Empower youth with skills for India’s growth: Paranab Mukherjee | punjab$chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Empower youth with skills for India’s growth: Paranab Mukherjee

Stressing the need to transform higher education in India, President of India Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday urged educational institutes to provide opportunities to the young population.

punjab Updated: Nov 21, 2016 12:57 IST
HT Correspondent
Industrialist Adi Godrej felicitating ndustrialist Adi Godrej felicitating President Pranab Mukherjee in presence of Punjab governor VP Badnore (left) and Union minister Prakash Javadekar at the ISB, SAS Nagar, on Sunday.
Industrialist Adi Godrej felicitating ndustrialist Adi Godrej felicitating President Pranab Mukherjee in presence of Punjab governor VP Badnore (left) and Union minister Prakash Javadekar at the ISB, SAS Nagar, on Sunday.(Ravi Kumar/HT Photo)

Stressing the need to transform higher education in India, President of India Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday urged educational institutes to provide opportunities to the young population.

Speaking at the Indian School of Business (ISB), SAS Nagar, the President said all efforts should be made to ensure the demographic dividend being witnesses by India does not convert into a demographic disaster.

Demographic dividend refers to a period when fall in fertility rates accompanied by an extension in life expectancy increases the proportion of working-age population, spurring economic growth.

“India is going to be the nation of youngsters. By 2030, India will have the largest young generation... of people below the age of 25. It can prove to be an asset and generate wealth for the country, provided they are trained, educated and skilled, and they become competitive in the job market all over the world,” said the President, while addressing the faculty and students on the ISB’s 15th anniversary celebrations.

“If we fail to do so, the consequences will not be good, and we will face a demographic disaster. Unemployed, without anything to do, those restless minds will naturally resort to violence... They all can innovate, provided they are provided a conducive atmosphere,” said Mukherjee.

The President, however, expressed concern over the mushrooming of substandard institutes, which are not providing quality education.

“There are 753 universities and 36,000 colleges in the country. The quality of most of these institutes is not up to the standards. I am talking from the point of view of competitiveness in global job market.”

The President urged the youth to take risks and become job-givers instead of just being job-seekers. “Be risk-taking entrepreneurs. Your intellect will help you find solutions to problems. Do not be afraid of taking challenges. You are not carrying any baggage. You have a free mind,” said Mukherjee, addressing the students.

Innovate and be original: Javadekar

Union human resource development minister Prakash Javadekar, who was accompanying the President, told the students to “strive towards quality, innovate and create.”

“Google Ma and Wikipedia... moh hai, inse bachna hai,” he said, while motivating students to come up with “original” ideas, instead of just depending on readily available information on the internet.

“The ISB is the only institute that has recognition without being recognised (affiliation to a government body). You have earned the recognition,” said the Union minister, while talking about the new education policy, which plans to give greater autonomy to universities.