Union finance minister P Chidambaram on Sunday slammed the country's education system saying many universities were mere teaching shops with poor infrastructure, outdated textbooks and under-qualified faculty.
He said this after inaugurating the newly constructed campus of Indian School of Business (ISB) at SAS Nagar near here on Sunday.
"We are giving degrees and not values," he said, adding that the ISB was one of the handfuls of institutes in India that could be called world-class. He called upon business houses to get out of their routine business and help society by imparting education.
The finance minister along with chief minister Parkash Singh Badal was at SAS Nagar to
formally open the newly constructed building of the ISB.
He said the ISB was earlier offered to Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, but the loss of these states was Punjab's gain. He was all praise for the state government for having lapped up the project offered to it four years ago, the construction for which
started in 2010.
The minister said there was large talent available in India but there were limited opportunities. "My firm belief is that talent is evenly distributed in society and doesn't
belong to a particular class. The efforts of the governments should be to provide opportunities," he added.
He called upon the managements running educational institutes not to succumb to entreaties as it led to compromise in the quality of the institute.
Talking about the union government's commitment to education, the finance minister said 24 lakh students had benefited from the education facility and banks had given advances amounting to Rs 5,200 crore. "Banks must fund education so as to produce high-quality human resources," he said. He advised fresh graduates to work anywhere in the world to earn money but come back to India as India is a land of challenges and a lot needed to be done here.
Speaking on the occasion, Badal said the ISB was the most successful model of public-private partnerships in the state. "I hope the ISB would be the new trendsetter and would continue to invest its human resources to become a school on par with the best of global business schools," said Badal.
Businessmen in attendance
The event was attended by high-profile businessmen, including the chairman of the ISB, Adi Godrej, and founding board members of the SAS Nagar campus, Analjit Singh of Max group, Rakesh Bharti Mittal of Bharti group, Sunil Kant Munjal of Hero group and Atul Punj of Punj Lloyd.
Speaking on the occasion, Ajit Rangnekar, dean, ISB, said, "The inauguration of the SAS Nagar campus is an important milestone in the ISB's 11-year history of setting benchmarks in the field of management education."
The ISB was established in Hyderabad in 2001 and offers its flagship one-year postgraduate programme in management besides the postgraduate programme in management for senior executives. It has over 4,400 alumni spread across over 25 countries.