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Prakash Javadekar takes charge of HRD Ministry, Smriti Irani skips event


New Delhi: The prime challenge that the education sector faces in the country is raising the quality of education and ensuring it reaches all, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar, who took charge, said on Thursday.

“The major challenge that is there in the education sector is to raise the standard. Quality education is vital as it lays the foundation for life and builds overall personality,” he told reporters after taking over.

His predecessor Smriti Irani, who has been given the charge of Textiles Ministry, however, did not turn up for the event. Javadekar said she could not join the occasion because of “family reasons”. He had yesterday met Irani, whom he had described as his “little sister” and said he would carry on with the “good initiatives” taken by her.

The sole purpose of education is not just employment which is a “byproduct”, he said. “The aim of education is to lay the foundation for life on the basis of which societies are created. It is the duty of the education sector and we accept this challenge. Our mission will be to ensure quality education reaches all,” he said. Javadekar, who was flanked by Ministers of State for HRD Upendra Kushwaha and Mahendra Pandey, said that there are ample opportunities as well as challenges in the sector on which they will work jointly.

Asked about certain controversial remarks about Irani reportedly made by a JD(U) leader, he said that it was the “worst comment”. “I do not want to make a comment on somebody’s remark,” he said.

Javadekar said he would reply to questions on policy matters and others issues after being briefed by officials.

Javadekar also said that he will soon go for a programme in Pune where those who had taught him will be honoured. After taking over, he held a meeting with his ministry officials. Officials said that he spoke on issues including geographic information system (GIS) mapping of institutes and filling up of faculty vacancies

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