The President, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil, inaugurated the Sub-regional Conference of South, South-West and Central Asia on Higher Education at Vigyan Bhavan. The 2-day Conference was organized by the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development and the National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA) in collaboration with UNESCO. The theme of the conference was 'Facing Global and Local Challenges: the New Dynamics for Higher Education' and was part of a series of regional conferences being organized as prelude to the World Conference on Higher Education to be convened by UNESCO later this year. Arjun Singh, Union Minister of Human Resource Development presided over the Function. D. Purandeswari, Minister of State for Higher Education, was also present. The President also released a publication titled, ' Higher Education in India: Issues related to Expansion, Inclusiveness, Quality and Finance' published by the University Grants Commission.
Speaking on the occasion Pratibha Devisingh Patil mentioned that all countries should set up progressive and well-regulated education systems that impart quality education, while meeting the aspirations of all segments of society. 'This challenge translates itself to the target of providing increased opportunities of higher education in a wide range of subjects. Universities and institutes among others, of technology, science, engineering, medicine, law, management and vocational training have a critical role in meeting the requirements of a country for trained professionals with a sound knowledge of their respective disciplines and of a skilled human resource base,' said the President.