Union minister MM Pallam Raju speaks at XLRI auditorium on Saturday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
Jamshedpur, Dec. 7: Union human resource development minister M.M. Pallam Raju today outlined the Centre’s plans to broad base education by focussing on three “Es”— expansion, equity and excellence — while delivering the 22nd JRD Tata Oration on business ethics at XLRI this evening.
Raju, an MBA from Temple University in Philadelphia, US, was the first politician to deliver the prestigious lecture.
He said there had been sea change in the education scenario since Independence.
“From 17 per cent literacy rate we have grown to 74 per cent literacy rate. Women’s literacy rate has grown to 66 per cent. From 26 universities and 690 colleges, the country has now 700 universities and close to 30,000 colleges,” he said in his speech on “Ethical challenges for India today”.
The Centre, he said, was stressing on equity in education and taking literacy to those sections of society that had been left out and the Right To Education (RTE) Act was the bridge.
The focus of the government in the coming years would be on excellence in education and efforts were on to make up for the massive shortfall of teachers, estimated to be over six lakh.
“The government’s focus is on quality education for all. We aim to provide holistic education grounded in ethics with special focus on the marginalised lot,” Raju said.
The minister went on to delve on three different facets — education, business and politics — that, he said, were linked to ethics in the country.
“Higher education must pay more attention to help students understand how to lead ethical, reflective, fulfilling lives. So far, it has not demonstrated a deep concern for the problem of ethics. Even in B-schools, a strong ethics education can help counteract a narrowing world view that often accompanies a student’s progression through business school,” Raju said.
Raju complimented XLRI for having introduced a core course on “managerial ethics” for its programmes.
Later, he inaugurated a new international centre at XLRI where the second semester of a global management course, offered by the institute and B-schools from US and China, would commence from January 10, 2014.
While speaking to newspersons earlier in the day at Sonari Airport, the minister said a vigilance committee had been constituted to check the implementation of RTE.
The government, he added, would soon come up with an Act to restore regulatory powers to All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).