Quality of education, skill must be improved: Pranab

Kolkata : Reflecting on the standard of education in the country, President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday said unless its quality was enhanced, the Indian workforce can turn out to be a “tremendous liability” instead of being a dividend.

The President was addressing an event titled “Industry Academia Innovation Platform” organised by the CII here.

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While observing that the Indian economy was poised to grow at 7.5 per cent in the next two years, Mukherjee said mere policy formulation will not attract investment unless there is infrastructural adequacy.

“We often boast about India’s demographic dividend. But the question that arises is what we do with this if we cannot skill them, if we cannot educate them and cannot enhance their employability.

“Therefore, we must focus on building capacity, improve skill and educate our workforce. Otherwise, the largest workforce of the world, instead of being a dividend can become a tremendous liability,” said Mukherjee.

The President stressed on deeper academia-industry interface and said the Centre’s initiatives like the Start-up India and Skill India have contributed towards capacity building.

“Our GDP growth rate has been 7.3 per cent in 2015-16 and it is expected in the next two calendar years our GDP growth will be 7.5 per cent. Both the industrial and manufacturing have performed well.

“But in order to have a knowledge economy, we must focus on research and innovation. Innovation is the need of the hour, and that is not possible without having deeper interface between academia and the industry,” he said.

He also underlined the importance of improving ease of doing business, developing infrastructural facilities and improving the standard of education and educational institution for the robust growth of the economy.

“Mere policy formulation will not attract investments unless there is infrastructural adequacy. We also need to transform policy into action and ensure ease of doing business.

“In the last four years, almost at every education congregation I have been parroting about the need to improve the quality of learning and improving the standard of our educational institutions.

“If we can do all these, then India will be the most attractive investment destination in the world,” added Mukherjee.