Greetings on 75th Independence Day:

India @75:

This is the key phrase marking the 74th Independence Day this year. The Prime Minister has exhorted us that the next 25 years will be very important for us. This has tempted me to encourage all, young and not so young to forecast what to expect in the future : in 2030, 2040 and 2050 and prepare themselves accordingly. We are even proposing to have a day every year to be celebrated as “ Future Readiness Day” to make sure that we are on course of being “ future ready” for the coming 25 years.  There is also a sobering warning from Yuval Noah Harari that we may be rapidly becoming part of the “useless class”. 

This is both a National goal and a personal goal for each of us. 

The main Drivers of this exponential change are:

  • AI and Robotics
  • Quantum Technologies
  • Climate  change
  • The changing nature of work
  • The emergence of AI-empowered teacher-less  education

I am sharing below a playlist of some videos that inform you of the current thinking and developments. I am not drawing any conclusions but  suggesting that you draw your own conclusions and plan your strategies on how to make the best of what’s coming.  There is an acronym DYOR ( Do your own research) that is prevalent in the world of crypto-currencies. However, the acronym is not a piece of advice exclusive to the cryptocurrency ecosystem. It is also very important in planning one’s future educational and career paths. 

1: The WEF’s terrifying vision for 2030:

( a critical commentary on the video at number 3)

2: The 25 biggest technology trends defining the new decade:

3: WEF eight predictions for the world  in 2030:

4: The world in 2030 by John Andrews:

5: The world in 2030 by Michigan Kaku :

6: The world in 2030 and 2040:

7: Our future in 2040:

8: The world in 2050:

9: The world in 2050:

10: Ten mind blowing technologies that will change the world :

11: The future of education :

12: These will be the ten largest cities in 2030:

13: Two million jobs to disappear by 2030:

14: Humans need not apply :

15: Yuval Noah Harari and the useless class :

16: The art and Science of trend tracking :

There are many reports that also anticipate the upcoming challenges and identify the opportunities and paths ahead. The latest in these sets of reports is the sixth assessment report from IPCC ( they were recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize 2007). 

Happy Independence Day 2021 and best wishes for thriving and flourishing in the 2030s and beyond. 

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For the want of a nail

At School I had learnt the proverb :

For Want of a Nail

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.

For want of a shoe the horse was lost.

For want of a horse the rider was lost.

For want of a rider the message was lost.

For want of a message the battle was lost.

For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.

And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

And the breaking news today is that for want of computer chips entire industries (~200) from cars to household gadgets are being impacted.

And for want of learning power ( the youth is likely to become part of the useless class (  It’s time to be reminded of Vivekanand’s exhortation of “ Arise, awake and do not stop till the goal is reached”. 

And the goal is to develop a Scientific temper and become invaluable, not useless. The path is self-learning and learning to learn has been emphasised so much in the NEP2020. Developing a Scientific temper has been mentioned 4 at 4 places in the NEP 2020. 

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CBSE’s progressive and innovative initiatives:

The CBSE has done two commendable progressive and innovative acts recently. One is the new Data Science suite of courses for students from class 8 to 12. The other is the “AI for all” self-learning modules that bring AI awareness (1.5 hours) and AI appreciation (2.5 hours)for all. The program aims to introduce AI to one million citizens. We have more teachers than that number. All teachers should this and be ready for education 4.0. However teachers of today (and tomorrow) need to go beyond just awareness and appreciation of AI, and be able to deploy AI for better learning for all, even when the learners can’t go to a brick and mortar school. I have developed a monthlong WhatsApp delivered course “ AI fluent SmartEducator” that can be accessed with a mobile phone for educators who have received the badges for the AI awareness and AI appreciation module. The course is available every month from 6th September 2021. For further details :

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Bootstrapping kit to self-learn


Guy Claxton identified “ taughtitis” as an unintended consequence of learning at School ( ). 

Thomas Fray ( ) said if we insert a teacher between us and what we need to learn, we can’t learn fast enough to be ready for the future. 

Yuval Noah Harari has drawn attention ( ) to the possibility of falling into the “useless class” without a concerted effort …..

The NEP 2030 at para 4.6 has emphasised the criticality of “ learning to learn”, but not much help in how to become an autonomous learner has been made available. 

To respond to this need I have developed a WhatsApp course on “ Learning to Self-Learn” (

I have developed this approach to becoming an independent learner, that is based on a providing the learner with a number of resource kits to learn on one’s own a variety of subjects/skills. 

Self-learning is listed as “ Swadhyaya” amongst the 5 Niyamas of Patanjali Yoga, and is therefore our tradition long before the distortions created by the British rulers. In order to succeed and flourish in the future we need to embrace the emerging technologies of AI and machine learning on our firm foundations.  

One can get a sense of what is involved in becoming a successful self-learner by perusing the bootstrap kit for self-learning. This kit contains the following information, made available as a set of WhatsApp posts. Item 8 is the most useful in these, as it is a curated list of a number of very useful resources for self-learning: 

1: What is this kit for?

2: What this kit contains?

3: Quotations on self-learning

4: How to use this kit?

5: How AI changes things?

6: When teachers were humans

7: Levels of AI empowered self-learners

8: Resources for self-learners 

9: Threshold Concepts

10: What next?

To buy the kit please remit Rs 500/- through PayTM to mobile number 9810073724 or deposit into the following Bank account:

Name: Madan Mohan Pant

HDFC Bank Account No. : 26451000000301*

*(The account number is 26451 followed by six zeroes followed by 301)

IFSC: HDFC0002645

Address: HDFC Bank, Unitech Cyber Park, Sector 39, Gurgaon

Should you desire to know more, please WhatsApp, your query to :

 Prof. M. M. Pant  at +91 98100 73724

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Learning to Self-Learn:

Today marks one year of the NEP2020. One of its key recommendations is “ Learning to Learn”. These 5 videos give a glimpse of the future for which education should be preparing you. For everything that the education policy may not equip you with, you will have to find your own path, ( become आत्म निर्भर) if you want to avoid being a member of the ‘useless class’: 

1: Humans need not apply: CGP Grey (15 minutes)  :

2: Robots and AI: every job at risk (15 minutes) :

3: Yuval Noah Harari : automation and the useless class (4 minutes)  :

4: Guy Claxton on Learning Power (15 minutes)  :

5: Thomas Frey : 2030 and the future of education (3 minutes)  :

An hour spent watching these 5 videos could be life-changing. As the Buddha had said “ Be a lamp unto yourself”. 

In the Patanjali Yoga framework, it is listed among  the 5 niyamas as Swadhyaya ( स्वाध्याय)meaning self-learning as well as self-reflection, and resonating Socrates that “an unexamined life is not worth living”. 

Get started with :

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Educating Oneself for an unknown and uncertain world:

“Educating oneself for an unknown and uncertain world”

One of my favorite stories that I have been sharing these days is about Albert Einstein and his teaching assistant when he was teaching at Princeton University. He had just wrapped up administering a test to a group of second year physics students when his teaching assistant approached him and asked, “Dr. Einstein, wasn’t that the same exam you gave to this sameclass of students last year?”

Einstein paused for a moment then replied, “Yes, it was the same exam.”

Perplexed by that answer, his teaching assistant then asked, “ How could you give the same exam to the same class two years in a row?”

“You’re right, these are the same questions as last year”  Einstein replied– “but the answers have changed.”

The point Einstein was trying to make, was that due to the number of insights and discoveries in the field of physics, the correct answers at that moment were very different from what they were even a year ago. He had himself during the year published 4 pathbreaking papers, on Brownian movement, Special Theory of relativity, General theory of relativity and the photoelectric effect. And people like Heisenberg, Schroedinger, Neils  Bohr, Max Planck, Paul Dirac, Wolfgang Pauli and others were laying the foundations of Quantum Mechanics as the theory to describe the world. 

I love this story because it’s so reflective of how education has fundamentally transformed over just a year. Our Bharata Ratna Prof CNR Rao had said in a meeting at the Rashtrapati Bhawan in 2015 that 90% of our University Curricula were out of date ( Heads of 114 institutions where the President is the visitor were participating in the three-day Conference. But no one took note. 

Now a virus about 100 nm in diameter ( has shaken up the entire education system during the last year. 

The Questions regarding teaching are the same but the answers have changed, and many of you will agree, over the past one year. 

The same questions :

  • Who teaches?
  • Where do we teach? 
  • How do the learners access learning? 
  • How do we support learners ( pastoring)?
  • How do we assess learners? 
  • What learning resources do we deploy? 
  • How do we manage their credentials?

 What has changed? 

  • The mobile learning infrastructure : Reliance-Google collaboration with Android Go… the new Operating System. This was scheduled to be announced at the Reliance AGM on 24th June 2021, but there may be some hiccups according to reports. This phone is expected to reach 900 million users ( learners). 
  • From being banned in educational Institutions, the mobile device will become the key learning device. 
  • The 4th Industrial revolution : Klaus Schwab in WEF 2016. 
  • In January 2021 WEF estimated that a billion people have to be re-skilled by the year 2030. 
  • The 4th Education Revolution : Anthony Seldon 
  • The AI recommendation and personalisation engines 
  • Learning Software like AlphaGo Zero and self-driving cars
  • The Pandemic………imposed restrictions in movement and proximity….

What will be the new educational ecosystem?

10 Elements of the new educational eco-system: 

1: Educators who are AI empowered self-learning facilitators

2: Lifelong self-learning communities ( as opposed to age and stage based learning) and co-learning spaces. 

3: AI supported HelpDesks

4: A personal learning chatbot for every learner

5: AI powered learning Apps.( Duolingo, iMath etc.) 

6: An AI powered personalised assessment, monitoring and feedback system 

7: Learning Prescriptions, Learning Capsules and Learning Pills

8: Mobile Learning ( not desktop). 

9: Wearables for self-learning ( AR and VR) 

10: Blockchains and badges for credentials 

Like the development of Quantum Physics, each of these elements are being developed and explored by many entrepreneurs and innovators. From Sugata Mitra’s explorations in SOLE ( Self-organised learning environments: Child Driven Education  )to Teacherless software professional development as in Ecole42 (  and Elon Musk’s recent Synthesis initiative ( ) are all progressive steps that give glimpses of the future of education. In due course, they will merge into a new  Science of learning that will be able to function together, and address its  key challenges: the challenge of numbers, the challenge of quality, the challenge of access, the challenge of relevance and the challenge of costs.

The matter is urgent, because various reports have suggested the mismatch between what is expected of educated persons and what we have, to the extent that Yuval Noah Harari has warned of an emerging “useless class” (

As was said by William Gibson, almost 20 years back in an article in the The Economist, December 4, 2003…..” The future is already here  – it’s just not evenly distributed”


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Learning Prescriptions:

Learning Prescriptions: 

For about 5 years, since the World Economic Forum in January 2016 described the present era as the 4th Industrial Age, and Anthony Seldon used the phrase “ Fourth Education Revolution”, I have been exploring disruptive innovations in education. While using mobile phones as access devices and WhatsApp as the messaging platform was relatively easy to arrive at, the real disruptive thought was that the emphasis on teaching has to give way to focus on learning. British Universities have a long tradition of two formats, where most undergraduate courses are delivered through taught classes, but Masters degrees can be either postgraduate taught programmes (PGT) or research programmes (PGR).

In today’s time, with an  abundance of digital resources, especially AI powered learning Apps such as Duolingo, the alternative to ‘being taught’ is perhaps more desirable as Guy Claxton says in this video, traditional education causes “ taughtitis”

 I have created a WhatsApp course on “ Learning to Self-Learn”. For details follow this link :

This has been followed up by the concept of “ Learning Prescriptions” for what is not traditionally taught or not accessible to you. I had been earlier espousing the idea of a “ to learn” list in analogy to the “ to do “ list that is well known in project implementation. Prescriptions have a better possibility of being acted upon and followed, than mere suggestions or exhortations. I am developing this concept, as learning is eventually personalised. It builds upon the concepts of “ Bibliotherapy” and “ CBT: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy” to create a product for self-directed learners, who would want to follow the 5- hour rule and try to stay away from joining the useless class predicted by Yuval Noah Harari 

I just did a short one hour WhatsApp fast a-synchronous session scheduled from 4pm to 5pm on 26th May 2021 for about 70 participants to explain this concept and share a sample Learning Prescription for “ Visualising the world in 2030”. 

In future, this program will be on offer, every Sunday from 4pm to 5pm. To know more, kindly send a WhatsApp message to Prof MM Pant at +919810073724

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The Transformational Term:

The Transformational Term: 

The phrase “ Transformational Term” refers to the period of transformation from adolescence (~15 years) to adult/ youth ( ~18 years)of an individual. It also refers to the transformation from ‘education for the past’ which could be about the Vedic times, the 5th Century, the 15th Century or even the last two decades of the 21st Century, to the future beginning with the 3rd decade of the 21st Century. Most progressive thinkers agree that the future, even the present decade itself, is very different from the entire past. The “Transformational Term” is also very crucial for adult learners, getting ready for the rest of their lives. It is important to appreciate that Future readiness isn’t expensive. It’s priceless. But only around 5% of the youth and their parents are aware and informed about this. 

While there are many evolutionary and disruptive changes taking place before our eyes, I have made a small endeavour to facilitate this transformation for those who wish to future proof their learning and career. 

I have developed and have on offer from June 2021 through WhatsApp a set of six one month long course modules that can be pursued during this transformational term. They are :

1: Learning to Self-Learn ( L2SL) :

2: Becoming Invaluable, not Useless (BINU):

3: Making Sense of Artificial Intelligence ( MSAI):

4: Readiness for a Quantum Future (R4QF):

5: The Foundations of Biology (TFOB):

6: Becoming Fluent in Mathematics (BFIM) :

The duration of this transformational term can be customised by  each person and can range from 6 months to 2 months, depending upon the learner. 

A: The six month default plan is to pursue the 6 courses in the listed order. Alternatively after doing the first course in the first month, the remaining 5 courses may be done in any order. So there would be 5! or 120 different routes to do the 6 month program. 

B: The four month plan would have course 1 in the first month, 2 courses each in the next 2 months and 1 course in the 4th month. In this model, the second month courses can be chosen in 10 different ways and the  3rd month courses can be chosen in 6 ways, leading to 60 choices for this model . 

C: The three month plan would have the first course in the first month, 2 courses in the 2nd month and the remaining 3 courses in the 3rd month. the 2 courses for the second month can be chosen in 10 different ways. Even that is a lot of choice. 

D: For the really enthusiastic ultra-learner, this suite of 6 courses may be done in 2 months. The first month pursuing these 3 courses concurrently : 1: Learning to Self-Learn ( L2SL) ; 2: Becoming Invaluable, not Useless (BINU) and 3: Making Sense of Artificial Intelligence ( MSAI). Then during the second month the remaining 3 courses may be pursued concurrently :4: Readiness for a Quantum Future (QR); 5: The Foundations of Biology (TFOB) and 6: Becoming Fluent in Mathematics (BFIM). 

Compressing the 6 courses into a shorter time frame is not recommended, and the first month should always begin with course 1: Learning to Self-Learn. 

We are offering a big choice in the sequence/ path that the learner may choose to structure “ The Transformational Term”. 

Brief descriptors of the courses: 

1: Learning to Self-Learn ( L2SL) :

This course begins with drawing attention to the significance of self-learning, describes the attributes of successful self-learners, and explains the techniques ( or you may call them the toolkit) for becoming a successful self-learner. It concludes with sharing how technology in general, and AI in particular can help in making a better self-learner

2: Becoming Invaluable, not Useless (BINU) :

There are several reports that indicate the widespread job losses for educated workers and professionals. The title of this course is a reaction to the 2017 statement by Yuval Noah Harari that the rise in AI technologies would create a “useless class”. The WEF in its January 2020 meeting estimated that about a billion people have to be reskilled by the year 2030. The key to prospering, flourishing and thriving in the future will be to continuously enhance your value and become the most ‘invaluable’ person in your niche. This 4 week course helps build a general ‘immunity’ against knowledge obsolescence by fostering skills considered valuable by various think tanks and forward looking organisations. But the foundation for becoming invaluable is “ Fostering a Scientific Temper”, a fundamental duty cast upon all Indians by Article 51A(h) of the Constitution of India. 

3: Making Sense of Artificial Intelligence ( MSAI):

We are now in the 4th Industrial Age and while Artificial Intelligence has been compared to being the new electricity, it’s availability through the cloud and mobile devices is much more universal. Since AI helps automate tasks which were earlier done by humans, it’s potential to enhance almost all human activities is enormous.  This is an introductory course for anyone who is curious to know what are the various aspects of AI. That is why it has been given the title ” Making Sense of Artificial Intelligence”. This course is a fascinating introduction for the curious, with substantial guidance on more for the serious. 

4: Readiness for a Quantum Future(R4QF):

After the nuclear race, the space race and the AI race, it is the Quantum race that has the spotlight. Quantum Technologies will shape science and the world economy, re-defining the speed, and scale of scientific and technological progress in the future.  Google achieved ‘ Quantum Supremacy’, on 23rd October 2019.

Quantum readiness, therefore, is a very crucial element of future readiness.     

Thus students of all streams, engineering, medical or business are well advised to get an early start on appreciating the quantum world. 

5: The Foundations of Biology (TFOB) :

Biology is the science of life. Its name is derived from the Greek words “bios” (life) and “logos” (study). Biologists study the structure, function, growth, origin, evolution and distribution of living organisms. 

The customary introduction of fundamental biological entities such as individual organisms, cells, genes, catalysts and motors remains largely descriptive. This new introductory course attempts to  describe the foundations of biology in terms of a certain unity of human knowledge that transcends discipline boundaries. 

6: Becoming Fluent in Mathematics (BFIM) :

Galileo said that the book of nature is written in the language of Mathematics.  

Mathematics is humanity’s best tool for trying to describe how the world works; indeed, the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics at explaining the world is a bit of a mystery. It is therefore said to be the Queen of Sciences. 

This unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics is both an asset and a curse. It’s clearly an asset in that it generates interest in the subject to have key problems solved. On the other hand, it’s a curse because it leads people to misunderstand the reason for doing mathematics is its present day utility.


My Scheduled posts time :

Around Lunch-time:

12:30 to 1:30 pm : Learning to Self-Learn ( L2SL) 

1:00 pm to 2:00 pm : Readiness for a Quantum Future (R4QF)

During afternoon tea-time:

4:00 pm to 5:00 pm : Becoming Invaluable, not Useless (BINU)

4:30 pm to 5:30 pm : The Foundations of Biology (TFOB)

Over Dinner: 

7:30 pm to 8:30 pm : Making Sense of Artificial Intelligence ( MSAI)

8:00 pm to 9:00 pm : Becoming Fluent in Mathematics (BFIM) 

Scheduled dates in June 2021:

1st week : Tuesday June 1st to Saturday June 5th

2nd week: Monday June 7th to Friday June 11th

3rd week: Monday June 14th to Friday June 18th

4th week: Monday June 21st to Friday June 25th

Scheduled dates in July 2021:

1st week: Monday July  5th to Friday July 9th

2nd week: Monday July 12th to Friday July 16th

3rd week : Monday July 19th to Friday July 23rd

4th week : Monday July 26th to Friday July 30th

The schedule for later months will be shared nearer the course offerings, as there may be other changes as well.

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Learning Prescriptions:

Learning Prescriptions:

During the last year, it has become clear that we need new innovations in education. One such innovation is the “ Learning Prescription”. I had been earlier espousing the idea of a “ to learn” list in analogy to the “ to do “ list that is now well known in project implementation.

The five-hour rule was coined by Michael Simmons, founder of Empact, who has written about it widely. The concept is wonderfully simple: No matter how busy successful people are, they always spend at least an hour a day — or five hours a work week — learning or practicing. And they do this across their entire career. For more read here : ……

When you make learning a habit, you’ll very likely be more successful and productive across different areas of your life. By investing in a reading habit, you can ensure you’re growing yourself — and your company — every day.

Prescriptions have a better possibility of being acted upon and followed, than mere advice or exhortations. I am developing this concept, as learning is eventually personalised.

To get a flavour of what “ Learning Prescriptions” might look like, here is a sample 5-hour learning prescription to use during the coming week. Prescription to be carried out to build ‘ learning power’. 


Videos: (5) ~ 3 hours

1: Ken Robinson : The element (40 minutes) :

2: Paul Nurse : What is Life? (60 minutes) :

3: The map of Mathematics (11 minutes ):

4: The usefulness of useless knowledge: (55 minutes) :

5: Why most people will remain in mediocrity (12 minutes) :


1: The Sabre tooth curriculum:

2: The Dragon Slayer Curriculum:

3: The parrots tale:

4: ElDorado :

5: On being the right size:

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Success Skills for School Leavers:

Later in the day, I am in conversation with a group of students who should be completing their School education soon. Unlike their seniors who had a rather predictable and deterministic future, these children of the 21st Century are witnessing that what lies ahead is a VUCA ( Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous ) world. While the details of the courses and career paths will be unique to each person, here are some general suggestions for them to prosper, flourish and thrive in the coming age of Intelligent Machines. Inspired by the 8 sutras of Patanjali Yoga and the 8-fold path of Buddhism, I have prioritised 8 skills. The first 4 of them are generic skills and the other 4 are more specific. They are: 

1: Learning to Self-Learn

2: Pursue Mastery Learning 

3: Fostering a Scientific temper 

4: Developing Foresight 

5: Fluency in Mathematics 

6: Fundamentals of Biology

7: Making Sense of Artificial Intelligence

8: Become Quantum Ready

To explore these further, feel free to seek guidance from Prof. MM Pant. 

e-mail :

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