Pranab favours establishing smaller universitiesNovember 17th, 2009 - 7:31 pm ICT by IANS
Shimla, Nov 17 (IANS) Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee Tuesday advocated the need for establishing smaller universities which were “easier to manage” and would serve to capture “synergies between teaching and research”.
“In line with the recommendations of the National Knowledge Commission, I am in favour of establishing smaller universities which are responsive to change and easier to manage. It’s only thus that the universities would become the hub of research to capture synergies between teaching and research that mutually enrich each other,” he said, addressing the 17th convocation of the Himachal Pradesh University here.
Mukherjee was participating in the convocation for the second time - but after a gap of 27 years. The last time he was the chief guest at the convocation function here was in 1982.
Noting that India was a vast country with a population of more than 100 crore, he said 65 percent of the population is below the age of 30 and this could be “both an asset and a threat”.
“The daunting task before us the governments - central and state - is to turn this population into an asset through the instrumentality of education. However, our education has to be such as does not promote the standard of living alone but also the standard of life,” Mukherjee said.
He said a number of steps have been taken by the central government, such as emphasis on human resource development and initiating a national skill development mission to create skills among youth which are commensurate with the requirements of the industry.
Meanwhile, the recommendations of the National Knowledge Commission report were being implemented by the state governments and institutions of higher education, he added.
The minister praised girl students for outnumbering the male counterparts in securing merit in various disciplines.
“This is delightful experience that the girls have outnumbered their male counterparts in receiving medals and degrees. I hope rest of the country will follow the trend established by Himachal Pradesh University.”
Degrees were awarded to 184 students on the occasion.
Himachal Pradesh Governor Prabha Rau and Education Minister I.D. Dhiman were present on the occasion. Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal was not present as he is on a visit to Israel.
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