Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar on Tuesday said the answer to country’s sustainable transformation lies in its education system, as he underscored how India was once prosperous in the past due to universities like Nalanda, Takshila and Vikramshila.
“I always say India had 25% of the world GDP and 35% of world trade for centuries together. Today, we are not even 1% of world trade. We are lagging behind as far as GDP is concerned,” he said.
“And therefore, how nation can sustainably transform is the real thing. The the answers lies in our education system,” he said.
Javadekar was speaking through a video link at an international conclave on higher education organised in Gandhinagar as part of pre-Vibrant Gujarat Investors’ Summit. He could not come here due to injury that prevents him from travelling for 10-15 days, he said.
Javadekar said that had there been a ranking system in the past, universities like Nalanda, Takshila, Vikramshila would have ranked number 1, 2 and 3 in the world.
“Indian universities were the best. The world’s talent used to come here to learn. So I believe that only those countries can prosper which have the best of universities,” he said, stressing the need to improve higher education in the country.
For making higher education better, he said, we first need to improve “the learning outcomes of primary and secondary education”.
“In primary education, we have to inculcate and promote inquisitiveness in a student. Because that is the foundation for any new innovation. Unless you promote inquisitiveness, there will be no new thoughts and people won’t be able to inculcate innovative attitude,” he said.
“But at the higher learning centres, a government’s duty is to provide atmosphere for research, innovation and improvement of quality,” he further said.