Manmohan turns emotional at his alma mater

Manmohan turns emotional at his alma mater

 
Addressing the audience, Singh said he had spent some of the best years of his life at the University - first as a student and later as a faculty member at the Economics department.

“I have no hesitation in saying that the education I received in Panjab University has played a major part in whatever I have achieved in life,” he said.

Calling for structural reforms in the higher education system,  Singh said that the country had a mammoth task of providing access to good education to every citizen of the country. “Only about 12 pc of students who completed secondary education enroll for higher education. This does not at all compare well with the figure of about 70 pc in some developed countries and is much lower than the figure of about 20 pc in some south -east Asian countries,” he said.

Manmohan said the existing imbalances needed to be addressed as nearly half of the institutions of higher learning exist in only five states of the country. “Nearly 70 pc of the total intake capacity for professional courses exists in another five states… there is a large gender gap in enrolments for higher education and there are large intra-state imbalances as well,” the PM said adding, “we must address these deficiencies.”

He also spoke about the problem of quality in the higher education system saying most of them produced pass-outs who were nowhere near international standards. He said one dimension of the quality deficit is the difficulty in recruiting top class faculty for the new IIMs, IITs and Central universities and other institutions that the government had decided to establish in the past five years.

Singh said that the government intended to undertake series of reforms in the coming months based on the reports of National Knowledge Commission and the Committee to Advice on Renovation and Rejuvenation of Higher Education.

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