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Government aims at increasing higher education enrolment: T.K.A. Nair

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On nation building:Principal Secretary to Prime Minister T.K.A. Nair speaking at the inauguration of the 'Amrita Techfest 2010' at the Amrita Vishwa VIdyapeetham at Ettimadai, near Coimbatore, on Friday.
On nation building:Principal Secretary to Prime Minister T.K.A. Nair speaking at the inauguration of the 'Amrita Techfest 2010' at the Amrita Vishwa VIdyapeetham at Ettimadai, near Coimbatore, on Friday.

Staff Reporter

Amrita Tech Fest, Anokha 2010, opens at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham

COIMBATORE: The Central Government hopes to increase higher education enrolment percentage from 10 to 12 in the next five years, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister T.K.A. Nair has said.

Increase of two percentage points would mean the number of universities increased from 500 to 1,500, he said at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham here on Friday, while inaugurating Amrita Tech Fest, Anokha 2010.

Ninety per cent of youth who should be going to colleges did not go. Only a small percentage of those who went attended professional colleges. And for those who attended professional courses employability was a problem.

It was a paradox that at one end graduates were found unfit for employment and at the other companies went scouting for talent. It was a reflection on the quality of engineering education, which had deteriorated with the mushrooming of colleges along countryside.

Without competent teachers, the colleges produced engineers who were found unfit in the market.

It was a waste of resources, he lamented.

India had the highest population of persons below 44 years of age and at the productive age the group could become an asset to the nation, if only their energy was channelled properly. Imparting necessary skill and training would turn them an asset to the nation and the demographic dividend would be good. Else, they would be a liability, turn a menace and persons within the group could take to violence and destruction.

Mr. Nair told the students that they had a great opportunity in front of them - to not only make a career but also work for nation building. “Through your job you must be able to lead a good life and also be socially relevant. Learn to balance the two.”

Pro-Chancellor of the University Abayananda Chaitanya said creativity and innovation were not the exclusive forte of the West. Long before Pythagoras could come out with his theory, Boudayana had enunciated it. Similarly, Charaka and Susrutha had done pioneering work in medicine.

Even in literature, the country had so many great men to be proud of. Somehow during colonisation, India had lost the spirit and it was high time they were rediscovered.

Viswa Kumar, vice president, Cognisant Technology Solutions, said innovation was not just about coming up with brilliant ideas but executing the same, for the latter was tougher.

Dean-Engineering M.P. Chandrasekharan, Director, Corporate and International Relations, C. Parameswaran and Chairman, Electrical Engineering Department T.N.P. Nambiar were also present at the inauguration.

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