Higher education in India should be backed by proper opportunities for employment and a multi-pronged strategy is required to make education more attractive, said A. P. J Abdul Kalam, former President of India.

Inaugurating the year-long navathi celebrations of the Union Christian College at Aluva near here, he pointed out the deficiencies in the present educational system in the country, which generated over three million graduates a year. While 10 to 15 per cent of this group opt for teaching and research, the employment system is not in a position to absorb the rest, leading to educated unemployment, he said.

The former President was of the view that higher education should be enterprising as well as creative and emphasised the need for sustainable development, competitiveness and a spirit of integrity. He also urged the young generation to work hard and succeed and to uphold the core values of righteousness and character.

Quoting the words of Mahatma Gandhi written during his visit to the college in 1925, he reminded the institution that it had a remarkable task of living up to the words of the father of the nation.

According to him, the overall education system should aid to impart the value system to the children.

Dr. Kalam also said that while knowledge defined the power in the present day society as against the natural resources in the past, a synergy of the two is needed. He also highlighted the importance of time and the need to work towards the development of clean energy.

Earlier on his arrival at the college campus, Dr.Kalam joined a prayer at the college chapel followed by the planting of a tree sapling in the campus to mark his visit here.

College Principal T. Thomas Philip delivered the welcome speech while Rajan Gurukkal, Vice-Chancellor of the MG University presided at the function.

A. M. Chacko, manager of the institution and K. P. Dhanapalan, MP, spoke on the occasion.

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