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Pitroda wants technocrats to savour art and philosophy too

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, May 11 (UNI) National Knowledge Commission Chief Sam Pitroda today suggested giving technology students an opportunity to learn literature and humanities to turn them into holistic graduates.

Asked to suggest ways to stop deterioration in values in public life, the noted Indian technocrat said, ''I am for balance in education.'' The architect of the country's telecom revolution, Pitroda pitched for expanding technological education but advocated seasoning such knowledge with art and philosophy.

He said, ''I wish students of engineering, medicine or computer application had some knowledge of literature and social sciences too, as only by this kind of training you get a holistic approach.'' Pitroda's answer emphasised an area of education that has been neglected in recent years as students in India concentrate on job-oriented education.

He said students today did not have a choice because compulsions of livelihood take them to courses, most likely to help them find a paying job at the earliest.

He also said the existing model of university education and primary education needed thorough re-examination.

Primary education was as important as higher education and that was why the Commission had set up a working group, on improving it and making it more relevant to the requirements of the 21st century, he said addressing a press conference here.

He said the existing model of university education was about 300 years old and needed a re-examination if Indians were to compete with the rest of the world in every field of knowledge.

In this context he said teachers training, especially in technology, was very important ''I want to give a laptop in every teacher's hand. For bringing the education in tune with the demands of the 21st century, we need modern infrastructure, not only in buildings but also in cyber highways,'' said Pitroda.

Replying to a question, he said that though higher education facilities today needed expansion, it is to be seen what kind of education they were going to impart. So expansion itself, should not be the aim.

Mr Pirtoda said his emphasis on technology was not at the cost of other aspects of education.

UNI NAZ/FZ AD KN1642

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