India should aspire to become global power of happiness: President Pranab Mukherjee

President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday underscored the need for India to be a global powerhouse not just in terms of economic parameters but also 'Gross National Happiness'.

PTI| Last Updated: Apr 14, 2017, 17:55 PM IST
India should aspire to become global power of happiness: President Pranab Mukherjee

Bengaluru: President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday underscored the need for India to be a global powerhouse not just in terms of economic parameters but also 'Gross National Happiness'.

"If we aspire to be one of the leading economic powers of the world, yes, we can be, but merely in statistical terms, in terms of gross domestic product (GDP), in terms of skill are not adequate," Mukherjee said after laying the foundation stone for the Bengaluru Dr B R Ambedkar School of Economics here.

The President said the concept of development has changed now and international organisations like the World Bank and IMF are talking about development in terms of GDP as well as Gross National Happiness (GNH).

"Along with GDP, GNH is considered as one of the important factors of development," Mukherjee emphasised.

He expressed concern over unemployability of the youth in India, saying "600 million youth are entering the job market, but their employability is not adequate".

"They are educated, but not employable. Their employability is not up to the world standard," he said.

Mukherjee observed that skill development may not appear glamorous but is most important in the Indian context.

Putting a premium on quality, the President said it is important to maintain international standards in education and training to make Indian youth employable in the world.

"IITs have 100 per cent campus recruitments. IITians are working in MNCs across the world at different positions. Even Dr B R Ambedkar School of Economics will not be local but of international repute," Mukherjee stressed, calling upon the state government to run the school with this objective.

He expressed happiness that the school is named after Ambedkar, the father of the Indian Constitution, a "bright product" from the London School of Economics.

Speaking on the occasion, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the state government has already allocated a sum of Rs 150 crore towards setting up of the school.

"Further, Rs 75 crore are being released in the next five years in a phased manner for setting up of the proposed corpus. It has also been decided to release the recurring grant of Rs 10 crore each year for the next five years," he added.

Union ministers Ananth Kumar and D V Sadananda Gowda, state Governor Vajubhai Vala were present, along with state higher education minister Basavaraj Rayareddi and academicians.