Bengaluru, December 5th, 2022: 21st‐century education needs to groom learners to be adaptable, creative, resilient, and prepared for uncertainty, for jobs that don’t exist yet, using technologies that haven’t even been invented. The role of digital technologies in enabling a shift from transmissive to transformative pedagogies is critical.
As part of the Beyond Bengaluru initiatives of Karnataka, government at the Bengaluru Tech Summit in November 2022, Dr. C.N. Ashwath Narayan, Hon’ble Minister of Electronics, Information Technology – Biotechnology, Science and Technology, Higher Education, Skill Development, Entrepreneurship and Livelihood in Government of Karnataka announced the creation of a center of excellence (CoE) in the metaverse led by KDEM in collaboration with Mysuru-based Excelsoft Technologies in Mysuru.
KDEM and Excelsoft with UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP) providing its expertise and sharing its vision on ‘Learning in the Metaverse’ as a knowledge partner announced the setting up of International Hub for Education in the Mixed Reality (IHEM) as the first initiative of this Centre of Excellence on Metaverse. The metaverse is about creating a single, universal, connected, online and virtual world. To foster emotional resilience in this online world, we need to create social and emotional spaces. For human beings to effectively learn, adapt, and flourish, they need to feel socially connected and emotionally safe.
Releasing a vision document on the decennial celebrations of UNESCO MGIEP, Director Dr. Anantha Duraiappah said “Education must transform itself to be relevant for our future generations who live in the mixed reality. The metaverse is here to stay and we cannot let learners disappear in it. Instead, we must embrace a mixed reality of the physical and virtual worlds. This digital education must be informed by the best science and evidence. IHEM has been designed to do just that.”
Sudhanva Dhananjaya, MD & CEO, Excelsoft Technologies said “Excelsoft is pleased to be a partner in the proposed Centre of Excellence on Metaverse. With more than two decades of experience in education technology and education delivery, I am confident that we can collaborate with our esteemed partners, KDEM and UNESCO MGIEP, and contribute to the success of this initiative. Our experience of working with leading organizations across the globe, building immersive learning environments and our ongoing work in the area of Metaverse will assist in fulfilling its objectives. We are excited and keenly looking forward to working on this initiative.”
The IHEM is conceived with the international Science of Learning Institute (ISLI) at its core, to provide world class research and evidence- based, certified educational resources to learners. A Digital design university, Teachers Training Academy, and a unique residential school for children with Dyslexia are some of the other unique features of the IHEM.
The IHEM aims to enable an ecosystem that will build capacity, train teachers, spawn edtech startups benefited by research and make Karnataka the technology and research assisted enabler for NEP implementation in India. Cybersecurity and learner data will become increasingly important in such an environment.
Sanjeev Gupta, CEO, Karnataka Digital Economy Mission “Karnataka is a leading State in India in companies coming out with new products and services on future digital technologies like AR/VR/XR, Animation clubbed together in the metaverse. The new age of companies in future, in almost all domains of the economy is going to be leveraging these technologies and hence it is the right time and the right place to set up companies for metaverse in Karnataka with an ecosystem currently available in Mysuru. This will not only enhance the relationship of industry and academia but also foster talent and innovation for global positioning of Karnataka.”
BV Naidu, Chairman, Karnataka Digital Economy Mission said, “Metaverse is a game changer in many aspects, as the computing, network and storage becomes more accessible and affordable, the applications which are dependent on augumented reality and mixed reality will start becoming platforms on which products and solutions will be developed, we are already seeing banking industry take the lead by opening 100% virtual bank in metaverse, and RBI releasing E rupee also a game changer in digital economy, it is imminent on us in Karnataka to take a lead in this domain and pave roads of opportunity for IT industry in Karnataka and we are happy to seek KDEM taking the lead role in making this happen.”