A speech solemnly begun by invoking the name of Gandhi, solemnly delivered, solemnly heard and solemnly reported in the papers the next morning. The President puts up an impressive wish list – good health, clean drinking water, electricity, pollution free environment, women empowerment – that would result in rural development, but does not feel it necessary to state how all these will be achieved, by who and by when.
Hundreds of such news items appear every day, each filled with such platitudes and clichés , and blowing out hot air. What purpose they serve, nobody knows.
Update 19/11/09 : The President inaugurates the silver jubilee celebrations of Indira Gandhi Open University and releases this hot air balloon:
The importance of education cannot be over emphasized. It is a very powerful tool for empowering people and for giving them self-dignity. It becomes even more important for a nation like ours that is in the process of harnessing its human resources for rapid economic growth. Today, we need more children in school and more of them to go on to higher education. Proper training, provisioning of skills sets and capacity building of its population are tools which shall make our human resources competent and confident to face the new set of challenges of a fast changing world…..
….While broadbasing access to education is important, one must not lose sight of the utmost importance which should be paid to the quality of education being given to students and the need for equity. This should start from the primary level itself. Government has been, therefore, emphasizing and is committed to providing good quality education to all students, especially those from the underprivileged sections. The spread of education amongst women is also very important. By spreading education amongst them, not only is an individual educated, but rather the seeds of progress of the next generation are planted.