`SCs/STs, minorities have little access to basic education`
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Last Updated: Saturday, May 21, 2011, 00:42
New Delhi: A National Advisory Council member on Friday lamented that marginalised sections have "little access" to basic education and warned it would turn into a "demographic nightmare" if they remain uneducated.

Delivering a lecture 'Analysing and Envisioning India' organised by Centre for Media Studies, NAC member Narendra Jadhav said there are a large number of people to whom the benefits of development have not reached.

"They are the poorest and marginalised sections of our society...We all need to hang our heads in shame in knowing that only two per cent of the population of SCs, STs and minorities have some sort of access to basic education," Jadhav, also a Planning Commission member, said.

"It does not auger well for a country which aspires to become the economic power house of the world...When 98 per cent of a section of our society don't get access to basic education, it's high time when we all hanged our heads in shame," Jadhav said.

He said the country can take advantage of this demographic dividend by setting the education system in order.

"We will be doing a great injustice to the marginalised section of our society, if we didn't transform our education system...It might even turn into a demographic nightmare if India's large population remained uneducated," he said.

He also pressed on the need to have an inclusive growth as only an inclusive growth can be sustainable.

"If we don't make our growth inclusive then we can't sustain the high growth pattern we have achieved."

Terming the condition of minorities, especially Muslims, no better than Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, Jadhav said one must work towards improving the lives of our minorities.

Jadhav also termed the thriving caste system as the biggest hurdle in the path of India's economic development.

"British ruled us for 150 years but it's the 3000 years old cast system which is still alive and thriving...Yes it's the caste system that is responsible for India's downfall," he said.


First Published: Saturday, May 21, 2011, 00:42

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