Education should impart skills to youth and enable them to become employable and also become entrepreneurs to contribute to national empowerment, according to S.V. Balasubramaniam, Chairman of the Bannari Amman Group of Industries and Educational Institutions.
He was speaking at the VIT Alumni Association (VITAA) Day celebrations at the VIT University here on Thursday.
Mr. Balasubramaniam said the country was adding unemployed graduates every year, and this was likely to lead to instability. Therefore, education must be made skill-imparting. The engineering graduates should become entrepreneurs in areas such as Information Technology-enabled services, making of readymade garments and production of consumer goods.
“By becoming entrepreneurs, you can not only get job satisfaction but also empower the nation by motivating more educated youth to become entrepreneurs,” he said.
Mr. Balasubramaniam, inaugurated VSHINE (VITians Sharing Hands in the Interest of National Empowerment), a non-governmental organisation floated by VIT alumni with the social objective of facilitating rural development by providing technological solutions to the problems in the villages.
He said national empowerment could also be achieved by helping in the task of building roads, ensuring energy security and developing the manufacturing sector. At a time when global growth rate was going down, the whole world was looking up to India for human resources for boosting the economies of their countries. Recalling the words of Jawaharlal Nehru that a large population was the greatest asset of India, Mr. Balasubramaniam said that the country's wealth lay in the fact that half of its population was young, being below the age of 25 years unlike other countries where half the population was above 25. With such a young population, India could contribute workforce not only to meet its domestic needs but also to meet the needs of other countries, he said.
G. Viswanathan, Chancellor of VIT, who presided, said that in his capacity as president of the Educational Promotion Society of India (ESPI), he has taken up with the Union government the task of removing the regulations in the education sector.
“The removal of regulations, which happened in the industrial sector after the emergence of the liberalisation regime in 1991, did not happen in education. We want a system change in the country in the field of education. It is high time education is liberated from so many rules and licences, and it is also high time the cost of education is brought down,” he said.
The VIT maintained a strong bondage with its alumni through VITAA which had 28,000 members all over the world. The various chapters of VITAA in different countries helped VIT students, who visited those countries for their project work, he said.
Sekar Viswanathan, vice-president (University Affairs), VIT, appealed to the alumni to visit the VIT, talk to their juniors and help them excel in their studies and emerge successful. The Chancellor presented distinguished alumni awards to Balaji Nandagopal, Director, Sri Narayani Hospital and Research Centre, Vellore (for social achievement), M.B. Chittibabu, Technical Head, GE Health Care, South Asia (corporate career), B. Rose Kavitha, Dean and Director, Silicon City College of Management Studies, Bangalore (Academics & Research), and Jerome Josephraj, Director, Bind Technology Limited, UK (Entrepreneurship).
G.V. Sampath, vice-president (Operations), VIT, distributed scholarships worth Rs.two lakh to poor students.
The Chancellor announced that Sudha Rajagopalan has been nominated as chairperson, T. Mahaveer Prabhu vice-chairman, Kishore Kumar secretary-general and D. Karthikeyan, vice-secretary-general of VITAA for 2012-14.