The Indian economy has resilience to overcome its problems, President Pranab Mukherjee said Saturday. He asked people not to panic due to negative sentiments expressed in certain quarters.
"Sometimes we find negative sentiments expressed in certain quarters, but being in the economic administration of this country as minister for more than four decades, I am not disappointed," Mukherjee said in his address to the first convocation of IIT Indore.
"If we have registered 5% growth in 2012-13, we should feel concerned but we should not feel panicky because Indian economy has resilience to overcome the problems," he said.
The President said the country's economy grew at 3% during the first Five-Year Plan and then reached 5.5% in the 80s. Subsequently, the figure rose to 6% in the 90s and in the last ten years, the country had achieved 7.9% growth.
Except China and a couple of other economies, not many countries had grown at a pace of 7.9% over a span of ten years, though the Indian economy had to face the effects of global financial crises, the President added.
Addressing the institute's first convocation function, the President said the graduation of the first batch of 101 engineering students is a major milestone in the annals of the institute.
He expressed hope that the students would continue their association with their alma mater in a meaningful way.
The President however expressed concern that not a single Indian institution was among the top 200 universities in the world as per a recent survey.
He said that the ancient Indian universities like Takshashila, Nalanda, Vikramashila, Somapura and Odantapuri had dominated the higher education system in the world for many years.
"Along with measures to increase quantity, the drive to enhance the quality of education should engage the attention of policy makers," the President said.
Affordability, accessibility and availability are the key words in higher education, Mukherjee added.
"Technology can enable refinement in teaching methodology and it can address the challenges of quantity, quality, accessibility and faculty shortage," he said.
Stressing that the centres of higher learning should emphasize on research, innovation and development, the President added that the public and private sectors must come together to tap the innovation potential.