NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressed on the need of character building over literacy and called for adding the element of innovation in education.
Addressing the inaugural ceremony of the Conference on Academic Leadership on Education for Resurgence organised by the Union Human Resource Development ministry, the PM said the "purpose of education is to enable balanced growth of every dimension of a human being".
The invitations for the event were given out by Nagpur-based Research for Resurgence Foundation, which is affiliated with the RSS and Indira Gandhi National Open University.
Recalling the ancient Indian texts, the Vedas, Modi said that we cannot imagine our society, our country, and even our lives, without knowledge.
He said that our ancient universities such as Taxila, Nalanda and Vikramshila, gave importance to innovation, besides knowledge. Modi also recalled the views on education of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar, Deendayal Upadhyaya, and Ram Manohar Lohia.
The conference is in continuation of the efforts being made by the ministry to evolve an action plan for transformation of the higher education sector, government officials said. The first among the series was held in Delhi during the vice-chancellors' conference from July 26-28 this year.
Noting that knowledge and education are not restricted to books, Modi said, "Ambedkar, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya and Ram Manohar Lohia always emphasized on character building over literacy. Swami Vivekananda stressed on wholesome education that makes us human."
He asserted that without innovation, life would become a burden. "Innovation is very important. In our ancient universities such as Taxila, Nalanda and Vikramashila, innovation was given emphasis along with knowledge," Modi said.
The conference is being jointly organised by the University Grants Commission, All India Council for Technical Education, Indian Council of Social Science Research, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, Indira Gandhi National Open University, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Shree Guru Gobind Singh Tricentenary University.