Just hours after BJP realesed it's manifesto promising to build new IITs, IIMs and AIIMS in every state on Monday, a leading businessman from Gujarat, Pankaj Patel, CMD of Zydus Cadila said the country needs more primary schools that will impart quality primary education, than spending crores on building "monumental" structures like IITs and IIMs.
"The quality of education is an area of concern. We keep on hearing that we are going ten more IITs and five more AIIMs and other state of art infrastructure. Do you think that 120 million young Indians coming out of schools are going to go to these places. No that will not happen,"said Patel who was part of a panel discussion organised during a book-launch function held at the Ahmedabad Management Association (AMA) on Monday evening.
"It will cost Rs 500-1000 crore to build an IIT or an AIIMs, but to build a classroom in a village will cost just one lakh rupees. We are not spending money on building that one classroom, but are spending money on building monuments," he said adding that most students passing out of such high-profile institutes go out to countries like United States and make that country rich and prosperous.
However, Patel made it clear that he was not against construction of IITs or AIIMs. "We need to invest in infrastructure that is relevant for our country; which are based on Indian values and Indian ethics," he said without referring to any political party or their manifestos.
Businessmen who participated in this panel discussion also wished that there would be "less of government interference" and more private sector participation in "nation-building" when the new government takes charge in 45-days-time.
"The three things I am looking forward to in the new government is less governance; less interference, allowing people to work. Secondly, the focus should be on quick policy reforms, more libreralisation and thirdly greater involvement of the private sector in nation-building," said Patel.
Quoting BJP's prime-ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, the executive chairman of IDFC (Infrastructure Development Finance Company), Rajiv Lall said, "Less government and more governance is what we need. Get rid of the inspector raj, provide transparent and predictable policies and reforms." The panel members felt that "over-regulation" was one of the contributors to rising corruption in the country.
Lall also talked about the need to create a create a nation wide programme to finance construction of warehouses. "The third, is to fix Indian Railways," he said demanding the privatisation of the body.