India far from being a knowledge power: Arjun Singh


New Delhi : Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh Saturday expressed scepticism over India’s knowledge power status and said the country needed more funds and dedication for improvement in the education sector.

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“We cannot become a knowledge power with only 10 percent of our students enrolled in higher education,” Singh said.

The minister was speaking at the first anniversary celebration of the National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA) here.

“Always there is problem of fund and we are yet to spend six percent of our GDP on education. But we are trying to increase the higher education enrolment,” the minister added.

He further said that the country should not forget about elementary education.

“The quality of primary education is a matter of concern. Some of our schemes are really doing well but we all should focus on retention of students in schools. We have to improve our skill and competence to achieve it,” he said.

Delivering the first foundation day lecture, renowned economist Prabhat Patnaik said that the government had not given enough attention to education so far.

“It’s shocking that 40 percent of our children of school-going age are away from it. We have starved our educational system,” Patnaik said, adding that there was a “lack of political will”.

NUEPA, which was established as a national university on Aug 11, 2006, is the first university in India engaged in research and capacity building on education planning and management.