Understanding the large magnitude of investment needed for the education system in India, permitting private sector investment was the consensual sentiment echoed by young Members of Parliament.
The Parliamentarians were addressing the session on 'India's Demographics: Challenges & Opportunities' at the CII National Conference and Annual Session 2008 on “Building People: Building India” being held on 29 and 30 April 2008 at New Delhi.
Advocating the need for a collective effort by all constituents of society including government, industry, political parties and media for universal primary education, Congress MP Sachin Pilot called for distinguishing between knowledge, educational degrees and skill sets as the components of employability. Admitting the existence of disguised unemployment in the agricultural sector, he emphasized the need for expansion of options for gainful employment of youth in the non-farm sectors.
Biju Janata Dal MP B J Panda suggested induction of the private sector in the forefront of education administration in India. He also urged the private sector to participate in the primary education system.
Stressing on the need for enhancing the effectiveness of government spending, Kirti V Singh, Samajwadi Party, reiterated that focus on education in rural India was key to improvement of education levels in India. He also suggested setting up of district level skill institutes for catering to specific training requirements.
Acknowledging the belief about India's demographic dividend, Shiv Sena MP Suresh Prabhu cautioned against the rapidly increasing population which was indeed acting as a constraint since growth in population does not transmute to a growth of the working population.
Identifying skill formation and upgradation as the primary issues of concern, Mohammad Salim, from the CPM, stressed on the need of focus on vocational education to enhance vertical mobility in the economic system.
Accentuating the importance of transparency and accountability of Government spending, Ms Supriya Sule, Nationalist Congress Party MP, shared details about the implementation of programs like Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan in the state of Maharashtra.