An excerpt from the speech “Building INDIA - Making Growth Inclusive and Sustainable” at the CII National Conference and Annual Session 2008 in New Delhi on 30th April 2008
‘Golden Quadrilateral in education and healthcare’ This is an area that will receive our highest attention is massive expansion of opportunities in all spheres of education, which I believe is critical for making economic growth both inclusive and sustainable. If we look at the educational landscape in India today, we cannot but notice that while the license-quota-permit raj may have made a partial or full exit from various sectors of the economy, it is alive and kicking in the education sector — especially in higher and professional education. Currently, as one study has noted, “the education system remains suspended between over-regulation by the state on the one hand, and a discretionary privatization that is unable to mobilize private capital in productive ways”. First, the various regulatory bodies in the field of education have not only become corrupt and highly bureaucratic, but they have indeed constrained the growth of educational infrastructure in India. We shall employ the sharp knife of reform to remove every layer of control that is unnecessary, while strengthening every regulation that enhances quality and accountability.
Second, capacity creation, in which the private sector and philanthropic institutions will need to share the major economic cost of subsequent expansion. If successfully implemented, these measures will ensure that our talented girls and boys are able to have adequate and quality seats in engineering, medicine, management, agriculture, veterinary sciences and scores of new areas that have sprung up in recent years. Finally, in order to make higher and professional education inclusive, we shall increase the number of scholarships and attractive educational loans by such an order of magnitude that no deserving student is deprived of an opportunity to have an education of his or her choice. I believe that democratisation of education is the key to democratization of social and economic growth. It will, in short, be our resolve to have the equivalent of the ‘Golden Quadrilateral’ in education and healthcare — that is, building a new Highway to take our children and youth towards the goal of Sushikshit Bharat, Swastha Bharat and Samruddha Bharat. Enhancing employability of India’s youth.’