Focus more on schools than on higher education: Digvijay Singh tells Sibal

Posted By: Nairita Das
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Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh), Sept.12 (ANI): Congress party general secretary Digvijay Singh has asked Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Kapil Sibal to focus on school rather than higher education.

Reacting to Sibal's proposal to reform premier technology institutes and include courses in medicine, enroll foreign students and recruit overseas faculties at the post-graduate level, Singh said: "The need at the moment is that the Human Resource Development Ministry should pay more attention to the school education and skill development centers rather than higher education. I have full faith that they will look into the matter."

Singh also praised the landmark Forest Rights Act, and hoped it would empower tribals.

"In order to improve the financial condition of the tribal and non-tribal population living in the forests, they should be made the owners of the forest property. The government should continue the scientific forest management, but they should try that the profits reach them," said Singh.

The government passed the Recognition of Forest Rights Act in 2006 and notified it in 2008; with the aim of ensuring security of land rights to forest dwellers and granting them access to minor forest produce such bamboo, honey, wax, medicinal plants and fish.

But more than two years later, the landmark legislation - which overturned centuries-old colonial legislation made by the British to exploit India's rich forest resources - has not shown the results hoped for.

The Ministry of Tribal Affairs' 2009/10 annual report shows only about 25 percent of the 2.6 million claims made for recognition of land rights have been awarded title deeds. (ANI)

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