Finance Minister for more educated youth

Korpaut: Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday said the country`s increasing working age population would be suitably utilized if the youth were educated.

Stating that 672 million of India`s population is in the age group between 15 and 59 years who are treated as working population, Mukherjee said "If our youth are imbibed with education and relevant skills, the country would immensely benefit."

And Right to Education (RTE) would contribute to the realisation of the advantages of this demographic dividend, Mukherjee told the first convocation of the Central University of Odisha (CUO) here.

Praising the achievements of the CUO in a short span of two years, he said, "in comparison to other central universities which were launched at the time of the launching of the CUO, the CUO is far ahead both in academic activities and infrastructure facilities available.

"The CUO will go a long-way in strengthening the academic activities in the state, particularly in the (Koraput-Bolangir-Kalahandi) KBK region where facilities for higher education is not very encouraging," he said.

Speaking on the occasion, Governor of Odisha Muralidhar Chandrakant Bhandare said, "Illiteracy and poverty have became the face of the state and education is the way to remove poverty."

Claiming that the state is emerging as an education hub in the country Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said, "Institutes like IIT, IIIT, NISER have come up in the state. The state has achieved a growth rate of 9 per cent and to maintain it we need skilled manpower and education is the only way to take the state in the path of development.”

At least six students of the university were given gold medals for being the toppers in their respective post graduate programmes for the session 2009-2011.

The school of Bio-diversity and conservation of natural resources of the CUO was launched on the occasion by the finance minister.