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'Why not have 70 IITs instead of 7?'

Knowledge Commission Chairman Sam Pitroda says the key to resolving the quota dispute is expansion of institutes.

india Updated: May 11, 2006 15:30 IST

The Knowledge Commission on Thursday said it will study the entire issue of reservation in education institutions holistically to decide whether the present system of providing access to education through quotas should continue or there was a need for a better system of affirmative action.

"Knowledge society must be inclusive. In the past we had quotas to implement it but in the 21st century we need to look at different ways to implement it. We will analyse what has been the outcome of reservation in the past and where we are as a result of it," Knowledge Commission Chairman Sam Pitroda said.

The majority of the commission members, at their meeting in Bangalore, had opposed increase in reservation in central education institutions as proposed by Human Resource Ministry.

They had said that it was an historic opportunity to craft more effective policies to make education institutions more inclusive.

On Wednesday, the commission members met Prime Minister and conveyed to him their views on reservation.

Pitroda said key to the issue of providing access to higher education would be expansion of universities and colleges.

"At present, just seven to eight per cent of our population under the age of 25 get to go to college. We need to increase it manifold to make India a knowledge society. Why cannot we have 70 IITs instead of just seven. The alumni of IITs can build 10 IITs. It is possible," he said.

First Published: May 11, 2006 14:48 IST