Reflecting on the changing role of universities, technology and teachers, president Pranab Mukherjee delivered the convocation address at the University of Mumbai’s convocation ceremony at the Fort campus on Sunday morning. He spoke on the need for universities to reinvent themselves and “deliver relevant knowledge and actionable skills”.
“Universities will need to reinvent themselves as enablers of society rather than gatekeepers of higher education,” said Mukherjee. “The youth of our nation should be empowered to take our great nation forward in leaps and bounds.”
He spoke on the need for teachers to re-engage themselves with technology.
Though the president did not allude to the Delhi gangrape incident, vice chancellor Rajan Welukar made a mention, along with instances of violence against women. “It is time for all of us to reexamine ourselves,” said Welukar, after reading out the university report for the year and pointing to value education as an important tool.
Degrees were conferred on 1,64,235 students, of which 4,651 got a first class with distinction. Of these 2,515 were girls. Gold medals were presented to 51 students from across departments and disciplines. Of the total who received degrees for this academic year, 31,840 were post-graduates. Faculty-wise, 19.9% were from arts, 12.4% from science, 42.2% from commerce, 12% from technology, 10.2% from management and 3.1% from law. Chief minister Prithiviraj Chavan said, “Let us take a pledge to make the university rank higher than what it ranks today and the government of Maharashtra will be with you.”