New Delhi, Mar 05 : Inaugurating the second Meeting of the Regional Forum of Ministers of Social Development of SAARC, Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh said today that one of the most critical aspects of social development is education.
He said, "Even the most impressive and robust economic progress is rendered meaningless if social development lags behind"
Singh said he plans to make a law to provide free and compulsory education to the age group of 6 to 14 years.
He said, "Indian Constitution has mandated it as a fundamental right. Apart from education, there are equally good reasons to focus on the other social development issues like public health."
The second meeting in the series of UNESCO was organised to establish a network among the countries of the region to address issues related to social justice and development in the overall theme of the social sciences research and its policy-linkages and in particular, the contribution that social sciences can provide to the policy making process.
The theme selected for the Second Forum discussion were transparency, Right to Information and social development.
The participants of the meeting were-The Ministers of Social Development of South Asian countries, from Afghanistan, Maldives, Ministers of Women, and Children and Social Welfare from Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka and Minister of Education from Bhutan, Mr. Skweyiya, Minister of Social Development of South Africa and the President of the Management of Social Transformation - MOST Programme and Mr. Pierre Sane' from UNESCO.