Kolkata, July 5 (IANS) Rebuffing talk of "policy paralysis" of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) II regime, union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal Thursday said the central government has taken "revolutionary steps and policies" to take the country forward.
"People talk of policy paralysis. But I want to ask where is the paralysis? Has any government taken such revolutionary steps and policies before that we have taken in the past few years," Sibal asked.
Describing the Right to Education Act as "revolutionary", Sibal said the government has initiated several such policies in various fields which other governments did not have the courage to do.
"In 2009 we passed the Right to Education (RTE) Act which had remained pending for the last 40-50 years. But only the UPA had the courage to translate it into a constitutional right. The impact of this will be seen in the next five to seven years," he said.
He said the government had the courage to pass it on the back of a steadily-growing economy.
"The fact that we have allotted Rs.231,000 crore for the RTE shows our commitment in the field of education,"he said.
"Currently India has 900 million mobile phones which include vegetables vendors, house workers, and village people who all have access to the telephones. This is all only because of our policies," said Sibal who also holds the communications and information technology portfolio.
He also said the launch of the Akash tablets has revolutionised the fields of telecommunications and education.
Sibal also said that in the next 18 months, fibre optic cables will be laid at a cost of over Rs. 20,000 crore to connect 250,000 gram panchayats.
The minister also said that nearly 700,000 teachers have been appointed in the last two years and to meet the requirement of 12 lakh teachers, five lakh more teachers will be appointed by the end of this year.
Stating that several "historic" bills are pending in parliament, he said the government was determined to get all the higher educational institutions in the country accredited.
"We want every institution of higher education in this country to be accredited for quality... for what the country needs is quality education for our children. We also want unscrupulous educational institutions to be brought to book," added Sibal.