Education is the route to eradicate poverty and every child in India must be educated, BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in Chennai on Sunday.
Speaking at the 9th convocation of the SRM University near Chennai, Modi said: "This is an era of knowledge. This is the only potent route to fight poverty. We have to review our commitment to education."
He also said that the private sector should be given a free hand to promote education.
However, the government should set up major institutions like the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in all states.
Reminding the students that very few people were able to access good educational institutions in the country, Modi urged them help the underprivileged.
Modi said 65% of India's population was under 35 years, and youths needed to embrace skill and speed.
Skill development, he said, was the need of the hour and should get priority.
"Japan is a small country but is running bullet trains," he said.
He said India was a diverse country with diverse natural resources which have to be harnessed efficiently.
Naural resources should be mined in a sustainable manner while the rivers must be linked.
Stressing the importance of developing scientific temper, Modi said research and development as well as innovations have to be encouraged.
Modi advised the students to create in India companies like Google and Microsoft.
Avinash Chander, scientific advisor to the defence minister and director general of the Defence Research and Development Organisation, called for setting up of more R and D institutions in India.
He said sustained efforts were needed so that the armed forces have cutting edge technologies.
Earlier, SRM University founder chancellor TR Pachamuthu said that 70% of its students hailed from outside Tamil Nadu. Its student population was drawn from 47 countries, he said.
SRM University was also one of the few universities in the world to put a satellite in space, Pachamuthu said.