Guwahati, Aug 26 : Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh today said that science and technology are going to be the centre points in tomorrow's world and the focus should be on spreading technical education.
Addressing the students and faculty members of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) Guwahati, Dr. Singh said the government is emphasizing on technical education in the next five year plan.
"In government policies and plans, rural youth is also being included so that every section of the society can get equal opportunity for higher education," he added.
Dr. Singh said the IIT's represent in our country the highest traditions of academic excellence not only in India but all over the world. They are the laboratories of the software revolution in our country
"This early investment in higher education is paying off today as we move higher and higher up the value chain in the global knowledge economy. Our tasks and challenges are daunting. But so are the opportunities," he added.
"We are one of youngest nations in the world and according to observers, India has the potential to create over 500 million trained people by the year 2020. That would be over a fourth of the global workforce. This big and unique opportunity for India will come from an education revolution that we must undertake as our most important national endeavour," Dr. Singh said.
"Our government's effort has been to create the next big wave of investment in higher education and the 11th Five Year Plan, now under implementation, is basically a knowledge investment plan. We have significantly increased allocations to the education sector with a five-fold increase to an unprecedented Rs. 2,75,000 crore," he added.
Dr. Singh further said that India is trying to universalize quality elementary education through the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.
He said that the country is beginning a major expansion of secondary schooling. In higher education we are building eight new IITs, seven new IIMs, sixteen new central universities, fourteen world class universities and five new Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research of which few are already functioning.
"We are putting in place an Integrated National Knowledge Network that would have nodes to all major institutions of higher education and learning. This network would help our institutions of higher learning to connect with each other and carry on the relevant interdisciplinary dialogue," he added.
The Prime Minister appealed to Private sector and NGOs to cooperate with the Government to give better platform for India's youth.
He said that Public Private partnership is must for better advancement of technological development of the country.