The World Bank report has put India much below underdeveloped countries in Human Capital Index. India cannot achieve economic growth, if health and education standards are not improved, former member of the Rajya Sabha Bhalachandra Mungekar has said. He was in the city to elicit the opinion of students, scholars and faculty members as part of the AICC Manifesto Committee meeting on ‘education’, organised by the Congress here on Monday. Addressing the media after the meeting, Prof. Mungekar said that 23 consultative groups have been formed on different topics like education, health, agriculture and industry. Each group would visit six to seven States and elicit the opinion of the people and 150 to 160 places in the country would be covered by each group. He said it was unfortunate that the poor were being excluded in view of the corporatisation of education.
He said that the Congress would not allow poverty to be an impediment to education. This would be achieved by sanctioning a ‘Higher Education Loan Guarantee’ scheme at a nominal rate of interest. The borrower could repay the loan after he/she gets a job. On the suggestion of improvement of employability, he said that the Congress would include skills component along with the degree course to enhance employability. He said it was unfortunate that 58 % of the graduates were not getting jobs unemployment. On the need to reduce the school dropout rate, Prof. Mungekar said that the Congress had introduced the midday meal scheme in 2007, which had benefited 22 crore people.
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