The new 'shiksha neeti' (education policy) of the Narendra Modi government will not be only about "marks obtained", but will revolve around basic moral values that have deteriorated over the years.
"Education system should be able to teach these values that should reflect in our deeds and actions," stated human resource development minister Smriti Irani, who felt that "salary chase and goal chase" had made people forget their responsibilities towards the nation.
The minister expressed these views while addressing a national seminar on 'Revitalising Education Policy for Safer Women World' at DAV College, Hathi Gate, here on Tuesday.
The minister, who had talked about improving teachers' training programmes on Monday, found loop holes in the current education system in her address at the seminar.
She said the new education policy would only come into force after considering the opinion of education departments of all states. She hoped that by January 2015, a policy laying emphases on moral values and on making Indians "good human beings" would be in force.
She sought to take a dig at the present education system by asking the audience as to how many people will give up lucrative appointments and important meetings to take care of their sick and aging parents.
She lamented that not many had time for their parents and loved ones as education was all about salaries and achieving goals.
Referring to her visit to the Jallianwala Bagh prior to the seminar, she pointed to the portrait of an uneducated woman, Ratan Devi, hanging at the gallery of the memorial and said, "To me she was more educated than most of us, as she possessed moral values. She sat whole night beside the body of her dead husband to protect it from stray dogs."
Touching upon the issue of female feoticide, Irani pointed out that in south Mumbai, where affluent and most well-educated people live, the menace had a high prevalence rate. Heaving a sigh, she quipped: "Aisa kyun hai ke degrees hai par sanskaar nahi hai (why is it that our education system gives us degrees but we lack values?)."
The minister also sought to know that why the youth of the country felt uncomfortable with Indian values and culture and were more inclined towards western values. She felt that education should imbibe in all the feeling of being a proud Indian.
Irani also made a reference to gender sensitisation in the education system, with particular reference to respect for women.
Earlier on her arrival here, Irani paid obeisance at the Golden Temple and then at the Durgiana Mandir.
Prior to her departure, she visited the BJP office here and told BJP workers to adopt a school and construct toilets there for girls.