Union Minister stresses on PPP for higher education

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Chennai, Sept 18 (UNI) Expressing concern over the poor enrolment ratio of students into higher education, Union Minister of State for Commerce and Power Jairam Ramesh today said public funding with private-run institutions was the need of the hour to expand higher education in the country.

Inaugurating the Business Line Club at SRM University, leading private institution at its campus in suburban Kattankulathur in the presence of University Chancellor T R Pachamuthu, Vice- Chancellor P Sathyanarayanan and The Hindu Editor in Chief N Ram, the Minister said about 60 per cent of the primary school in Kerala, which has the highest literacy rate in the country, were run privately with public funding.

This model should be replicated to Higher Education also.

''Public funding is important to ensure quality and private management for excellence'', he said, dwelling at length on the need for higher educational institutions on Public-Private- Partnerhsip (PPP) mode.

Regretting that only eight to nine per cent of college population was entering higher education, Mr Jairam Ramesh said this was a small margin when compared to other countries where the student proportion in higher education exceeds 30 to 45 per cent.

''The big challenge before the country, which aspires to become a super power, is to expand the facilities for higher education.

Private institutions have an important role to play in extending higher education to the weaker sections of the society'', he said, stressing on the importance of public investment in hgiher education.

In this context, the Union Minister urged the SRM University and its founder Mr Pachamuthu to take a lead role in this regard.

''I want SRM University to show the way for the rest of the country by taking up the challenge and create a conclave of excellence'', he added.

S A Bhat, Indian Overseas Bank(IOB), Chairman and Managing Director(CMD), Mr Pachamuthu and Prof Sathyanaryanan also spoke on the occasion.

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