Union human resource development minister Prakash Javadekar has written to students, who have joined government-run higher educational institutions this year across the country, asking them to focus on academics and develop “a sense of social obligation” towards people, especially the poor, who have “subsidised” their education by paying taxes.

The new session in most of the higher educational institutions, some of which are funded by the central government and where the tuition fee is highly subsidised, started in July-August.

“While you continue your study at least cost, please remember those who have actually paid for your education and your responsibility for their well-being when you come out the institution. I am expecting you to develop a sense of social obligation for the society at large, who have great hopes from you as you study here,” he said in the letter dated August 21.

He also urged the “millennium’s new voters” to focus on the work inside the campuses as they would be “deciding the fate of this country in ways more than one”.

“The higher educational institutions are meant to create knowledge and disseminate them so that the larger society would gain from it. Civilisations are built over the knowledge gained from the higher education. Therefore, while entering the higher education arena, you would realise that this phase of your life would determine the course of this country in the years to come,” the minister wrote.

Javadekar also asked his “young friend” to keep in touch with him through his accounts on various social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter or by e-mail to keep him “abreast with any information which is important for public discourse.”