Low enrolment in higher education worrisome: President

New Delhi, April 12 (IANS) President Pranab Mukherjee Friday expressed concern over India’s low enrolment rate of youths in higher education as compared to Germany and the US.

Attributing low enrolment in higher education to absence of institutes, Mukherjee said: “Seven percent of those in the 18-24 years age group enter higher education in India as compared to 21 percent in Germany and 34 per cent in the US. Increasing the reach of higher education to students, especially in remote areas, is critical to boosting the enrolment rate.”

He was speaking at the 26th convocation of the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) here.

“The density of educational institutions in India has increased from 10 to 14 institutions per 1,000 square kilometre during the 11th Plan period. But educational institutions are still absent in many places,” Mukherjee said.

“IGNOU, in a span of 27 years, has become a pioneer for open and distance learning… It meets the education demands of 30 lakh students in India and 43 other countries through 67 regional centres, around 3,350 learner support centres and 82 overseas centres,” he said.

Minister of State for Human Resource Development Jitin Prasada was present on the occasion.

Addressing a gathering of students and academicians, Prasada said: “Distant learning is the future in India as there is a scarcity of land (to set up) more educational institutes in the country.”

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