India putting in place national knowledge network: PM


Guwahati : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Tuesday said his government was putting in place a national network to facilitate sharing of knowledge and information among higher educational institutions of the country.

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“We are putting in place an Integrated National Knowledge Network that would have nodes to all major institutions of higher education and learning,” Manmohan Singh said in his speech at a function in the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati.

“This network would help our institutions of higher learning to connect with each other and carry on the relevant interdisciplinary dialogue,” he added.

The prime minister said: “Collaboration and co-creation are becoming the hallmark of higher education today in an increasingly democratizing and globalised world”.

“Academic resources can then flow from institutions like IITs, IIMs, national research institutions and universities into each other enriching every participating institution.

“The first phase of the network will become functional before the end of this year and this IIT at Guwahati will be part of it,” he added.

He said the government is trying to universalize quality elementary education through the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan scheme. “We are beginning a major expansion of secondary schooling.”

He said they are committed to building eight new IITs, seven new IIMs, 16 new central universities, 14 world class universities and five new Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research of which few are already functioning.

“We have tried to address the uneven geographical spread of higher education facilities in this phase of rapid expansion. The northeast, and in particular Assam, has received its due share of such institutions,” the prime minister said.

Of the eight proposed IITs, six have already started operation from the current academic session. With six new IITs coming into operation, India has a total of 13 IITs, known as the best engineering and technology institutes of the country.