Viewpoint: Education and Entrepreneurship Development

13 SEP,2020 | MEDC


The majority of Indians continue to find jobs in the informal sector, which excludes both government and private organizations. The best example of this is the agricultural sector, which employs the majority of the country’s population, but produces the minority of the national output (as contribution to the GDP). However, the agro-based sector (including food processing industries) has the potential to nurture a huge amount of highly productive entrepreneurship. This is an opportunity which is too good to miss, given our current stage of socioeconomic development.Risk-taking ability lies at the heart of entrepreneurship, regardless of how small or how large the initiative may be. In every undertaking, the entrepreneur’s role is to manage risk in the most cost-effective manner. This requires a certain set of attitudes, which are sharpened with the right upbringing. However, everyone cannot be born into a business family, and so one expects the education system to be suitably aligned towards preparing students for entrepreneurial careers. That needs to be a major focal point of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, as, with a shrinking job market, entrepreneurship will become the key to most Indian livelihoods. Entrepreneurial success is an outcome that can be influenced in the right environment. The government has already taken a number of initiatives in recent years to inculcate entrepreneurial thinking in students, and we hope that NEP 2020 will give it a further impetus.An increasing number of initiatives are sprouting all over the country to support grassroots level entrepreneurship to solve difficult problems in sectors such as agriculture, healthcare, environment and rural supply chains. Many management institutions in India have also created incubators and entrepreneurial cells wherein students can get access to the right resources and guidance from faculty as well as mentors from the business world. All this needs to be adequately encouraged and supported in NEP 2020. There is no alternative to enhancing our entrepreneurial competitiveness if we are to become a $ 5 trillion economy by 2024.Entrepreneurship is also not just about developing risk-taking ability. Skills like empathy, humility, and the resilience required to traverse the inevitably rough road of entrepreneurship also need to form a part of the formal education curriculum. Schools that focus on developing these basic traits will produce the business leaders of tomorrow, and that is often what differentiates many American and European institutes from their Indian counterparts. NEP 2020 is certainly a welcome step in the right direction. It is to be hoped that it lays sufficient stress on harnessing the country’s rich entrepreneurial talent.

*Photo Credit: Google


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