President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday cautioned that a scenario opposite to job creation can spell disaster in the country.
Addressing a conference of heads of educational institutions, he said job creation figures were the lowest in past seven years and jobs creation is a priority.
Citing incidents of student unrest in institutions, the President emphasised upon a harmonious and peaceful environment for students to pursue higher studies and asked government departments concerned to facilitate academic leaders.
Mukherjee said country’s institutions must become magnets for talent by shifting from “brain drain” to “brain rain”.
“In India, we have enough talent. With the largest population of the young, we are poised to leverage a low dependency ratio. But that depends on the productivity of the population in the working age bracket. If there are enough jobs in the country, there will be content, refinement and perfection. An opposite scenario can spell disaster.
“The restlessness and frustration of youth manifests in unrest and upheaval. Let us not allow such a situation to appear on our horizon. We must turn our evolving demographic configuration into strength. For that, adequate job creation is a priority. The job creation figures of 1.35 lakh in 2015, which is the lowest in seven years, are not encouraging,” the President said.
He said with machines fast replacing men, there is a need to have a look at a paradigm shift.
“From ‘brain drain’, we must shift to abundance of ‘brain rain’, as many successful Indian professionals working abroad are keen to come back, excited by the opportunities unfolding in a changing India.
“With adequate thrust on internationalisation of our institutions, we can develop ‘brain networks’,” Mukherjee said, addressing the second visitor’s conference at Rashtrapati Bhavan. The President said educational institutions must have a harmonious and peaceful environment.
“There have been incidences of student unrest in our institutions in recent past. Our campuses must have a harmonious and peaceful environment for students to pursue higher studies and research. Vice-chancellors and directors must deal with any unpleasant situation with sagacity.
“They must take help of all well-wishers including inspired teachers, who by the dint of their wisdom, conviction and conduct, can inspire confidence among students and have a calming influence. The concerned administrative ministries must also facilitate the academic leaders.” he said.
Mukherjee also launched the national student startup policy which aims to create one lakh technology based student start-ups and a million employment opportunities within the next 10 years.
The President said the global rankings of our higher educational institutions belie our economic prowess.
He said to attract bright students with limited means, a support base comprising options like deferred and variable fees and income-contingent loans will be necessary.
Mukherjee said the challenge to attain global standards for our higher education system is two-fold.