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Rise up to the challenges

It’s the academia, not businesses, which can tackle problems of the 21st century, says HRD Minister

education Updated: Nov 11, 2009 09:24 IST

Academia has to play a big role in facing the challenges of the 21st century. That was Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal’s clarion call to the global academic leaders. He urged them to put their heads together to find low-cost solutions to the pressing problems faced by India and the world. “The challenges of the 21st century are truly global and we need to meet these challenges together. Entities that will find solutions to these challenges will have to come from the academia, not from business houses,” he declared while inaugurating the FICCI Higher Education Summit 2009, in partnership with USA, USIEF and the Ministry of Human Resource Development, recentlyIn India, the minister said, there was an economic opportunity waiting to be tapped of finding unique solutions specific to the country and applicable to other parts of the world. These opportunities would arise as the country develops and requires skilled manpower like engineers, doctors, paramedics and paralegals. And these solutions would emerge from the concerted and collaborative efforts of the academia, he declared, adding that, “It is in the interest of foreign education providers to develop appropriate, green technologies that are low-cost so that the community at large can benefit from such solutions.”

The partner country for the Summit was the US, which mounted a big delegation of academia led by Prof. Richard Levin, President of Yale University.

In his keynote address, Prof Richard Levin, pointed out that increasing access to higher education in India will require the expansion of enrollment at existing institutions and creation of many new ones at all levels.