Mukherjee expresses concern over standard of higher education

Bhopal, June 7 (ANI): President Pranab Mukherjee has lamented the fact that there is not even a single Indian varsity among the list of the top 200 universities of the world.

Addressing the eighth convocation of the Rajiv Gandhi Technological University in Bhopal last evening, Mukherjee said that it was sad to note that we do not have a single Indian university within the top two hundred universities in the world today.

Stating that this was not the position earlier, Mukherjee said: "In ancient India, Indian universities - Takshashila, Nalanda, Valabhi, Vikramashila, Somapura and Odantapuri - had dominated the world. Takshashila was a global university and the meeting point of four great civilizations - Indian, Persian, Greek and Chinese. The ancient Indian education system had attracted students from all over the world."

He said that if this situation could have existed in the past, then why not today? He stated that we must effect innovative changes for imparting quality education and efficiently managing our higher academic institutions.

Asserting that merely physical expansion of higher educational institutions is not enough, Mukherjee said: "In order to achieve our objective of knowledge based society and knowledge economy, we must lay stress on improving the quality of higher education and emphasize on research and innovation."

He further said that there are several grass root innovations that have the potential for development into viable products.

"Our Universities should support such micro initiatives. Innovators Clubs should be set up in the Central Universities as a platform for interaction between the teaching and student communities and grassroots innovators," he added.

He said that he recently had the opportunity to inaugurate such clubs at two Central Universities in Uttar Pradesh and Assam. He urged the University to try and inculcate the innovation culture.

The President laid the foundation stone of University Knowledge Resource Centre Building and inaugurated blocks for School of Pharmaceutical Sciences and School of Information Technology. On the occasion, a policy on women's safety, security and empowerment of Rajiv Gandhi Proudyogiki Vishwavidyalaya was also released and its first copy presented to the President. (ANI)

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