Sam Pitroda oppose political interference in education



Bhubaneswar: Knowledge Commission chairman Sam Pitroda on Saturday opposed the political interference in higher education institutions like universities.

While putting forth his views at an interactive programme organised by Task Force on Higher Education, Pitroda pointed out that the current growth rate between seven to 10 per cent could not become sustainable unless there was growth in education sector.

Pitroda said the vice-chancellor of a reputed univarsity was unable to take decision without permission from the politicians concerned.

He said Gurus (teachers) should be respected and honoured as they hold the key to development of the nation.

Stating that political will is also a key factor for brining change in the education system, Pitroda said he along with Kapil Sibal and Montek Singh Ahluwalia were planning to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to get Higher Education Bill passed in the parliament.

Since Orissa government had a strong political will power to bring change in the system, Pitroda said he was optimistic of the state becoming a learning centre soon.

India had already lost track on its traditional knowledge, the advisor to Prime Minister on public information, infrastructure and innovations, said adding that there were as many as 12,000 herbal medicine plants available in the country which could not be used for the betterment of the people.

Recalling his childhood days at a nondescript place in Orissa, Pitroda said traditional knowledge of his mother kept him and his brothers and sisters healthy and wise.

"Therefore, traditional knowledge should be tapped, he said.

Reiterating recommendations made by Knowledge Commission, Pitroda said India required at least 1500 universities to keep the country's higher education going. The scientists should also be allowed to teach in varsities which could be helpful for students, he said.

Pitroda said as higher education required a high funding, there was a need for developing infrastructure on public-private-partnership (PPP).

PTI