Staff Correspondent

UPA’s thrust on education is massive, says M.A.A. Fatmi

TUMKUR: The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government has laid thrust on education, M.A.A. Fatmi, Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development has said.

Inaugurating the library block of H.M.S. Institute of Technology (HMSIT), near here on Saturday, Mr. Fatmi said the UPA Government would increase allocation to Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan by Rs.10,000 crore and to the mid-day meal programme by Rs. 5,000 crore.

He said while the percentage of school dropouts was brought down considerably at the primary level, it remained as high as 63 per cent at the secondary level.

Mr. Fatmi regretted that only 9 per cent of those who finished secondary education, entered colleges.

Less than 2 per cent got admission into professional courses. “We still need to set up lakhs of polytechnics and thousands of technological institutes,” he said.

“We have permitted existing polytechnics to run courses day and night to cater to more aspirants.”

Three new Indian Institutes of Technology in Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar, and three new Indian Institutes of Science in Maharastra (Pune), Punjab, and West Bengal (Kolkata) were being set up, he said.

Sixteen new universities were being formed.

There would be at least one Central University in each State, he added.

He promised to process the sanction of a new IIT for Karnataka and said: “I will see that it is located in Tumkur.”

Mr. Fatmi asked students to give equal priority to sports and academics and said: “If you play well, you will be much inclined to read books.”

“Acquisition of sportive spirit when you are young will enable you to become a good leader,” he said, inviting engineering graduates to enter the Lok Sabha and the State Legislative Assemblies.

It would be very nice to have technological experts in Parliament, he said.

It was his second visit to HMSIT. He said: “First time, I saw this “khoobsoorat” (beautiful) campus. Now, I am delighted with the addition of Khoobsurat library.”

He said more than 30 per cent of engineering students in Karnataka were from Bihar, his home State.

He asserted that the Bihar students did not cause any “law and order problem in Karntaka”.

On the occasion, Mr. Fatmi honoured G.B. Jyotiganesh, secretary of Channabasaveswara Institute of Technology, Gubbi, in the district for setting up a state-of-the-art technological institute in a rural area.

S.P. Khincha, Vice-Chancellor of Visveswaraya Technological University, gave away awards to 12 meritorious students – Riyaz, Lingaraj, Ahmed Jamal, Avani Ramanujam, J.K. Guruprasad Reddy, Punkaj Kumar Yadav, T.J. Suhas, Poornima, Shilpa Kala. S, Binnis. B, Rashmi and Karunakumari.

Dr. Khincha said engineers should help people live more comfortably as doctors helped them live healthy and journalists gave them voice.

He said students remained hooked to global information online, round the clock and had no time to read books and journals. G.S. Basavaraj, All India Congress Committee member, S.M. Shashidhar, principal of Siddaganga Institute of Technology, Tumkur, and Nazeer Ahmed, director, Delixus Software Company Limited, USA, spoke.

S. Shafi Ahmed, chairman of HMSIT, who presided, said Canara Bank advanced funds for setting up the campus of this “minority institute”.