The National Knowledge Commission (NKC) was a high-level advisory body to the Prime Minister of India, with the objective of transforming India into a knowledge society. In its endeavour to transform the knowledge landscape of the country, the National Knowledge Commission submitted around 300 recommendations on 27 focus areas during its three and a half year term. The implementation of the NKC's recommendations are currently underway at the Central and State levels.
About National Knowledge Commission
The ability of a nation to use and create knowledge capital determines its capacity to empower and enable its citizens by increasing human capabilities. Today, India has the largest number of young people in the world (600 million below the age of 25). Following a knowledge-oriented paradigm of development would enable India to leverage this demographic advantage.
In the words of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh "The time has come to create a second wave of institution building and of excellence in the field of education, research and capability building so that we are better prepared for the 21st century."
With this broad task in mind, the National Knowledge Commission (NKC) was constituted on 13th June 2005 with a time-frame of three years, from 2nd October 2005 to 2nd October 2008. As a high-level advisory body to the Prime Minister of India, the NKC was given a mandate to guide policy and direct reforms, focusing on certain key areas such as education, science and technology, e-governance, etc. Easy access to knowledge, creation and preservation of knowledge systems, dissemination of knowledge and better knowledge services were core concerns of the commission.
Terms of Reference
As per Government Notification of 13th June 2005, the following are the Terms of Reference of the National Knowledge Commission (NKC).
- Build excellence in the educational system to meet the knowledge challenges of the 21st century and increase India's competitive advantage in fields of knowledge.
- Promote creation of knowledge in S&T laboratories.
- Improve the management of institutions engaged in intellectual property rights.
- Promote knowledge applications in agriculture and industry.
- Promote the use of knowledge capabilities in making government an effective, transparent and accountable service provider to the citizen and promote widespread sharing of knowledge to maximize public benefit.
The overarching aim of the National Knowledge Commission was to enable the development of a vibrant knowledge based society. This entails both a radical improvement in existing systems of knowledge, and creating avenues for generating new forms of knowledge.
Greater participation and more equitable access to knowledge across all sections of society are of vital importance in achieving these goals.
In view of the above, the NKC sought to develop appropriate institutional frameworks to:
- Strengthen the education system, promote domestic research and innovation, facilitate knowledge application in sectors like health, agriculture, and industry.
- Leverage information and communication technologies to enhance governance and improve connectivity.
- Devise mechanisms for exchange and interaction between knowledge systems in the global arena.