Wants to reinforce value systems in the younger generation

The new Human Resource Development Minister, M. M. Pallam Raju, plans to focus on moral education in the curriculum to reinforce value systems in the younger generation.

Talking to reporters after assuming office here on Wednesday, Mr. Raju also said he would reach out to “everybody” to build consensus on passage of pending Bills on higher education in Parliament.

Appreciating the “good work” of his predecessor in bringing several reformative measures and introducing key legislations in Parliament, Mr. Raju said: “It is time me and my colleagues took everybody on board on the good intentions behind these initiatives and get their help in taking these Bills through.”

“We would tell them that the credit goes to all of us and not the government alone. It is a collective credit to leadership across party lines and that would be my approach to convince my colleagues,” he said in response to a question on whether he intends to talk to Opposition BJP about the passage of the Bills, some of which have been pending for over two years.

Admitting that there were “apprehensions” about the contentious Foreign Education Providers Bill, the Minister said he would study it but noted that “if collaboration with foreign players is something that will bring in value addition in some area, we will definitely look at it with an open mind.”

Focussing on moral education, Mr. Raju said: “We had chapters in school like moral values, moral studies and I think things like that have to be built into the curriculum. It is important to guide the teachers towards imparting these values.”

“Unprecedented work”

The Minister also said that the initiatives on higher education by his predecessor were “unprecedented” in nature and his focus would be on consolidation and carrying forward the path set out by Kapil Sibal.

Mr. Raju said his focus would also be on strengthening the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan programme with good infrastructure, teachers and curriculum and building on the academia-industry linkages to ensure rollout of quality students who are industry-ready.