New Delhi: Favouring early passage of key
bills related to higher education, Advisor to the Prime
Minister on Public Information and Innovations Sam Pitroda
on Saturday said they were vital for the nation`s economy.
"Higher education reforms are essential if the nation is
to meet the serious challenge of skill shortage that will not
allow the economy to grow at 8 to 10 per cent annually," he
In this context, he stressed on early passage of the
12-odd bills on higher education pending in Parliament and
especially referred to about "five bills which has been
drafted but not been tabled in Parliament as yet".
He said while several recommendations of the National
Knowledge Commission are in the process of being implemented,
they were awaiting the government to act on recommendations
relating to reform of higher education.
Talking about the ambitious National Knowledge Network
(NKN), Pitroda said the project is expected to be ready in
about nine months entailing USD 5 billion.
The network would be a state-of-the-art multi-gigabit
pan-India network for providing a unified high speed network
backbone for all knowledge-related institutions in the
It would facilitate the building of quality institutions
with requisite research facilities and creating a pool of
highly-trained professionals, he said.
The NKN would be a platform for delivering effective
distance education where teachers and students can interact in
real time, promising a boon to countries like India where
access to education is limited by factors such as geography,
lack of infrastructure facilities etc, he said.
The network enables co-sharing of information such as
classroom lectures, presentations and handouts among different
Besides, he said the NKN will enable scientists,
researchers and students from different backgrounds and
diverse geographies to work closely for advancing human
development in critical and emerging areas.