India reaffirms commitment for 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development

Paris: Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Friday met United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Director-General Audrey Azoulay in Paris and reaffirmed India’s commitment for 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development, most importantly in the field of education.

The Vice President complimented UNESCO for its renewed focus in the fields of education and culture and said that the India education system has benefitted a lot from UNESCO’s capacities, in the early years after the country’s independence.

“The strategic thrusts of the education development efforts in India focus on five important pillars: Accessibility, Equity, Quality, Affordability, and Accountability,” the Vice President told Azoulay while adding that the UNESCO has been promoting education, science and culture over the past 70 years.

“India has always been a firm supporter of UNESCO’s core agenda and we will continue to do so in the future,” he added.

The Vice President further said that the priority of India is to expand the opportunities for technical education, vocational education and skills development with an aim to equip the youth with the skills required for enhancing their employability and encourage innovation and entrepreneurship. He added that the Skill India Mission launched in 2015 aims at skilling 400 million youth by 2022.

Apart from this, the focus was also laid to promote the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to improve access to education, enhancing the quality of the teaching-learning process, teacher development programmes, strengthening educational planning and management, and improving monitoring systems.

“We are ready to offer to UNESCO our capacities in the field of ICTs and especially the use of ICTs in the promotion of education,” Naidu said.

During the interaction with the UNESCO Director-General, Vice President Naidu also said that India is committed to the cause of education and peace, which is also reflected in its willingness to host the Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Education for Peace and Sustainable Development wholly out of its extra-budgetary contributions.

To celebrate 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi across the world, India had tabled the resolution titled ‘Remembering the life and legacy of Mahatma Gandhi’ which received overwhelming support. Artists from 124 nations will honour the Indian freedom fighter though singing of his favourite hymn, ‘Vaishnav Jan to tenekahiye je’.

In the field of culture, India has deep engagement with UNESCO’s conventions especially in World Heritage and Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The Vice President, who is on a three-day official visit to France to attend the Paris Peace Forum, arrived here on Friday.

Vice President Naidu and his wife, M. Usha Naidu were received at the airport by Ambassador of India to France Vinay Mohan Kwatra.