Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday said time has come to provide greater access to higher education for all sections, particularly the vulnerable sections of the society.
“The vision of higher education in India is to realize the country’s human resource potential to its fullest with equity and inclusion. This essentially means providing greater access to higher education for all sections, particularly the vulnerable sections of the society,” he said while addressing the Special Convocation 2017 of SRM University, in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
Highlighting that the budget outlay for higher education has been increased, he said that the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) on its part has come out with several schemes to underscore the importance of inclusive education.
“The Ministry of Human Resources Development on its part has come out with several schemes underscoring the importance of inclusive education,” he said, adding, “The budget outlay for higher education has been increased and the process of identifying universities as centres of excellence, which include many private universities, has begun.”
Making note of the importance of the country as an ancient learning centre, he said that the country was once known as ‘Viswaguru’ and was the global center of learning.
“India was once known as ‘Viswaguru’ and was the global center of learning as knowledge-seekers from all corners of the world used to come here and study at Takshashila, Nalanda and other centres of learning. The situation has changed following Mughal invasions and the British colonization and now the time has come for India to once again emerge as the global knowledge hub.”
Saying that the higher education in the country is passing through a phase of unprecedented expansion, he said that the challenge of providing equal opportunities for quality higher education is also a historic opportunity for correcting sectoral and social imbalances.
“Higher education in India is passing through a phase of unprecedented expansion, marked by an explosion in the volume of students, a substantial expansion in the number of institutions and a quantum jump in the level of public funding, he said, adding, “The enormity of the challenge of providing equal opportunities for quality higher education to ever-growing number of students is also a historic opportunity for correcting sectoral and social imbalances, reinvigorating institutions, creating new benchmarks of excellence and extending the frontiers of knowledge.”
Appreciating the SRM University for carving out a name for itself among the private universities, he said that the university’s initiative of offering scholarships worth more than Rs 15 crore every year is praiseworthy.
“SRM University has carved out a name for itself among the private universities in India by providing quality education,” said, adding, “The university offers scholarships worth more than 15 crores every year which speaks about the inclination of the university management to reach out to the academically brilliant and economically deprived sections of the society.”
Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit, State Minister for Higher Education KP Anbalagan and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.