In a statement signalling a change of regime at the Centre in the coming months, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi said in Gandhinagar on Friday that the country is looking forward to a "constructive" change within the next 182 days.
Stating that the construction of the Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar was completed within 182 days, Modi, inaugurating a two-day 'National Education Summit' organised by the Gujarat state's education department along with the Confederation of Indian Industry said, "We can bring constructive change in our country after 182 days."
"Mahatma Mandir was constructed in 182 days during the Golden Jubilee year celebrations of Gujarat in 2010. In our country also, we can bring constructive change within 182 days," Modi said, apparently hinting at a change of regime at the Centre after the Lok Sabha elections.
He said the National Education Summit is a great opportunity for the people of Gujarat and the rest of the country to "learn".
"This summit is a great opportunity for everyone to learn. India's youth, a small group, has come together at Mahatma Mandir. Through the medium of education, we should dream of giving something to the world. We should develop an education system that produces harbingers of change," Modi said.
Advocating a positive atmosphere to enable overall development of a person, Modi called for creating the "right" environment where education could "shine".
"The mind does not develop only with books, but an environment has to be created," Modi said. He said that in addition to the "head", both the hand and "the heart" are important for "all-round learning". Modi also stressed the fact that "every" type of work is important and must be respected
"I do not know this craze for white collar jobs. It is as if doing small jobs are bad. This must change," he said. Modi said that every pupil should be treated like a "celebrity".
He said that instead of character certificates given by schools, the education department in Gujarat issues aptitude certificates.
"Schools give character certificates. What is the use of these? We suggested why not give aptitude certificates? The education department in the state gives aptitude certificates," he said.
Modi said that the Gujarat government has given importance to the syllabus and revamped the course structure for Industrial Training Institutes which have benefited several youngsters.
Delegates from 33 states and union territories were present on the occasion. More than 100 vice chancellors and directors of institutions across the country, besides scholars, innovators and experts from various fields were present on the occasion.
Ambassador of Italy to India Daniele Mancini, whose country was a partner to the event, stressed bridging the existing gap between academia and the real world.
University of Mumbai Vice Chancellor Rajan Welukar, DelhiUniversity Vice Chancellor Dinesh Singh and Professor Charles Zukoski of the University at Buffalo (The State University of New York) also spoke on the occasion.