Former President Pranab Mukherjee on January 21 stressed on the need for creating a conducive atmosphere to attract brightest of the bright into teaching,research and innovation.
“There are 767 universities in the country and is expanding. There is a huge development of physical infrastructure in higher education…. But I regret to point out that the quality of education, which we are providing in our institutions of higher education, are not up to the world standard,” Pranab Mukherjee said.
“We will have to create a conducive atmosphere in which brightest of the bright come to the teaching, research and innovation…. Our future progress will depend increasingly on our ability to innovate, to devise efficient processes for the industrial sector and better solutions for governance,” he said.
He was addressing the annual convocation of the Patna University.
Stating that IIT graduates will be found at top places in international organisations, he said they were not required to advance promotion of product of mercantile company. He asked, “How many of them (IITians) are engaged in teaching and basic research?”
He remembered his association with Patna University saying that he had come here in 1984 as finance minister to participate in PU’s convocation ceremony.
Patna University plays significant role in the spread of education
“I can say without doubt that Patna University as a collective has played a significant role in the spread of education, especially higher education, research and innovation,” he said.
Mukherjee said the university has a remarkable list of nation builders as its alumni that included Dr Sachidanand Sinha, Jai Prakash Narayan, Ramdhari Singh Dinkar and Dr B C Roy.
Stating that the Eastern region consistently fuelled the growth engines of modern India, he referred to a KPMG report that said Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha, Jharkhand and Assam are expected to contribute at least 25 per cent of the country’s GDP by 2035.
Students as agents of change
Bihar Governor and Chancellor of the Patna University Lalji Tandon exhorted students to become the agents of change and make their country proud by increasing the quality of higher education.
Mukherjee gave away Gold medals and degrees to 38 toppers of various subjects besides giving Ph D degrees to 54 research scholars.