Union Human Resources Development Minister Smriti Irani on Friday revealed that at the time of her birth, she was cursed as a “burden” by someone.
“I am sharing it for the first time that when I was born, someone hinted to my mother that beti to bojh hoti hai (daughter is a burden) and therefore she should kill me. But my mother was brave and she did not do that because of which today I am standing here in front of you,” Ms. Irani said when a student asked her about the menace of female foeticide.
“Such a malpractice should be curbed and it was a priority programme for the government,” she said.
“If you teach a girl, then you are not just imparting education to a woman but to a family which will later help in nation building,” she said.
To a query on different boards and curriculum in various states, Ms. Irani said the issue of uniformity in education will be addressed in National Education Policy (NEP).
Referring to another question, she said the government is committed to linking education with skill development for addressing the problem of unemployment in the country and also to making the curriculum more practical.
The NEP will be formulated after discussing the issue at national, state, regional and also international level to address all issues, she said.
She informed that the HRD ministry is also working on creating a national e-library project so that students and other citizens have access to vast knowledge bank. For the purpose, the ministry will also collaborate with international libraries.
The ministry is also focused on imparting quality training to the teachers, she said.
To a question on the lack of opportunities for poor students whose parents were not financially sound to send them to good coaching institutes, Ms. Irani advised the students not to feel that their parents were unable to do much for them.
Citing her example, the minister said she herself was brought up in a slightly lower middle class family and because of her parent’s support; today she has reached this position.
Ms. Irani also cited the example of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who sold tea and has now reached the country’s top position, to inspire students.
Ms. Irani said the HRD ministry would offer scholarships to such candidates to promote them.
She also informed that they were working on National Academic Depository Project and National Innovation Campaign, and also on popularising mathematics and science streams.