'Gear up to face future challenges'

KSOU convocation:

Proud achievers: Swamy T D, Mohammed Hamid, Shivakumar B E, Latha and Nagamma with their medals and certificates at the 11th KSOU convocation, in Mysore on Monday. DH PhotoThe coming years will open unimaginable and unprecedented opportunities for the youth in the country.

The students should be prepared to explore the opportunities and face new challenges and competition that comes along with it, said Dr Narendra Jadhav, member, Planning Commission and National Advisory Council, Government of India here on Monday.

In his address at the 11th convocation of Karnataka State Open University (KSOU) at Kalamandira, he said the country was marching towards attaining the status of economic super power. “The opportunities will come with new challenges and competition.

Students should shape their career to face the future challenges and competitive environment ahead. The education sector should empower the students in information communication technology (ICT),” Jadhav remarked.

He said the country was passing through a critical phase of development and progress, where it aims to take advantage of the demographic dividend available in the form of young population.

Average age

By 2020, the average age of the Indian population would be 29 years compared to average age of 37 years in the United States and China, average age of 42 years and 48 years of Europe and Japan respectively. “We converted the economic crisis of 1991 into an opportunity. The economy grew by six per  cent in the first decade of post liberalisation.

Recession

The GDP growth was eight per cent thereafter till the recession. If the US and European countries trailed in minus growth, the Indian economy withstood the economic depression and grew by almost 6.5 per cent. The growth is back on track with eight per cent improvement in 2009-10, with country expecting to achieve double-digit leap in coming years. The sustaining of the double-digit growth in future years would be a real challenge, he said.

“To sustain the growth, the growth enrollment ratio (GER) in education sector must go up. Presently, the GER in higher education is 14 per cent, when the world average is 24 per cent. If the developed countries have GER of above 58 per cent, the ratio of many developing countries is higher than India’s GER at 18 per cent.

The Governments need to step up the investment in the education sector to achieve the target of atleast 25 per cent GER in a decade,” he said.

According to Jadhav, reaching 25 per cent GER rate would require the country to increase the number of universities from present 500 to 1500 and invest around nine lakh crores.

The target should be achieved with the public-private-partnership efforts, the Narendra Jadhav observed.

On the occasion, graduate and post graduate degrees in humanities, social sciences, commerce and management, science and technology and education were conferred on 18,328 candidates. The University also awarded 21 PhDs in different streams. In all, 35 students were presented the gold medals and 22 students with endowments and cash prizes.

Annual report

In his annual report, Vice-Chancellor of KSOU K S Rangappa said the total enrollments in KSOU will cross two lakh candidates this year and listed the future plans for university.

He said the university will host a global conference on ‘Open and Distance Learning in Global Environment - Issues and Challenges’ between Sept 21 and 23 this year.

Delegates from over 150 countries are expected to participate in the deliberation, the Vice-Chancellor said.  

Chancellor and Governor H R Bhardwaj, registrar K R Jayaprakash Rao, members of the Board of Management (BoM) of KSOU, heads and deans of various departments were present.

Noted economist and member of Planning Commission and National Advisor Council and who is on various boards of financial institutions laid a nine-point mantra for the students to achieve success, during his convocation address at Kalamandir here.
The mantra read as follows:

*Aim and dream high
*Whatever you aim, act on
*There is no substitute for hardwork
*Never take shortcut to success
*Time management is key for students, professionals
*Never compromise on quality of input and output.
*You can never find an alternative for motherland and parents - respect both.
*Have social commitment
*Sport right and positive attitude 

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