New Delhi, Mar 28: Magsaysay award winner Kiran Bedi today coined a new slogan 'Jai Shiksha, Jai Krishi (Hail Education, Hail Agriculture),' stressing the need for improving the quality of education and making it accessible to one and all in India.
'Jai Shiksha, Jai Krishi slogan is very appropriate now as as we need to make education accessible to one and all in the country, and to ensure a significant growth of the agriculture sector in India,'' she said here. No doubt, Ms Bedi said the slogan coined by former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri 'Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan' in 1960s was relevant even today. ''But, the future and security of Jai Jawan is already guaranteed now,'' she added. The first woman Indian Police Service officer in India was delivering an address at the convocation of Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute of Management (LBSIM), Delhi here.
She also called upon the people to skip a meal on every Mondays as had been propagated by late Shastri to ensure that India does not import wheat and rice from other countries. Ms Bedi urged all management schools across the country to introduce internships on governance for the students so that they could put forth their views on the subject.
Giving statistics about the status of education in post- independence India, she said the number of universities has risen from 20 to 378 since 1947.
Similarly, the number of colleges has gone up from 500 to 18064 but lamented that the percentage of student enrollment had not witnessed much improvement as the figure has shown an increase from one lakh to 112 lakh during the past 60 years.
Ms Bedi, who sought voluntary retirement from service in November last year, called for improvement in the enrollment and making quality education accessible to one and all in the country.
She also lamented the huge percentage (90 per cent) of school dropouts in India, saying the government should make allout efforts to ensure that the anomalies were corrected.
''If India has to be a developed nation, it should first put its house in order,'' said Ms Bedi, who also served the United Nations as Police Advisor in the Peacekeeping Department and was conferred the UN medal for outstanding services.
She said the Government of India wanted to control higher education, but did little to increase the number of vocational schools in the country.
Citing China as an example, Ms Bedi said the Asian economic giant had 500,000 vocational schools.
Ms Bedi had sought premature retirement almost two years ahead of her superannuation following disappointment over denial of the post of Delhi Police Commissioner to her.
At that time, she was holding the post of Director-General of the Bureau of Police Research and Development.
Before seeking voluntary retirement, Ms Bedi had gone on a protest leave for four months over the appointment of her junior Y S Dadwal as Police Commissioner of Delhi.
She had termed as ''regretful'' the decision to appoint Mr Dadwal on the top post, saying ''it was not fair to the system''.
Ms Bedi had then said that she wanted to do something creative, dynamic and challenging, and her focus would be academics and might also opt for a teaching job.
The convocation was also addressed by late Shastri's son and senior Congress leader Anil Shastri.