"Today India needs national leaders from the fields of engineering and science. Not just politics, sports and cinema," Singh said, delivering the `Golden Jubilee Convocation' address at IIT.
"Our government has opened new IITs, new IIMs and new institutions for teaching and research in the sciences. We have increased investment in school education.
"We have increased scholarships for the disadvantaged sections of our society. We have set up new institutions in different parts of the country so that our children can get the best education available closer home," he said.
A challenge is to ensure that the investment in higher education contributes more directly to nation building, he said.
"Here, the IITs face an immediate challenge of making their curriculum more relevant to our needs. I am aware that this is a subject of much lively discussion among your faculty and alumnus.
"Many of our best IIT students have, over the years, migrated abroad in search of better opportunities. I do not grudge that. Some of them have returned home to serve our motherland. Some do so from where they are, in some of the best institutions of the world," he said.
A large number of IIT graduates move away from their core disciplines into management, finance, marketing and even the civil services. Without doubt, they have much to contribute in their new fields of work, he said, noting that his cabinet colleague, Jairam Ramesh, was an IITian. (More)