Pitroda advocates urgent education reforms

August 11th, 2008 - 10:15 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 11 (IANS) A groundswell was needed to bring about large-scale reforms in the education system, National Knowledge Commission (NKC) chairman Sam Pitroda said here Monday. Describing the Indian education system as a mess, Pitroda said there were three fundamental challenges for reforms - expansion, excellence and access.

“If we do not try a generational change in education now, it will be too late,” he said at a seminar organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry.

Pitroda said it was necessary to scale up the pace of development, both in education and vocational training. “We can no longer look at growth rates of 5-10 percent, a quantum leap is what is required,” he said.

“In the next few decades, India will probably have the largest set of young people in the world. Given this demographic advantage, we are optimally positioned to leapfrog in the race for social and economic development.”

The concern about quality of workforce was also mentioned by NKC member Ashok Ganguly. He referred to a study on entrepreneurship by the NKC, which found that one in three entrepreneurs found it difficult to find the right personnel.

Ganguly said contrary to popular perception, entrepreneurship was a countrywide phenomenon and it was this that would propel the future Indian growth story.

He said it was for the industry to step forward and initiate steps to promote skills. The government, according to him, could only be a facilitator and not a deliverer.

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