President Patil stresses on bridging digital divide

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Mumbai, Feb 29 (UNI) President Pratibha Patil today stressed the need to bridge the digital divide existing in the country and to focus on all-round development.

Speaking at a function during the inauguration of Mumbai University's health centre and FM community radio here, Ms Patil said the 11th Five Year Plan is devoted to ''inclusive growth'' and has given larger focus and financial allocation to higher education.

Ms Patil, who is also the alumni of the university, said in the context of education, the triple objectives of expansion, inclusion and excellence should be achieved. The education system as a whole and every constituent unit including schools, colleges and university, must focus on how these three objectives could be achieved.

The President also quoted Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru's statement -- ''Universities are temples of learning and if these are doing well, the nation is doing well'' and said the role of universities in today's knowledge-based and technology-driven world has immensely increased. ''The country's requirement for well-educated and well-trained personnel is greater than before,'' she added.

Ms Patil said, ''The Indian higher education system has created a talented human capital that has served India in various capacities and in different fields and at all stages of our national life, from Independence to the 21st century when we have emerged as one of the fastest growing economies and a leader of IT in the world.'' ''We are producing the second largest number of engineers, capable management experts, IT leaders and space scientists. The success of the Green Revolution, the White Revolution and now the ICT revolution are a testimony to the achievements of the higher education system in the country,'' she observed.

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