Visakhapatnam: Indian can be an engine of growth in south Asia if only higher education opportunities are provided to students, according to Uday Balakrishnan, visiting faculty at the Centre for Contemporary Studies in Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and former member of the Postal Services Board.
Speaking at the 22nd anniversary celebrations of the Centre for Policy Studies here on Monday, he suggested cutting the defence expenditure to pave way for more spending in education, particularly because the drop outs at the IX to XII standards at school was high. He also suggested making peace with China to scale down the defence expenditure towards this as China also could ill-afford spending on wars with a fast-greying population.
Simultaneously, he called for improving standards of education with teachers concentrating on quality. Former Energy Secretary EAS Sarma, who also spoke, the democracy stood on four pillars –dialogue, dissent, discussion and debate which were almost non-existent in Indian polity. Democracy was really in danger. “Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings are relevant even today. I am sure, if he were alive, might have felt very uncomfortable,” he stated. CPS Director and former Rector of Andhra University Prof. A. Prasanna Kumar welcomed the gathering.