If I had power, will impose cess on ‘seths’ to improve education: J&K Guv

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Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik Saturday expressed displeasure over the quality of education in the country and said “it is because successive central governments had failed to provide adequate budget to the sector”.

He also criticised the affluent class for not doing enough charity and said “if I get the power, I will impose cess on these people to improve education system”.

“I feel pain when the society respects people who have turned powerful by tax evasion, looting money from banks and are dishonest.

“The affluent class are not doing charity. Our ‘Seth’ (rich) can spend Rs 1,000 crore on the engagement and marriage of his daughter but cannot give Rs 500 crore to any university. If I get the power in my hand, I will force a cess on such people so that we can improve the standard of our education,” Malik said, addressing the second convocation of Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Jammu.

He said the country is lacking in the quality education even after 70 years of Independence.

“The quality education, as it should be in the country, was not here. I have been in Parliament for three-four terms and noticed that when budget is passed, every other sector gets time for discussion while there is no discussion on education budget which is passed without any discussion,” the governor said.

The governor observed that quality education is the most powerful tool for a nation to empower its citizens, especially women, and urged greater attention towards providing quality education to students.

He said the younger generation has a vital role to play in nation building and only quality education can contribute to rapid growth and development of the country and enable them to achieve what they want to.

“The education system in the country has become a guillotine. I am not afraid in admitting that no government has given more than six per cent to education sector and spending such a meagre amount, you think our people will get a Nobel Prize,” he said.

Malik said researchers of universities abroad have bagged many Noble Prizes, whereas India as a country has got only 11, which include six recipients who reside outside the country while among the rest five, one was given to Mother Teresa.

“I know I am harsh in my words and will not be liked by many but I speak this with a lot of pain. The affluent people in this country, as I had earlier said, are like rotten potatoes,” he said, adding they do not deserve respect which should be given to those who are standing at the borders and their parents who on receiving the body of their sons said they are ready to send the second son in the service of the nation.

He said the politicians boast of receiving invitation cards for the marriage ceremony of affluent people and rush to the venue but “I feel the farmers, labourers, industrial workers and educationists deserve more respect and when it will happen, the development scenario in the country will change”.

He said his administration has made an effort to improve the education system in Jammu and Kashmir and sanctioned 52 new colleges.

“We have decided to give 50 more colleges by next year as there are places where students had to travel a long distance to continue their studies. We have also upgraded 300 junior higher secondary schools to higher secondary schools,” he said.

He said he fought to get an industrial package at par with the Northeast to attract investment in the state. “There is a lot of opportunity for investment in Jammu and I would like the youth of the state to be job providers and not job seekers,” he said.

During the convocation ceremony, the Governor awarded meritorious students with medals and certificates.

A total of 62 students were awarded with Masters in Business Administration (MBA) degrees.

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