The President, Pranab Mukherjee, on Tuesday said India must gear up to encourage reverse brain drain to overcome her dismal performance in the field of innovation.
Delivering address at the 10th convocation of the National Institute of Technology (NIT) here on Tuesday, Mukherjee said India should chalk out programmes to stop further loss of intellectual capital.
The NIT, in its golden jubilee year, awarded degrees to 1,001 students from undergraduate, post-graduate and PhD streams.
"We should focus on welcoming scholars from overseas, including non-resident Indians (NRIs) and persons of indian origin (PIO), to return to the country. Such an initiative will enable transmission of ideas and new methods of teaching and research from abroad to India. Academica-industry linkages must be strengthened to include industry's perspective in research and to derive market benefits from innovations," he said.
Showing concern over India's "poor discouraging balance in the innovation", the President told researchers to take cue from neighbouring China.
"In 2011, 42,000 patent applications were filed in our country as compared to more than 5 lakh filed each in China and the US in the same year. As per a recent Forbes survey, only three Indian companies have been listed among the world's most innovative companies."
The President said though the country was progressing in the higher education, the sector continued to be challenged by problems of quality. "Not even a single university ranks in the top 200 in the world and this is unacceptable."
He said in engineering colleges and technical institutes, there was a need to pursue scaling up of research in cutting-edge technologies such as nanotechnology, biotechnology, embedded system design and technologies for sustainable development.
Lauding the NIT's role in producing outstanding engineers and researchers, Mukherjee said that India was progressing in the field.
"The enrolment in the higher education sector has increased from 1.39 crore in 2006-07 to 2.18 crore in 2011-12 in just five years. Similarly, the growth rate of enrolment in engineering, which was close to 25% of the total enrolment annually in the 11th Plan period, is the highest for any field of study," he said.
The President made a special reference on giving due recogniation to outstanding teachers. "Every academic institute must recognise their outstanding teachers who have inspired young minds to gather knowledge beyond textbooks. Such teachers are catalysts for holistic learning and new thinking. Such 'inspired teachers' could be encouraged to mentor junior teachers and students," he said.
Haryana governor Jagannath Pahadia, chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Kurukshetra MP Navin Jindal NIT board of governors chairperson A Sivathanu Pillai and NIT director Prof Anand Mohan were among the dignitaries present.