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Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday called for radical reforms in the judicial and education systems of the country, saying they were long overdue. He also said the youth needed to be adequately trained so that they became the future leaders in all walks of life. "Radical reforms are needed in our judicial and educational systems.
Reforms have been very belated in these two areas," Jaitley said, speaking at the 14th convocation ceremony of Symbiosis International (Deemed University) here. Without elaborating on the kind of reforms needed, he said every effort must be made to ensure that the millions of youth in the country were trained well, so that they became the future leaders in all walks of life. Jaitley advised the graduating students to prepare and train themselves to be eligible to serve those countries which were facing a crisis by way of population de-growth. "This is the best way to utilise our demographic dividend," he said, adding that the government alone could not create enough jobs. In this context, Jaitley said the private sector needed to do more to train people and make them skilled and added, "Otherwise, our demographic dividend can become a liability." Jaitley was, in fact, responding to the criticism and concern expressed by Symbiosis chancellor S B Mujumdar over a recent Supreme Court order, asking the University Grants Commission (UGC) not to allow any private institute to market itself as a university. In an order passed in early November, the apex court had directed the UGC to restrain all the deemed universities from using the word "university" in their names. Pointing towards the economic reforms of 1991, that had lifted the economy to its current heights, Jaitley said putting curbs had never worked in any sector and would not work going forward. "If the survival of the fittest is the rule, it has never been so true as it is today," he said and urged the students to identify their key strengths and become the leaders of tomorrow as there was enough space for everyone to excel. In his address, noted industrialist Rahul Bajaj, who was awarded an honorary D. Litt. degree by the institute, said there was a reason why industrialists and businessmen were hated by the public in general and the poor in particular. This was because the income inequalities had been on a steady rise, he said. The Bajaj group patriarch said this attitude was prevalent, despite the businessmen and industrialists being the highest taxpayers, creating wealth and generating jobs. He warned that if the inequalities were not looked at and arrested, "our country will not be far from the violent public protests seen elsewhere in the world". "We should not continue to test the patience of the tens of millions of our poor people," Bajaj said. Jaitley conferred doctoral, post-graduate and graduate degrees and diplomas to 3,450 students of 17 streams.