Manmohan Singh, former Prime Minister of India, addressing an august gathering at the 17th Annual Conference of the Indian Association of Social Sciences Institutions (IASSI) emphasised that educated people who possess knowledge and skills can is a precondition for steady economic growth. He said that the economic growth in India has been accelerated by creating productive labour force who possess various skills as well as knowledge. Education is a key factor for faster economic development and because of that education is the key element for the development of the economy as well as it is significant in achieving social and economic transformation.
He further added that higher education has drawn attention for the advancement of technology and innovation. People must note that knowledge is not only a means of cultural advancement but also lead economic growth.
He indicated that the adoption of absorptions and innovations of new technologies depends on expanding the sphere of education in general as well as science in particular. The economy is going to develop in a rapid manner where one can witness a growth in service economies.
He cited that the depends on agricultural sector have declined, which is a good indicator. It was 56.64 percent in 1999-2000, and it declined to 48.9 percent in 2011-12.
He expressed concern that since liberalisation in 1991, there has been significant progress in the economy but the benefits of the growth were not distributed sustainability. On the other hand, around 67 percent of people are living in rural areas in India, and the enrollment of rural students in higher education is low, and this scenario must change in the coming years. He perceived that in future, economies will be knowledge dominated and went on to add that the essence of the hour was spreading education, especially in Science.
Talking about the unequal distribution of the benefits of knowledge, Mr. Manmohan Singh said that access to education and empowerment of women's education is what we should focus now to increase the women workforce.