New Delhi: Ruing "decay" in education system, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said political interference was responsible for the decline and asserted that his government would not meddle and only focus on providing resources to the educational institutions.
Kejriwal said education is the "topmost priority" of the AAP government and it would extend all possible assistance to the educational institutions in their pursuit of excellence.
"Political interference shiksha ko khaye ja rahi hai (political interference has been decaying the education system)," Kejriwal said addressing the 10th convocation of Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (GGSIPU).
The Chief Minister said he has given the the Vice Chancellor of the university a "blank cheque" and asked him to prepare a blueprint to make the institution one of the top 100 universities in the world.
"I have given the VC a blank cheque and have asked him to prepare a plan for the university so it can stand among top 100 universities in the world," he said.
Vice President Hamid Ansari, who also attended the function, expressed concern over lack of research in the country, saying only one per cent of the students enrolled in higher education are pursuing research in various areas.
"This reflects a lack of focus on research. India's output in PhDs is relatively small and its share in world output of science papers in 2012 stood at around 3.6 per cent compared to more than 14 per cent of China.
"We have to aim at quadrupling our research and development base, stimulate research where R&D productivity is relatively lower and build large publicly funded an privately managed facilities to help researchers," he added.
The Chief Minister said he will not allow any political interference but support the institutions by providing all required resources.
"Education is the topmost priority of our government and I assure that there will be no political interference. If you want resources, if you want amendments in any laws or provision, approach us we will facilitate it but there will be no interference from government's side," he added.
Telling the students about the responsibilities they should be bearing once they graduate from the university, Kejriwal said, "Earning money and serving your family is one responsibility but serving the society and country is equally important in a democracy."
"Going out and voting once in five years is definitely not participating in a democracy. If everyone will just think about their families, India will seize to be a democracy," he added.
Kejriwal said good people had stopped joining politics as it was damaged but after formation of AAP, people from various walks have started joining politics. "There is a ray of hope."
Established in 1998 by the Delhi Government, GGSIPU has 13 on campus colleges and 107 affiliated colleges with a student strength of 70,000.
The varsity was initially named after the ancient mythological city of Indraprastha, which features prominently in the Mahabharata epic. In 2001, it was officially re-christened as Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (GGSIPU) after the Tenth Great guru of Sikhs Guru Gobind Singh.
Addressing the gathering, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that the AAP government is contemplating setting up incubation centres for encouraging entrepreneurs.
"Diversity is our strength that offers fertile ground for innovation which is critical for technological process and increased productivity. Keeping this in mind, our government is contemplating to set up incubation centres and university for fostering innovations and skill development."