Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the British gave the country an education system to create a servant class for meeting their own needs and a lot of it still remained unchanged.
Addressing a summit in Varanasi on the implementation of the National Education Policy, Modi said the system should not just produce degree-holders but provide human resources needed to take the country forward.
He said the purpose of the education system created in the country was only to provide jobs.
"The British provided this education system to prepare a servant class for themselves to meet their needs. After Independence, there were some changes in it but a lot remained," he said at the inauguration of a three-day meeting organised by the Union education ministry with the University Grants Commission and the Banaras Hindu University.
Modi said children now cite Google to counter others.
"We should create a system in our campuses that when these students arrive there in the next few years they get what they want," he said.
"We have to delve into the details of the challenges and problems and find solutions. The NEP is opening doors for education in Indian languages. I have confidence that India could emerge as a world education destination," he said.
The Akhil Bharatiya Shiksha Samagam will adopt a 'Varanasi Declaration on Higher Education,' highlighting India's commitment to achieving higher education goals.
The PM said "innovative thoughts and new ideas" should be discussed at the summit.
He urged partnerships between the government and the universities, asking them to identify areas of their expertise and offer advice.
"You should identify problems, resources and solutions to them within a 50-100 km radius of the university," he said, also suggesting that students could study the impact of government schemes in these areas.
He said the education system should keep pace with a changing world and prepare the youth for it.
"In the coming 15-20 years, India will be in the hands of these children and we should think about how we are preparing them. This is our great responsibility," said the PM.
Modi said the system should prepare children for the future at the age when they are curious.
"The era that imposed anything without understanding has gone. We have a blueprint for education, institutions and human resources, keeping this in mind. The children should be made skilled according to their talent. The education policy is preparing the ground for this."
"In a country of so many diversities, the NEP should be welcomed," he said, adding that usually governments just draft a document, and leave the matter at that.
"We didn't let that happen. We have kept this National Education Policy alive every moment," he said.
Modi talked about the entry of private players in areas like space technology, saying earlier only the government was involved in them. Sectors once closed to women are now showcasing their talent, he said.
"Many new colleges, universities, IITs and IIMs are opening in the country. There has been an increase of 55 per cent in the number of medical colleges after 2014," he said, referring to the year his first government came to power.
The prime minister stressed the importance of fieldwork, urging evidence-based research.
He also asked for research on utilising India's demographic dividend and called for finding solutions for ageing societies elsewhere in the world.
Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan also attended the summit.