Prez lays stress on women safety

There is a pressing need to bring about change in mindset of society: Pranab

President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday called for improving the security and welfare of women. He said there was a “pressing need to bring about a change in the mindset of society so that women are treated with dignity and respect.”

 Mukherjee, who had spoken about women’s safety often in the last few weeks, referred to it again while addressing the 44th conference of governors. He said they were meeting “in the shadow of an unfortunate incident of brutal rape and death of a young woman in Delhi which had shaken the collective conscience of the nation.”

 He said the government had taken prompt action on the recommendations made by the Justice Verma Committee following which the government came out with the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2013. The ordinance is ready for introduction in the Budget Session of Parliament.

The President said there was an urgent need to strengthen the delivery systems of government programmes. A look at the states that had progressed faster than others indicated that they “have strong and well-administered delivery systems.”

Mukherjee said there had been an improvement in the country’s internal security in 2012.
 “India is a nation of young people,” Mukherjee said. Therefore, the country “can reap the demographic dividend by providing proper education and skills. Since the bulk of the enrolment takes place in state institutions, the role of governors as chancellors of the state universities assumes significance.  It should be the endeavour of all chancellors to promote access to higher education with equity and excellence.”

He urged the governors to address faculty shortage and improve quality of research. They should inspire a culture of innovation and increase the use of technology for improving access to higher education as also to improve quality. They must make education more employment-oriented.

Since state universities lack financial resources, the 12th Plan has recommended a strategic shift in central funding for higher education through a new programme called  “Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan.”

 “The Central Government is launching a national mission on teachers and teaching to address issues relating to faculty in a holistic manner and suggest ways to strengthen the institutional mechanisms at all levels to provide vertical and lateral linkages.

Our institutions of higher education must create an enabling ecosystem which encourages research, innovation and entrepreneurship. They need to evolve from their present role as knowledge providers to knowledge creators and promote wealth generation.

Excellence to compete in a highly competitive global society should be developed and joint efforts should be focused to build an enlightened citizenry and promote a knowledge society,” he said.

Mukherjee also laid stress on conserving water.

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