A culture of rote learning in Indian schools could be partly to blame for the “copy and paste” mentality that undermines the country's research (see A. Chaurasia Nature 534, 591; 2016). Instead, children should be learning the importance of critical thinking, problem-solving and real-life application.
Attempts to abolish rote learning so far extend only to private schools (see go.nature.com/2am4jdb). However, many more children stand to gain from the innovative non-government education initiative Ekal Vidyalaya, which uses a creative educational approach through a system of one-teacher schools in rural areas and tribal villages (www.ekal.org).
Early results of public consultations by the government's Committee for Evolution of the New Education Policy and its Framework for Action promise other alternatives (see go.nature.com/2au3pej). And the 13 bold themes related to school education that have been identified as areas for improvement (see go.nature.com/2aurjby) should enable a new future.