Noting that countries like India, China and Germany were emphasising more in maths and science and fast catching up with America, US President Barack Obama day told lawmakers that he would not accept a “second place” for his country.

“Washington has been telling us to wait for decades, even as the problems have grown worse. Meanwhile, China’s not waiting to revamp its economy. Germany’s not waiting. India’s not waiting,” Mr. Obama said in his State of the Union address.

“These nations aren’t standing still. These nations aren’t playing for second place. They’re putting more emphasis on maths and science. They’re rebuilding their infrastructure.

They are making serious investments in clean energy because they want those jobs,” Mr. Obama said.

“Well I do not accept second-place for the United States of America. As hard as it may be, as uncomfortable and contentious as the debates may be, it’s time to get serious about fixing the problems that are hampering our growth,” said the US President in his joint address to the Congress.