NEW DELHI As the first meeting of the G20 Education Working Group (EdWG) commences on January 31 at IIT-Madras, India is all set to provide a unique platform to all members of the grouping to showcase their innovation and best practices in using digital technology in education.More than 75 delegates from the G20 member, guest countries and invited organisations like the OECD, Unesco and Unicef, along with academic experts and students will participate in the meeting which will be preceded by a seminar, ‘Role of Digital Technology in Education’, one of the four themes for G20 EdWG.The other three meetings will be hosted in Bhubaneswar, Pune and Amritsar. According to a senior education ministry official India will take the opportunity to showcase the strength of its education sector- including infrastructure, innovation, and human resources – and initiatives being taken as a part of the implementation of National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. “Which is why the seminars and meetings are being hosted in institutions like IITs and universities,” said the official.The working group meetings will be preceded by seminars and exhibitions based on four themes – digital technology in education, foundational literacy and numeracy, skilling and research. A vision statement on education is expected to be signed by the member countries.On the sidelines of the first seminar, there will be an exhibition showcasing India’s achievements in the field of education and the NE elements including SWAYAM, DIKSHA, and NIPUN Bharat, and research, and innovations as well as Indian Knowledge Systems.The seminar will be attended by the delegates from all G20 nations. Member nations, including France, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Netherlands, will also exhibit their best practices in the field of education at the exhibition.Prior to the meetings and seminars, this is the first time when inputs have been sought from participating countries. Invent In India | page 20 Yesterday’s R-Day parade had all the usual display of military hardware – with one difference, there was a fair number of India-manufactured weapons. Arjun MK-1 main battle tank, K-9 Vajra self-propelled howitzer, BrahMos and Nag missiles and choppers. India isn’t and should never be a nation-state that seeks war. But India’s neighbourhood isn’t a peaceful one. So, while seeking peace, it has to muscle up militarily, and indigenisation is the best way to do that. Having largely relied on foreign defence platforms over the years, the belated indigenisation push is certainly welcome. Roughly 60% of India’s defence hardware is of Russian origin. And the Ukraine war has thoroughly exposed this outdated ‘Potemkin arsenal’.GoI’s four positive indigenisation lists – more than 400 defence items that have to be procured domestically – are a good start. However, the country is still confronted with gaps in indigenous development capabilities for high-tech platforms. For example, even the import content for the indigenous Tejas fighter continues to be around 50%. Therefore, the focus now ought to be on increasing the level of indigenisation. That can happen only through ramping up the quality of R&D.This is where civilian and defence R&D can create a mutually reinforcing technology ecosystem. Many of the world’s widely used products and services have military-civilian dual applications. The internet, space rockets, GPS and radar are merely the most famous examples. Microwaves, canned food, duct tape, aviator sunglasses, synthetic rubber tyres, freeze-drying – and many more are results of defence-related research. Drones are the latest example of military research changing civilian life. Defence research has even had an enormous impact on healthcare. Blood transfusion, EpiPens and even the basic concept of ambulances originated in the needs of armed forces.India’s large defence needs and fiscal support for domestic weapons systems are a starting point. GoI must help create a network of big companies that can manufacture weapon systems and components, technology entrepreneurs who will experiment with new tech and IITs and the better universities that can provide talented young researchers and scientists. This is doable, if GoI thinks creatively.