07/07/2016 3:55 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:27 AM IST

New HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar takes Charge, Predecessor Smriti Irani Skips Event

PRAKASH SINGH via Getty Images
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) politician, Prakash Javadekar takes the oath during the swearing-in ceremony of new ministers following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet re-shuffle, at the Presidential Palace in New Delhi on July 5, 2016.Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi revamped his cabinet bringing in 19 new junior ministers to speed up decision-making and delivery on promises made in this year's budget. / AFP / Prakash SINGH (Photo credit should read PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)

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 today.

"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.

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