UGC Vice-Chairman delivers C. Subramaniam endowment lecture

Though there are over 500 universities and 27,000 colleges, higher education enrolment ratio in India is only 12 per cent and the nation has a long way to go for catching up with the 50 per cent higher education enrolment ratio of developed nations, said Ved Prakash, Vice-Chairman, University Grants Commission, here on Friday.

He was delivering the first Bharat Ratna C. Subramaniam endowment lecture instituted by the Department of Scientific Tamil and Tamil Development, Tamil University.

The dropout rate at different levels in schools was disturbing, he said, calling for a mechanism to ensure that school education till Plus Two was universalised. Education, he said, was the only means of human empowerment, advocating a support system for meeting the expenses of higher education needs.

“Carry out interventions”

Educational institutions have the potential to identify inadequacies and carry out interventions to extricate India from rising poverty rate, he said, urging the university to carry out interventions in neighbourhood villages and bring about a change in the people's quality of life. The poor should be taken care for the country's peace.

The weakening of India's position in human development index indicates shortcomings in policy. The policies have to be directed at people's uplift. Education could be used as a strategy for poverty alleviation, he said.

Education at different levels has to be democratised, he said and wondered why the country had not subscribed to common school system by way of encouraging the concept of neighbourhood schools, which, he felt, would pave way for tapping the benefit of the evenly distributed talent across the country's geographical spread.

Creation of a few islands of excellence in education will not help in bringing about the desired transformation in society, he said.

Stretch beyond the comfort zone and compete to achieve heights in integrity and honesty, he advised teachers and students.

Paying encomiums to C. Subramaniam, Prof. Ved Prakash said he deemed it a pride to deliver the first lecture instituted in the name of a personality who had contributed to nation building in a unique way.

The inspiring leadership of C. Subrammaniam at the levels of the State and the Centre was outstanding.

Presiding over the function, Vice-Chancellor M. Rajendran spoke about the need for citizens to brace themselves up for the knowledge century.

They needed to equip themselves and look at opportunities. P.R. Subash Chandran, Member – Education and Communication, UGC Committee; N. Joseph, Head, Department of Scientific Tamil, and K. Annadurai, Professor, also took part.