Chennai: Asserting that the centre was committed to providing quality education to the poor, Prime Minister (PM) Manmohan Singh on Friday said that his government has taken several initiatives to achieve this goal by setting up several technical institutions including six new (Indian Institute of Technology) IITs in the current academic session.
Inaugurating the global Pan-IIT conference here through video conferencing from his office in New Delhi, he said “I am proud of the fact that we are able to start six new IITs in the academic year 2008-09. We also initiated a second wave of institution-building, and promoted excellence.”
Apart from the new IITs, the government was in the process of setting 30 Central Institutes of Excellence, 10 National Institutes of Technology (NIT), 20 Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIIT), 2 Indian Institutes of Science (IISc), 2 Schools of Architecture and Planning and 1000 new polytechnics across the country in the next five years.
“We also need to be alive to the need for providing access to quality education to the poor and the disadvantaged. Our Government has implemented a series of scholarship schemes for the under-privileged sections of the society, which I am confident, would help us make the growth in educational opportunities inclusive,” Singh said.
It was India’s “destiny” to become a knowledge power, Singh said adding the IITs, had contributed “handsomely” in the country’s efforts to realise this destiny.
The IIT community was acknowledged as a community that had contributed very significantly to the knowledge economy and knowledge society, globally and in India, he said.
The IIT impact study released by the PM had validated this assessment, he said adding that the bigger opportunity today was that such a large and rich community was available for generating ideas and initiatives that may help translate the emerging wonder of ‘India at 60´ into the embodied success of ‘India at 75´.