Addressing faculty and students at the second annual convocation of the Central University of Himachal Pradesh, President Pranab Mukherjee said that education has the ability to alleviate human lives like none other. Particularly, higher education can deliver great benefit to society; gains that are unthinkable without allowing education fully play.
President added that we have a pressing challenge to elevate the scholastic value of our students. It is worrying that there is not a single Indian institution in the list of top 200 universities in the world. Some of our universities and engineering institutions are indeed capable of figuring much higher in the ranks. Concrete action is required to not only have an in-depth understanding of the criteria and process followed by the ranking agencies, but to also develop a strategy to project the achievements more effectively.
President further said that transformative ideas are required to steer educational institutions from the muddy waters of mediocrity. He also said that the governance structures have to be supportive of innovative ideas and also facilitative of faster decision-making. The expertise and experience of alumni, who are well-established, can be utilized for effective university management. Our universities have to be the breeding ground for creative pursuits. They have to be the source of cutting edge technological developments.
A beginning has already been made by the opening of innovation clubs in several central universities to promote ingenuity and exchange ideas. As the next step, innovation clubs should work in tandem with innovation incubators located in the IITs or NITs in the region to take forward the novel, workable ideas of grassroots innovators to create useful products.
President said that a spirit of competition and collaboration has to be instilled in our central universities.
He said that he has announced the institution of an annual visitor’s award in the three categories of best University, Innovation and Research, and urged all central universities, including the Central University of Himachal Pradesh, and their faculty and students to give their supreme effort for these awards.