The launching of ‘Operation Digital Board’ across 15 lakh classrooms in the country in the next four years will change the face of education in the country, said Union Human Resource Minister Prakash Javadekar.Speaking at the third edition of Excellence in Education conclave organised by The Hindu group in association with Blue Star here on Thursday, Mr. Javadekar said, “We get valuable inputs from such events to raise the educational standards in the country. The media is not just a loudspeaker but has to critically examine government programmes and come up with new suggestions so that the country is benefitted and enriched.” In his special message delivered via video link, Mr. Javadekar mentioned the initiatives undertaken by the NDA government to harness the digital revolution. “Our government has taken benefit of the digital revolution to educate 15 lakh teachers and making education available online and offline. Education policy today is based on accessibility, accountability, affordability and equity,” he said.He said that the HRD Ministry had unveiled initiatives like SWAYAM and the National Digital Library (NLD) to revolutionise the structure of education in the country.He further said that the granting of complete autonomy to IIMs was a major step towards ensuring excellence in education. The concept of research parks and Atal innovation centres was a major step towards fostering entrepreneurship, he added.State Education Minister Vinod Tawde said The Hindu conclave was “a breakthrough” for thinking about the education system not only in Maharashtra, but in the entire country.“Our educational system still languishes in the industrial revolution era. The conclave will help in providing inputs on how the curriculum can be adapted to today’s digital educational epoch,” Mr. Tawde said.He further remarked on the need to mull about the emotional and spiritual quotients and not merely the intelligence quotient in education.In his keynote address, Maharashtra Education Commissioner Vishal Solanki noted that the three critical issues were digitalisation in 21st century schools, excellence in education and fostering an entrepreneurial spirit.“While phrases like ‘Technology is a great leveller’ sounds good to the ears, in reality, a lot needs to be done towards improving digital connectivity in the State’s — and India’s — rural hinterland,” Mr. Solanki said.Observing that while education offered by some establishments was expensive, he questioned whether an ‘Ivy League’ education truly guaranteed quality education or imbibed the right values in moulding children’s characters.“It is necessary to introspect in this digital age if a wealthy education is the sole guarantor of quality? For there is an amazing hunger for education among children in the rural areas as opposed to their privileged urban counterparts. We also have to ask hard questions as to how effective is the vocational training being imparted to students in institutes across the State,” he said.Fondly recalling his eager wait for The Hindu during his days as a civil services aspirant, Mr. Solanki said Pune was an apt place to host the conclave as it had a number of excellent institutions with a 200-year academic pedigree.Commenting on the yeoman service rendered by The Hindu in upholding journalistic values and maintaining literary standards, B. Thiagarajan, Joint Managing-Director, Blue Star, said the conclave symbolised a marriage of two iconic brands in fostering education and an entrepreneurial spirit through knowledge.“For educationists as well as the student fraternity, The Hindu is indelibly associated with high-quality English writing and a judicious choice of informative articles. Likewise, a commitment to providing quality vocational training constitutes a significant part of Blue Star’s CSR initiatives,” said Mr. Thiagarajan.