PM outlines ambitious growth plan for economy

Singh announces the opening of 6,000 new high quality schools in each block of the country, reports Chetan Chauhan.
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Updated on Aug 15, 2007 11:48 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | By Chetan Chauhan, New Delhi

To ensure benefit of growing economy reaching young Indians, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday outlined an ambitious plan for skill upgradation and quality education for all.

Addressing the nation on Independence Day, Singh announced the opening of 6,000 new high quality schools in each block of the country to set standards for other schools in the region. After achieving a “fair degree of success” in primary education programmes, he promised that the plan for universalisation of secondary education will soon be finalised.

He also assured the states for opening new 370 colleges, especially in districts where enrolment is low. “I am sure that we can ensure that at least a fifth of our children go to college as compared to one-tenth now,” he said.

Prime Minister Singh, however, admitted that the university system had been relatively neglected in the recent years but said the government is now ready with the plan to open 30 new Central Universities, thereby having at least one central university in each state.

The PM plan had a special focus on science education, which the scientists had termed in shambles. He announced setting up of five new the Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research, eight new Indian Institutes of Technology, seven new Indian Institutes of Management, and twenty new Indian Institutes of Information Technology.

With new education institutes, Singh also delved on a highly ambitious plan to provide skills to 100 lakh students every year, a four-fold increase from present level, as per the market needs. This will be achieved through Vocational Education Mission, which will open 1,600 new industrial training institutes and polytechnics, 10,000 new vocational schools and 50,000 new Skill Development Centres, the PM said. He, however, sought help of the private sector in not only helping in training but also in providing employment opportunities.

Explaining a need for such a plan, the PM said, “For every one of our people to benefit from new employment opportunities being created across the economy, we must ensure that every Indian is educated and skilled”.

He also called upon the nation not to seek functional literacy but good quality, affordable, accessible and equitable education for every “boy and girl” who seeks to study. “I wish to see a major revolution in the field of modern education in the next few years,” he said.

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