Chennai: Eminent jurist Fali Sam Nariman on Friday said affirmative action in education is what the country needed and not "quotas."
"Affirmative action in education is what we need -- not quotas," he said, delivering the 49th convocation address at the IIT Madras here.
Advising students planning to go abroad for higher studies, he said, "Go, but always remember to come back. Not only because India needs you, but because (as you will only later realise) you need India."
"...Don`t be disheartened as so many have become - about quotas and reservations in education," Nariman told a large gathering of students and academics.
Citing South African leader Nelson Mandela`s words that the doors of learning should be kept open, he said, "We in this country also need to make sure that the doors of learning are always kept open because India still belongs to the developing world."
Noting that the prosperity witnessed around was "skin deep," Nariman said he was not sure whether because of globalisation or despite globalisation, the rich in India appeared to be getting richer and the poor still remained mired in abject poverty, shut out from education and job opportunities.
The eminent lawyer said he was optimistic about the future of India "Though never too optimistic about its governments - whether central or state, whether past, present or future."
"Don`t despair. Governments are the same everywhere - in every country," he said.