Shillong, Nov 7 : India is in a period of rapid economic growth and there is no doubt that in near future, if everyone puts their act together, India will become a developed country, the Prime Minister's Principal Scientific Adviser R. Chidambaram said here.
"If India wants to become an economically developed country, it should become near 100 percent literate without gender discrimination and boost its electricity production," Chidambaram said while addressing the 18th convocation of North East Hill University (NEHU) in Shillong Friday evening.
According to Chidambaram, improvement in energy consumption and female literacy are better measures than the three parameters of per capita -- gross national product (GNP), life expectancy and adult literacy -- used by the UN to define the Human Development Index.
"Female literacy is inter-alia strongly associated with infant mortality and birth rate," he said.
In the convocation, NEHU conferred honorary Doctor of Science (DSc) on former chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), G. Madhavan Nair and Infosys chairman N. R. Narayana Murthy.
Former chief election commissioner (CEC) James Micheal Lyngdoh and sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan were honoured with honorary Doctor of Letters (D Litt).
In his welcome address, NEHU Vice Chancellor Pramod Tandon said in order to meet the growing demands to provide quality education at affordable cost, the university had earlier decided to increase the intake capacity of students by 27 percent.
"The university had also introduced several changes in the academic framework in line with changing scenario of the educational environment," Tandaon added.
The university, set up in 1973, has 68 affiliated colleges and institutions across the northeastern region, including North-Eastern Regional Institute of Science and Technology (located in Arunachal Pradesh) with an enrolment of more than 35,000 students.
NEHU Chancellor M. G. K. Menon and Meghalaya Governor R. S. Mooshahary highlighted the contribution of the university to the development of education in the entire region. (IANS)