Universities must produce men and women of character and integrity: Pranab Mukherjee

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Mar 14, 2015 17:15 IST

Asserting that competent and committed individuals are necessary to build the country of our dreams, President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday said universities must produce men and women of character and integrity.

President Mukherjee said Mahatma Gandhi's call to follow the book of humanity can resolve the dilemmas of today's society.

"Mahatma Gandhi said: Real education consists in drawing the best out of yourself. What better book can there be than the book of humanity," he added.

President Mukherjee, who was addressing the sixth convocation of Panjab University here, said the varsity has educated generations of students, many of whom have risen to occupy eminent positions in various walks of life.

He congratulated the successful students and asked them to comprehend the hopes and expectations of their near and dear ones as well as of society and the nation at large.

President Mukherjee said India is a shining example of a democratic polity and pluralistic society.

"Democracy not only gives rights but also entails responsibilities. Educated youth must play a vital role in the building of a resurgent new India," he added.

He said a country's ascent is determined to a large extent by human capital.

"As such, education plays a decisive role in shaping the destiny of nations. At the apex of the education system is the university. Indian universities have the potential to be leading institutions of the world," he added.

President Mukherjee further said higher educational institutions would do well to recognize emerging global trends that are creating new models of knowledge dispensation.

"Rising costs of higher education and changing profile of education seekers, aided by technology, has led to Massive Open Online Courses. Universities must note these evolutions in education and take steps to maximize benefits," he added.

The President said many innovative ideas are born out of the ingenuity of the common man.

"Mentoring them to validate ideas and design viable products calls for the development of an innovation value-chain. Higher learning institutions due to their multiple linkages can propel this eco-system," he added.

Mukherjee said a scientific temper, which takes one?s imagination beyond the realm of grades and classroom, is essential in the students.

"Our institutions must fire the power of imagination of their students. The teacher must encourage the taught to think beyond books, question concepts and accept a proposition only after investigation," said Mukherjee.

"Students must have a grand vision which they can, through research and inquiry, translate into reality," he added.

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