Former PM’s grandson talks education to seek votes

April 29th, 2009 - 3:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, April 29 (IANS) Raising the academic standards in Uttar Pradesh and transforming it into an education hub are the electoral promises of Congress Lok Sabha candidate for Fatehpur seat, Vibhakar Shastri, the grandson of former prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri.
“Although it’s true that of late several education institutions have come up in Uttar Pradesh, in terms of imparting quality education the state is still lagging behind,” Shastri told IANS over phone from Fatehpur Wednesday.

The constituency goes to polls in the third phase Thursday.

“You must have seen that despite having same education qualification, there is a disparity between salary of a Uttar Pradesh student and his counterpart belonging to Delhi or Bombay,” said Shastri.

“The disparity is only due to the difference in the level of educational standards between colleges here and those in other states.”

He said that out of several higher education institutions, only few were focussing on imparting quality education and grooming students in sync with market demands.

“I don’t have any hesitation in saying that education in the state has become a business. Without having adequate infrastructure, colleges and higher education institutions are being set up in the state.”

Expressing concern over the mushrooming of educational institutes in the state, Shastri said: “Such a situation is only taking our youths towards unemployment and frustration. We need to understand this and make efforts to raise academic standards in the state.”

Fatehpur was a Congress bastion till 1984.

“For nearly 10 years, my father Hari Krishna Shastri represented Fatehpur. After him no parliamentarian elected from Fatehpur bothered to work like my father who was referred to as ‘Vikas Purush’ by the locals here.”

“It’s surprising that even V.P. Singh, who was elected to parliament in 1989 and 1991 from Fatehpur and became the prime minister could not do much for development,” said Shastri, who faces V.P. Singh’s son, Ajeya Singh, an independent candidate.

Even as the electoral fate of Shastri is yet to be decided, he has already initiated talks with several renowned education institutes to expand their base in the state.

“Yes it’s true that I have started too early. But it’s necessary to bring the desired changes.”

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