Patna, July 20 (IANS) Nobel laureate Amartya Sen Friday stressed the need for India to provide primary education to all its people on the lines of Southeast Asian countries.
India has to learn a lot from Southeast Asian countries about providing education to its people, Sen, who has been appointed the first chancellor of the upcoming Nalanda University in Bihar, said in his keynote address at the international seminar on 'Civilizational Dialogue between India and ASEAN' here.
Japan was the first country in Asia that caught up with the west on the basis of providing education to all. Even China, which is currently a major economic power in the world, first ensured literacy to its people to ensure development of the country, Sen said.
Sen said not only China, but also Bangladesh is way ahead of India in providing education to girls. Bangldesh is the only country in the world where the number of girls going to school is larger than the number of boys.
In the last two decades, Bangladesh has been focusing on women's education. It is evident now as there is lower maternal mortality in Bangladesh than in India. Literacy rate of girls is more. The women are playing an important role in development of Bangladesh due to education, he said.
The external affairs ministry and Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR), in association with Nalanda University and the government of Bihar, are organising the two-day seminar with participation from ASEAN members and dialogue partner countries on a topic which is relevant to the region as a whole.