Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development Daggubati Purandeswari said that India would have demographic advantage by the year 2030 because of its young population.

Speaking at a function held in K.L.N. Memorial Polytechnic College here to mark the opening ceremony of a silver jubilee building, she said that the Central government was taking several proactive steps for the progress of human capital. There could be no better investment than in education since the 21st century was ‘knowledge century’ where skilled manpower was of paramount importance. “India’s demographic scenario will be advantageous by year 2030 since the country will have 95 crore young people by then. On the other hand, China’s demographic profile would be at a disadvantage due to its aged population by that time.”

The definition of education had changed since it was no longer about marks and textbooks alone. “Today, education has become a powerful driver of socio-economic change. The progress of human capital and substantial investments are needed in this knowledge century.” Education could not be restricted to the elitist classes. The government’s approach was to break barriers and make education accessible and inclusive.

“We still have children deprived of education opportunities. We are making many interventions in school education through the Right to Education Act which provides 25 per cent reservation to poor children in all schools,” she said.

Secondary school network in India was being strengthened through Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA), she said, laying emphasis on creating skilled manpower through vocational training institutions.

“Polytechnic colleges have been brought under the purview of All India Council of Technical Education by the HRD Ministry to give direction to polytechnics. A National Vocational Education Framework is being charted out and several reforms in education sector are in the offing. India still has to go a long way to overcome its diversities,” she said.

Manicka Tagore, Virudhunagar MP, sought more support for Sourashtra community in Madurai district which has four lakh people belonging to this linguistic minority group.

A.G.S. Rambabu, former Member of Parliament, spoke. K.N.K.Ganesh, president, K.L. Nagaswamy Memorial Sourashtra Polytechnic Council, appealed to the Union Minister to accord permanent linguistic minority status to the college since it had to apply for it every year.

K.B. Radhakrishnan, college secretary, and K.N.K. Karthick, joint secretary, were present.

Keywords: HRD Ministry