New Delhi: Reviving moral education is high on the list of priorities of new Human Resource Development Minister MM Pallam Raju, who took charge on Wednesday.

The minister took charge after a traditional puja ceremony, worshiping Tirupati Balaji, believed to be an incarnation of Hindu god Vishnu.

Raju said "heritage" was India's strength, and emphasised reinstating the "traditional value system" in the present generation.

"Our heritage is our strength. It is important that the value system in our heritage be revived and reintroduced to this generation, so it becomes an inherent part of the education system," Raju told reporters soon after he took charge.

The minister said the role of parents and the "guru" or teacher in a child's education is significant, and the traditional importance accorded to them has eroded. "We need to revive that," he said.

Raju said technology served as a distraction for students, but it could be used to nurture values in children.

"We don't want our kids to get disillusioned with the system. India is one of the most vibrant democracies," he said.

Asked if his comments implied revision in syllabi, the minister said: "Within the existing methodology and given a time frame, we will do whatever can be done."

Raju's father and former union minister M.S. Sanjeevi Rao was also present as he took charge of the ministry.

Raju said he would focus on consolidating the work done by his predecessor Kapil Sibal, and focus on improving the quality of education, to make it more industry- oriented.

"A recent survey found that only 17 percent of engineering graduates in India are employable; 30 percent are trainable. According to the report, there are 53 percent of graduates who cannot be employed at all. That is a great concern," the minister said, adding that there was need to strengthen industry-academic linkage.

Talking about pending education bills, Raju said he expected to get some of them passed during the coming winter session, after taking all parties on board.


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