Amid quota row, PM talks of balance
Avoiding any direct remarks, the PM said a 'fair balance' is a must between equity and excellence in institutions.india Updated: May 07, 2006 01:25 IST
Against the backdrop of the raging debate over reservation in elite educational institutes, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said a "fair balance" must be brought about between equity and excellence in schools and colleges.
"I sincerely believe that we must strike a fair balance between doing good and doing well, between ensuring equity and pursuing excellence. ... Our government would like to see that each of our institutions of education and welfare function within these parameters -- be they schools and colleges or be they hospitals or municipal and panchayat organisations," he said in his address at the convocation of Tata Institute of Social Sciences.
The Prime Minister identified manpower improvement a key challenge before the Government. He did not make any direct comments on the reservation issue but his remarks assume significance in the context of current debate over quota policy.
"Improving the quality of manpower in Government programmes is a major challenge facing us today," Singh said, adding the non-government sector was too faced with an equally important challenge to improve the quality of management.
"These groups (NGOs) add meaning to our democracy and energise civil society. However, as their size and scope increases, they also need professional managers. Moreover, they also need people who can take long-term and a holistic view of development," he remarked.
The Prime Minister, however, said interest groups should also balance their views with those of elected representatives of the people.
"... Interest groups must also learn to take a wider view of the imperatives of development and the working of democratic institutions," Singh said.