New Delhi: Seeking active engagement of
the Indian diaspora in improving educational infrastructure,
the government on Friday said the country would need over USD 150
billion worth of investment in the next 10 years to sustain
high economic growth.
Speaking at the inaugural session of the ninth Pravasi
Bhartiya Divas here, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal invited the
diaspora back to the "land of new opportunities" and help the
government bridge the mismatch between demand and supply in
the education sector.
Identifying education as the key to India`s future, he
said in the next 15-20 years, the country will have to produce
at least 250 million graduates and 500 million skilled workers
to sustain high growth rate and to become one of the top
nations in the world.
Sibal said currently only 12.4 per cent of the total
220 million school going children reach college and government
aims to increase the percentage to 30 by 2020.
"If we are to achieve the percentage of college going
students to 30, we will need 1,000 more universities and
45,000 more colleges. So there is a huge opportunity. It is
not an easy job. It is a mindboggling challenge and I think 25
million diaspora is our strength here," Sibal said at the
annual meet being attended by about 1,500 delegates from
across the globe.
Currently, the country has around 600 universities and
"If you increase the college enrollment to 30 per cent,
you will get a critical mass going to university, which
is important for any nation because they generate intellectual
property which transforms into goods and services which then
becomes the foundation of trade," he said.
Asking for deeper engagement in creating intellectual
wealth, Sibal said the country needs investment of USD 150
billion alone in education sector in the next 10 years.
"If India is to become an important member in the comity
of nations, the foundations of our strength will ultimately
lie in the empowerment of our youth," the minister said.
Giving account of government`s initiatives in reforming
the education sector, Sibal said various legislations are in
the offing including the Foreign Education Providers Bill but
put the blame on the Opposition parties for not allowing
Parliament to function in the Winter Session, therby resulting
in delay in their passage.