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By Way2k Way2k
Way2k 5 Oct 2012
Despite RTE, 70% kids not get edu

"India needs to address five core problems if it wants to become a developed and modern nation. The five key problems hurting the nation are education, water, energy, corruption and governance. India also has the world's richest natural and historical resources that need to be preserved for the development of the country," said Padma Bhushan awardee and noted scientist P. M. Bhargava in a press conference at Banaras Hindu University (BHU) on 21st March, Wednesday. Bhargava was invited for a special lecture on 'art and science' by the varsity as a part of special series of lectures to mark the 150 {+t} {+h} birth anniversary celebrations of Pt Madan Mohan Malviya, founder of BHU on 21st March, Wednesday.

Despite RTE, 70% kids not get edu

The noted scientist and founder director of Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, laid stress on de-commercialisation of education. "It hurts when we come to learn that not a single provision of Right to Education (RTE) Act has been implemented after nearly two years of its enactment in the country. We need to follow common school system where rich and poor get education under the same roof without any discrimination. We need to extend the reach of central school system (Kendriya Vidyalays) to cater to the needs of students," he added on the occasion.

He said that though the literacy rate in the country is increasing, nearly 70% of school-age children are still not getting proper education. "How can we expect to improve and change the higher education scenario when the primary education that provides the base and foundation is not given attention? There is a need to bolster spending in education to nearly 6% of GDP and we can come up with nearly five lakh government-run high schools on the lines of central schools. We also need to develop and upgrade technology keeping in mind the needs and requirements of our people so that the benefits of technology could reach the community," he added.

Sharing some nostalgic moments and his Varanasi connection with the journalists, Bhargava said that he was one of the fortunate students to get direct admission in class IX when he was merely 10 years old. "I passed the tests in English and maths under the university's board system (BHU board) and got direct admission in class IX at Besant Theosophical School (BTS) in 1939. My early education was done at home and my father, who was a doctor in UP government service, was posted at different places in east UP region including Azamgarh and Ballia. I spent many years in the city during my stay at Kamachcha and later shifted to Sigra in 1941. I was also fortunate to meet Mahatma Gandhi, Pt Madan Mohan Malviya and Shiv Prasad Gupt during my stay in the city," he told.

Peeved at the rising pollution in Ganga, the noted scientist said that “the department of environment, which was set up as a separate department, had come up with a concrete plan to curb pollution in Ganga two decades ago. It had stalled nearly 600 projects including construction of dams to maintain the natural flow of the river, but unfortunately, the department was merged with department of forests and the proposals were never implemented. He also added that country needs to come out of the patent system which restricts the spread of knowledge. "I think the country made a blunder by signing TRIPS agreement and joining WTO, as it reduced the chances of attaining self-sufficiency in science and technology," he added.

Bhargava and BHU vice-chancellor Lalji Singh also released the special issue of Pragya after the press conference. Later, speaking as the chief guest of valedictory function of 60th guidance course of UGC Academic Staff College in the varsity, Bhargava emphasised the logical use of knowledge. A total of 43 participants from various colleges and universities in the country had participated in the 28-day guidance course that concluded on 21st March, Wednesday.

Courtesy: Times of India

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