The Vice President of India, M Venkaiah Naidu today called for collective efforts by all stakeholders to make India 100 percent literate in the near future.Inaugurating the Centenary celebrations of National College at Tiruchirappalli, in Tamil Nadu today, the Vice President expressed disappointment over the fact that India still has 18-20% illiterate population, even after 70 years of independence.Observing that literacy was a step towards empowerment, he called for stepping up the pace of literacy campaigns, especially those that have an impact on adult literacy.Expressing his concern that none of the premier Indian Universities figured in the top 300 global list of institutions, the Vice President said that though India was home to premier institutions like IISc, IIT, IIM, only 56 institutions were featured in the 500 universitiesthat made it to the ‘Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020’.Stating that India was once known as Vishwaguru and the education capital of the world, he urged Universities and other institutions to regain the past glory so that India once again attains its position of eminence in education field.Pointing out that education was the key to fast-tracking development while ensuring social justice and equal opportunities to all, the Vice President called for enhancing investment in education from the current 4.6 percent of GDP to 6 percent of GDP as mandated by the NITI Aayog.He urged big businesses to come forward and strengthen educational institutions across the country. “The future of India’s education lies in effective and efficient models of Public-Private partnerships,” he added.
He also called for immediate steps to bring in a shift from rote-learning to conceptual and application-oriented learning to promote innovation, entrepreneurship, research and skill development to realize India’s Demographic dividend and make it a manufacturing hub and human resources capital of the world.Asking the educational institutions to provide holistic, value-based education to inculcate cultural, social and moral values in students, the Vice President said that the new education policy must include the rich history of the country and the life stories of the great men and women.Underlining the importance of protecting and promoting the mother tongue, Shri Naidu emphasized that there should not be any imposition of a language, nor should there be opposition.Stating that healthy youth population was vital for the progress of the nation, the Vice President advised the youngsters to avoid junk food and maintain fitness by undertaking regular physical activities.Calling upon the people to protect the environment, he said that it was the sacred duty of every individual to pass its bounties to the future generations. “If we do not take remedial measures now, these damages will become irreversible,” he warned.The Vice President released a commemorative postal stamp brought out by the postal department on the occasion of the centenary of the National College.ThiruVellamandiN.Natarajan, The Minister for Tourism, Govt of Tamil Nadu, President, National College, Dr. V. Krishnamurthy, Secretary, National College, Shri K. Raghunathan, Director, National College, Dr. K. Anbarasu, Executive Committee Member, National College, Shri N.L. Rajah, Principal, National College, Dr. R. Sundararaman, and others were present.