Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday lauded more enrollment of girls in higher education, especially in professional courses like engineering and medicine.
“I am glad to learn more girls are enrolling for higher education, which augurs well for the country’s development. In IITs (Indian Institute of Technology), their (girls) enrollment has gone up to 30 per cent in 6 years from 8 per cent in 2014,” said Modi in Hindi while delivering the centenary convocation address of the University of Mysore through virtual mode from New Delhi.
Modi also hailed the century-old university for having more young women graduating in higher education than young men.
Advising the university’s faculty and students to become more innovative, the Prime Minister said the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 would help them to become more competitive in multi-disciplinary programmes.
“It is for the first time in the country such sweeping reforms in the education field has been ushered in for multiple sectors such as incubation, technology development, industry-academic linkage and inter-disciplinary subjects,” said Modi.
Exhorting the students to strive for excellence, Modi advised them to think out of box ideas, especially in the area of start-ups for achieving self-reliance (atmanirbhar) in diverse areas.
“The NEP will bring about fundamental changes in the education set up from pre-nursery to PhD (research), as the need of the hour is for a multi-dimensional approach to become globally competitive and locally productive,” said Modi in his 25-minute address.
Noting that skilling, reskilling and upskilling were the need of the day, the Prime Minister the NEP would focus in imparting them to the workforce.
“In the last 6-7 months, the speed and ambit of reforms have been expanded. Changes are being made for rapid growth and development,” said Modi.
Asserting that NEP was a major initiative to bring fundamental change in the education set-up across the country, the prime minister said to make capable youth more competitive, a multi-dimensional approach was being focussed on.
“The effort is to make youth flexible and adaptable for changing nature of job,” he stressed.
In the last 5-6 years, 7 new IIMs have been added to the 13 IIMs. While only 7 AIIMS were serving the people over the last 6 decades, their number has been increased to 15 since 2014.
Similarly, there were only 16 IITs since independence till 2014. In the last 6 years, one IIT has been set up every year across the country, including one at Dharwad in Karnataka.
“Now you are stepping out of a formal university campus to enter a real-life university campus where you will be able to apply what you learnt for the degree,” Modi told the graduating students.
Karnataka Governor and university chancellor Vajubhai Vala presided over the convocation.
State Deputy Chief Minister C.N. Ashwath Narayan, who is also the higher education minister and university Vice-Chancellor G. Hemantha Kumar were present on the occasion.
The Crawford Hall premises where the convocation was held was sanitised ahead of the event and seating arrangements were made for only 100 dignitaries, including 30 gold medal winners in view of the Covid-induced restrictions on large public gatherings to contain the pandemic spread.
Set up way back in 1916, the university was the sixth across the country and the first in Karnataka. It was the sixth university in the country and first in Karnataka.
The University was founded by the Mysore erstwhile princely state Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar and then Diwan Sir M.V. Visvesvaraya.