'Revamp education for India's rise'

'Revamp education for India's rise'

honour: Governor H R Bhardwaj presents the honorary D Litt degree of the Karnataka State Open University to Chairman of Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister Prof C N R Rao in Bangalore on Thursday.  Vice-Chancellor Prof K S Rangappa and Registrar Prof  Jagadeesh are seen. dh PhotoCompared to China, which has declared itself the world leader in economy, sports and military capability, India has the potential to be among the top three in scientific advancement, only if the quality of education is improved, Rao feels.

In his acceptance speech after being conferred the honorary D Litt by the Karnataka State Open University (KSOU) Mysore, at the Raj Bhavan here on Thursday, the scientific advisor to the prime minister lamented the “inadequate” investment in higher education.

Asserting that Bangalore is India’s capital in education and science, Rao said that the city could be the best in the world in these areas. “It’s sad that people forget to mention Bangalore’s eminence in science and education. Long before Independence, the city was the country’s torch-bearer in these crucial areas of human development,” he remarked.

At present, Rao continued, the State government was not investing enough in higher education. Besides, poor children in villages are being ignored. “We can progress only when poor children from rural Karnataka get facilities,” he said.

A great feeling

On receiving the degree, he said it was a “great feeling” to be honoured in his home city and State. “I’m a genuine Bangalorean. But that may seem strange as very few Bangaloreans are around,” Rao quipped.

Joining the debate, Governor H R Bhardwaj acknowledged the City’s pre-eminence and compared it to an ancient Greek city which had produced numerous luminaries in science and education.

On the rivalry with China, he said there was no comparison between the two in science and education, as it was the Chinese who used to come to the Nalanda University to learn and get degrees in ancient India.

The governor said education and health in rural India were still highly deficient but distant learning could transform the scenario. “My village has not improved from what it was during the British Raj. Unless rural India is served, we cannot prosper,” he observed.

The real problem, he went on to say, was that the review of the administrative sector was not being done. “Education should be managed by educationists, not others,” he added.  In his view, there is resentment among the youth because of deliberate bad governance. “Youngsters are waiting for results. It’s time to deliver,” he added.  On the occasion, the governor expressed his displeasure over the state of universities in Karnataka. “I’m not happy about the functioning of the varsities here. There’s a lot to be done. Teachers have to be recruited and the administration has to be improved,” he added. K S Rangappa, vice-chancellor, KSOU, was present.

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