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Education is a critical tool for developing modern economy: Hamid Ansari

The Vice President of India, M Hamid Ansari has opined
that in the twenty-first century, education is a critical tool for developing a
modern economy, a just society and a vibrant polity. It provides skills and
competencies for economic well-being and social mobility.

“Education strengthens democracy by imparting to
citizens the tools needed to fully participate in the governance process. It
also acts as an integrative force in society, imparting values that foster
social cohesion and national identity,” he said.

Addressing the “Valedictory Function of the
Quartoseptcentenial (175 years) of Madras Christian College (MCC)” in Chennai,
Tamil Nadu he has said that the goal of education is not to produce
machine-like humans. It is to inculcate in them a social conscience so that
they build a fine balance between the heart and mind. True education should
equip individuals to live creatively, responsibly, and peacefully and to become
agents of change for a better society.

He said that it is generally accepted that the human
being is a moral creature, possessed of faculties that make it responsible for
its actions.

“These faculties are intellect or a power of
thinking, conscience or a capacity to distinguish between right and wrong, and
will or an ability to make a choice on the basis of motive and character.
Together, they constitute what has been called the moral landscape,” Ansari
said.

He went on to say that such a landscape does exist,
consciously or unconsciously, in every human being and the effort of education,
culture and civilization down the ages has been to awaken these faculties and
hone them for individual or collective purposes in terms of the requirements of
the period.

“A well educated population, equipped with the
relevant knowledge, attitudes and skills is essential for economic and social
development in this century. It is estimated that developed economies and even
China will face a shortage of about 40 million highly skilled workers by 2020,
while, based on current projections of higher education, India is likely to see
some surplus of graduates in 2020. Thus, India could capture a higher share of
global knowledge-based economy work, if there is focus on higher education and
its quality is globally benchmarked,” he added.

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