Set up institutions to train youth to make India economic power: Prez

Set up institutions to train youth to make India economic power: Prez

President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday called for setting up institutions of higher learning to hone youngsters’ skills to make India a global economic leader.

"Every year, around 600 million youngsters in India enter the job market, but their employability is low. Hence, we need to hone their skills by training for which institutions are needed,” Mukherjee observed after laying the foundation stone for Bengaluru Dr B R Ambedkar School of Economics (BASE) at a function at Vidhana Soudha.

The President appreciated the Karnataka government’s move to start a Skill University and said India needed to train 500 million youngsters. “Nalanda, Takshashila and Vikramashila universities attracted scholars and students from across the world around 1,500 years ago.

There is no dearth for talent in Indian students, but we need a bunch of teachers to identity youngsters and develop their personality,” Mukherjee stated.

The President expressed concern over the quality of students passing out of universities. "There are over 760 universities, over 36,000 colleges, besides 114 central institutions in the country. Campus recruitment has been 100%, while we produce excellent engineers and managers. Many outgoing students seek jobs in America, Australia, England and New Zealand. Why haven't these institutions produced a single Nobel laurate?” Mukherjee asked.

“Sir C V Raman was the last Indian scientist to bag the Nobel Prize in 1931. Har Gobind Khorana, Sir C V Raman and Chandrashekhar were all products of the Indian universities,’’ he said. ``BASE should not be a localised institution, but an institution of international repute,” he added.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said his government wanted to set up a higher learning school on the lines of London School of Economics. “BASE will promote research and training in theoretical and applied economics, along with social sciences. It will mentor economists, who contribute to the country, keeping in view Dr B R Ambedkar’s ideals. The government has allocated Rs 150 crore for BASE and Rs 75 crore will be released in the next five years.

Besides, it will get a recurring grant of Rs 10 crore every year,” he said.

‘I don’t care for Anna Bhagya’s critics’

“I am not an economist, I have presented 12 budgets. When I finalise the budget, I remember a poor man of my village going to his landlord’s house begging for rice for his sick daughter as she cannot digest ragi. Anna Bhagya scheme was born out of that vivid memory. English media is opposed to the scheme, but I don't care for such critics as they are ignorant about hunger. We want Karnataka to be a hunger-free state,” Siddaramaiah said.

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