Modi interacts with students of Fergusson College, Pune
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi expressed concern over the universities turning into “money-making machines” rather than “man-making centres”. He said there is a need to link the country’s talent pool with nation-building, like in China. He was speaking on ‘Role of Education in Nation Building’ in a tete-a-tete with 1,500 students of Fergusson College run by 128-year-old Deccan Education Society of Pune on July 14. He said that the neglect of Human Resource Development (HRD) is responsible for stifling the aspirations and growth of the youth.
The Pune speech comes four months after he addressed students at Sri Ram College of Commerce in New Delhi. “After Independence, had we opted for modern education, we could have done a lot in these 60 years,” he said. There is an atmosphere of nirasha (despondency) in the country today “(but) I don’t endorse this view,” he said. “It is essential that we get out of this view,” he stressed. Contrasting the Indian and US education system, he said in the US system, ways are found to nurture a person’s creativity. He also spoke of the old gurukul system in India and how people from all over the world came to study at Indian education hubs such as Nalanda.
Comparing China with India, he said China had prepared its vision in 1978, identified four-five fields for excellence and set a goal to ensure that there should be at least 40 Chinese universities in the world’s top 500 universities by 2000. It has 32 ‘world class’ universities now. China spends 20 per cent of its GDP on education, India spends 4 per cent. China and India produced same number of PhD ten years back. Today, China produces seven times more Ph.D. than India. In foreign countries, doctoral theses form the basis of government policies. In India, scholars have no value. No nation can progress without academic excellence.