HRD Minister Smriti Irani said today that the government was mulling increasing the spending on higher education to six per cent of the GDP and will also have a relook at the legislations on higher education which lapsed with the end of previous Lok Sabha. The minister said that the lapsed legislations on higher education are being studied for their possible introduction afresh. Irani, who assumed charge of the Ministry today, also pledged to fulfil promises made in the party manifesto such as setting up of a comprehensive national e-library and a central university on Himalayan technology.
She expressed her gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for giving her the HRD portfolio and said her government would seek to increase spending on higher education to six per cent of the GDP from 3.8 per cent at present. When her attention was drawn to the host of legislations of her Ministry that lapsed with the end of the term of the last Lok Sabha, Irani said a detailed study has been undertaken. "On behalf of the Ministry, we have undertaken a study of all the pending bills in the Parliament... all pros and cons of those legislation and I will only say this instead of making any specific statements right now, we are having ministerial meetings within our department to see what are the initiatives we need to undertake," she told reporters.
Noting that she was honoured over the fact that the post was once held by senior party leader Murli Manohar Joshi, Irani said, "for me, it is not a position of authority but a position of service." Conscious of the fact that some moves in the ministry during the time of Joshi had come under lot of criticism, she said they would evolve a consensus before arriving on any decisions. "...every decision that we reach upon is a decision which comes across through consensus, every person, every thought process, every stakeholder shall be consulted," she said.