President Pratibha Patil on Thursday announced that the Manmohan Singh government would focus on passing the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Bill pending before parliament, while it was committed to making every woman in the country literate in the next five years.
"The focus (of the new government) will be on making quality education a right through the enactment of the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Bill now under consideration of parliament," the president said.
Addressing both houses of parliament, Patil said: "My government will recast the national literacy mission as a national mission for female literacy to make every woman literate in the next five years."
She added: "Increased female literacy is expected to become a force multiplier for all our social development programmes."
The president pointed out that the male literacy went up to over 75 percent in the last census, but the percentage of literate women was only 54 percent in 2001.
Speaking on higher education, she said there would be a "massive expansion" in it while "the government's strategy for higher education will be formulated around a three-fold objective of expansion, inclusion and excellence".
Patil said the suggestions given by the National Knowledge Commission for this would be helpful.
"The massive expansion in higher education through new institutions under implementation in the Eleventh Plan will enable the country to meet the challenge of education in full measure," she said.