Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor on Thursday said India needs to have more institutions of higher education.
"Union Minister Kapil Sibal made a spirited speech defending higher education in the country in the parliament. But we have not yet got to the place where we should have been. What the US offers in terms of education is an extraordinary opportunity to broaden our horizon and expand our mind," Tharoor told IANS.
The minister, clad in a black bandhgala (formal Indian jacket), addressed a select gathering of educationists, publishers and bureaucrats at the launch of Renuka Raja Rao's book, "Yes! You Can Study in America: A Definitive Guide for Aspiring Students" at the WWF auditorium here.
"We need to have both - more institutions of higher learning and a wider range of subjects. The gamut of subjects that we offer our students is not wide enough. I want to see more higher education opportunities open up for students from all over the country. The vision that has been laid out in parliament - vis-à-vis higher education - must bear fruit," Tharoor said.
He justified his demand citing a personal example. "When I left for US in 1975, there were just five IITs in the country. After more than three decades, there are about only seven or eight IITs in the country. By now, India should have had more than 30 IITs," he said.
Tharoor's new book is ready to hit the bookstores. "It is a book on which I was working last year with the envoy from Pakistan Shahryar Khan. The book is titled, 'Shadows Across The Playing Field'. It is about cricket in India and Pakistan and its impact on the relationship between both the countries," Tharoor, who looked smug in his new avatar, said with a laugh.
It will be published by Roli Books.