The Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education will touch 30 per cent by 2020 from the present level of 19 per cent, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Oscar Fernandes said here today.
"We will be able to send at least 30 per cent of our youth to universities by 2020," he said.
Fernandes said the GER had risen steadily to 18.5 to 19 per cent at present from a meagre seven per cent when the UPA government assumed office at the Centre.
Addressing students on the Graduation Day ceremony of Loyola College, he regretted that not even one Indian University figured in the top 100 universities of the world, which he attributed to lack of research. He assured the college all help in its endeavour towards excellence.
Fernandes surprised students when he returned to the podium after his speech and played the mouth organ 'Harmonica' Marine Band.
"Give importance to music," he told them and received a thundering round of applause.
Interestingly, it was his wife who prodded him to play the mouth organ for the students.
A total of 1,030 undergraduates, 340 post-graduate and 44 MPhil students received their degrees in person. Among them were 60 gold medallists and 13 differently abled.
Later speaking to reporters, Fernandes said he would chair a meeting with officials later tonight on several projects of NHAI in Tamil Nadu, including the Rs 1,800 crore Chennai Port-Maduravoyal Elevated Expressway.