PM promises ₹10k cr to lift 20 varsities to 'world class'
Patna: Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Saturday that the Union Government will provide Rs 10,000 crore to 20 of the country's universities to lift them to "best in the world" standards. Addressing a function to mark the centenary celebrations of Patna University here, he expressed dismay that no Indian university figures among the top 500 internationally.
The Prime Minister vowed to unshackle our higher education institutions, pointing out that measures like grant of Central status were "a thing of the past" and that his Government has taken "a step forward" towards making 10 private universities and 10 government ones world class.
"My government took an important step towards unshackling the IIMs, freeing them from the clutches of restrictions and regulations set by the government. We intend to do the same for our universities and ensure that our centres of higher learning figure among the best 500 in the world," Modi emphasised.
Modi stressed the need for universities to give more emphasis to "learning and innovation" and give up old teaching methods which focus on "cramming students' minds with information". He also replied in what has become his trademark style to a fervent plea by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who in his welcome address had urged Modi "with folded hands that Central status be granted to Patna University".
"I would like to say something about a demand that was raised here and met with loud cheers by the young crowd attending this ceremony. Issues like grant of Central status have become a thing of the past. We are taking a step forward," he opined.
"We will provide assistance of Rs 10,000 crore to 10 private universities and an equal number of government ones for a period of five years. All these universities have to do is to demonstrate their potential to become world class," he assured.
The universities will not be selected by the prime minister or a chief minister or any other political figure, he said, adding that their potential will be assessed by a professional, third party agency. "I exhort Patna University to seize this opportunity," said Modi
Welcoming the role of young information technology professionals in changing the international outlook towards India, Modi observed, "Earlier we were seen as a land of snake charmers, exorcism and superstitions.Long back, while on a visit to Taiwan, I told a friend that we, as a nation, have moved from snakes to the mouse."
"We are a nation of 800 million young people, 65 per cent of our population is below the age of 35 years," the Prime Minister noted. "There is nothing that we cannot achieve with such a huge demographic advantage."