Towards this end, our Government has decided to invest in setting up good quality schools across the country. We will support 6,000 new high quality schools — one in every block of the country. Each such school will set standards of excellence for other schools in the area.
As our primary education programmes achieve a degree of success, there is growing demand for secondary schools and colleges. We are committed to universalizing secondary education. An extensive programme for this is being finalized.
We will also ensure that adequate numbers of colleges are set up across the country, especially in districts where enrolment levels are low. We will help States set up colleges in 370 such districts.
The University system, which has been relatively neglected in recent years, is now the focus of our reform and development agenda. We will set up thirty new Central Universities. Every state that does not have a central university will now have one.
In order to promote science and professional education, we are setting up five new Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research, eight new Indian Institutes of Technology, seven new Indian Institutes of Management, and twenty new Indian Institutes of Information Technology. These will generate new educational opportunities for our youth. I am sure that, working together, we can ensure that at least a fifth of our children go to college as compared to one-tenth now.
The vast majority of our youth seek skilled employment after schooling. Last year I spoke the need for a Vocational Education Mission. Such a Mission is ready to be launched. We will soon launch a Mission on Vocational Education and Skill Development, through which we will open 1600 new industrial training institutes (ITIs) and polytechnics, 10,000 new vocational schools and 50,000 new Skill Development Centres.
We will ensure that annually, over 100 lakh students get vocational training – which is a four-fold increase from today’s level. We will seek the active help of the private sector in this initiative so that they not only assist in the training but also lend a hand in providing employment opportunities.
We should seek not just functional literacy, but good quality education – education that is affordable, accessible, equitable – and available to every boy and girl who seeks to study. For the needy we will provide more scholarships.
I wish to see a revolution in the field of modern education in the next few years. It is my fervent desire that India becomes a fully educated, modern, progressive nation. From this historic Red Fort, I would like this message to go to every corner of India – we will make India a nation of educated people, of skilled people, of creative people.
This is the first time eight new IITs have been formally and officially mentioned. Three of these were previously announced to be in Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar. So it would be a shame if Orissa does not get one of the remaining five.