Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu addressed a meeting at the
foundation stone laying ceremony of Vellore Institute of Technology's campus at
Ainavolu village in the capital region of Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh, where he
said that the central government has drafted a new education policy with
accessibility, equity, quality, accountability and affordability as its
"These are the five pillars of the new national
education policy. The objective is to ensure quality education at affordable
cost to everyone," he added. The Union Information and Broadcasting
minister opined that a nation-wide debate should be held on the new education
policy and universities should also take part in it.
"It is a shame to all of us that 35 per cent of our
population is still illiterate even all these years after Independence. It is a
shame for the country, the system and the political leadership that 35 per cent
of people cannot read or write. This should be taken as a challenge," he
said. Naidu also emphasized that research activity needs a lot more attention.
"We need more research scholars as we are lacking in
research. While China has 39 per cent PhDs, India has only 3.40 per cent. In
China, enrolment in engineering courses is 34 per cent compared to just six percent
here," he highlighted. Quoting a report by United Nations Industrial
Development Organisation (UNIDO), Venkaiah revealed that as many as one lakh
professionals were leaving the country every year, causing a resource loss of
USD 2 billion.
"There is nothing wrong in going abroad. You go, learn,
earn and return," he remarked. Commenting that the "Soviet model of
socialism" did not suit India, Naidu said the government and the private
sector should work in tandem to further development.
"We have to hone the local talent and encourage it. As
part of that public-private partnership is essential to set up institutions. We
have to create wealth so that it can be distributed to all," the Union
Minister noted. The foundation stone for the 200-acre campus was laid by Andhra
Pradesh Chief Minister, N Chandrababu Naidu. The campus has been set up at a
total cost of about Rs 2,000 crore.
The state government is planning to develop an education
city at Amravati and VIT is the first educational institution that is being set