Dubai, Nov 24 (ANI): Lauding the visionary leadership of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in promoting and ensuring affordable education, visiting India President Pratibha Devisingh Patil on Wednesday said India empathizes with these missions and goals.
"I wish to felicitate the visionary leadership of the UAE for the successes in their endeavours, and assure them of India's continued support and interest in their initiatives," Patil said in her address at the 'Dubai International Academic City' here, where a number of Indian institutions like Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) Pilani, Manipal University and SP Jain were also present.
"I am aware of the primacy accorded to the education sector by the UAE in the Vision Document 2020. The clustering mode followed initially by the Knowledge Village, and now by the Dubai International Academic City has ensured that the best talent from all over the world is attracted," she added.
President Patil said India recognizes that education is the fastest vehicle for enabling socio-economic mobility and change.
"India seeks to realize its demographic dividend in a scenario where young persons will outnumber the old for many years to come. To optimize this human resources advantage, India's systems of teaching and learning have also been undergoing rapid changes. The Right to Education Bill seeks to ensure that every child between the age of 6 and 14 has access to free education," said Patil.
"We are also expanding our higher education infrastructure. We are confident that the National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology, which has recently entered project mode, will bridge the gaps between urban, mofussil and rural India ensuring that every scholar, irrespective of location will be able to access the best academic resources available in India," she added.
The visiting President further said India encourages teaching methods that promote active learning.
"We are also aligning our syllabi to globally accepted standards. Teaching methodologies that promote active learning are being encouraged. The accent of our education system has two deliverables - preparing students to become productive forces in the economy, whilst pursuing the quest for pure knowledge. This trend will ensure that the growth of social capital will keep pace with growth of human capital," she said.
Talking about the Indian student community in the UAE, President Patil said they have the unique privilege of being recipients of knowledge transferred in the Indian way, even as they are exposed to a global milieu.
"Your campuses undoubtedly pulsate with the intellectual ferment characteristic of multi-cultural and multi-linguistic settings, which makes learning enjoyable. In the coming millennia, the world will see a lot more of India and through your work and conduct, you can contribute to its visibility and growth," said Patil.
"Hence, you should aim to be not merely symbols of the success of individuals and institutions, but represent the strengths, potential and future of a resurgent India on the world stage," she added.
President Patil said historically both India and Arabia have been recognized as the sources, receptors and repositories of knowledge from the early days of contacts.
"We have shared the conviction, since as early as the days of Nalanda, that knowledge is the one treasure that increases manifold by sharing. According to different etymological constructions, Nalanda means "giver of knowledge". Nalanda was a residential university which attracted students and travelers from all over the world, including from the Arabian Peninsula," said Patil.
"Subjects ranging from science, astronomy, medicine and logic to meta-physics, philosophy and scriptures were pursued. The Nalanda University Bill of 2010, and the efforts being made in cooperation with our friends in Asia, are a reaffirmation of our commitment to "borderless knowledge," she added.
Patil had earlier addressed the students of the Abu Dhabi Indian School, where she emphasized on the need to be socially committed, saying that they are the future of India and leaders of tomorrow. By Praful Kumar Singh (ANI)