New Delhi, Apr 18: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today urged industry to enhance educational and employment opportunities for weaker sections, stressing that a stable, equitable and just growth process can only be in the best interests of business enterprise.
''I urge you to assess at a firm level, the diversity in your employee profile and commit yourself voluntarily to making it more broad-based and representative of our nation, at large,'' the Prime Minister said.
The industry can play a leading social role in the empowerment of less privileged, marginalized groups, Dr Singh said addressing the annual conference of the Confederation of Indian Industry(CII).
He wanted Industry to give more attention to questions of social and economic discrimination and deprivation, to the educational and health status of ''our people, to employment generation, to social security, and to the empowerment of our women and minorities.''
''I am aware that CII has taken interest in the social aspects of development. I compliment you for the initiatives that you have taken. There is need to ensure that no group feels excluded from enjoying the fruits of rapid economic growth. I urge industry to seriously investing in their skill enhancement and promoting their employment in an affirmative manner,'' said Dr Singh.
He said the CII has done good work through its ITI initiative, and now it should invest much more in vocational training and technical education, particularly for youth from a less privileged background.
''Such affirmative action on your part can be a crucial component of the inclusive society we all see and which we hope to build, '' said the Prime Minister.