Paris

International Policy

We will continue to support UNESCO in its effort to pursue its core mandate of building peace through international cooperation in Education, Science, Environment and Culture – HRD Minister

Union HRD Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ addressed education ministers/representatives of of nearly 190 countries at the 40th UNESCO General Conference today in Paris. Speaking on the occasion he said that age-old immortal Indian culture has considered the whole world as family. Spreading the great idea of ​​VasudhaivaKutumbakam all over the world,  India has prayed for the welfare of the entire humanity by accepting the hypothesis of “SarveBhavantuSukhinah, Survey SantuNiramaya”, he added.By contemplating the idea of Integral Human Debate, we have pledged to reach out to the last person in the society.

The HRD Minister said that the motto of India is “Collective efforts, for growth of all, with everyone's trust” as it was mentioned by the Prime Minister of India, Mr Narendra Modi, at the 74th Conference of the United Nations General Assembly.

The Minister said that this session of UNESCO has another significance as it is being held at a time when the whole world is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. His message on truth and non-violence is even more important and relevant today.Through education, we are trying to pursue and spread the spirit of universal brotherhood, social harmony, cordiality, human values and love to each and every citizen of India, he added.


Shri Nishank said that being the third largest education system in the world, it is important for India to be committed in building a bright future of more than 33 crore students.There are more than 1000 universities andmore than 45000 degree colleges in India and is the country with the largest number of young population. India has been playing a positive and constructive role to carry forward the UNESCO’s mission and realize our common objectives.

He assured continuous support of India to UNESCO in its effort to pursue its core mandate of building peace through international cooperation in  Education,Science,Environment and Culture. He said that our philosophy, our thinking and our feeling everything remains focused for the welfare of humanity,"Asato Ma SadgamyaTamaso Ma Jyotirgamya"meansleadall creatures from  falsehood to truth and from  darkness to  light.

He appreciated the efforts of UNESCO to ensure that every child and citizen receives quality education. He said that according to our mandate, we were able to reach every child across India by implementing the Right to Education Act 2009. He said that India has one of the oldest centres of learning in the world, the Nalanda University. Nalanda, Vikramashila, Vallabhi University have been the centre of attraction for students and scholars from different parts of the world.

He informed the gathering that in a span of 33 years, some radical changes have been made  in the education sector of the country. Through our new education policy, we are committed to achieve the target fixed in the areas of quality, employability, creativity, inclusiveness, human values, science & innovation, skill, Social interest, practical research, and environmental education.


The HRD Minister further said that India is highly determined to make higher education qualitative and affordable.Through SWAYAM-portal, we are trying to provide free online education not only Indian students but also to foreign students. In India, already  12.3 million students are taking online education under the SWAYAM portal. We are also providing free online education through E-VidyaBharati and Arogyabharati, through SWAYAM PRABHA, DTH Channel. He also informed that we have already entered in to an agreement with African Countries for providing the same at free of cost.

He also informed the gathering that India has provided 1000 scholarships to all of the ASEAN countries for research, in our excellent IITs. He said that IMPRINT, SPARC, STRIDE, NIRF Ranking, IMPRESS and GIAN are some of our schemes by which students from other countries are getting education in India. He said that more than 100 excellent educational institutes of India are available as attractive destination for students all over the world under Study in India program.

While speaking about teachers’ training he said that we understand the importance of training programs for the teachers therefore we have started the world's largest teacher training programme “Nishtha” under which more than 4.2 million teachers will be trained. In the same manner, more than 1 million higher education teachers will be trained under ARPIT programme, he added.

The HRD Minister conveyed his thanks to UNESCO for including the city of Jaipur in the World Heritage List. He also thanked UNESCO for including KumbhMela, the world's largest human gathering, in the list of intangible heritage. Likewise he also welcomed the selection of Mumbai and Hyderabad in list of network of creative cities.The Minister said that we are in favour of strengthening the 1970’s conference which discussed the illegal import, export and transfer of ownership of cultural property.


He said that this year UNESCO has declared "International Year of Indigenous Languages". Hesaid that there are more than 2000 indigenous languages in India and India is committed to preserving and strengthening Hindi, Sanskrit and all other Indian languages ​​and their script.

He said that India is committed to achieve UNESCO's sustainable development goals with the help of science and technology. In this context, the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi has unveiled 'India Technology Vision 2035' at the 103rd Indian Science Congress, which focuses on 12 subjects.

The Minister said that new schemes like clean energy, research, solar energy and water technology have been introduced to protect our environment. India Has led the "International Solar Alliance" to reduce the growing climate imbalance in the field of environment in India, he added.

The challenge before the world of climate change is to face it together.Climate change is a major challenge before all of us.India wants to take this kind of initiative with other countries in the fields of education, culture, science, technology, water and sanitation. He requested the entire world that together we can meet the Sustainable Development Goals of the UNESCO Environment Sector.


The Minister reiterated that India is in favor of integrating UNESCO into the broader framework of UN reform in the organization. We believe that the amendment to the UNESCO Constitution will have far-reaching effects and will encourage mutual cooperation and committee, he added.

He also reiterated that India needs to integrate into the broader framework of UN reform in UNESCO's organization. We believe that amending the UNESCO Constitution will have far-reaching effects, he added.

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We will continue to support UNESCO in its effort to pursue its core mandate of building peace through international cooperation in Education, Science, Environment and Culture – HRD Minister