Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday said India is seen as a major knowledge power due to its skilled manpower and research institutions and that only quality education can help in benefiting from the growth process.
Among the several initiatives in education spelt out in his Independence Day speech from the Red Fort Monday, the prime minister said his government would focus on both primary education and higher learning, particularly for the youth.
We have a large proportion of young people in our population. We will need to invest in their education and health so that their future prospects are bright. By doing so, our population will become our biggest asset, he said.
Along with primary education, we need to pay attention to higher education. If India is seen around the world as a rising knowledge power, it is because of our universities and research institutions, he added.
The prime minister also sought the nation`s support to achieve excellence in academic work in the 150th anniversary year of the universities of Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai.
If we want to maintain our rapid economic growth, we also need to improve the quality of these institutions and also create many more such institutions, said Singh, who was educated at Oxford and Cambridge.
Manmohan Singh said his government was trying to ensure literacy among the first generation learners, universal primary education and education of the girl with a resolute commitment that no child is deprived of schooling.
We need to make education joyful, interesting and meaningful so that children develop a desire to go to school, he said, adding it was also the government`s hope that women become as literate as men in the near future.
The world today sees India as a major knowledge power whose people are skilled, competent, hard working and peace loving, he said.
India, he added, was proud of scientists, doctors, engineers and scholars for their contributions
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