Vice President Venkaiah Naidu Tuesday said knowledge is going to be the driver of the Indian economy and will play a vital role in improving the living conditions of people. India must rise to the occasion and reorient its higher education system, in order to be globally competitive, Naidu said, addressing the 16th convocation ceremony of Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research here.
Eight PhD, six M.Phil and 29 M.Sc degrees were awarded by the Vice President on the occasion. “The education system should be reoriented by moving away from the colonial mindset; it must teach history in an objective manner as it actually unfolded,” he said.
“Education is not only for employment. It should empower the individual with knowledge and wisdom to sift the wheat from the chaff. Access to quality education for all and at all levels is equally essential to ensure inclusive growth and prevent any kind of discrimination,” he said.
Time has come for India to once again emerge as the global knowledge hub, he said. “For that to happen, the seats of learning, especially the universities, must reinvent themselves as hubs of vibrant intellectual pursuit,” he said.
While it accounts for less than a fifth of the GDP, agriculture still remains the main source of employment for nearly half of Indias labour force, he said.
“To improve labour productivity in agriculture, we need greater on-farm value addition/agro-processing and innovative institutional arrangements in the sector which will improve the bargaining strength of farmers in the market,” Naidu said. “We must not hesitate to introduce a number of structural changes in our agricultural sector to make it profitable,” he said.