Lamenting that India's higher education institutions are facing problem of quality, President Pranab Mukherjee said on Tuesday that the country was far behind China and the US in terms of innovation and pitched for "drastic action" to reform the system.
He said quality, affordability and accessibility should be the mainstay of higher education to encourage innovation and research.
"Our institutes of higher education continue to be challenged by problems of quality," Mukherjee said addressing the 10th convocation of National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra.
He cited an international survey which showed that no Indian university was amongst the top 200 universities in the world. "This calls for drastic action to reform the way education is imparted in our universities and academic institutes," he said.
As per a recent Forbes survey, only three Indian companies have been listed amongst the world's most innovative ones, he said, adding the number will increase if the process of innovation is made a permanent feature in institutions of learning.
Talking in terms of innovation, Mukherjee said in 2011, 42,000 patents were filed in India, compared to over five lakh applications filed each in China and the US in the same year.
He pitched for taking the higher education, including technical education, to the doorstep of people by innovations in the delivery system.
"Our universities, engineering colleges and research and development centres should be the hotbed of innovation," he said.