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Sibal lays foundation stone at NIT Meghalaya

The National Institute of Technology (NIT), Meghalaya is one among the thirty NITs in India established as Institutions of National Importance with full funding support from the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India.

HRD Minister Kapil Sibal, Dr Mukul Sangma Chief Minister of Meghalaya and few other dignitaries were present at the foundation stone function of NIT Meghalaya. Kapil Sibal addressing in the function made some valuable points, below is an excerpt from the speech.

India has the world’s largest and youngest populations; around one-third of our population which in numbers translates to 400 million is in the age group of 0‐14 years. This means that the number of people in India needing primary and secondary education alone exceeds the entire population of all countries in the world with the exception of China. These students will seek higher education in India over the next decade, which illustrates the immense challenge that we face on the education front.

By 2020, our country is expected to represent 17 percent of the world’s working-age population (of adults aged between 15-59 years) . It is estimated that in 2020 the average age in India will be 29 years compared to 37 years in China and USA, 45 years in Western Europe and 48 years in Japan. Thus, 30 per cent of the world’s new work force will be from India. Our economy has also to become globally competitive. This necessitates that we must continue to enhance our competitiveness. For that, we require support of a highly skilled workforce, innovation, technological upgrading and ultimately new technology development to continue the climb up the global technology ladder.

Our talent pool has clearly demonstrated its prowess by creating a successful IT and services industry which is the envy of the world. While India’s outsourcing industry and technology workers have drawn the most attention, other skill pools at different stages of the skill continuum are also much in demand. Friends, as a result of the large reservoir of talented youth that is available in the country, around 1000 of the top global companies have established their R&D, technical and development centres in India, employing, I believe, over 200,000 scientists and engineers in almost all the knowledge sectors such as software, computers, microelectronics, automobiles, aerospace, telecommunications, biotechnology, medicare, pharmaceuticals, entertainment and others. High-tech companies employ young Indian innovators whose ideas are taking the world by storm. The recruits of these world-class centres are often fresh from NITs and other technical institutes of repute. This new found confidence of global majors in our youth has in turn given fillip to some of India’s best and talented young technocrats to become first generation technopreneurs, but their numbers are certainly less, far too small, for a nation of our size and capacity.

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