He said the UPA government is giving special attention to education to spur economic growth.
"To fulfil India's growing economic requirements, our UPA government has given special attention to the education sector. It will be difficult to maintain the growth rate without this," Dr Singh said during the foundation-laying ceremony of the Ghani Khan Choudhury Institute of Engineering and Technology in Malda district.
"We have increased the share of education in GDP from 3.3 per cent to 4 per cent," he said.
Under the initiative taken by the National Skill Development Council there was a mission to impart skills to five crore youths, the PM said.
"We want more youngsters to get world-class education so that India's scientists and engineers can earn its place in the world," Dr Singh said.
To boost higher education, the prime minister said the government has introduced new central universities, IITs, IIMs and NIITs.
UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and West Bengal Governor M K Narayanan were among those present on the occasion.
Paying tributes to the former railway minister, Dr Singh said A B A Ghani Khan Choudhury had worked for the development of his area.
The union government has given an aid of Rs 26 crore to the institute, which will help education and employment in Malda and its neighbouring areas, Dr Singh said.
The institute will offer graduate, post-graduate and certificate courses in engineering and technology with special focus on food technology and sericulture.
"We want this to be counted as among the top engineering institutes of the country," the PM said and offered to help, if needed.