Prez hails India's emergence as eco power;asks for women empowerment

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Jodhpur, Jun 21 (UNI) Expressing satisfaction over India's emergence as a strong economy and a knowledge-centric society, President Pratibha Devisingh Patil today stressed the need for continued efforts for women empowerment and better development of youths.

Speaking at the inauguration of a Satya Bharati Trust-run school at Loradi Daijagra village, about 30 km from here, Ms Patil said initiatives taken by the governments for the spread of education and fast development, since Independence, were yielding results, as India had been emerging into a knowledge-centric society and a strong global economic power.

She added that the literacy in the country had gone up to 64 per cent, but women literacy still stood at 54.1 per cent.

''We should increase further women literacy, which requires more efforts for spreading education among women, particularly in the rural and remote areas.

''We should also take guard against the problem of dropouts,'' the President said, adding, ''Educating a girl child is more important, since educating a girl/woman is as good as educating the whole family.'' Ms Patil pointed out that youth development was also equally vital for the country, as the young generation constituted about 54 per cent of the population.

They should be provided with all the opportunities to help their balanced development into responsible citizens.

''Mere bookish knowledge cannot achieve it, but innovative education, blended with cultural and moral values and physical capability-building skills, is needed for the all round development of our youth power,'' the President said.

Besides this, the academic curriculum should be modelled keeping in view the needs of the society, she added.

President Patil's husband Dr Devi Singh Shekhawat, Rajya Sabha MP and Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Rajasthan's Mine and Petroleum Minister Laxmi Narain Dave were also present at the function.

Mr Singhvi had contributed funds for the school out of his MP Local Area Development Fund (MPLADF).

The President, who arrived here this morning, also participated in a function to commemorate the services of noted Jurist and former MP late Laxmi Mall Singhvi at the town Hall. She also named a road after Dr Singhvi in Basani area and unveiled his statue near the J N Vyas University here. She also released a book, authored by Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi.

Speaking at the function, she called upon the people to play an active role in eradicating social evils.

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