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HindustanTimes Sat,30 Aug 2014

President for faster decision-making, innovative ideas by govt

Saubhadra Chatterji, Hindustan Times  Kolkata, June 05, 2014
First Published: 23:46 IST(5/6/2014) | Last Updated: 23:54 IST(5/6/2014)

In his first public speech after the Narendra Modi government took charge, President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday pushed for a governance structure that would propel innovative ideas and faster decision-making.

In his speech at a function here Mukherjee said, “Governance structures have to be supportive of innovative ideas and also facilitative of faster decision making.”

Although Mukherjee’s remark was in the context of educational system, it assumed larger significance as it comes just a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the top central bureaucracy to take bold and quick decisions. Modi has asked his ministers as well as bureaucrats to come up also with innovative ideas to cater to the people’s aspirations.

The President spoke at 150th birth anniversary of two doyens of education — Sir Ashutosh Mukherjee and Satis Chandra Mukherjee — at two events. At Kolkata’s historic Town Hall, he quoted Ashutosh to say, “We cannot waste precious time and strength in defence of theories and systems which, however, valuable in their own days, have been swept away by the irresistible avalanche of worldwide changes.”

The President, who himself was a teacher in his early life, emphasized on improving the quality of education and said, “I almost repeat like a parrot that today our universities lag behind the best universities of the world.”

Mukherjee suggested a six-point approach to improve education quality which includes preservation of academic autonomy, involving former students in their alma mater and giving more importance on research.

“A developing country like India has to address the grand challenges of renewable energy, climate change, drinking water and sanitation. Research in these areas will have spin-offs unimaginable in terms of benefits to the common man,” he said at the Ashutosh Mukherjee event.


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